“The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.”
Listen to Dentistry Unplugged
I am getting endless sponsored posts on my social media lately....and this was the inspiration for my snake oil salesmen blogs years ago already.
The same inspiration that I had when I wrote "Fire your salesman and buy direct"
The same kind that likely fires you up when you see the "Get a free exam and xrays" advertised....
When I started writing in the 80's - my only outlet was through a newsletter that I published locally. Some of my (mostly retired) friends may remember these newsletters. They had a little bit of humour, some advice on the newest technique for plugging amalgam, a revolutionary article on using light on the end of a handpiece...
Stuff like that.
I would devour endless magazines to satiate my hunger for knowledge of the business. Magazines that had sponsorship. Sponsorship mostly by companies that had endless advice on how everyone could improve their practice. Website creators that knew the secret SEO formula to drive thousands of people to your practice (as long as you paid them a high monthly fee to do so). Practice managers that would come to your practice for only $50,000 and it would dramatically change your day to day life. They would install a program and your team would come to work every day and start off with cheers and joy as you pounded out thousands of dollars of treatment and made endless profit.....
Stuff like that got me fired up to learn more....
What I learned is that a lot of it was BS. SEO wouldn't guarantee anyone success, especially as PROPER review sites and social media started to trump every person with a questionable business and tactics. Practice managers with limited success didn't have enough experience with the many different personalities, fee guides, challenges of team members and human resources. The fees and costs would come, and they would leave and the office would have a huge turnover and be a mess after. The only dramatic changes I saw in many of the practices that drank the kool aid were just that....the practices would end up pretty sick.
It made me wanna shout to the world! The answer is there, but every single person is different! Please don't just go drink the kool aid!
I have first hand been a kool aid drinker.
In my early thirst for knowledge - I BELIEVED every Eskimo Ice Salesman that was teaching me product. I drank in the purple juice of "ROI" which I later interpreted as Research of idiots. There was so much smoke in front of the mirrors, but the EIS (eskimo ice salesmen) were VERY good at what they did and would NEVER mention the price of gas for the cheap car. Only that it could "get you there" in record speed (don't mind the speed limits!!)
So I started to challenge these EIS. Asked them if maybe they forgot to mention the "challenges" and the "additional costs" like the guarantee that they already got paid for the product they just sold and then disappeared off the face of the earth when the SH** hit the fan?. Oh ya, the ongoing "maintenance" fee. The cost of "upgrades". The "materials and barriers". The "learning curve" cost. The "failure and starting over" cost. The "cost to train a new team member because everyone else just quit". The cost of materials that you ultimately bought and then didn't use because you hated them and couldn't return them....
So I wrote, more like RANTED!!! Like today!
And several thousand blogs, posts, emails and 35 years later....I'mma still reading the same SH**.
So what, it's just my opinion. However, I really HATE it when my friends get hurt. Makes me wanna kick someone in the teeth (which is probably good for my friends businesses).
This morning I left my bacon and eggs on my plate after they fell out of my mouth as I read a "sponsored" post from a "guru" that was recommending how to make more profit next year. Damn. I went straight to my guitar and wrote a pissed off song....then I went to FB Live...
"Make more money by raising your fees just 10%" it said. It said you could "reduce your team asking for raises" as you would inform them the reason the "prices went up" was to pay for their raises this year....so encouraging! Such great advice. Why didn't anyone else in this world think that all I have to do is raise my prices 10% next year and I will be more profitable!!
How about the ads that tell you that you need to spend more on marketing and websites and social media? Mostly indicating that you must suck because you don't have enough new patients coming to your practice. Not thinking that maybe there is a reason you don't have the 80% of your business already backed up from endless referrals from patients who already love you.
How about the advice to attack the people who work for you - Cut their wages. Cut their hours. Go after the supplies you use too. You can find cheaper. All without consideration of "train them" "Educate them" "Value them" or consider that the supplier coming to your door may actually have something more than just a discount to offer. Maybe they can help you with free advice to reach your goal of a productive practice and you don't have to pay them a dime for that advice?
The GURU guys. Just buy this piece of equipment, or do this technique. Come and pay to come to my course so I can teach you how to do a "procedure" using materials that are handier than a pocket on a shirt!! Only that the materials they had limited exposure to are actually also paying the way for this guru. Like Tiger Woods telling you that you need a NIKE club to play golf like him. It's just that easy, right? Do this and you will see an incredible results just like me. They will tell you don't use any other "driver" or you will always hit the ball out of bounds - but they have never even seen the new Taylor Made (because they aren't paid to use it).....know what I'm saying bub?
If you tuned in to FB live you heard me in drop D tuning (angry rock tuning) singing "You been kinda mean, that way that you talk...sideways out your mouth like you just dont give a...."
Ok. It's outta my system.
My only goal before I spend the next 35 years in this business is to maybe find a way to REDUCE THE COST of dentistry by teaching the BUSINESS of dentistry....and TIMEfactors. Efficiency. Reduction of input costs to increase profit, but mostly to increase the quality of the end result. Patient satisfaction and affordability.