Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

What is selling and how can we use it to enhance the success that we get every day in our life? First of all, we’ve got to understand the concept of how we can enhance the output that we are achieving for every unit of input we are putting into a system. What does that got to do with selling? What does that got to do with the dentistry? All become clear in just a minute. Think about it like this Most people work a certain number of hours in a week because they want to attain a certain output. They want to attain a certain income. Totally cool. Most people will work 40 hours a week, every week of the year, to earn 100K, 200k, 300k, something along those lines. If you ask most people how they want to earn more money, how can they earn more money, they will say, well, I’ve got to work more hours. That works until we hit the point where we realize there’s only 168 hours in a week and all those 168 hours we’ve got to sleep, eat, see our family do all the things that we want to do as well. So we can only work so many hours and our income is restricted by the amount we generate per unit hour. Think about it One unit. One unit of input equals Y unit of output. Actually, unit of input equals Y unit of output, and that is your hourly rate. Your hourly rate might be 100 pounds an hour, 200 pounds an hour, 300 pounds an hour. How do we actually earn more money without necessarily working more? Think about it like this in that system into which you’re putting time and effort in this instance, the system that we’re putting time and effort into is our jobs, and the output being money when we think about how we can enhance the system so it is more efficient and productive, then we can earn more without necessarily working more, because the universe never, ever, said to us that we can earn. We have to earn or we’re restricted to earn a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time. That was something that we created, that was something that somebody else projected onto us at some point in our life. Was that even accurate? Who the hell knows? I don’t think so. In fact, I think that you can learn to unlearn that and then therefore earn more money, because actually there’s no limit. 100,000 pounds has just as much meaning as 200,000 pounds, as 5 million pounds, as 50 million pounds. To the universe, basically, none of them make any difference. There is no differential between those two things. They’re just numbers to the universe. They only have meaning because they’re in our head. But are those meanings even accurate? Are those beliefs even true? Are those even correct? Chances are they’re probably not, because they’re probably given to us by someone else and when we inspect those beliefs, what it means is we can remove lots of them, especially the ones that are holding us back. So back to our model, back to our system. For every unit of input into the system, we want to attain the most output, or at least on a very simple level, we do. I get that that’s not the only factor, but let’s consider that as the only one for the purposes of this podcast. Money time in, multiplied by the multiplier in the system, equals money out. One hour of time equals 100 pounds, 200 pounds, 300 pounds, right. So think about it. If we want to earn more money, there’s two ways we can go about it. We can put more money, we can put more time into the system, or we can figure out the ways we can enhance the system, just as what we said before. Now, in this instance, the system is our job, is the thing that we do on a day-to-day basis. It’s our dentistry. It’s when we go to work. We can become more efficient. We can learn more in-depth procedures. We can learn procedures which are more technical, require more skill. They require more expertise to execute and pull off and then therefore enhance our value. And we can also learn how we can describe that value to the patient. Because we can be the best person in the whole down world at root canals. We can be the best person in the whole down world in implants. But if I’m saying to someone in words, if I’m describing that to someone in words that they don’t really understand, then they’ll never be able to understand just how good I am. I have to be able to speak the language of the individual that I’m talking to so that they get just quite what I’m giving them, quite what that level of value is. Think about it like this Imagine if I had a mansion to sell to you and the mansion was just off camera so you couldn’t see it. I could see the mansion and I look over here and I think to myself damn, that is a mansion right there. That person, the person that I’m gonna sell this to, is gonna get such an amazing deal because I’m gonna sell him this mansion. There’s ten story mansion which has 50 cars outside Ferrari, lamborghini, all of that stuff. It’s got a solid gold staircase. You will get the most unbelievable deal of all time whenever I sell this mansion to you for 50,000 points. Hell, you would find the 50,000 points. You borrow the 50,000 points. You do what you need to do to get 50,000 points to get this mansion right. But remember, you can’t see that. You don’t know that. It’s there. Only I know that’s what I can see. Now imagine that I’m looking at it. You can’t see it and you haven’t heard that description just then. Now imagine I say to you would you like to buy this mud hut, just off camera, right here, for 50,000 pounds? Right, most people would say no damn way, it’s a mud hut. Why would I buy a mud hut for 50,000 pounds? Now I say no, it’s, you can’t see what I’m seeing. It’s, it’s amazing, it’s a, but it’s a mud hut. It’s a mud hut. You can’t see it. But you can’t see it. But it’s a mud hut, just trust me. But it’s worth 50,000 points and more. Most people will be like, no, what the hell, I’m not gonna buy that from that description, right. Well, what if I could just suddenly pull it onto the camera and you could see what an amazing thing it was? Right, most people be like why the hell did you describe it as a mud hut? It’s a mansion, it’s got a Lamborghini, it’s got a Ferrari, it’s good, a swimming pool, it’s gonna so go say our kids, it’s got all these things. Why didn’t you just say that to us? So here’s the thing. The reason why communication broke down just then was because of my language, my description of this amazing thing that’s just off camera, that you can’t see. But I use the wrong words to describe it because I describe that incredible thing as a mud hut. And, obviously, when I describe it as a mud hut, it’s not gonna Nearly have anywhere near the inherent value that a mansion does. We won’t even understand what it is. So here’s the thing remember, our demonstrate to the patient is just off camera. They can’t see it. They can only see it when we bring it onto the camera, as in we put it in their mouth or we show them pictures, which is another way to build value, but we don’t always do that. So here’s the thing what if we are inadvertently describing the mansion as a mud hut to our patients because of our language Right, and to a greater or lesser degree, all of us are doing this Right, because when you tell someone just how good an implant is and just how good a filling is, that they’re going to avoid pain, they’re going to avoid discomfort, you’re going to avoid infection, avoid the possibility of a root canal, have a restoration which is crafted and designed Bespoke to them, which looks exactly like the natural tooth, the original tooth that was once there, which means they can laugh and smile and chew, and no one will even be able to tell that there’s a filling inside their mouth, and what that will mean is their tooth will be returned to its natural beauty. All of a sudden, value goes through the roof, whereas if I just say, hey, it’s just a damn filling, want to buy it, you know which one you’re going to purchase, right, and here’s the thing that description. I could have put way more effort into that first description, where I was building value. You’re already beginning to get the principle. But here’s the thing we do this on a day-to-day basis. We’ve got to understand how sales work and we’ve got to be OK with sales, because that empowers us and enables us to describe our treatment fairly as the mansion it is, rather than it is, inadvertently saying that it’s the mud hot Boo. Now, first thing to understand about sales value is what we give the patient prices, what they pay. Now, most dentists the value that they give the patient is actually flipping huge because they’ve been on so many courses, they understand their subject inside out and they really do care because they want the best for that patient. No-transcript all dentists do, virtually all dentists do. Here’s the thing the value that we give the patient is high right Now. Here’s the thing the patient doesn’t actually understand just how much that value is. Because when we’re selling to a patient, we usually sell to a patient like we’re selling to a dentist and we go into all these technical terms and say, hey, with the root canal, I’m gonna ensure that the tooth is totally disinfected by the time that I’m finished. Whenever I have insured the tooth is as clean as it can possibly be, I’m gonna operate the tooth. I’m gonna use vial surround filler. I’m gonna use I’m gonna use flippin’ rubber dam. I’m gonna ensure that the rubber dam is completely sealed. I’m gonna take all the time that I need to do that blah, blah, blah to a dentist, right, that is the selling right. We are like okay, let me have the root canal. I want that fancy root canal because we know as dentists that the more time and effort someone puts into a root canal is directly correlated to how likely it is to work. Patients don’t always understand that. Now, if we’re selling to a dentist, that’s great, but 99.9% of the time we’re not selling to them. It’s we’re selling to human beings. Whoa, that was a sliver of the tongue. Dentists versus human beings that is not a dichotomy. Dentists are human beings. We’re selling to members of the general public. Whoops, my bad on that one, but yes, anyway, you get what I’m saying. So we’re selling to people who are not dentists. We’re selling to members of the general public, so they don’t have that expertise, right. So we need to put it in language that they understand. So the more we explain what that treatment is, it’s features and also how it will benefit that patient is, the more value we build. Okay, mrs Smith, I can see right now that you have an issue with your tooth. In order for us to give this tooth the best chance possible and give it the best possible chance of us being able to retain this tooth going forward, we need to undertake a procedure called a root canal. What that would mean for you is that the pain goes away, that now your tooth is comfortable once more and it’s returned to its natural state. How does that sound, mrs Smith? Brilliant. When we have ensured that the tooth is returned to its natural state and, as far as we can tell, it is healthy, then at that point we will restore the tooth. We’ll use a white restoration, porcelain restoration. We’ll have that bespoke made for you in a lab by a skill technician so that we can ensure that this tooth perfectly resembles the natural tooth that was once there. In order to return your tooth to function, aesthetics and beauty, and what that means for you is you’ll be able to chew and bite and smile with comfort. How does that sound for you, mrs Smith? So all those things that I’m doing just then are building value in the patient’s head. So the more we talk and the better we explain the procedure is, the more we allow the patient to understand just how valuable the thing is that we are giving them, so we can see value that we’re giving someone. Then value that we’re building for the patient is the second thing, value building being the thing that we do whenever we describe treatment to the patient in words that they can understand, right, and every time we enhance that. Every time we describe a little bit more and it resonates with the patient. The value builds. Now, when we’re giving the patient some treatment, the value that we’re giving them might be huge. It might be 2,000 points, 3,000 points, 4,000 points. Health is flipping, priceless, you know, to be able to get yourself out of pain, chew, bite, smile with comfort, all of those things that’s worth a lot of money. That’s what we’re giving value, that we’re building. Every time we add a little description in the value. In the patient’s head, the value that they understand that we’re giving them goes like this 100 pounds describe the next feature. 200 pounds describe the next feature. 400 pounds describe the next feature, 800 pounds. Right. And this is what we’re doing without realizing it, when we’re describing the treatment to the patient. Now, when we’ve built that value, the only way that we can ever understand just quite how much value we’re building is when we ask the patient to invest at the end, when we ask them to pay, or we tell them what the price is right. We tell them what the investment is to use salesy speech or whatever you wanna describe. However you wanna describe that investment fee, whatever it is, whatever the language that you use, whatever you describe that as is fine, doesn’t matter. There’s no judge from here, that’s cool. So when we ask the patient to invest, that’s when we understand just how much value we’ve built for the patient, right, because based on how many times they say yes to that particular investment level, that particular price or fee, then we know, or we have a good idea of the approximation of just quite how good a job we’re doing. So if we’re building the value, value that we’re giving the patient is huge value that we’re building. That comes about through our words and language Value built. Let’s say, for the root canal, we build the value up to a thousand pounds. Then we say to the patient for everything that I’ve just said, the investment will be 600 quid. So we built the value to a thousand, consistently for most people, and we’re asking for 600. Right, but here’s the thing we only really know how much value we’re building because it’s such a material thing. Whenever we ask the patient Right, and based on how many yes we get, we get like 96% of yeses. We’re probably, there’s probably a good chance that we’re building way more valid than we’re asking for. Therefore, it’s easy for us, literally tomorrow, to go to work and ask for more of an investment from the patient’s end, therefore reflecting more fairly the value that we’re actually giving them. Right, this is the easiest way to enhance your income. What we’re doing, we’re talking about the system. We’re talking about the bit that lies between the input and the output of your life. Your job is the system. The input is the hours you put into the job. The output is money. Now we’re enhancing the system because we’re understanding these concepts of selling the composite that hears directly to the tooth. Therefore, there is a better seal. When I am able to create the filling to the specifications that I need to and also Use a little bit of modern resin or bond to just get that seal perfect between the tooth and the composite, the little Junction where they both meet then in likelihood, most of the time, that is the best restoration, in my opinion, for that tooth. So here’s the thing if that’s what I believe is the best and that’s what I’d rather have Personally, then why is it all the time that we’re routinely doing black restorations on the NHS? We’re routinely doing amalgam restorations because it’s we almost don’t want to upsell we have. We’re afraid to sell the other idea or concept to someone else because that’s what we think that we have to do. But actually we’re doing them a disservice because we’re giving them something this inferior take money out of it. If money wasn’t a factor, we would do the composite 99.9% of the time, because we believe that that is the thing, that is, the treatment that has the most benefits for that individual. So actually we’re Tainting and changing what we do based on money, because we think that we’re serving the patient to the high standard by giving them the cheapest Treatment. And that is something that is just total flippin nonsense. Because what about when that amalgam further down the line leads to a crack in the Tooth? What about when they lose cusps? What about when the cusp that they’ve lost fractures sub-gensibly? What about when they then lose that tooth and need an implant? What about when it fractures straight right through the middle? They’ve got all this infection beneath it and then they need a bone graft. Yeah, they’ve saved some money there and then in the moment, but how they actually save money in the long run, we can’t make that decision for them. All we can do is decide what we believe is best in the moment and then use that as a point to navigate from. Whatever the investment is, whatever the patient pays us, whatever the fee is for that treatment, that’s just the financial exchange that facilitates that treatment occurring. If it happens to be a little bit more. Well, health is wealth. People will happily do that. When they know the pros and cons, people will Quite happily and quite contently make that decision. It’s actually not our right, it’s not our duty, it’s not our Purpose to take that power away from them and decide that the cheaper thing is the best thing, which is what happens all the time. But it’s got a lot to do with how you frame the information that you’re giving to the patient. How do we do that? Think about it like this when a patient comes to you and they need a root canal on their upper right one, let’s imagine that they’ve got a full set of teeth and the rest of their teeth are flipping healthy, that tooth needs a root canal the upper right one. You give them the options monitor root canal or restore. Monitor root canal or extract, sorry, and the patient chooses extraction, what are you going to do for that patient. You’re going to attempt, at the very least, to dissuade them from making that decision, because you know that if they’ve got a full mouth of healthy teeth, the upper right one is all otherwise healthy and in likelihood that root canal would work. You know that in likelihood that’s a terrible decision because you have to now replace that tooth somehow or they’re going to have a gap when they smile, which is going to be an issue for them in terms of their professional life, in terms of their social life, in terms of all sorts of things. So you want to guide them away from that because surely we would ask ourselves, or we would think to ourselves that that patient hasn’t quite fully understood us because they’re asking to have their front tooth extracted. So therefore, we would guide the patient away from that. And here’s the thing let’s say we did extract the tooth. Let’s say we did say that that’s okay. Let’s say we did follow through because we feel that we’ve given that person everything that they need to know to make an informed decision. At that point that may come back to bite us, because the patient might say hey, I didn’t fully realize what I was getting into whenever I said that. Why didn’t you explain that to me properly? Now I have to have an implant there and getting the gingival contour and that’s a flippin nightmare. I’ve got a high smile line or I put a denture in there. Dentures terrible for the gums around on either side of the tooth, either side of the space, which will lead to issues further down the line, right. That’s a flippin time bomb. That is a minefield right there. So we would attempt to dissuade them because the root canal is the minimal invasive thing, even though, in actual fact, informed consent would mean that we give them all the options and, even if we don’t necessarily agree with their decision, we follow through. We would follow through. Ultimately, if they really, really, really pushed us, however, we would do our best to dissuade them. So why isn’t it any different when we’re talking about posterior teeth, when we’re talking about doing amalgams in these teeth, which were we have to remove so much more to structure in order to place inside the person’s mouth and we know is got an increased likelihood of leading to fractures which can make the tooth unrestorable and then therefore need to extractions further down the line. So here’s the thing. It’s exactly the same concept. It’s within our rights to guide that person to whatever we feel is the best for them. We can’t tell them what it is, we can never say this is the best for you, but we can think it and that’s fine. And when you guide the patient towards that, what it means is they’ve got the best outcome. So here’s the thing let’s say in that instance, the composite restoration does happen to be the thing that we believe is the best for that person in our heads, right, naturally? Naturally, when we let price get in the way of us making that unadulterated decision, when we get that price be the determining factor in us deciding that we’re going to do that black restoration, the amalgam restoration, then actually we’re doing a disservice to that individual. So we’ve got to remove this mindset that by doing the cheapest thing we’re doing the best job. Actually, that is not the only factor we make it out to be in our heads all the damn time. So whenever we’re having that conversation with the patient and we’re saying, hey, I’ve noticed that there are some germs in your teeth, those germs have created a hole in the tooth. If we leave that hole in the tooth, it is like a runaway train. It will get bigger and bigger and bigger and there’s a chance that it could lead to issues further down the line, such as pain and death of the nerve inside the tooth. Are you with me, mrs Smith? What have we just done? We’ve allowed them to understand what the outcome of inaction will be. Therefore, we were removed in inertia as a factor. Super important thing, it’s one of the first things that I said to my patients so that they understand that we must do something, and not doing anything will lead to that outcome potentially not for certain, but potentially, but of course, medical, legally. We have to allow them to understand what the outcome may be. We also have to tell them that there’s also a chance that it might happen, but when we phrase it like that, they get an understanding of the graveness of the scenario. So, so, so important. Really, what we should be looking to do is sell without selling, because when our descriptions are really good, people really, really, really want what we have to offer. But of course, that is a power, that is a flippin’ ability, because when our descriptions are really, really, really good of the treatment that we do, we must never build value past the point of the value that we’re actually giving to the patient, which we can do whenever we’re extremely good with words. We’ve got to be wary with that. We have to be responsible with this power, because, like anything, like any power that is out there in this world, comes great responsibility, and that’s exactly what this is. But here’s the hard part when you’re giving someone really good value, when you’re giving them the most value in the whole flippin’ world, this is the part that breaks my heart that when, even though you’re giving someone an absolute ton in return, the investment they’re giving you is barely enough for us to make end meets or barely enough for us to facilitate doing the best job that we can for the patient. The treatment and how we describe that which comes before that point is what the patient is buying effectively. The investment, the fee, is just what facilitates that process to occur. Now, if you want to be able to do the best job you possibly can, we want to be able to have the best materials and all these things. Naturally, there needs to be more of an investment. Most people will actually want us to be able to do the best job that they can, because when it comes to healthcare, people don’t want to compromise, people want the best right. So when we’re making a decision on the patient’s behalf, to allow them to understand just how good our treatment is and to allow them to understand what we’re going to do for them and all of those things. Then what that means is Are you with me, mr Smith? Yes, I am. What do we do next? Where do we go from here? Well, the good news is, mr Smith, that the tooth is entirely savable the way things are right now. But here’s the thing. We have to do something, or else there was issues by precipitate. That eventuality might occur. So what can we do? Here’s what we need to do. We need to remove the germs from inside the tooth. I’m gonna use my drill to do that. The water in the drill will clean the germs away. What that will then mean is that, whilst the tooth is clean, there is still a hole remaining, the hole that the germs created. In order for us to ensure that no germs get back into the hole, we need to fill it. We need to do something called a filling, which I’m sure that you’ve heard of before. A better name for a filling is a restoration. Ah, okay, thank you so much. What do we do next? Okay, let’s get cracking. How’s that done? Wonderful, mr Smith. So in order for me to restore this tooth, in order for me to place a restoration inside this tooth, there are two restoration materials that we have to choose from. In this instance, the first restoration material is a black amalgam. Black amalgams are exactly what they say on the tin. They’re black in color. Therefore, they’re noticeable whenever we laugh and smile. They’re perfectly functional, so you’ll be able to tune back with comfort. However, the downside would be that whenever I come to place a black restoration and amalgam restoration inside your tooth, I have to remove a little bit more tooth structure than I like, because that restoration does not directly adhere to the tooth surface. Therefore, I have to create retention. I have to create something called mechanical retention, ie undercut. So what that means for you is that the restoration stays in place and that we say that we’ve done a good job. However, in doing that, I remove a little bit more tooth structure than I like. Therefore, the tooth is liable or more prone to issues further down the line, such as chipping. Are you with me, mr Smith? Yes, 100%. What is the other option? The other option is that we restore this tooth with a white composite filling, a white composite restoration. White composite restorations are cool. They’re interesting because they seal the tooth directly. They adhere directly to the tooth surface. I only have to remove as much tooth structure as I need in order to get a good seal and to ensure the tooth is clean. Once I have done that, I will take all the time that I need to carve that restoration, ensure that it replicates the natural tooth which is once there, returns this tooth to its natural beauty. I will take all the time that I need to craft a restoration which perfectly resembles the natural tooth which was once there, therefore returning this tooth to its original appearance. What are your thoughts, mr Smith? Oh, my goodness. Well, I actually would probably prefer the white restoration. Then that next conversation is all about how you’re gonna restore that tooth and also how you are going to whatever the investment might be for that restoration. And I promise you, whenever you describe your fillings like that, whenever you describe your restorations like that, watch how many more takers you get for white composite restorations. And here’s the thing you’re doing it from a placement integrity only whenever you genuinely believe that the white composite restoration is the best treatment option for that tooth in your head and we have to guide the patients. We accept that we have to guide the patients. Because they haven’t got dental degrees, take money out of it. We’re purely looking at this from the perspective of what we believe the best is for that tooth. What we often do is we put money in it and use that to be the only deciding factor, right? What a lot of people do as well is, instead of saying black amalgam versus white composite, what a lot of people do is they say NHS versus private. Now, whenever we say NHS or the private option to the patient, when patients hear NHS, they think to themselves perfectly functional and adequate and it’ll do the job. Whenever they hear private, what lots of them think is something a little bit fancy, a little bit frivolous, a little bit unnecessary, like going to weight rows versus Tesco’s. Basically, that’s the connotation that they have in their head. It actually is not about that. It’s about having the investment that we need to do the best job that we can for that tooth. And it just so happens that a white restoration, because of the time we need to do a good job, means that the investment from the individual the patient is slightly higher because we need to spend more time in order to do the best job that we possibly can and therefore, naturally that is reflected in the investment, the monetary exchange that occurs in order to facilitate that. These are the things that will allow you to earn more money pretty instantly and do a better job for your patients and do better down the street and have a more fulfilling life.