Howard: It's just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Helmut Flasch all the way from Vienna, Austria. My gosh, it's my lunch hour it's eleven o'clock here in Phoenix. What time is it in Austria?
Helmut: It's actually eight o’clock, and I just realized… I hope I haven't underestimated the sun going down too fast, and I get stuck where I am.
Howard: So when I think of Vienna, Austria I think of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart his dad was a music teacher in Austria is that your most favorite Austrian citizen that you can think of?
Helmut: I don't know, it’s always bad at the start of his career…
Howard: Or would it be Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Helmut: He's right up there I suppose. He's right up there, and Wolfgang Puck of course.
Howard: So it’s either Mozart or Arnold Schwarzenegger
Helmut: Or Puck. Yeah.
Howard: So let me read your bio, you have it a very interesting bio. Helmut Flasch is an international speaker, management consultant, best-selling author and founder of the ‘Un-advertising’ marketing strategies. For twenty-six years he has helped small business owners in three continents, worldwide to improve their business with his unique approach ‘Un-advertising’. ‘Un-advertising’ is an elegant approach to expanding a business without relying on traditional advertising, in the US he has helped dentist to increase new patience and grow private practices. He has published three books, Double Your Business but Not Your Troubles, You Too Can Be Happy and Economic Deception and Jobless Recovery Exposed: why getting fired is the best thing that could happen to you. Are those all on Amazon?
Helmut: They should be. Yeah.
Howard: Can you push those out on all our social media and send texts to me? So what is ‘Un-advertising’?
Helmut: Well it is a little bit of what it says, it is don't really advertise of course that can also be misconstrued. So I'm not saying that one doesn't need the channels of advertising what it really means it's the message, the message which goes out there should be less a buy this, do this, I'm the best doctor. Let's talk about dentists because this is what this is all about, but it would apply to the car mechanic and to everybody else the same way, I have this in this machinery, I'm nice, I'm friendly, I go to continuous education, my crowns are cheaper than other guys.
All that type of stuff would be advertising and would be a message which is unemotional, and of course there's no single dentist or a single car mechanic who says ‘I kind of almost flunked in school, I had to cheat to make it true and frankly I mean I don't really like continuous education, I go sometimes when I really have to in order to keep my credentials up, and there I do mainly beer drinking’. But nobody says that, and if you are unfriendly and not consumer orientated or something like that, which usually you can see often in marketing and in advertising slogans.
So those are all things everybody has it doesn't make you stick out. I mean after all we are all people, and the truth is if you look in the stock market. People don't pick stocks by best performance, they pick the stocks by the person who talks to them and says ‘I think this works’, and somehow they trust that person. Now how does one get that trust? In the old days that was talking to people. That was being on the street whether it's the car mechanic, or the dentist, or the heart surgeon. He would walk through the street, he would actually still talk to people. Plus, of course, there’s word of mouth and this normal trust could grow.
Today it isn't impossible to do that, even going to breakfast meetings and all this type of things, where everybody just goes there to get one more lead. At the beginning may be in such a rotary meeting or so, you do maybe make some connections but it's very soon over. So the key is to fit emotional messages which, in most cases or at least often, have nothing to do with dentistry into the people's world, by doing so they embrace you. Basically you got to give people a reason to talk about you which has little or nothing to do with dentistry, because no matter whether your heart surgeon, a brain surgeon, a car mechanic, or a dentist.
The thing you're handling in people's life it's very very little, it's important, but it's little it doesn't make for the topic. I mean imagine if you’re at a Thanksgiving dinner look everybody in the mouth and say ‘I think you need a crown this one wasn't done so well, you should take better care of your teeth’. The Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't go over so well or at least that would be next time you'll be empty. So basically a dentist or any professional who keeps only talking about his profession will basically be tuned out, and ‘Un-advertising’ is just that. It's an emotional message and it involves things which have little or nothing to do with dentistry, and everybody has lots of interests in life which interests a lot of other people.
Howard: Boy I tell you, that's especially true in the stock market like Jeff Bezos’ with Amazon. I mean he has the highest market capitalization for the least amount of profit and in stock market history. That guy has built a fortune without earnings, and then Elon Musk same way they all… Steve Jobs did it, I mean his commercial was at 1984 weird thing, remember when he launched the Macintosh. That really weird commercial had nothing to do with the computer but people just bought into Jeff Bezos and Amazon, Elon Musk at Tesla, Steve Jobs with Apple. You talk about trying to get other people to toot your horn for you instead of tooting your own horn. Well how do you get other people to toot your horn as opposed to you?
Helmut: Yeah it fits right in what I said. So let's continue there, let's give a little bit more concrete information about how you involve people in other messages, rather than the industry and how do you make it emotional. What interests people out there? There's a lots of things, we can talk about flowers and all that and all that qualifies. However, let's look at children, children can be divided into (inaudible 06:50) children, sick children, or extremely energetic and go get a next Steve Jobs type of children, whatever. Right.
Then we have elderly people and all, let’s say, poor people. Those are enormous, or animals anything and everything to do with animals. It has a huge amount of people looking at it interacting, I mean just look at cats on Facebook. Nothing against in cats, I like cats, I like dogs. I grew up with dogs here in Austria all the time, I don't have one anymore. But so those activities, those things… so if you kind of like do things for those people or those animals, make sure that it is quite local. For instance, do something for the local poor people nothing else, and washed-out television starts to at Thanksgiving, they couldn't get a movie anymore, they couldn't get on screen anymore, so what do they do? They dish out food in a soup kitchen.
Now let me tell you something. A dentist, and I'm not saying he has to do that and should do that, but there are things he can do where people go ‘what a nice guy’ and that's all they need. What a nice guy, because everybody is the best dentist, everybody's a good dentist and it's actually true. I mean dentistry is good and everything is good. When people go to ten different dentists more or less they're happy with almost all of them, we have to really realize that. So talking about good dentistry is one thing, but ‘I like him, he loves cats, he helps the people in our neighborhood, he donates food to the food kitchen’. How does he then actually very easy connect that with dentistry. Should I make an example or not?
Howard: Yeah. Absolutely.
Helmut: Okay, let's make one. Let's take something people need and want from dentistry, certain things we need and certain things we want. Sometimes there's something we need and want a cleaning, a dental cleaning, is actually something most of us need and want, because after awhile we start realizing ‘I should get a cleaning’. We do, even though some people go very long without one, but still somewhere. So they need it and they want it. So let's assume, and we have done that not once but literally thousands of times, let's assume the average dental cleaning is I don't know a hundred bucks, let's just put a good number do it across the counter. Okay.
You make it enormously inexpensive and on top of it you say and part or all of it, if you want to be aggressive, which I can get into it later. Aggressiveness is really key. You say all of it goes to the local food drive, to the local hospital, to the local whatever, there are millions of things. That message gets perceived, that message gets commented on on Facebook, that message stays in people's mind. They may or may not need a dentist today we know that, or they may need one but yet don't go we know that, but that stays in people's mind.
Let's go back to the old days when we used to do that, and after I do this maybe the doctor in New York actually he says ‘even the yellow page starts working better?’ I go ‘yeah of course, because people now recognize you people now know you, so if and when they see you in the yellow page they now go ‘isn't that the guy who?’ Bang they call. So I'm not so sure I was very clear of what I'm wanted to say, but one can do something for the community without having to go out and shake hands, and go yourself to food drive kitchens and do all kinds of things. Just with that motion alone and, of course, that can be made in so many different ways it's not even real.
Howard: You are so right about children, elderly, poor, sick, and especially animals because when that dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil the lion holy moly did he take a backlash, and right now…
Helmut: Holy moly.
Howard: We're going through that again right now with the founder of Jimmy John's sandwiches, Jimmy John Liautaud, a bunch of pictures showing up him shooting elephants and rhinos, and all that. Just like the founder of Go Daddy and the backlash is… I mean on Facebook I've already seen tons of people saying they never eating a Jimmy John's meats again, because he shot a rhino and an elephant.
If you go to the DentalTown website, we have fifty categories and one of them is humanitarian dentistry. There's all these dentists that have done the most amazing missionary trips to Africa, and Asia, and all around the world, Vietnam. All these places, but they don't put those on their website. You're saying that pictures of them doing missionary dental work in Haiti, is more important than a bunch of alphabet soup stuff behind their name. With a bunch of letters and initials that nobody even knows what they stand for anyway.
Helmut: Of course, very much so. Of course going to Haiti and doing all the things it's all wonderful. We all should more or less live our life with what we like to do, and we should not get swollen that the only two things because it's good public relations or whatever, we should not become this type of politicians. Yes. You touched on something enormously important. Important in a fact that a big mistake, and not just saying this by the way, dentists always tell me ‘I know we are bad business people’ and I say ‘you know what? Probably but not worse than the other guys’ but in the end if you look there's less dentists going broke than car mechanics or restaurants.
So actually in the end you must be actually still a better business person, or your profession carries you easier, doesn't really matter. But here's the thing, is a mistake which most people make, they do two things, and of course with our help, or once they know about it they could do tremendous amount more. But they never publicize it, even if they do get in the newspaper. That's why so many people think the media isn't really what it's cracked up to be, and it's true. You mentioned it at the beginning, the media is losing its power, but it's still there. In the game of symmetry we still want to use it, but why does the media not bring anything?
Because yesterday's news is old news. So if you do not keep that newspaper article which said ‘Doctor Schmidt helped young kids in the career, or Doctor Schmidt save the kitty cat, or he went to India or whatever it is. If you do not keep that article alive every day and today, I mean they have no excuse to do that anymore. Today we can put this article in some computer program, or have a kid doing it, make it beautiful looking and then blast it out daily all over the place. That's a whole different topic. We're getting to that, because obviously any message, no matter how humanitarian and how whatever. Still does need to be distributed on the existing channels, and there's only so many channels we have that's a whole different ballgame.
But that message that article never gets distributed by the doctor so he says ‘yeah, it brought me a guy here, a guy there but nothing to be writing mommy over’, of course not because you're not using it all the time. Let me tell you I got interviewed by a show called Keeping America Strong, William Shatner. I don't know ten years ago, fifteen years ago, I don't remember long time ago. We still make money off that show today. Why? We still keep putting it out. When we talk to client and we tell them ‘look the program is so and so much and it's this’, and he's a little… we say ‘okay, well look at this, look at that’, and it's part of it.
I’m not saying that this interview or any other interview will sway everybody. No, but it's constantly out there. People have to show himself where we appeared on this Keep America Strong, I don't know how many people watched it five, ten, hundred, who cares, nobody called from the show. Nobody. But we making clippings of it, we putting it out over and over again fifteen years later, that's a different ballgame. So you are very, very right. Basically the fish can bite, if you don't wheel it in, you won’t eat.
Howard: My homies go to your website unadvertised.com what are they going to find at unadvertised.com?
Helmut: Frankly not much. I mean they will get some way of contacting us and they will get perhaps a little bit of idea, they'll see some articles I wrote. But again I do not think that a program like that is involved un-advertising, get emotional message out. Talk about things which have nothing to do with dentistry, and there are hundreds and thousands of ways on how to do that, and always because we do it for thirty years. Well you have to completely to come up with another example, because not everybody likes the same example. Entertain how to use the more than always the modern, and when I started it was Facebook, it was coupon buy pack, it was flyer, it was all those type of things which works quite a while back then.
Well now it's other things. I don't think we ever made a sale without not talking an hour or two to that person, and in most cases a couple times an hour or two that the person grasp what we're saying. We say it for twenty years of course we grasp it right away, another person it is not possible. Besides his practice, first of all he thinks it's very different and he's right because, in the end, we still need to adapt to him of what he likes. For instance, to get him to be known as an animal lover when he really is rather disconnected with animals, not necessarily hating them, but disconnected. Well that wouldn't be a good thing right? Also he has an existing situation. We need to be flexible to do situations in which he is in.
Very often doctors do a tremendous amount of things which we can turn into gold, where we couldn't do that without talking to him. Yes, we all have a good clicker program, let's not pretend that we don't do more or less the same with every doctor. But that doesn't mean we do the same with every doctor because in the end ‘hey doc, what do you like? What are you doing? What is your life already existing?’ We need to build on that otherwise it isn't humanitarian, otherwise it's bullshit Public Relation, and bullshit population will backfire on you one of these days. Public relation has to be right honest.
Howard: If I go to amazon.com books, and type in your name Helmut G Flasch, you've written three books. Let's talk about those three books. One of your books is Double Your Business but Not Your Troubles, Expansion Strategies for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. What was going on in your life? What was the journey to make you write a book? I mean that's a hell of a commitment to write a book. What made you write that book? What is that book all about?
Helmut: I'm not too sure it was such a hell of a commitment, thanks for that compliment. I was consulting for quite a while, and I believe I have a little bit of other life experience working for many people. Great people, great companies, small companies, in many countries. I have noticed that in the end there's really a common denominator, even though it is not so. I mean everybody wants his company different. Jeff Bezos, you mentioned wants his company very different than Steve Jobs did run it or other people. That doesn't mean they're not all successful, but there are certain things that they're doing.
To be honest, I'm not even a hundred percent you anymore what I wrote in the book, it's a long time ago. I don't know about you but I forget exactly what I was writing. But it has, of course, lots to do with un-advertising and doing the steps of un-advertising. It has to do with how to give instructions and all those things. How to get a job done. Most people, not just dentist, say ‘do this or do more’ and let's just say we want ten new patients, okay, I give a bonus when you get ten new patients. You could give a million dollar bonus, if your staff doesn't know how to get their new patients, doesn't do any good. Then your patient is a bad target or hundred new.
Whatever the number is which is good and real, what you need to do is send ten more messages to doctor, to this guy, call this offices, put Facebook ads, print flyers put them out. Then you can quantify and the end result will be more new patients. But that's not what people do. So the book talks about all this type of little things. It's amazing how many doctors I talk to and they say ‘my biggest trouble is staff. I don't have good staff, I need to train my good staff, and they try that for twenty years already. At the same token they don't train them, or actually the problem isn't the staff. The problem is, right off the bat, they are understaffed. They don't have anybody to do marketing, they say ‘well, we don't have anybody for that’, I go ‘yeah, that's your problem’.
Imagine if you didn’t have anybody to pull teeth, that wouldn't be so good. If you think that doing Public Relation, doing marketing, doing recall, in many cases you’re doing collection whether it's from the insurance companies or from people. Well then of course you have trouble. Of course marketing is something like saving, which everybody does when there's something left over, which you and me know never is. It never happens there's always that unexpected, with the tax season, with extra things, with the computer breakdown, be it something, be it some people being sick, being whatever it is, being somebody quitting.
There's always something which makes training people and doing certain works which needs to be done never happening, and it's always the work which brings money in the future. Whatever brings money today, getting the patient in the chair that understandably has to be done. If you work in a restaurant that guy needs his beer right now, but if you if that means you don't have time to collect his name, and his email address, and his cell phone number, and his Whatsapp number, and whatever else he might have these days. Then going to try to send messages to him, and ask him how this thing was, ask him to post on Yelp, and whatever it may be. If you don't have the time to do all that. Well you're creating a future with trouble.
One can’t predict the future, so more or less this is what I kind of talked about the book. A lot of it turns around marketing however, and why it doesn't get done, and how it is not so difficult to do it. There's no marketing geniuses, perhaps there is, but what I'm saying is marketing is something born into us. When we were kids we asked mommy to give us candy, and we did it in many different ways so we call our candy in most cases, or in many cases. I always say parents raise their kids in the first three years doing nothing but trying to get their kids to talk, and afterwards they do nothing but trying to tell the kid to shut up.
Then they become adults and want to sell a thousand dollar root canal and a six thousand dollar crown and bridge next to it, or whatever and they wonder why it doesn't work. They may be saying it once and if the person says ‘maybe not, maybe later’ whatever he says. He doesn't put the money down and then they don't say anything anymore, and then they wonder why nothing happens. But that's with everything. That's with training people, that’s with all kinds of things. So it's those basic things which actually make up life. As you said, Jeff Bezo for what? Fifteen years he lost on every book he sold. Something like that, I may have got the number wrong but it’s an awful long time.
Helmut: And yet every single day he was able to convince people they should invest more in him. I mean it's phenomenal. It’s phenomenal. There's nothing wrong with it, he managed and he did. I don't know are they profitable these days? I think they are.
Howard: But they're barely profitable.
Helmut: Yeah, because they…
Howard: And I mean no one goes out with another bad earnings, where it's going be dismal earnings, he says ‘well we're going to deliver packages by drones’. He's always distracting them onto the next greater thing. Don't look at the fact there's no profit today, because tomorrow it'll be drones. But, yeah, he just keeps the story alive. Another thing that's difficult about what you talk about, is marketing as very different levels of taboo and acceptance with dentists around the world. I mean there are countries and the world that look at how Americans advertise, and think that is gaudy and tacky and they would never do that. Some countries, to this day, dentists aren't even legally allowed to advertise.
Helmut: Well, tell me about it. Sorry to interrupt you. But from Austria, my native country, if any doctor would only do two percent of what I tell him to do, he would lose his license he would go to jail probably.
Helmut: It's not it's simply not allowed. They even get a quota. When there is x amount of people and there's x amount of dentists, or any doctor for that much. No other doctor will ever open till one dies, it's controlled by the government and it is not even and it's not even a communistic country.
Howard: Yeah, well Germany and Austria are very, very organized. I've lectured in six continents, over fifty countries. For instance, if you go into any one hundred million dollar a year revenue dental company in America, they probably don't have one PhD scientist. They probably have a call center that has thirty or fifty people dialing for dollars, calling dental offices, and they're having contests and every time they get a cell there's someone up there cheerleading, and giving them a lottery card or fired up. Then you go to Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland there's no call centers, they don't even have a marketing department. But they'll have six men in white lab coats and PhDs and they truly believe that if they just build the best Mercedes Benz in the world it'll sell itself.
Then you go to China and they just believe that if you make us so damn cheap, people will just buy it. I always thought there's three there's routes China just has to make it so damn cheap they'll have to buy it. Your area of the woods, Austria, says just make it so damn good it'll sell itself. The Americans say damn we can sell snow to Eskimos, we'll sell water to fish, we just sell it. They could all learn from each other, but it's three major different camps isn't it?
Helmut: Probably more, but definitely. This is where slightly my advantage comes in which I obviously made it a profession to pass on to dentists and to businesses, but mainly dentists. That is I actually do have experience in those countries, I did live in eight countries, my wife is from Taiwan, I do know the Chinese market a little bit. I have actually helped tremendous amount of doctors in India, Bombay, and I think I started their (inaudible 28:33) dentistry as a way of doing business because just about every dentist that was in ‘94 by the way.
There was one dentist and if he had a receptionist which also doubles as an assistant, that was already pretty damn good. The guy would usually go to work in the morning at about nine, ten would work until about two, three. Would go home take a well deserved nap, go to work again around six, seven works till eight, nine and that was his life. When I went there and by accident on vacation with a friend of mine, from India, a dentist in New York who brought me there. I said ‘guys, basically higher dentists work to expand’ I gave him my speech in a one-day seminar. This one guy came up afterwards he says ‘but that's not possible in India. Right?’ I go ‘why not?’ ‘Well he says people want to work first for themselves’ and all the things and whatever it is. I go ‘well why don't you give it a try? I mean what the hell’.
This guy today I think has a dozen dentists working for himself and the whole thing became a trend. Basically, yes people should learn some other way. You don't have to be always the cheapest, but sometimes doing something in that way helps. Lost leaders as I call them and as they are, they do work. They work for people in who sell Mercedes, we're not necessarily the poorest people anymore and they work in the housing market. I mean look what the government does to make the public housing going up, because little down payment. So why shouldn't it work for a dentist? Yeah. Yes does he have to be so irresponsible like the housing market bubble which can and has to crash eventually again too?
They recover. He can simply use it because people will come in, people now get to know him, he does something for them with, for instance, a lost leader cleaning where on top of it he helps the community in some shape and form. Now yeah it's true half of the people not buy anything from him, that's fine. If maybe twenty or thirty percent of people only buy from him, first of all if it's so little to only buy from him more that means he has other problems. He literally has other problems, he is unlikable, his office is unlikable, it's dirty it's whatever. So even if only twenty percent of people buy more or less the normal service, $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 of lifetime consumption let's just say.
We're very conservative he still make great money, but it's in the head. We spend, I would say, eighty percent of our time not getting his Facebook campaign going, or getting this and this going, which we do because they don't want to do it. Fine we do it. We're so well organized, we outsource it, we do this. So we can do it cheaper than anybody, because we go on Fiverr and we hire people who do it so cheap. Even my niece, if she's good, couldn't do it so cheap. Buying a sausage costs more than getting people from other countries to do it, because it's all very automatic work.
But we spend our time getting the mindset of the doctor changed and say ‘look you need to be out there and you need to be out there in many avenues’, it's the synergy. You cannot win a war with only tanks, you cannot win a war with only airplanes, you cannot win a war with only rockets, with only sharpshooters, with only ships or whatever it is. You need to have them all playing in synergy, more or less, a little bit time. But you don't have to be hundred percent, such a thing doesn't probably exist at least I don't believe, but you've got to be more or less in that direction. Like a football team you’ve got to work a little bit together and it will fall together. Immediately? Probably not. Our program, I would say on an average, it takes two, three to four months until people see something happening, and not necessarily see a lot of money coming in.
They just start realizing ‘oops there's a buzz around us. I go to the local restaurant of people say ‘aren't you the dentist that was in the newspaper? Or aren't you get this?’ ‘I was’. Then it starts, at about six, seven, eight, twelve months later. On an average, we double a guy. Doesn't always work that way completely and sometimes way more, and sometimes is less it all depends on the guys current setup. Most doctors have lots of more space for production in their office, but some not. Some are relatively, their physical properties maxed out and of course it usually takes longer, because you need to do more juggling, more investment until you get to more physical property. But most doctors can still fit quite a bit into their chairs and make more money. So then on an average half a year to a year toppling to practice, so let's just say three quarter of a year to a year is it's not an unreal target at all.
Howard: You talk about lost leaders. We're talking about China makes everything cheaper. One of the oldest corporate dental chains and America is actually Affordable Dentures, which started in 1975. So that was I was one of the first ones, and they did that by going into every market and advertising the lowest cost the extraction of one tooth. That was their only ad like extraction $75 for a tooth. Well no one comes in to extract one tooth, they were coming in to extract all their teeth and make a denture. Would upsell a lot of those dentures to the denture on two implants, or a denture on four implants, or an all on four denture, so that was a very interesting business model that was very successful.
Howard: I want to tell…
Helmut: I mean all industries applied to some degree, if you don't mind. For instance, often people tell me ‘why should I do something for, like you said, the poor people in town? Fine I mean on a human level I get it, I understand it. But they’re not my target, I do good dentistry I mean those people can never afford me’. You're not doing it for them to come in, you're doing emergency day for them, or you're feeding them. You're doing it for the people who see that you do that, the organizers of the food kitchens, all the people who donate to food kitchens, they see you. They have the money. You're not necessarily needing the poor people to come to you, you're needing the people who love it that you do that.
By the way, we do a lot of emergency days with our doctors where basically they open a day free dentistry, things which can be done in that day. Of course even there I tell them ‘hey be reasonable if a guy need to follow up on a root canal and whatever, give it to him damaged. You understand?’ But on an average it's like things which can be done, like you mentioned, an extraction here, a thing there. Whatever it is. Maybe a good cleaning and whatever it may be, even from those people they quite often get a good business. But for instance, a priest brings a bus of seven people, like a little mini bus, and then the priest family, the whole family, comes to him as a dentist and spends a total of forty thousand in the next year or so.
I mean that type of stuff happens when you're out there, right there in the community, but not trying to pitch business you are out there in the community. I attend breakfast meetings where there's twenty people there, and everybody is only there in the hopes to get another piece of business on that day, that's not community activity. A community activity is really doing something for the people out there. I always say you have two choices, you give all the advertising to the newspaper, and to the TV and radio, and whatever the heck you think you might need to advertise. Or you give a lot of that money to your future slash existing patients, because give an existing patient the same good loss leader.
What the hell you already made your money for a couple two, three years. You already made you eating, throw him a bone. So many people say ‘I will do a lost leader fine, but only for new patients not for the old one because he's coming for his cleaning already anyway’. Well I don't remember who that was, a telephone company, MCI MC or whatever it was long time ago. Well on my first cell phone I found out that they had cheaper rates than when I signed up, and I called up ‘I said look I'm still paying the old rate’ he said ‘yeah this new rate is for new people only’. I said ‘really? I don't get it?’ ‘No’ I said ‘good. You don't get my money anymore’. ‘Well you will have to, we'll sue you’. I said ‘go and sue me’.
They never got a dime anymore from me, and somebody else got it. So anyway there's nothing wrong with giving it to old people, but you have two choices give the money to all the advertising agencies, which you still have to do to some degree. You need to use their messages, but also give it to your future patients.
Howard: You also wrote another book, it's on Barnes and Nobles. It's called You Too Can Be Happy by hell Helmut G. Flasch. In dentistry burnout is a serious issue and there's a thread on dental town, and I just posted your book on this thread called basically a topic professional burnout. What do you think your book was about? Why do you think dentists have so much burnout?
Helmut: Well it is a stressful job let's admit it. I mean, yeah you guys, you dentists you work on a two millimeter space daily, day in day out. That is very confined I might say. Right. And that, by itself, is an enormous pressure. Of course people who become dentists are what we might perhaps call perfectionists by design, because otherwise they probably wouldn't do that. I'm a mechanic, a machinery engineer from my first profession, and when you make cog wheels do things you need to be rather exact also. A tool maker actually for all purpose I could make a crown in terms of like I know how it functions, because that's what tool makers do also.
But to me it was too precise all the time and of course I didn't like it. I'm more like a speaking type of guy, so I left. Would I have stood in it to do this like constantly everything exact? I might have burned out too, but it is a very, very stressful profession. Which is why I suggest doctors, very soon in their career, to become what I call an absentee owner. It doesn't mean they have to be absentee, and should be always in Hawaii and doing nothing. I'm not saying that. What I do say is they should have a few employees, by employees I mean doctor employees, and usually one doesn't do the trick.
To be honest the mathematics doesn't work out, everybody says ‘well that other guy, he only produces only half of what I produce, or one third even blah, blah, blah’. True. So hire two or three that you get that extra amount of production and start cutting down yourself on dentistry. Get yourself more involved in the management, management is more loose. Look at you and me now I'm talking to you from Austria and I have people working in California doing my company. Management you can be working at night, you can be working in the morning on Sunday. You can't do that with a root canal you have to be there when the patient phones.
When they go into this direction a little bit more, which they have to learn to do otherwise it stresses them out too. I got that. I understand. It is then that financial stress, they need to make payroll, because most of them have it upside down. They want to first get the good doctor which stays with them for life, just like the good receptionist which never happens. I mean by accident it could, but on an average it doesn't. They think they must get a guy, because otherwise the patients will not come back when there's a constant change of doctors, which is absolutely not true.
They should know that because they themself have very little retention rate these days, compared to forty years ago. Don't they? Every dentist complains about people that have no more loyalty. Well, bad, good, who cares. It's the way it is, at the same token they leave you easier. You can also steal them, I use the word steal, from other doctors easier. Plus you don't need to worry too much about whether that dentist you hire works with you the rest of the life, or is there only a little bit. Or you can hire three, four of them covering a week. Each one or two days. It's not that difficult, as long as you first step on your advertising on your marketing panel. If you do it otherwise all you do is have a chain around your neck with an overhead, and then marketing does take it's time. There's no way to make that happening overnight completely, at least I don't know. By accident sometimes it looks like but that's an accident.
On an average it takes time, and if you don't do it in the right sequence. As I said if you tell the tanks to shoot now, and you do something else in the war which I don't know what that would be, out of time it wouldn't work. So the point is first of all, because it is a very hard profession. Doctors are very conscious and take it very serious, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's a good thing for us patients that you guys do take it serious, it's a wonderful thing. But it does strain you every day being in there making things so perfect and you know how we go ‘that bite I feel it, it wasn't like before’ or whatever it is. I mean some people complain after a cleaning, that now they have sensitive teeth or whatever. It's all the dentists fault and on it goes. Right.
So you guys have a hard profession period and you're dealing with a human being which can, for all purpose, not be satisfied. Again I'm just making a metaphor, and due to the fact that you work on such a small space and that you care, that takes a lot out of you.
Howard: So you wrote the third book this one is on amazon. Economic Deception and Jobless, Hopeless Recovery Expose, getting fired now is the best thing that could ever happen to you. What is that book all about?
Helmut: Well, I remember when people ask me, it's half a joke what I say now but only half, the other half is actually true. When I started my business and about a couple years later, they said ‘well what made you having the courage to start your business? I said ‘oh, that was easy I couldn't find a job’. Really I actually, and you can call my employees if you want you and ask whether that's true, lately not so much because I'm not so much there anymore. Every Friday on an average we have a little meeting, little lunch meeting we sit together, we talk little business but mainly it's just ‘hey, your week went fine. Everything is good’ here we plan what's happening, what's going on, no finger-pointing, no serious stuff.
At that meeting, for almost thirty years, every single time I told them you shouldn't be working for me, and you shouldn't be working for large corporations either. Let me tell you, I can make a mistake tomorrow and be gone broke, because in the end I'm still small. I can screw this shit up very fast. I can also make pretty good money and say ‘I don't want anymore’ and close the shit down. A large company, well we know what happens there, and all that stuff happens. The numbers don't work out two thousand people leave, period.
So you have more security on your own, when you get used to fighting the common street fighter in that economical sense. You have much more chance of surviving, and of getting big, ever than whether you work for somebody small or big. When you work for somebody, except some really really lucky exceptions, and you become another CEO of a very large company. You have a ceiling, a very definite ceiling, and there you need to be lucky. It doesn't mean that in your own business you will super succeed either, but you could potentially succeed and you can control your situation more. When shit hits the fan, if you're on your own and if you have been a street fighter, and if you have looked into the abyss a few times. When you don't say ‘well where can I get a job, and what certificates do I have in order to get what job’, and whatever it is you will be surviving any crisis better. I'm not saying you'll be like, wow, but you would be able to survive, it's better. That's my belief, that's all I wrote about it.
Howard: That books very interesting because there's a lot of kids, right now, that are working for corporate dentistry. The joke is that they pay you just enough money to kill all your dreams. So they're making a hundred and fifty thousand a year and they get married, they have a kid and they feel all comfortable and safe. So now it's scary to quit that and go start your own business, and work for yourself. So what would you say to someone who's ‘like well I'm comfortable now, I've been working as an associate for four years and I would love to have my own, but I'm comfortable right now and it's scary to go out on my own’.
Helmut: Well not much one can say, because as long as he is more comfortable there, as long as the pain is not enough for him to go out, he probably won't. People do need to make their own decision at the own time. When I quit engineering, after literally three months of working after I got my diplomas, people told me ‘you crazy you now got your diploma, you’ve got this, you’ve got that, you've got all kinds of benefits from the company. Three years later, I said ‘come on I'm too young to worry about pension, and things which they already give me credit, blah, blah, blah.
Well three, four, five years later, in this particular area, the steel industry did hit some crisis and something, nothing like super nature, but nevertheless it’s right down, and they were like ‘oh my God you're lucky you’re out’. I said ‘well you can get out too and do something else’ ‘oh no, I now have six years or whatever’. You understand? So they will do that all the time. Here's the thing, if somebody's happy in what he's doing maybe that's working for somebody, it doesn't matter what position, that's totally fine. If somebody is not happy and dreams of something else, and doesn't act, well he shouldn't even be felt sorry for. It's ridiculous.
They see it all the time how the corporate people, or not so corporate, small companies, large companies, it doesn't really matter. How they get sacked for nothing, or this, or that, and even if they don't get sacked. I call it, you do things you don't want, in order to get the things you don't want either. I mean you don't want to drive a small old Toyota, and you don't want to get up in the morning and go to work and fight with your boss, or do what you do. Whatever it is, you don't want to do that at the action and you don't want the result it gets you either. But yet you keep doing it. I mean Jesus Christ have a little more confidence in yourself and realize, okay you're probably going to get knocked down, not necessarily, but probably. But so what? Get out there go and do it and start, because most likely you can make what you make now by only finding one or two geeks of whatever that is you think you might be doing.
Howard: You also on your unadvertising.com, talk about the pros and cons of paid advertising versus organic search on Google, posting on Facebook and other social media outlets. What are the pros and cons of paid advertising versus organic search on Google or posting on Facebook?
Helmut: Well organic search on Google, while I think I relatively have a good idea how it works and I’m relatively okay on it. I have never really felt I'm in control over it and I don't think many people are. I mean two hundred thousand dentists in the country, or let's say a hundred thousand practices at least who advertise something like that. Fifty, twenty, a hundred, hundred fifteen, one particular here at any given time. So there’s like somebody saying I get you on first page, and all these things. It's just not really happening and not consistently. Why would one do something which actually has no control, no consistently?
Paid advertising. Keep in mind if the message afterwards is shitty, and then the paid advertising is probably a waste of money also, and will probably get you in the poorhouse relatively fast. I got that, but paid advertising is actually much more targeted. I mean look YouTube's enormously large and rich, owned by somebody large and rich than google. why did Google buy Youtube? Video is the way to do. So any optimization, search engine optimization, I would do it via video not on a website, but on a video. You put videos out on the major channels, not only Youtube, but those other channels which are out there. You do everything there because everybody loves video, so that's still slightly better in terms of organic search.
But why are those companies including Facebook. Look, you can post on Facebook anything you want for free and you can pretty much read anything you want for free. Youtube is the same. Google you can check anything out for free. So how come this company is a part of the extreme largest companies in the world? Period. I mean most money-making why? They make money by advertising. So he’s keyword searching ‘the word dentist’ well is dentistry’s broke, is dentist dental school, is dentist meeting. The keywords in the organic search is so deluded, that actually the people which have a very short, and you and me probably also, very short attention span when it comes to computer. So you go there you type in dentist or you type in any keyword, you don't right away find it. Then you on top of it, get to a page on that website which is starting off with the guy's credential, or how nice of an equipment he has in his landing page so to say. You're gone, you're completely gone.
So the paid keyword gets you much more, in the targeted way, than the organic search. It's a complete misdemeanor, I believe, on the false data actually that, and I don't know whether anybody such as Google or YouTube or whatever puts it out, but organic search people will buy more. I think that's a complete non true, people will buy when they see something which is good. Which, by the way, when it comes to any type of search you got to get people to a page which, in today's age I think most of them are called landing pages or capture pages or whatever, where if your keyword was ‘root canal’ talk about a root canal. If your keyword was dentures, or mini dentures, or whatever it was, well talk about it there. Don't start off with your story of where you graduated. The truth of the matter is, a patient is not interested where you graduated, he just isn't. Ninety nine point nine percent wouldn't know the college where you graduated, even if it was Harvard.
Howard: Right I agree. You also talk about the three deadly mistakes made when making an advertising video.
Helmut: Wow. The three deadly mistakes when making an advertising video. Probably one of them, which I always make, it's too freaking long.
Howard: How long do you think a video should be?
Helmut: Oh I don't know, but it shouldn't be too long. Again all this like what it should be, I am not into that. I'm more I try draw potatoes of the wall and see what sticks type of guy. That is not necessarily the same all the time at the same time of the year, and that is for the same type of video so I'll just keep more or less doing that. For instance whiteboard videos work very well, because they captured it with the person, with the drawing he tries to imagine what comes out. It's relatively concise, scripted, it's not boring. It can be very short, thirty seconds, sixty seconds and actually get a story enough across in usually a humorous type of way.
But the most important thing is the video doesn't get seen. People put it somewhere on their website well that's fine. First of all, no dental website has a lots of hits. Even dental consultants, like me, the type of hits we get is minimal. As I said again, any little singer, any little guy who, wouldn't matter what it is, look at huge amounts bigger hits than something as narrow as this whole field. So anyway videos on the dental site is a big… I mean put them on your site but put them, as I mentioned before put them on many many websites, video websites, like Youtube and Vevo, and whatever those web sites are called. There’s about a good half a dozen or so which are pretty damn good. Put them out there in intervals of a week, or two, or three, over and over again. Every time you put them out there, you cut them just a little different.
I for instance make them a little longer, fifteen seconds longer, put a slide in the back with your phone number, put a slide in front with your phone number, or whatever it is. Every time you put them out make it fifty seconds longer, change the keywords of course, and do that literally every couple of weeks with every video you do, with approximately four, or five, or six different of those huge websites. Now what will happen is Google will pick it up and it's the video not your website, but it's totally okay because somewhere on there you will tell them where to go, calling would be a good thing actually. Don't send them to another boring website. No matter what our website are, I told you, my website I don't think it does make me any money yet. Of course it doesn't mean because of it I will take it down, but I'm very lazy in updating it because it's not actually the medium where people going to make the decision.
Howard: Well you told me exactly one hour and three minutes ago, that you're worried at the end of this interview, it’d start getting dark and the sun was going down. Now an hour later, I can still see you but I can see the sun is going down. So what time is it there now? What is it? Nine?
Helmut: Nine and whatever minutes you tell me.
Howard: So also I really like your YouTube video on your website. If they go to unadvertising.com. So do you want me to put this youtube video at the end of the podcast so they can hear that right now?
Helmut: That would be lovely. That would be lovely.
Howard: okay, can we do that Ryan? Let’s do that. By the way I got more jokes about Austria versus the United States. I've been to dental factories all around the world, and my gosh, when you go to a dental factory in Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany, Switzerland it is an entirely different level of organization. In America you go into a factory and say ‘where's the bathroom?’ Somebody would stop and point. In Lichtenstein you'd look down on the floor and there'd be a blue line that would take you to the lobby, you just follow that blue line. There'd be a red line they take you to the bathroom.
I'll never forget when I was a little kid. When they built the Space Shuttle there was this big arrow on the outside of it that said fuel, and it was pointing to where you put the fuel in. I told my dad, I said ‘when we take our car to the gas station we don't need a big arrow there’ and I said ‘it just seems crazy that the very smart people at NASA have a big arrow to where you put the fuel in’. My dad laughed and he goes ‘Howard those are all Germans’, he goes ‘Germans, everything's to the detail, everything is foolproof’, he goes ‘that's Germany and Austria’. Germany used to be part Austria right?
Howard: Who knows?
Helmut: Yeah. After all Hitler was Austrian. Right. They rejected him in the Austrian army so he kind of showed us how unfit he is. Right. But you’re right the Germans…
Howard: Was Hitler born in Austria?
Helmut: Yeah, he was. He was.
Howard: I did not know that.
Helmut: Born and raised in Austria. What you said is very clearly. For instance I know for the very first time really that I actually do business in Austria. I'm now sixty-four and here I am, and I drive the people wild here in my area because I'm so (inaudible 60:12) easy going. They say ‘oh you have huge personnel problem here, they don't want to work and they want to do this’, and I just take it. They say ‘what are you doing tomorrow? What is your plan?’ I said ‘well take it easy, let's see what comes to us and then we take the next turn’. I am building a little amusement park here right now on a lake I bought. That very same thing, yes, the smart people put an arrow where you put the damn fuel on a rocket and it is like that and but it's fun.
Howard: I have to tell you seriously the only place in my life I ever took pictures of the bathroom and text them back to my four boys was in Austria. I lectured somewhere in Vienna and I was stayed at a hotel, and that shower and toilet was the most over-engineered Mercedes Benz plumbing I'd ever see in my life, I was sitting here looking at it. I was taking pictures of it to tell my boys I bet that shower will last two hundred and fifty years.
In America they would have just thrown the damn thing together, and it would’ve been cheaper. So a lot of Americans would have bought the cheaper toilet, not knowing that they'd have to have the plumber come out to their house and fix it every year for the next fifty years. But I am always amazed at the level…
Helmut: But one cannot overdo it. I really believe that it's not necessarily very much right or wrong. People always ask me ‘which country did you like the best?’ As I said I lived couple years in India, in Africa, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, England, Taiwan, even Latin America and of course in the United States for the longest literally. ‘Which place did you like the best?’ I go ‘I really, and then I mean it, I really can't say that’. Number one, I literally liked all of them and there's no better and worse, they are different and it's true. There some places where that difference you say ‘okay I'm perfectly fine here for a couple to three years, but then I would rather like to go home. To be honest right now, that still always happens to be the United States.
Howard: Wow. So where do you live in the United States?
Helmut: Los Angeles, Northridge.
Howard: Granada Hills?
Helmut: Yeah. Granada Hills, Northridge. The oxygen in Granada Hills has been…
Howard: Thank you so much for coming on my show. I love the internet. Thank you Skype which is bought by Microsoft you just bought LinkedIn. It's so cool that you can Skype me all the way from Austria. Thank you so much for coming on the show today for an hour, and talking to all the my homies about all your books, and all that you've done for dentistry. Thank you so much.
Helmut: Well thank you, Howard, thank you very much (inaudible 63:06.
Howard: I posted your book on DentalTown under the professional burnout, and we'll post this video on DentalTown. It'd be interesting to read the results, because it's hard to be on top of your game when you don't want to go to work, so that would be an interesting dental book. Alright have a great day!
Helmut: Wonderful. Thanks a lot.
Hello, my name is Helmut Flasch. Today I want to talk about how to double your practice without spending money on advertising, and that's really the key here. At any given time advertising is just very expensive, not that it doesn't have some leads sometimes. But it is very expensive and brings little. In times when economics are tough for the public at large, advertising simply does not work. It is too expensive, brings too little return, and the truth of the matter is it's almost impossible not to realize that we are going to have a couple of years of tough economics, not tough like a recession or depression.
However the truth is elective surgeries, elective procedures of any kinds will be cut back a fair amount, and when business goes down for everybody it doesn't mean that everybody has to less business, it doesn't mean that. It just means that about twenty, thirty percent of doctors in a certain area could be sticking out so much, that the remaining business which still is there does not get distributed equally, but gets distributed to the few who do the right thing. Means what? They’ve got to be visible to the public in a way that the public loves them, likes them, and trusts them, before they ever have stepped foot in your practice.
That is what un-advertising is all about which is our program. That is what not wasting money on advertising is all about. Doubling your practice not despite a bad economy but because of a bad economy. Where everybody, your competition, will be simply putting the head into the sand and absolutely do nothing. They will have no money to market or less and they will not want to market simply because they have experienced, or will experience over the next few days, few weeks, months, and years. The business will go down and people will buy less, even though they advertise. Thus you must find a way to get more people coming to you, get a better return for maybe five, ten, or fifteen percent of what you would be otherwise spending with advertising.
So spend ten or fifteen percent, and get two or three times more to return that is what un-advertising is all about. That is what large companies, that’s what movie stars, and that's what politicians, that is what they use. Without knocking politicians, if things work for a politician to get him trust where everybody expects him to be untrust for not saying that they are. Guess what they will do for you as a doctor.
Yes, that's what it will do. Go call us. Find out about our program, which is phenomenal, which takes very little of your time personally, which costs literally nothing. Even our program to purchase it, is so far below the price any marketing consultant out there will ever suggest. But most importantly the money you spend to market, is so enormously less than any other consultant out there will suggest you, that it is not even real. Give us a call. Give us a call today. Get on the program. We are having it. We do have a solution, I've done that for fifteen years. In 1991, when it wasn't so easy out there either, that's when I started my business. That's when actually we came up with this particular activities of un-advertising, and it worked fantastic and it works now better. Why? We are better. Call us and you will be happy. Chow.