Special Guest Today – Dr. Marvin Berlin

You might want to listen to this guy. His practice does 8 figures each year!

In today’s podcast, Mark Dilatush hosts a special guest, Dr. Marvin Berlin. The topic they discuss is increasing case acceptance. Dr. Berlin has fine-tuned the process of utilizing dental photography with each of his patients. By being able to show them their teeth, he has found a way to better educate his patients on why a specific procedure is required.

If you would like to learn more about dental photography, Dr. Berlin will be hosting a free webinar on Tuesday, December 10 at 6pm (CST). This webinar covers the ideal camera for intraoral pictures, camera settings and how to implement an in-office photography flow. Visit DentalPics.com to learn more!

Podcast Highlights:

  • It’s All About the Patient Understanding Their Dental Condition
  • In the Beginning
  • Online Learning
  • This is Our System
  • Establishing Trust is a Must
  • A Seven Minute Process
  • Other Uses for Photography

Podcast Transcript:

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

Mark: Hello everybody.

Welcome to our podcast in the Dental Marketing Mastery series. Normally, you would be hearing the soft, sultry tones of Howie Horrock’s voice as the intro. You don’t get that today. It’s my raspy voice from New Jersey.

We have a special guest today. His name is Dr. Marvin Berlin. Doc. Say Hi.

Marv Berlin: Mark, how you doing today? Thanks for having me on the podcast, looking forward to it.

Mark: Good, good, good.

Dr. Berlin helps dentists solve a problem that New Patients Incorporated cannot solve. Dr. Berlin, and we’re going to get into this a little bit later in the podcast, helps dentists squeeze ROI from their marketing dollars in ways that we can’t.

And from a marketing company standpoint, if you know anything about us, you know we everything we do is data driven. And as we accumulate data from client offices, we match and compare that to other offices. And when we see folks who are getting the new patient volume, getting the quality interaction with the patient, and their ROI isn’t building as fast as it normally would, then we grow concerned.

We chase it down because we understand dentistry and ..and then we many times we get to the point, where the new patient exam. What’s going on? What does the, what’s the interaction? What does the patient see? What does the patient not see?

And Dr. Berlin really is actually very passionate about teaching dentists how to use photography. So that’s the, the subject of this podcast is, is using your photography to get necessary treatment done by patients, obviously. And he’s going to teach us or at least give us an intro on what he does.

It’s All About the Patient Understanding Their Dental Condition

Marv Berlin: Absolutely. That was the perfect introduction.

And I’m excited about it because I see so many dentists that are getting good at marketing and getting patients in the door. And then their patients are just treading water and not moving forward and a lot of it has to do with photography. It’s one of the you know, it’s a spoke in the wheel, it’s obviously a big wheel with a lot of spokes.

But photography, you know, we have a very large practice, a very productive, profitable practice. And one of the keys, if not the biggest keys, of our new patient exam and getting patients to convert is co-diagnosis with them and just sharing with them their own pictures of their teeth.

So many dentists don’t do this. And so, that’s how this passion of mine started. I’ve been teaching photography for 15 years, and in some way, shape or form and I’ve finally decided to take it online and help docs get over this. Either they have a camera, let me show you how to use it, just the basics. And if you don’t, let me show you where to get one, how to use it and then more importantly, how to implement it in their practice.

Mark: How to delegate it right?

Marvin Berlin: Right

Marv Berlin: So, that’s the main thing. That’s the main thing. I do not, this is not a, I don’t want to teach you how to take pictures of pretty lips and sparkly teeth. This is not what I do. I just don’t. That’s cool. I can teach you that if that’s something you want to learn, it’s another whole course. But what I’m really passionate about, is just getting docs to have better case acceptance with the patients they have. And there’s and I’ll tell you a story Mark, that where, where this started with me.

In the Beginning

I’ve been in dentistry for 31 years, right when I got out of school back in, in ’89, my very first continuing education class that I went to was this guy. An amazing dentist out of Canada, Bud Sitco and we became actually became friends. And I actually became a patient of his. I was just so enthralled with the way he was passionate about dentistry.

And this is, you know, me right out of dental school. So, I didn’t know, I knew how to not hurt someone.

Mark: You were a green horn.

Marv Berlin: I was so green, it was scary. And all of a sudden, I’m seeing this guy, who like has a beautiful practice and he’s just talking my language like how you just really take care of patients. Anyway, I go up there and we have this exam. And he’s like, ‘Well, you know, we’ll, we’ll do our new patient exam, you’ll need to be here for a couple of days.’ And I’m like, Oh, you know, I didn’t really get what he’s talking about. So, we sit down for the exam, like on a Monday, and he does this crazy thing. He pulls out this big honkin’ camera and he’s taking pictures of my teeth. I’m like, What the heck is this thing?

And then he said, ‘Well, we’ll, we’ll review your findings in 3-4 days.’ Like what? And because it meant so much to him. Hey, this was back in the day where you know, we didn’t have digital photography. This was, he literally would have to take the 35-millimeter roll of film to Wolfe camera. Get it developed two or three days later, and all he, did all of his new patient exams that way he didn’t, everyone was a two-step process.

And I remember him bringing me back in and he sits down and he hands me this like polaroid. ‘Marvin, take a look. What do you see?’ And I look down and I’m like, ‘What do you mean me, like, holy crap, that’s my teeth.’ I’d never, I’m a dentist yet I’d never seen my own teeth. And I’m looking at these mercury fillings and cracks and like, holy cow, this is…

It hit me, I was like, I have to do this. This is the only way. There’s no other better way to show patients what’s going on in their mouth and just show them. And the reality is, and you know, it took me while I went through trying some cheaper cameras and point’n’shoots and this and the other.

Mark: Right

Marv Berlin: Eventually just had to break down. So, you know what, I’ve got to get the right equipment. I’ve got to learn how to use it. And then I’m trying to learn how to use it. I’ve got to delegate and create systems to where it gets used on every patient. And so, that’s how we’ve kind of evolved and we’re now every patient. I think we have five or six cameras in our office because, just because, we every, every hygienist has one. We’re just always using them, because we have a lot of new patients and a lot of patients in general, but that’s how it started. And so, I’ve kind of taken that and run with it. And it’s, I’m just wanting to share it online and so that anybody can have access to this.

Online Learning

Mark: I want to let everybody know, you know, back before, back when you owned the practice and all the partners owned the practice, we did a bunch of marketing for you and then…

Marv Berlin: Oh, yeah, that was huge.

Mark: I know but, but what I really want to say is, this is an eight figure a year dental practice. They skipped right through seven figures. So, and it’s what, one location, right? Marv?

Marv Berlin: One location.

Mark: Yeah

Marv Berlin: One location, where we’re seven figures a month.

Mark: Right

Marv Berlin: With four in so we get after it and

Mark: yeah, so to my list, I’m sorry. My point to my listeners is, is, is you guys probably go to seminars time and time and time and time and time again. With speakers, who don’t walk the walk. I’ll be the first one to tell you this guy walks the walk. Okay, he’s sharing with you part of that journey. So, pay attention. I’m sorry. Go ahead, Marv. So, so what is it? How do you teach people? You teach people…

Marv Berlin: Yeah, man, thanks for asking. Great question.

And it’s kind of evolved, like, the rest of the online process has gone. You know, we’ve all gone to, and there’s photography classes you can go to at, you know, meetings and whatever. But the reality is, and I think this has changed, it’s going to change education in general is, it’s online.

And so, what I’ve done, is I’ve created a full podcast or webinar, if you will. We’re going to launch it on December 10th. It’s dentalpics.com P-I-C-S DentalPics.com you sign up.

And it’s an hour and a half podcast, where I’m going to take everybody who wants to know photography and walk them through – step by step. What to get, what equipment to use, how to use it. We’re going to walk through the basics of photography, what buttons to press, what buttons you don’t need to worry about, what are your basic settings. The settings that you, all the settings you need, which are basic really and then just walk them, walk everyone through the podcast or how to do this.

And my, that’s my goal, is that the very next day out of this webinar, is that you are taking pictures in your practice. I’m going to show you how to get the camera, where to get it, I’ve researched the heck out of this. And just going to walk them through that.

And, and really there’s I think there’s two different clienteles. There’s Doc’s that don’t have a camera. Know they need it, and they just don’t have it on their radar. And I’m just telling you, you do. And then, there’s docs that have them and have kind of put them on the back burner, because they maybe didn’t learn how to use them or maybe they just got busy.

They don’t really have a system in place that, that, that allows them to use it.

This is Our System

So, we’ve created and I’m going to share with, everybody on the in the webinar exactly how we do it, how we set it up. We’ve created a position in our office called the hygiene quarterback, whose job is to bring every patient in, they get before anybody sees them, they get their photos taken. And then while they’re getting their x rays done, the pictures are uploaded. We kind of walk them through that process and how it’s, you know, it’s a minimal time but maximum productivity part of our patient, new patient flow. And it just builds and builds and builds.

I mean, I can’t, my team knows they wouldn’t, they’re not there, then I’m going to ask me to come into a room unless there’s the pictures. That are not only taken, but taken into Dentrix, up on the computer, in their proper position. We encourage them to put it in a certain way that patients can see and we have we’ve got it, Mark.

We’ve got it down to where, when you’re looking at a picture of yourself, we’ve got it feel to wear it looks like it’s a mirror image of yourself. So, your upper right looks like the upper right there. So, you, yeah, see, you don’t have to go oh wait, where’s that’s, where’s that in my mouth. We take, we take the time to just and it’s a click of a button. But if you don’t do it, it’s there’s a little bit of disconnect.

If you’re looking at the right side, and the patients feeling it on the left, they’re like what the heck’s going on. It’s just like with x rays. And so, we quit diagnosing them with x-rays, we just, we just show them and I do the same thing that doctor did to me 30 years ago. We put them up on the screen and I just go Miss Jones, what do you see here? And I just shut up and let them just.

And 90%, of the time they go, Wait, is that my teeth? I mean, they are. They’ve never seen it, you know? And they’re like, yeah, yeah, yeah, those actually are and so but, but it starts that conversation and then there’s some built-in trust that happens right off the bat and that, hey, we’re looking at the same thing. And, and anybody can look at a mercury filling and anybody can see a crack and anybody can see an open margin if it’s there, I mean, you can just see it, there it is. And so, it just starts the whole co-diagnosis process with our patients and just the case acceptance just goes in is so much more of a positive direction than without it.

Mark: Right

Marv Berlin: And so that’s our whole, our whole premise right there. It’s just better case acceptance.

Establishing Trust is a Must

Mark: When you and I discussed this, at the very beginning, we were talking about the two things that you have to do in marketing.

The first two things you have to do in marketing a dental practice is establish (these are to non-patients) is to establish some elevated level of trust and respect in the audience. And there’s a million ways to do that. But let’s that’s the really the first two things you have to do. Because if people don’t trust you and respect you, I don’t care who you are…

Marv Berlin: It doesn’t matter.

Mark: Right? Okay, so if your advertising and your marketing gets those people to be a little bit elevated, and make their first phone call, that’s the first leap of faith. Now they’re laying down in their initial exam chair. This is a whole other level of leap of faith.

So, now, now, right, what you’re saying is, is that you take that leap of faith quotient from a three to a nine on a scale of one to 10. Because if they’re a three and they’re sitting in my chair, we got them there. Now we get them up to nine, what you’re saying is this whole, this whole process, which doesn’t sound, it doesn’t sound interruptive. It doesn’t sound like something a dental practice can’t do.

It sounds. Actually, I’m not gonna say simple, but I’m going to say doable, right?

Marv Berlin: It really is.

Mark: It just takes that. It just takes that level of trust and respect up to nine. Basically, in the same amount of time you are going to be with the patient anyway.

Marv Berlin: It really is.

Mark: You’re just letting them do the talking.

Marv Berlin: You know, and I’ve, I’ve even said there’s some, there’s some we could get deep into this, but there’s some, some science into this. Where the amount of time it takes me to explain what’s going on versus the amount of the time that it takes for me to point to a screen and say, ‘Look what’s going on’. Is, it’s, it’s and I’m telling you what the time it takes to take those pictures and upload them…

Mark: Exactly.

Marv Berlin: Is infinitely smaller than the time it would take me to explain everything that they show you. And so, and so the math, the timing of the math works out so much better in our favor in minimizing the exam process. Because, you can, I mean there’s a crack period. You know, you just can’t miss it that’s going to get bad and let’s fix it.

And so, that’s, that’s the premise around this. There’s a lot of Doc’s that go, I don’t need it. I’m good at explaining and I can do with x rays, and I’ve heard every excuse, but the reality is, you know, 99% of your population, have not seen their teeth and will make better decisions when they do.

There’s one or 2% that go, ‘Oh, I don’t want to see this no. Just, you know, that’s cool. You’re going to get those and that’s, that’s okay. But the other 98 or 99% of them, get it and make better decisions because it.

Mark: How many of those 1 or 2% that don’t want to look are guys?

Marv Berlin: 100%

Mark: I know. (Laughter)

Marv Berlin: Our guy faces and the thing is, we know

Mark: That’s why that’s why I asked.

Marv Berlin: Yeah, they sure they sure are. So, there’s this crazy.

A Seven Minute Process

Mark: As we as we walk through this, so we have a new patient. They come in, they go through this process, you’ve delegated this process. So, you’ve basically taken it down to a whiteboard operational steps, what the person does, when they do it, what you expect as the dentist, what you see on the screen when you walk into the operatory, you’ve got it boiled down to you know, el dente, right? Everything, everything should be laid out, right?

Marv Berlin: And you need, and that’s what we’re going to go over the webinar, because I’m going to, I’m going to show you. Hey, these are the 10 pictures we take, here’s why we take them. Here’s how you take them, here’s where the patient sits and we’re just gonna walk right through it.

And it’s just going to make it as simple as I possibly can so that anybody watching that can incorporate it. And then and then where there’s no excuse.

I mean, it’s just a matter of just a dentist deciding – hey, this is how we’re going to go from here forward. Here’s how we’re gonna do it. By the way, Susie Assistant, Here’s the picture, of the picture I want, make it look like that. Here’s where you stand. Here’s where the patient sits, here’s the buttons on the camera to press go. And do that 10 times and then here’s how we are going to upload it.

And it just becomes about a, about a seven-minute process to be really honest with you. And that, as I said that seven minutes is, will definitely make it up on the other end when you don’t have to explain so much during the exam.

Mark: Yeah, well there’s a whole bunch of makeup on the back end from the admin standpoint too, because the greater your treatment plan acceptance.

Marv Berlin: Oh yeah.

Mark: The lower your back end administrative costs. So, yeah, well it costs way more than seven minutes on the backend to try and get.

Other Uses for Photography

Marv Berlin: Yeah, and also, you’re getting your medical legal considerations. Now you’ve got exact documentation of what they look like. You’re going to get better insurance reimbursement. You’ve got, a you know, art for your office you’ve got you know… if your case planning and you do smile design, you can go back and look at it, you can get better lab communication.

I mean, I’ve got a list a mile long of what all else it does. I’m just going to show you the tip of the iceberg of the case acceptance. But, boy when you start getting your afters, your before and afters, and you start creating a portfolio of your work. Using that portfolio online, I mean, it’s then it becomes exponentially important. Because you’re not only, you know, doing case acceptance for new patients, you’re doing, you know, 20-unit veneers cases, and now you’re posting online. And so, we’re obviously scratching the surface here, but I just you’ve got to start somewhere. And I think it’s so important.

Mark: So, here’s the, this is the starting prep, dentalpics.com And the webinar. When is the webinar?

Marv Berlin: December 10th at six o’clock central time, and it’s dentalpics.com.

It’s a free, you know, free webinar. Sign up, and, and we’ll have a good time, we’ll have Q&A. It’s wide open, you can ask me anything. If you have a camera, you want me to ask a question about it. I can pretty much know every button on these cameras, so I can help you out there.

I mean it’s, I’m that, I’m here for you guys and just wanted to share it with. I’m a big, big fan of NPI for goodness gracious 27 years, so I would love to help you guys out.

Mark: And that’s why we’re sharing it with our, with our tribe.

Marv Berlin: Yeah

Mark: Right we have a pretty good following and we’ll, we’ll put it up on, because what you, what you’re doing, Marv is indirectly, indirectly helping our clients.

You know, could maybe go from a 4 to 1 or a 5 to 1 first year, to what, 8 or 9 to 1 ROI the first year right?

Marv Berlin: Yeah.

Mark: I mean, it’s just if you end up having more cases then you know, its just math.

Marv Berlin: The math is really good.

Mark: Exactly.

Marv Berlin: Yes. It is it really as well as all right, so.

Mark: So dental pics.com Dental P-I-C-S.com.

You can just go there. Login, sign up.

It’s for December 10th at 6pm Central Standard Time.

Marv Berlin: That’ll do it.

Mark: And what, what would you say, Marv, the dentist, the dentist and the person they think they’re going to delegate this to like who should be in the audience on December 10 at six pm?

Marv Berlin: On December 10th for sure the dentist. I think the team member might come better at a later date. It’s definitely open to team members. It’s not just for dentist, I just but my message is going to be for dentist to learn this and then get that camera in their hand and put the handpiece in their hand.

And because that’s, you know, that’s how we’re most productive. We’re not productive with a camera in our hand. But you just, I got to teach them how to how to use it. Because there’s gonna come a day when all of a sudden, all the pictures are dark and you’re like, What the heck’s going on? I’m going to be here’s how we fix that, it’s a quick little fix.

Mark: Right.

Marv Berlin: And so, there’s little tips and tricks, we’re going to go over as well. But again, my goal here is to for docs to learn it and then delegate it. They’re welcome, to bring in as many people as they want. It’s like I said, a free webinar, so just welcome anybody. And I just guarantee you’ll get something out of it and that because that’s my goal. I just want you, the very next day to go, okay we’re starting taking pictures period.

Mark: Good good.

Marv Berlin: There’s no downside, no downside.

Mark: Well, Marv, I thank you for introducing this to our clients and our non clients, whoever is in our audience. We have a mix of both.

Marv Berlin: You’re more than welcome.

Mark: Yeah, this will definitely help people. None of this surprises me. I’ve watched you for the last 25 years be a pioneer in so many different areas in dentistry, and a lot of, a lot of props coming your way pal. Even though you’re a Cowboys fan.

Marv Berlin: Thanks.

Mark: That’s really hard for an Eagles fan to say, I just want I just want to impress upon you how difficult.

Marv Berlin: You had to throw that in there.

Mark: I had to.

Marv Berlin: I knew it was coming.

Mark: Seriously, Dr. Berlin, thank you very much. And I hope everybody that’s listening to this will go there and take part in this free education on December 10th at 6pm. And you might as well, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a free webinar, the worst thing that’s going to happen is you learn. That’s it.

Marv Berlin: So that sounds good.

Mark: Alright Marv, thank you.

Marv Berlin: Thank you very much. You have a good one. Appreciate it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can get all our podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Libsyn.com, and on our websites, newpatientsinc.com, and npiclick.com