Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

There’s a policy plan to do for a while, and it’s on the fundamentals of business and also how to apply it to your dentistry so that you can leverage your skills and abilities to become more successful. Because, of course, we’re given the skills and abilities in universities, we’re given the skills and abilities by courses, but are we taught how to actually employ them to make ourselves more financially successful? Not always, and actually, like most things in life, there’s really really really simple ways that we can understand these seemingly complex things. Before we get into the deep stuff, we have a simple explanation which serves us a huge degree. It serves us like 80% better than what we would have done simply by trying to navigate it on our own without any real understanding of what we’re doing and when we can make an 80% return, when we can get 80% better at something, just by understanding one thing that final 20% is more about the grind. It’s more about eking out those little tiny returns. So that first 80% is flipping amazing, and that’s what we’re going to talk about here today, except we’re going to apply that to business, of course. So whether you’re a sole trader, whether you’re a self-employed dentist working for someone else, or whether you’re a limited company, you are still a business, and that is because you’re exchanging your services for money. A business, fundamentally, is a collection of systems and processes which create value for someone else, and that value is exchanged for currency, boom. Now it just so happens that we’re self-employed and we’re working for someone else as an associate. We are still a collection of systems and processes. They’re just stored inside our brains and we just don’t happen to have as much leverage as perhaps a principal does, because a principal has a collection of associates working under them, but we’re still a business. Now here is business 101, and here is something that we’re never told. Actually, every single business on the face of this earth has three components, and when you nail even just one of these three components, you can be incredibly successful. However, if you nail all three, that is when the synergy occurs, that is when you become exponentially successful. But we’ve got to understand what the three components are. First of all, because no one ever tells us this damn stuff, we’ll never wear it at university. And actually it’s super, super, super, super essential to be able to leverage the skills that we’re given to be able to be more profitable. Not so we can be, puff daddy. Not so we can be Snoop Dogg, not so we can buy a Super Yacht like Jeff Bezos or Bezos or whatever that’s pronounced, but basically so we can earn a little bit more to buy back our time. Otherwise, we get caught in that vortex because when you earn what you earned in five days a week except in four days a week, what have you done? You’ve got the best of both worlds. You’re able to take home the same paycheck plus have an extra day of freedom every single week for the rest of your life, and it all comes from earning more. So this whole illusion, this whole misconception that wishing to earn a little bit more money is a bad thing is actually exactly the limiting belief that’s going to keep us there. So we got to unravel that in our head. Take the money from someone, take the money, earn a little bit more and use it to do good in the world. You’ve just created net good. How is that a bad thing? Are you with me? Just unravel one of those limiting beliefs right there. That was a huge thing that held me back for ages. But anyway, we’re not going to go off on a huge tangent. Let’s go back to business and let’s understand business 101. Every single business on the face of this earth has three components. Component number one marketing. How do we let people know about what we do? Component number two sales. Once they know about what we do, how do we get them over the line so that they participate and invest in our services? Component number three the product. How do we serve that individual so well on the back end that, no matter how much money they give us, whatever they invested in us, they made a phenomenal ROI on their investment because of how much we give them in return? Let’s dive down into those three components and understand how we can make them work for us. However, we must realize that this is something that we obviously need to caveat and tailor to our own individual circumstances, but from a high level. This is how we make it work. And like I say, you’re a dentist, okay, we are a business. We just operate under a slightly different guise, because the product is not a T-Mug, the product is not a laptop or phone. The product is us. We’re the damn product. We just gotta see it from that perspective. The product is us and our dentistry or persona. That’s what the patient invests in when we make it about the dentistry a lot more than the patient perceives it to be about the dentistry pretty darn frequently. So anyway, let’s start from the bottom up, because we market to someone, then we sell to them, then we give them the product. That’s the process, that’s the funnel, so to speak. That’s the real world version of a click funnel. If anybody hasn’t read Russell Brunson’s material on click funnels, flipping love, that stuff is really, really, really good. But anyway, a little bit of going on, a little bit of a tangent now, but I really like those books because it allows you to understand the internet, internet business and how that works from a at least a systemized approach. It’s not the only approach, but it at least gives you somewhere to start. So anyway, let’s go back to marketing. Marketing is how we attract patients towards us. Now, we don’t actually always need marketing if our product is really really really darn good, because the patients will do the marketing for us. But there always has to be some method through which people spread the word about what we do, or else we spread the word about what we do. Here’s the cool part there is six types of marketing. So whenever we’re spreading the word about our product, which is us in our instance, there’s six ways to get the word out there, and when you understand these six ways, you’ll have a systemized protocol through which you can go through to in order to get more patients, should that be the thing that you need, right? So what are those six ways? Number one referrals. Number two affiliates. Number three is people we do know. Number four people we don’t know. Number five is content. Number six is adverts. Now, let’s go through those systematically and understand how they can be used, as a dentist, in order to increase our profitability, in order to increase the people that we’re attracting. So, referrals, what are referrals? Well, referrals is an interesting one because in traditional marketing, well, people will buy from us, they’ll like the product and then they’ll refer their friends in. Maybe there’s some sort of D-Lare to sweeten it for them, something like that like 10% off for both sides, right? Referrals in the demo world is when you’re pretty good at a certain aspect of dent, straight, maybe your end those, whatever people start to send their end those to you. Okay, how do we get more referrals? We invest in ourselves, invest in our skills, invest in our abilities to become really, really, really good at something, to the point that people refer us in. So it’s not an immediate path through which we can generate business, but it is a path. It’s something that can be done. Number two affiliates. When we make our patients, for example, our affiliates. So how do we do that? So if you refer a friend, you get 10% off on your wedding, okay. Or you refer friend, they get 10% off in their wedding. Here’s the cool way that you can do affiliates. You can make them a double sided referral so you can say, hey, 10% off for you, but also 10% off your friend. You can put the prices up by 10% as well if you like, because how much you’re able to sell the someone for is purely how well you sell, right, and as long as they’re happy with the product, at the end the price becomes less relevant. It’s really the issue. It is part of the equation, okay, so we can make that work for us. We can use that to generate more business. Of course, if it’s a one sided referral, like you, the patient get 10% off when you refer your friend. That comes across disingenuous. There’s very way less of a viral marketing effect, because the other person who they’re trying to refer In thanks to them self. Well, okay, my friends just doing it for themselves. What’s actually in it for me? Whereas the referral the person who’s referring, the person who’s getting their friend to come in there, the refer referee is that the word, I don’t really know anyway the person who’s trying to get their friend to come in, if the bonuses only for the friend on their side, then there original person is less incentivize to do that. So if you have double sided referrals, that’s really clever. This is how Elon Musk started flipping paypal. He had double sided referrals. Both people win. There’s an incentive on both sides and what that can mean is that people do your marketing for for you, and it becomes viral because one tells to To tell for four, tell it, it tells 16, and that’s how that can fit in. That’s how that can work and that’s really interesting. Obviously, you have to cross the numbers, but what we’re doing right now is we’re just throwing out ideas about how this could be executed. Next one people that you do know. Okay, what are people that you do know? People that you do know having achieving your marketing through that is going to your own patients and saying, hey, I’ve got this special deal because you’re my patients. Hey, it’s 10% off X, y, z, because you’ve been coming to see me for however long. It might be the bonuses that you offer, as your, you know your packages, okay, as your, you know whenever you have, whenever the patient pays a recurring fee every single month to come see your practice plan, so to speak. Yeah, offering those people incentives is marketing. Is people that you do know. Next one is people that you don’t know, so it could be their friends, so it could be saying to your patients hey, do you know anybody who needs dental treatment? If so, send them my way. It could be cold DMing people on LinkedIn. It could be cold DMing people on Instagram, on Facebook, doesn’t work quite so well if you’re a dental practice, but it is a form of marketing. It can be done. Is it recommended? Not always, because that report might necessarily be there for the patients that come to see you. However, we have to be conscious of it as a method to market, because it does exist. Number five content. Now, this is either done extremely well or extremely not so well. Okay, what is content? Content is, of course, putting out helpful information on social media Reels, videos, stories, whatever it is you do. I’ve seen some practices absolutely nail this like real is getting like 50,000 up to 100,000 downloads. The thing is here is here’s the thing that’s deceptive about. It is not a magic wand. There has to be some skill there, right, and it takes a long time to build those skills. And it takes a lot of focus to be able to build those skills as well, because you have to, in likelihood, put out a ton of content on your own by yourself and see what hits and see what doesn’t hit, and they’ll probably have a lot of things that don’t hit before you have the things that do hit. And it’s quite an investment, particularly if you’re really absorbed in dentistry. So it can be an idea to bring someone else in to do it for you. They can either be in-house or out-of-house. They can be a third party agency that does it for you. Ok, now, the thing about it is from experience, third party agencies. There are good ones out there. However, we don’t quite have that control unless we have someone in-house. Now, if we want to have control, we have to have an eye for it as well. Where does that come from? It comes from experience through doing it. It’s a bit of a grind, it’s a bit of a chore. However, it’s infinite patience for your practice. Whenever you do get it right, I still feel like overall, generally speaking, there’s a lot of opportunities to be had there because people don’t capitalize on it to the level that they could do easily. It’s just about putting in the grind and hustles to get to that point where you can market yourself like hell via that means, should you need to. Of course, there are some associates out there who are extremely good at this themselves. They take it on their own back to post their Invisalign cases, their ABC cases, and those associates get a ton of likes. Patients follow the associates rather than the practice. Are you with me? Yeah, the associates out there who have practiced. Hats off to you, because you can market yourself extremely well via that means. Of course, you’ve got to have the dentistry on the back end to be able to back up the things that you project on social media. But if you nail it, there is so much opportunities out there because we live in the Instagram era, we live in the TikTok era, we live in the social media era and basically cost per lead in social media, when you get it right, is so much lower than virtually every other source that I know of. And the reason why is you can do it for free. It doesn’t actually cost you. Ok, you can create your own platform, your own news channel, effectively, which is constantly beaming stuff out to people. It’s a slow grind at the very start, but when you get there, it’s amazing, compound and you can kick in, trust me. And, like I say, when you have the skills of a content creator, those are the real ROI, because you can use that indefinitely to market whatever it is that you do. And that is an amazing thing to realize. But it’s hard to see until you’ve been through it, until you’ve been on the other side of it. So yeah, of the of the six ways, that is the fifth way, that is the coolest way. That is really cheap when we get skillful at it. But, of course, how do we get skillful at it? Well, we have to start and it’s a little bit of a slow burn. Anyway, sixth way market yourself Adverse. This is the one that people leap to and you can get good returns via adverts. You market your practice, you market what you do, you market the treatments that you provide via adverts, and those can be on social media or those can be newspapers or wherever the heck that you fancy putting those ads. I feel like it’s the one that everybody leaps to you and they feel like it’s a magic wand to generate leads. And it can be if you do it correctly. So it’s about either doing it yourself with a high level of skill, which is quite time consuming to actually understand the platforms in which you can advertise on, because you have to master content, and then you have to master meta business suite or Instagram business suite or whatever, which has got so many features and dials and things that you can talk along there. It is like a science in itself. It’s like an encyclopedia of things to understand. So do we realistically have time to understand ads or should we get a third party? I actually think probably a third party is probably the best way Someone can come in and do it for you. However, those two things number five and number six synergize whenever you understand content and how to create it. Like I say, it’s a huge thing. It’s usually untapped reservoir of marketing that I still feel is underdeveloped and underutilized, but of course we have to put the effort in to get good at content in the first place. How many people? Here’s how you know you’re ready and willing to do your own content. If you can put your hand on your heart and say you’d be comfortable taking your phone out of your pocket, speaking into it for 60 seconds about anything and everything and posting it on social media, okay, when you can say yes to that question, you’re ready to start marketing your practice via content. Until we can say yes to that, I want you to just rethink your strategy and maybe think about the other four ways. But if you can go there, I really recommend that you do, not just from a marketing perspective, but also from a personal growth perspective. It’s flipping incredible, and why not do it? Why not make that a challenge for yourself? You can begin that process and it looks like that and all of a sudden, this whole dimension is open to you. Anyway, like I said, we’re getting very sucked into number five and six. What I’m trying to do is present this in an unbiased way. I’m not doing a great job. However, like I say, so many opportunities out there when you get it right, and I just think it’s a really cool personal growth thing as well, and it’s something that I believe in strongly. Anyway, we’ve just done marketing. We’ve done marketing to death. Those are the six ways that any business in the universe can market themselves, including your dental practice. So when we need more patience, when we want to get the word out there, if we write those six ways down, we can systematically go through them and say, okay, which one am I prepared to do, which one do I believe will work for me, which one am I happy to put some time and effort into? And then, if that one doesn’t work, we take it off and move on to the next one. I always find systemized approaches are so helpful, which is why, if you think about it, this whole podcast is basically a little decision tree. Which one of the three ways are we going to get good, are we going to use to enhance our business, and which one of the six ways of marketing or we’re going to use to get the word out there? Should we choose to enhance your business via marketing? Anyway, okay, number two sales, so sales, sales, sales, sales, sales. So sales is obviously how well we describe the value of the treatment that we’re going to give the patient. Now our job as clinicians is to get good, really, really, really good, as good as we possibly can at every single treatment to serve that patient to the highest standard, and that’s true for any product that you make for your business. Your duty or responsibility is to become as good as you possibly can at that specific thing, because what that means for you is that you can put your hand in your heart and say that I did the best job for those people that allowed me to serve them, people allowing you to serve them. What does that mean? They’re people who say yes to the sales process. Whenever you describe the value of what you’re going to do Sales. We’re not going to get sucked into this too much. I did a solo podcast not so long I think it was like seven days ago, yeah and that was pretty much purely on sales and the mindset of it. Here is the thing. Here’s the one thing I’ll say. In sales, we need to let go of the illusion of the misconception that by selling to someone, we are doing them a disservice and that by giving them the cheapest price we possibly can, we’re doing them a disservice. The cool thing about capitalism is that both sides of the deal shake hands. That’s why people shake hands at the end of a sales process, because there’s a deal that works with both parties. So it’s about finding out what you can give that patient, how it will specifically benefit them as an individual, and then finding an investment level that you feel represents the value of what you’re giving the patient. And when the patient sees enough value, they’ll come on board. There’s only three reasons why someone will not buy from you. Only three reasons. Every single time someone says no to the buying process is one of these three reasons. Number one is that they legitimately don’t have enough money. Okay, that can be a factor that can occur. Realistically, most people have the level of investment required to be able to invest in a crown, invest in dental treatment. Maybe if it’s a big treatment, that changes slightly, but we’re just let’s talk about single tooth and keep it simple for the moment. Right, so that can be an issue, but really it’s only an issue, maybe like 1% of the time. All right, so that is one of the main things that Sometimes I think that we blow out a proportion that we think that most people can’t afford what it is that we’re gonna do. Why someone may not buy from us or come on that journey is because, for whatever reason, we just don’t click with them, and that’s cool. That’s totally okay. Now, as dentists, we’re in an interesting place because we talk to people all day long. We develop that ability to speak to lots people Because we have to, because it’s necessary for us to be able to communicate and serve people. It’s necessary for us to be able to do the dentistry to connect with the person first. Remember, teeth are attached to people, so you want to get to the teeth, you got to get to the people, we got to be able to communicate with them, we got to be able to get through to them and establish a rapport. Now, haven’t said that we could be really, really, really good at that? There’s always going to be that point five percent of people and it might be a reflection of them more than us who just don’t click with us and that’s cool, okay. So, like I said, that point five percent of the time that may happen. Number three the third reason why people will not buy from us is because they straight up do not see the value. And the thing might be very valuable and they might know that it’s very valuable, but what they may not know is how it is valuable to them and why it relates to their specific scenario. So when someone’s gonna whiten their teeth. They might say, oh, but why would I want wider teeth? But if I said them, you can whiten your teeth so you can smile perfectly at your daughter’s wedding. You can look great in the photos. You’ll be immortalized in those forever and you can look back with the huge grin on your face in an amazing day. Boom, then it becomes so much more real. So it’s about finding out what that, what, what they want and why they want it. There is what we want and there’s why we want it. We might want wider teeth, but why specifically do we want it? And it becomes so much more powerful at that point. Anyway, we’re not gonna get too bogged down into sales. That is the second component of any business. The third component of any dental practice is the product. So we touched upon this a little bit earlier. The product is us and our dentistry. Now in our heads, the dentistry is 90% of the product and 10% us. In the patient’s head, it’s probably closer to the other way around. The dentistry is important, but they have to like us a lot. We focus a lot on making the product as good as possible. Actually, the main thing that patients want and there’s a study on this the main thing that patients want is painlessness. That’s the main thing they’re fixated on. So if you can make that as comfortable as possible for the patient, that is the main thing that the patient regards as the product. The second thing that the patient wants is they want good rapport with the dentist. They want to be able to connect with them as an individual. Right way down the list is the quality of dentistry, because, remember, the patient can’t really tell what the quality of dentistry is. Now we can tell and for the sake of our conscience and how well we sleep at night, we should make that thing as damn good as possible can. Yeah, that’s very important. However, we should also. We should also not overly fix it on specifically the dentistry as the only thing. Right, we shouldn’t give that too much airtime. We shouldn’t give that way More credence than it actually deserves from the patient’s perspective, because actually we’re doing them a disservice when we overly focus on the dentistry, particularly because what that means is, from their perspective, they have other needs that are not being fulfilled. So we need to put ourselves aside and see it from their perspective in order to serve them better and do a better job and fulfill our ethical and moral obligations. That right there. When someone said that to me, I was like whoa and now see it as my duty to Give these things more airtime, to focus on these things more so that I can help that person more. So there you go. We’re gonna keep this podcast pretty short and suit. It’s pretty short and sweet. Business 101. You focus on nailing any one of those three things. You can have a business. When you even just focus on one, then what it means is you can be profitable. You can be more successful. If you focus on all three, or nailing all three, then that is when you really really really hit stellar heights. It’s just about understanding what they are in the first instance Because, like anything in life, the second that somebody elucidates something for you is the second. You see it with total clarity, and the beauty of real wisdom is that it’s really flipping simple as well, and that’s business simplified 101. I’m gonna leave everybody with a quote. The quote is from the book the Almanac of Noval Rabacan and it goes a little something like this you only sell because you don’t know how to market, and you only market because you don’t know how to create a product. Not really stuck with me is what he’s basically saying is, if your marketing is good enough, the selling process is simple when that patient sat in the chair. What is marketing? It’s the six ways that we talked about earlier. However, the only reason we need to market is because our product has not hit the level Yet where word of mouth is our marketing, because when the product’s really good, people will tell Everyone they know about how amazing it is. So, really, all the three things if you can focus purely on your product, you get through that part at the start where the business is growing and you have to make and meets a little bit. Providing you can get through that part, the product is the real thing. It’s gonna allow your business to compound and be successful with time, and a lot of us give undue credence or credit. So the marketing side and the sales side when actually really, if we home down on what we really, really really need to know, purely product is probably the most important thing to make an amazing business, because when the product is so damn good, everybody is gonna tell everyone else about it and that compound, in effect, is gonna kick in and work for you.