Interview With Stephen Trutter From Ideal Practices – How To Open a New Dental Practice

Interview With Stephen Trutter From Ideal Practices – How To Open a New Dental Practice

Chris Pistorius, CEO of KickStart Dental Marketing interviews Stephen Trutter of Ideal Practices. Stephen is a consultant that works exclusively with new dental practice start-ups. They discuss great tips, ideas, and strategies that anyone who is planning to open and market a new dental practice should watch.

Chris Pistorius:
I am honored to be with one of the leading people in startup dental practices in terms of consulting. This company’s name is Ideal Practices. I’m with the president of the company, Stephen Trutter. They, like I said, are one of the leading consulting companies for startup dental practices. And it’s cool because they can help all the way from finding demographics in a particular city that you’re thinking about maybe opening a practice to the legal stuff, the equipment, the real estate, the financing, the office design, pretty much everything. Stephen, thank you so much for being with us. I’ll let you talk a little bit more about it in a second, but I appreciate you joining us today.

Stephen Trutter:
Chris, great to be here. Thanks for having me here and can’t wait to share some insights here with the industry and with the community, so thanks a lot. Really appreciate your support.

Chris Pistorius:
Awesome. Love the skis behind you. You got to tell me more about those.

Stephen Trutter:
Oh, man. Some birthday or Father’s Day, a few years ago in… You’re in Colorado, but I’m in Florida, and we don’t have a lot of mountains in Florida, but I’m an avid skier, and I go out there a couple of times a year. My wife said, “I’m going to get a pair of vintage skis,” so she actually contacted her brother-in-law, who’s… I call him my brother-in-law, lives in Denver, and my wife found these at a local thrift shop. These things are in great shape. I was showing you earlier, the leathers and everything, they’re so… Whenever we moved here about a year and a half ago, they’ve always been in the office. They’ve always hung on a wall. Yeah, I don’t know, ’50s or ’60s. I will not take them off and ski in them in the winter, though. I will not.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, it’s crazy that people actually used to strap those things on. I can’t even imagine.

Stephen Trutter:
No wonder why people broke ankles back then. You never know. That’s a broken ankle right there.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, absolutely. All right. Why don’t you start off just telling us a little bit more about Ideal Practices, what you guys do, a little bit about yourself, and we’ll go from there?

Stephen Trutter:
Chris, thanks. Yeah, you know what? We have the fortunate opportunity to be able to serve the dental community and being a leading consulting firm for dental startups. That’s who we serve, private practice ownership. Our goal is always simply to be able to empower young dentists today to be able to open up their own practice through the means of a startup. We don’t support corporate dentistry, or I don’t set up corporate dental offices, so it’s really fueling private practice ownership and giving young doctors today, especially, that opportunity of clarity and confidence on how to open up a practice properly with a customized step-by-step process.

Stephen Trutter:
My partner, many people may know, Jayme Amos. They probably see him all over the media. We lead a team of 15 individuals, really, 15 experts, to be able to guide clients with expertise in certain areas, just like you as a dentist are all experts or specialists. We have specialists that able to guide through areas of financing, real estate, demographics, systems, hiring, protocol, floor planning, negotiations of equipment and construction, so there’s not an area that we don’t touch. And we’ve built some of the greatest success stories in the entire country. Everybody’s got a different idea of what success is to them, and so the joy that we get is to be able to build a practice that can not only just open, but open with purpose. Our practice owners open with a purpose to be community leaders. It’s a thorough joy of doing it over 15 years and almost 700 startups myself to be able to say, “Wow, we get to do this every single day,” and every single practice is different.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, I think that’s awesome. And as you know, it seems like even this year, even through COVID, we’ve gotten, here at KickStart, so many calls from new dentists just looking to start up a practice. We certainly can help them on the marketing side of things, but there’s so many questions that they have about opening a practice. Where should I open, and what kind of design should I build? There’s just so many questions other than marketing that I see so many people needing, and these are crucial topics that if you get wrong in the beginning, it can really set the tone for your practice for years to come, so you’ve got to make sure that you get a lot of that stuff right.

Stephen Trutter:
100%.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, so tell me, how did you guys get started in this? How long have you been doing this, and how did it all come about?

Stephen Trutter:
Oh, wow. 15 years of doing this. My partner and I each have been 15 years. I think what happened was we realized a number of years ago that the typical path of starting a practice years ago was trial and error. And many of you watching this are probably going, “Oh yeah, I known a friend that did that, and then they struggled for three or four years, and they continued to work as an associate three years into their startup,” and we were like, “There’s a better method,” and part of that better method wasn’t just like, “How do we get better to bigger revenues?” It was more of what we would call these three tiers. If you can imagine a stair-step, we say, “Great, everybody can open up a practice.” We call it the three P’s. We call it practice, profits, and then purpose. Everyone can get there to practice. We realize, “Well, everybody can get a practice. Four walls, throw a roof up, and get some chairs, and you got a practice.”

Stephen Trutter:
That next year, few people realized it was the profit side, and that’s where you start to develop systems and protocol to be an actual, profitable dentist. And many can achieve that. The different tier was later what we would call purpose. That’s that ultimate layer, and we realized that no one really strived toward having a practice with purpose. They kind of were like, “I know I don’t want to work for somebody else. I know I want to be profitable, but how do I have a practice that can serve my community in a bigger cause, that way people are choosing my practice?” Not because of my discounts. People don’t work for me because I pay the most. It was like, “Wow, we can now build a practice with purpose.” And nobody had a program and no one had built something. Everyone was just kind of getting bits and pieces from areas, so we said, “Let’s build a program. Let’s build a step-by-step process that can be a guide to be able to get practices open successfully,” because that’s the key, is successful opening. Not just opening because everybody can do that.

Chris Pistorius:
Exactly. Yeah, I see dentists sometimes… They’re in a huge rush to get open. Open, open, open, and I understand that. There’s financial responsibilities. You want to get to market, but part of me sometimes wants to tell them, “Hey. Slow down, take a breath, make sure we get this right from the beginning, build that foundation, and go,” so I think that’s a-

Stephen Trutter:
Even pre-COVID that we’re right now, the margin of error pre-COVID was small in terms of startups. The margin of error is smaller now, so to be able to have a process to get open successfully, find the right location, negotiate the right things is crucial to getting open properly and to be able to have a platform so that you can have predictability for a decade and beyond. That’s the key.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, and this is a good segue. What are some of the most common things that you see new dentists miss the boat on when they don’t… Obviously, a lot of them are younger people that are just starting their first practice. What are they missing the boat on? What are some common mistakes that you see?

Stephen Trutter:
I think one of the biggest areas that I see right now in the digital age, the technology age, and the information age is… I call it the peanut gallery effect. You may be familiar. Everyone’s heard the term “the peanut gallery,” and the peanut gallery, really, is the unsolicited advice. Even I see young dentists that come to us or approach us, and they say, “Yeah, as soon as someone says, ‘I want to buy a practice, or I want to open a practice, all of these people, or all they do is tap on their computer, and it’s like all these people have these opinions.'” A lot of the opinions that are out there are well-intentioned, but they come from people that either have only done it once, twice, or maybe never at all. And so they take this piecemealed approach to taking advice from people that may be testing their theory because they’re not willing to take the leap into private practice ownership.

Stephen Trutter:
And then they end up with like, “Wow, I could have opened on a timeline, but I ended up waiting three years because I took this advice from this person, or it’s very, very biased,” so I would say watch where the information comes from because one of the biggest pitfalls is going by advice that isn’t proven advice in startups. Practice management is different for startups than for established doctors. Even doctors who’ve maybe been open for years has well-intentioned advice for young doctors. The challenge is their advice is coming from a practice that may be very tenured and very seasoned, and that doesn’t apply to startups. Startups are a totally different animal, so I’d say that’s one of the biggest common tips that were kind of mistakes that I see.

Stephen Trutter:
I think the other areas are real estate and, really, chasing down real estate and thinking that I need real estate and funding, which is very, very important, but it is kind of going down that path of saying, “Let me just go find a space and not realizing what is the opportunity here from a demographical perspective,” and really doing the internal research of seeing who do I love to serve on a daily basis and being able to find that abundance of the kinds of people that are there.

Stephen Trutter:
I think the other third mistake I see a lot, as in your word, Chris, I see this… And you probably see it on Facebook posts. It is haunting sometimes. The post that comes from the doctor goes, “Hey, I’m getting ready to open my practice in four weeks. What’s everybody doing for marketing?” A marketing strategy has to develop months in advance. It’s kind of like the forgotten thing of, “Oh yeah, and I need these things called patients.” There isn’t a silver bullet for marketing. There isn’t, and you know this. It needs to be a developed strategy that takes months to implement and deploy. And they got to have resources like what your team provides and like what our team helps develop for our clients outside of even what you do as an agency to be in their community, knowing that it takes a ton of hard work to market our practice. It can’t just be like, “What’s the quick trick that everybody did,” a month before you open. You’re late. You’re too late. You’re not going to launch.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, no, I totally agree. It used to be kind of a “if you build it, they’ll come,” but that’s changed now because there’s so much pressure, and there’s so much competition in even the smallest markets now that that’s not so much the case. You’ve got to have a plan. You’ve got to have a strategy and the marketing side of it for sure.

Stephen Trutter:
100%.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah. You talked a little bit about the real estate side of it, and that was one of my next questions, is in real estate, at least, the old saying is kind of, “Location, location, location.” I’m guessing that that’s pretty true when it comes to dental practices as well. Sometimes, is it worth the extra X thousand dollars of months of lease or extra thousands of dollars to build a practice to be in the right location?

Chris Pistorius:
I know, personally, for marketing, we have several clients that have what you would consider kind of tier-one type locations. We track everything for marketing for our clients, and we find that those people that are in those grade A or number one, tier-one locations, they do see sometimes a significant amount of traffic just from people seeing their sign along a road, or they work near them, a populated area, something like that. Maybe you could tell us a little bit more about this location thing. How important is it, and should somebody spend more money for that?

Stephen Trutter:
I think it depends on a number of different factors. There’s always the balancing act between… Is the juice going to equal the squeeze in terms of that real estate? In many cases, you can be a block off the main road of everything and save yourself 30 to 50% in real estate savings. That’s true. And I would say… I’ve had a number of huge success stories. We have million-dollar practice owners in 12 months, and I can think of multiple, multiple doctors. I can think of one, like Dr. Alexis, who opened up a practice. She wasn’t on the busy street. She didn’t even have a sign, and she was two doors down from another provider, and in 12 months created a million-dollar practice. And it wasn’t just simply her location.

Stephen Trutter:
While location, I think, can play a role, I look at it and say, “It is not the number one criteria for success of a practice,” so when people say, “I have the biggest sign,” well, that’s great. It works well for Starbucks or McDonald’s to be on that corner because well, people are going to get their $8 coffee and their $1 cheeseburger, but in 15 years and almost 700 startups, I’ve yet to have a practice as a drive-through hygiene room.

Chris Pistorius:
That’s a good idea, though.

Stephen Trutter:
Maybe I’m going to pioneer something here. Location is important, but you’ve got to balance it with your available funding and who you’re trying to attract from a patient base. In some cases, you may get that great location, spend 30 to 50% more in expenses and overhead, and the patients that may come through may not be your ideal patient as well. Location’s important, but it has a lot less to do with pretty buildings and big signs.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, yeah. Okay, that makes sense. Well, why don’t you tell us a little bit about if there’s a new dentist out there that’s looking to start a practice, and they want to work with you potentially, when somebody hires you, what’s your process? How does that start?

Stephen Trutter:
Part of it is it starts with a consultation. We have a limited amount of consultations each month, so that’s one thing I’ll be able to offer our viewers today. For those that are more interested in… Like, “Hey, I’m just not quite sure,” they can even check out The Startup Dentist podcast. That has a ton of resources where, basically, we take our 13-stage process, and we’re actually doing it in bite-sized podcasts through The Startup Dentist podcast. That’d be a great way for people to be able to figure out is this the right path in terms of startups.

Stephen Trutter:
But we really go through a process with clients to be able to understand what their true vision is of a practice, and so it starts with a consultation with our team to be able to understand, is this a good alignment for both parties to be able to do that? Everything that we do is customized. This is a 12 to 18-month process. It starts off with a very rigorous vision call where we go through, really, almost setting the stage for the next decade and beyond. And it’s not just based upon what kind of chairs do you want and what your colors are going to be. It’s a true vision of what a client wants to capture in their community. That 12 to 18-month process will go through everything from funding analysis to demographical marketing strategies, hiring, and so the scariest things about the business systems, floor planning, and effective negotiations with vendors and on everything from real estate to equipment and construction.

Stephen Trutter:
Our process is a 12 to 18-month process. Some people are shorter, some people are longer, but everything that we do is customized to the individual client because I don’t have a manual that says, “Follow this manual.” It’s individually strategizing with each point on each individual phase so that when they open, they’re prepared. My goal is twofold. To be able to have a client, to be able to get out of working for somebody else as quickly as possible, and number two is when that first patient comes in, I want that first patient for each one of my clients to be able to say, “Wow, I’m your first patient. This is the most well-oiled machine I’ve ever seen of a practice,” on their very first patient that they see. That’s their goal.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, that’s awesome. Now, what about a practice or somebody that buys an existing practice? Can you help with that or no?

Stephen Trutter:
We’ve really dedicated ourselves to startups. That’s a totally different animal of acquiring a practice, and I don’t discourage acquisitions. It’s the right fit for the right people. Startups are not for everybody, so I would say there’s probably a lot of great resources out there to acquire a practice, but my systems are built for startups because acquiring practice is really looking at systems differently and really trying to adapt systems [inaudible 00:17:16]… My team is really… The line I give a lot is we’re really good at developing and preventing. We’re really not as great at fixing. In other words, it’s hard to fix something if it’s kind of broken in a practice. It’s a lot easier to say, “We got a foundation to build upon.”

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah. Yeah, I know on our side of the marketing stuff, we obviously work with existing and new, but the new ones are kind of nice because nobody’s gone in and really messed anything up, so it’s kind of like you can build something from the ground up, and you can kind of start from scratch, so it’s [crosstalk 00:17:51]-

Stephen Trutter:
It’s like a golf swing. It’s like I can have bad habits for 10 or 15 years and then take lessons, and when someone’s trying to fix me. Everyone saw the old videos of Charles Barkley years ago when he [inaudible 00:18:02]. He had hitches, and everything was a golf swing. It’s like, if he had just taken lessons 20 years ago when he was still playing in the NBA, he would’ve had a pretty groove swing. My analogy is I’d much rather be able to take somebody who goes, “I don’t know how to run a practice,” and develop strategies that are built, and it can be tiered up and really scaled.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah. No, absolutely. Well, I guess finally, if somebody does want to work with you… And I appreciate it. I know you only have so limited time and limited free consultations that you guys can do, so offering our viewers one of those is awesome. I really appreciate it.

Stephen Trutter:
Absolutely.

Chris Pistorius:
If somebody wants to take advantage of that, what’s the best way to go about it?

Stephen Trutter:
The best way to go about it is to check out our website at idealpractices.com, and then I’ll make sure that Jen, who’s one of our… Everybody who talks to Jen, you will all love Jen. Jen is one of our strategic advisors. I’ll offer to, and I’ll let Jen know, we’re going to be able to offer private consultations to any of the viewers that come from this opportunity. Typically, it’s like a one-hour consultation. And in those consultations, what you’ll find with Jen is you’ll understand the care that our team really wants to provide for these doctors, and for you, as viewers, to understand what are your goals and how do you want to accomplish these. For everybody, I want to be able to offer something today, is that consultation.

Chris Pistorius:
Awesome. Well, thanks so much. I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I know you’re busy. I know [crosstalk 00:19:31]-

Stephen Trutter:
You as well.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, this is going to add a lot of value to the folks that come to our website and look for help with starting up a practice because there’s so much to do and so much stress. It sounds like… I know for a fact from working with you that you can really just take a lot of that stress and leverage that with your experience of doing… How many… Did you say 700 startups?

Stephen Trutter:
I’m approaching… I remember Jayme was talking… We did the numbers. Somewhere between 650 and 700. Not one is the same. They’re all very, very different. Different states, everything.

Chris Pistorius:
Yeah, that’s awesome, though.

Chris Pistorius:
For somebody to be able to just leverage that experience and you know what works well, what doesn’t, that can go a long way.

Stephen Trutter:
I appreciate it.
Chris Pistorius:

Thank you so much for your time, and hopefully, we can bring you back and do another segment.
Stephen Trutter:
Oh, I’d love to. Thanks, Chris. Thanks, everybody.

Chris Pistorius:
All right, thank you.

Stephen Trutter:
Be safe.

Chris Pistorius:
Talk to you soon.

Stephen Trutter:
Bye-bye.

Be sure to see Chris Pistorius’ next segment on the #1 reason that separates dental practices that do “ok” versus the dental practices that dominate a local market! Hint: Dental marketing is only 1 factor!

 

Huge Announcement!

Huge Announcement!

KickStart Dental Marketing has been named one of the Best Dental Marketing Companies by UpCity. If you would like more information about our services, please call (800) 694-9184.

 

Hey everyone, I hope you’re well. I just talked to you a couple of days ago, I know, but I wanted to send out another exciting announcement about what we’ve been busy doing to help out clients during this last few weeks of downtime. And I know some of you are opening up or have been opened for a few days now and congratulations, I’m sure that feels great. But, the message before last I had sent out to everybody, I believe it was, it was an exciting announcement about how we’re going to incorporate text messaging onto your website so that potential new patients and existing patients could communicate with you that way, as we are seeing a tendency of people wanting to do live chat/text messaging as a way to communicate.

Well, this next installment is something that I’m even more excited about. This is yet another thing that we’re going to talk about here, that we’re going to add to the account, in fact, we’ve already added it to your campaigns. I’m just showing you this to explain what it is we’re doing, why we’re doing it and what the benefit is to you. So let me just go ahead and get right into it and then Jennifer, our Director of Operations, will be sending this documentation to you as well so you’ll have a copy of this. And of course, if you have any questions about it, reach out to her or myself and we would be more than happy to take you through anything here. But it’s super simple, it’s going to be super impactful for your practice going forward and there’s really no more … it takes a lot of burden off your front desk as well.

So what I want to talk to you about is, do you want to know the number one biggest factor between the most successful dental practices in the country and the ones who are just doing okay? Or even, quite frankly, the ones that aren’t doing well at all? What do you think the one biggest difference is? I’m sure some of you now are thinking about, “Oh, well your service, your pricing, the equipment you have, certainly your staff’s a big deal,” but you’re missing the mark a little bit. The number one reason from a marketing standpoint at least is cold lead handling. What’s a cold lead and what do you mean? Well, a cold lead is anytime a potential new patient has reached out to you, but they likely don’t even know who you are. So it’s not a referral, it’s nothing like that. It’s somebody that found you on Google or somewhere online and they’re just trying to find a dentist, but they don’t really know you from Adam.

So this is a way different type of a lead than per se, a referral where maybe a friend or family member has sent them to you. Because those people are pre-sold, they’re just calling in basically to maybe ask a couple of insurance questions and go ahead and schedule the appointment. And most front desk people are certainly qualified to do that. Cold leads, where they just find you on the internet, that’s a little different story, because these people are not pre-sold. They don’t know you, they don’t even know if they like you and they certainly don’t trust you yet. So those are three big things that you’ve got to achieve on the phone with your front desk staff. And quite frankly, there are a lot of front desk people out there that just are not professionally trained on how to handle these cold leads.

So the number one difference that we see, and it’s not just us, there’s a lot of studies out there that show this, is the difference between the big-time dental practices that do really well with new patients and booking them is cold lead handling. So the problem is that 50 to 60% of inbound cold leads right now did not schedule an appointment. And that’s a nationwide statistic just in dentistry. And 90% of new patient web forums fail to convert, so somebody fills out a form on your website, it gets emailed to you, about 90% of those just don’t work out for whatever reason. And if you start adding these numbers up and you reverse the math here, that’s a lot of missed revenue opportunity, and when you look at this over a year or three years or five years. And we’ve been seeing this with a lot of our current clients right now, and that’s why we’ve decided to attack this problem.

And so what we’re … Just to back up what we’re talking about, some charts here, on the left, what you’re seeing in figure one is the impact of speed to call and what I like to call speed to lead. It’s a big deal. So if you follow up within one minute of somebody submitting a form online or filling out something on your website, whatever it may be, you have a 391% better chance to actually get that person into your office. But if you wait two minutes, three minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, five days, 24 hours, you see that decline in your effectiveness of being able to get that patient in your door.

Now, look, I’ve worked with a lot of you head to head and we’ve tested this sometimes with you guys and sometimes we do get a quick response if we send in an onsite lead. Sometimes we don’t get anything until the next day, and even sometimes we don’t get a response at all. And I get it, you guys are busy, especially now, when you’re getting a lot of your existing patients in and it’s getting booked up and I know a few of you are booked out till August. So it’s very important, speed to lead, as fast as you can get back to those people because some of these people are literally looking at a list. So a lot of you we do SEO work for, and we get you ranked high on Google, and sometimes when we do that, it’s awesome, but they’re going down a list. So once they fill out a form, boom, they might be going to the next person on the list. So we’ve got to respond to those people as soon as possible so we have the best chance possible to get them into your office.

On the right, you see the contact probability arc, and this is what it’s talking about in terms of followup. How many followups do you do to try to reach that person? In dentistry on average, it takes about seven times to follow up with one of these cold leads to actually even get ahold of them. And here’s why, because think about it, number one, going to the dentist isn’t probably their number one place to go for entertainment or enjoyment. So they’re not really motivated to get there anyway unless there’s an emergency. So they fill out the form and they might just get easily distracted and kind of put that off a little bit, even though you call them or email them.

And the big three things in dentistry of why people don’t come to see you is because of time, fear and money. So you’re working against a lot of different combinations and all those things added up together is why it takes a few chances or a few follow-ups to get ahold of these people and actually get them into the practice. So you can see in the graph here, you’ve got about a 48% chance on the first call to get them in. But then after about the third call, and then up to the sixth call, you see your chances of connecting with them and getting them into your practice go up dramatically.

So I’d ask you right now, what is your practice … Do you have a systemized followup system for these cold leads that come in? So somebody fills out a form, you get the email, you do finally checked and get the email. Do you have a followup system other than emailing back, or giving them a call maybe once or twice? Do you follow up for three days in a row and up to seven times by phone, text, email, trying to get them in? I’m going to guess the percentage of you doing that right now is pretty low and I bet the percentage of you that actually have something written down and systemized and a process to do this is pretty low as well. So that’s why we want to attack this.

So we’ve created this solution, we’ve created an automatic response system for all these inbound cold leads. And I’ll get into the details of that in a second, but I want to go over the high level here. So each lead that comes in will be responded to within one minute of submission. Pretty cool, right?

So, you remember those graphs we just looked at? So, that’s what we’re really trying to play to. If during business hours, we actually attempt to connect you to the lead instantly, that’s really cool. And again, I’ll explain this more in a second. And we use text messaging, email and voicemail to follow up with the cold leads. So it’s not just, we’re giving them a call or maybe sending them email, we’re attacking them in different ways. And we’re doing it subtly, don’t think of it that we’re just bombarding these people until they hate us. That’s not the way this is set up, not at all, we do it tactfully. Now our system follows up a total of seven times over three days until we do make contact with that potential new lead. And usually that’s enough to do it and quite frankly, if we don’t reach them in three days after seven attempts, then it’s probably not going to be a great lead anyway.

Now, what’s really cool about this is no front desk assistance is needed for the process other than you to actually schedule the appointment for them. Because we don’t obviously have access to your calendars and we don’t really want to do that at this point. That could be … Just a little hint here, that could be a service offering in the future for us, where we actually can access your calendar and schedule appointments and things like that, but we’re not there yet and I just don’t feel like it’s a good time for that right now. Also, our system will be able to track every lead that comes in through this and find out if they scheduled an appointment or not. And at the end of each month, when you meet with Jen and her teams to go over results and things like that, we’ll actually have a list of names of potential new patients that came in from these campaigns. So it gives you a lot of information. It’s less work for your front desk, you don’t have to worry about a followup system, we’ve built it for you. You put all the work on us.

What’s best of all is it’s 100% HIPAA compliant. And our HIPAA announcement of being 100% compliant with all of our marketing efforts is just about ready to be announced in just a few days, so I’ll give you a little heads up on that. We’ve gone through great lengths, lots of work and training and system upgrades and process procedures to make that happen and quite frankly, a lot of money to make that happen, but it’s just too dangerous not to be HIPAA compliant these days. And if you’re not HIPAA compliant, as a marketing company, you’re putting you guys, our clients at risk for that. So we’ll talk more about that in a few days when the official announcement comes out, but this whole process is 100% HIPAA compliant.

So let’s get into the details of exactly how this works, it’s super simple. This is a four step process. Number one, the action happens. A potential new patient fills out a form, and this could be a Google ad, a Facebook ad, a Yelp ad, whatever we’re running for you guys, or they just do a form on your website, or they do a chat on your website, a text chat. And they indicate, now on that forum, we ask them, are you a new patient or existing patient? Because once they select that, depending on what they select, we route them a different way. So first thing that happens is once they connect that form, and again, you’ll get this documentation and a lot of you already know this process, we just haven’t formally given you the documentation on it and given it to you so everybody can see the same thing.

But the first thing that happens is an auto call comes out. So somebody fills out a form, boom, it hits our system, a robocall is what it’ll sound like. And I know some of you have tested this already and you thought it was a robocall and you just hung up. Well, I’m going to ask for you not to do that anymore and actually listen at least for a few seconds so you know if it’s one of our leads or not, but it will sound a little bit like a robocall. But our system will call your office during business hours only, we don’t do it if you’re not open and it will tell you, “Hey, you have a new lead that just filled out a form. Their name is Chris Pistorius.” So they’ll actually tell you their name too. The system will then say, “To connect with Chris or connect with the lead, press one now, or press two, to not connect or to disconnect.”

And then when your front desk presses one, it’ll actually attempt to connect you to that person’s cell phone because they gave us their cell phone number when they signed up on the form. And then when that person answers, you can say, “Oh, Hey Chris, this is Donna from ABC Dental. I saw you just filled out a form. I wanted to go ahead and connect with you.” Guys, that’s within the first couple of minutes of them filling out that form. I can promise you, nobody else in dentistry is going to be doing this right now. This is going to separate you from your competition big time and you’re going to be able to capture so many more leads just because of how fast you’re responding. And this process that we’ve created is going to enable you to do that. And you don’t have to spend any more money for it, it’s already built out ready to go. Sorry, I get excited.

The next step after we do the auto call, if you’re not able to connect right then and there, let’s say it’s after hours or you miss the auto call or you just got a line of people in front of you and you hit two, because you don’t have time to deal with it right then, we see that. So if you connect with them, this whole process ends because we’ve sent them to you and you’ve had a chance to talk to them. If you don’t connect to them, then it goes to our next step, which is follow up. So we will then … It’ll hit our system, and over the next three days, we’ll send out a series of text messages, emails, even a voicemail drop, basically saying, “Hey, you called in yesterday, we weren’t able to connect, I apologize. Just give us a call here at the front desk and we’ll get you a schedule to get everything squared away.” But those are the types of messages that we send out via text, email, and voicemail.

Now, as soon as they respond to that, our system picks up on that and an email will automatically be sent to your front desk, whatever email you have on file or emails you have on file with us, you’ll be sent a notification from us. It’ll actually come from Jennifer’s email address and we can show you examples of what they look like, but it’s like, “Immediate action needed,” is on the subject line and you’ll see them, they’re pretty obvious. But it’ll show all the contact information of the new lead, if they texted back to us, for instance, during the campaign it’ll show what they set on it. It’s really cool, and it’ll give you all the details you need.

Now, what’s going to be very important is, once we do send that lead to you after they’ve responded to our followup campaign, it’s going to be important that you follow up with that very quickly, because they’re going to be expecting that. So you need somebody really having their email open during the day and seeing emails come in so that when you get these, your front desk can respond to them pretty quickly. And it’s pretty that simple.

Now, the last step is if no response. So if after our three day process, we’ve sent them seven different communications, if we haven’t connected with them and they haven’t responded, we tried, we’ll go ahead and after that process is over, we’ll send you an email saying, “Hey, here’s all the contact information from this lead. We tried to contact them, they didn’t respond. Please go ahead and follow up if you’d like to, but we weren’t able to get a response.” So you still get that lead information, but it’s after we’ve done our followup process. So that way we’re not calling on top of each other and it makes it a little messy if we do that.

Now, one thing to note with this, I mean, it’s super simple. There’s a lot going on there, certainly, but it’s all very simple. All you guys really have to do is answer the phone as you normally do, or respond to emails, which you normally do anyway. So it was really no extra work on your part, and now your front desk doesn’t have to worry about, “Oh, I got to follow up with this guy that called in earlier, or I’ve got to follow up with this guy that sent us an email yesterday.” We got it. We got it handled, we’re on top of it and this is going to increase your new patient conversion percentage.

Now, what I will say about this is that this process will only run for new patient leads because remember, we asked them if they’re a new or an existing patient. If they’re an existing patient, then what we’ll do is we’ll just send the email to you directly. We don’t take them through this process of trying to follow up with them. We’ll just send you an email and say, “Hey, you need to follow up with whatever the name, phone number, email address is. They are an existing patient and they need you to follow up with them.”

So this will be for a new patient leads only and it will only be for the leads that we send you, certainly. But it’s super simple and you’ll have this documentation, and what I’d love for you to do is share this with your office at once. Anybody that’s going to answer the phone or handle new patient leads, please just go through this. It’s very simple, you guys really don’t have to do much, just have them keep their heads up for these emails that come in and talk to them about this auto call system because it sounds like a robocall. I just don’t want them to hang up and not get that potential connection.

And then lastly here, I just want to talk about the result, what’s going to happen because of this. More new patients, bottom line, that’s all we care about is we want to get more quality patients into your practice that obviously increases revenue. This is going to be due to a quicker response, a more robust followup system. You may not even have a followup system right now. So it’s HIPAA compliant, you’re going to have a systemized followup process for new patient leads and it’s going to be less workload on your front desk. You don’t have to do anything to activate this, this is already set up, ready to go. Jen’s working with the final details right now, I’m sure she’s probably reached out to a few of you already. We’re not going to charge you any extra money for it. Quite frankly, though, our new clients that are going to come on after this, we’re definitely charging for this. So, but I want to give it to you guys as a benefit of being a loyal client to us, and we do appreciate that, certainly.

So just share this with your team. Anybody that’s going to answer the call, just do a little five or 10 minute training with them, maybe. If questions come up and you can’t answer them, get ahold of us, we’ll get right back to you, of course. Or we can even be in on the training. We’ll be more than happy to do a conference call or do a Zoom meeting for 15 minutes and just get everybody in a room and just make sure we’re on the same page, we have no problem doing that either.

So that’s it. I think that’s my last slide. Yeah, that’s it. So I hope you’re excited about this. I hope you see the opportunity and how we’re trying to help close the loop on this. We’re really trying to pivot our agency from, yeah, we’re always going to be a marketing company, but we really want to do more and we want to help you not just generate leads, but we want to help you close those leads too. So, look for more stuff like this coming up in the future, so as we try to close the loop on this marketing stuff and do everything we possibly can to help you out. So thanks for your time. Hopefully I’m not over-communicating, I told you in my last video, you couldn’t do that, but sometimes I tend to, so hopefully you like this, you enjoy it. Hit me with questions, hit Jen with questions. We’re here for you and have a great evening. Talk to you soon.

Thanks for watching this segment. Please be sure to check out the next segment on how dental practices can bounce back from the COVID crisis!

 

Is Your Dental Practice Ready For The Bounce-Back?

Is Your Dental Practice Ready For The Bounce-Back?

KickStart Dental Marketing is a dental marketing company based in Denver, CO. If you would like more information about our services, please call (800) 694-9184.

 

Chris (00:00):

Hey everybody. It’s Chris Pistorius, the CEO of KickStart Dental Marketing.

Chris (00:04):

Are you ready for the bounce back? Well, let me tell you what I mean by that. So I’ve sent a few videos out over the last few weeks during this COVID-19 crisis, and we’ve talked about transition periods and so I want to share with you a transition period that we’re seeing right now in the dental industry, and that’s the transition of your potential new patients and your existing patients starting to come out of the fear and the uncertainty and the anxiety and more into the pivoting, if you will, to the, “Hey, let’s get out and do stuff.” And some of you are already open and you know what I’m talking about, you’re feeling that. Or some of you right now are busy getting your offices ready to reopen in the next few days. So I want to take just a couple of minutes here and talk about the importance of capitalizing on this transition and how you can really use it to your advantage.

Chris (01:00):

I think that right now, your mind thought needs to be around aggression and being prominent. And what I mean by that is that there’s really two backlogs going on right now. There’s a backlog of pent up demand from your existing patients, these are people that might have had an appointment scheduled weeks ago and they haven’t been able to get in and those have just been piling up, and now they’re chopping at the bed, if you will, to get in. Pun intended. And you’re probably dealing with that right now, if you’re open. But more importantly, I think, is that there’s also a pent up demand of potential new patients. These are folks that might’ve been in the process of finding a new dentist when all of this stuff happened or people along the way that all of a sudden need a dentist and it’s been a priority for them. So I think that pent up demand is a separate thing and something that you really need to be able to capitalize on.

Chris (02:00):

I’ve talked to my current clients, and if you’re not a current client, please take this as a solid piece of advice, I think we need to get more aggressive in the next four to six weeks on being more prominent. And what I mean by that in more specific detail is to existing patients, you need to be sending out a communication to them on a weekly basis.

Chris (02:20):

And that’s not too much right now. You cannot over communicate right now to your current patient base. You need to talk to them about how you’re preparing, you need to talk to them about what you’re doing, you need to talk to them about the process, you need to talk to them about extended hours, perhaps. You need to stay in constant communication. You need to really specifically talk to them about the precautions you’re taking. For instance, some of our clients right now are having people wait in their cars and then they receive a text message when it’s time for their appointment. Others are spreading, if they have a big waiting room, they’re spreading things out there, they’re taking out toys and magazines, things like. But all of this is vital information to your patient base because it’s going to make them feel better and it’s going to make them more comfortable in coming into your office.

Chris (03:07):

And that goes for new patients too. If they see this kind of stuff on your website, for instance, or even a short video of you going over it in your office, right on your homepage, that can really make you stand out from your competition and you more likely to get that new patient in your local market.

Chris (03:25):

So back to the new patient stuff, we just talked about how we can be more prominent to our existing patient base, but what about the new patients? I think for the next four to six weeks are going to be critical to capitalize on this pent up demand of potential new patients. And I think that you need to be more prominent in SEO, which is your Google rankings, you need to get those increased. You need to start doing paid advertising on Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, it depends what market you’re in, it depends on your budget, I get all of that, but we can help you through that. But right now is the time to be the most prominent you may have ever been and that’s going to let you capitalize on this bounce back period.

Chris (04:12):

I just want to make sure we talk about the bounce back and you’re like, “Duh, I’m open, I’m ready to go” but we don’t always think about the details around it. And I just want to make sure that you’re thinking about everything and that you’ve got your mind in the right place, and you’re not just open. We’re going to try to capitalize this and take advantage of this pent up demand because quite frankly, hopefully for this situation, anyway, this is something that doesn’t occur in a very long time, so there is some opportunity here.

Chris (04:41):

So if you’re a current client and we haven’t talked about this yet, please reach out to myself or Jennifer, set up a time and we can go over this and talk specifically about your practice and what I think we should do for the next few weeks. And if you’re not a client, feel free to reach out to me, I’d be more than happy to jump on a call, talk for a few minutes absolutely for free and give you some sound advice, or hopefully some sound advice. But either way, just reach out to me, the phone number’s here on the video or my email address is here as well, and we can get something set up. Thanks again and let me know of any questions.

 Learn how using text & chat capabilities on your dental practice website can make a huge impact on your bottom-line!

 

Big Announcement For Our Clients!

KickStart Dental Marketing is a results-oriented marketing company for dentists based in Denver, CO. If you would like more information about our services, please call (303) 586-3580.

 

Hey everybody, hope you are well. I am hunkered down in my basement still in the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado, or at least the surrounding area tonight. And it’s almost midnight here. But I wanted to get this out as soon as possible because I am extremely excited about this and I think you will be too. But I’m not dressed very well. I’m still in kind of lockdown mode. I’ve got a hat on because my hair’s out of control. I’m not even sure it can be combed at this point so got to go with the hat for a while. But anyway, I hope you won’t mind, but I wanted to get this out to you as soon as possible. We have really taken the last few weeks and really worked on our processes our procedures. I know I’ve spoken with a lot of you personally and I’ve kind of discussed a little bit of this with you, but we’ve also enhanced our service offerings.

And this isn’t the only video you’re going to get from me about this. There’s going to be more in the coming weeks, but I wanted to get this out as soon as possible because this is going to roll out this week, and for some of you it already has. So we’re talking about something here that is a free upgrade to you. I’m not going to charge you any more money for this, although I probably should but I’m not. This is going to be essential to the way you communicate with patients. So as of starting tonight, a lot of you are going to be able to start communicating with patients via text message. Right? Makes sense. How many people text nowadays? Almost everybody. Really no matter what age you are, everybody’s texting. Some prefer to text and some don’t, but why not give people the capability to communicate with you in as many ways as they want to, especially new patients, right?

Because we want them to connect with you. So I’m going to take you through a quick demo here of how this works, but just a couple of quick points. There’s no extra work really for your front desk staff. Don’t worry about that. I’ll show you in a second. It’s going to be everything of the success of marketing is how’s your followup process and we’re going to talk a little bit about that. And the importance of quickly following up with these will be essential because they are text messages and people are going to expect a pretty quick response. Okay? And if you need help with your followup process by the way, or how to communicate with these people quicker, let me know. I’ve pretty much become the expert on that by now. And the really cool thing about this is everything is HIPAA approved. This is all HIPAA compliant. So we don’t have to worry about PHI and protecting that. It’s all done for us.

Just a little side note on that. I’m going to do another video shortly on HIPAA compliance. When it comes to marketing. Some of you may be very surprised by what you are dependent upon in terms of marketing. You have to protect new client information even if they’re not a client. And a lot of the federal government cases are now going into dental. I get a report of all the new cases every month and I will tell you that there’s a lot of details that might shock you. So I want to make you feel better about your relationship with us and that this is completely 100% HIPAA compliant as well as in our entire service space is HIPAA compliant. But again, that’s another video and I’m going to talk more about that in another week or so.

But anyway, let’s get to this. So you can see here we’ve got a one of our client’s websites, Aspen Dental, awesome practice here in Denver. Nice website built by us. I’ll put a little plug in there, right? But you’ll see down here in the bottom right, we’ve got this little chat button, right? And I just want everybody to know that this is going to be enhanced a little bit in the next week or two to say something more like, have a question, chat with us, something like that. It’s going to look a little bit more friendly and not quite as hidden. I don’t want it to be intrusive by any means, but I want people to know that it’s there. So that’s coming. But anyway, you click on this and it’s very simple. I wanted to keep this simple and straightforward. Essentially have a question, text us. Enter your question below and someone from our team will get back to you instantly during business hours, right?

So I did say instantly, and we can change this verbiage for what you want, but remember, text messaging is quick. So they’re going to want a quick response and you’re going to want to give them a quick response. So it’s just simple name, phone, message, and then a little disclaimer saying, hey, you gave us this, we’re going to respond. And rates may be applied, text messaging rates, right? Everybody has kind of the all you can eat anyway, I think of text messaging now. But anyway, now what’s cool about this is think about what you’ve already captured in just a few seconds, right? You got somebody to opt in and you’ve gotten their name and mobile phone and then whatever information they want to give to you, right? So how could that be valuable even if they don’t book a new appointment with you right now?

Well, what I would do is I would take this information in a list and we’ll be able to provide that for you. Look to see who’s maybe not a new patient and then remarket to them. We could do text messaging campaigns now, right? Because they’ve opted in. They’ve given us permission to reach out to them so we can send them text messages and market to them that way. So it could be a great tool ongoing marketing as well. All right? So basically I’m just going to fill this out real quick with my name and my number. I just gave everybody my cell phone number. I think you had it already though. And then I’ve already done this, so I’m just going to put blah, blah, blah. And then you just basically click Send. And it’s just going to say, thanks. We’ll be in touch very shortly, right?

So what happens on your end is that you are sent an email. Okay? And let me show you what this email’s going to look like here. Maybe, let’s see, here it is. Okay. So the title is going to be Immediate Action Needed. The patient sent a text, Chris Pistorius. So it’s got the patient, somebody texted you and their name right here, which is cool. It’s from Jen and a patient just texted you, please respond to them ASAP. Here are their details. So we timestamp it. Because we want to know what time they’re coming in and it’ll show the date as well. This one didn’t just because I’m still kind of fine-tuning it, but it will. New or existing patient, name, phone, email if appropriate. And where it gets this email and new or existing patient as if they’ve contacted you before, the system will automatically fill this information in.

And then whatever message that they put in here, right? So you’ll see the body of the message too. So you might be thinking, well how do I text message them back? Well, you don’t, and here’s the reason why. If it’s a new patient and even an existing patient, they’re going to have specific questions about insurance, rates, availability, things like that. And it’s just not going to be feasible to text back and forth and make that reliable, right? So you need to pick up the phone and give them a call and get them on the phone and you want them to talk to your front desk anyway because your front desk people hopefully are trained and know how to close these new patient leads that come in. If they don’t talk to me about that as well. But anyway, we want a phone conversation out of this.

We’re going to give them a way to text us to communicate to us, but then we’re going to follow up with a phone call. And it’s as simple as that. That’s all you’ve got to do. So you’ve got to have somebody make sure that they’re manning their email and if they see these come in and respond as quickly as humanly possible. I know things get busy there, but you really do need to have the resources in your office, in my opinion, to be able to handle new patient leads. Because that’s what’s going to drive your patient base. And this is for existing patients too. We could have people initiate their first conversation with you via text and then you follow up with them. So it could take some stress off the front desk of having to answer a phone so quickly. This they can get back to them if it’s an existing patient. Right?

So it’s got a few benefits here. But that’s really all there is to it. It’s all HIPAA approved. It’s not really a lot of extra work. And what’s best of all, it’s an absolutely free upgrade. So I’m excited about this. There’s going to be more upgrades like this coming out in the next couple of weeks. Please let Jen and I know have any questions about this. But you’re going to start seeing this little blue button here, popping up on your radars very soon on your websites and now you know what to expect on the email side of it. Okay? And what that means. So I’d love to have you maybe even have your front desk look at this video, explain to them, train with them a little bit on, hey, you’re going to get an email sometimes from Kickstart, Jennifer, and it’s going to say, immediate response or whatever it was.

We need you to respond to that very quickly. That’s really all the training that needs to be done and just explain to them and show them that it’s a text widget basically on your website and that’s another way that patients are going to be able to communicate with you. So hopefully I covered everything. I did this really quickly. It’s midnight. I’m tired because I worked all day, but I wanted to get this out. I’m excited. Let me know what you think, please. Let me know of any questions, comments, concerns, whatever it may be. But I think this is really exciting and this is going to be a great way for you to help grow your practices. So thanks again for watching and we’ll talk to you very soon.

Special Offer For Dentists During This Unprecedented Crisis

Chris Pistorius:
Hey everybody, what is up? This is Chris Pistorius. I am the CEO and founder of KickStart Dental Marketing, and also the author of the book, The Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing for Dentists. This month will mark 11 years that my agency has been helping dental, orthodontic, and pediatric practices grow their patient bases. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, and I’ve also experienced economic downturns in the past. In fact, I started this agency during the Great Recession, which as you probably remember, was an absolute crazy time as well. So I know that many of your practices are hurting. They’ve taken a blow during this unprecedented crisis, and many of you have even closed your offices, for the time being anyway, or are only serving dental emergencies. My agency is in the same boat. We’ve definitely been impacted as well.

Chris Pistorius:
But I will tell you that this hasn’t all doom and gloom. This is an unprecedented opportunity for us as well. My experience from other economic downturns has told me that, really, there’s two directions that you can take when you go through a crisis like this as a small business owner. Number one, you could do nothing and just sit and wait and let it go. Right? Makes sense. Or number two, you could use this downtime as an opportunity, an opportunity to position your dental practice for success for when we do come out of this. The practices that choose option number two will be the leaders going forward, and they will thrive once things do get back to normal. I’m sure you’ve read multiple times how some of the richest people in the world get rich from down economic times like this, and that’s because they keep the pedal to the metal. They see an opportunity, they realize that things are going to get better, and they do whatever they can to try to put themselves in a better position coming out of it than when they came in.

Chris Pistorius:
So we want to help those of you that do see this as an opportunity. We’re offering a completely free 60-day marketing campaign, so that you can make the most out of this crisis and put your practice in a position to be a market leader. Number one, we will build you a stunning, best-in-class website, absolutely free. We typically charge around $5,000 to develop a website like this. Now, if you don’t want a new website, or you don’t need a new website, we will leverage our 11 years of experience in dental marketing, and we’ll work with your current site to make it a 24/7 new patient generation machine. Number two, we will do a SEO campaign, search engine optimization, to increase your Google rankings. So while you’re sitting, not really getting a lot of action right now, why not increase those rankings so that when we come out of this in a couple of months, you’ll be ready for that new patient base.

Chris Pistorius:
And then number three, we will install a live chat system on your website. This is going to make it much easier for patients of all ages to communicate with you. Now, there’s more details about these services and what we will do a little bit lower on the page, so check those out. But I want to make sure you realize there’s absolutely no obligation with this, and you won’t pay a dime. And you’ll, from day one, own the website that we build for you and any other marketing assets that we create. Now at the end of the 60 days, I’m going to ask you, “What do you think of the services? And would you be interested in continuing on a paid basis?”

Chris Pistorius:
But that’s completely up to you, and none of this hinges on that. So please click the get started button on this page, fill out the information, and I will personally reach out to you to discuss the next steps, answer any questions you may have. And if you have any questions that you need answered before that, just feel free to reach out to me directly. My email address is chris@kickstartdental.com. And remember, we’re in this thing together, and we can come out of this stronger than we came into it. Thanks. And I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Click here to sign up for this special offer.