[00:00:00] Welcome to the Dental Marketing Podcast, a podcast that helps dentists win in the online world of modern day marketing. Each week, we cover the most cutting edge marketing tactics and strategies that are working right now across our client base to drive leads, phone calls, and more new patients for dentists.
Now here’s your host and founder of Kickstart Dental Marketing, Chris Pistorius.
Hey everyone, it’s Chris Pistorius again with a Dental and Orthodontic Marketing podcast. You know, we’re all about finding great ideas, unique ideas and things to help dental practice owners. And today is gonna be no different. I’ve got a great guest Dr. Paul Goodman, I guess A.k.a Dr. Nachos is with us today.
Dr. Nachos, thanks so much for joining us today.
Love being here. Thanks for having me on and love you guys. Love when people do stuff like this. Get more stories out there on how Dentists to do better. Honored to be [00:01:00] here.
Absolutely. Awesome. Well, hey, so you’re a busy guy. All right, so we talked before we kind of hit the record button here.
You’re running this do dental nachos that we’re gonna talk about in a second. You’re a current dental practice owner and you’re practicing, you’re a practice broker as well. Yeah. How do you find the time to do all of this? Possibly and get sleep still.
Oh, thanks. Thanks for sharing that. Well, I mean, you have to work your whole life to create unique opportunities, unique timing. So, you know, I practice six to eight days a month. I do dental practice brokering dental nachos, speaking the other days of the month. So, you know, I was practicing as a full-time dentist. I always wanted to have a collaborative dental office. So what’s unique about us is we have two locations with nine dentists working there.
So we can always have musical chairs of Dentist, someone can cover for me one of the challenging parts, what we try to talk about is, being a solo practice owner can have a lot of upside, but also can have a lot of restrictions on your time when you’re the only person doing it. So the first thing I did was to create stability to replace myself in the practice with [00:02:00] associates and other dentists there.
So I sleep more than people think. I just kind of am like a friendly tornado, so kind of operate on like double speed when I’m awake. So it’s not always easy to be around me.
Yeah. Well, that’s incredible. They always stay busy, so, I think that’s a good thing, right?
Yeah, for sure.
So tell me about this dental nachos stuff.
Obviously I know a little bit about what’s going on there, but somebody that’s never heard of it or doesn’t know what it’s all about, tell us all about it, please.
It’s a common thing. You wear their shirt around, people will stop you. I was getting money at the atm, they call it the atm. And the guy who is the security guard said what is Dental Nachos?
So really it’s like a Mr. Rogers neighborhood for Dentists, where Dentists could come together, talk, share, discuss spicy toppings. Mr. Rogers, one of my heroes, and Mr. Rogers, I’m a kid of the eighties. I’m 43. He was talking about gun control, you know, racism, things that we’re talking about now 30 years ago. So that show was not just for kids.
If you watch won’t you be my neighbor? An amazing show about him. So I want to create an environment where Dentists would feel [00:03:00] safe sharing, but we also could discuss the challenges that are facing our industry. Causing us to have problems with our morale, challenges with money. I think one of the popular term now Chris is gaslighting, you know, and I think the public says, oh, my Dentist always seems happy.
I said, well, that’s just a fake face they put on for you when you’re there, because we’re doing full contact arts and crafts on people who don’t wanna be there. So it can be a much more stressful job than what the patients see.
Right. So it’s kind of a Dental nachos, like you almost think of a safe place for dentists, right?
Yes. The way we’re, but you know, when we can have spicy conversations, we also do a lot of things in-person events, live streamed events, CE courses. The pandemic has created an opportunity for us to do things like we’re doing now. So just it also a community for dentists to care just about as much about each other as they do about their crown prep, which I think is important.
Yeah, absolutely. So you just mentioned, like some of you talk about some of the top challenges in dentistry now and you know, that certainly changes from month to [00:04:00] month as we’ve seen from the recent COVID stuff. Other than Covid, I guess, or maybe you could include Covid into this, what do you think are some of the top challenges facing dentists today?
So I talk about the “D” is destroying the life of dentists. So dentistry is great technology, great stuff we can do on patients, great. Working inside of our operatories has gotten more fun, probably a little bit easier, and we can do amazing things when you step outside the operatory morale and life of dentists problems.
Here’s one, declining insurance reimbursement. So I will use this example. Imagine if they said, you’re gonna exercise every day, you’re gonna eat right, and every year you’re gonna gain five pounds. That would hurt your morale. That’s what’s happening with insurance reimbursement for dentists. We’re being paid less than we were years ago.
Even though our business costs more of the run, our newest dentist, dental school cost has gone up two to three times as much without dentists making more money. So dental student debt affects the industry, not just the new dentist. It affects all of us. It affects decisions and where they work. It affects so many things.
So [00:05:00] both dental student debt, and declining insurance reimbursement, I think are two of the biggest challenges, and also the pandemic has caused many hurdles for team members. Some of them couldn’t come back to work, and we had to put together a whole football team to get our our job done, right? I had a chiropractor as a patient.
I said, that must have been a relaxing job. It’s just you and the table. As long as the table shows up, you can do your job. But I don’t know if you’ve been in a dental office, we’ve got assistants, hygienist, front desk, that can be fun. But if one person’s missing, I’m a big sports fan. We don’t always have a bench, and that can really impact your ability to deliver care.
Yeah. That’s awesome. It’s kind of like the next man up philosophy of football perhaps, right?
Yeah. But we have no next man or personnel, just you turn back and be like, we got nobody. So, that’s part of the challenges.
Yeah. Well, let’s dive into that a little bit. You know, it seems like a hot topic, and I ask this in almost every interview I do, and it’s great to get different ideas here, but hiring and firing.
Especially hiring and retaining [00:06:00] employees. Kind of that next man up strategy we were talking about. In your opinion, you’ve been around, you know this stuff. What’s the best way to find great employees that are gonna stick around?
So first thing I always share is always be looking for team members, even when you don’t need a team members So always just be alert. So I have two children that live in my house and apparently it’s still illegal to leave them home alone, so we need babysitters. So I’m always looking for extra babysitters, so, life happens. I mean, dental team members, it’s not an easy job. You’re working shoulder to shoulder with people who don’t wanna be there in a high stress environment.
With the pandemic, sometimes people couldn’t come back to work cuz they’re children. Sometimes people just get burnt out of the industry. So one strategy is always be looking even when you don’t need anyone. Number two, strategy is stay connected in your community, both dental and outside of dental.
Because there’s positions you can train people off the proverbial street, and three, stay connected with people who are connectors, like equipment reps, like marketing companies like you, so that you can leverage [00:07:00] that. Oftentimes people shout out, I need a hygienist, but they don’t have any relationships at that time, and there’s great services out there.
Some of them are sponsors of our group, but they’re not magicians. So, those are three things I would say is always be looking even when you don’t have a need in your office for good team members.
Yeah. You know, I think that’s great advice. And your experience. I’ve kind of heard lately more of dental practice owners and managers trying, really hiring people with no experience in dental.
And the thought behind that is, number one, there’s more of them available. Right?
Right. For sure.
Number two is they’re finding that when they do that, yeah, there’s more training. They can teach them the dental side of it, but they’re finding that they’re not set in their ways. They’re totally coachable.
And they wind up being better employees. Have you seen that? Do you have any experience with that?
Oh yeah. We, we do that with a lot of things. There’s technical jobs that are hard to do that some, not legal like hygiene, but sometimes your assistant team, depending on what their due or your front desk team and also.
Just, you know, I don’t know, this isn’t [00:08:00] off topic, but you know, why does somebody have to have the same career for 40 years? I mean, is that a good thing? Meaning like someone who’s a dental assistant and an awesome dental assistant, age 23 to 36, maybe they’re just burnout and they want to be a rep for a supply company, and that’s totally cool.
So I think we just need to be comfortable with this transitioning nature of the workforce and be agile and flexible. And you’ve said a good point, get good training systems in your practice so that when you do bring somebody in, you’re not reinventing, if you will. Too often, dentists are kind of held hostage in a way by this one team member who knows all these things.
And I mean also I’ve had a great life, but I’ve also had some challenges. I’ve had. I mean, unexpected events happen. Illness, death, injury. Or happy events, somebody’s spouse has to move across the country cuz they got a great job as the VP of sales, for something and now they’re gone. So I think, Dentists, you need to learn in school that putting your team together is something that’s never finished and you should always be working on it.
Yeah, and I think it’s, [00:09:00] I’ve referenced this before, but are you familiar with a book called E Myth Revisited?
Oh, yeah. Am I familiar with it? It’s near me at all times. I have it right here. Yeah.
Folks, this is not planned, I promise. I’m not promoting.
Yeah, yeah. These are my two favorite books. E-Myth and checklist manifesto. I have these all the time.
Perfect. This was not rehearsed, I promise, but you said a couple of things that kind of made me think you might be onto that, and you talked about replacing yourself earlier. And then you talked a little bit just now about process procedures and anybody watching the listening right now, this book, E-Myth Revisited applies to you, I mean, applies to almost any business and what it really talks about.
Is what Dr. Nacho was just talking about in the sense that you never know what’s gonna happen, so you really need to have a really good book of process, procedures, you know, something that somebody even off the street could come and just kind of read the book and know how to do that job, right?
I like paper still. So we have ways for people to touch something and say, these are the most eight important things from the checklist [00:10:00] manifesto for each job. I think, you know, management is repetition. One of my consultants told me that early on is such a good point. I think dentists get frustrated where they need to learn to delegate tasks that they are able to give up.
But some dentists will micromanage too many things and cause their stress level to rise. So really it’s sitting down, going through the process of creating a system, creating supporting assets for it, whether it’s digital and paper, and then being patient enough, Dentists and I, to help people when they drop their nachos or the nachos go off strip.
But what’s crazy, Chris, is I say this all the time. Dental school sets dentists up to be miserable because they don’t talk about any of this, right? So they make you think that being technically competent is good. So everybody knows this experience. Everybody has in their background an amazing chef owned restaurant where the service stunk.
The food took too long. You didn’t know if they were open, but the food was amazing. But you stop going there because the [00:11:00] other stuff was a problem. So dentists are the people trying to make their pasta so well while the other stuff, they’re not planning. And that’s part of the reason I believe why they’re so stressed out in private practice because they don’t even know that this is a thing until they get there.
Right. Yeah, that all makes complete sense. And like I said, I can’t say enough good things about that book E-Myth Revisited. It talks about creating a business as a franchise. Even though you’re not gonna be a franchise, there’s a lot of things that you can do to set your business up in that way.
And I totally see some parallels on how that could work. Like you mentioned with dentistry. I’m gonna switch gears just a little bit here, and you mentioned dental school, and this was a topic, I was talking with somebody the other day about how in dental school, you know, they teach you really well how to become a dentist, right? In most cases, how to become a dentist, but they leave out a lot of the business aspect of this is that right?
Yeah, it’s incredibly accurate, irresponsible, and maybe even borders on a scam because here’s why Dental school keeps raising their prices. They’re [00:12:00] delivering less to the dental student, and they’re not training ’em to survive and thrive in the real world.
Here’s an example. Dental school charges 500 or $600,000. So that’s money. Right? And they charge it to the dental student. Yet when the dental student is in dental school, nobody teaches them how money works in dentistry. Which is one of the most irresponsible things, cuz I don’t know if I’m an economist or I don’t know if I’m a business whiz.
But I don’t think you can help anyone if your practice goes out of business. I don’t think you’d be doing dentistry on the streets. So keeping your dental office in business is more challenging than people think, and they just give these cliches. Dentists don’t fail. None of them go out of business, but they have not looked at seeing what’s happening in our industry with declining insurance reimbursement with challenges that people are having. So I just think we need to start to have these conversations in dental school, so at least they’re aware of these things.
Yeah, we see it all the time too, in marketing. And you know, honestly, in all frankness, it’s probably helped our business because [00:13:00] you know, these people come outta school and they’re like, all right, I know how to do dentistry, but how do I grow a practice?
Right? They don’t know much about marketing and unfortunately, what happens if they get in the wrong hands with the wrong people? In terms of marketing, you know, they can spend a ton of money not getting anything out of it. So we see a lot of that, especially with some of the newer guys coming or girls coming outta school, and trying to figure out what they wanna do with their practice.
I agree with you, but I would encourage and not really challenge, you know, if a dentist is gonna spend 5% on marketing, just as an example, and you took all the millions of dollars of revenue, it’s gonna be like 0.6%. So your business has a huge pie that could grow for all companies. If Dentist says, Hey, I’m at least gonna spend $50,000 of my million on marketing, cuz Dentist are often very frugal, hashtag Dentist cheap.
I’ve come up with that on marketing. So I think, in the most positive way, there’s a huge pie for marketing companies to win. If Dentist get the message like, Hey, I [00:14:00] should be spending this money on marketing.
Yeah, no, that totally makes sense. And you know, especially it’s so competitive now and depending on the market you’re in, you’re getting a lot of pressure from corporate dentistry.
So, yeah, for sure.
Are you looking to grow your practice but are a little unclear on what the best way is? Let us help you out. We have over 13 years of experience in helping practices just like yours, increase new patient growth. Just go to KickStartDental.com and sign up for a free strategy session where we will give you some great insights on how to take your practice to the next level.
I wanna talk a little bit more about new dentists. What’s your advice to somebody coming outta school, or maybe they’ve been an associate for a year or two and they’re getting that itch to maybe have their own practice. Do you feel as though it’s smart right now to go out, and do your own thing?
What they should do is go to someone who has a three-year-old like me tune in and say, I wanna watch it for the next [00:15:00] week and see how I do. Cuz having a dental practice, like having a three-year-old, that never grows up. But in all seriousness, I think that they need to develop their core with business leadership, team communication.
Nothing to do with crown preps, nothing to do with extracting teeth and see if that’s the life that they want. I think one of the, if someone said to me, why are dentists have so many morale problems, stress problems, depression, death by suicide? Here’s why this is the answer. Dentistry is filled with conflict.
You’re talking to people who don’t want to be there and don’t want to pay for it. You have team members who are challenging to deal with. So if conflict is fighting fires, a firefighter knows they’ve signed up to fight fires. A dentist in the real world has no idea how much conflict they have to deal with, and as a practice owner you have to deal with quite a bit daily.
So it’s all personality driven. Are you the type of personality that will do this? So buying a practice, can be the key to financial success, can be the key to making [00:16:00] flexible decisions. But you know what, here’s a problem, Chris, what’s your spouse’s job? Because if your spouse is a job where he or she might move across the country, you buy a practice, you got a big problem.
Because she gets a promotion or she gets to live her dream. What are you gonna do with your practice? Dentistry, you know, I have two daughters and what this pandemic has taught me is I will encourage them to do what they want in life. But I will guide them and I will tell them that if they have a job where the only way they can make money is by physically being in front of somebody, it’s a very risky job. Dentistry, hairstylist, restaurant server.
Because what this pandemic has taught us is dentistry’s not portable. So there’s great points. Everyone’s gonna need a dentist, doesn’t mean it’s not, but just sharing that, owning a dental practice can be an anchor to that geographic region. You just want to make sure that’s where you’re gonna be.
Yeah, that’s a great point. And Covid has definitely shown us that we see the people that have been, the businesses that have been impacted the most dentistry, you know, anything in person, entertainment, arts, things [00:17:00] like that. So that’s that’s an excellent point for sure.
When we talk about somebody going to buy a new practice or they want, they’ve made the decision, yeah, I want to do this, I want to own a practice.
Tell me, and you did this, so what was your thought process in terms of do I start from scratch and build my own or do I go out and look for a book of business, and maybe. Maybe buy one from somebody that’s retiring.
It’s such a good question. Most of the time, buying a good acquisition is gonna, you’re gonna buy cashflow, you’re gonna buy systems.
So most of the time that’s what dentists do. But startups, and we work with startup consultants and we have sponsors and start consultants give you the opportunity to create your own brand from scratch, but it also means you likely will need to go where there’s a need for a dentist. So in my area of New Jersey, we have a one dentist, every thousand people.
Very competitive. If someone came into my town and wanted to do a startup, it would be very difficult for them to survive. [00:18:00] Not cuz they’re not a great dentist. Not cause I wouldn’t be nice to them just because when there’s a free pizza and there’s nine people and there’s eight slices, there’s gonna be a problem.
So there’s a really interesting thing happening where there’s massive opportunity where you can be in a ratio of one to 3000, one to 4,000. But I say this in the most diplomatic way. They’re not often areas where people are clamoring to move to and if they might not be able to bring their spouse there.So I think, I don’t know. There’s this movie Doc Hollywood back in the day with Michael J. Fox, he got stranded in the small town, I believe that’s gonna happen. There’s gonna be towns that have no dentists. Dentists are shutting their doors and no one’s replacing them because up until about the 1990. Most dentists return to where they live to practice, me included.
Who doesn’t? Now we have all these cool people, 50, 50 men and wo
men, and people from other countries. It’s awesome for the field, but from a business perspective, are people gonna go to the middle of [00:19:00] Pennsylvania to buy a dental practice if they’re not from the middle of Pennsylvania?
Spoiler alert, they are not. Right? So it’s a very unique challenge. Some of it comes with massive opportunity, but some of it comes with massive risk. And the first thing I say to a dentist is, when they’re getting a job, which is what we help them do, are you geographically flexible? If they say yes, I say you can earn twice what most dentists made, but you’re gonna go to Omaha, Nebraska, you’re gonna go to Fargo, North Dakota.
Is that okay with you? So that’s nobody, this is what they should tell dental school applicants Chris, because they’re really not being total, they’re not showing them the true picture of private practice dentistry before they go to school.
Right. Yeah. I think that’s a great point. And you’re right. You know, people used to go to school, they’d come back over to their hometown, set up shop, and they’d be there, right.
And that trend certainly is changing. So that’s very interesting. We’re gonna wrap it up here, but what kind of parting words, or nuggets of wisdom could you share with folks, you know that are [00:20:00] watching right now.
What I would say is if you’re a dentist watching, just do one thing to be kinder to a dentist near you.
Call them up on the phone and do something that was normal when you were a teenager. But now I know you’re all weird. Say, hey, do you want to go get lunch and just talk? I know it’s gonna be weird. Just say, I’d love to get to know you. I believe Dentists, getting to know each other, being kinder, sharing more is the key to a successful industry.
I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, so if someone’s listening to me, you are gonna get it. This is like when they didn’t think the white walkers were coming, but they were coming, right? They were. So I’m telling you, the white walkers are coming for dentistry, dental insurance, reimbursement, dental, student debt.
I work with DSOs. DSOs are a very interesting mix. That’s corporate dentistry. Corporate dentistry is doing things to push the field forward, but also doing things that limit opportunities for private practitioners. Because a great practice will often be bought by DSO before it gets on the open market.
That’s something that’s been, our dental ancestors have let them in, so [00:21:00] now we have to deal with that. So I would encourage you, reach out to a dentist in your town, talk to them more. Go to more in person, ca be that kinder friend that you needed when you were in dental school, and that’s what I hope people would do.
Yeah, that’s great. That’s a great analogy with the white walkers. I like, yeah. So what if somebody’s watching this and they’re like, you know, I need some help. What Dr. Goodman’s talking about here, what’s the best way to reach out to you guys, and learn more about your program?
Thanks so much for letting me share that. So DentalNachos.com. I’ve tried to create like an ESPN version of what we do from buying practices CE events. You go to DentalNachos.com and then one of my best friend, friends in life, I brought them, it’s my phone. So you could just text nachos to 2 1 5 5 4 3 6 4 5 4.
If you text nachos to 2 1 5 5 4 3 6 4 5 4. One of my idols is Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary V. And I got the same community text platform that he has. And it’s been a great way to connect with people. Cause you text in and you’re texting me, we gotta have a conversation, ask [00:22:00] me a question. I really love it. So thanks so much for letting me share that.
Nice. Yeah. And I’ll make sure we put that information below the post and everywhere that this is gonna be broadcast. So, hey, Dr. Goodman. Seriously, thanks so much for your time. I know how busy you are. This has been really fun and a lot of really good information, so I appreciate you being with us today.
Thanks Chris. I really appreciate it.
Sure thing. And thank you to everybody that’s watched this episode of the Dental and Orthodontic Marketing Podcast. Please be sure to check in with us next week for another great show. Thanks again.
Thanks for joining us this week on the Dental Marketing Podcast. Make sure to visit our website, www.KickStartDental.com/podcast, where you can subscribe to the show in iTunes, Spotify, or via rss so you’ll never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you found value in the show, we’d appreciate a rating on iTunes or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show.
That would help us out too. If you are ready to grow your practice, then you might want to schedule a free strategy session with us. [00:23:00] Just go to KickStartDental.com and click the free strategy session button and give us 15 minutes of your time to change your practice forever. Be sure to tune in next week for our next episode.
And thanks for listening to The Dental Marketing Podcast by Kickstart Dental Marketing, where dentists go to win online.