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VIDEO - HSP #214 - Ginger Bratzel
Ginger Bratzel, DDS explains her beginnings as a consultant, how to balance employee dynamics, and why you should treat your practice like a business.
Ginger Bratzel, DDS is the founder and creator of New Patient Attraction Automation , a proven step-by-step program to show dentists exactly how to attract and keep more patients for practice growth.
She is a dentist, coach, speaker, and marketer. Ginger received her dental degree from the University of Colorado Health Science Center and was in private practice.
Ginger is the author of Secrets of Creating A Prosperous Dental Practice: the Mindset, Business, and People to Get You to Your Dream Practice and is known for her “no holds barred and shoot straight from the hip” approach to practice growth and patient attraction.
Rio Grande DATP LLC
106000 S Penn Ave
Suite 16 PMB 545
Oklahoma City, OK 73170
Howard: It is a huge honor for me, today, to be interviewing an amazing woman, Ginger Bratzel, who I said to her, I said, "Your name sounds like a food." She goes, "It actually is. It's German. It's a pretzel with a brat." What did you say, the St. Louis ...
Ginger: The Cardinals sell it at the stadium.
Howard: It's called the bratzel.
Ginger: A bratzel, bratzel ... I guess that's what they call it.
Howard: You were born on Secorro, New Mexico-
Ginger: Secorro, New Mexico. Yes, sir.
Howard: In that area where I lost a $100,000.
Ginger: How did you do that?
Howard: Well, I had this RV. The boys loved it. When we first bought the RV, we left Phoenix. We drove to San Diego. We went all the way up the Pacific, all the way to Seattle. Turned right. Went all the way to Minnesota, and visited my sister in the nunnery. Drove all the way down to Texas and back, but came back through New Mexico. We hooked up with my best friend from dental school, Craig [Siken 00:01:01], to go ... My oldest boy likes elk hunting. My other three boys and me, we don't hunt because we don't eat it. I'd shoot a cow with a machine gun, but I won't shoot an elk or a deer, because I won't eat it. I throw back every fish that I won't eat.
Anyway, so Craig's in a four-wheel drive truck. We got to the end of the highway, and he's going to go. I'm sitting in my camper, and I'm like, "I can follow him on this." I'm driving my big old town, or whatever the hell it's called, RV. All the cabinets are bouncing open. The boys are bouncing off the bed. It was batshit crazy for like five miles. We camped. Everything was fun. Got an elk, the whole nine yards. Then on the way home, I kept feeling this weird, weird vibration. I got back [inaudible 00:01:49]. I got back home. Monday morning, I had to work. I said my staff, "Yeah, drive it down to the RV. Have them detail it, clean it all up, and everything, and tell them there's some vibration."
Ginger: There's some vibration.
Howard: About 30 minutes later, this guy calls and goes, "You need to come down here." I said, "I can't come down there. I'm triple booked all day long. What's up?" He goes, "No, you've got to come down here." I said, "Well, I'm not coming down there. You've got to tell over the phone what's wrong." He goes, "Dude," he goes, "This is totaled. Your A-frame, underneath the whole thing, which holds the whole thing together, is broken in three different places. I can't believe you drove it home. We're not allowed to weld it together. It's too structurally ..." He goes, "Basically, right now it's scrap metal." I thought, "Huh. That was a $100,000 bad decision." I won't hold that against you. Why did you move from there to Oklahoma? Did they run out of elk, so you just decided to move to Oklahoma?
Ginger: Well, I like tornadoes much better. No, I'm joking. I was fortunate enough to be able to sell my practice. I said, "Hey, I can start anywhere I want to. I don't have to be here." My husband's a hygienist. He said, "You know what? I really would like to try somewhere else." Oklahoma just always called to us. We've loved the people, and we've loved every moment being here.
Howard: Wow! Your husband's a hygienist. Does he still practice with you?
Ginger: He does not practice with me, anymore, because I don't practice anymore. He's still practicing. He comes in and helps coach some of my clients on the side, here and there, but he is active in wet gloves every day, still.
Howard: Wow. Did you guys meet in dental school, the dental school and the hygienist school?
Ginger: Nope. He was an electronic tech when we got married. I started my first practice and he was in there helping me out for a little bit. He was the office manager. He was supposed to be there for two weeks. Five years, six years later, we were sitting there talking one day ... We were always talking about the turn over in hygiene. I told him, "You know what? The patients love you. I wish you could be my hygienist. He said, "You know what? I've always been thinking about that. I didn't know how you felt about it." He said, "I'd like to be a hygienist." He went back to school after I was in practice.
Howard: That is amazing. You're the only person I've ever heard say that in my entire life.
Ginger: I've not come across another female dentist/male hygienist couple, ever.
Howard: Wow. I do know what's most interesting is that if you have a post ... a Master's degree or higher, and you marry someone in your profession, it's the lowest divorce rate of 9%. Like if a dentist marries a dentist or a lawyer marries a dentist.
Howard: It's high education. The two biggest variables on marriage success is the later ... If you get married at 16, you'll always divorce. You get married at 27, you'll almost never divorce. If you're highly educated, and didn't get married until in your 20s, that seems to be the core deal. You want your kids to be older and highly educated, and marry someone that's older and highly educated. Then they'll make educated decisions and not crazy ones.
You're a consultant, now. Tell us your story of how you got interested ... Tell our viewers your story, because they might not have heard it. Tell them the big Ginger Bratzel story.
Ginger: Sure. As I said, I practiced in that small town of Socorro. I went back to practice. I just wanted to be there. I thought it was a great place. Like you said, it's got a lot of wildlife, and I wanted to be in that kind of area. I bought a really crappy practice. Nobody tricked me. I knew it was crappy going in, but I thought it was because it was the old dentist. It was the old technology. It was everything he didn't care about. All they needed was the shiny new penny, me, coming in. I was going to change it around. I learned very quickly, that's not the case. I went about it the wrong way trying to grow the practice. I got more continuing ed. I spent a lot of money on equipment, built a Taj Mahal of office. All I did was raise my overhead, and everything else was the same.
I stopped thinking about it, I need to solve it from a dental prospect. I needed to solve it from a business prospect, and really started digging into how I was going to change this business. Dental marketing is where I found where I was really lacking. I got an education in dental marketing, and really dug in. We turned it around very, very quickly and had a lot of success. After my accountant saw that, he gave me a call one day. He said, "Ginger, we've got a problem with your books." I was trying to think, "What kind of a problem could we have?" I thought I missed some audit thing or some. He said, "No, you have too much money. I think you've made a mistake in entering it into Quickbooks." I said, "No, that's not a mistake. That's the truth." He said, "What are you doing?" I just told him. I told him about my systems and how it all revolved. He said, "Huh. Can you teach other dentists how to do that?" I said, "Well, sure. I mean, I learned. I can teach them." He said, "I've got three dentists lined up, you need to help." That's how I started a coaching business on the side. I had a full time practice, and a full time coaching and consulting business for dentists on helping them grow their practices.
Howard: When did that start? What year did you get out of dental school? What year did you start consulting?
Ginger: '94 was my graduation from dental school, so I went about and struggled for a while. Then in 2001, I started consulting on the side, and in 2003, I had a full time business.
Howard: Now you're a full time dental consultant.
Ginger: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Howard: How do you like that?
Ginger: I love that, because what I couldn't do in my practice, is I could only see so many people a day. Now I can leverage that across many practices. In working through these dentists, I can help more patients that way. I love the transformation, I love empowering the team, and I love the doctors. The stress melts off of them. They say, "You know, I didn't know it had to be so difficult. I can do it easier." I love getting those results for them. It gives me a real high.
Howard: You're new book is splashed out all over social media. You can't log onto Facebook, or Twitter, or GooglePlus without seeing it. Tell us, when does your book come out?
Ginger: It came out late last year, got a lot of traction this year. It was something I did for my clients. I wasn't really thinking it was going to be this big book launch. It got a lot of traction. I didn't realize how much traction until a couple months ago, I was sitting around in my office working. I get a call from Linda Miles ... Or a Facebook message. It said, "Can you please call me? I'm on vacation. I want to talk to you about my book." When Linda Miles calls, and she gives you her phone number, you pick it up and you call Linda Miles.
Howard: She's an amazing woman. I always called her my mother in dentistry. Most of the things she told me was in the scolding, pointing your finger ideal.
Ginger: She's my godmother. She said, "I'm going to give you some godmother advice, Ginger. I'm going to tell you what you're going to do."
Howard: She's never been a fan of any of my jokes during my seminars. She's-
Ginger: Well, she's-
Howard: Like, "Aren't you afraid you're going to offend someone?" I said, "Afraid-
Ginger: A southern lady.
Howard: "Afraid? That's my job. My job is to make the hair on the back of your ..." Now, I've always believed just to be true to yourself. I can't be some G-rated Disney ... I can't be those people. I'm just not. Where I learned my comedy humor was from my dad and his two brothers. They were the funniest guys I'd ever met in my life to this day. Even though they went to mass every morning, seven days a week, their entire life, and said the rosary every night before they went to bed, they cussed like sailors and told the wildest jokes you ever heard of in your life. He would tell jokes driving out of the church parking lot, that if the priest or nun would have heard it, they would have let the air out of his tires.
Tell us, your book, Secrets of Creating a Prosperous Dental Practice, the Mindset, Business, and People to Get You to Your Dream Practice. It's known for no holds barred. Talk about your book. What is the essence, what is the message of your book?
Ginger: Well, everyone comes to me for dental marketing. They said, "I need more new patients." That's always the essence of it, but usually it's the underlying things that are really holding them back. Very quickly, I call it the three Ms. Marketing is one of them, but the next M is management. When we start peeling back the curtains and looking what's really going on, there are systems not in place. The team don't know what to do. The doctor's not stepping up and leading where they need to be. That holds them back. Then the mindset. Dental school brainwashes a lot of people. It tells them that you're dumb, and you're a loser. It really just sucks any little bit of self-esteem out of a lot of these people. It's rebuilding them, and rebuilding their teams, and letting them know they can really achieve this if they work together. As you said, no holds barred. I don't try to sensor myself. I'm just who I am. Some people came back and said, "Your book's real spiritual." I didn't write it as a spiritual book. That's what Ginger's sharing. That's my story. I think there's certain things that there's certain forces outside that change things. Also, I think there's a big part of you, within yourself, you've got to change things.
Howard: The religious mindset is bizarre, because you have everybody from the far left, to like Bill Maher, who says, you know, there's absolutely nothing. It was all created ... There was nothing. It condensed. A singularity exploded. Everything bounced around, so you have butterflies and ice cream. Okay? Then you've got the whole other end that says, "Oh, I know the guy's name and you can't eat shellfish." I think the whole planet is moving towards the humility and humbleness is spiritual. The bottom line is, you just don't know.
Ginger: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Howard: God, there's a big universe out there. For you to stand here on this earth, with ten toes and say, "Oh, I know there's nothing," all the way to "I can tell you the name of the guy who put the rings around Saturn, and you can't eat shellfish." I mean, people just need to take a chill pill. You don't know. You just don't know. I mean it's a humbling experience. I got up this morning and you see the moon out there. You see there's three planets out there right next to each other.
Ginger: They're almost in line, aren't they?
Howard: They're almost in line. What are they? I assume it's Mercury, Venus, and Mars? Oh, no, no. It wouldn't be Mercury. It would be Venus, Mars, and Jupiter, or whatever. You sit there and you look at that. This morning a satellite flew right through them. A guy on Facebook, Kim Bywus, he saw it too. It's a humbling experience, though. It's okay that your book comes off spiritual, because the just means you're a humble person.
Ginger: I'm just transparent. I'm not going to try to filter it back, as you said.
Howard: You're just humble. It's all right. I used to love that about my favorite teachers, when they could answer, when someone could ask them a question, and they would say, "That's a great question. I have no idea."
Ginger: I appreciate that.
Howard: Whereas all the other PhDs would be, they'd just start bullshitting something.
Howard: Go through those, marketing, management, and mindset. Go through those.
Ginger: Marketing, to me ... Everyone thinks it's new patients. To me, it's a scale. You've got to have just as many new patients as existing patients. You've got to keep them. That leaky bucket syndrome. If everyone's focused on getting more new patients, they're ignoring their existing patients. I tell them, "You can't do that." We've really want to balance that out. You have to have a certain number of new patients for growth. You have people leaving. You have people moving. People die. But if you don't hold on tightly ... This is where I think practices are making it or breaking it, on how well they can keep their patients and find reasons for them to come back, is going to determine your success. That's my first M of that.
Management. Again, leadership from the doctor. You cannot delegate leadership. You can't have someone come in. Dental school has spent no time on the leadership development. I find a lot of dentists, by nature are not leaders. They're introverts. They like the technical stuff. Then, all of the sudden, they're forced to run a business. I'm like, "Who the heck did this? I don't know what's going on." They think they can hire someone to come and do that. We try to build the leaders up. Each leader's different. We want them to be the leader in their own way, because that empowers them, and it empowers their team. The team follows their doctor. They believe in their doctor. They want to do anything they can for their doctor. They just want their doctor to rise up to that occasion. Once we get both of them on the same path, that really happens.
Howard: Before you go to mindset, I want to go back to leadership, because the way I see it, when you ... I'm a big NFL fan. I know it's a waste of time. It's silly. It's as equally stupid as the Jerry Springer show. It makes no difference who wins or loses, and I'm sitting there. I just so want the Cardinals to win. It's just silly. But you see the coaches walking up and down the field and throwing towels, and totally into the game. They're just obsessed in the game. Then you see ... You go into any dental office, and soon as the dentist is done doing his hygiene checks, just walks in his private office and shuts the door. Then they beep him. They beep him. Then he comes out and he checks, does something else, does a filling, crown, working on it, goes back to his room. I just ... How can you turn a man or woman like that into being a leader? Were you born that way, or can you become a leader?
Ginger: I think all o us have leadership qualities. If you push them too far, if you say, "You've got to be a leader like an NFL coach," they're going to shut down. If you can find some way for them to lead, and still be authentic and true to themselves, that can happen. A lot of thatt is, they just don't watch what they need to do. They just don't have that conversation. They don't praise the team like they should. They say, "You know, I have a great team," but when's the last time you talked to them?
Like for instance, I was talking to a doctor this morning. He was like, "I'm having problems with that same employee." I said, "Now, let's talk about this. First, as a leader, does this employee need to go? You need to make that decision for your business. Is she the wrong person in the wrong position? Can you move her somewhere else in the office?" We keep pulling it back. He has never really trained her, and he's really not talked to her. She doesn't know what to do. She doesn't even know she's displeasing him. I said, "You're failing her. Now if you went through all those things. You trained her. You corrected her. You went through that, and she's still doing it, then we need to get rid of her. But you have not given her anything to succeed in her business." He said, "I've never thought of it that way."
Howard: You know, I've always said if you fire an employee, and they're shocked, you're a bad person. You're not just a bad manager, a bad business owner, you're a bad person. I mean-
Howard: They've got bills to pay. They're leveraging. They've got house payments, car payments. They didn't see this coming, so you'd better ... If they didn't see it coming, you'd better give them at least a month's severance pay, because I think human nature is, a social animal has to work together. We all obey the 400 pound gorilla, so nobody wants to have an uncomfortable conversation. That's the way you're born. You've got to want-
Ginger: Right. They avoid conflict. They avoid conflict, avoid conflict.
Howard: All social animals, cats, dogs, apes, humans, they all do it. You have to override your walnut brain in the deep down middle with your frontal cortex. You've got to ... How do you coach a dentist to sit down and have an uncomfortable conversation with a staff member?
Ginger: First we work on the dentist. We don't go after the team member. We're going to make that a better dentist, first. That goes back to the mindset. Dentists get confused. I really hate the word mindset, because it gets thrown around a little too generously. Dentists are so cerebral anymore, because they think. They're so smart. They think they have mindset, but analytical thinking is not mindset. I call it gutset. I get them to stop thinking here, with their head, and start more in the middle.
Howard: Good, because I've got like 50 extra pounds in the middle. I should be good at this. Keep going.
Ginger: You are really smart. You got a big part there.
Howard: I must be a genius.
Ginger: You're a genius.
Howard: Tell me how my big belly's going to change my world.
Ginger: Let's go a little bit more inside. Let's talk about your gut, your heart, and what you really need to do. Most of these guys and gals are just following along. There's like, the guy next door is doing it, so that's the way I'm doing it. They don't do what they want to do. They're not running the business the way they intended. They're just following blindly. I say, "Why are doing that?" "Well, because the guy next door is doing it," or "That's how they told me to do it back in dental school." I said, "Does that make sense to you? Is that right for you? Is that what you want to be doing? Is that the kind of practice you want?" "Well, I don't know." I said, "Well, if you don't know, who's going to know? There's no clarity there. You've got to really work on yourself. Get crystal clear and real honest and transparent with yourself." I take these little introverts and I see them blossom, not into extroverts, but they're like, "Hey, yeah, I'm a different guy," or gal. "I can do this."
Howard: I hate to say this. I'm extra sensitive to women because I grew up with five sisters. In fact, a lot of my friends are extremely mad at me because I told them I'm going to vote for Hillary regardless, just because she's a woman. I have a three year old granddaughter. I don't want her seeing a world where all the presidents are men. But I hear all kinds ... I get about 300 messages, emails a day. I always get this common question, by young girls that say, "You don't get it. You're a man. It's so easy for you to be a leader in the office, but I'm a young woman. Women assistants and receptionists and hygienists, they don't respond to women like they do men."
Ginger: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Howard: I'm a man, so I don't know. Is that just an excuse, or is that a reality? Do you think women employees react differently to women leaders?
Ginger: I 100%, 130,000%, yes. They think you're like one of their team. They don't think of you as a supervisor, necessarily. When-
Howard: They think you're their friend.
Ginger: Their friend. When you have to come down on her ... I must say a word here. When you have to come down, you're not a supervisor, you're the bitch. They would never treat a man that way.
Howard: Okay. I'm going to need you to slow down and go into big detail there, because it's the most common question I get from women 20 to 30. I have no means of answering it. You've got to spend a little more time on this. Takes some time on this, because you're talking to thousands of people. I assume half of them are women, so slow down, Spanky, and go along on this answer.
Ginger: Well, I think sometimes, as a female owner ... I did this for a long time. We just intermingle a little too much. When you're a male dentist, they put you out. "We're going to lunch." They don't necessarily ask you to do this. "We're going to go shopping." You're talking fashion. They think because they talk those things and you intermingle in those conversations, all of the sudden, you're on common ground. I see female employees saying things to female doctors that they have no business saying, they should never, ever say. It has crossed that line. It is really hard for a female dentist, because we want to be liked as a human being, not necessarily because we're weak, but just like, as a male, you want to be liked. People do things to be liked. Female employees sometimes latch on this. This is just my theory, and I'm sure someone is going to disagree with it. The females employees latch on to that. They make a different connection. They would never interpret what you say in the same way as a male, as they would to a female dentist. They're like, "You're one of the sisterhood, and we all stick together."
Also, I'm going to say another thing. There's a lot of hormones running around in the dental office. When you get that many females running around in a period together, it's chaos. Having a male hygienist, having my husband there as a male, it helped even things out.
Howard: See, I never want to say, they say ... You know, I went through comedy school. I mean, I professionally do comedy. They say you never talk about sex, religion, politics, [inaudible 00:21:19].
Ginger: Right, and you're pushing me in areas I never talk about like this.
Howard: That's why I call it Dentistry Uncensored. I want to talk about the things that aren't talked about. You know what? I hate to say this, because it sounds so sexist, but it seems to me, the women dentists I know that are doing the best, have a male assistant, have a male up at the front desk. They bring more men into the office as employees. A lot of them tell me ... I'm sure they don't want to be quoted or named, but they just say, "I wish all my employees were men." I'm hearing both ends. I'm hearing the older, successful women crushing it, saying, "I have no problems with my three male employees, and my two women are 99% of my problems." Then you hear the young girls telling me all the time ... They've told our friend, Linda Miles that. She once had a lecture given on it, how women manage or whatever. The young girls saying, "Yeah, they don't listen to me, but they'll listen to the old 70 year old man back there." What do you recommend? Specific, go over this: What are rules of engagement? If you're a 30 year old woman and you've got five women working for you, you've got two assistants, two receptionists, a hygienist, do you go to happy hour with them? What can you do and not do to cross the line? Where is that line?
Ginger: I think you have to have team time that you interact with, so you do go to happy hour, there, but your personal time, if you cross that line, you've got to be prepared that there's no coming back. I've made that mistake in my own practice. I mean I really liked my team, but there gets to a point where sometimes, when you have to let someone go, they're like, "Well, how could you do that? She's one of us." Well, I'm the boss. I'm the employer. I think you should have social interaction that's appropriate with the team, but you need to be big enough as a human being to have your own social life outside the practice, too.
Howard: One of the greatest geniuses that ever lived, as far as the human mind was Abraham Maslow. I liked ... Him and [Desa 00:23:15] Morris are my two classics. Malow on management, he wrote a management book. One of the last books he ever wrote, he wrote the Hierarchy of Needs, you know, food, water, sex, shelter, self-esteem, self-actualization, whatever. Abraham Maslow, he said that a employer can never, ever truly be a friend of an employee because you always hold over them the power to fire them, which often times turns their lives upside down. When you hold a paycheck over somebody ... In fact, this is crude and rude, and I'm sorry I have to say it, but I'm using his words. He equated it to the difference between you make love for free, but a prostitute you pay money. When you're paying money to someone, it's not love, and it's not your friendship, because you hold that over them. He says, "I'm sorry. You can't be friends with someone you hold money over. It's a form of power, force, coercion. Those are his words. He said you're never a true friend with somebody that you can fire, and quit giving money.
Ginger: You know, when you go back to, if you shock somebody. This is where those shock situations come across. I thought we were friends. We go out together. You just can't separate that. If someone can, kudos to them, but I know very few. Like when I work best with my clients, I work best with male clients. I can tell them what to do. They'll listen. The female clients, I think a male person might be better, because they get real emotional and they think they can tell me things that they shouldn't tell me. They break down, and they just fall apart. I was like, "You know what, you've got to hold yourself together. You're the boss here. You can't go to puddles, because you get around a female and you do that. You shouldn't tell me those things. You should have sacred people, your friends you tell it to, but I'm not your psychologist. I'm not your girlfriend that you can lay down your hair and go through it with that."
My men clients, I can go through and be very honest with them and be very blunt. I've never played the chick card. When people would point out and say, "You did very good, successful for a female dentist." I said, "I'm never comparing myself to a female dentist. I'm a dentist. I'm a business person." My dad raised me to be, I guess a tom boy, a hunter, a fisher. I rode motorcycles. I didn't want to do those things. That's how I'm geared. Sometimes that's hard for females to take. That's why I relate well to the male clients.
Howard: I keep reminding myself, and my four sons ... We've only got one grandchild. It's little Taylor. She's three. I keep saying, "You know, this girl probably doesn't even know she's a girl, right now." We've got-
Ginger: I don't think she does.
Howard: We've got to do something girly. Someone threw a pink truck at her, or get her a Barbie doll, because she thinks a shotgun and camping is an activity. Would you say ... First of all, how does someone get a hold of your book? If they wanted to read your book, how would they find it.
Ginger: I can make it easy. You just go to Amazon and put it in there.
Howard: What would you type in?
Ginger: The Secrets of Creating a Prosperous Practice, or Ginger Bratzel.
Howard: Ginger Bratzel. I don't know how you can not remember Bratzel. It's a bratwurst with a pretzel. Bratzel. Does that mean deep, down inside, you're really a Brat?
Ginger: Yes, I am.
Howard: Is that a spoiled brat or a brat as the good thing you eat on a sandwich?
Ginger: Oh, no, no. I'm not a spoiled brat. No, I-
Howard: How much is that book on Amazon?
Ginger: It's less than $20. I think it's 18 something.
Howard: Here's my ... So much of success is counterintuitive. A lot things, your body is telling you to do this based on millions of years of evolution. That's why success is so counterintuitive. I think that the dentists want help. They're just afraid that they're going to hire a consultant to come in and do something that they're not being true to themselves. Like come in and say, "Well you need to be a cosmetic dentist and do Botox," or "You need to be this leader." They think of leaders from on TV as tall, dark, and handsome men with fancy cars and all this stuff.
I think the best way to decide if you're a personal fit, dentist, because you're talking at 7,000 dentists right now, get her book. Then, I also think that on the online CE, we put up 350 one hour courses. They've been viewed over half a million times. Every consultant that put their course up, it exploded because the other consultants think, "Well, if I go in there and tell them what they need to do, they're not going to need me. I'm not going to give away all my secrets for free." I think, "Well, then you're thinking in fear and scarcity."
Howard: If you think in hope, growth, and abundancy, here's what actually happens. When I go to a restaurant, I want to see a menu. I want to order a salmon, and not chicken, or a pork chop, and not a steak, they want to see how you think. How dentists buy consultants is not, you're going to come in with some magic bullet I never thought of, it's you're going to get 'er done. You're going to 'er implemented. I'm paying for implementation. Just like when I go to a restaurant. I can go home and cook a pork chop. I'm going to give you money because I want you to cook it. I'm being lazy. A lot of dentists, they just tell me, "I'm just not going to get it done." I want you to address two questions. I want you to go over, I believe some consultants work better with certain types than others.
Ginger: I do believe that.
Howard: Yeah, so some people this one might be your type of tea. This one, it might be your cup of vodka. This one, it might be a cup of cyanide. I want you to describe some case study, or talk about who would be ... You're talking to all these people. Who could call you and say, "Wow, I'd give anything. I'd hire you to come into my office and get that done." What is your best client scenario.
Ginger: Okay. Well, when I look at clients, I see dentists in different levels. I consider myself a coach. I don't consider I'm a consultant, because a consultant tells you what to do. A coach is going to help you, and get you prepared. That's the way I look at it from my framework. There's dentists at different levels. There's practices that are very cosmetic driven that you talked about. They have certain images. They're very concerned with what they're going to look like.
There's a whole chunk right in the middle. I call them the bread and butter kind of guys. They have just been chugging along. They show up to work. They do their thing. They don't complain a lot. In fact, if they're having any problems, they haven't even told their team about it. They're just kind of ... A lot of them are just sitting here waiting it out. That's the phrase. "The economy's got to get better, so I'm sitting here waiting it out." They get to a point and say, "You know what? I've realized it's not going to get better without me doing something. I need to take responsibility." These guys are just kind of average joes. That's what I call them. Bread and butter. They said, "We do a little of this. We do a little of that. I just want to be in a better situation. I'm not ready to retire." A lot of these, my guys, are 50 and above. They're not ready to retire, but "I kind of think of this as my last leg, my last big run. I want to make it a really good run. I need some help for doing that."
If they can handle brutal honesty ... They laugh at me when we have a coaching meeting, at some of the stuff that comes out of my mouth, because I'll just tell them that, you know, "Get over it." I have a sign. I have a W and I have an M in my meetings. I ask them, are you going to be a martyr. Are you sitting here holding onto that sorry story? Are you going to believe that? Or are you going to turn it around to be a winner, and we're going to do something about it? That's there choice. If they want to do the work, and they're not worried about getting dirty, I can help them do that. If they can handle bluntness, we can get along. If they want me to tell them, you know, "You need to do this, and you need to do this." I'm not going to get upset, because sometimes I do, and I give them the truth, then that's not going to be a match. That's why I just resonate with these ... A lot of them are in the midwest. They just have those midwest values. That's my kind of guys.
Howard: Yeah, I was born and raised in Kansas. My whole pedigree is from Kansas to Parsons. One of my mom's brothers lived where you did in Oklahoma. Uncle Mark, who had seven kids, six daughters and a son. I want you to talk about this. A lot of these kids listening to you are sitting there saying ... They go to a private school like Nova, or AT Still or something. They're coming out like 400,000 in debt. They go to a public school, they're coming out like $250,000 in debt. Everything you read is so advertising driven, so they believe they're never going to be successful without $150,000 CERECs machine from Sirona. That's why a $100,000 CBCT from Carestream, a Sony $5,000 biolase. Do you see these high tech ... You started off the program that you thought that when you built your Taj Mahal-
Howard: You just increased your debt. What do you think about these high-priced toys? Do you see dentists being successful and happy with their earnings without these toys, or do you think they're a return on investment?
Ginger: I think, for a lot of people, it's a hard time for them to get a return on investment. Dentists are toy seekers. They like shiny things. That's one of the things we always go around about. They want another gizmo, gadget because that's what's going to do it. Until you put the emphasis on the patients and what they need, what they need to hear, you're not going to have that success. Now, some of these guys, just by nature, by their attitude, by how charismatic they are, they accidentally happen it. Another toy is not going to make it happen for you. Even if you have a CEREC machine, and you say, "I can do a crown in a day," ... I'm going to say another phrase. WTF, because what does that mean to the patient. The crown in a day. If you can emphasize to them, that's one less visit you're going to have to make, that's less time off work, that's less inconvenience, that's more comfort for you. Those are the words they need to hear. It's not the toy. They'll say, "I've got a CEREC machine." I say, "Who cares?" "I've got a Galileo." I don't care. Patients don't know that. Until you figure out what they want to hear, and say what they need to say, that's going to really hang you up.
Howard: It funny that they'll say, "Yeah, but you don't have to have a temper or you don't have to come back." I say, "Well, okay, here's the names of 1,000 dentists who collected over $1,000,000 last year, and took home $400,000, that don't have anything. In fact, half of them still do amalgams.
Howard: They're doing amalgams and they make 400,000. You're telling me how great your CBCT is and last year, you made 127. You know what I mean? I don't get it.
Howard: I want to ask you another question. Do you think ... Again, these podcasts are so weighted towards the young. Old people like me, none of my friends have ...
Ginger: They don't even know what podcast is.
Howard: I know. I still don't have one drinking buddy who's listened to one of my podcasts, you know. They're all kids. When they're coming out of school, do you think it's a huge advantage to go rural instead of urban?
Ginger: I think that's a tremendous opportunity, because you have a captive audience. You have people who appreciate you being there. You can do it conservatively. I think when you come out of school, you need to really like the taste of Ramen noodles. I think you really need to like that junky old car. I think you need to work your tail off and pay your dues.
Howard: 100% of all the dentists I've met who walked out of dental school, did 1,000,000 their first year, and took home 400,000. 100% were rural. I don't know anybody who did that in Scottsdale, Beverly Hills, San Diego, Manhattan, you know, Miami. I just don't get it. They won't go rural, but their other choice was to join the Navy so they'd in an aircraft carrier floating around the Pacific Ocean for six months, with 5,000 boys. They don't even touch land for half a year at a time. They almost did that for the Navy on a salary, but they won't go to a town of 5,000, that's an hour away from a major metro.
Ginger: Yeah, you've got to get real humble, I think. I think that was one of the things about our success was being able to do that. We would go where people wouldn't go. There's a lot of opportunity. People always say, "Well, they'll travel to see us." Yeah, but they'll be really happy to come to you there.
Howard: Yeah, and that was Walm ... Rick Workman at Heartland. He stole that chapter right out of Sam Walton. Wal-mart was in 32 states before they went to a major city. Heartland was a ... Rick Workman was a genius, calling insurance companies saying, "You know, you sell insurance to all the firemen, teachers, for the entire state of Illinois. Do you ever get complaints from patients who have this insurance who say there's no dentist in my area?" They go, "Yeah," and they gave him a list of these cities that didn't have a dentist in there. They're all under 5,000. Rick just started stamping out dental offices out there. Next thing you know, he's got 1,000 offices and a jet, just going with a supply of dentistry where nobody was. Amazing.
I also want to make one comment about the retirement dentists. A lot of dentists on Dentaltown, they're always talking about ... The big thing now on Dentaltown, they're talking about Tony Robbins' new America's Best 401k. They're all trying to sock away 401k money because they all want to retire. What's funny to me is that Ray Kroc died, and 40,000 McDonald's still go fine. Sam Walton of Wal-mart died, and they open 40 new Wal-marts a month. If you were really a businessman, you wouldn't even have to retire or sell your practice, you could just quit working it, and two associates would be in there running a $2,000,000 machine, spinning off 300,000 for you. Whatever you could sell your practice for, you could make in net income in two, two and a half years. If you got your business together with help from people like you ... Like you're not doing dentistry anymore. I mean, I don't have to do dentistry anymore. I mean, I don't have to do anything unless I want to. It's just for fun.
Howard: The fact that you want to sell your practice and retire, to me is just a big red flag. You never were a business person-
Howard: Because, dude, the most successful business people die, and their business doubles the first five years after they're dead. If you were a businessman, why would you want to sell your practice? When some old dentist says, "You know, I want to retire. I want to sell my practice and retire." It's like, dude, why don't you just be a businessman? Why don't you just learn the business of dentistry, and then you won't even have to do the dentistry. I would rather have a dental office business in a low competitive-
Howard: You think dentistry's competitive. Imagine a steak house or a dry cleaner or all these retail businesses that go in and out of business. I've been in [inaudible 00:38:02] for 28 years, and every time I go to Safeway, the one shop next to it is out of business. A new one's in. They just rotate, but dentistry will be there a hundred years from now. Why wouldn't you want to own a dental office instead of a dry cleaner or a restaurant?
Ginger: That's what I talk to them about. I talk about that in the book. What's the difference between a business and a company. A company doesn't need you there. A business, you are showing up. You have a glorified job. That's what most dentist are. I don't make money unless I'm there. I cannot take off time to go invest and improve my practice because it will be shut down, because they have no systems to make sure they're making money without them.
Howard: When they complain so much about their job, but you just said they're buying a job. To come out with your student loan debt, in a country of America where 330 million people live, and 100 million homes, and average combined household income is $50,000 a year. That's everybody in the house working, throwing their money into paychecks, 50 grand. The average dentist, the average makes three combined incomes at $150,000. If you're whining about a $250,000 in debt, to buy a job where you make three average household incomes, and go to all those houses in America, and walk in any house in Phoenix and say, "Hey, how would you like to make $150,000 a year?"
Ginger: You're rich.
Howard: They're just like, "Oh, my god." They would think, I mean, that's just amazing. Who's your perfect client? You're talking to a bunch of people. Who should call you? By the way, how do they contact you? Do they just go to GingerBratzel.com?
Ginger: Yup. They can go there.
Howard: If you prefer email or a phone number?
Ginger: They could start there. It's got email there. You can email email@example.com, or you can call the office at 405-225-0254. That's all on the website. We keep it all real easy [crosstalk 00:39:54].
Howard: Man, you're into two's and five's. 405-225-0254.
Ginger: 0254, yup.
Howard: You must have had something good happen to you when you were age 2, or 5, or 25. Which one was it?
Ginger: I think that's my lucky number. Two's my lucky number.
Howard: Is that your luck number? They can email you firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us a case history, or tell a story about someone that gave you money, and what you did for them, and now they're glad you gave them money, because what I am trying to tell my viewers is that the neatest thing about doing this for three decades, I can assure you that all the practices I know that do a million to four million a year, and take home 400 to 600 to 7, they all, over their 20 to 30 years, had a dozen different consultants come in their office.
Howard: Then, all the people who never got to 500,000 a year, they're still paying interest on their student loans and their house and their practice 20 years later. They're always saving money not buying a consultant. It's like, you're a dentist. You wouldn't want somebody to try to do a root canal on themselves. You've got no formal training. These consultants in dentistry cannot stay in business if they don't have happy customers. With the world of internet and Yelp and Dentaltown with 205,000 people, you can't be horrible and a waste of everybody's time and money, and not go out of business in consulting. Any consultant that's been staying in business for five to ten years, has got a lot of happy campers. I think the biggest problem you have is everybody that desperately needs you never will hire you-
Howard: And everybody that does hire you is just like, "Well, I'm already kicking ass, but I'm going to invest because I just want to kick a little more ass."
Ginger: That's exactly it. They're like, "I'm doing good, but I know I can do better." That's exactly it. Yeah.
Howard: I know. People have said to me before, they'll say, "Well, why did you have a consultant?" It's like, because I want a successful office. I don't know everything. You want to steal from the best. By the way, how much is your consulting service?
Ginger: They can come in at different levels. We could do a two day workshop with me. We start at three grand. We can get a big jump on some practices. Then we have some private clients up that get a lot of TLC at $50,000. There's a couple of spans in there in range. It just depends what's appropriate, if they're a match for what we do, and making it all happen.
What is my ideal client? It is a solo owner. Usually they're sick and tired of being sick and tired. They might be by themselves, or they have an associate dentist. I like solo owners because I need one person to make a decision. When I have partners, we can't make decisions. No disrespect to partnerships, but I just don't find we make a lot of progress there. I just need someone who's going to be accountable, and who's going to be responsible. It's usually a bread and butter type practice. They can have associates, but they're usually employees. They want to kick some more butt.
One of my guys is out of Iowa, just kind of a regular kind of Joe. When I met him, he was doing about 600,000. He said, "If you told me, Ginger, I need to do a million dollars, I would just have said, 'It would kill me,' because I feel like I'm busting my hump, now." Now, we're down the road four or five years later, and he's doing three million a year. He said, "You know what? It's easier now, than doing that $600,000 way back when."
Howard: [inaudible 00:43:25] your new book talks about you manage people, time, and money. I still think if you ... People are 80% of it. You get an A in the people, and they've got the right mindset in management and leadership in that the time and money just almost take care of themselves. What HR advice could you give the people? When I talk to dentists, my first question is ... Same thing with my employees. If I go to an employee, and go all smiley ... I'll say, "Hey, Tammy, what's keeping you up at night? What's the only thing in your job that makes your stomach hurt?" I want to get right to the point. I don't want to hear fluff and I don't want to hear this and that. When I meet dentists, I say, "What's your biggest problem?" Young dentists, very young, 25 to 30, will sit there and say, "I hate Endo," or "I can't find the controls on ..." Anybody after 10 years experience will say, "Oh, my god-
Ginger: It's team.
Howard: Sometimes I want to strangle my hygienist. Oh, my god, I swear to god, sometimes all I can do by my dental assistant is bite my tongue." Blah, blah. Talk people.
Ginger: I believe certain people are meant for this, and some are not. I'm looking for ... When they go to hire somebody, I'm looking people who are fact finders. We'll go through and do a Kolbe. We'll look at a fact finder. I want someone who is a fast start, because if I tell them to go do it, I want it done, yesterday. The biggest problem I see with dentists, they say, "I want someone who's got that entrepreneurial spirit." I'm like, "Why? You're supposed to be the entrepreneur. If they're so good, and they have that spirit, they're going to go off and do it for themselves. They're kind of floaty kind of people. I want people who do their job, and do it quick. We'll go through, and we'll do an assessment on there. I'll look at things. Are there ... I'll gauge them, are they executers? Are they ... If they're strategic thinkers, I don't need another thinker. I need doers. I'll go through and we'll do a profile with my clients. That's something we do exclusively for them. I have the Ginger's assessment, and we'll look at it. When we have a problem with somebody, I'll say, "You know what, let's go through and do this assessment. We find out really quickly. The other thing is-
Howard: Is this something you do online, or do you give them a form?
Ginger: I do it, a form. It's when they come in. It's intake when they become clients. We'll go through and they said, "I need to hire this person. I'm pretty sure I want to hire them." People fall in love with people who are like us because it makes us feel comfortable. Now-
Howard: That's why all my staff, all my staff are short, fat, bald women.
Ginger: Oh, wow. They have a real big tummy, huh?
Ginger: I could see that about you.
Howard: They're all bald.
Ginger: That just makes us feel comfortable. Then they go the opposite direction, and said, "I need to go totally different. I've been hiring wrong. I'll go ...: Then it's nothing but friction. There's personality, and then there's talents, and there's skill, and then there's natural programming of how they do things. I think there is a science to HR. I think, even if you get the right person, you still have to train them. You still have to retrain them. I can't tell you how many doctors I'll talk to. I'll say, "When's the last time you had a meeting?" "What's are those? Yeah, we talked about them. We had one a few years ago." I said, "If you're not meeting and retraining and consistently calibrating and syncing the whole team, why the heck are you even getting out of bed in the morning?"
Howard: How often should staff have a staff meeting?
Ginger: I think they should have a smaller meeting, once a week. You should have a huddle every morning, so everyone's on the same sync. First of all, it gets everyone there at the same time, and gets their job done, including the doctor. That's the biggest complaint I hear from team members. The doctor shows up late. That's number one. "We'd love to do it, but he's here late," so getting there. They should have a morning huddle, five, ten minutes, real quick. They should have about an hour weekly meeting, and I think they should have a 90 minute to 2 hour monthly meeting that is really on training. It is never a bitch session. We're talking numbers. We're talking accountability. We're always improving the team
Howard: What do you think of these offices that they all connect up on a walkie talkie, a Motorola walkie talkie, so they can ...?"
Ginger: That personally, that drove me nuts. I can understand that sounds good on paper, but I don't want someone's voice in my head when I'm working. I think that's kind of micromanaging and kind of chaotic. I know some teams that do really well with it. I absolutely threw them in the trash after a week.
Howard: Is that because you already had three voices in your head at the same time, and the fourth one was-
Ginger: I think so.
Howard: The fourth one was just the breaking point? There's things you just associate with success in an office that you can just check list and say, "Oh, you do this, you're successful." I think the morning huddle's one of them. It seems like everybody I know who's happy, healthy, and functional, they all start with a morning huddle. When they start telling me their nightmare drama, or whatever, the first thing you can find out, they don't have the morning huddle. Do you see that, too, or do you agree with that or disagree?
Ginger: 100%. Like I said, usually the doctor comes in late. Nobody is accountable to anybody. They just kind of wander in there. They kind of get there. They kind of wander out at that end of the day.
Howard: What else ... I'm going to throw you under the bus with this. I'm going to get you in trouble.
Ginger: You haven't thrown me under a bus already? I feel like I've been under the bus the whole time.
Howard: This is Dentistry Uncensored. I am throwing you under a bus right now, because a lot of these people are commuting to work. The dentist is driving to work, and the spouse, whether it's a woman dentist married to a male, or a male dentist married to a female, or two males, whatever, but doctor's spouse work in the office. Good idea? Bad idea? What's red flags that it's good. What's red flags that it's bad?
Ginger: Well, when it causes conflict in the team. Usually the team will say the spouse is the problem. That's one of the first things they'll give to you. You know, I had a spouse that worked in the office, but he knew ... I'm going to say this, and he's going to say, "Oh, my gosh, I can't believe that you said that." He knew who the boss was. It wasn't ... He was sort of co-owner of the practice, but if there was a decision to be made, and there was some conflict, it came to me. He didn't try to intervert. Then also, I didn't delegate stuff to him and say, "Go do my dirty work." I see a lot of offices that will do that with a spouse. I hear that, the pigeon theory. The wife comes in, or the spouse comes in, and poops all over and flies off, and is not there. If the spouse is working in the office, I think they need to be there on a daily basis. They don't come in and just do two or three things, and go on. You have to earn that. You have to be in the ranks. I still have that conversation with some of my clients. It's like it sounds good on paper that your spouse is there, but is your spouse really there?
Howard: So do you believe the dentist should be the first person there, and the last one to leave?
Ginger: I do. I do that. I do. I think that-
Howard: Every dentist knows you're supposed to lead by example. Then you sit there and say, "Okay, we'll lead by example." It's the same thing when dentists are telling me they do all these things for the patients. I always point them to the Federal Reserve saying that one third of Americans cannot go to the doctor during 8 to 5, Monday through Friday working hours. They work in small businesses.
Howard: Everybody thinks everybody works for a Fortune 500 company. They don't even employ 10% of America. The average American works for a company that does less than 25 employees a year, less than $1,000,000 a year. They can't leave to go get a cleaning in the middle of the day. I'll say, "What are your hours?" They go, "Oh, Monday-
Ginger: Eight to five, Monday through Thursday.
Howard: Yeah. When your hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 to 5, I don't want to hear all your moaning, bitching, and bullshitting, because at that point, you don't even care, and you're not even trying.
Howard: But a lot of dentists tell me this. I want you to talk to this specifically. "Howard, I want to change my hours to 7am. I do want to work Friday, but they'll get mad."
Ginger: Who's the boss? Who's the boss?
Howard: What do you say? You say just suck it up-
Ginger: I say, "Who's the boss?"
Howard: I say, "Suck it up, buttercup." That's what I say, "Just suck it up, buttercup. You're the boss. You're the owner." What should hours be? What can you say as a professional dentist, and dental consultant, that these hours will give you a competitive advantage?
Ginger: Well, I think all practices have to be open on Friday. That is the standard. Monday through Thursday is ridiculous. I think a lot of, if you want to be proactive, you've got to be considering Saturday, too. You think, well, I'm a solo dentist. How am I going to do that? Well, you're going to float your hours. You need to have morning hours, late hours. You could rotate. You could have late on certain days, early on others. But I think on Friday is the standard. It has to be there. I think everyone needs to be looking at a Saturday. What are you going to do about that? That's going to have to bring in certain team members. Are you going to have to hire an associate doctor to help you with that? I don't think you should trade your life for dentistry. It's part of your life, but you're not going to be a seven day a week martyr, there just cutting teeth, and they'll find you dead over a patient some day. You've got to have systems in place, and you've got to be able to accommodate patients and what their needs are.
Howard: You know, a lot of these dentists, they don't think outside of the box. Like the All on 4 implant system. You know what their great insight was? That there were all these specialist oral surgeons and periodontists out in the rural areas that didn't have enough patients. They would gladly fly into the big city on weekends and do these big cases. Well, it works both ways. I got lot of young, hungry specialists that one Friday a week, drive three hours to a town of 5,000, where they've lined up all their wisdom teeth, or all their ortho, or whatever. It's the same thing with associates. You can get an associate to just come in Saturday, who literally has a full time job, four days a week, or five days a week, or works at corporate, or whatever, whatever. I mean you've just got to try. I think they don't want to try. Then, the way to get your mindset around delegating is, imagine when Sam Walton died, all the Wal-marts closed down, or when Ray Kroc died, all the McDonald's closed down. I don't know who invented Burger King, but if they ever all closed down and there was no more Whopper with cheeses, I would literally start crying.
Ginger: Even those black [inaudible 00:53:24]? Those are nasty.
Howard: Those what ones?
Ginger: Those black bun ones.
Howard: At Burger King?
Ginger: Yeah. The Halloween ones.
Howard: You know what I like the best about Burger King is when you eat their french fries, when you get to the bottom, there's always a surprise, like an onion ring or half a tater tot. They don't do that at McDonald's.
Ginger: It's like a prize. It's the missing prize from Krackerjack.
Howard: It's like the ... Yeah. I don't know why they can't do extended hours. The point I was making is, the labor pool is so fluid-
Howard: and it is so fungible, that when you sit there and say, "I can't get an associate to come work in my office Friday and Saturday," dude, the Navy can get a dentist to go sit in an aircraft carrier for six months and you can't find a dentist? The All on 4 program, every city I go to, it's like, "Oh, yeah, this guy, he lives in a town of $150,000, and he flies down to San Diego on the weekend. He puts in five, $25,000 cases, and then he flies back home." I mean, you just got to try. You've got to be a business man.
I wish you would do this. I do these podcasts for free. I truly just want my homies to get help. I'm doing this ... You know how we say the morning huddles are associated with success?
Howard: I always saw all my friends that walked out of school and did 100 hours of CE every year for their whole career, they all mastered the game. All the ones who didn't want to do CE ... I was sitting there thinking, I can give them an hour of great lectures for free in their cell phone while they multitask on the way to work. I wish you would do a one hour online CE course with a book deal. Like they sign up, and they take your course. Everybody that takes your course, we always email the course. Whoever did the course, we email you and say, "This guy took your course," and do like a book/online CE deal. They watch your course. They see you. They read your book, they can pass it to their wife or office manager, or staff, or this or that. I just want them to pull the trigger. I know ... This is what I hate about my job. Everybody that doesn't need me is going to pull the trigger, and get you anyway. Anybody who desperately needs you, isn't going to do it. That's why I'm going out of my way. I want you to do a podcast. What do you think about an online CE course with a book deal?
Ginger: Well, I have no problem with that.
Howard: Will you take the course ... We'll do it.
Ginger: Let's do it.
Howard: Yeah. Send an email to ... I'm Howard at Dentaltown, so when we hired Howard Goldstein, he became Hogo. H-O-G-O. Email him, Hogo, at Dentaltown. Do that because I want them to get help. I only got you for three more minutes, so I want to tell you what ... I know how these guys think. I know how they think. They say, "I'm not going to get anything. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to finally just bite the bullet and I'm going to hire me an office manager."
Ginger: Yeah, because that will do it for me.
Howard: Because then I won't have to do anything. She'll do everything for me. Is that true? Is an office manager going to solve all my problems? What are your thoughts on office managers? Do office managers need help, too?
Ginger: They do, too. That's why I work with the doctor and office manager together. They are both my client. I help the doctor build the vision, and what they want. I get the office manager to get it done. Sometimes, it's a communication issue. That's where we really get the power. When I started bringing the team member in to him, and training that key person, that's when things when psssh, through the roof for him.
Howard: When we talk about things successful offices do, we talked about morning huddles, do you think the successful offices are more likely to have an office manager than not?
Ginger: A lot of people say they have office managers. To me, an office manager truly manages. Most offices don't. They're just a glorified receptionist. I do not mean to discount anything that these people do, but their doctors don't give them the power, and they don't know what an office manager should do. I mean, leading people is a hard job. If you're sitting there, answering the phone, making appointments, or filing insurance, you're not really the manager, you're at the reception. You're doing a head job. If there's some other little [inaudible 00:57:23], you're coming into it. You're kind of like the interference for the doctor. We want really people who can plan. We want leaders within the practice. That's what we want to develop.
Howard: We have a private office, where they can shut the door and work on the business. They can pull employees in there, shut the door, work on the business.
Howard: Not answering the phone, checking in, checking out. They're basically, "Oh, it's a receptionist, but he glorified her with a name tag that said office manager."
Howard: She's not an office manager. An office manager works on the business, not in the business. Most office managers, to me, I see as a Saddam Hussein syndrome, where the Saddam Hussein, if any of his management team told him anything he didn't want to hear, they would shoot them. When he said, "If I can invade Kuwait, we can do this right? The Americans can't keep me out." Everybody said, "Oh, yeah, sure."
Howard: Yeah, so that ended up he died because he didn't have anybody to stand up to him.
Howard: I've had Lori, my office manager since year 1998 or something like that, so 18 years, but if an office manager ... She has to be a type person where she's not afraid of losing her job. She knows she can get a job anywhere else, any other day. She's got to stay active on LinkedIn with her resume and be ready to go, because unless she feels like she can stand up for you, and she doesn't care about her job. She'd rather do her job right, and tell you what it is. The minute your office manager can't say to you, "You know what? That's the stupidest idea you ever had. The way you walked in here this morning, and went up front and said, 'Why the hell is there a two hour opening?' Your opening remark just ruined their day." If they can't set you down and scold you and stand up to you, without the fear of losing their job ...
It's the same with lab techs. There's not a good dentist out there who has a lab tech that's afraid of him. When I talk to lab techs, they say only 10% of their clients are humble enough and high self-esteem enough where they can call back and say, "Ginger, were you drinking Listerine when you dropped that crown? You didn't give me any reduction. I can't follow the margin. I'm going to have to drop acid just to find this margin, and you need to come down here, because I want you to see the other preps I'm dealing with. If you send me an impression with a bloody cotton roll in it, again, I swear to God, I'm going to come down to your office and make you eat it." If you don't have people that can stand up to you, then they're not going to bring out the best in you. I think the office managers are glorified receptionists.
What do you think about these dentists investing the money to send them to AADOM. They have an American Academy Dental Office Manager.
Howard: They have a fellowship program. Do you see that as a return on investment? Do you think that's an organization that's getting these receptionists edumacated, so they can come back and be office managers.
Ginger: I can't comment on that because I've never been to one of their events. I was going to try to go, this year. I don't know. I don't know if that fills the gap. I know that if a doctor sends a team member back for training and has no idea what happened, there is no return on investment. I don't care if it's a hygienist, or a dental assistant. You don't just send them and let someone else train them and solve all your problems and come back for you. There's no accountability, and you don't know what happened there, and you really can't monitor it, that's not going to improve your situation.
Howard: All right. Well, I can't believe, growing up in Kansas, my sisters all went to KU, that I'm talking to an Okie, but ...
Ginger: Boomer Sooner.
Howard: Oh, my god, I crossed the line with my five sisters. I hope none of them see this podcast. They might not forgive me. There's two enemies in Kansas. One of them's in Nebraska, and the other one's in Oklahoma. Go Big Red. Hey, Ginger, seriously, I'm a big fan of you. I'm a big fan of your book. Linda Miles is a big fan of you. We talked about you. I saw her post on Facebook, and this and that. Everybody, every single person that I know that's interacted with you, just thinks you're the real deal, and that you're just a rocking hot, amazing person, crushing it with your new book. I hope to see that course on Dentaltown, because I think these guys need to see it. They need to read the book. They'll probably need to pass the book around to their staff, because they're just gun shy on pulling the trigger.
If you're listening to this, remember, the hardest thing for a human to figure out is that, you always hear your gut. She was talking about mindset. She doesn't like the word 'mindset,' she likes 'gutset.' You always hear the little birdie. Your problem is you always debate with your birdie. The birdie starts telling you, your intuition, then you start arguing with your birdie. When older people, when they hear the birdie, they shut up and say, "Okay, I heard it. I heard it. That's what I need to do." That's the difference between intuition and everybody else. Why do some people are so successful? Because they listen to the birdie. Why is everybody else miserable? Because they're always arguing with their own damn birdie. Don't argue with the birdie. If you need help, call someone. I can't think of someone more amazing than Ginger. Ginger, thank you for having spent an hour with me, today.
Ginger: I appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me, Howard.
Howard: I look forward to your course online.
Ginger: It's going to happen.
Howard: Go, Ginger. Bye-bye.
Ginger: All righty.