Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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331 Finding Your Balance with Laci Phillips : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

331 Finding Your Balance with Laci Phillips : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

3/11/2016 12:51:51 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 344

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VIDEO - DUwHF #331 - Laci Phillips



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AUDIO - DUwHF #331 - Laci Phillips



This episode’s discussion:

1. Systems, Teams, and Technology

2. Communication with teams and patients

3. Team Building - nothing happens with out them - The Dr is part of the team too!

4. Social Marketing and Branding

5. The Business of Dentistry - Yes, it’s a business!

(Stay tuned for Part Two with Bonnie Pugh!)


Laci discovered at an early age her true passion for speaking and entertaining audiences. As a founding partner at Practice Dynamics she combines her knowledge of dentistry with her passion for teams to deliver customized coaching, workshops and speaking events throughout the country.


Laci began her road to coaching as a chairside assistant while going to college to pursue a dream of one day having her own talk show. While working her way to the business side of dentistry, she was fortunate to learn from top industry professionals.  The experience gained on this journey gives her unique insight into the technology and business side of dentistry. The excitement of working in high tech offices, as well as, high-end cosmetic practices has instilled in her the passion and the knowledge to coach dental teams on their road to excellence. 


Balancing coaching dental teams with her speaking career is a dream come true.  Each time she takes the stage her passion for dentistry and the dental team comes to life in her words and the lessons she teaches. 


Practice Dynamics specializes in coaching teams to reach their goals through balance driven success using systems, teams and technology. 


www.PracticeDynamics.net 


Howard:

It is a huge, huge honor for me today to be podcasting today with my buddy who was ... I was talking to her. She was in town, consulting in another office. Laci, I love it. I love this podcast the most. The reason it's so good is because I get great guests like you. And if there is anything I think about you is for a quarter of a century, you're keeping it real. I mean, you're from Aztec, New Mexico. That's not necessarily the Beverly Hills or the Key Biscayne or the Manhattan.

 

 

I know so many dentists who just said, you're the real deal. You keep it real. You're fun, you're smart. You're down to earth. I want to start this off with ... You're talking to thousands of dentists and they're all multitasking. They're driving to work. It's my belief ... Here's the weird thing about consultants. When I look at all the successful offices, like mine, or Jerome Smith's, or whoever, we've had consultants come in every couple, two, three, four, five years and we're crushing it. And everybody that I know that's used consultants in the past. All my friends have used consultants in the past, they're all doing between like one and a half and three million a year.

 

 

And then you look at these poor bastards who are miserable and stressed and confused and just ready to just swallowing the Listerine after they swish. And they never get consultants. I don't know if it's because they're just cheap and tight or they don't know what they don't know. What I'd like to talk to you today is just ... Try to paint some pictures.

 

 

She's driving to work right now. She's thinks this is as good as it gets. And it's as good as it gets. What do they not know that you've seen? Because they just live in their own office. All they see is their own office. How many offices have you seen in a quarter of a century?

 

Laci:

A lot.

 

Howard:

What do they don't know? Because you know dentist. They think they know it all. They got As in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology. They know it all. But they don't know what they don't know.

 

Laci:

Gosh, where do I start?

 

Howard:

I know.

 

Laci:

Where do I start? I have ... So this is what I tell my team members all the time, to help them understand who they're working for. Dentists go to school to become a dentist. That's what you do, right? You go to school for four to eight years to become a dentist. We don't take business courses. We don't take management coursed. We don't take leadership courses. Sometimes, we don't even know the ADA codes that we're supposed to be using when we graduate from dental school.

 

Howard:

None of them know the codes.

 

Laci:

Right, which freaks me out. No need to know what's going to keep us out of jail, right. So we graduate, and I say we. I'm not a doctor. You graduate, and all of a sudden, you're expected to buy a business, hire people, manage and lead them. And you have absolutely no idea how. Nor do you want to. You want to do dentistry. That's why you went to school for as long as you did. That's why you made the investment in yourself that you did.

 

 

So, what don't they know? They don't know the business of dentistry. They don't know how to manage people, how to hire good people. It's crazy to me. Simple statistics. Really overall production of a practice, 35% of your overall production should be hygiene. I can't believe how many dentists don't actually know that. You know, they'll ask us, do we have the patient base? Do we have ... Can we add another Hygienist?

 

 

We don't just walk into your office and look auqatory. It's about business. I think that's the big thing that we're missing. I really do. And that's one of the things I've always loved about you, and quoted you in my courses ... Is the business of dentistry. I really feel like dentistry are the business and teams. Dealing with human being teams. Not the patient who gets up, comes in and leaves. But the people you have to spend five days a week with. That's what we're missing.

 

Howard:

The people skills.

 

Laci:

Absolutely.

 

Howard:

It's sad because if you would have gone to college and had people skills, you would have joined a Frat, had a girlfriend ... You know, went out a couple of nights a week. And picked up a few Cs along the way. You never would have been a dentist or physician or lawyer. So, it's the total genius freak, unicorn geeks like me who sat in the library 'til midnight every frickin night. This is what I heard every night at about 10 'til midnight ... Ding, the library will be closing in 10 minutes. And we would cuss. We would be mad that they would be closing the library. The natural selection is all these bookworms. And that bookworm comes out of dental school and now has got to be a people person.

 

Laci:

Right. And if you look at dentists as a whole, like we do a lot of the disk personality profiling. As a matter of fact, we do it every client we bring on board. If you look at the dentist as a whole, you guys are a C type personality. Which is conscientious. You know, you need a ton of information. You like details. Well, I would hope so because you're working in an area that's this small with a million details in here.

 

 

But that's where you're happy. And that's why you guys were in the library. That's why you guys were at school and you weren't out at the fraternity doing the things that you were doing ... Because you need those details. And you're an analytical thinker. When we take that into a business environment, and still, 80% of your team members are females, are women working in these dental offices. All of a sudden, you've come into this business environment that's also healthcare and, again, we don't know what we don't know. But we know we don't want to manage these people all day long.

 

Howard:

Oh yeah, I grew up with five sisters. Saturday morning, the first thing I did was went right out the front door. And I wouldn't come in until the mandatory when the streetlight came on.

 

Laci:

Yeah, you were born into dentistry simply because you had five sisters.

 

Howard:

And who was my friend? It was David Hornbreck. And who was he? He was the kid whose mom had the reverse. She had like six kids and one ... Six boys and one girl. So I'd just march right on over to their house.

 

Laci:

And hang out with his sisters?

 

Howard:

I probably should have. I want to do this. This is Dentistry Uncensored, so I like to get right to the brutal crass. What I ... My goal here is I know the elites will hire you. That's not why I want to talk to you. They always get help. It's the underlings. I want to get right to the [inaudible 00:06:44] What do you charge? And describe the problems that you fix. I want this person driving to work and saying ... This is your ... Because every consultant has a unique selling proposition, a core competency. How much do you cost ... And by the way, these people wouldn't be in business for 27 years if they didn't have word of mouth referrals, repeat business. This is the tightest industry in the world. Dentistry reminds me of a town of 5,000 where you sneeze on one side, they say God Bless You on the other end. Everyone knows everybody's business. These consultants can't survive for two and a half decades because they're not helping people.

 

 

So, what do you cost? And describe your perfect client.

 

Laci:

I love you're just Ahh ... Let's get to it! What do we charge? Here's what I'm going to tell you, what we don't do. We don't have a big, huge annual contract. We don't ask for a large amount of money upfront. All of our contracts are monthly contracts.

 

Howard:

So, you've got to earn it month to month.

 

Laci:

Absolutely.

 

Howard:

That's damn cool.

 

Laci:

How am I going to talk to you over the phone, maybe meet you in person and say that's going to be $40,000 for the next 12 months when I absolutely no idea what you really, truly need. The other thing is, we go in and we see our clients every quarter. And we go in for two and one half days every single quarter. What we do is we spend the first two days with patients. And we are in the trenches. Sometimes I'll assist. We're answering the phones, but we're right ... We're side by side with the team. We're listening to verbal skills. We're looking for missed opportunities, but we're also looking for celebrations. What are you guys doing really well?

 

 

The way we've set our company up, everything's a month-to-month contract. The contract and the monthly fee is completely dependent upon the size of your practice and how many team members you have. It could be anywhere from $895 a month to $3500 a month depending on how many team members you have and what needs to be accomplished. We never walk in with a three ring binder and say, "Here's all your tabs. Read our binder. You'll be fine." That's not what we do. As a matter of fact, we kind of have an empty three ring binder. As we visit you, as we discover your celebrations. As we create your verbal skills, specifically for your team that makes them feel comfortable, we start to build that three ring binder. So that they have something to refer back to. Does that make sense?

 

Howard:

Yes. Okay, so right now we're in the heat of the NFL playoffs. We're down to four teams. This Sunday it will be down to two, then the Superbowl. Obviously, when you leave four teams. They all have four amazing quarterbacks. When you go into your average office, for 25 years, what percent of the time do you look at the staff and say, "Okay, we're never going to go to the Superbowl with that assistant or that receptionist or that Hygienist." Or is it usually the dentist? [crosstalk 00:09:49]

 

Laci:

What a great question because there's two things that you brought up here that I love. First of all, I actually hate the word consultant. I really do, because I feel like in dentistry, it has such a negative connotation. The team feels like, oh, they hired a consultant. They're going to come in here. They have no idea what our day is like. They have no idea what our office is like. They're going to fire everybody and they're going to tell us everything has to change.

 

 

That's not what we're about. I like to call myself a coach. I want to find out what are you doing now, and is there any way that I can help you to become more effective and efficient? I have some amazing systems. I have some amazing contacts in the industry. So, how can we tweak what you're already doing to make you more effective and efficient?

 

 

There's never been one time that I've walked into an office and just said, "They have to go, they have to go, they have to go." There's been one time, ever, in the history of my coaching that I recommended on the second visit the office manager had to go. Like seriously, we had to bring the police in. What we found was four counts of felony fraud up over $250,000. And we discovered that in the first two visits. That's honestly the only time I was like, "Call the police and let's have her arrested." Because she's a felon, at this point.

 

 

Other than that, we're not going to walk in and say, "They have to go. They have to go." What we will say is, "You have a rock star here. Let's build on this person. Lets' work with this person." Now, maybe this person over here isn't a rock star. But they're loyal and they believe in your vision. So, let's work to find the right seat on the bus for them. And not everybody's on the right bus. The office I was in this week, they said, "Oh, we're on a bus. It may be a short bus, but we're on a bus." Finding the people is awesome. But we have to make sure they're sitting in the right seats, too, because some people weren't made to be a chair-side assistant. But they are personable and they're friendly, so maybe they should be at the front desk. Maybe they should be the first person that somebody talks to or that somebody greets. A chair-side assistant, as you well know, they need to kind of pay attention. They can't get distracted by squirrels. If you have that I personality, you want to put that person at the front so that everybody feels comfortable when they walk through the door.

 

 

That's a little bit of what we do as well. You may have a great team, but they may not all be in the right place.

 

Howard:

When you go into an office, you look at the problems. Can you categorize in the most common to least common? Is it personnel? Is it lack of marketing? Is it overhead? Or maybe just like they did in MBA school, they just do case studies. I'm trying to ... be my [inaudible 00:12:48] if somebody that really needed help and was stressed out and burned out and just miserable ... Got help. So I'm trying to conduct a podcast to where we help them pull the trigger. So talk about what kind of problems you've seen. What you like to fix.

 

Laci:

I honestly think about 80% of our offices that we go into ... There's some sort of team problem. Really.

 

Howard:

HR. People, whether it's football or dental.

 

Laci:

The hardest part is when it's the doctor. Do you know how hard it is for us as coaches, like ... You called me. You hired me. You want me to come in. And day one, I'm like, "Mmm, it's you." That's a really difficult conversation to have. But, you have to be able to have--

 

Howard:

But you're saying that's the issue 80% of the time?

 

Laci:

I'm not saying the doctor is the issue. I'm saying people are an issue 80% of the time.

 

Howard:

People are the issue 80% of the time. In that 80%, what percent of it is the doc?

 

Laci:

I would say a little bit more than that, probably.

 

Howard:

More than 80%?

 

Laci:

Oh yeah.

 

Howard:

So, 80% of the time it's a people problem. And of that, the doctor is the problem of what percent? 90?

 

Laci:

Let's go 50/50. I'll give it to them.

 

Howard:

Aaah, she's winking at me. If you're listening to me on iTunes, she's winking at me. So yeah .... I've always thought if I would have met you when you were 12. And you told me that you were going to have this career, I think I would have sent you to psychology school and say, "You know what? You probably ought to be a Psychologist before you get into this." Because it's 99% of dentists' problems are in between their ears.

 

Laci:

But you know what is funny about you saying that? When I was 12. When I was in eighth grade, I told my parents if I could figure out how to get somebody to pay me to talk, my life would be complete. So, what I do now is have my talk show.

 

Howard:

And you just spoke at the Arizona Dental Association. And everyone loved it.

 

Laci:

Yeah. I've been back several times. I've spoken at the Hinman meeting nine times now. I'm a featured clinician at Hinman's. I have my talk show. Every time I get to step on stage and they lavalear me up, I have my talk show. So it's cool.

 

Howard:

You should speak at the Townie meeting sometime.

 

Laci:

I would love to speak at the Townie meeting.

 

Howard:

What is it this year, March 29 to April 2? March 30 to April 2. Go to towniemeeting.com. Will you speak there for us?

 

Laci:

Of course I would. I would be honored to speak at the Townie meeting.

 

Howard:

And then after you speak, we'll go drink at the bar 'til three in the morning.

 

Laci:

That would be an even bigger honor.

 

Howard:

And that would be a bigger audience. At every Townie meeting, there's ... By the time it's two in the morning, there's at least 300 dentists at the bar. It's so funny.

 

Laci:

We could ask for a couple of spoons from the kitchen. And we could play like we're having a podcast in Vegas. That would be kind of fun.

 

Howard:

I believe that the reason dentists, physicians, and lawyers are what they are is because, again, as the dental school deans who wouldn't accept anybody that was well-rounded and had Cs, Bs, and As. So, it's too late for that. You've got all these guys that got As in math and calculus and physics. And you're talking to them right now.

 

Laci:

Right.

 

Howard:

So tell them ... What I like to do is reframe it. So you see something one way. How do they need to rethink?

 

Laci:

I think that you need to rethink that you can't do it all.

 

Howard:

They can't delegate.

 

Laci:

You can't do it all. It's funny because there are those dentists who put their entire trust into the entire team. Those are the poor guys/gals that get taken advantage of. Then you have those dentists who think they can do everything, and they micromanage. They're checking the schedule. Did you call this patient? Let's move this patient. How's Hygiene doing over here? You have to hire great people. You have to have phenomenal systems in place.

 

 

It took me awhile to describe systems to some of the team. Because when I say system, they think automatically, software. But what I'm talking about in a system ... Just for an example, a system. If you have an hour Hygiene appointment, and 45 minutes of that hour is literally with your Hygienist, producing. And a patient shows up 15 minutes late, it's going to take us another five minutes to get them to the back. I'm at the point now where my Hygienist gets 20 minutes with that patient. Is that allowing us to really, truly provide quality care? To not only the patient that needs to be in the chair, but to all the rest of the patients the rest of that day. And what does that do to our entire team? It causes chaos. So, we're not providing quality care.

 

 

What we need is a system that says, if a patient is running late, this far into an appointment, these are the skills that I'm going to give my business team to have that conversation with the patient. Where they don't feel pissed off because we just told them they can't be seen. But they understand it's for their benefit. It's because we can't provide you the quality of care that we are destined to provide you this far into the appointment. So, I'm going to need to reschedule you. That's a system. And it sounds pretty basic, but you would be amazed at how many front office gals/guys don't have the ability to do that.

 

 

So, a patient walks through the door and they're like, we'll go ahead and see them. We throw them into the chair. That throws us off schedule. Doctor can't come in for the exam. It throws everything off. So for me, that's a system. We have to have phenomenal systems set up in order to create that success.

 

Howard:

Look at the market failure. I mean, it's eight years to be a dentist. It's four years to be a Hygienist. These assistants are paying 18 grand and going for a year to get their CDA. The girls up front, they used to work at Chase Bank, and Monday they're in a dental office. Our own profession does it to ourselves.

 

Laci:

Isn't that awesome how we do that? We hire people and don't train them at all.

 

Howard:

I think the profession is at fault.

 

Laci:

I'm totally being sarcastic. It makes me crazy.

 

Howard:

There are two dental schools in this town. They don't teach ... They don't have anything for receptionists. Why are you speaking at Hinman. Why aren't you speaking at AT Still and have a class of 50 people for a year? Why is that not happening.

 

Laci:

The other thing I've said all along as well, Why are we not taking someone like myself, Theresa Duncan, Patty Deganges. Somebody who talks about billing and coding. Coding, like how to stay out of jail. Why aren't they teaching to dental school students? Why aren't we in there your last two years of your college career teaching you how to keep yourself out of jail? I don't understand that.

 

Howard:

One of my local friends went to jail. You know that ... I mean so silly. He thought he was doing the patient a favor. They needed a crown, so the insurance paid half. They didn't have the money, so he billed for two crowns so they'd pay for two halves, but he'd just do one. Well, the insurance companies have algorithms and they say okay,  96% of all crowns are billed one at a time. In your office, 98% are billed two at a time. So, they sent a human in there, audited the charts. And the insurance claims that went up the street, right here in Arizona. That's a misdemeanor. But the insurance claims that cross the state line ... That's what they got Al Capone on. That's mail fraud. They sentenced him for five years.

 

Laci:

The other problem is, if you're seeing any portion of Medicaid in your office, that's government. That's Federal. You're going to get in way more trouble if you see Medicaid in your office as well.

 

Howard:

That's a good sequence. I want to ask this. This is a question I see all the time on Dental Town. They'll sit there and say, Okay, I don't understand my fee schedule. It doesn't make sense to me because 90% of my patients are on 10 PPOs. My fee for a crown is $1200, but 90% of my patients, on 10 PPOs, kick it down to $900. So my fee is $1200 for 10% of my practice. It skipped down to $900 for 90% of my practice. What's up with that? How is your cash portion going to grow if they call on the phone and ask how much is a crown? $1200. And then they're like, $1200? My friend, Susie, at work, she just got a crown. At her dentist it was $900. The dentist said my fee is $1200. Ninety percent of his patients pay $900.

 

Laci:

Let me tell you a big problem with business side of that. The business side of that. Here's what 99% of offices in America do. They have a standard fee, right? You have it in your software. But they only charge what the insurance will pay. For example, they put in their standard fee schedule. And then they put in these PPO fee schedules. Well, that's all they send to the insurance company. Howard, I know you know business. How is that business wise? We should always be charging our fee. When the insurance pays, then you do your write-offs. So, I'm going to charge $1200 every single time. On the claim form, it's $1200. When insurance comes back and says, "We'll pay 50% of $900", then I know I'm writing off $300. Then at the end of the year, or at the quarter, I'm running a report how much is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona making me write off? So, how much money am I actually losing? If you only charge what the insurance company is going to pay, how do you ever know what business you're actually doing?

 

Howard:

At what percent is the PPOs killing your fee?

 

Laci:

It's brutal.

 

Howard:

Let me ask this different because I don't want to give away your age. You're not nearly as old as me, darling. That might not be so obvious to iTunes but on YouTube, it's obvious. You've been at it a quarter of a century.

 

Laci:

I've been in the dental industry 26 years this year. I started actually coaching and speaking in 2004.

 

Howard:

Okay. Is it bettor or worse than it was 26 years ago? Specifically, the PPO, insurance, overhead, problems.

 

Laci:

Wow. You know what? I think it's worse. Because I moved to Phoenix in '97. I went to work for a practice at Seventh Street and Bethany Home Road. I moved here and four days later, I had a job at that office. Within six months, we were a fee for service practice. It's like we had cut out insurance.

 

Howard:

Now, when you say cut out insurance, you mean cut out PPOs?

 

Laci:

We would file the insurance for the patient as a courtesy. But the patient paid up front. The entire amount up front and they were reimbursed by the insurance company.

 

Howard:

Now, do you see those practices anymore, 27 years later?

 

Laci:

Barely.

 

Howard:

These people that say they're going to drop all insurance, and do just cash--

 

Laci:

It's so hard. The problem is, everybody thinks they get so many patients from insurance. I can't drop that insurance because they give me so many patients. Okay, really? Do they? And this is part of my job that I love. I love the analysis of it. Okay, let's go run a report. Really and truly, how many patients do you have that have this insurance? How much do they make you write off? So, how much per patience? How much per service are you providing ... That you're actually making any money from this insurance company?

 

 

The other problem is, we as Americans, Howard ... We think that dental insurance is exactly like medical insurance. And it has nothing to do with it. I'm constantly telling my teams ... Dental insurance will assist you. Dental insurance doesn't pay. You don't get two free cleanings per year. They're going to assist you with about, maybe, if you're lucky with $1200 to $1500 per maximum per year. But, we as Americans think it's just like medical insurance. I have a magic plastic card. I'm going to walk in and hand it to you, which sometimes they hand us their medical card. And, I'm going to pay you a co-pay and I don't ever have to pay again. So, part of that is the problem as well.

 

 

But we come back to the team on that one, from that very first phone call. Our team should be educating our patients exactly who we are and how we do business.

 

Howard:

How do you build that team? How do you educate that team? How do you get them up to a skillset?

 

Laci:

Well, my first is always desire. I tell doctors. I tell business owners all the time, I can train skill. I can't train attitude. Myself, personally, I really can't train attitude. Because I'm a lot like you. I'm not going to put up with that crap. But, if we have somebody who has that desire, who has the want, who is excited about dentistry, who truly believes in what you as a dentist as a boss is doing ... I can train you those skills. I can give you the skill.

 

 

I think we have phenomenal verbal skills. But I'm never going to do the whole ... Here, say this, and you'll be fine. You have to take it and make it your own. But, we can give you a basis for that. I think one of the things that Bonnie and I ... I have to say it, I have a business partner, Bonnie Pugh. She lives in Baltimore, and it's our company, Practice Dynamics. But one of the things, --

 

Howard:

Did you guys meed in AA or in jail?

 

Laci:

She bailed me out. It was jail.

 

Howard:

It was her bail money?

 

Laci:

It was her ... It was totally her bail money.

 

Howard:

Now, does she live in ... Where does she live?

 

Laci:

She lives in Baltimore.

 

Howard:

Oh, she's in Baltimore. Bonnie Pugh is in Baltimore.

 

Laci:

Yep. One of the things that we are really striving for. When we go in and we meet the team. We want that passion. We want that desire. We want them to have the desire to not only have personal growth and make themselves a better person, but they really, truly believe in what the doctor and what your vision and what your mission is.

 

 

That's another thing we run into. If the doctor has not idea what their passion is. What their vision is. What their mission is. How do I get an entire team to follow you? A lot of times I'll ... I love dentists, but they're not great leaders coming out of the box.

 

Howard:

Ya think? Really?

 

Laci:

That's another part of my--

 

Howard:

Did you just notice this Tuesday?

 

Laci:

That's another part of my Oprah moment is bringing out the leadership. Let's bring out that leadership. I know you're passionate about implants and dentistry. But let's bring that passion to your team, so every single time they have a conversation with a patient ... Whether it's on the phone, when the patient is checking in for their appointment. Whether it's in the chair. We all have that shared passion. We all have the shared education that we're giving the patient. If I have eight team members, and they're all basically on board and saying the same thing, you don't have a problem with a patient saying yes after that.

 

Howard:

I want to go back to what you said about the attitude. I think the reason we don't put up with the attitude is because there's no evidence that you can really change someone else's attitude. It's an inside job. The three traits that I've seen ... All the dentists that come out and crush it. They have the right attitude. They're humble and they're intellectually curious. When they meet someone like you, they just humble and they feel safe and humble enough to say, tell me what I don't know. What do you think of my numbers? Come help me.

 

Laci:

Maybe I have a question for the dentists who call us. They call us. They ask us questions. We talk to them like this. We tell them how this all works and I'll just give you a for example. A Young dentist called me--

 

Howard:

Are you going to give out that number? What if someone's listening and does want to call you.

 

Laci:

I will give you my personal cell phone number.

 

Howard:

All right, what is it?

 

Laci:

It is area code 623-810-1352.

 

Howard:

What if they're emailers?

 

Laci:

Laci.phillips@practicedynamics.net

 

Howard:

That's funny because you're in New Mexico and when I was in scouts, that Cimerron in New Mexico ... Mt. Phillips wasn't it?

 

Laci:

Oh, is it? That's ours.

 

Howard:

It was the founder of Phillips Petroleum. And then I think they sold it to ... Did you know that mountain?

 

Laci:

I'm kidding with you.

 

Howard:

Do you know Cimerron, New Mexico?

 

Laci:

Absolutely, yes.

 

Howard:

Philmont. Philmont Scout Ranch.

 

Laci:

Oh, I have actually heard of that.

 

Howard:

Oh my God, it's the Mercedes Benz of your scouting adventure. And we went there for a week and we climbed Mt. Phillips. One was Mt. Baldy. I think we did a 56 mile trek in 10 days. You earned a bunch of merit badges. God dang, that was the coolest thing. That was your father, right? You inherited an oil company.

 

Laci:

That is correct, Howard.

 

Howard:

You never worked a day in your life.

 

Laci:

And I've decided to stay in the business.

 

Howard:

Just out of morbid curiosity.

 

Laci:

I know, I'm helping millions. So okay. So a young dentist calls me. I have a great conversation with him. He bought a practice, moved to a brand new town. Bought a practice. Inherited the team. He just knows he's just not clicking with the office manager. He's even sat down with her and they've agreed. They're not right together. But they keep going. They keep going. In the meantime, literally five conversations, emails everyday. Him and I going back and forth. Can you help me with this? Can you help me with this? Absolutely, I can help you with this.

 

 

So, he emails me one night and he says, Had another conversation with the office manager. We've decided this isn't going to work. She's leaving in the next two to three weeks. I have to find somebody, hire them, get them trained. And then I'll call you back and we'll bring you in. And I go, okay. Because at that point, what do I say? I'm like, we've had five conversations and we email each other every day. Why do you no think I can help you with this?

 

Howard:

How old is he, do you think?

 

Laci:

He's young. I want to say he's in his late twenties, early thirties.

 

Howard:

And when do you think a dentist gets their first brain cell in management?

 

Laci:

Oh, wow. That's a good one. How old are you?

 

Howard:

With the best you've seen. I'm 53. Do you see any of them get it in their twenties?

 

Laci:

No.

 

Howard:

Thirties?

 

Laci:

Yes. You know what? One of the best--

 

Howard:

And again, the few that do, the first thing you'd walk away saying about that person is, that's a really nice doc. She's really humble.

 

Laci:

That's true.

 

Howard:

She asks really good questions.

 

Laci:

I'm sitting here thinking about some of the dentists that we've worked with and that's true. And you know, one of my favorite, favorite, all time dentists ... I learned so much from him. I was actually a team member. He was in Sun City, Arizona and I worked for him. He's the one who did all my veneers. He was an LVI guy. And he was my age. I mean he was what, 34 or 35 when I was working for him. And just, I mean phenomenal. And I was learning from him. That's exciting to me. He wanted to learn something every single day. He took the entire team to LVI. He taught us about veneers and the ridges and why we want them to look real. People hate watching movies with me, that aren't in dental. Because I'm like, there's a crown and they have dentures and they fit horribly. But, it still excites me after all these years.

 

 

I love the dental aspect of it. But I really like the passion and finding other people's passion. And bringing that out and getting the team on board. Singing Kumbayah.

 

Howard:

What do you think about this piece of advice? Sometimes dentists are all stressed out and they're talking to a buddy and they're like ... You know what? The reason I get being a dentist is because I am a dentist. I seriously would rather pull four wisdom teeth than a mani/pedi. A massage. A nice meal. I mean, I love molar and I get it. A lot of people who just really want to do dentistry, they say to themselves, You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to make my old lady ... She's sitting at home with three kids. She needs to get her butt down here and do this because I'm busy doing the work. Or, you know what? I'm just going to put an ad out for an office manager and let her frickin take it. Talk to the dentist who is thinking that thought.

 

Laci:

Why in dentistry do we bring the wives in? Why do we do that?

 

Howard:

Because, truthfully, on that first date when you were making out with her in the back of the car ... You were asking her insurance codes. You're asking her the difference between return on asset return equity.

 

Laci:

Because you finally got her to say yes, you think she can get the patients to say yes.

 

Howard:

Ah, that's a good one. Oh, I like that one. I know what happened on your date that made you think that this would be your next office manager. And you're talking to a lot of husbands now. It's not the wife, it's the spouse.

 

Laci:

I worked for three dentists and their wives were the office manager. Luckily, they were phenomenal, intelligent, business women who got it. We also have that ... There's that stereotype and the team is like, oh, the doctor's wife. It's almost like you don't get the respect from the get go. Because it's the doctor's wife. She's in the office.

 

 

She's also busy raising a family, keeping the house. Doing other things. I believe in my heart of hearts. You have to have a business minded, if not a business oriented person to be a business administrator. Sometimes we call them an office manager. I prefer business administrator. Because they should be looking at the numbers. They should know our overall production growth. Production versus collection and then those write-offs. They need to know the business aspect, but also have an incredible rapport with the team. But not be afraid to let the team know we'll crack the whip if we need to. I think it has to be business minded. When we're looking at those front office teams.

 

 

Another thing, Howard, just one of my quirks. I hate front office, back office. I just hate that thing that we do in dentistry that says front office, back office. And I was both. I was chair-side assistant and then I managed several practices. I hate that we draw that line. We say our back office team and our front office team. No, it's all a team. We have a business team and we have clinical team. There are little things we do in dentistry that set people up for who they are. I feel like if we start to kind of change that view, it's going to change how we do things.

 

Howard:

I want to ask you more specifics. What percentage of dental offices have a morning huddle and do you recommend a morning huddle?

 

Laci:

Let's change that into three. What percentage have a morning huddle? 30%. What percentage actually have an effective morning huddle? 2%. And do I recommend them? 100%. I think it is absolutely the best way to start your day. The entire team should be on board. And it's the best way to communicate, first thing in the morning. Oh by the way, team huddles should never be more than 10-12 minutes.

 

Howard:

Okay. Now you just walked into that door. What's the difference in a morning huddle that's not effective versus an effective morning huddle?

 

Laci:

Okay, I'll give a great example. It was a team I was just talking to yesterday. They have an assistant that comes in at 6:15 in the morning. She works for an hour and a half before the morning huddle to gather information on every single patient on the schedule. She writes them on sticky notes. For every single patient on the schedule. During the morning huddle, they go through every single patient and everything she's written down. That doesn't sound very effective, very efficient to me. The Hygienists are over here like why do I have to listen to the 12 people that you have on your schedule? Why do I need to know that back in 1989 you did a three surface MOD or an MOD composite on ... Why are we doing that? It's not effective at all.

 

 

Another thing that's not effective is when the doctor comes in halfway through the morning huddle. And is brushing their teeth or eating their breakfast while everybody else was there on time and actually participating in the meeting.

 

 

So, what's an efficient one? How was yesterday? What worked? What didn't work? How does today look? What will work? What won't? Where do you want an emergency patient in the morning? Where do you want one in the afternoon? Now, let's talk about any patients on the schedule who ... Maybe they have a balance and we need to make sure that they stop and we collect. Maybe they have an appointment with doctor, but they don't have a Hygiene appointment. Maybe they have a Hygiene appointment, but they don't have one with the doctor. Those are the kind of things we want hit on. Not what did we do back five years ago on this tooth. That's a completely different meeting you have with your assistant prior to walking into the aquatory.

 

Howard:

When you say emergency patient ... I want you to talk about that. The one thing that [inaudible 00:38:20] the dentist always loves Mrs. Wimpleton who comes in every three months, for 10 years. She brushes and flosses every morning. She's never given them a dime for anything. And then piglet walks in with an emergency and is going to need a root canal, crown, extractions, bridges, the whole nine yards. And the dentist has this massive negative attitude because you're a pig. You don't have an appointment. You just walked in here. And I'm looking with my MBA hat on that says, you've never made a dime off this Mrs. Jones. You should dismiss her as a patient. And these pigs, which is my entire family reunion are going to drop $5,000 on an emergency. You know $2500 for an emergency toothache, root canal, crown. And whenever you say, well here's an emergency and they don't have an appointment. We're going to squeeze them in. The doctor already is steaming, doesn't like the patient. What are your thoughts on that? And more specifically, what do you do with emergencies?

 

Laci:

First of all, we have to qualify what is an emergency. Because there's an appointment of convenience for somebody who's never been seen. And then there's a true emergency. An emergency is in pain. Bleeding. Swelling. Something broke, they had an accident. That's an emergency. They are taking an over the counter pain med and it's not helping them. That's an emergency. Somebody who has had a toothache for three weeks, or busted a tooth doing something four months ago ... And now wants to get it fixed ... That's not an emergency. That is a patient we need to get in. Have a comprehensive oral eval. Take some inter oral photos which are our best patient education system. We need to convert that patient to an actual patient and then we perform services on them.

 

 

What I find happening is front office, our business team, they answer the phone. They say they're an emergency. They've never been in before and we just shove them in somewhere. It's not effective. It's not efficient. It affects not only that patient. It affects everybody else on the schedule. It affects the team. It affects the doctor. Doctor is upset. You have chaos for the rest of the day. First of all, you have to qualify what is an emergency patient.

 

 

Second, I love having the conversations with the doctors about the patients that they refuse to let go. I love it when people ask me, do you charge for a missed appointment? Absolutely, I do. Oh, what if they leave? Um, they're not showing up for their appointments. Okay, they leave the practice. That's one less person we put on the schedule. And now we have an open appointment that just lost us money. That mindset cracks me up a little bit. We can't let our patients go. Well, they don't pay, they show up late, or they don't show up at all. And, oh, by the way, they don't accept your treatment. Why do we want them?

 

Howard:

Here's a question that I see both sides of this. I've met a dozen assistants over the 25 years at a convention that literally starts crying because the doctor is a very aggressive person and will take emergency through lunch. Sometimes she got there at seven and she leaves at seven and she didn't get to sit down or eat. They cry real tears. And there are other people ... The other side of it that sometimes you need to work through your lunch and the dentist is just so damn lazy. He's not going to miss lunch and he's leaving at five o'clock. What are your thoughts about throwing an emergency over the lunch hour? Or tacking one on at the end of the day?

 

Laci:

I have a hard time with somebody making a decision I can't eat. I really do. I think that we need to give people a mental and a physical break from an eight or nine hour day. I have a hard time with that. And especially when somebody else makes that decision for myself or the doctor. Oh they called. They really need to be seen, so, you're not going to take a lunch today. You're going to stay and see these people. Meanwhile, I'm going to go ahead and go out. I have some problems with that. I think there's, again, a more effective way to fill our schedule. Block scheduling. Deciding in the morning where those kind of people go.

 

 

And then having amazing verbal skills. So that emergency patient calls. We've already used our two emergency places for that day. We qualify that in fact it is an emergency patient, but they've had the toothache for a couple of days. So we say, Miss Patient, I'm so sorry you're having this issue. Unfortunately, today, we've squeezed a couple of emergency patients in. I know that I can see you at 8 o'clock, first thing in the morning across from a large appointment. I need you to be here fifteen minutes early so we can get the paperwork done and I literally have you in the chair when doc is ready so that we can see you. Most likely, we're going to want to put you on some antibiotics. Do you have anything that you can't take? And go ahead and take that over the counter pain med tonight if it's working for you. We're going to get you taken care of tomorrow.

 

 

We have to ensure that our team, number one, feels confident with what they're doing because the dentist, the leader, has allowed them to. And that they have amazing verbal skills so that the patient doesn't feel slighted. Or automatically hangs up the phone and starts calling somebody who will see them. It goes back to that, too. And you know this as well. Those patients that call, two, three, four o'clock in the afternoon ... They're not emergencies. They're looking for something. We have to educate our team members. That's probably not an emergency patient. If they woke up this morning with a toothache, they're not going to call us at three or four o'clock in the afternoon. They're going to call us at eight o'clock in the morning.

 

Howard:

In Phoenix, the true reason they call at three or four o'clock in the afternoon with a toothache is because the guy that was supposed to meet them to sell them the Oxycontin didn't show up. And he's not returning any phone calls.

 

Laci:

He just got off the golf course. It's beautiful here.

 

Howard:

You're state has a lot of substance abuse, too, in New Mexico. I was reading that Phoenix and New Mexico ... In fact, I read one city in New Mexico had one of the highest percentage of heroin use in the United States.

 

Laci:

I saw that as well. It's sad because I really feel like ... We don't have to do a history lesson, but New Mexico is kind of a lost state. People forget that it's there. In the entire state, it's one of the largest land mass states in the United States. In the entire state, we have barely two million people in the entire state. The crime issues and the drug issues, we have there are all sad.

 

Howard:

I'm going to throw just a general question. I'm just throwing questions that I see people whining about on Dental Town. There's just a lot of moaning about overhead. Some blame it on too many PPOs. Some blame it on their paying too high for dental supplies. If some dentist called you up and said, My overhead is 70%. What would--

 

Laci:

I would say, Ouch!

 

Howard:

The American Dental Association has the best statistics. They have the PhD economist who is just amazing. He's showing 65.5 for the average. So, 150,000 dentists have a two thirds overhead, 65%.

 

Laci:

I want to know exactly what they're including in their overhead. I think that's part of the problem, too is because we don't understand business, we're not sure what to put into our overhead. I'll say, Bonnie is our numbers girl. Bonnie comes from that corporate background. She's brilliant. I'm like, I'm fun to be around. She's brilliant.

 

Howard:

Do you guys work on the same client together? Or do you have separate clients?

 

Laci:

The majority ... 80% of our clients we do together.

 

Howard:

80%?

 

Laci:

Yeah, we're a great team.

 

Howard:

Ryan, we're 35 minutes into this. Do you think someday, in the next week or whatever, have Bonnie Skype in? And this would be one show?

 

Laci:

Heck, yeah.

 

Howard:

It's Bonnie?

 

Laci:

Bonnie Pugh.

 

Howard:

P u g h. And if the h is silent, she would be a pug dog.

 

Laci:

She would indeed. She's too cute to be Bonnie Pug Dog.

 

Howard:

Bonnie Pugh in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

Laci:

That is correct.

 

Howard:

Where the first dental school in the United States was.

 

Laci:

Oh, she knows all about it.

 

Howard:

And the dental museum. But, back to ... If some dentist is calling in and saying my overhead is too high.

 

Laci:

We actually have a P & L that she created. You know, specifically for dentistry. It's like four pages. It's crazy. We give that to our clients and the very beginning. If they really want to know what they're overhead is and where they should be with production and collection, and how we're going to increase their growth. Then, we have to find out that information. That is definitely one thing we research from day one.

 

 

I'll give you an example, real quick. This was kind of cool. We've been working with one dentist for three years. Three and a half years. She was the very first one that came on with Practice Dynamics. And we're almost more of a life coach for her now. The beginning of a couple of years ago. She came to us and she said, I don't want to do a bonus system. I don't want to do this. She goes, here's what I want to do. I want to take you two and the entire team toe Disney World at the end of this year and I want you guys to give us a retreat. It's going to be four days. You guys just put the whole thing together. But I want the entire thing paid for before we even go. Airfare, food, everything. I want it all paid for before we go. So we have to dig deep ... What are the expenses? What is this going to cost? What does our overhead look like? And then we had to set all of the goals for the next nine months so that we could pay for a trip. Of course we did it and it was amazing. It was so much fun. We had team meetings in the morning and then sent everybody off to do their fun, Disney World in the afternoon.

 

 

But, again, that is the business side of dentistry coming into this. What are your numbers? What is your overhead? If it's too high, we have to look at that. Where is it too high? Is your supply system ineffective? Do you have too many team members? Are you over paying people? You have to look at that. It's part of business.

 

Howard:

A lot of these kids are coming out of school and they're freaked out because they're three, four hundred thousand dollars in student loans. Which I tell them which is about one tenth of their first divorce. I tell them, that's nothing. They're stressed. They're listening to you now, and the dental world is convincing that if you want to be a good dentist, you've got to ... You're $350,000 in debt now, but you've got to buy another $150,000 Cad Cam machine, a $100,000 CBCT, a $75,000 Laser. I just want to know ... Forget the last 27 years because a lot of this stuff didn't even exist back then. In the last five years, would you say that if you want to have a million dollar practice and take home $300,000 a year, that you need a Cad Cam, a CBCT, and a laser? Or do you just not see that?

 

Laci:

Oh no. All of our clients have a technology budget as well as a marketing budget. We just tell them, this is a part of your life now. If you think about it, dentists I.Q. go up in the American's eyes depending on the technology that they have in their practice. You can be the worst dentist. They don't know if you're a good dentist or not. They see the team. They see the office décor. They see the technology in there. You've got to be good. You've got to know what you're doing, right?

 

 

That's even before they've opened their mouth to say, aah, to you. Absolutely, I think you have to have ... You know, 3% to 5%, technology budget. Same thing with your marketing. We just have to know marketing is part of our life now. We ought to get over this, selling our dentistry. Whatever. It's a business. Marketing is part of your life now.

 

Howard:

Okay, so then another general question. A lot of dentists sit there and they think, all my problems will be solved if I just had 10 more new patients a month. Do you think more new patients is the silver bullet that fixes a lot of problems?

 

Laci:

No, and I love that you brought this up because here's what I like to do. Like new patients. New patients. New patients. We need new patients. I'll run a report. I'm like, let's look at how many active patients you have. And then we have to have the discussion, what is an active patient? I'm not saying what the software says. Saying what, doctor, in your eyes is an active patient? I'm always amazed when they say, well, as long as I've seen them within the last 18 months. Really? That's active? If they're on active recall, and they have all their work done ... That's active.

 

 

If' they're three months behind on their recall, they're not active. They're behind. I've got to run that report. Okay, so you've had five new patients last month. How many of them walk through the door again? Retention. I think its more about retention than it is new. We have a goldmine in our software. We have a goldmine in continuing care. We have a goldmine in the patients that are sitting there that we completely forgot about because we're focusing on getting the new patient in. I ran a report in a dentist office in Atlanta. They had 1.5 million dollars in diagnosed, unscheduled treatment in the last nine months. 1.5 million. Part of that says to em--

 

Howard:

You could get married and divorced with that kind of money.

 

Laci:

Part of that says to me, they're giving options. Like maybe the patient is missing a tooth and they gave the option of an implant or a bridge. And the patient says, I'll do the implant. They just didn't reject the bridge, so it doesn't come up anymore. Part of that is, that's what we do. We're so focused on getting the new patient in that we forget about our existing patients. That goes with our continuing care or our Hygiene department as well.

 

 

I found in one office, they had 500 patients that were past due. That were due in the last six months and didn't have an appointment. They had 150 patients that were due, basically, right now. That were due for Hygiene and didn't have an appointment. And then they had another 300 patients that were due in the next six months that didn't have an appointment. That's a goldmine. That's crazy. We're talking about putting somebody out on the corner with a sign and twirling it and working it and making it look awesome so that we can get somebody new in the door. But I've got 800 patients that have already met you. Have already been through your door. Know where you are. That we just simply don't have an appointment for.

 

Howard:

The people that have been in your office, that's the most likely person on the planet earth to ever get back. Not some kid in Zimbabwe, the planet Earth to ever get back. Not some kid in Zimbabwe or the Congo. When you and I ... 27 years ago, I mean, marketing was a Yellow Page ad.

 

Laci:

Or you just didn't. Because you couldn't. You weren't supposed to do that.

 

Howard:

I actually took out a full page ad when I got here. And I got a free dinner from the Executive Director of Arizona State Dental Association with about five complaints telling me that would you go if you had prostate cancer, will you pick an Oncologist out of the Yellow Pages. If you had a heart attack, would you pick ... I was like, wow! But I got a free lunch out of it.

 

Laci:

And then you said, Hi, I'm Howard. I'm sure we'll be meeting again.

 

Howard:

And now I'm that old guy down there. That's funny how things change. What's hot and what's not in marketing? Is there anything that you think that's more effective or less effective?

 

Laci:

Great question. I'm a huge social media buff. I love social media. I think, 100%, it's about the relationship. And I really, truly believe, now more than ever, people want relationships. It used to be no big deal. You in to the doctor. You have done whatever you need to have done. You go to the dentist and whatever. You don't have that personal bonding, that relationship. People want relationships now. It's really funny how this whole social media has completely turned the way we are now, really.

 

Howard:

And you know who the first social media in dentistry was?

 

Laci:

I think I might.

 

Howard:

Oh my god. Facebook was 2004. Dental Town was 1998 and I saw that. I always asked these dentists ... There was a brand new lab back in the day. It was Shawn Keating. He'd always be posting ... He'd always be talking to the dentists on Dental Town. They'd post a case and he was like, Oh my god, you're posting a picture of an impression and you've still got the bloody cotton roll in. He goes, dude, I'm the lab man on the other end. I don't want to see you're damn blood. If you're that crazy ... The fact that he would get on there and be honest and mix it up. And the next thing you know, thousands of dentists [inaudible 00:55:43]. And I meet these dentists and it's the same thing. They'd say, I would rather do business with a human I know on Dental Town. Then Dan Fisher starts posting. These guys say, well if I buy from this company, I don't know who the owner is. I couldn't pick the owner out of a police lineup. And you're right. I see it with dentists. Dentists buy dental companies where they put a face behind the company and you're say patients want the same thing.

 

Laci:

Our patients stalk us. I promise you, if they're even thinking about you. They go to the website. They make sure the picture ... They go to meet the doctor, meet the team first. They don't care what kind of services you're providing. They go and they meet the people. Then they go to Facebook to see if you're funny, if you've got good posts or if it's all educational. I guarantee you when patients walk in now, they know every person on the business team. Because they've already stalked us.

 

Howard:

Yes. My IT guys say that on dental websites, obviously, the first page is the landing page. But the most likely thing they're going to collect, is go to the team.

 

Laci:

And you know who gets it? Orthodontists get it. I love being around orthodontists. They just get marketing. They kind of get business. And they just get marketing. Because they are crazy out there. Some of the best campaigns that I'll recommend I've got from an orthodontist somewhere.

 

Howard:

Okay, so you just walked into a big quandary of mine. Because we have Dental Town, Ortho Town. The surveys on Orhto Town show that about 95% of the orthodontists use a treatment plan coordinator to present the treatment and fees. And then the general dentists, that would be about 5%. Why are the orthodontists using them 95% of the time and the general dentists use them 55 of the time?

 

Laci:

I'm telling you, they get it. They do. I just took my 13 year old son to an orthodontist in small town America, you know, Aztec. His overhead has got to be crazy. I bet you he has 25 ladies in there working for him. But, we walked through the door. We had Megan. She was the first one. She gave us a tour of the office. A little gal came and took his x-rays. Megan took us back to the consultation room. We were in there the rest of the entire time. Doctor came in, met me. Showed a couple of pictures. Talked to Mikey. He left. Back with Megan again. But, now I know Megan. If I have a question, I call Megan. I just feel like they get it.

 

Howard:

Why do they get it so much?

 

Laci:

I'm not sure.

 

Howard:

They do get it. They do get the business. They do get it. [inaudible 00:58:29] which is in Southern Phoenix. It's part of Phoenix. There's two Canadian Orthodontists. Where do they set up? Oh, right across from the high school. You can see them from the front door of the high school. You go in their lobbies and get an ice cream cone and video games. They're just crushing it.

 

Laci:

I spoke at Carestreams National Ortho Convention two years ago. I did social media for them. I was in the ballroom and I loved it because I knew every office. Like I knew that they were an office. Not because, necessarily they were sitting together. But every single ortho team there had their structured t-shirt, every day. And they were different colors. On the front, they had the doctor's name. Then they had their name and then they all had their logo  or their tag line on the back. I'm looking out at the social media audience and there's a hundred different offices in the room. And I know that there's a hundred because there were all these little pods. And they were all wearing their t-shirts and they have their tag lines on the back. I mean, it was awesome.

 

 

One office was my favorite. I actually had them stand up. I told them, you guys get marketing. You get this. I said, this one's my favorite. The doctor's name was. Dr. Shift. His name was Shift. On the back of all their shirts, it said Shift Happens. I'm like, that is brilliant. It's brilliant. And then this little blond. She's like, do you get it? We're ortho, Shift, that's his name. Do you get it? I'm like, I do.

 

Howard:

Just that alone ... That 95% of orthodontists use a treatment plan coordinator and only 5% of dentists do. And then you look at their national incomes. The average orthodontist is doubling a general dentist. Every dentist here should probably just go have lunch with orthodontist and say, How can I get business, too?

 

 

We're at the end of the hour. We'll do Bonnie another hour. Brian, we'll do them back to back. Because their brand is an hour. They are used to an hour deal. I want to go into overtime with you. Since we're seniors now. Since we're been a quarter of a century. The fact that we've been in this business over 25 years. And they're coming out of dental school at 25. We're kind of their seniors. An over proportion of this show is dentists under 30. What advice would you give the kids?

 

Laci:

I would say, don't think you can't afford it. Don't think you can't afford--

 

Howard:

Can't afford what?

 

Laci:

Help.

 

Howard:

Oh, I know. I know. They paid $350,000 for dental school, but they won't pay ... What is your low fee? What is your starter fee?

 

Laci:

I can help somebody remotely. Log in and help them for $895 a month. You know, I mean, that's nothing. Really.

 

Howard:

It's a crown. It's a PPO crown.

 

Laci:

Yeah, I need to raise my fees.

 

Howard:

Which takes them four minutes to prep. That should be your tag line. For a four minute PPO prep crown, you could have me for a month.

 

Laci:

On the phone, email. I would tell them ... Don't stop educating themselves. Just because you got out of dental school, don't stop. Just keep learning. It changes so much, Howard. We keep saying, think about 25 years, 27 years, oh my gosh. We've been doing this for a long time. But think how much it's changed. When I was chair-side assisting, in the first year or so, we didn't wear gloves. We didn't have masks. We weren't worried about all that stuff. Things have changed so much. We had the paper appointment book and the traditional film x-rays and the peg board ledger. Don't pigeonhole yourself.

 

 

I would say, don't think you can do everything. But on the other hand, don't ever stop.

 

Howard:

When I got out of school, I'll tell these young kids an old story. When we got out of school, I got out of school in '87. Then it was '89 where the aides kind of came out ... It was in Los Angeles. Two young men were in there with Capse Sarcoma, which you shouldn't have unless you're like 80. And these kids were in their twenties. And, they were both gay. A very smart Epidemiologist thought, Okay, these are just two very rare events. Back in that time, when I opened up, people were coming and saying ... They were all afraid they were going to get Aides from my hand piece. Every third patient was like, do you steralize? You know what they used to say? They'd say, do you sterilize your drills? I'd say, sure, why do you ask? I'm concerned about... I'd say, what are you concerned about? Aides. I'd say, Aides is a sexually transmitted disease and I have you scheduled for a crown.

 

 

Then I'd open my drawer in the Aquatory. I'd pull out a condom and say, my policy is, if you put the condom on me, I'll wear while I'm working on your tooth. Then I would hand it to the Grandmas and they couldn't even touch it. They'd put up their hands. And it would fall in their lap and they'd flick it off like it was a cockroach or something. I'd say, Margaret, if you're husband came home with Gonorrhea, and he said he caught it at Dr. Fran's office when he was doing a filling, would you believe that? If you believe that, I want to marry you, right now.

 

Laci:

I think we can do some sort of social media campaign with that, Howard.

 

Howard:

I just want to say one thing. Here's my close. The dentists who make the most money don't even do dentistry. Like Rick Kirsh. Like Rick Workman is the only dentist I know who's a billionaire from dentistry. And he owns 1500 offices. He owns Harlan Dental Care. He has his own jet. He hasn't touched a patient in 20 years. Rick Kirshner has 350 Come for Dental offices. He hasn't seen a patient in 20 years. Steve Thorn, Pacific Dental Care, his dad's a dentist. He thought, why should I go to school eight years, in eight years, I could own 10 offices. Now he owns 500 offices, and he has 3 jets.

 

 

Im not saying your goal is not to do dentistry to own a jet and all that. I'm like you, I love doing dentistry. My ideal patient ... My favorite patient is somebody comes in, and who is literally holding their face in tears and scared and in pain. That's mine. Some dentists like the cosmetic makeover. The dentists who are like on drugs, like pediatric  dentists. You know, that was a joke. Everybody likes their different thing. Some like kids. Some like implants. Some like cosmetics. I like pain chair. When I was in dental school, if I ever had an opening, I ran right to the third floor, and Susan Wires, who the oral surgery instructor. She was just so damn cool. She passed a few years ago. Just getting him out of pain. Calm him down. I get that.

 

 

But the point is, if you don't do the business side, you can't even enjoy what you're doing. When you crush the business side ... Like right now, I'm 53, but ever since I was like 30, the money side was so taken care of, I can just play in my dental office. If I go to the convention, a Laser. I mean, you could need it. You could say laser stands for light, amplification, stimulation, emission, radiation. You could say it stands for losing all savings equals reality. But if you're rich, it doesn't matter. I look at some of these toys, and you could go buy a Porsche for a hundred grand. So, why can't I buy a biolace? If you'd rather have a biolace than a Porsche, [inaudible 01:06:28]. It's consultants like Laci that can get you there. It's my belief that it's the stress from finances is a third of the divorce. They say divorce comes in thirds. Third over money, third over sex and a third over substance abuse.

 

 

When I look at dentists, 18% of dentists will go to inpatient rehab while in their careers. That's one in five. And it's very tied to the finance, the money. Let Lace make you get rich over the next three to five years. Then you won't want to drink. You won't be stressed out. Then when you go see her speak at the Hinman for the ninth time in a row, and you see some fancy toy, whatever it is, 9you can just buy it in cash because you want to play.

 

 

Thanks for keeping it real for 27 years. Thanks for speaking up here at the local Arizona State Dental Association. Congratulations on nine times at Hinmans, some of the biggest names in the industry have never done that. My friend in Arizona, Craig, Styke and all those guys, they love you.

 

Laci:

How nice.

 

Howard:

Thanks a lot for coming over to the house. Thank you very much. What can my homies find on your website, pracrticedynamics.net?

 

Laci:

.net. I'm super excited about the website. We just did a complete and total overhaul on it. So, I'm super excited about the website. I think that you can find a lot of infromation. I hope that it describes what we do, and how we help our clients. We've just added, Ask an Expert. You can actually go on the website and type in your questions and then we can answer them for you if you're not ready for an actual conversation with us. We have blogs on there. We have all kinds of information about my speaking. But also about our consulting. How we help teams.

 

Howard:

Right on.

 

Laci:

Yeah. Of course, we're on Facebook and Twitter. I love Facebook. I'm all over it.

 

Howard:

What's your Facebook page?

 

Laci:

It's practice ... It's facebook.com/practice dynamics group. Practice dynamics group is what is on--

 

Howard:

And what's you're Twitter?

 

Laci:

Is at Practice Dynamic.

 

Howard:

Okay. Seriously, it's an honor that you came by today. Thanks for being on the show.

 

Laci:

Thank you so much.

 

Howard:

All right, bye bye.

 

Laci:

Bye.

 

Howard:

Thanks, Brian.

 

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