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VIDEO - DUwHF #715 - Minal Sampat
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AUDIO - Minal Sampat #715 - Minal Sampat
Minal Sampat is a marketing consultant, public speaker, practicing dental hygienist, digital media fanatic and an enthusiastic shoe lover. She was born in India, grew up in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and now lives on the East Coast.
She launched her company, Growth Management Marketing LLC, by breaking the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous mouthwash swishers at one time with over 1500 participants by creating an event called Swish Away Breast Cancer.
Minal has also been featured in a handful of publications, podcasts and video interviews. She strongly believes in collaboration, brand engagement and team cultivation.
Howard Farran : It is just a huge honor for me to be podcasting Minal Sampat, RDH of Growth Management, LLC. Her website is Marketinggmm.com. So it's marketing and the gmm.com is for Growth Management Marketing. Minal Sampat is a marketing consultant, public speaker, practicing dental hygienist, digital media fanatic and enthusiastic shoe lover. She was born in India, grew up in Saint Thomas U.S., Virgin Islands and now lives on the East Coast. She launched her company, Growth Management Marketing, LLC by breaking the Guinness' world record for the most simultaneous mouth wash swishers at one time with over 15 hundred participants by creating an event called Swish Away Breast Cancer. That is so cool. Minal has been featured in publications, podcasts, video interviews. She strongly believes in collaboration, brand management, team cultivation and she's got a really interesting Facebook group called Dental Marketing with Minal Sampat, RDH and during this, or if you ever listen to this if you text the number 38470 you'll get a list of resources emailed to them. Is that right? 38470?
Minal Sampat : Right. That's right. So you want to text the words resources to that text. So just go into your phone and put that number and text the word resources and you'll be emailed a bunch of resources I'll be talking about today. So there you go. You have it all in your phone emailed to you.
Howard Farran : They can also email you right?
Minal Sampat : Absolutely. Of course. Yes.
Howard Farran : Minal@marketinggmm.com. So, gosh, it's funny because every dentist you talk to you know, they're paying all their bills but they always sit there and think in the back of their mind, if I've already paid my rent, mortgage, equipment bill, computer, insurance, malpractice, professional dues blah, blah, blah, if I just had ten more patients it'd pretty much probably be 60, 70% profit just dropped to the bottom line.
Minal Sampat : Right.
Howard Farran : So they always want ten more patients. So I'm going to hold your feet to the fire with that and just say, what if someone's driving to work right now? That's what podcast is. It's crushing radio. They're driving to work right now, they got an hour commute and they just say, give me ten more new patients a month. What would you tell them?
Minal Sampat : Well, I'll tell them figure out who your patients are. So, if you know who your target market is, figure out where they need to be and what to do. So, you look at your patient base. This is easy and you can do this while driving to work. It's super easy. So, in your head right now if you're driving to work, you're working out, you're out swimming, you're whatever, enjoying the summer time, just close your eyes and think about who your ideal patient is and which are the patients you actually serve. So If you think that the new patient, the ideal avatar of the new patient is let's say in the age group of between 25 and 35 or 35 and 45 then you need to say, okay well that's who my age group is that I want to really get into my practice.
How do I get to them and then it's very easy for you to figure out your marketing plan because you know that well I know I can't do print ads because they're not going to read the newspaper and I know they are not going to look at a flyer. So, they're already going to be online. So automatically you start to gather okay I need to get the reviews because they're going to Google me. Okay, I need to be on Facebook because that's where they are. If your patient base is seniors then look at all the senior homes that you have in your area and start going there. Start talking to them, explain to them the treatments you offer. So, it's very simple really if you look at it from a point of you saying who am I serving? Who is the person that's going to say, hey I want to go to the dental office?
Howard Farran : Nice. I just really really want to see the person listening to this podcast while swimming. I followed the driving, the running, the working out, but when you said swimming I thought damn, because it's dark.
Minal Sampat : Yeah. I grew up on an island and everything we did was on the beach. I mean, it was just life.
Howard Farran : No, I'm serious. At Lifetime there are people that swim with waterproof headphones on and they're jamming out while they're doing their laps.
Minal Sampat : I mean, you have the most phones, new phones out they're waterproof, so who knows?
Howard Farran : So, you talked about before about streamlining your current marketing. What do you mean by that?
Minal Sampat : Well, what I mean by that is most of the times when I walk into a dental practice or they call me they really don't know where they are spending their money on marketing but they also don't know what marketing they need because they came into this practice, either they're a new owner or either they're a long term practice owner, they have these trends or they know that this is what I'm doing. I know that everybody in my area is doing this thing. So this is a magazine in my area and everybody's in there so I have to be in there and that's it. That's where they kind of stop.
They don't take a step back and say, is this really working or what am I doing that's going to get me more and more patients because when you are stuck in that and when you see that marketing from your point of view and not your target markets' point of view you don't get the results. So what I mean by streamlining it is in order for you grow you need to first see where you are standing and where you are spending your money and how you are going to utilize technologies or print media, whatever it is to grow your practice. So, streamlining really starts inside your practice to see where you stand and then understanding how can I take what I already know and then add onto that to build my practice.
Howard Farran : You know, I wish, I wish dentists would all watch Shark Tank because I don't think any, there's probably not two dentists on Earth that could get a shark to invest in them because they don't ever know their numbers. Like, every time you go on Shark Tank those sharks are going to say, well what is your you know your new customer acquisition cost? Go ask any dentist who's been marketing for 30 years and say, what is your new patient marketing acquisition cost? What does it cost you to get a new head to walk in this door? Not one, I've never met anyone who would know that number.
Minal Sampat : Right and a lot of times that's the issue because you know they are saying, well I'm getting an average of ten new patients or I'm getting an average of 30 new patients or I'm getting an average of 150 new patients. That's wonderful and great but they have no idea how much money they are spending, where they are spending the money and sometimes the new patients are coming in they don't even know they have review sites. Like, they don't even know that they have a Google page or they don't even know that they have reviews available to them and they are thinking that those print ads is getting them these patients because that's what they know they're spending their money on and I look it up online and I'm like, listen you are crushing your competition with reviews right now.
Did you even know you have these reviews, and they're like oh no we had no idea. So, they really don't know how to take it all together and then really work on the systems which are working. You know? So it's hard for, it's hard and I'm a dental hygienist and I see patients all the time and I work in dental practice. I love what I do. I'm a pediatric hygienist and I love with pedo and I work with moms. So, in a weird way and I communicate with them and I always ask them, wait, how did you hear about this practice or how did you find us? What, why did you come to us compared to the competition and they'll give me this information that they are finding and some of these things nobody knows. None of the dentists know.
Howard Farran : Now, I noticed 30 years ago that the pediatric dentists tried to spend their marketing on general dentists that refer them patients and then the next generation realized no, spend that money with pediatricians and get the referral from the pediatrician three years before a dental office will get them. I think that's, so I think that's amazing you like pediatric dental hygiene. I couldn't think of a worse job. I really couldn't. I mean I just think that that would be my rock bottom. So, you know the tagline on Dentaltown was that with dentaltown.com no dentist would ever have to practice solo again. So a lot of times they're driving to work and they know their number but they don't know other people's numbers. So the, like the average person that calls you for a client, how many new patients are they already getting a month?
Minal Sampat : Well, they're getting about 20 to 30 new patients a month.
Howard Farran : So that's the average of what you see in the market?
Minal Sampat : Right. That's the GP average that I see in the market. Now if I go into special, if I go into pedo, pedo is averaging over a hundred new patients a month and those are the pedo practices that have come to me and those are the ones that I'm working with. Yeah.
Howard Farran : So, if they're getting a hundred new patients a month why are they coming to you for more marketing?
Minal Sampat : You always want more.
Howard Farran : Wow.
Minal Sampat : You always want more.
Howard Farran : Even if they're, yeah, what about, what about the other specialties you work? You worked with any other specialties?
Minal Sampat : Yeah, I work with perios, I work with ortho, I work with GP and pedos. So I work with most, I work with cosmetics as well but what I find with specialty is that it's harder and harder for you to market because now everything is under the GP umbrella. So unless you know, you, they are facing this competition because before like you know let's say specialty, they would work with the GP to get the referrals coming in to them but now the GP has a specialty in house. So they are losing those new patients coming into that GP and if they hire a GP now they're creating competition with that GP.
So there is such a new trend coming in right now where everything is under one roof. So for specialties it's getting harder and harder but I would say that for pediatric it's not that way because for pediatric parents will go out of their way to make sure that their child is comfortable and they don't have dental anxiety. So they will go out of their way to find a pediatric dentist that they will feel is proper and appropriate and fun and exciting for their kid. So they will spend the extra money. They will drive the extra miles and come to that practice for their kid.
Howard Farran : So I, do you not get many requests from endodontist and oral surgeons?
Minal Sampat : I have. I tend not to touch all of them because I know that that's a tough, that's a tough crowd and I tell them what, you know I give them some tips on what to do. Oral surgery is better because with oral surgery you know you can always have wisdom teeth and you can work with pedo, you can work with GP for those cases and that's great but the other issue that we're also working on is that the practices who have been there for a long time already have the list of people they're referring to. They already know who they're going to refer to and what I see a biggest mistake is they try to do this meet and greet which is great. You want to do the meet and greets.
You know you send out, you spend a whole day from a team member who goes to the practice, after practice with cookies and trays and food and everything else and that's great but they can hardly get face time with the GP. They can hardly get face time with the dentist or the doctor available to them. So they don't know how to communicate it with the front desk, the team and the team is what really matters in all of these because they are the ones who have those cards ready or if moms are asking them about it. They need to have their information ready to give out.
Howard Farran : You know the, for the specialties the best marketing I've seen and you know I see in Australia, Canada, England, the United States is when the specialists goes from thinking in fear and scarcity to hope, growth, and abundancy. Like for instance, your typical orthodontist gets really upset if he's in a small town and his referrals start doing Invisalign.
Minal Sampat : Why?
Howard Farran : The smart orthodontist say, oh these guys are going to do Invisalign so I want to be the one to teach them and they put on a monthly study club and they say, hey if you're not going to refer ortho to me and you're going to do orthodontics and Invisalign I'm going to set up a study club, we'll go with the models. So they get them all ramped up and they start training them because the general dentists it doesn't take very long to find out that if you don't do a case once a week you never get fast and efficient and profitable at it and most of those general dentists they make the most money doing crowns and you know, just basically crowns, fillings, root canals and I know, I know one guy in Sydney that opened up and it was so crowded for orthodontics and he started a study club.
So now he has four ortho practices, north, south, east, west, with four orthodontists associates and he built the entire thing by teaching all of his referrals how to do ortho and then they know, and even if they do an ortho case they had all that face time, so they're referring him to 80% of the cases they're not doing. You know, they might want to do a class one here, so it's really getting a mentality. You know, when you talk about marketing how much of it is, when people call you how often is the dentist in charge of this or is it the office manager, is it the doctor's spouse, is it the first, who's doing the marketing?
Minal Sampat : I have had everything. I have had the dentists. I have had the office manager. I had the wife. I have had all of that. Most of the time however it is the dentist and one of the things that I truly believe in is that does the dentist have to be involved? Absolutely. They are the ones paying the bill. They are the ones looking at the reports. Sure, but where I think they really need to focus us is getting one person in house to help with the marketing, because I'm a millennial and as a millennial and as somebody who grew up with social media and I, you know, I live on social media one of the things that I know what coverts is your practice culture. What converts is how the consumer thinks, not you as a dental professional. So, a lot of times when I know that the dentist is charge and involved in it, the way they want me to do their marketing is focus specifically on how they think that their practice is. Which is not true at all because they don't realize that the way the patient sees them is very different.
So if you have somebody in house doing your marketing, you can delegate that task out, you can actually focus on being a dentist and providing the care you have to provide to your patients and now this person in house is in charge of working let's say with me or with the team, with everybody else getting everybody involved, taking the pictures, putting them online, making sure that the website's functioning, making sure that your events are online, like talking to people. You need that one person. One person in your practice who I can easily shoot an email to and say let's talk this week and let's go over all this this and this and they'll call me and we'll go through everything together.
Howard Farran : I just got an email yesterday that said, hey dude I'm 50 years old and listen to your show everyday, because I'm always saying that everybody on my show is under 30, but there I mean, but I'm going to have to throw you under a bridge on one question.
Minal Sampat : Sure.
Howard Farran : You said you're a millennial and I'm a grandpa with two grandchildren and the bottom line is the old guys like me think direct mail is the king and then all the millennials think Facebook is the king. Who's right?
Minal Sampat : Who's right is who your target market is. So if you're going to try and expect a 57 year old or a 67 year old and hope that they're always happening on Facebook and they are not you have to go to direct mail. If your ideal client base are the people between the ages of let's 28 and 45 then need to be on Facebook. So, it's not necessarily which marketing is correct. It's about which marketing is correct for your audience, for your target market. So direct mail could be good if let's say if you're a brand new practice in an area and you just have to get your name out there, and you want to do brand awareness sure you can do a direct mail out of it, but what happens with the direct mail? You think somebody just looks at a piece of mail and says, I'm going to go with that dentist?
I don't think that's going to happen. They're going to actually try to look you up. At least call you, at least go to the neighbor that don't use Facebook and they're like hey, do you know this person? Like, I got this flyer in, do we know who they are? Are they good? Should I call them? They are going to get that second confirmation saying, I should make this call. So, it's not one form of marketing that's going to work. Direct mail is so popular believe it or not for many practices and that's okay if you're a new practice and if that's your target base but you have to have a follow up sequence to make the confirmation that you are the right practice.
Howard Farran : Can I tell you my best marketing campaign I ever did?
Minal Sampat : What is it? Tell me.
Howard Farran : Well, I graduated 30 years ago this month, May 11.
Minal Sampat : Congratulations.
Howard Farran : Got my practice opened September 21 and I opened it up and you know it was Monday through Friday, whatever but on Saturday and Sunday I got a backpack I filled up with toothbrushes, my appointment book, mirrors, gloves, all that and I got a map of my zip code, 85044 and it took me half a year to walk down every single street, knock on every single door and say hey my name's Howard Farran. I'm the new dentist over there by Safeway. I'm 24. I'm going to practice here 50 years. Just wanted to get out and press the flesh, meet the neighborhood. I'm going to live here you know the rest of my life and two out of three people would think, you know whatever, it's kind of weird. You know, you don't ever really have a dentist while you're here. The third door always had to open their mouth, show me their tooth.
I'm standing there on their porch with a flashlight with gloves on in the mirror and then they'd say well I need to come in and see you and I'd pull out my appointment book and I'd say well I have an opening 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the end of time, does any of that work for you, and I would literally fill up my Monday through Friday the next week by walking door to door Saturday to Sunday and I never stopped on Sunday until my hour and an half new patient blocks were filled and sometimes that'd be Sunday afternoon at three o'clock and I think one third of all Ahwatukee, and I can't believe it to this day 30 years later, I still have people coming in, dude I can remember you knocking on my door when you had hair and a six pack and they think it was crazy and the other one was, this is Phoenix, Arizona but everybody calls it Ahwatukee where we live.
So they just call it Ahwatukee. If you say do you live in Phoenix they say no, I live in Ahwatukee but even though you know, if you ask a lawyer you know, it's the same thing and they have an Easter day parade and they rent those little stalls for ten bucks and we get the whole staff to go the Easter parade, stand there, and we get all the brochures from the Arizona Office of Dental Health and we just stand there and I mean it was just amazing, all those moms coming by and I was wondering, you know my staff and all go there. They'd all wear this shirt Today's Dental. How important do you think it is to get every single person on the staff on the marketing band wagon?
Minal Sampat : Oh, so important. So, so very important and most times the team is the face of your company is the face of your brand is the face of your practice. So from the time somebody calls to schedule an appointment to the time they check out a team member's is always involved in the process. A dental professional, as a dentist you come in and you do your exam or you go and do your treatment. Half the time the patient can't speak to you and that's all it is but the team, let's say Linda picked up a phone and made the appointment. Linda mattered there. Let's say the checkout comes, let's say the treatment options come. Everything matters because of the team and if your team is not on board with what you want to do with your marketing it's going to become so hard. Like so many practices are like, my team they just don't understand it. They just don't want to be a part of this. They don't want to take a picture to be on there and I understand.
This is your private life and you don't want to show it out there which is great but if your team had a way for them to interact so that your patients are always happy and so that your, all patients know what's goin on with your marketing it makes a lot more sense. So, for example you know for April it was Autism Awareness Month or Oral Cancer Month and a lot of people did the whole you know blow bubbles for cancer. If you were doing that and you had a patient doing that and the team had no idea what was going on and somebody asked them saying hey what is going on and they're like, I have no idea what they're doing that's not cool. That's something to work out with your marketing. You have to make sure the team knows what's going on so that you can get more and more people involved. So, absolutely, include your team in everything and having team meetings is a way to do it. Having morning huddles is a way to do it so that you're all on the same page.
Howard Farran : So, they're driving to work. So one of the things I do on my show is I always re-tweet my guest Twitter. That way when they get to work if they're on Twitter they can find you on just my last tweet @HowardFarran. Your twitter is @Marketinggmm. @Marketing@GMM. I love that little picture. It's five wooden spoons. It's what is, Pinterest? I don't recognize the yellow one. Is that Snapchat?
Minal Sampat : Let's see. Yes. I believe so.
Howard Farran : Is it and then is it Twitter, Facebook, and then Pinterest? Is Pinterest still alive or is that dying?
Minal Sampat : Oh, no. Pinterest is alive. Pinterest is alive because it's alive again if you're trying to market to young female audience. They're on Pinterest. They're on Instagram. They're pinning away and let's say right now if you're a cosmetic dentist it's wedding season. Guess what all the brides are doing. They're on Pinterest creating their boards and how they want their wedding to look. They are there and they are there. You have to be there. If you're a cosmetic dentist you want to do a free like whitening thing or you want to do a whitening campaign for the brides and the bridal, you know the whole party, you need to be there.
Howard Farran : When my patients tell me they are going to married I refer them to a psychiatrist. I say this is a really bad idea. So if my homies go to your website ...
Minal Sampat : Yeah.
Howard Farran : Marketinggmm.com and so I'm on it right now. What are my homies going to find at Marketinggmm.com?
Minal Sampat : Oh, some cool stuff. Okay, so the first, a few things they are going to find are obviously who I am and about me and my life in the Virgin Islands and all that cool stuff. They're also going to find in an area which is the blogs area which is pretty cool because I have a lot of blogs in there with a lot of questions that I answer. They're also going to find the press area. Now, the press area is important. So Howard, you know you're going to be on there soon as soon as this thing goes live, is that that's where you're going to find articles which are incredible sites and podcast interviews where we go over specific tips and marketing. So that's a good thing to have as well. I do have a Facebook marketing group. Now here's, and Howard you may pitch in because I know you probably have experience with this. Here's the part that is troubling to me is that marketing information you can, in today's world you can pretty much find anything you want.
You know, there are professional out there. I am not the only marketing person. There are so many dental marketing professionals. We are all there and some of us do these things to help you out. So I have the Facebook marketing group and in that Facebook marketing group I answer questions. I'll be doing a live podcast soon, could you answer questions in that marketing group and it's, all you have to do as a dental professional is to join it. So you have this wealth of knowledge available to you and all you have to do is join it and still we find people who don't do it. They still don't want to get the help or they still don't, they're still afraid to ask the marketing questions that they have. So that, you will see the Facebook group there, just join it. It's super easy and if you don't want to be there you can always leave. It's not a, you know, it's not the end of all.
Just go there. Just do that. You're also going to find my consulting plans and what I do and cool stuff. So I'm a curator almost. Think of it that way. What I do is I kind of walk into your practice, I look at what you're doing your marketing, I figure out where you need to be. I help you figure out your budget. I help you make sure that you have the right systems in place and I connect you with the right companies and the right people so that you can actually make marketing work for you. So that's you know, that's one of the things that I'm good at and that's what I do.
Howard Farran : So, do you have a podcast on iTunes?
Minal Sampat : I don't. What i do is I do live videos. I'm all about live videos in my Facebook group.
Howard Farran : You have blogs too, right?
Minal Sampat : I do. I have blogs that I, that go up on my website where I answer specific questions and I go over certain things. Yes.
Howard Farran : Well you know you should repost those blogs on the Dentaltown blog site because there's, for two reasons. One, there's a quarter of a million dentists and hygienists and office managers and all that on there, a quarter of a million.
Minal Sampat : Uh-huh (affirmative).
Howard Farran : Not only that but over 50 thousand have downloaded the app but the coolest reason, the coolest reason that to repost your blog is because we have that share feature for your Pinterest and Linkedin and Tweeter and Facebook and the, they shares where a townie will read that and basically the instinct is, the greatest gift a patient give is to refer a friend or a loved one and the greatest gift a townie can give is when somebody wrote a blog. I mean it's free or put on an online C course or whatever, they share with their group and the shares have been tracking up very very high. So the amount of blogs that are shared to that townie's social media is basically doubling like about every four months.
Minal Sampat : Right.
Howard Farran : So if you're already writing the blog you aught to just repost it on Dentaltown and then if someone likes it and what's amazing is there's more shares on, well like when you do a magazine article, like there might be 123 Dentaltown magazine article that article shared but there might only be three comments on the deal. Same thing as the blog. Most of the blogs don't have comments but they might have you know, 47 shares.
Minal Sampat : Right.
Howard Farran : So I think it's a millennial thing where, if they read it and go that was a good one. I'll share it to my Facebook. You know what I mean? I mean, It's a sharing economy.
Minal Sampat : It is.
Howard Farran : So, how do you, how does my homies, look so tell me more about your website. What else are they going to find on Marketinggmm.com?
Minal Sampat : Well, they're going to find all this cool, cool bits and things. Another thing that you can easily do with the website too is that I have added the live chat feature too. So if you have any questions you just kind of put it and guess what the live chat is. The live chat is actually just Facebook Messenger that's attached to my, attached to my website. So you can always be able to just shoot me a question there and me, well you know, my team or I, I will always get back to you. Most of the time it's going to be me who's going to get back to you because I understand the need for you to speak to me. So I definitely do that as well. So, the website's happening. You know, you can go check it out and if anything just go check it out for the pictures, posts, and comments. We also have Magens Bay is featured right on there.
Howard Farran : Minal i was telling you before we started my Saint Thomas nightmare. So, I was lecturing in Saint Thomas. I was staying at Four Seasons. It was kind of close to Magens Bay and I was drinking those little red drinks with the umbrella in there and didn't know how much they were impacting me, rented a jet ski and my best idea when I was way out there is, oh I'm just going to run over to the next island and yeah, they had to come with a boat and come get me and tow me back. That island that looked like I could just scoot over to the next island. How far away is that?
Minal Sampat : It's not that far away but I mean by getting a jet ski it's going to be far but it's not that far away.
Howard Farran : I mean, was it a mile?
Minal Sampat : No. It's a few miles. It's a few miles. I don't know the exact mileage but it's a few miles because we just go by the water and you know by the time you get there it'll already ...
Howard Farran : How long will it take you in a boat?
Minal Sampat : Probably about an hour to an hour and a half.
Howard Farran : Huh. So, you're talking to a lot of millennials.
Minal Sampat : Yeah.
Howard Farran : They're commuting to work. They're either an associate in private practice which is the majority and then or they're with corporate meaning big band, you know big box dentistry where they got 50 or more locations and they're thinking, and the turnover at corporate dentistry with the dentist and the private sector with, if you ask any old man, how many associates have you had and they'll say, like three and I'll say, how long do they stay with you? Usually they say like just a couple of years but they're driving to work right now their associate. I want you to talk about a lot of times they get obsessed in that the most important thing is their name, their brand, their logo, their color, all that stuff but then I look at really successful companies like Uber.
I mean I would've loved to be sitting around the table and say, well what's the marketing department's name? Uber. Oh, nice and we pay money for that? You know, I mean Uber, Xerox, Kodak, these prescriptions. You know, they have the weirdest names. Every time they throw out a new prescription name I'm like, did that, did someone really in the marketing department that was their best idea? So, I want to ask you once you're driving to work, how important is it to get the brand, the logo, the name, the color, all that stuff?
Minal Sampat : You know, it's to me it's not that important.
Howard Farran : How do you do that?
Minal Sampat : All right. So, to me it's not that important because what is important is like you said the Uber, the service that you provide and the culture that you provide towards that. Right? So, I always give an example when I'm talking to people and I say how many Jessica's do you know? You probably know multiple Jessica? Jessica is just a name but the personality that you associate with the person is different. That's what identifies you. That's what makes you difference. So, in the same way in the world of anything you have a name. That name is there so they can recognize you. My name is Minal, so I am Minal but there are other Minal's out there but what makes me difference is who my personality is, what my personality is. So, the same way is brand name important? Obviously, it's important. Your URL is important because of the way you have your SEO rankings show up.
So, yeah that's important but in reality have a name and then really focus on showing it in your practice culture because that's what's going to be out there and you know, a lot of times dentists don't even have a practice name, do they? Many times they come to you and they just have their practice is their name. This is John Smith and this is my name. John Smith, the DMD is my practice and then they'll try to come up with a different name but the name just recognizes the location. Are the banners important? Sure, you want to be visual and you want to be active. You can go to my website and you will greens and black and whites but can i change it to reds and yellows? Sure.
I can do that but it's not going to really take a part from what I deliver to you. So, in the same way when you provide the dental service to your patients, your names, your colors, your logos are not the most important things. Stop worrying so much about the visual aspect of it and start doing. Start actually trying to interact with your patients. Start making sure that they are referring you new patients and that's what you want to do to grow your practice and then all those other things kind of fall into place.
Howard Farran : I have another very interesting question. When I lecture around the world you're starting to see more and more and more dentists not even go with a website and they only have a Facebook page and the two variables I see, in the United States when I meet a dentist says, yeah I don't even have a website, just have a Facebook page, they're usually first five years out of school but when you get into Africa, Asia, and Latin America it's the majority. So more dentists in Cambodia and Malaysia and Indonesia and India only have a Facebook page. When you go to the United States and Canada more dentists have a website than a Facebook page but do you think a Facebook page is a substitute for a website?
Minal Sampat : I don't think so. It is, so think of your online presence as a home. Your website is a living room and then everything else kind of falls towards it. Now your Facebook is a very important part absolutely but what is more important is your Google business page because now Google has come up to a point where they will allow you to add photos. Interior photos, exterior photos, your team photos, your doctor photos. So if you have access to your Google business page they will Google will actually walk you through the steps and tell you what photos to put here because they want you to show the brand culture right away. Your reviews are on Google as well. So when you have your reviews on Google, when you have all these photos on Google, that's important. Then you use, so Google gives you the credibility. The credibility of saying that you are a good dentist, people like you. Here are the reviews to make sure that you are a credible dentist.
Facebook is social. It's a social environment. So, this is where you get to share about your team, your patients, your practice culture, your fun videos, your dancing videos, hey you know what this is happening in May with Cinco de Mayo. This is what we did. We bought [inaudible 00:31:11] for the whole team. That's what you need to do on Facebook. So, as a replacement I don't think the United States is there yet and you know a lot of countries, because I am Indian. I was born in India. I was raised in Virgin Islands and I do have dentists in India that I speak with and many times they don't go ahead and do a website is because of the cost. To get a decent website is a lot more money. So, they start going with Facebook, they start going with Google to make sure they have some presence and then they work on their website.
Howard Farran : Now, let's switch to the most important part of marketing. I mean it really is. I mean, anytime you ask a dentist, they'll say what are you doing for marketing and they'll see this, this and I'll say, I'll say well how is it working and they say, good, and I'll say well how many new patients did it get? What did you spend? What was your patient acquisition cost and they go you know I don't have any idea. I just got a gut feeling it's really good and I say well dude, guts are filled with shit so you have a really shitty opinion. So let's switch to measuring. Measuring the mother, how do you measure? Well, first of all what do you think the average spend, when you said the average dentist is getting 20 to 30 new patients a month what are they spending per head? I mean, what's the norm per head? I mean, is it a hundred a head? Is it 75?
Minal Sampat : I believe, i mean it depends on what they are spending their money on but if they're doing anything with print ads that alone is two thousand dollars that they are spending, just on that one marketing space. So, you can actually guarantee that they're probably spending at least somewhere around I would say 500 to 700 dollars just to get some sort of marketing running, something, and that could be just any small thing. So, just for you to get ahead of the game, even if you have a free Facebook page. A Facebook page is not going to let you do much unless you do Facebook ads. So, even if you have free services you have to put that money towards that service no matter how you're going to do it. So you have that ad budget right but the way that I think is the best way to see how much you're spending and where you're spending and what you're converting into is let's say you look at all your marketing costs right now. So, you look at everything. I paid 50 bucks to maintain my website or I paid two thousand dollars for a paper ad.
Whatever it is you write it on an Excel sheet, so you know exactly what your marketing cost is, what you are spending. What you also need to include is I know that maybe this is maybe a pero thing but you also need to include that if you're spending time and money sending somebody to do the meet and greets like how like you did when you went around and you were doing all of that, include that cost into it so you know what everything's costing. Then, when you have the new patient numbers coming in you figure out where those new patients are coming from. This is vital because a lot of practices do not do this. They have no idea where the new patients are coming from. So, if you don't have a way to figure out just even an idea of how many new patients you're getting from a website or how many new patients you're getting from the carnival you were at last week or how many new patients you're getting because your current patients are referring you. That's important.
So you have your cost. Then you have the number of new patients. Then you take that information and you have how much or where the new patient came from. Then, look at the production. Look at how much of those new patient brought you production. Once you look at that production that's when you're going to be able to find out what is your acquisition cost, where is the value of a new patient and how much you are okay with spending in marketing. If you go online and say how much do I spend on marketing, it's going to say spend two to five percent or ten percent of your budget. Sure. If you're a new practice, you're just starting getting into it, start it that way but the real way of doing it is saying this is what's working. This is how much we're spending. This is where we're getting the new patients from.
So, this is the value of the new patient in our practice because every practice is a different [inaudible 00:34:47] depending on the specialties, on what they're selling, what they're selling, the number of doctors they have. This is the value of my new patient, this is how much it cost for me to bring in a new patient and this is ROI on that. So, that's how I would do it. It's super easy for you to do it just on an Excel sheet and you can get it done that way.
Howard Farran : So, on the, I'm going to get specifics. On a Facebook ad, is boosting a post you know, when you log onto Facebook and it says hey you can boost this post for 15 dollars and reach thousands, is that the same as creating a Facebook ad, because it looks like there is two separate ways?
Minal Sampat : Yes.
Howard Farran : Is there two separate ways?
Minal Sampat : There are. So, the boosting is Facebook's way to make it so easy for you that if you are not a Facebook ads expert you can just go online to a post and just press boost and you press boost and it'll say who do you want to boost this to? Your current fans? Your friends and family and you just create a boost ad. That ad is still a Facebooks ad but you have access to what is called ads manager. So, if you go to the ads manager it will actually give you options on what kind of ads you want to do. Engagement ads, you want to press out offers, you want to get page likes, you want to get lead ads, you want to do video views. It will give you options on which kind of ad you want to run and here's the really really cool part about Facebook ads. So, right now Facebook has over a billion daily active users. It's insane.
It's huge. So, what Facebook gives you is it gives you a target marketplace. It tells you that we are over a billion active users daily and almost two billion monthly active users. So, if anybody tells you that Facebook is going away it's not. It's not going away. It's staying. People are getting on there. My dad, it's his birthday, so happy birthday, so happy birthday dad but it's his birthday and he is turning 65 today and he's on Facebook and he's on Facebook all the time. So, Facebook is actually there for a lot of group of people. So, if you are Facebook ads it will allow you to choose a perfect target audience. So, you know how I started this conversation in the podcast talking about the avatar and knowing who your ideal new patient is? If you write all those things down, my ideal new patient is females between the age of 28 to 45 who are professionals who are making this much money who are living in this area who are shopping here or who are going here, who are doing this or they're watching my videos.
You can put all that information on there and create a target audience. So, what this does is that this puts your ad in front of the people who really matter and who are going to convert. So, that's so really cool about Facebook ads. Another thing that Facebook ads does is this is really powerful is that it gives you a Facebook pixel. So, many people don't know this. It's similar to the Google analytic code and I know how with people who listen to you already know about Google analytics. So, I'm not going to go into that but if Facebook pixels is just something I'm going to mention very quickly is that if you do Facebook pixels code you can put that code on your website and you know how when you go onto Facebook you are on a website and then you go into your Facebook and you are like, I was just there and now this website is showing up on my Facebook.
That's because you're being tracked. That's because that code is letting Facebook know that this person was on your website. So now Facebook automatically shows your website or your ad to that person. So it's really cool on how Facebook has really grown to be this market form that you can utilize for specific targeting ads.
Howard Farran : What if they ask you this, if you had to pick between Facebook ads and Google ads what would you pick and why?
Minal Sampat : Hands down Facebook ads because Google ads are PPC ads. They are the ones that show up on top of the page and they say ad next to it. When you go online on Google and if you are the ones who are listening to this and you have access to your phone and you are not driving and you can actually do this or you have access to a computer, just go to Facebook or just go to Google and search for whatever. I will tell you that most of you are not going to click on the ad, because you know it's an ad. You are going to click on the maps area with the reviews and the organic search underneath it. So, you are not going to click on those ads. Facebook is different because it's targeting it to the audience that you want the ad to see. Google is everywhere. Right? So Google is as specific with audience. Facebook is. So the reality is that more people will click on the ad for Facebook because they are the ones who are interested in that ad. So that's why they will click on the Facebook ad.
Howard Farran : That was interesting. I want to ask you another very controversial question.
Minal Sampat : Okay.
Howard Farran : When you're on Dentaltown and you go under marketing and you type in Facebook or Google you'll see all these threads but man when you type in Yelp there is a very, it's not a pretty sight. I mean, they, it seems like more dentists have something very negative to say about Yelp than positive, which you really don't see in the Facebook ad discussions, the Google ads. So, why is Yelp, do you agree that Yelp is very controversial?
Minal Sampat : I do. I think Yelp is very controversial and I think that Yelp has made its own little issue there because here is the difference between Yelp and Google reviews, okay. On Google when you put the reviews up they will put up the reviews and that's fine. People can go, as long as you have a Gmail account you can go to Google and write a review. Great. Fantastic and easy. Yelp is different. So Yelp, so Google is the place with the most reviews. Yelp tells itself that it is the place with the most trusted reviews. So how do you know this review is trusted? According to Yelp they have an logarithm and their logarithm, so even if I am on Yelp or I'm a new user to Yelp and I go write a reviews, most probably that review's not going to show up. It's going to show up under not recommended reviews, because I'm not a Yelper, because I'm not somebody who goes on there, because I don't have a profile, because I have all these other things that I'm doing but I'm not on Yelp.
So Yelp claims that it has a logarithm where it looks at the reviews and it shows the reviews by Yelper. So people who are very active on Yelp. So it's hard for any profession and specifically dentists and have patients go to Yelp and write the review, because even if the patient goes and puts that profile up, creates this profile it's not necessarily that reviews going to show up and that's the issue with Yelp. Yelp also got a bad rap because there are claims that Yelp would call dental practices and say hey listen if you want to have positive reviews show up give us 800 dollars for the ads and we'll make sure that you show up. Yelp denies it, obviously. Have I run into issues with that? I have and have spoken to Yelp on multiple locations and they always tell me that it's a logarithm, but unfortunately the thing is when you go online and you look for reviews or you go online and put down the practice name your practice website will show up.
Your Google reviews will show up on the right side and under your practice profile is going to be reviews, your health grades, your Yelp, your vitals, all of those review sites are going to show up. So whether you like Yelp or not it's really not the question. The question is Yelp is important in the online world. So it's figuring out a way on how we are going to use Yelp, because if you don't utilize it that three star review is just still going to stay on Yelp. It's still going to be online because Yelp is a powerful, powerful online presence. So you have to learn how to utilize Yelp for yourself. So I would you know, it's controversial so I will tell you yes I know, hate it or love it but it's there and it's powerful. So figure out a way to use it.
Howard Farran : So if you, if you were my patient and I just finished up doing dentistry on you and I was trying to motivate you to write a review, should I try to steer you toward writing a Facebook review, a Google review, or a Yelp review?
Minal Sampat : It depends on what you're active on. So if you're older or if you are already on Facebook then it's easier for you to do a Facebook reviews. If you have a Gmail account it's easier for you to do a Google review and if you are a Yelper if you, I know that you're somebody young and I know that somebody, you're always going on Yelp and reading you know different restaurants you eat at and Uber and everything else going on, I would totally ask you for a Yelp review. So again it depends on the situation because all of those three places are powerful. Google is powerful because of your SEO. Facebook is powerful because of all the social media and Yelp is powerful because you just need more Yelp reviews because nobody's working on Yelp. So if your patient comes to me, if I am your patient and you are telling me oh Minal you know, I hope you had a great experience today, would you mind writing and you don't tell people would you mind writing me a positive review because then you are telling them what to write.
You always tell them, would you mind sharing your experience with us by going to Google, Yelp, or Facebook? Or you can start by saying, hey where are you active? Are you active on Facebook or Yelp or Google and I would say hey I'm totally active on Facebook all the time. Fantastic. This is my Facebook page. Can you please make sure you share your experience with us there? So you direct them where you want them to go depending on what's easy for them because if you make it hard for people to write a review for you they're not going to write it. They're already taking the time out to do this, so make it so so easy and so comfortable for them that they continue to write your reviews.
Howard Farran : I want to ask a reverse marketing question. How do I get rid of new patients, because most of my new patients are family members and cousins and nephews coming in search of free dentistry and I have found out that new patients actually I lose money on.
Minal Sampat : Oh, man so if you don't want new patients, I'd just put down a big thing and say here, you know what guys? I'm just not available. I'm too busy. I'm way too busy. So I'm just not even going to see you. Or you just send them a thank you card at home and say, thanks for being my patient. Here's a really cool dental practice I want you to go to. You're going to love it. They have iPads and they have a swimming pool. Just go there. Just go there. Just go there.
Howard Farran : So what are other, so I've had you for 45 minutes. I'm down to 15 minutes. What are other marketing tips that she can think about on the way to work?
Minal Sampat : Well some of the marketing tips you need to think about, you know we talked about this a lot where people ask me, has marketing changed and I'm 31, so I know that I grew up in a different world you know compared to what the other ones are but the cool thing is that I am in your target market. What that means is that I am a professional. I am a female, so I make decisions on where my families going to appointments. I'm married to a professional. My husband's a physician and here's the thing. I know that if I am in your target market I know what ads speak to us. So the number one thing I want you to do as dental professionals is take a step back and think about whatever you're putting out on marketing outside, is it relating to your potential new patients? Please don't put a picture out of a root canal out there because it's not going to relate to a new patients. Please don't do that.
You want to put out what's going to connect with them. So if you have in your head right now, I want you to think of a question that you're always asked. Maybe it's a question of saying what are sealants, maybe it's a question of saying what is a root canal. What are implants? Do I need implants? What is sedation? Whatever question you're really getting from your current patients right now I want you to think about it. Come up with the answer that you tell them. Then you're going to take your phone and you're going to practice. You're going to practice doing a video which is only only me. So when you're doing practicing on live video you're going to click down on it and you're going to say only me. When you do only me Facebook doesn't show it to anybody else. Take it practice, practice, practice the answers and then do the live video. Do this live video and save it on your camera.
So here's what you're going to do. When you do a live video on Facebook it's going to be live on Facebook obviously but when you save it on your camera roll you now have a powerful marketing tool that shows you as a credible dentist, as somebody who is using a new technology and the reason you want to do a live video is because it's easy, number one. It's super simple. It's easy and the second part is Facebook is pushing, pushing for videos right now. So that means that if you do a live video your fans, you're getting the maximum exposure and this an easy thing you can do right away when you get to the practice today. So once you do that you put the video on Facebook and you now save that video on the camera roll. You then add that video onto a YouTube channel. If you don't already have one create YouTube channel. YouTube is important because Google and YouTube are one. So you need to be on YouTube.
Put that on YouTube and now add that to your website. So you see there's a circle of things from one thing that you did in marketing. So this way you have a clear idea of what you are doing and connecting all the dots and if you do the video on Facebook this is when you can boost it. Boost the videos to your current fans and friends because if somebody is already connected to you on Facebook more than likely their friends are going to say hey, Minal knows this dentist or she goes there. Let me flick on the dentist and check it out. So that's where you want to start boosting it. The more live videos you do the better. So then, the number two tip that I really want you to do is look at your reviews. Please, please, please, please, please, go online, go on your phone, go on your computer. Just search for yourself. Search for the dentist in your location.
See if you actually show up and then if you do show up please look at the reviews because many times you have no idea what people are talking about you. Negative and positive and then reply to those reviews. Negative reviews and positive reviews. Now you know many times people won't mention reply to positive reviews Howard but the reason you want to do that is because if I took the time out to write you a review I want to make sure that you read it and at the same time I know that other new patients are reading it and you want them to know that you are reading the reviews as well. Reply to negative and positive reviews and also make sure you claim your profile. So here are some profiles you want to claim online. Now there are so many, hundreds of profile that are online but you want to claim your Google business page and it will say if it's not claimed go to maps and it will say how to claim the Google business page.
You want to claim your Yelp page, you want to go ahead and claim your health grades page, your wireless page, your Bing page. You want to claim those pages right away. You also want to claim your Facebook page and on Facebook write down, search if you have multiple pages because you may have duplicate pages and you may have to merge those pages.
Howard Farran : Okay, you said that fast. Okay, claim the pages. Facebook, you said Google business?
Minal Sampat : That's Google business page.
Howard Farran : Google business page.
Minal Sampat : Your Yelp page.
Howard Farran : Yelp. So there's a Yelp page. Like, I have a Yelp page?
Minal Sampat : Well, your practice would or maybe you do too because you're a public figure. Yeah.
Howard Farran : No. My dental office is Today's Dental. Yelp and then what, the other you say?
Minal Sampat : Right. So you have the Facebook that you have to claim. You also have to claim the vital speech. Vitals.
Howard Farran : Vitals.
Minal Sampat : Uh-huh (affirmative). Health grades.
Howard Farran : Health grades.
Minal Sampat : Bing.
Howard Farran : Bing?
Minal Sampat : Uh-huh (affirmative).
Howard Farran : Are they still alive?
Minal Sampat : They are. They are. They are still alive.
Howard Farran : What would be the demographic of someone that says, you know that Google sucks, I'm going to use Bing? What went wrong with that person? Did their mom drop them when they were little?
Minal Sampat : I don't know. I don't know but you know what? Bing and Yahoo continue to be still powerful. So Bing and Yahoo are powerful places. So you want to be on Yahoo as well, Yahoo local.
Howard Farran : Well I hear people say Yahoo every once, I mean most people just say Google it. Every once in a while I'll hear Yahoo but I don't think I've met a, someone saying Bing.
Minal Sampat : I know but you know what, Bing is powerful in search results. So that's why you want to be there. So those are the places you really want to claim and make sure you're active on. Now, there are ways you can see how many profiles, yellow pages is another one. Yellow pages online, not the actual yellow pages book. Yellow pages online. The reason yellow pages is important is because the other directories online get your information from the yellow pages. Now, the other tip is if you go ahead and claim all those pages you need three things to be similar, your practice name, so you can't just have the doctor's name on some listings and the practice name on some listings and some listing with the doctor and the practice name together. You need it to be the same exact name. Think of it how the system works. It's the computer. A computer looks at the same word and identifies it.
It's not going to say that XX practice with Dr. John Smith. It's not going to know that this is Dr. John Smith works at this practice. It just knows letters. It's computing it, right? So your name, your practice name has to be universal. Your phone number has to be universal and your address, and when I say your address not, St is not the same as street. It's different. So you have to make sure that those things are the same. So if you tried to choose St as your practice address make sure Google has it. Make sure all those profiles has it. Make sure your website has it, because that's how computers work. They work because they understand certain words. So I see this a lot and many times this is the biggest mistake because people don't even realize they have profiles because they are not searching it the right way. So you have to have everything universal and make it so easy for the computer to recognize it.
So that's the second tip I want to give you. The third tip is focus on what your patients want to listen to and hear to. So focus on that. If you have team birthdays coming up, celebrate them. Do a video of them. Make sure you put it out there and say help us wish Ms. Jessica a very happy birthday. So try to do it. So these three tips are time consuming. I know. I know they're time consuming because you gradually do research and claim those pages and update the address and update the photos but just do them. They are easy enough that you can take care of them right away.
So make sure you do that and if you actually went in and texted that word resources to that number which is 38470 you will get all the resources, all the online platforms which I use and most of them are free to make sure that your presence is good and active and the second thing you are going to get after a couple of days is a printable list of ten tips that you need to do in your practice. So already all that information is on there. All you need to do is make, you know text the word resources to 38470 and you have all the details. See, I made it easy for you.
Howard Farran : If they email you Minal@marketinggmm.com can you email that list or do they have to text you?
Minal Sampat : Oh, no I can totally email them. Of course.
Howard Farran : Can you email it to me Howard@dentaltown.com?
Minal Sampat : Will do.
Howard Farran : Yeah, I want to send that to my marketing guy and make sure I've claimed all those things. What if someone's listening to this saying I just got out of dental school. I studied you know calculus, physics, geometry? If you had, if I wanted to learn about marketing, do you have any book? What's your favorite marketing book?
Minal Sampat : Oh, I don't, I don't, to be honest with you there are so many marketing books out there. I actually just think Google. You just need to Google because I know that if you are a brand out of dental practice you are like me and you are millennial and how many of you actually own a physical book? We either read everything on our Kindles or we Google everything. I mean if I have my own marketing questions I literally go and Google it. There are so many fantastic and amazing marketing practices out there and consultants and groups and they all give you free information on their blogs, on their radios, on their podcasts like Howard is doing. Sign up for a podcast. Sign up right away. Make sure you listen to professionals talking to each other. That's where you really get the tips. I like the books and I have read a lot of books but the thing with the books is, we live in a world where things change every moment and everyday.
So with books gives you a fundamental. It tells you the foundation of what you need to focus on and we all know it's customer service as in providing care and making sure the patients are okay and how to close a case and all that good things but because the world changes everyday a book to me is a not a rational source of information because I want to know what Google did tomorrow or it's going to do tomorrow. I want to be on there. You may be reading a book that's talking about Google worked a month ago and guess what, Google changed. So ...
Howard Farran : The saddest thing is in dentistry it usually takes these dentists like five years to write their book and then the universities will use it for five to ten years.
Minal Sampat : Oh, I know.
Howard Farran : So the last person reading it is talking 15 year old information.
Minal Sampat : It's not fun. So, you know the book when I started, and I'll tell you my story, when I started in this dental world and when I started to open up my company which I broke by the world record and I read the book E-Myth and E-Myth is a very, it was a good book for me because it helps you. It's not dental related. It's just general business book. I'm sure you know of it Howard and I read it because it helped me realize that I had to delegate certain tasks and understand what I am good at and what I need to work on. So, that's what I based my company model on but I will tell you that every single day, every morning, I spend two hours.
Two hours on reading and being part of dental groups and really looking at different dental marketing articles which are out there and listening to podcast because that's how I learn, because that's how I learn from experiences. That's how I learn what's going in the today's world and then if I really need to read a book I just kind of go and read something else and that's the honest truth. So, if you want a book, E-Myth is the one that I read but for marketing tips, for dental tips, join Dentaltown. You're already on here.
Howard Farran : So you're a hygienist, a pediatric hygienist in dentistry and your husband's a physician?
Minal Sampat : Yes.
Howard Farran : As an MD?
Minal Sampat : Yes. He's an MD.
Howard Farran : Is marketing in dentistry in our profession the same as your husband's profession? Are they all into this as well?
Minal Sampat : They're all into this as well. They're very much into this as well an they also go through the same struggles. So, my husband has no idea about marketing. He went to school and he learned how to be an MD and he knows his patient procedures and what he has to do and things like that. So, in my world he doesn't understand anything but what I do know is that my husband is a millennial and he came out of school and he does the same thing that I do. Every time we had to look up at something we also go up and look at reviews. I mean I don't buy shampoo without looking at reviews. I live on Amazon and Amazon fresh now has it. I don't even have to go to grocery stores. Everything is delivered to my house from Amazon. So we live in the same world. So that has helped us out in figuring out what people, consumers, and our age group are looking for and what makes it easy for them to choose a dentist or a physician but yes they go through the same struggles.
Howard Farran : When you use example, shampoo was that a passive aggressive dig at my hairdo?
Minal Sampat : Oh, no, no, no, no. You mean you don't like my beautiful long hair here?
Howard Farran : No, no.
Minal Sampat : I know. I was just joking.
Howard Farran : What type of physician is your husband?
Minal Sampat : He's internal med.
Howard Farran : In what?
Minal Sampat : Internal medicine, hospitalist.
Howard Farran : So that's my question. Do internal doctors do they just basically get filled up by people because they take their insurance and they go to that area? Or would like an internal doctor of medicine advertise for new patient referrals?
Minal Sampat : Well that's the thing. It's so different now because of the way insurance works and who gets insurance and where they practice. So my husband is in a hospital and because he's at the hospital it just depends on what the hospital expects and hospital takes everything. Everybody and anybody, you know? So they take them all in. If you are a private practice, is it different? Yes, it's different because you work with certain insurances but because the U.S. in such insurance difference right now with Obamacare and now we have maybe the new healthcare system coming in that for a physician it's harder and harder for them to figure out if it's just insurance based and many times believe it or not, people will call. People do not want to pay out of network. I mean I myself will call my insurance company and say hey, who is covered? Like let's say I'm looking for an eye doctor, who is covered for my eye doctor and then but this is where it changes.
If I call them and they tell me I get a list. I don't get one person. I get a list of people who participate with my insurance. So then I look at that list and that's when my research starts. That's when I go online and say, what, what do you reviews say? How is your website? What kind of patients do you see, and then I choose from them. So insurance necessarily is not a bad thing but you have to make sure that if you're participating with an insurance you are showing up and again that confirmation Is necessary for somebody to choose you to come to you. So I know insurance is important part of marketing and I'm not saying go to PPOs or I'm not saying take every insurance in the world because obviously you're going to be working longer and making less money but if there is an insurance that works with you, for example if you are in an area right near a corporate office and you know what that corporate office offers its insurance to its employees maybe it's a good idea to see how big they are and what they offer and talk to them and say hey listen what insurance do you offer to you corporate office, because you guys are down the road from me by ten minutes? Can we do something here, will it be worth it for me to be participating in this? So looking at that way makes sense for you to be a part of some insurance.
Howard Farran : Well you know I think it's killer SEO to list the dental insurance companies you take on your website, because if you look at the Google search data they're saying who takes Delta Dental in Ahwatukee?
Minal Sampat : Right.
Howard Farran : So your website should have a list of all the dental insurance companies that you participate in. The reason I was asking about your husband though is because it seems like where I live in Ahwatukee in Phoenix I see a lot of advertising by dentists, vets, and chiropractors but when it comes to MDs only cosmetics. You now? Eye lids, tummy tucks, boob jobs, all that stuff but I don't really see internists or family, it doesn't seem like they advertise at all.
Minal Sampat : They already accept, they have to work with whatever the government insurance is putting out there or whatever the insurance practices are. So they usually have pretty amount of good amount of patients coming in. Where I think the physicians are facing is similar to what the dental world is facing with corporate dentistry where physicians are also have urgent cares available to them. We have now nurse practitioners being, doing a lot of the physician's work. So you have you know 24 hour urgent cares and you go to CVS, CVS has a place where you see emergencies now instead of going to a hospital. So what they are facing is a kind of competition in that realm of things, just as dentistry, private practitioners or small dental owners are facing with corporate dentistry. So they are facing the same thing for physicians to really market there really have to be a need, because I think we have enough sick people unfortunately that we just go to them and we make sure and we also value when we feel sick more than getting a cleaning at the dental office.
Howard Farran : Well you know it's weird because when you're a retiring vet or dentist or chiropractor you can sell your practice. The physicians any more they can't because anybody who opens up and takes all the stuff they're already booked out two weeks in advance.
Minal Sampat : Exactly.
Howard Farran : So that the only thing they have is a lease hold improvements.
Minal Sampat : I mean it's the value that we place. As public we don't place as much value in dentistry as we do in medicine. If you're sick you're going to go see a doctor but ...
Howard Farran : So I'm going to ask a final question. We went over an hour. My last overtime question is, how the hell could you move from Saint Thomas to New Jersey? What was your next best idea, just go to hell directly?
Minal Sampat : I know, what is wrong with me, right? Oh my gosh.
Howard Farran : I mean that was the prettiest place in the world.
Minal Sampat : I think that all the time. So I grew up in Saint Thomas and then Saint Thomas has a university at the Virgin Islands. So Saint Thomas is United States. I'm a U.S. citizen. That's what it is but I'm sure you can guess. What do you think is the most popular major at the UVI, University of the Virgin Islands?
Howard Farran : Tourism.
Minal Sampat : Marine biology.
Howard Farran : Okay.
Minal Sampat : So I was, it's a marine biology is what it's known for. Obviously. They're surrounded by beautiful marine biology. So I said you know what I, when, and my parents since you have been to Saint Thomas, the most important thing about Saint Thomas except the beaches are jewelry, right? Tons and tons of jewelry stores. So that's what my family does. They're jewelers and they own jewelry stores in Saint Thomas. So my options was were get into the family business or I was thinking about going into medicine or dentistry. So I applied to Rutgers which is huge. My graduating class in Saint Thomas was 32 kids. 32 and then I decided that I'm going to go to university which has over 60 thousand students just in it and I did. I went to Rutgers and I studied biological sciences and I also did communication because I could never figure out if I wanted to do a science or business because that's what I grew up and I did that and I was pre-dental.
So I went ahead and I shadowed this dentist, a pedo ortho office in New Jersey while I was at Rutgers. I was in the New Brunswick campus and when I was shadowing they said as soon as you get out of college give us a call. So I did. I finished college. I gave them a call and they didn't need to hire me. They didn't have any positions but they wanted me in their practice. So they were like we are just going to have you come in and we are just going to train you in all the positions and we'll see what you like. So I said great. Thank you. So you know I did parts and bits. I did the front desk. I did scheduling. I did insurance. I did the lab assisting, dental assisting and then I took over their marketing because I have a communication background and when I looked at their marketing I realized they had nothing really streamlined and they were missing the millennial digital presence.
So we took over that and this is a big practice. They have over 25 thousand patients. So we took over all the marketing and we just started to streamline it and I just told them this is what we have to do, how we are going to do it, this is how we are going to scale it and we had the AAPD calling the practice and all these dentists calling us saying, how are you doing this? What's going on here and out of that I opened up my company and I said let's package this together and let's see who else we can help out. So that's what happened. So life is just in New Jersey right now but the good thing is parents are in Saint Thomas. I get to visit all the time. I get to escape New Jersey and I appreciate Saint Thomas a lot more now because of that.
Howard Farran : So, but what you just said was a great business lesson. You know, dentists are always saying, so I take continued education and sleep apnea or Invisalign or implants, whatever and what you should do is look at the supply, the demand in front you.
Minal Sampat : Uh-huh (affirmative).
Howard Farran : I mean you shouldn't ask me if you should learn implants. If you're having patients saying can you place a implant, go learn it. So you first where in a real office, solved a real problem?
Minal Sampat : Yeah. Uh-huh (affirmative).
Howard Farran : You say here's a real demand, I'm going to create a solution for a real existing demand. That's where businesses start. Just, you just walk into it, you see demand. If your patients are all asking for tooth colored chrome steel crowns on their pedo then go learn that and if they're all asking for tooth colored chrome steel crowns and then out of nowhere you say I'm going to go learn sleep apnea, I mean that's kind of a backwards, business in three words is supply and demand and you saw a demand and you created a supply and made a whole company out it and I just want to tell you I loved your podcast, you're an amazing person.
Minal Sampat : Thank you, thank you so much for having me.
Howard Farran : Thanks for coming on my show and talking to my homies and last but not lease text her resources to 38470 and she'll send you a free case of beer and on that note ...
Minal Sampat : Maybe some [inaudible 01:05:30] from Saint Thomas, who knows? You never know. You may get lucky.
Howard Farran : All right. Well hey thanks so much for coming on the show today.
Minal Sampat : Thank you so much.