Howard: It is just a huge, huge honour to be in Sydney, Australia with six amazing people. Probably the six most amazing people in Australia. Angus Pryor who is the older brother of Richard Pryor.
Angus: Obviously, can you see this face!
Howard: Will you end up going down like Richard Pryor?
Angus: How did he meet his demise?
Howard: I don’t know, I’m sure there was cocaine involved. I’m not sure about the details
Angus: Probably not.
Howard: And we did an amazing podcast, it’s seven ninety-six, I can’t believe we’re almost to eight hundred. David Moffet, there is no one on earth who doesn’t know about you and your big yellow book. Where is your big yellow book?
David: It’s in the bag, I’m sorry I haven’t got it here. I was the first Australian you podcasted.
Howard: I was, you were number one fifty-one. Plug the Leaks with David Moffet and then next is his lovely wife. Now are you public that you guys are married even though you kept the name Jayne Bandy?
Jayne: Well, today we can be public.
Howard: She’s coming out of the closet today. She’s Jayne Bandy, you had an outstanding podcast, Dental Phone Excellence with Jayne Bandy where we addressed the incredible, weird phenomena that ten people have to land on your website before one converts to call, three people have to call to convert one to come in, three people have to come in with a cavity for one to convert to drill, fill and bill. So, when you look at the average American Dental office of seven hundred and fifty thousand collection, taking home one eighty. So, to do that seven fifty, to do that one filling, three had to come in, for three to come in nine had to call, for nine to call ninety had to land on your website. I mean, look at the massive funnel. And you should go back and listen to her podcast and bring your staff because if you can fix anything in that funnel, why do ten people have to land to convert one to call? Fix that. Why do three have to call for one to come in? Jayne fixes that. And why do three people have to have a cavity for you to convince one to get treatment? Crazy. Then we have Trevor Martin, and Trevor Martin, your website is gunz…
Trevor: Gunz Dental.
Howard: gunz.com.au. Gunzdental, and you’re a dental supplier.
Trevor: We’re a Dental supply house, we provide everything for a one-stop shopping for a Dental professional to provide healthcare to help all Australians and New Zealanders get better oral health.
Howard: And then next to you we have Kinnar Shah. And your podcast was 395 The ABC’s of Leadership in Dentistry with Kinnar Shah. That was an amazing podcast. Thanks for coming back to do another one. And then Dr. Angie Papas, she won’t do a podcast with me. You’re the only one, thanks a lot for that.
Angie: I want to be the one thousandth.
Howard: You want to be number one thousand?
Howard: Alright. Ryan, she will be our one… What number is this going to be, Ryan?
Ryan: Eight hundred and fifty.
Angie: See? Not far.
Howard: Not far. So, what I want to talk about is, this is the, I think it’s the sixth time I’ve come down here. I started coming down here, I think it was in 1990/95. Every five years I used to do this tour where I would come and lecture in Melbourne, I’d fly from Los Angeles to Auckland. Lecture Auckland to New Zealand, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast, and then over to Perth. I’d do five cities in ten days, and I did that tour every five years. And I remember when I first came down here, the problem was everybody was booked out two months in advance, and no one wanted to hear about marketing, like why would you do marketing? I mean, my problem is people are mad they can’t get in, and so fast forward from 1990 to 2017, and your country basically doubled the number of Dental schools to nine, let in a thousand Dentists from Asia, corporate Dentistry has come in, and then something very, very unique to Australia is the health insurance companies like Bupa are now in several hundred Dental offices. So, the point I’m making, now it’s game on, there’s competition. When I came down here for the first time, this was the Wild West, there were kangaroos walking down the street, and now this is world class competition in Dentistry. So, we’ll start with you and go around. Angus, do you agree with my assessment, that it’s more confederate now than ever?
Angus: Absolutely. Look, I’m a relative new comer in the industry, but the reality is I wouldn’t have a business if not for this scenario, as an outsider I looked pretty closely at it for a while and the numbers are just as you say, I think its twenty-two hundred plus new Dentists in the last three years. And for a relatively small number of Dentists in Australia, it’s a big hike.
Howard: Because there’s not even twenty thousand dentists…
Angus: Around twenty thousand, I think it is.
Howard: So you just added 10% more dentists in three years.
Howard: That’s huge.
Angus: Howard, a week wouldn’t go by where I had a Dentist contacting me saying, basically what can you do and once upon a time you could stick out your sign, or your welcome mat and that was it. And that’s, those days in most of Australia is gone.
Howard: So you’re in the field, you’re in the, when Dentists are calling and what is their problem, and what do you do for them?
Angus: So I’ve had two people contact me in the last two days, and one said, there’s a question. They’ve got a filling, set up an appointment. And one of them said something about a big practice nearby, I think it was in corporate, and then the other one just talked about competition in general. And so, I guess what we do is really we go back to basics with marketing and try to hit it kind of from about six different levels simultaneously and get accumulative effect and a raise. I think the thing we’re not so big into that sometimes our clients think they want or need is the silver bullet, we’re just going to come with the newest piece of technology or the newest app, and that’s going to fix all their problems. But we look at a whole bunch of stuff, how effective is their patient referral systems, how, are they working with local businesses to refer, are they measuring call conversion. Ninety to one, it’s crazy. So, if that is the case, and I don’t doubt the numbers, then there’s actually plenty business here, they just need to be optimizing the whole way through to get a better understanding.
Howard: It’s funny because in every industry, the highest paid employee is always in sales. I mean, you go into any small business and you look at payroll, you got all these people that maybe make ten, fifteen, twenty dollars an hour and they say, well, who’s these four people that make over a hundred thousand a year? And one is the owner, the other three are the sales people. Then you go to Dentistry, and where the calls come in, that person is, their career is named after a piece of furniture, she’s the front desk lady. We’re going to name her a chair, we were going to name her chair lady but we thought, ah, name her after the desk. And every other business, that would be incoming sales. And then when someone falls through the cracks and didn’t make your plan of income whatever, that would be an outbound sales and you’d have, like a sales manager on top of those phones, and that would be the highest paid position in the deal. And you go to any Dental company in America, you go to Ultradent, you go to Denmat and they have call rooms at smart practice, they have call rooms and that’s the most sophisticated part of the whole business. And then you go into a Dental office and it takes ninety people to get one to get a filling. I mean, that, it’s insanity.
Angus: But if you just look at the numbers that you said, I mean, for that ninety to one. There’s about four points there where if you could improve the ratios, even just by 5 or 10%, the accumulative effect of that would be quite significant. So, I just think it requires some pretty sustained focus, a bit of know how, but the results, you could turn things around reasonably quickly. I’m not a shiny object guy, I think the basics are the basics, and if you provide outstanding service, you make it easy for people to do what they do. The rest tends to…
Howard: So your website is dentalprofitsystem.com.
Howard: Dental – profit – system – dot – com. So, what is your deal, is it a contract, is it a year-long fee. This is Dentistry Uncensored? What are your costs, is there a contract, no contract?
Angus: We’ve got, because we’re a full-service market agency, it depends. So, for some people we’re just doing video or graphic design or whatever. Thank you.
Howard: Is that the Richard crack cocaine?
Angus: Yes, it is. But unfortunately, I have to drink it. But the thing that we’re probably selling the most is a six-month fast track program where we focus on their sort of six or eight factors in succession and that starts at about three and a half.
Howard: For the month or for the whole six months?
Angus: For the six months, yeah.
Howard: And you said you’re not a shiny object man, I told these Dentists every day for seven hundred and eighty days that the number one return on investment is getting your house in order. It’s always a consultant, it’s never buying the shiny objects. And if this restaurant was going bankrupt, think how absurd it would be if this restaurant was going bankrupt and we all looked and said, well, the problem is serving Greek food. If we added a Greek Fettuccine Salad or Bone Grafting or Sleep Apnoea or Invisalign, we’d fix it. Nobody will say that, they’d say, your house isn’t in order, fix the restaurant, it isn’t the menu. If you can’t make it, if you can’t be rich off cleaning exams, x-rays, fillings, extractions, root canals, then something is incredibly wrong.
Angus: Look, what I’m describing to you is the journey that we’ve been on as a business, you know, we started as the digital marketing agency and we did lots of Google Adwords and so on, and it kind of works to a point but the market place just keeps changing and we found that this kind of getting back to basics approach is where we get the best return for our clients. So, I’m a pragmatist, if it works then that is what I am interested in.
Howard: Every time I hear a coach in the NFL when they get their butt kicked on a Sunday and lose 50/0, they come back and say, we need to focus on four things. What is a block? What is a tackle? What is a catch? What is a pass? We need to go back to basics and that’s what you’re saying?
Howard: It is not some complicated flee flip up, it’s go back to the basics.
Angus: Maybe I could dress it up with something that it’s not but this is what we find is working at the moment in Australia so that’s why we’re doing it.
Howard: So David, I didn’t recognize you without your big yellow book.
David: I can’t carry it all the time, Howard. It’s like I’ve got it in a t-shirt. So I agree with Angus, it is about the basics, the trouble is everybody out there is looking for just out of the water, instant success, here’s the dirt, here’s the seed, just add the water and next month I’ve got double the practice and it doesn’t happen that way. They’ve got to put in the effort, and a lot of them think, well, you can do it, and they say to me, you can do it but that’s you, you’re different, I’m not you. But I’m nothing special, I didn’t do it here where Dory lives in Sydney Harbour, I did it 20 miles upstream where people live in fibro houses and drive average cars, and have average jobs. I built a successful practice based on treating people nice and getting people to come and stay and knowing the numbers, the trouble with dentists these days is they want everything now and they not even knowing their numbers. You say, how much is a new patient worth to you, they give you a number that ends in three zeroes, they’ve got no idea, they say 1000, 2000, they got no idea even if it ends in 500, they got no idea and they tell you that. How many new patients did you get last month? They say, ah, about 50, that means probably about 19, you know, they don’t give you exact numbers and so these are the people who are just out of water, it’s crazy, they’ve got to get in and do the work though, that’s the problem. The problem is that a lot of it is wastage and as you said, you explain the wastage, just getting them into the office and there is wastage in the office, because as you said, three come in, only one gets a filling and that’s just one filling. What about everything else that gets diagnosed, people come in and they leave and they go, oh, that person wasn’t interested, that person wasn’t interested because as you said, your service was lousy, your front desk lady was lousy. When people walk in, a friend of mine is a hairdresser, people walk into his salon and the person cutting hair looks up and then goes back to cutting his hair. He says, why didn’t you greet that person? It’s not my client, and that happens in a dental office, if somebody walks into a dental office and they doing some work, they just sit there and doing the work, it is crazy. Instead of that person is going to pay money, let’s get the business going, why aren’t they spending time with that person, and dentists are too busy, as you said, buying more equipment, what they need is buy more people with the work in their office so that things move quickly, so that the patient moves along instead of the patient having to wait. They have to wait to check in, they have to wait for the dentist, they have to wait for the chair to be cleaned, they have to wait to come out. I’ve got a practice I worked with in Pennsylvania, they’ve got five hygienists, they worked out with only three receptionist, guess what happened, every hour when the five hygiene patients come in, they’ve got a lock jam with people wanting to pay. I said, that’s not working, I said, we’ve got to fix that, they don’t see that it’s about service.
Howard: It’s funny, you said they want to buy a piece of shiny equipment which I’m sure Trevor Martin is like, yeah, you need to buy that shiny equipment. But the funny thing about that is if you, a standard Boston Consulting advice, these big consulting companies, they will go to a company and say, well, we want to double our sales. One of the first things you should do is double your sales force, if you have six salesmen what is going to be easier, do you have six sales people to double their sales or do you get six more sales people, and so in a dental office, half the incoming calls go to voicemail. And if they bought another human and every call was answered on the third ring, and whenever you pick up the phone you could have five, ten minutes to have an amazing touch point customer service, close the sale, trying to convert them to come in, that alone could double their revenue. But they’ll go and buy a laser instead.
Angus: I did a phone audit for a client recently, I called ten businesses in Melbourne and in fifteen minutes I had in my mind a very clear impression of, this is a group or practice that I would be happy to deal with, this is a group or practice where they sit on the fence and this is a group or practice that I would never deal with on the basis of a one-minute phone call. So you can have world class marketing and you can have world class dentistry and one-minute on the phone, there was a clear group that I thought, I don’t know who they are but I never want to deal with them.
Howard: Was one of those Jayne? Did you call Jayne on that call?
Angus: Yeah, no, I did not.
Howard: Jayne, what’s your take on this?
Jayne: It’s very fascinating because like, as you know, James and I both work together and I think it was just, I am taking on what Angus was just saying, what he was saying about people ringing the office and not being converted, and it’s just the core element that’s needed, like the digital marketing brings the patients in and then they rely heavily, I am so surprised at how many digital marketing companies have approached me to work alongside them. To say, hey, my clients I am sending them good leads but they’re not converting the calls to patients, so there’s no people sitting in the chair but not like they should be. So rather than pouring all this money into marketing, initially it does need to be needed but that internal marketing really needs to be focused on probably first. Then going back into saying, well, how do we supplement this and now how do we put this all into action, so all those systems are in place. But I remember when first starting your practice, every single person that rang our phone, no, seriously, every single person made an appointment, it was easy as you said. They were the golden years, there are golden years to come.
Howard: That was the golden years, were you the golden girl?
Jayne: I’m the golden girl now. When I do my workshops, I used to think I was this young chick until I started doing my workshops going, oh, my God, I’m so old. But I think they like that experience that I have and I think that’s the thing that’s been so successful for me, doing what I do and niching myself so much into phone communication and patient communication is that I sat in the chair, I’ve done what, I’m actually educating these people to now do- the front office people.
Howard: So what are some advice on how to increase your convert because on that funnel, I mean, look on the website like ten people on your website for one to convert and I see every single dentist that sends me an email they add their link. I always click it to look at it, just out of curiosity, who am I talking with young, old, where do they live. Couple of things, number one, no one puts their country on the website so everybody assumes that you know where the city Litchten, so you usually have to drop the address to Google maps and say, oh, that’s Austria. Would it be nice if you put Austria on your damn website, but nobody puts the country on their website. The majority of all the websites look like they bought the website at a dental convention five, ten years ago. I can’t believe how many of them, the pictures are a stock photo of like four people in a park and you’re looking at a name like Doctor Askin Sowamiwami, whatever, the guy in the stock photo is not the guy. It’s just amazing how like when I see a picture or something that looks like a mugshot, that’s not warm and fuzzy but everybody who has a video, when you click the video then this guy comes alive and he’s like, you feel something, you’re like, that’s a nice guy, I want that guy to work on me. But then when they call the office, why does, that is your expertise, why do three people have to call your office before the front desk lady can convert one to come in?
Jayne: I think one of the things that fails on the front desk is that they forget that person has a dental concern and a dental problem. They get focused on their first questions not realizing they can put everything away that their mother ever said to them about not answering a question with a question. They need to then start to go into asking their own questions to finding out more before they address what has been asked of them initially, and I thinks that’s, part of what I do is I take them through those steps of what sort of questions do we ask so that we can find out more, be an investigator and then be able to address what their real issues are, because often that first question that they ask, we’ve all heard this before. It’s not like what I am doing is not that avantguard, it’s just that it’s not being done in most dental practices and everyone knows what they need to do but..
Howard: Then they’re on the phone trying to do this and the lazy ass hygienist is like, okay, schedule them for a cleaning in six months, why don’t you schedule her for a cleaning in six months. I’m talking on the damn phone, and you know why the hygienist doesn’t want to schedule it because when that patient doesn’t schedule and says, well, I’ll call you, it doesn’t look bad on her because it was the hygienist job, I mean, the receptionist job to call. But at the end of the day, if you say to your hygienist you saw eight people and you only scheduled six for a recall, why did these two people not reschedule, was it because they didn’t value what you did? Then the assistants come up there, oh, can you schedule her for a crown seat, number one, you can’t schedule a crown seat because how do I know has this tooth had a root canal, am I just cementing a crown on a dead stump or is it vital, are they freaked out, will they need nitros oxide, do I need a half hour appointment, do I need fifteen minutes. So I want, if it has to be done from the back, the back, do it because the lady talking on the phone, I don’t know who the hell’s calling and I don’t know if I will be on this phone two minutes or twenty minutes.
Jayne: Yeah, and I think accountability as well, I think that is going to change in the future, and the sort of people we’re hiring for these positions working, communicating with patients, that initial communication, we need to step it up and we need to say, okay, we can’t just hire someone who smiles, who’s friendly, that’s not enough anymore. It is important but it’s not enough, and for people to be well educated, I used to use the word trained but I felt that was a much better word to use, and I think educated and accountable and responsible for their part in the business, and I don’t think that happens a lot of the time with the people that we hire in the front office.
Howard: In America they still say edumacated.
Jayne: It’s like, sometimes it’s like, oh, no one’s applying for the job, or we just can’t find anyone, people are applying that aren’t qualified, well, what are your qualifications, what do you expect them to do when you hire them to answer your phone? Were you really clear on that, and I think when you ask dentists that, they don’t know themselves, so it is hard for them to get clear about something they don’t know.
Howard: It is funny, all these dentists pay their associates in America the going rate and the urban is 25% adjusted production, in the rural it’s 40% but the lowest, let’s say in the Fortune 500, the highest paid people are the sales team. In the dental office the lowest paid people, I mean, why don’t you pay your receptionist a percentage of all the dentistry she books, why is that the lowest tech, lowest paid.
Jayne: I had a phone call yesterday and it was a fairly confidential phone call but it was from someone who’d attended my workshop, and she rang me out of the blue and she said, Jayne, I’m really confused and stuck, I’ve asked my employer what is happening, let me know what’s happening in the practice, and we’ve sort of outgrown just having me in the front office, someone’s just left, we need someone to be able to do all these things now, so we can continue these growth and he said, I can’t afford to do that at the moment, and she said, I told him what you said at my workshop, and I said, oh, gosh, what was that. She said I remember when you said the question is, I haven’t got enough people, I get asked this a lot, what if we haven’t got enough people to answer the phones, the answer is just get more people to answer the phones and sometimes you’ve just got to maybe not buy that piece of machinery straight away to be able to get..
Howard: It is also interesting how patient management is, I mean, practice management in two words, is patient management, practice management is patient management and the phones also, like say I’m the owner/doctor and these are my two associates, it’s the people that answer the phones that are saying, every time Angus only used the electro surge and this patient is always calling back saying they’re in severe pain, can you call in the pain medication. She uses a little diode laser, and we never had that, I mean, not are they inbound sales but for these corporate dental chains, they like to centralize their call centres because if you’re Heartland, all those calls roll over to Effingham, those headquarters in Effingham Illinois and they got five hundred offices, they’ve got seven, eight hundred dentists spread out in five hundred offices and they can bullseye pin point, wow, we got a crazy doctor in office number one twenty three. People are upset, people are complaining, I mean, the phones are just everything and the biggest, most sophisticated operations focus more on inbound calls, outbound calls and trying to...
Jayne: Yeah, and I realize this when I was making doctor’s appointment online that I had a very speedy, efficient way to now book into my doctor, because my doctor’s receptionist, I know this is getting videoed, were not official in answering phones, all of a sudden I had and we don’t want it to get to that. We still want to have people booking online because I was very against it at first and now I am seeing that that is millennials want to do that after hours, they want to be able to book an appointment.
Howard: Well, it reminds me when I was little, I will never forget, I never saw any technology coming, I mean, I will never forget my dad and I were walking in Nashville Wichita, on 21st and Western Woodstock Kansas and they had just installed this ATM machine and we were looking at it, and this guy is standing there, we go in there and my dad and I are looking like, what idiot would do that when you can come in and talk to this nice lady, and we do our banking and then we come out and he’s still there and we go and stand by him...what are you doing? My dad’s like just, this will never take off, but now you see people prefer an ATM machine to a bank teller.
Angus: The banks don’t want you to come in, that involves paying a person rather than the technology.
Howard: That person will only work 40 hours a week where an ATM machine will work 160 hours a week, so who’s scheduling online, what software?
Jayne: I’m not that...this is what my doctor used it’s healthengine.au. Straight away I went to look at how many dentists are doing this and I’ve got all the names of the dentists like, obviously close to me.
Howard: For health engine?
Jayne: Yes, for healthengine.com.au.
Howard: Ryan could you send me that healthengine.com.au? And it has a list of the dentists where you can schedule online?
Jayne: Yeah, and I found it really efficient because I’m so against dentists having it on their website, I’ve now realized that you just can’t not have that extra resource.
Howard: In America, the most popular or the most pleasing practice management software is called Open Dental and they have an online, a little thing online.
Angus: Most software’s got it in Australia.
Howard: Most practice management software has it?
Angus: [Unclear 27:51]
Howard: So they have an Open Dental down here.
Angie: A lot of surgeries you can actually go online and make an appointment.
Howard: When you say surgeries, is that dental surgeries?
Angie: Dental surgeries, yeah.
Jayne: But I think the biggest mistake they make, and I don’t know why they do it because we don’t do it when we’re on the phone, well, I try and educate people not to do it. But if you don’t reveal your whole appointment book, and that’s where like at first, they not very busy and their whole appointment book is there, and that is something I try and educate teams not to do, just to give you very narrow choices for patients, so you are in control over your appointment book. So you immediately lose control, the other thing is the types of questions they ask to be able to efficiently book in, the right appointment maybe has not been made. So I think there is a place for it but also to follow it up with a phone call and make that connection because you still need the connection, because without it they’re more inclined to cancel their appointment or not show up.
Kinnar: Yeah, completely true. We’ve tried that system before and the statistics have shown in my case that, that doesn’t work, especially the leads you get from there are not quality leads. They are just book in and they never show up.
Howard: So that was your experience with the online booking?
Kinnar: Correct, correct, and you saying you don’t reveal your books or not so it is best to get that connection. But even they were leaving phone numbers and we used to connect with them, they would do that to two or three places, go and book, so yeah.
Jayne: Yeah, so they are not fully committed.
David: Millennials do that with restaurants, too, where are we going on Saturday night, they will book three or four restaurants on Saturday night, and then they go to one, not the others, so.
Jayne: So if you make that follow up call.
Howard: Kinnar, are you talking about online booking appointments or online dating?
Kinnar: Look, I think both have the same results.
David: Booking at restaurants makes you confirm your booking, so if you don’t respond.
Angie: I do that with my schedules, we’ll send them an SMS two days before and we and I tell all the patients if you don’t reply within twenty four hours, their appointment will be automatically cancelled.
Howard: An SMS is a text?
Jayne: But the downside is they haven’t developed that love for you, like that phone call and that connection that you make, I am not saying they fall in love with you straight away but it’s the beginning of love.
Kinnar: The phone call is the most important part.
Angie: Yeah, if you are relying on your receptionist to verify the practice, then the patients will want to come in.
Jayne: Absolutely, because we all have our cancellations.
Trevor: Perhaps the first response really is an email back saying, thank you very much for your booking or your reservation or for your appointment. This is what you can expect when you come to our practice.
David: The software should be automated to do that anyway.
Trevor: Yes, but it needs a little bit of personalisation.
David: Then you need to follow it up with verbal.
Jayne: I still think there is the place for it.
David: You can even massage it with verbal.
Kinnar: You see, we’ve tried all that, exactly what you just said but the still the leads are not quality.
Kinnar: So you will get sort of one or two out of ten people showing up.
Jayne: And straight away, I know you’re measuring that which is, the other thing is measure to know where you’re starting from and then measure along the way.
Kinnar: I always do what David just said, success comes in two ways, major and measurable, so.
Howard: Success comes in two ways?
Kinnar: Major and measurable.
Howard: Major and measurable?
Kinnar: You cannot have major success if you are not measuring. I completely believe in that, so every dentist should be measuring everything in the practice.
Jayne: David is right but this is the phrases that I use, and this is why I get when I do strategy courses with dentists, when I ask them the question, it is usually, I think it is, it could be, maybe. They are all words that you don’t want to be using, if you’re measuring you never use those words, this is it, these are the words. That takes time and something systematic to set up so that you’re doing that consistently as well because there is no point in doing it just for a short period of time.
Howard: Trevor, I, when I look at other industries like restaurants, like every industry, I mean, the whole value chain works together. When I look at dentistry, it is the least utilized value chain like, for instance, like the insurance company, I send this dental office $250 000 a year and then some of the offices I’ve been in where one company will give them half a million a year. I will say, well, who is the CEO of that company? No idea. Really, a guy, in your town gave you half a million dollars, you don’t even freaken know his name, are you that dumb? I told dentists that all the labs are afraid of dentists, every lab man is fearful of calling a dentist saying, I’d really like you to retake that impression because he’s afraid that the low self esteem doctor will say, ‘what, my impression is perfect, I’m GOD, I’m going to get a new lab’ and they’ll lose the whole damn account. So they all live in fear, and I tell dentists you need to go to the lab man and say, don’t be afraid of me, I am not an abusive asshole and I want to be a better dentist, and you can go down there and he’ll show you all the incoming impressions to make you a better dentist, same as the supply person, that dentist only sees his office, how many offices do you see?
Howard: Yeah, so I mean, so here is a guy that’s seeing eighty five hundred offices and all you see is yourself, so certainly you’d notice that the dental office is buying more supplies or doing some things differently than the dental offices who are in your over thirty, over sixty, over ninety account receivables?
Trevor: Yeah, so just going back to the original issue about, one of the things I think is the difficulty in dentistry in Australia is that we’re competing for a healthcare environment, and there’s more dollars being, that spend that people have for health care is being spread over so many different things. Like fitness, like looking good and dentistry [unclear 34:02] and so I think that we’re not just competing against other dentists, we are competing against other healthcare spends, and I think we also competing against other discretionary spends. So more travel is being done these days, so people are spending more on travel than on dentistry. We still haven’t explained why people need to spend more money or that percentage of health, what they are prepared to spend on health care on their budget on dentistry, and that is something that I think to your point about industry to profession working together is an opportunity we have. We kind of promote that message to our people who work with us, so not everybody in our practices, not everybody in our businesses go to a dentist on a regular basis. One of the issues in Australia I think is, because dentistry’s perspective or people perceive dentistry as being expensive. So therefore you come back to that question about equipment and about reception, how you welcome people into your business because they’re paying what they perceive to be a significant amount of money. I mean, they pay what they consider is a large expenditure, they want to see where that money is being spent. So they want a nice environment, they want to see that you are spending it on technology or at least know what is going on in technology, and know why you have it and why you don’t. Therefore, your practice and all the people that work for you need to know what you have and why you have it. I was in a practice the other day and the receptionist, chief sales person, as you call her, took a telephone call and the person asked for an in-chair whitening using a lamp and she says, no, we don’t have a lamp and hung up. That practice does in-chair whitening not using a lamp because the dentist believes that it’s a better provision of service or treatment than using a lamp.
Jayne: So she just forgot to tell them what she did have.
Trevor: She didn’t forget, they’re not communicating. So I think what the challenge for dentistry here is not just to see the dentist next door, it is to be able to see how that whole health care is spent. I think dentists, to a certain extent, and this is a personal view, of course, to a certain extent are looking at dollars rather than remembering that they are in a healing profession, so they aren’t healthcare professionals, they are healing professionals. To your point, doing the basics around preventative, doing a proper oral inspection, doing a proper hygiene appointment, it dismays me that basic services is just discounted as a lost leader for implant surgery. I see that as front and centre in providing healthcare and looking at your patient, not in terms of saying how much money am I going to get out of that appointment, or maybe two or three appointments to complete a treatment plan for the whole of life view, and that is 101 business, from my point of view, when I talk to my sales people and my staff at Gunz Dental, what we are talking about and saying is, that dentist, that Oral Health Care professional is going to be in business for forty years doing dentistry, what’s the total worth of that practice to us, what is the total worth of what goes on in that practice, because that’s what we’ve got to look for because our business has been around for eighty one years, we hope to be around, hope is not a strategy by the way, but we’ve been around for another eighty years as a privately owned company. The only privately owned or the leading privately owned dental distributors for Australia and New Zealand, and we want to be able to say in eighty years’ time we’re providing services for those dentists. We forget that total life. I think we have to work on that as a profession, an industry, we need to work together in terms of driving that, I mean, we get really caught up in, am I going to maintain my lifestyle as an Oral Health Care professional. Our business talks about helping Oral Health Care professionals to provide the best possible care, if I get all my team doing that thing focused on that, the dollars will come, I will get more customers and I think we forget that when we run our individual practices. Sorry, we, when I see our customers, we forget that sometimes and we need to think about how we drive that message towards our staff, how we give our patients a really good experience around the healing process.
Howard: Trevor, when you look at it, you said eight and a half thousand offices that you sell to, do demographics matter? I’ve heard some people, do demographics matter?
Trevor: No. Not in my view because I see practices in low, what we would frame as low social demographic area, being highly productive, providing good oral care and being profitable businesses very successfully.
Howard: What about rural versus urban?
Trevor: Yeah, I think the question there is about demand concerns, but what I think in Australia, a bit like America, we look at metro regional and rural as three different aspects. If you look, and the government has been saying this for a long time, whether you agree with it or not the challenge is providing people in rural areas, in some cases some regional areas in Australia, adequate oral healthcare. If people are willing to move out of the metro areas to regional and rural areas, there’s actually a population of rural people who want to be seen. But there’s the attraction of cities, but two of our universities have been established in regional areas to really provide dentists for regional and rural communities, is it working, I think so.
Howard: So Kinnar, you were telling me, how many dentists are within two kilometres of you?
Kinnar: I would say my practice is in the city, just probably about two hundred dentists.
Howard: In how small an area?
Kinnar: Two kilometres.
Howard: Two square kilometres, there’s two hundred dentists?
Kinnar: Yeah, even more I would say.
Howard: How do you survive with two hundred dentists in two square kilometres?
Kinnar: It is a great question that dentists ask themselves, isn’t it. It is one of those things when I am speaking to dentists, I am always asking what is the number one thing that stops a dental practice owner from achieving their ideal dream practice. What is the number one thing, and most of the time the answer is a form of an obstacle, either it’s a lack of talent or a lack of resource or a lack of time but that is not it. The number one thing that stops most people from achieving their dreams is something good. So a good job, a good marketing strategy, a good level of customer service, a good way of presenting the way that we represent the surgery. But it is no more about that, as you were saying earlier on, they need to work on their house first nowadays to become known in the market, it’s not about just being good, it’s about going from good to great. Because you won’t survive in this market if you’re just good, and that’s what I think a key point of most dental practices now is that most dental practices are feeling the pain, that they’re not surviving or they’re barely surviving in this market because there is a lot of competition nowadays on even marketing. I mean, most a lot of dentists have been marketing, so it is a competitive market out there, everyone knows they need to amp up their customer service. So everyone is working on that, so it’s not about being good anymore, it’s about being great, how can you go and work towards being great. I sincerely believe there’s six areas in the dental practice every dental practice owner should be working on pretty much every single day.
Six areas in the dental practice where either you can win or lose a patient, the first area being marketin. We all believe that marketing is one of the first ways to get the public to know that you even exist, you could be the best dentist in the world but if people don’t know you exist, how are you letting them know that you are there to serve them. So the first is marketing, and there are two forms of marketing, as we all know the external marketing where Angus talks about of course, the SEO, the PPC, now we talk about social media, social media is huge. Back in the day, ten years ago we were not talking about that, but we need to be proactive on there, social media. Then there is the internal market and how you get your referrals, your reviews, and get internal marketing in the current existing patients referring other patients. So this is the first way where you can either win or lose a patient, I think the second way is when they call into your practice, and as Jayne was saying, telephone skills, one of the most important things in the dental practice, I mean, you need to be teaching that actively, you know, and I am glad you doing that, it is amazing. Statistically speaking, when I am teaching dentists I see about 60 to 70% percent failure in booking appointments from a phone call, to actually booking an appointment, so you now out of every ten patients calling in, only three are getting booked, three to four, so there is a huge area to be worked upon there going from, again, good to great. How do you give that exceptional customer service, even the language skills used over the telephone and one of the biggest things I believe over the phone is attitude, it is just a nice bubbly attitude and make the other person feel that you are wanted and we are ready to help you, we are ready to serve you.
Jayne: I always say, can I hire attitude first?
Kinnar: Hire attitude first, correct, I still remember one day when I was advertising for a dental front desk, as we call it, not a front chair. I actually put an ad for an airhostess.
Howard: For an airhostess?
Kinnar: For an airhostess because airhost, because the number one service industry is the airhostess industry and they are trained to deal with people on a daily basis. So rather than aiming for anyone in the local market, I say I want to interview some airhostesses, and I gave it a shot.
Howard: What’s an airhostess like, a flight attendant?
Kinnar: Because they’re in the business of giving customer service.
Trevor: Instead you won’t have to offer free travel to them.
Jayne: It could if your practice crashes.
Kinnar: Yeah. So that is the second area, the telephone skills, and again, telephone skills, it is all about using the right language, I mean, one of the things, the three most important skills that we are not taught as being a dentist is business skills, leadership skills, and communication skills, we are not taught these skills in university, in dentistry and we are almost coming to the real world, ended up buying practices and we almost assume that we need to know how to run a business, and all the dentists wear two hats, one is the clinician and one is the entrepreneur hat. We are not taught nothing about being an entrepreneur and then most dentists are complaining, I am really good clinician but I don’t seem to be running a good practice and this is why, we don’t get the business, leadership and communication skills, that leads me to the third point. So once they book in and do come and make an appointment, how is your customer service when they come into your practice, how are they treated. Are you giving a seven-star service, nothing less than that, going from good to great, are you giving a great service because nowadays everyone is becoming aware of customer service. When we go and buy a jacket or a shirt, or a suit or anything, even when we’re checking into a hotel, we always conscious of the fact that how are we getting treated.
Jayne: Because you’re giving a notice around you and that’s the.
Kinnar: Correct, and David was saying some great points, the experience you give to your patients earlier, I love your program where you talk about the ultimate patient experience which is what we need to do. Again, most dental practices are not trained in that and they need to be actively trained in this scenario, because so many things you can do, also the look and feel of your practice. As you know, Trevor, you mentioned when they come into your practice, how are you visually demonstrating your practice? Very, very important because if you’re promoting yourself as a cosmetic dentist and then you have a very shabby practice, it doesn’t match who you are, it doesn’t match your values, it doesn’t match your belief systems, so it is very important, that third point where you can win or lose a patient is when the patient actually comes to your practice. The fourth I would say is almost completely dictated upon what the dentist does. So, how are your communication skills, period, how are you being able to case convert, as we call it case conversion, so how are your communication skills, how are you reading your body language skills, etcetera, because people don’t buy treatment plants, people buy defence. I also believe that people do business with people, and nowadays everyone is training themselves in terms of clinical skills, how are they training themselves in terms of communication skills. Very crucial to know that, and again it is a skill that most dentist don’t possess but it’s an easy learning skill, if they invest in time and money into learning that skill, everyone can learn that, I think it’s an amazing skill to learn. It could help you anywhere those communication skills in terms of your team as well, becoming a leader in front of your team members as well. That comes to the fifth point, once we all, as dentists, consult with our patients, how are the treatment co-ordinators, co-ordinating the treatment, so again how many times have we noticed a instance that sometimes we feel the patient has accepted the treatment plants, and then when they go to the treatment co-ordinators, the shit hits the fan. You suddenly realize …
Angie: Sometimes hits the front girl.
Kinnar: The front girl, correct, they don’t book for the treatment, so how is your treatment co-ordination, how is the culture, your team culture handling the patient itself. So again, those are the skills every dental practice owner needs to learn and grow a successful business, and the last being follow up and follow through. Most people are not taking enough action to follow up the patients who have not booked the treatments, and the patients that have not followed through with the income between implants as well. So there is a lot of strategy and skills in these six areas of what I call key experiences, you can provide your patient and I guess coming back to the point, how do you survive in a market when there is so much supply of dentists and then there is less demand, so how do you survive, you have to have a unique, different proposition, you need to be different. It is no more about being good anymore, it is about how you take yourself from good to great, and that is what I believe that all dentists need to be trained on.
Trevor: Can I, I am not in your space and I am not a dentist but what really blows me away is the requests that I get from dentists, I think about saying leadership and, I mean, we’re basically engaged as an outside consultant to help people with marketing. The dentist will say to me, look, can you, would you mind asking so and so if they could do such and such to implement this, look, I am not sure if they’ll go for it or not, but just see if you can convince them that we should do this. I’m thinking really, I’m not the boss here, I’m some external that has been brought in and you basically asking me to sort of try to manage the staff for you. That is not unusual.
Kinnar: Which is why I think there needs to be more awareness, I mean, we all trying to get dentists more aware that you really need to work on yourselves first, work on the house first, as you say, and then worry about what’s happening outside, work on your own house first, you are the captain of your own ship. Make sure your ship is sailing first.
Howard: I think it is interesting, you said six points, number two is telephone, that is inbound sales, number six is follow up, follow through, that is outbound sales, and the least trained, lowest paid person in the whole business is that lady named after a piece of furniture, and that’s all your sales and marketing, and your fastest way to double your sales is double the number of phone calls answered correctly. Double the number of outbound sales calls, like you cancelled your cleaning last week, you never rescheduled. Then I also think it is interesting how dentists, you call it customer service but in America there are so many people addicted to advertising that they call it the new patient experience. They’re always burning and churning new patients, and don’t realise that four out of five of their patients never come back, and it’s not a new patient experience, it’s patient experience for every patient, every time, all the time.
Jayne: That patient follow-up has been a very powerful tool for me to share with practices, and they say it’s made such a big difference, and at first they’re very resistant and the resistance is I haven’t got time to follow up with patients with all the other things I have to do. So we make a deal and the deal is, and this is what I did with myself, I did a five a day and I said, look, if that’s too many, just do two a day. You can only go up from there, so everyday each person who answers the phone in the dental practice has to follow up with two people with outstanding treatments, or someone who cancelled an appointment and didn’t reschedule even though we try and prevent that, they make that commitment to themselves to make the two phone calls each day. It is like two times how many each week times how many each, and it’s huge, and I’m not saying every single phone call, they also need to know to handle that call and what to say.
Jayne: There’s an art in that because you can’t just say anything.
Jayne: You can’t say ‘I haven’t seen you for five thousand years, what’s going on?’
Angus: ‘Why did you turned up, you bastard?’
Jayne: Yeah. There are things (inaudible 53:18) out there I guess.
Jayne: But there are things to say to be able to get into a point where they were more likely to make that appointment.
Kinnar: I like the way you say it, have an action plan.
Kinnar: Even if it’s two or three people a day.
Kinnar: Have an action plan.
Jayne: Yeah, and be consistent and don’t make it like you’re exercising every day or your commitment to yourself in the practice and that’s what we did, and it made a huge difference for us.
Kinnar: Commitment and consistency.
Kinnar: One of the principles of Influence of Charly in the United States.
Howard: He was my teacher.
Howard: I went to Arizona State University.
Howard: Ryan, he’s actually good friends with Tom and Sharon Mattern.
Howard: He taught ASU and he sold ten million copies of his book ‘Influence’.
Kinnar: (inaudible 53:59). It’s a book every of dentistry read, it’s called ‘The Principles of Influence’.
Angus: I’ve got hard copy and I got it on their as well.
Kinnar: Yeah. Likewise. Likewise.
Angus: It’s fantastic.
Kinnar: (inaudible 54:10), it teaches you…
Angus: You namedropper, my goodness.
Howard: No, I emailed him. I’ve had Tom and Sharon emailed us that ‘tell him to get on my show’, he knows he’s my (inaudible 54:19). I kind of like his new book.
Kinnar: Yes. Yes.
Howard: Did it come out yet?
Kinnar: Which one?
Howard: His new book?
Kinnar: Yes, it has. I can’t remember it’s name, but it’s out.
Howard: Well, he told me when his new book was out he’d come on my show.
Kinnar: Yeah. Alright. Okay. You should get him on the show.
Howard: But I want everyone to know that we saved the best for last. Doctor Angie. Doctor Angie, everybody’s been waiting the whole time, the best.
Angie: Oh, I don’t know about that, it’s all of you amazing individuals here. Kinnar that always read your emails and I go tick, tick, tick. ‘Yes, I’m doing what he’s saying’, which is fantastic. I mean I come from maybe a little bit different perspective than most, because we go to a lot of the seminars and things like that, and some of us that have small surgeries and mine is a very small practice…
Howard: What does small mean?
Angie: I mean, it’s just…
Howard: Number of operatories?
Angie: Yeah, and that I’ve only got two rooms and it’s just me and my hygienist and my therapist. So I don’t have the room to have for receptionists or anything like that. My surgery is very, very small but it’s very successful. The reason why I made it like that is I’ve been practicing nearly twenty-seven years, so from a young age I saw that ‘okay what do I need to do to become a great dentist? Not just clinical, because I realized that that is just not enough. So obviously, I invested a lot of time in learning about people, and in learning about the different personalities. When I meet a new patient within a few seconds, I know exactly what kind of personality they are, how I can approach them, what level I can talk to them, how I can add value to their life.
For me that is the most important thing. I connect with my patients to an amazing level, and I love it because I love interacting with people, absolutely love it. I don’t do external marketing, I do internal marketing. Okay, most of my patients are referred and it just happens that I’m at a great location, so I get a lot of people that walk past and see. I make sure that I put some interesting things in the outside of my surgery, because the building is a very old building. I’m sick and tired of seeing all these beautiful faces, and beautiful smiles, and there’s another one up there, so I thought I’d do something different. I’m actually getting a light box which has a girl that you can’t see her mouth, and she’s just sort of a little bit scared and I’ve actually put up there ‘Be Kind. When you see somebody without a smile, give them my number’.
Angie: I thought something different, and I’ve got a Facebook page where I don’t put before and after shots of my patients, I don’t put the cases that I do. If you go in there I do put quite a lot of motivational things, but most of them are all the gifts of my patients that given me on a daily basis. They’ll spoil me with wine and give me chocolates, of course.
Jayne: I didn’t notice that.
Angie: Or different things that they give you from scratches to $800 bottle of wines which is fantastic, yeah, because I think to myself ‘if a person who go inside and see the before and after, but when people go into my Facebook page, well not mine but the surgeries’ page and see that all the gifts that they offer us, they will think, like I will think is ‘wow, they must value this people and this is the place where I need to go’. That’s the different internal marketing that I do, yes, we need to survive with the way things are now, I think one thing that us dentists still need to remember is that when I graduated, we were colleagues, we were not competitors.
Alright now we’re competitors and I hate that. I have people coming up to me and say ‘did you see that person down the road has this, this and that, he’s your competitor’. I said ‘no he’s not. He’s a colleague’. I don’t see anybody as a competitor, I still ring everybody in my area when I go on holidays and I say ‘would you mind seeing my emergencies?’ I don’t think ‘oh my God that they’re going to steal my patients’. Like I said I do a lot of internal things, I love my patients, I love talking, I love explaining everything to them, I see them as a whole, I take care in a sort of like personal issues that they have, I ask them to always text me, even on my Facebook page, private message, and they send me photos of them getting a broken tooth and saying ‘what do I need to do?’
I give them that bit of extra service. I don’t have to worry whether there’s another, probably about eight dentists just walking distance around me, I don’t care, I don’t worry, I don’t search and see are they doing well or whatever. I don’t care, it’s about my business and even (inaudible 60:06) go to install value in my patients, so that they can refer other patients and other people to me and it’s worked fantastic so far.
Howard: Are you sure you’re Greek because you use your hands so much, I think you’re Italian. Are you Greek? Or are you just saying you’re Greek but you’re Italian.
Angie: We’re the same, Greek-Italian. We’re the same. We’re the same, and then the other thing that I do that patients love coming in is, when you were saying about equipment and you were saying ‘don’t buy the equipment, invest in the staff’. You can do both. I buy a lot of equipment, I think the only thing I don’t have is the Cerec machine, that’s because at the moment I don’t have space to put it. But I’ve got a lasers, I’ve got OPGs, I’ve got everything that needs…
Angie: Yeah, OPG.
Howard: What’s OPG?
Angie: Panorex. Oh, is that what you call it? Yeah.
Howard: What’s OPG stand for?
Jayne: I think you…
David: Ortho PantomoGram
Jayne: Yeah, they’re good CT scanners.
Howard: Ortho PantomoGram?
Kinnar: Ortho PantomoGram, yeah.
Kinnar: The x-rays with it.
Angie: So I’ve got everything in the (inaudible 61:17)
David: She’s APG and she’s got an OPG.
Jayne: Very good. Very good observation.
Angie: So yeah, I have them there and I don’t hide everything like some of us are obsessed. We have really clean bench tops, clean as in don’t put in your instruments, I have them all there because when my patients walk in they go ‘okay Angie, what’s new today? What new did you learn?’ So they know they’re coming to a place where I keep up with all the latest technology, and I’m going to offer them all the latest treatments whatever that’s out there. Then when you walk into my reception, the whole room, all around, everywhere you’ll see, there’s all there. Wherever I go, any conference, seminar, when I get a certificate, it goes up there. So when they walk in, even the new patients that come in, they sit in the chair and go ‘oh, geez. Do you have any time to yourself? I see you’ve gone to…’ I know a lot of things because I’ve been to so many things.
I work a lot of my internal marketing that’s like I said, from a small practice point of view, it works really, really well. Am I ready to do some external? Yes, at this time in my life where I want to reduce my working hours, and I want another dentist to come in. I probably go into the external marketing and then do a bit more of that so I can bring some more patients in to share with the…
Howard: Okay, baby boomers like us, we read textbooks and we go to conventions. The people that you’re talking to, they’re millennials, they’re the ones who enter DentalTown on the app, we are in on the desktop, and they’re in on the app. So for those millennials, a lot of times they’re wondering ‘I just got out of dental school, what type of dentistry should I learn?’ I mean, they always say like ‘when I was in dental school, we didn’t do invisalign, we didn’t place an implant…’ They claim they didn’t do anything but fillings, crowns. What clinical dentistry do you do? What have you decided not to do? If you were talking to yourself, and you are a D4 student, and you’re going to graduate next year at age twenty-four, twenty-five. What clinical dentistry do you think is important to learn?
Angie: Well, I think for me personally, you should be able to do a bit of everything initially, and that’s what I did initially. I just went and learned a lot about perio and endo, and implants, and all that and then from there I can see what I really enjoyed doing. I hate root canals for example, most of us do. So it’s an individual thing, you go and learn about everything first and be good, and then if you decide not to do something because you don’t like it. You don’t enjoy it, then don’t do it.
Howard: Doing something you don’t like to do for money usually leads to disease, depression and burnout.
Angie: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, I love of my money, I love my shoes, my bags, my holidays. I always almost scream in my computer there’s always the next destination where I’m going, the patient walk in and says ‘am I paying for that?’ I said ‘no, you paying for my car. The patient before you paid for the holiday’.
So, yeah, we talk like that with patients and they understand. Look there’s a little bit of a difference between men and women in dentistry. Okay. Is the fact that us women cope with the stress of dentistry better than men do. Okay.
Howard: Are you going to make us start crying?
Angie: I know in my little circle of dentists that I’ve known over the years, I know easily at least five male dentists that had nervous breakdowns and had to be hospitalised.
Angie: Yeah, four that I know.
Howard: We were just talking about one that happened yesterday.
Howard: That we all know?
Angie: Yeah, exactly.
Howard: So four suicides, we all know one that just happened the other day. But why do you think women cope with stress better than men?
Angie: Okay, because we’ve got different ways of letting go of the stress whether it’s the kids, shopping, other girls, we wouldn’t put the husband there because we usually get more stress from the husband.
David: (inaudible 66:23)
Jayne: He’s gone very quiet.
Angie: But we’ve got, like I said, and we can choose not to work the long hours that you men do.
Jayne: (inaudible 66:40) yeah.
Angie: We can choose to give it up.
Angie: If we want to.
Angie: Most of us…
Jayne: So, stereotypically.
Jayne: We’re not, and excuse me for all the women watching this podcast, is that stereotypically, we’re not the breadwinners sometimes in that relationship.
Angie: Yes. Yeah. Yeah.
Jayne: When not all the time.
Angie: That’s right. Yeah.
Jayne: But I think…
Howard: So you’re the breadwinner in your…
Angie: At this moment. Yes, I am actually…
Howard: So you’re making more than your husband right now?
Angie: It doesn’t matter really, but Kinnar and Rosemary know…
Howard: Does it not…
Angie: I work…
Howard: His masculinity that you make more money than him?
Howard: Does it hurt your husband’s ego.
Howard: That you make more money than him?
Angie: He loves that all the other men envy him.
Kinnar: Correct. Correct.
Trevor: There’s probably interesting trends in dentistry now. The change in demographics, not only in Australia but globally, as the number of females that are graduating from dental school are way more than male graduates. In Australia we’ve got a high percentage of female hygienists graduating.
Trevor: So female hygienists are the more intellectually capable of the population to be able to get the mark to get into dental school.
Jayne: That’s right. Yeah.
Angus: I’ve got a family full of vets, and there was literally a graduating year in Melbourne, not too long ago, where not a single male graduated.
Angus: The entire graduating year was women in vets. So, yeah, I guess there’s a trend similarly in dentistry. Can I ask Angie a question? Is that alright, Howard?
Howard: Of course.
Angus: You eat your lunch and I’ll…
Howard: Of course, Angus. Anything for your brother Richard.
Angus: But, Angie, I know that dentistry by women is something that’s on your heart a bit. We’ve heard in a sense the positive side of being a female dentist, stereotypically maybe, but there are challenges as well. You’ve got a conference coming up.
Angie: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. We suffer with the guilt of leaving our family. Leaving our kids behind and going to work, and be judged by everybody else about what a horrible mother we are, or what a horrible wife we are if we’re not there to cook husband a meal. Things like that. Yes, we are…
Trevor: Do the ironing.
Angie: Do the ironing.
Jayne: We still live in such an old fashioned world.
Trevor: No, I don’t think we do anymore. I think that is our view but we’re of an age where I don’t think people think like that anymore.
Angie: That (inaudible 69:09) be surprised.
Howard: Depends on where you are in the world.
Howard: My Facebook profile picture was of a woman dentist in the Middle East who was killed because…
Trevor: Oh yeah.
Howard: ISIS caught her treating an opposite sex.
Trevor: Yeah. Wow.
Howard: There’s areas in the country where a female dentist treating a man will be killed.
Angie: Yeah. Yeah.
Howard: Is that sad or what?
Kinnar: You see these Western countries (inaudible 69:31)
Howard: There’s countries right now where women dentists are not allowed to drive cars. Am I kidding?
Angie: No. No.
Trevor: That’s (inaudible 69:38), that’s tragic. The point going back to the Western civilisation. Fight over my daughters, they certainly don’t see the life as cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing.
Trevor: For their husbands or partners as may be going forward.
Trevor: But they see themselves as independent women equal to any man, and being able to do anything that men do.
Jayne: Yeah. Having said that there’s more women that are very happy to be at home.
Angie: Oh, absolutely.
Howard: If you want to hide something from a millennial dentist.
Howard: You just put it in the oven. They all eat out at restaurants. They don’t even have a coffee pot, they can only go to (inaudible 70:21).
Jayne: Can I put that on my poster?
Kinnar: But it’s exciting that people, for example, you’re part of this big group, women’s dental group, fifteen hundred members on Facebook.
Howard: I’m going to wear a dress and sneak into that group.
Howard: (inaudible 70:37).
Jayne: You want to be a dentist to…
Angie: Dental hygienist, therapist, and…
Jayne: I know, I tried. I read the thing that said that…
Jayne: No female (inaudible 70:45).
Angie: Maybe next month.
Kinnar: But the point being you’re empowering…
Kinnar: Fellow colleagues.
Angie: The reason I’m doing this, because I’ve seen over the years the issues that us women had. Especially when you get ones they don’t get respect from the staff or the patients sometimes because…
Kinnar: Yes. Yeah.
Angie: They look so young, and I know even I went through it. When I walk in and patients will freak out and say ‘no, you’re the nurse’, and I say ‘no, I’m the dentist’ and they like ‘are you sure you can do that?’
Jayne: Angie, probably David’s heaviest percentage of clients are, forgot what I want to say now.
Jayne: David didn’t even comment to me.
Jayne: That part of what he does is try nurture them into stepping up and becoming more leaders.
Howard: Most practice management consultants will tell you, that of their millennial dentists it’s eighty percent minimum women and more. Same reason we all thought, we were all educated thirty years ago, but ninety percent of all TMJ was from women. So research started thinking, well they should maybe (inaudible 72:00) and that is that. Turns out that women are far more likely to raise her hand and ask for help. So the TMJ and TMD and all that was equal among men and women.
Howard: But the women were getting help, and same thing with consultants. Young female dentists were saying ‘I bet someone could help me with this’ and they raise their hand. It’s so frustrating men, that they can’t ask for directions.
Howard: They can’t ask for consultants. Something about their ego because…
Howard: They can’t admit that ‘my office is really screwed up and… ’.
Howard: Everything’s really crazy’. They’re actually afraid that you’re going to come in there and say ‘God man, you’re not all that’.
Kinnar: Yeah. True.
Howard: ‘You’re not all that and you’re not a bag of chips, and you’re kind of crazy’. So their ego is actually fragile. They’re so afraid that you’re going to say ‘God, I’ve been in a hundred offices and this is the most messed up office I’ve ever seen’.
Angus: Yeah. I tend not to say that Howard because I don’t get asked back but, yeah, no, I hear what you’re saying. With Angie we’ve been doing a bit of market research for this conference, and I’ve been maybe naive but surprised by some of the issues that the women have raised. Even we’ve had a couple of late (inaudible 73:19) in the last few days, and they’ve said things like not being taken seriously by patients. It just would never have occurred to me.
Angus: That that would be an issue. But that’s not an isolated comment from the women that we’ve had filling in the survey.
Angus: As much as things have moved on, some people feel that they haven’t.
David: Isn’t that just a perception in the dentist's mind, because they may fall in the same category.
Angus: Yeah, maybe.
Jayne: Too young.
David: (inaudible 73:48) says that ninety-five percent of dentists get to the age of sixty-five and can’t afford to retire, because they haven’t saved, they haven’t earned enough and…
David: Put it away, and categorically we find that it’s an across the board thing. The thing your online group of women evolve because of cyber bullying by a bunch of males in one or two…
David: Chat forums.
David: It’s understandable. It’s like a really pleasant place for these women to go, and I talk to the women that are on there, I’m not on there, but when I talk to them about it they say…
Howard: No, you put on a dress and get on there.
David: It’s like Alice in Wonderland.
Jayne: No, I’ve got a dress and I can’t get on it either.
Angie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Howard: You know what one of the most stressful that young women dentists ask me about, that their biggest issue is? They’re daddy’s little girl, and their dad’s a dentist, she graduates and goes back and she’s working for her dad. It’s so emotionally confusing because ‘you’re my dad, but you’re still treating me like I’m your little princess’ and she’s trying to man up and say ‘you shouldn’t do the endo anymore, you’re using this illegal technique that’s called sargenny. You could get your licence taken away’. How do you balance ‘you’re my dad’ and…
Angie: It’s a choice.
Howard: You need a spanking?
Angie: She makes a choice. So she can make the choice to say ‘okay, you know what? I’m going about my own, I’m going to work for somebody else’. Nobody’s forcing you, why does she have to go and work? But it’s the best thing.
Howard: But don’t you think a lot of the dad’s guilt their daughter into ‘I need to cut back’, ‘I paid for your college’, ‘you’re going to come and work the family business’, ‘your mom and I are counting on you’, and she’s like…
Angie: Yeah, but maybe just go and say ‘I’d love to work with somebody else just to see how it is out there’. Go and work for one or two days with your dad, and just go and work somewhere else for a couple of days just to get more experience from working for somebody else. They need that.
Trevor: It happens to sons as well as daughters in that environment, where children get guilted into going into their parents business.
Howard: Ryan tells me that he’s now dead inside. He only worked with me for two years and he’s dead.
Jayne: (inaudible 76:09).
Angie: I don’t think (inaudible 76:11).
Kinnar: (inaudible 76:11) in the States. I don’t personally know many female dentists where there father’s are dentists as well.
Angie: No. No. No.
Howard: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s actually around the world. I remember when I lectured in New Delhi or Saint Paul. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the United States you say to the crowd ‘raise your hand if you are not the first dentist in your family’. A quarter to a third of the hands go up.
Howard: Who’s that really famous dentist from Saint Paul? Christianson.
Howard: There’s thirty-five dentists and lab techs in his family.
Angie: Oh no.
Howard: I went to a dinner at a Indian dentist’s house in Delhi, and just in the house, just where they all live, it is a family house, I don’t even know how many there was eighteen, nineteen, twenty.
Kinnar: That’s an Indian family.
Howard: I knew a podcast where the mom and dad are dentists and two of their kids became dentists, and they each married a dentist in their class. We were in Singapore, remember in Singapore? We did a podcast with a dentist, his wife is a dentist, he had one kid and he married a girl in the class. So there’s four dentists in that one little office in Singapore. If you go to Tanzania and you dad and your grandfather were goat herders, what’s the best decision for you to do?
Howard: Oh, you join the family business. I think in all the dental schools and all the lectures I’ve given, I’d say at a minimum twenty-five percent of dentists are not the first dentist in their family tree. So where are the dentists here?
Howard: Us three.
Jayne: Three, yeah.
Howard: Four. Okay, so of you three. How many of you are the first dentist in your family tree?
David: I was.
Kinnar: One and only. First and only.
Angie: Yeah. First and only.
Angus: Bad focus group.
Howard: Bad focus group.
Kinnar: (inaudible 78:12) dental industry, and I (inaudible 78:14).
Howard: We’re going to call this podcast the F focus group. This focus group failed miserably. Even things like Smith, means your father’s a blacksmith. By asking Farran means baker. Even names are like that.
Angus: I’ve had a couple of clients, in fact I literally spoke to a lady yesterday who’s a dentist, and she was saying ‘I’ve been in dentistry for thirty years but my…’, I don’t think it was daughter, I think it was daughter-in-law is third year dental, ‘and I just want to keep the practice going so I can hand over to you’. I just wondered, because both of the examples I could think of were both from the subcontinent. I don’t know. Is that a stronger thing there do you reckon? Or…
Kinnar: Of course.
Angus: Yeah. Indian descent or Sri Lanka whatever the case.
Kinnar: Yeah. Of course. My dad’s a doctor, I’m the second born. My brother studied dentistry.
Howard: So you weren’t the first dentist in your family.
Kinnar: Yeah. In my family. But the most people I know there’s very limited same profession in the family in this country. But I understand where you’re coming from, like in India it’s a secondary thing.
Angus: Yeah, this lady we spoke to yesterday, she had five dentists in her family.
Kinnar: If you get professionals in the family, everyone will be professional out of two generations. But, yeah, I don’t know. I coach and lecture quite a bit, I’ve not met many people who are the same league in the same family. Yes, I agree that the subcontinent…
Howard: Another thing I found very interesting in Australia, like yesterday when I lectured in Melbourne I said ‘what percent of the class was not born in Australia?’ It was eighty-five percent of the class. Were you born in Greece?
Howard: Where? In Athens or Sparta?
Howard: Athens. Wow.
Jayne: Dave was born in Penang.
David: Yeah, I was born in Malaysia.
Kinnar: Oh, were you?
Howard: Kuala Lumpur.
David: In Penang.
Howard: Penang, Malaysia.
David: I was made here, but I was born over there. I was made in Australia but delivered over there.
Howard: How about you two?
Kinnar: I was born in Africa, in Kenya.
Jayne: I was about to say…
Kinnar: Yeah. I was born there so I know Tanzania very well.
Howard: So I’ve got to tell you when I was in Kenya, everybody here said the spice route from India all the way to the Roman Empire. Rome was the first city to hit a million.
Howard: So to have those spice routes from India every twenty miles and have an Indian family.
Howard: So along that trail is heavy Indian descent all the way to Rome, because…
Howard: You would just take it twenty miles and give it to the next family.
Howard: Isn’t that amazing? So what is your favourite spice then? If you were born in Kenya. You were born in Kenya?
Kinnar: Born and raised in Kenya, yes.
Howard: Then you were trading sugar, cinnamon.
Howard: What was the main spice? There was sugar, cinnamon, salt.
Kinnar: Just every spice is there. Where ever Indians are there’s every spice.
Kinnar: Never dictate one spice in their life, you give them spice of life.
Howard: So I’m going to go around the table again one last time because, again, we’re baby boomers, we read textbooks, we go to (inaudible 81:25) convention. We’re talking to millennials, they’re all born after 1980. So go around their D2’s, D3’s, D4’s. By the way thank you, I keep asking you send me an email at email@example.com and just tell me your age because it’s pretty rare, maybe one out of fifty says ‘I’m an old fart like you, I’m fifty-five years old, I enjoy…’. Most of them…
Jayne: It’s not that old.
Howard: I cannot believe, twenty percent are D2.
Angus: No, it’s not.
Howard: D3, D4, twenty percent of all the emails I get they’re still in dental school, and then the rest are working as an associate, corporate. What advice would you give, let’s say she graduated this year, she’s working for an associate private practice or a deal, she wants to have her own dental office someday, she’s twenty-five. What advice would you give her and her goal is to grow up and be like you someday? That would be an awesome goal, an amazing goal.
Kinnar: Of course.
Howard: How does she get from twenty-five to thirty-six?
Angus: Well I think you get someone in between me and that spot, because may immediate reaction is if I’m going to get into a practice I want to be doing all the analysis of the neighbourhood and so on, and find out how much competition there is. That’s not our expertise, but once the business is up and running… It’s interesting to me a bit of a theme around this table about measurement. So really knowing where your business is coming from, what all your numbers are and tracking that stuff, because maybe that’s just my previous position but I don’t find that stuff that hard.
Anecdotes is one thing but what do the numbers say? Where are you winning? Where are you losing? What can you do to optimise? Honestly I just do the basics well, probably my main message.
Howard: Nice. David.
David: There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors out there, and one of my mentors says ‘if you want to be successful in any location, just go and see what everybody’s doing and then just do the opposite’. I was in business for nine years and my neighbour, a very successful practice supposedly long term practice, was selling his practice. There was two dentists and their building, and I went to see them and I’ve been in business nine years. One guy was doing a hundred thousand, the other guy was doing two hundred thousand and I was doing four hundred thousand on my own. These guys have been doing business for thirty years, this was back in the nineties.
David: They were known as a very successful practice, so their numbers didn’t match their perception. So check who your competition is, find out what they’re doing, ring and find out how bad the phones are being answered, and set up next door to those people. There’s plenty of opportunity right under your nose, you don’t have to go out and be the only dentist in an area or the first dentist in the area. Unless you’re so weak that that’s all you can do, is be the best because you’re the only one there. Michael Hill, the jeweller, did it in our town. He worked for his uncle, he said ‘my uncle’s got a huge business, he doesn’t need all this money. I just want to have part of his business’.
He wanted twenty-five percent of his uncle’s business, well he got it in our town. Then he thought I’d get it in the South (inaudible 84:49), then I’d get it in the whole North (inaudible 84:49), then I’ll go to Queensland and the Gold Coast, and he’s the biggest jeweller in Australia now. Just by taking a small piece of big business, and you can do that in dentistry. Remember that twenty-five percent of the population, whether they’re talking about their teeth, the guy who cleans their pool, the guy who mows the lawn, the person doing their nails or their hair. They don’t care what the competition charges, because they’re getting a good service and a good product. You can get that in dentistry, you only have to be good to twenty-five percent of the population. But if you chase after the other seventy-five percent or you’re always price conscious, then you’re just going to wear yourself into suicide, heart attack, depression, whatever. Go for the top twenty-five percent, easy.
David: That’s all I did.
Howard: Last time.
Jayne: (inaudible 85:34) looking at where you came from (inaudible 85:37), how you worked for other dentists, and you worked for some good dentists who mentored you in a way. That even from your observation of them and how they were running their businesses, I think that is always a good start for dentists making that big jump. Just from the dentists I speak to, and especially the ones that I work with that just started out, they’re the smart one’s because they’ve rung me to say ‘I need help’ straight away. I loved that because I think they get it straight away and they’re going to do it right from the start. So they got that ability to really take that practice and grow.
But the mentor side, if you can line yourself up with people who are doing the right thing in dentistry and are really really working it well, to learn and to get people in to help you. That is one of the best things, see what David and I do with other practices, we’re going into their practices and working with them because that’s what we did in our practice. Obviously not with ourselves because we didn’t know anything at that point, that we needed their assistance and their help. That was one of the biggest turning points, wasn’t it? For the practice. Was when you got…
David: That’s true. Yeah.
Jayne: Management people in. Yeah.
David: After I looked at that practice I was doing four hundred thousand, I had a management firm come and help me for six and a half years. I went from four hundred thousand to one point two million in six and a half years. I tripled my practice in six and a half years, just with that advice of having somebody to bounce ideas off.
Kinnar: Yeah, having a mentor or a coach.
Howard: I doubled my practice. Did you guys ever see the movie Breaking Bad?
Howard: With that guy who was making crystal meth?
Howard: I brought in a chemist in my office, and we’ve been converting Novocaine into cocaine and selling cocaine out the back door to his brother.
Jayne: Is this going in the podcast?
Howard: Yeah. So Trevor.
Trevor: I actually have a niece who’s doing her second year of dental school now, and I said to her ‘don’t ever forget that you don’t stop learning once you graduate’.
Angus: Yeah. Yeah.
Trevor: ‘You need to keep learning’. I agree with with Dave said about mentoring. You need to find yourself some good mentors but not just in dentistry. You need to find some mentors that are broad in life, but obviously having good dentists to mentor you is very important. So you need four or five of those to guide you effectively and then to really find what you are passionate about in dentistry. What is the sort of dentistry you want to provide?
You really have to understand that. So do you want really specialise and become a specialist? Or do you want to provide good general practice, or the best general practice you can. What, within your general practice, do you really want to focus on? What do you want to be really good at? At the end of the day patients get your intent.
Trevor: So make sure the patient’s on the same (inaudible 88:51).
Howard: You’re right, you should have a lot of mentors. I think everyone is so lucky if their five favourite mentors are a cook, a gardener, a driver, a spouse, and a lover, and those are all five different people.
Trevor: The cook comes first.
Kinnar: The cook comes first.
Jayne: One of my mentors…
Howard: Kinnar, what would your advice be to a young twenty-five year old dentist?
Kinnar: Live life, don’t get burnt out by this profession. I guess one of the questions I ask young dentists is ‘what do you want to do? What do you want to become when you do dentistry? The answer I generally get is ‘I want to become successful’. The next question I ask is ‘what does success mean to you?’ Most of them say ‘I want to have a nice house, steady job, big practice, etcetera’. I’m always like that’s fair, I mean everyone wants that. I agree that that’s a great answer, but I would add that success is not about having possessions and what you achieve in life. It’s about who you become at the end of the day, or that journey you take throughout life and become successful.
What does that make you as a person? Which leads to the three points I always tell them, that these are the three traits everyone needs to have to become successful in life. The first trait being just be humble in life, as much as you are in the profession of growth and success, just be humble. Be humble to others, add value to them, grow with others. Don’t become a competitor, become a colleague. As Angie said here as well, be humble. Do a self discovery process of what your strengths are. There’s a lot of coaching to individuals, we graduate as dentists but no one trains us in these kind of things. What are your individual strengths and work on those strengths and your talents? So become humble.
The second thing I talk about is be hungry. It’s not a time in life for dentists to be peckish anymore, you can’t become peckish anymore.
Kinnar: Peckish, means like you want to nibble on things. You want to be hungry. If you want to be successful you’ve got to be hungry, you’ve got to have that almost like an obsession. That you want to invest in yourself, you want to grow. You want to work on yourself, you want to work on your personal self and your professional self. So be hungry, man, you can’t just walk around saying that I want to be successful. Success doesn’t fall from the tree, you’ve got to really work at it.
The last word which most millennials like on that is learn how to hustle at the end. Learn how to hustle, this is a dog eat dog world. So you’ve got to learn the six series I was talking about, you’ve really got to learn to hustle in life while adding value to others. Learn how to take action, we’re saying take two steps, one step every day. Whatever it is, take one step every day. Learn how to hustle.
David: Can you be humble and a hustler at the same time?
Kinnar: Humble is about just to people but hustling in terms of keep moving forward. Keep moving forward. Take a step every day in your growth. Humble is just contributing to the world, contributing to others, thinking of others while you’re growing as well. Of course, knowing your own self. Too many talk about their successes, too less people talk about their failures. Talk about your failures more, that’s what people learn from. I guess when you’re growing, millennials, talk about your failures as well. That’s the message I’ll give you, there’s so much to go live life while you’re at it.
Jayne: I love the three H’s.
Kinnar: Yeah, being…
Howard: What’s that?
Jayne: Put that on Facebook now too.
Jayne: The three H’s.
Kinnar: The three H’s of leadership.
Howard: The three H’s.
Kinnar: The three H’s of leadership, being humble, being…
David: I think the young dentists need to learn to respect what they’ve done, and this is one thing that I find with my clients. They don’t respect that they have spent so much time and money getting themselves an education in dentistry.
David: Then so much money investing in either buying a practice or setting up a practice, and they have that personal debt that they need to repay. So they need to make their services pay for this class, so to then have that huge amount of time and money that they’ve invested and then start being a cost cutter. That’s just…
Kinnar: It doesn’t work.
David: It’s the wrong way.
David: It’s the wrong way. If the pie is big, we want to grow the pie.
David: Think abundance.
David: There’s money in abundance.
David: So when you think in that top twenty-five percent, those are the people who don’t mind. Who looked at the prices here today for lunch? Nobody did.
David: We just eat what we eat, we enjoyed it.
Howard: I didn’t look because I took Angie’s credit card when she wasn’t looking and she paid for everyone.
Jayne: Not having that value for what you do and what value you give to others is sometimes…
Angie: The let going of ego. There’s a lot of ego.
Kinnar: Yeah, there’s a lot of ego.
Angie: A lot of ego in dentistry, I don’t know about overseas. But a lot of ego. Have you heard the joke? What’s the difference between a dentist and God?
Angie: God hasn’t realised He’s a dentist yet.
Howard: Oh my God, I’m going to steal that one. I’m going to steal that one, that is so great.
Kinnar: That is so good.
Howard: It’s dentists, physicians and lawyers, the ego is off the charts.
Howard: I mean it’s just off the charts. Why is that?
Angie: I don’t know. I really don’t know.
Howard: My joke on that was doctor is just a Latin word meaning ‘to teach’, bible is just a Latin word meaning ‘book’, and God is just a Latin word meaning ‘dentist’.
Angie: God, yeah. The ego, that’s the other thing, it get’s in the way of most things that they do. Whether it’s presenting something to a patient and the patient says ‘oh, I can’t afford that’, and the ego goes up. You’ve got to be, like you said, humble, and show empathy. If I was going to say anything to these young dentists that are coming out, I’m going to say you’ve got to have patience, because I have so many that come out and ‘been out for one or two years, I want to open my own practice’. I look at them and I’m going ‘you can’t even have a steady conversation with me. How are you going to be able to hold a practice…
Kinnar: Run a business, yeah.
Angie: All they see is dollar signs. Okay, that’s all they see. They want to own the practice right away, and I’m like ‘no, just build up your confidence, build up your knowledge, build up your skills, and then go out there and do what you need to do. But don’t just go without having all that ammunition behind you.
Angie: Just because you think… actually when we have the conversation, that’s exactly what they say ‘but I’m going to make more money, when I have my own practice’.
Kinnar: False perceptions catches all of us.
David: They get that right.
Jayne: A lot of the dentists that we work with, they’ve…
Jayne: Already got past their ego a bit, because they’ve had to reach out and ask for help.
Angus: Yeah. Yeah. (inaudible 96:06)
Jayne: So then actually when you want to come in. Yeah, from that (inaudible 96:09) and you would find that too.
Angus: No matter (inaudible 96:10)
Angus: Pick up the phone.
Jayne: Yeah, so they’ve sort of got past that bit of a barrier and they’re starting to realise that they can’t do it all by themselves.
Trevor: That’s very disconcerting because people are in the profession of making money.
Trevor: As opposed to healing.
Trevor: That’s why they miss the intent, they’ve chosen dentistry because they want to be rich.
Jayne: Yeah, but then the other side of it is, what we have to be very careful, they still have to keep a hold of their business because they’re not helping any patients if they go out of business.
Jayne: There’s a lot of dentists that are struggling out there, and they’re actually closing their doors.
Kinnar: There’s not a lot, most.
Jayne: So they’re not helping patients.
Kinnar: I would agree, there’s most dentists are struggling right now.
Kinnar: As Angie was saying most dentists are jumping into opening practices up.
Kinnar: It’s not easy nowadays, I mean the most practices I coach as well I notice a pattern that most practices as a business are not making enough profit. The dentists are taking their own commission, but the business is not making any reasonable profit.
Kinnar: So which begs to kind of ask… and the stresses involved in running the practices.
Angie: Yeah, but that’s because they’ve got stress because they haven’t learned how to deal with people.
Jayne: It’s okay too, isn’t it.
Angie: It’s so important now, like if you do your NLP courses alright. I think that is one of the most important things that people need to know…
Kinnar: Of course.
Angie: When they have any business.
Angie: Doesn’t matter whether they’re dentists, whether you’ve got a restaurant, whatever.
Kinnar: (inaudible 97:29)
Angie: You’ve got to know how to deal with people, you’ve got to know how to treat these people.
Jayne: (inaudible 97:36)
Trevor: That’s right.
Angie: Also know how to deal with yourself. So if you don’t know how to deal with them… I see it even in the women’s group, the questions that some of them put, or even in the other forums. They say ‘this patient came in and we had this confrontation, what should I do?’ I’m going ‘it’s too late now…’
Jayne: Not have the confrontation.
Angie: ‘You’ve already had the confrontation’. Learn how to deal with it before.
Jayne: For you to use for the next one.
Angie: Exactly, and you’ve already lost.
Angie: Not just that patient, but you’ve lost all the patients that that person’s going to go tell now.
Angie: That ‘oh my God, that dentist, don’t even bother going’.
Jayne: But the good news is, it’s a learned skill to be able to communicate.
Angie: Yeah. Absolutely.
Kinnar: Yeah. Yeah.
Jayne: Maybe not attitude, but if you’ve got the right attitude and you’re still not quite nailing that communication, you can learn to do that.
Angie: They don’t…
Kinnar: Yeah, you’re right. All skills can be learned.
Kinnar: But invest in yourself.
Kinnar: Which is the biggest thing the millennials.
Kinnar: Invest, not just in clinical skills, but in your personal skills.
Angie: That’s because so many think that IQ is so important to be successful, it’s not. It’s EQ, it’s Emotional Quota. It’s that relationship that you can nurture with people.
Angie: It’s going to drive your business and then make you successful.
Angie: It doesn’t matter whether you scored ninety-nine.
Jayne: You can practice at home.
Jayne: (inaudible 98:59) practice.
Jayne: Yeah. Practice at home.
Trevor: Got a social question now, going back to the point about money, and this in Australia is being a challenge. Pharmacy’s gone through it, and general practice has gone through it, is that should healthcare make a profit?
Trevor: Or should dentists be paid well? Define well. Now that’s a question. Should a healthcare professional make a profit?
Trevor: No. I know. I said it’s a social question. If you look at the Labour Party, and Nico Robson started this in 2007, suggested that dentists were well paid and making too much profit in their business. Now if you go back to that initial question. No, no, I’m just saying. But if you look at the food chain, the doctor’s office makes more margin.
Trevor: More profit than anybody else in the food chain. That’s one of the questions that the industry…
Howard: I know, but I do…
David: The profit though, the profit goes back into the economy.
David: The profit goes to support housing, it goes to support (inaudible 100:08).
Howard: But still, I…
Jayne: (inaudible 100:09).
David: Yeah. Yeah. He totally…
Trevor: It’s a broader subject because there could be an argument to say, and this was again some politicians that put this forward in the past, that say if prices were less expensive then more people would go to dentists. We know in Australia, and New Zealand for that matter.
David: But then there’d be less people being there just because the margins would be so low.
David: So then we’d have to work on a Socialist scheme on the National Health, which is just a merry-go-round. Have you ever been in a pub in England and talked to them about their dentists?
Trevor: Yeah, absolutely.
David: I’ve just started going to him because my last dentist was really bad. Well, guess what? That person’s just replacing another patient who’s just moved on to the next dentist.
David: It’s just a progressive merry-go-round. Nobody’s getting good dentistry.
Trevor: I’ve got lots of mates who a dentists in the UK, I know exactly what they do.
Howard: It’s how much do these people pay for their iPhone.
Trevor: That’s right.
David: Or their tattoos. Forget about my dentistry, but look at my tattoos.
Trevor: That was my point about…
Jayne: So is this where we apologise for…
Howard: You would not believe how many poor people in the United States have a $30 a day drug program, just so that they’re on a pint of Vodka and a couple of packs of cigs.
Howard: It’s $100 a day if they’re on meth, coke, ecstasy, pills, whatever and then they don’t have any money to go to the dentist.
Trevor: That’s my point about where the competition is.
Jayne: So there’s no change
Trevor: The competition is not, and I like the idea about being colleagues, it’s not about the guy who’s operating next door to you. The competition is where those people choose to spend their discretionary income, because…
Trevor: Dentistry, I think a little bit regrettably, has become a discretionary expense. A choice people make. I have some friends who are way more wealthy than I’ll ever be, and they complain. The one guy said to me, he said ‘I’ve got my two kids going for orthodontic treatment at the moment, that’s all I’m prepared to spend’. This guy’s got a Ferrari in the back garage.
Trevor: He says ‘I’m not prepared to spend any more money on dentistry, so my wife and I don’t go to the dentist’. I said ‘you’re an idiot’.
Jayne: He’s got the wrong person working on the front desk.
Kinnar: Pocket change.
Trevor: Can’t afford to pay, it’s just to say…
Howard: That they’re… yeah.
Trevor: That’s what I’m prepared to spend.
Howard: But that’s the one thing I’ve learned as you get older and older and older, is that at fifty-four the path to happiness is, just keep lowering your expectations, because at the end of the day they’re just the only animal in the zoo with clothes on.
Kinnar: That’s gold. That’s gold, I love that. I want to steal that off of you.
Howard: The other thing as well…
Kinnar: Lower your expectations.
Howard: Is how people can be so smart in one area, and a neanderthal in five other areas.
Trevor: Yeah, that’s right.
Howard: Like some of the smartest people I know are just… I kind of think the brain is like a box of ping pong balls, and some of those balls are just like perfect, some are missing, some are broken. It’s amazing…
Trevor: (inaudible 103:08).
Howard: Yeah. It’s amazing. You can be a nuclear Physicist and not be able to figure out how to use your microwave.
Trevor: You could be a dentist and not figure out how to make coffee.
Angus: True though.
Howard: Yeah. Look at the biggest name leaders running the world today, these guys, it’s like are you kidding me? Some of the craziest people I’ve ever heard of in my entire life are now running my country. You know what I mean? Really.
Jayne: I would’ve told you you were talking about Australia.
David: One of the policies that we teach, and you teach it too, is hire slowly and fire quickly. Well this guy’s firing quickly, isn’t he?
Howard: Yeah. The first time I voted was for Reagan in 1980, I guess it was Jimmy Carter, but I’ve always felt every election in the United States was you just get two choices, do you want to die of a heart attack or cancer. Or do you like for your leg to be amputated above or below the knee. Really? It’s all my choices? How does a third of a billion people come up with two choices, heart attack and cancer?
But seriously guys I can tell you Angus Prior, Doctor David Moffet, Jayne Bandy, Trevor Martin, Doctor Kinnar Shah, Doctor Angie Papas. It was such an honor that you would come today, on this beautiful day, sitting here by the bay in Sydney and sharing your wisdom with my homies. They’re appreciating it from Kansas to Kathmandu. Thank you seriously. Thank you so much for coming on this Saturday.