Howie interviews Lee Buzard about corporate dentistry, setting goals for the rest of the year, and investing in your practice.


Podcast Highlights:

  • Corporate Dentistry takeover?
  • What are they ACTUALLY taking from you? (Hint: don’t worry)
  • The top half vs. the bottom half of the market
  • Corporate business model vs. yours: who wins?
  • Patients who care about deals vs. patients who care about quality
  • How to stand out and be a star
  • Who makes the healthcare decisions in the household?
  • The #1 page looked at on your website
  • Your half year plan
  • Mid-year review
  • Putting new things in the office
  • Maximizing reviews

Get a free mid-year review from Lee! Email [email protected]

Dental Marketing Survey

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Well Hello, everybody. Welcome once again to another edition of our podcast and unlike with the pre recorded announcement, you just heard said mark is not here. This is just me, Howie Horrocks and I’ve also got a very special guest today. Our senior advisor here at NPI and his name is Lee Buzzard How you doing?

Lee: doing great? How are you sir?

Howie: Not bad, not bad. It’s this is a part portion of the podcast where Mark usually be rates me for living in the desert, but

Lee: Well, me too. I’m in Tucson, and you’re in a desert as well. So

Howie: he’s not here. So we don’t have to listen to that. Right. He’s, uh, he’s on up up to his cabin and main cabin, it’s a house. Lee and I were up there last year with him and had some really great bass fishing really good time. But we must have said something wrong. He didn’t invite us back this time. Lee, I don’t know what the deal is.

Lee: I don’t know I point my finger you

Howie: probably. Too much fireball.

Lee: Yeah, I saw that picture on Facebook. So

Howie: all right, let’s talk about something. We first of all, you are an advisor, Senior Advisor here. And you’re in touch with Dentist all over the country. I mean, literally every day, every hour, talking to somebody. So we’re about halfway through this year, July. I imagine you’re doing sort of a mid-year review with your with your guys are treating something like that.

Lee: I am I am I I sent out the email to all my clients and everyone who you have contact with. And today it’s mid-year. Where are you? Where do you want to be? And, where do you want to go? Let’s talk let’s chat. And so that’s kind of what this podcast is going to be about. Is those conversations, conversations with current clients and a few potential points as well about what their goals are for the rest of this year.

Howie: Great. Do you get? I’m just going to throw this in Do you do get a sense from talking with Dentist that they feel like dentistry is rebounding a bit since the years of the Great Depression?

Lee: Yeah, yeah, they are in and we actually see it in the numbers because it was somebody sending a client survey, a marketing survey and forced to build a marketing plan. You know, one of the questions that we asked on that survey is production dollars, you know, where you are currently, where you were 12 months ago, and what your goals are 12 months from now. And as those numbers keep coming in, we’re starting to see those numbers grow. And it’s exciting. Every everyone is ready for that growth, for sure.

Howie: Well, that’s good. So there. I think from from my end, I’m seeing, yes, a sense of optimism about the economy and so forth. But I also get a feeling that there’s a fear out there of corporate dentistry folks taking over. Do you talk about that? Now? Is that what you’re hearing?

Lee: Well, a little bit a little bit. You know, we’ve talked many times, and I know that you and Mark have talked about, you know, the top half and the bottom half of the dental market, you know, chasing after the different categories of patients, new patients. And when the doctor reaching out to me to talk about this corporate dentistry thing, and you know, and another office just opened up down the street from me, and they’re going to steal all my patients, what am I going to do? I’ve had those conversations. What patients? Are they stealing? You know, what, what are they truly taking away from you? You know, the top half of the market, we know that those people, you know, we’ve been doing this long time right now.

We know that with those patients in the top half of the market, nationally in the United States, which you know, we have clients in five countries, but you know, in the US your first year first line revenues, about 1000 bucks, you know, thousand 1200 bottom half of the market, what 200 bucks, they don’t show up for recall, they don’t complete treatment plan. You know, they’re just not in the same position. So corporate dentistry, you know, we see what their ad campaigns are. $59 new patient exam profit and bite wings coming in now. Okay. You know, I had conversations with docs many times $59 new patient exam bite wings, and you want to compete with that? What do you pay your hygienist? YM $45 an hour. All right, let’s match that to insurance, that $69 new patient exam protein bite wings is costing you 10 bucks.

You know, you’d be better off firing your hygienist stapling $5 bills to business cards and hand them out to anybody that you meet? So, so with corporate dentistry, are they are they attacking your patients? depends on who your patient is patient basis? Are they going to possibly take away somebody from your practice in the top half of the market? Yeah, it could happen. It sure could happen, but with their model versus a traditional privately owned dental practice, guess what? They’re going to beg you to take them back, it will happen? Because it’s a totally different model. So when doc say, Hey, I’m getting a little nervous about all this corporate dentistry, my first question is, what your target market?

Howie: Right? Right. And that’s, that’s a good way to look at it too. Because, you know, just to review a little bit, the top half of the market is composed of patients who are not looking for a deal, their moms or women who will choose a dental or any health care provider based not on a price incentive, not primarily on a price and Senate, the bottom half of the market is composed of women or moms who will choose a health care provider for their family based primarily on price. So if you’ve got price shoppers in the lower half, and it, you know, you it’s incumbent upon you to do to make that decision well ahead of time, or if you haven’t do it now, and you know, which part of the market Do you want to go after.

And it’s, it’s clear that if you’re going to try and compete with the corporate chains, who are going primarily for the for the lower half of the market, that’s a battle that’s already been fought and you’ve lost, because you can’t compete on price with those guys. What, what instead you compete on things, like, you know, why should they choose you, over, you know, the other, the other dentists in the area, you’ve got to give them many good reasons to choose you, you’ve got to promote the benefits of modern dentistry. And that’s not, it’s not an appeal to price and cheap, cheap exams and that sort of thing. Well, different, you got to stand out, and you got to be a star.

Lee: Exactly. And if I could jump in here, you’ll a relationship with your dental practice, is, it’s an intimate relationship. You know, we all know, you know, how you and I know that women make the healthcare decisions in every family and if it was up to you or I, to make those decisions, you know, we would die, you know, because you and I are one chromosome away from being an eight.

And he understood that we respect that in the women that are in our lives, somehow, some way they, they appreciate that as well. When you’re marketing to the top half of the market, and you’re concerned about the bottom half the corporate dental, you know, arena, what is my most concerned about? She’s most concerned about her family is how are you going to take care of them, the relationship that she has with that dental practice is just like the relationships that she has with her personal physicians, you’ll for her stuff, you know, she wants that same relationship in corporate dentistry. I’m sorry, but she’s not going to get it because those docs that are at those corporate dental practices, they’re not there, three years, five years, 15 years, 20 years down the road.

I mean, the door turns in those corporate practices, and we all know it, it’s just their model. And that’s fine for them. But it’s a relationship building. So when we’re marketing on behalf of our clients, to mom, who makes the healthcare decisions, because how we know I can’t do that we don’t have that, that. That gene, you know, we’re marketing to them based on the products based on the services based on the relationship number one page on a website that’s looked at as the doctors bio, they want to make sure that the doc doesn’t have a hump on their back and going up the bell tower to bring it every day. It’s a relationship building process.

Howie: Okay. Well, with that image, we’re going to take a break right there for little commercial announcements. And you stay right there, folks, we’ll be right back.

Hi, Mark Dilatush. Here, I want to talk to you about NPI concierge. This is the next big thing in dentistry. Today, about 2000 Dentists have it installed. And in five years 50,000 dentists are going to have it installed. The dentist to start early will be the dentists who benefit the most. Concierge is real time online scheduling integration between your practices website and your practice management software, you have total control over what new and existing patients can and cannot schedule. If you’d like to see it for yourself, it takes about 20 minutes, perhaps we can do it over a lunchtime, send an email to demo at Don’t be the last dentist in your market to do this be the first.

Howie: Okay, we are back, I’ve got Lee with me. Lee Buzzard, our senior advisor we’re just talking about we’re just talking about the corporate dentistry versus of you know, your practice and how you can do battle that way.

I’m thinking since it’s midyear, you do these sort of looking back reviews with all your clients. So what do you talk to them about in terms of investing in marketing and, and that sort of thing?

Lee: Absolutely. So you know, most every dentist has had their midyear review with their CPA, and if you haven’t, you know, pick up the phone and to that, you know, by know where you are. And when they when I send out my Meteor letters, and I get all the responses and a lot of the docs new automatically call me up every you know, July anyways, standing appointment, you know, we talked about what are we doing with the practice? How are we reinvesting in the practice?

And so many times the docs go, oh, man, I got this, this new autoclave. I got this new internal camera, I got this new Bell, this new whistle, I just repainted my reception rooms, CDs, new reception chairs, I just put new, my wife just or you know, whoever just put in new light fixtures, you know, just all the stuff in the offices, which is important, you know, it’s part of your presentation to mom. And so that’s really important. But I always I always remind them, it’s like, Okay, so, you know, we invest in our practices with equipment and technology and continuing education courses. But we need to also consider marketing as well, because it’s a huge part of all of this.

We were invest in that in. And so, you know, with the equipment stuff, there’s the tax. I think it’s the one that 941 tax code, I can’t remember, I’m not a CPA, I don’t play one on TV. But you know, there’s the benefits of that. And so I encourage the docs, reinvest into your practice to help it grow, spend the money on your practice, instead of writing it to somebody else on April 15. You know, put that money into your own pocket into your own investment of your practice, just to help it grow and grow and grow.

Howie: Yeah, good point and one of the things that, you know, I mean, that sort of goes along with what we were just talking about, how are you going to stand out be different from the other dentists in your area, whether they be corporate dentists or not?

Lee: If we’re sending out a, let’s say, a trifle mail campaign for one of our clients, or even an eight page magazine, holy cow, is that going to be a different message popping into that mailbox than the corporate dentistry flap postcard deals offers come in now. You know, everything’s got to go Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. You know, it’s, it’s going to be a different message. It’s going to drive patients to your practice. You have to you have to get up on your soapbox and, and tell your story.

Howie: Yeah, exactly. And that’s, that’s, you know, and that takes marketing funds. And that’s, that’s where, you know, you might be able to benefit at the year end with the funneling your tax. You know, whatever, whatever you get left over, you know, put it toward marketing, standing out is the key that they’re not going to, you’re not going to get chosen as a dentist for two reasons.

Number one, if you’re not perceived as being different from or even better than the other guys and gals, you’re also not going to get chosen. Unless you have good reviews that on your on Google or Facebook or wherever your your patients are venting about that has to be primary, a very primary concern. And, you know, that just tells you that that gives you another way to be different and stand out. Because if you are different, and you are a good dentist who gives good caring service, then people are going to talk about you.

Lee: Absolutely. It when you get those reviews from mom and says that you took great care of their family and, and you know that you put up with her their husband, you know, and all of that stuff. I mean, it it says volumes, it says volumes to people searching for a new dental home. I mean, July is a great time to really take a hard look at this. Because, you know, it’s everybody’s getting ready to go back to school. You know, mom’s doing belly to kindergarten or back to, you know, to college. And it’s such a great time to reach out in in touch your community, and let them know your story and let them know what makes you truly different in what services and products you provide in why you are the best in the neighborhood.

Howie: Yeah, yeah, very good. Well, I think I think we’ve covered that today, Lee, unless you have something else you want to go over?

Lee: Well, I would just like to offer any of the listeners if they want to, you know, have a media review. With me, they’re welcome to send me an email at [email protected] That’s Lee [email protected] Or if they just want to pick up the phone, my direct number is (702) 799-9016. Let’s talk about it. Let’s see what’s going on. Obviously, there’s never any obligation and we’re just happy to visit with you and see if there’s something we can help.

Howie: Yeah, that’s good. That’s one way we’re different. We don’t obligate you around you.

Lee: We don’t we don’t I can’t count how many new clients that I brought on board personally, and, and you know, I build a marketing plan for him. And I had a conversation, you know, a couple days later, and then I tell it was like, Doc, I presented my marketing plan. You know, it’s like your treatment plan. I’m rolling the chair back. What do you think? And they say, I need a couple days to think about it. It’s like, I’ll give you a week and then I’ll send you an email, and I’ll send them an email, and then the phone lights up. It’s like, I can’t believe this. And, it’s like what you didn’t have some way every 48 hours like these other companies that I reached out. You know, it’s like, Okay, great, you know, so,

Howie: yeah,

Lee: we’re doing what moms trying to do. She’s trying to build relationships with the right dental practice. We’re trying to do the same with our clients build them grow. Right.

Howie: So exactly. Well, thank you for being here today, Lee and to our audience. Thank you for tuning in again and we will see you again soon. Bye now.

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