Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
How to perform dentistry faster, easier, higher in quality and lower in cost.
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1013 Growing Businesses & Building Leaders with Dana Salisbury, COO of Classic Practice Resources : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1013 Growing Businesses & Building Leaders with Dana Salisbury, COO of Classic Practice Resources : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

5/10/2018 10:36:59 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 181

1013 Growing Businesses & Building Leaders with Dana Salisbury, COO of Classic Practice Resources : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

Dana (Pardue) Salisbury is the Chief Operations Officer of Classic Practice Resources, Inc. a practice management firm based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A self-proclaimed "dental brat" she began selling and setting up distributorships for the Metalift(TM) Crown & Bridge Removal System at the ripe old age of 19. She attended Southeastern Louisiana University and after graduating joined Classic Practice Resources full time, moving up the ranks to her current position within the company. She primarily handles the administration tasks behind the scenes at Classic Practice but is moving into the realm of service delivery through analyzing mystery shopper calls and lecturing on the results. She is married with two daughters and in her "free time" she is earning her MBA at Louisiana State University. Her passion is growing businesses, building leaders, and having FUN!


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1013 Growing Businesses & Building Leaders with Dana Salisbury, COO of Classic Practice Resources : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

Howard: It is just a huge honor for me to be today podcast interviewing Dana Pardue Salisbury

Dana: Hey.

Howard: Like the steak, Salisbury steak. We're at Townie meeting 2018 in Orlando. I've been a huge fan. Your mother is a legend. 

Dana: We know that.

Howard: It must be very hard to grow up under such a big name. But you know what, you kind of been in dentistry for a long time now yourself. You joined Dentaltown in 2001.

Dana: 2001. 

Howard: So how long have you been in dentistry? 

Dana: Well, actually I make my fifteen year full time anniversary with the company June 1st.

Howard: Fifteen years.

Dana: Fifteen years out of college. 

Howard: You don't even look fifteen.

Dana: I know.

Howard: My gosh. Let me read your bio.

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: Dana Pardue Salisbury is a chief operations officer of Classic Practice Resources Inc., a practice management firm based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A self-proclaimed dental brat, she began selling and setting up distributorships for the Metalift ™ crown and bridge removal system at the ripe old age of nineteen. 

I think I have two of them. 

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: Those are the crown and bridge from Dr. …

Dana: Westerman.

Howard: Westerman. What’s his first name?

Dana: Bob. Robert. 

Howard: Bob, Robert Westerman. I've always wanted to podcast him.

Dana: Yes. 

Howard: Tell him he needs to come on the show. 

Dana: Okay.

Howard: Is he still selling that?

Dana: Actually, no. Two years ago we spun it off to another company and people still, believe it or not, they call our office for replacement parts and technical questions and I'm like, “Well, since I have you on the phone, I'll answer that. I mean it's fine.”

Howard: Well, tell Bob that I want to podcast him.

Dana: Okay.

Howard: She attended Southeastern Louisiana University and after graduating joined Classic Practices Resources full time, moving up the ranks to her current position within the company. She primarily handles the administration tasks behind the scenes at Classic Practice, but is moving into the realm of service delivery through analyzing mystery shopper calls and lecturing on the results. 

She is married with two daughters and in her free time she is earning her MBA at Louisiana State University. Her passion is growing business, building leaders and having fun. Her website is

So you've been full time in dentistry for nineteen years?

Dana: For fifteen years. 

Howard: Can I ask how old you are?

Dana: Since I was nineteen. So I'm thirty-seven. 

Howard: God dang. Why do you look like you're twenty-one? 

Dana: I don't know. 

Howard: Is it hormones? Are you on human growth hormone? 

Dana: Right. I give myself injections every day. I don't know. 

Howard: You couldn't say it's from eating Gumbo because I don't think anybody knows what's in Gumbo. 

Dana: Right. Well, no one really does.

Howard: I think everyone's recipes... I think you just throw everything you have in the kitchen in a pot.

Dana: Yeah, including like an egg. Literally a raw egg. You just kind of toss it in the middle. So yeah. 

Howard: So, in dentistry… they're all listening to podcasts by themselves. It's something like 98% of cars on the commute to work are solo. In fact, this ride sharing thing could be interesting because when they start studying driverless cars and ride sharing apps, there's a hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week, the average American isn't even driving their car ten hours a week. So if you only had enough cars for perfect ride sharing, you could probably get away with three fourths of all the cars. Point being they're all alone. They only know their problems. 

Dana: Right.

Howard: They might think they're unique or whatever, but you get to see everyone's problems. 

Dana: I get to see everyone's problems and you know what? They're not unique. They’re all the same.

Howard: So go through the top five problems that people are having that they're calling Classic Resources to solve. 
Dana: I'm going to tell you one reason. There's one - bad leadership. I say this all of the time. You know the ADA says that the average dental employee will be with your practice for eighteen months. Well, where are they going? 

Howard: The ADA says that? 

Dana: That was ten years ago, but I guarantee it's right in line. Right? We'll look it up. 

Howard: Well, if you find a source on that email me that  to 

Dana: I will.

Howard: Because that's an amazing stat. 

Dana: It's amazing. But people say, “Oh well no one really stays at my practice.” Okay. But what are they doing? They're going to another dental practice. What do they say? People don't quit job, they quit bosses. So what's happening here? Are you giving your team the tools that they need to answer the phone, interact with patients, the confidence they need when they talk about money, you know, all of these things. It's all built on the team. We're all depending on the team to run a full business, they have no MBA and so you've got to give them the tools and that's what we do at Classic Practice. We build good leaders and it trickles down from there. And one of my favorite things to do is mystery shopper calls. So I pick up the phone, I call, I call a lot of big name practices and I always say the prettier the website, the worse the call will go. 

Howard: Really? 

Dana: It's insane. 

Howard: Really?

Dana: So, beautiful website, I'm like, “Oh, we're going to have fun with this bad boy.” So we call... I mean, look, there is someone that I called, it's not you, so don't worry, but they didn't answer their phone four times in a row. Their website says they're open. Four times in a row. So, what's going on here? Have you given an ordering to answering the phone within your team? In other words, is that phone ringing off the hook and maybe you've got four admin staff, they're all busy and maybe your hygienist doesn't have a patient. Why can't they pick up the phone? Not necessarily handle the issue, but be a person that answers the phone. Someone is calling you. Your doctor spent big marketing dollars on getting that phone to ring. 

Howard: I’m writing down the question, I'm not surfing. Facebook.

Dana: No, all good.

Howard: Keep going.

Dana: So anyway, it's really interesting. So beautiful websites typically equate to efforts being focused in the wrong direction, then it's... Anyway. Speaking of websites though, I do appreciate a nice website. Not overly complicated.  You know, some of these people just put all of this stuff on there and patients... I mean you've got, gosh, I mean you've got like twenty-eight seconds, right, they're going to be on your page. If you can't capture their attention with real world stuff and not stock photos and all of these things… The main thing is you want to get them to call. So how are you going to get people on your website to call you? Because we're not really gonna call age right now, you know. So, we're not in a time where people pick up the phone and want to call. So we always really advocate website interaction like the online chats. Can your team or someone reach out to these patients and encourage them to call, make them feel comfortable calling and explaining their dental problems or discomforts. So we're all about the new patient interaction. What we do for all of our Spice Up Your Practice, which is a seminar that we do typically in New Orleans, we…

Howard: Spice Up Your Practice. That’s a two day seminar?

Dana: It's a day and a half.

Howard: It’s a day and a half. And is it usually like Friday, half-day Saturday?

Dana: Yep.

Howard: It’s Friday, half-day Saturday?

Dana: Yep.

Howard: It’s in Baton Rouge?

Dana: In New Orleans.

Howard: It’s in New Orleans. 

Dana: That’s right.

Howard: Is that because you have more direct flights with Southwest? 

Dana: Well, that would be my reason for attending, yes. But no, New Orleans is…

Howard: Just more fun? 

Dana: It's more fun. We always pick a great… Well, typically we've been at the Ritz Carlton, which really... their customer service, that whole philosophy aligns with ours. You know, we do pride ourselves on our reachability and our customer service. 

Howard: And that’s where I grew up.

Dana: At the Ritz Carlton?

Howard: Well, it was a Ritz Cracker. 

Dana: Oh.

Howard: But we could put anything on it. I assumed The Ritz Carlton's no different than the Ritz Cracker.

Dana: Right. Yeah.

Howard: So, the schedules at your Classic Practice? 

Dana: That's right. Anyone that signs up for Spice Up Your Practice will receive a mystery call. So, anytime between the time you register and a couple days before the seminar, I might be calling your office and I want to check out the whole new patient experience.

Howard:  So that would be on your Classic Practice, would that be under training events?  

Dana: Training events. Yep. Do you want to come? 

Howard: I would love to. So the next one's July 13, 14, 2018. So then the April 27, 2018?

Dana: That's an academy for scheduling excellence. That's just a focused scheduling training seminar. So then we have another date in November. We do them about three times a year. 

Howard: Three times a year?

Dana: Yeah. Just because I'm also kind of pimping Sandy out. So, if Sandy's not talking, we're not busy.

Howard: You said something very interesting. So you said the ADA says the average general employee stays eighteen months? 

Dana: Yeah. 

Howard: Okay. Well, Wall Street has been saying for years that the average employee at any of the Internet companies is one to two years. 

Dana: Wow. 

Howard: Facebook holds them the longest at two years apple? Amazon holds them the shortest. Amazon's average employee doesn't stay a full year. 

Dana: Yeah. 

Howard: And Jeff Bezos has just burned them and churned them, light candles at both ends until they drop, then replace. 

Dana: Well yeah. but go ahead.

Howard: But it's the same with the patients. So you look at this dentist who practiced from twenty-five to sixty-five in a small town and he still needs new patients. He's been through everyone in the county three times.

Dana: Right.

Howard: And all of his patients today were in a different dental office last year and they’ll be in a different dental office next year. So, they can't keep their spouses, their employees or their patients. 

Dana: And whose fault is that? 

Howard: Well, it's never the man in the mirror. 

Dana: Right.

Howard: It's got to be Obama, Benghazi, something.

Dana: The economy.  

Howard: Yeah, the economy. The trade deficit.

Dana: My bleaching discount wasn't enough or whatever. 

Howard: It’s never the man in the mirror. 

Dana: Right? 

Howard: So, whose problem is it? 

Dana: It's the man in the mirror. 

Howard: So, you start off with the number one problem is leadership?

Dana: It is. 

Howard: But is leadership something that you're born with, like a knack for music and I mean, I personally think everybody who plays professional baseball was born with something I didn't have. 

Dana: Right? 

Howard: Is that the same with leadership and music? 

Dana: Somewhat, yeah.

Howard: Can leadership be taught?

Dana: If you met my uncle, you would know that it's just something you're born with. Right? The true ability to lead, it is something you're born with. I do believe that, but there are traits, there are tools, there's techniques to learning to be a better manager, not the best manager, but my God, do something. Make some kind of effort towards building yourself and building your team. Some of the best practices that we've seen, the doctor is so humble and very much like you. I mean, my gosh, you’ve built this huge empire, you're so very humble. So when you build these things and remaining humble and true and pushing power to your team like you do with everyone that you encounter, that's the way you build success. That's the way you build a great surrounding. Just people will flock to you. 

Howard: But the dentist is always going to say, “If you want it done right, you're going to have to do it yourself.”  How do you get them… he doesn’t want to delegate… You know what he wants to delegate? Packing a quarter, making a temporary to an assistant.

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: Because God knows, he's the only monkey on earth that can do it.

Dana: Yeah, but I always say, “If you want it done right, you do it yourself. Unless you don't want to do it yourself, then you outsource it.” So if you can't be a good leader, find someone who is, that can maybe be the bad guy, not that we're the bad guy, but we do have an artful way of helping the team understand why the business has to operate with certain overhead percentages and just what we're working with here. So, we go in and a really great angle with the teams where they just understand in a different light. So, if you can't be a good leader, if you don't feel that you were born with the traits and you can't do it yourself, find someone who is and partner up with them. 

Howard: So is that partner up with them meaning an office manager or partnering with another doctor?

Speaker: Could be an office manager or it could be a consulting firm or a personal life coach. There's all of these fabulous resources out there. Never has more information been available to us and I feel that there's a lot of people just taking information from the wrong sources and attempting it halfway, right? And so they're just going wrong and a lot of ways. So we're standing strong and just helping people and it's just a huge reward to see where people start and where they end off. It's just great. 

Howard: A lot of people think when your office is flat, when you have high staff turnover, when your dreams are being made, that's when you need to go to Spear or Pankey or Kois and add chairside milling or placing implants or learning botox or they're always want to sell…  And I always thought to myself... you know why they like going to Scottsdale in Seattle and Key Biscayne and (inaudible: 13.57) You know why they like going there? Because they get a leave their town, they get to fly away in an airplane, look out the windows and say, “Oh my God, my staff turnover, my patients don’t come back, my overhead, my screaming wife and kids, and now I’m just going to go fantasize that all my problems will be solved with occlusion and TMJ and chairside milling.” And I always say, “Turn that plane back around, go put your  …, get your house in order.”

Dana: Right. 

Howard: And before you buy a $100,000 laser that Gordon Christensen says the lamp laser doesn't even work and you just bought it for $87,000. Chairside milling will never... you'll never make one chairside milling crown that your lab man up the street who only makes crowns for the last ten, twenty, thirty years can do better, and cheaper and faster. Get a consultant, get your house in order, then you're happy, then you’re not drinking Listerine…

Dana: Then move on to other service mixes.

Howard: … then you’re not eating Vicodin…

Dana: Right.

Howard: Then you’re not chasing, you know, having affairs and getting divorced. If you get your house in order, your stress comes down.

Dana: Right.

Howard: Your money goes up, and then if you want to buy a porsche, a cabin, a laser, knock yourself out. 

Dana: Totally. Well, you had mentioned Amazon. So what did you say the average…

Howard: One year. 

Dana: Okay. So, it's really interesting because I read up a little bit about Amazon when I was doing my strategic management course. I'm getting my MBA right now, and if you read their mission statement, whatever it is, I challenge every listener to go just read Amazon's mission statement and don't do that. It basically says that they want to be the world's leader. They want to be, basically, be everything to everyone. They want to be everything to…

Howard: Ryan, find me Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s mission statement. Text it to me. 

Dana: So, now this is what dentists are doing. Before you go and increase your service mix and do all of these things, decide where you want to play and where you don't want to play. Who do you not want to serve? That is okay to name. You can't be everything to everyone. Specialize in implants. Stick with your core competency. If you close your eyes and say, “What brings me the most stress?” Get rid of it. If you don't like doing certain procedures, if you don't like doing endo - stop. No one's twisting your arm. 

Howard: So you're saying kill all my children and grandchildren? 

Dana: Yes. 

Howard: Wow. I never even thought about …

Dana: Well, not grandchildren but children. Right? 

Howard: Whar are grandchildren. 

Dana: Well, I don't have any.

Howard: They’re your reward for not killing your children. 

Dana: Okay. 

Howard: Amazon: “Our vision is to be Earth's most customer centric company, to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Dana: So, that is pretty much the most robust statement that anyone could ever make. Right? So why would you want to be everything to everyone? He's obviously not leading successfully, so I mean, to be continued, Amazon is a monster, but how will this end? 

Howard: I'll tell you one red flag I have on Amazon is… the neatest thing about being fifty-five is you're never seeing anything for the first time.

Dana: Right? 

Howard: This is like the second or third rodeo on everything I’ve seen. Like when I got out of school, Orthodontic Centers of America out of New Orleans... What was his name? Lazarus. 

Dana: Okay. 

Howard: He was a good old Catholic boy from New Orleans, now he lives in California, but Orthodontic Centers of America was on the New York Stock Exchange, billion dollar evaluation, (inaudible: 17.46) on Nasdaq. They all imploded. 

Dana: Yeah. Yeah.

Howard: Why? Because they would buy an old man's practice like me, telling me I had to stay three years. They'd all leave three years and one minute later. Then they replaced me with some punk ass kid, so the old guy was doing two million a year. The new kid was doing a million. They couldn't keep their docs, so every doctor only worked there because they didn't have any place else to work and the minute they had an option to leave or find another job they all left. So he couldn’t get good doctors. So now they all went under. Now they're all back. Same damn game. Biggest stock market rise I saw ninety-four to two-thousand, four stocks, it was Intel, Microsoft, Dell and Cisco. And they were just doubling, doubling, doubling, doubling and doubling. And right when they would've doubled again and hit a trillion dollar market cap, they all crashed. Went from like fifteen hundred to sixteen hundred.  

So what do we see now? Amazon. I mean it almost has a trillion dollar market cap and it doesn't have any profits. 

Dana: Right.

Howard: And then SpaceX, I mean Tesla. I mean, they sell one car and their stock doubles. So you look at these valuations and again, their valuations based on no profit and everybody's like, “Amazon's going to be the first trillion dollar market cap.” Okay? It's not gonna happen with no profit. 

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: So you keep seeing these rodeos over. (Inaudible: 19.19) Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft. If you can't keep your employees, you've got a problem. DSOs today. How long does the average dentist work in a DSO today? 

Dana: Oh my gosh. 

Howard: How long do they stay there?

Dana: I don't know. My father in law went to one and he was shocked when four months later he went for a follow up, his doctor that he likes so much is gone. So what are you going to do?

Howard:  That's what I want to tell the kids, because a lot of kids have this fantasy that when they graduate, they're going to do work for this big DSO, they're going to work eight to five, live happily ever after. That would be an awesome story if the people who graduated from your same dental school over the last five, six years did that and they're still working there. And I don't want to throw the DSOs under the bridge because I see the same thing in private practice. How long does an associate stay in private practice? Half of them flip it a year or two and the other half only stay maybe seven to ten. 

Dana: Yeah. 

Howard: So what I see is that the dentists are the most happy when they have their own office. And if I'm wrong on that, show me the evidence. Show me all the people that got a job at Aspen and Western Dental and are still there ten, twenty years later saying “Man, this rocks.”

Dana: Right. Hooha.

Howard: No, they usually… the turnover is too high. 

Dana: You can't win at the game that isn't yours. I don't know. So I want a goal. I want some kind of attainable something, you know? And as business owner, my gosh, you know, so you're just like a little hamster on his wheel.

Howard: And I see a lot of sexism at play. A lot of people are saying, you can answer this better than me because I'm actually a boy and you're a girl. A lot of people say, “Well, you know, these girls, they're different. They just want to be employees. They don't want to own their own business.” And I say, “Well first of all, she's not a girl.” This is a girl who went to eight years at college and became a doctor. I don't think you can compare a doctor girl to just your average girl. Do you? 

Dana: Right.

Howard: I mean, how do you have enough ambition to become a doctor and then all of a sudden turn into submission and want to be my employee and answer to me. How do you go from most aggressive chick in your high school class, becomes a dentist, physician, lawyer, and now you're all of a sudden the submissive queen that wants to be under my thumb and an employee for forty years? And I don't see that. 

Dana: I think they feel that it's less stress than owning your own business. And of course the pressures of starting your family maybe. I know a lot of successful female dentists that work just crazy hours. I mean they're really just pumping and doing great at it. But I also know a few females that are going through dental school and have no intention of practicing. So what’s with that? 

Howard: But in dental school you can have no intention of practicing because you have this fantasy, but then when she goes to Walley World and finds out that 30% of her cleanings should've been perio and she should be putting perio chips and these pockets and being told what to do. Then her fangs come out and her carnivorous teeth gets sharper and she's not happy and she leaves. That's just all I've seen, and not just now,  going all the way back to the Orthodontic Centers of America days. Little kids have that problem where they had these fantasies, like I'm just gonna to graduate from high school, then hike around Europe the rest of my life and just live on the side of the road and it just doesn't quite work out like you thought. 

Dana: Yeah, right. Exactly.

Howard: And then I see them when they get into those situations that they're not happy. 

Dana: It's insane. And a lot of the times... like what you're describing, is when they graduate, work for DSOs, a lot of these female dentists that I have seen, I'm not saying all, they decide just to become a mom and not work. So why go through all of that and not do something great with it? Not necessarily practice dentistry, but there's other wonderful things that you can do in this great industry other… If you hate it that much, or if you don't want to do it, there's many other options. 

Howard: What percent of women dentists that marry male dentists in their class, as soon as they start having children stop practicing. 

Dana: It's a huge amount. 

Howard: Yeah, it’s a huge number. 

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: Huge number. 

Dana: Yeah. Which I mean, you know, each woman does her own thing with motherhood, but I prefer and always have, just to keep working. I'm a better mom that way. Just a better mom that way. 

Howard: Well, you're a better mom, you're happy.

Dana: Right.

Howard:  That’s why when people say that divorce is bad, well no, a kid doesn't want two miserable parents. 

Dana: That’s right.

Howard: What a kid needs is two happy parents and if you're happy working or you're happy being divorced or ... they need you happy and healthy and functional. 

Dana: Totally.

Howard: So, what are you teaching at your Spice Up The New Practice, day and a half, in New Orleans, three times a year?

Dana: So of course the mystery shopper calls - what we do is we, we don't blast any office specifically, but I will review anonymously some experiences.

Howard: If you ever mystery office call my Todays Dental, you have full transparency rights, you can record it, you can post it, you can put it online. 

Dana: Okay, we got it on film. 

Howard: No, I'm serious…

Dana: I’m sure it would be great.

Howard: ... because you know what I feel the most lucky about? So many people say things they don't know they're wrong. The benefit of having a monthly column since 1994, from lecturing, from doing podcasting, what I love the most is when someone points out to me, “Oh no, that's wrong.” I mean I am just as interested in taking out wrong information as opposed to just putting in more right information. And a lot of people who are shy and introverted and don't tell anyone what they think, they don't know how many of their thoughts are just … I’ll give you a simple example. A simple, no brainer. One time an article I referred to, we were talking about leadership, I referred a patent as a five star general. I got a hundred emails and letters that he was a four star general. I didn't know that. Now, a very minor, insignificant, it doesn’t matter, but then times that times a hundred on every dental concept, periodontal disease, implant, you know, so I love... If my Valerie's answering the phone call wrong, shit, Valerie wants to know, I want to know, Dawn wants… We all want to know.

Dana: Completely. How can we fix this? 

Howard: Yeah. I’m not going to sit there and say, “Oh my God, she exposed me. I'm a short, fat, bald, fraud.” You got three out of four right? But yeah, so I'm just that way. I mean, so if you ever… I’d want to know. Because here's my big pet peeve with the front office. The fortune 500 gets all the press. So you open up any newspaper, Wall Street Journal on, these people who only employ about 15% of Americans get a 100% of the news coverage. And then 80% of America's business is the size of a dental office. That's your family farm, wheat, soybean. And when you go across all these little companies and small towns of five thousand, you go to Maize, Kansas, there's this Maize Corp and they're building a side baler for a hay machine that a farmer uses to make bales of hay, and it'll do like three million a year and the owner will take home a million. But besides the owner, you know who the highest paid person is in every one of these small businesses? And the only guy that wears a suit and tie? Outbound sales, calling you to try to get you to buy whether it's, whatever it is. And then who answers the phone? That's inbound sales.

Dana: Right. 

Howard: So the receptionist is the only one in a suit and tie. Highest paid job. That's the six figure income in this town of five thousand. And who's in the back of the machine shop making a side baler, wearing overalls and no underwear and a lunch pail. That's the dentist. And he's just a twenty, thirty, $40 an hour machine worker. And then you go in dentistry and now that guy with no underwear on the machine welder is now the doctor and he's the highest paid and it all revolves around the idiot on the machine deal, and the inbound sales call, there’s no training. 

Dana: You’re spot on.

Howard: The doctor went to eight years of college, the hygienists went to four, my assistants went to one year and a certified dental assistant ... the receptionist is just found off the street. Oh yeah, she was the waitress at Macayo’s. She …

Dana: She’ll be gone in two months.

Howard: Yeah. So you're in charge of all inbound sales … Oh yeah, you just make the entire company live or die. So we won’t train you, we'll hire anybody and then we’ll…

Dana: We won’t value you at all.

Howard: And we won’t value you and then I’ll come in and my first greeting to you this morning is like: “Well, what the hell happened to my afternoon? What are you up here smoking pot? My God, what happened, a two hour opening?”

Dana: And it’s their fault. It's their fault.

Howard: Yeah. So the first thing doctor does everyday is goes and rips her a new one. 

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: So it's completely backwards. 

Dana: It’s just ludicrous. 

Howard: So how do you change that around? Is that part of the Spice up the …

Dana: It's a lot of it and I think that really does surprise them on mid day, the first day where they hear about their mystery shopper call results and..., but even with our consulting clients, I mean, my Gosh, you know, it's day one, the first day of training, it's just leadership and management. If you're not a spouse, a dentist, practice owner or manager, you're not in there. And we're breaking the news to them. “You guys, this is an intervention”, you know, and we've got to build up from there. Everyone knows it's the foundation of the entire business and everything else falls on their shoulders. Everything. So it's not that the receptionist is a little hussy and she doesn't do her job and she's chewing gum at the front desk. Guess whose fault that is? Did you ever tell her she couldn't do those things? You know, so it's amazing. 

Howard: I always believe that if you are going to have the best employee in the office, it should be the office manager or receptionist. Because the bottom line is, if a dentist does an average root canal, an average crown, an average filling, the patient will never know it.

Dana: Right.

Howard: I mean they wouldn't even know. It's like I've had my tonsils and adenoids out, but I was a kid, I don't remember that. I've had my wisdom teeth out and then that was a nightmare because I was in dental school, so I let my best friend Paul (inaudible: 30.26) and each one took like one hour and one appointment and breaking everything. I really thought (inaudible: 30.34) he was going to tear the corner of my mouth. But, I mean they just don't know. I mean if you have your appendix out or your gallbladder out, you wouldn't know if he did it right or not. So all the dentistry is completely invisible. All they know is if you hurt them or not and if it looks pretty or not and as long as it worked and stayed in and didn’t fall out. But the receptionist is the most under trained, most valuable player in the whole thing.

Dana: You know what else I really..., it's just such a pet peeve, is when a practice has like two administrative staff and one of those is named an office manager. So we'll say, “Okay, well what duties do you have that pertain to being an office manager?” “Well, I've been there fifteen years.” “We'll do you hire, do you fire? Do you handle the marketing or are you in charge of training, CE? Like what do you?” Nothing. Nothing. And with that naming of the position, here you go with your overhead costs  getting out of control. People say, “Oh, I'm an office manager,” but you're not an office manager, you're just not. So we help divide those duties. If they're really an office manager, relinquish to the hiring and firing doctor, give her the training she needs to be an office manager.

Howard: So, what should an office manager do? What should she do. You say hire and fire?

Dana: Hire, fire. They should train. They should be in charge of seeking out good training resources. If they don't have them, they should keep the office manual up to date. I mean, gosh, twice a year…

Howard: I want to stop you right there. 

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: I've had a lot of coaches and assistant coaches and all that with the Arizona cardinals football team because when they came to Phoenix, just by random luck, they went right down the street on Warner, I mean, they're like two miles from my office. 

Dana: So you like flagged them down?

Howard: Well actually what I did is, I got a mug with each player’s... and there's fifty players. So we got a mug with each one of the player’s numbers and all the coaches and filled them with candy and gum and sugarless deal and all these signs, no trespassing, no nothing, whatever. So I sent the two youngest cutest girls that work for office with these things all made up. So when they went to the security guard, of course he flagged them through, cause how do you tell two girls that look like you, “No! Take all your custom …” you know. So we gave them all that stuff and then we got lucky, the first one that came in was an offensive lineman's wife and when she came in, she just moved there and she wanted a part time job, and she was asking me if I knew of anybody in Ahwatukee, and I said, “Well, how many hours you want to work a week?” She said, “You know, just like maybe four hours, a couple of days a week.” I said, “Come on down.” 

Dana: Wow. 

Howard: And I thought I'd have a work recall. What guess who the first fifty phone calls she made was? To all the players' wives. 

Dana: Oh wow. 

Howard: Oh my God. So we had all these affairs. But they'll all tell you that the most important people in the organization is not the head coach, it’s not the offensive coach, it’s the scouts. And they have one scout and he knows the name and he's met and shook hands with every quarterback that could ever possibly play in the NFL. And then this guy just does receivers and so their hiring and firing is the most important thing and the head coach..., like take the New England Patriots, like Belichick, he doesn't know, he's not studying all those players. He doesn’t have the time of day to do that. I mean one guy, they might have two guys that just do quarterbacks. 

Dana: Right. 

Howard: And so then they’ll go in office and say, “Okay, well your hire for the last ten years that you’ve been opening only stayed eighteen months. The turnovers… Who's hiring all these people? 

Dana: Right.

Howard: And the doc says, “Well, I am.” And I'm like, “Okay, you suck.” What has to happen for you to say I'm not good at this. I know when I go on a basketball court and I try to do the Michael Jordan three-sixty slam dunk after one attempt, I know I'm not good at that. And then I go out on the golf course to do my Tiger Woods hole-in-one and then I can easily see I'm not good at that. I mean I never ever think I'm going to play in the NFL, the NBA, or give Tiger Woods…

Dana: I’m right there with you.

Howard: So why can't you see that you're not good in hiring and firing?

Dana: Right. 

Howard: I think I'm good at it, but I don't do any of it because I know Lori is much better at it. And after Lori, it's Dawn. I don't think I would make the top three at my company in hiring and firing, so I don't do that because I can see.

Dana: That’s very wise. 

Howard: I can see so... So why can't the dentist see? I mean, you see your suck at golf, you see you can't dunk a basketball, you see you can't make a hole-in-one, you See Tiger Woods, you see..., why don't you see all your hiring... why don't you track that? And then another thing I'll ask dentists, I'll say, “How long has your average employee worked for you?” You should know your employee turnover. 

Dana: Totally. 

Howard: You should be able to say right off the top of your head, “My average employee that I have on my team right now,” has been with you, what? Two point two years?  Three point two, four point five, six, eight? And I can tell you that employee turnover... who holds their employees the longest? Well the airline industry, Southwest Airlines, because they make the most money. Employee turnover relates to profitability and when people talk about staff training, the best way to train your staff is not have to hire a new one every twelve months.

Dana: Invest in the person. 

Howard: Yeah.

Dana: And that's totally okay. And you know, even when you have a new hire, is it fair just to release them into the position? Of course, very little training, obviously, that's the most obvious what we see. But what about other follow up and other engagement with this person? Are you taking them to lunch? Maybe like day two, day three, get a feel for them? You've invested a lot of time in finding them, I mean, gosh, the ads or whatever, it's a lot of resources. Not only that, if you give them a bad start and they quit, guess what? Now you have PR disasters like everywhere, right? I mean these days with facebook, I mean all of that, your reviews, it's everything. So all of these things, all of these actions are more important than ever before. So you've really got to follow up and touch base with these people. A real office manager, a good office manager, when she's hiring, she's going to be excited about the place she works at. She's not going to be like, “Here's your application.” When I'm looking for someone, I say, “Look, I've worked here for almost fifteen years. This is the best place to work. We have a fun vibe, we get stuff done and we have a good thing going on with our team.” So guess what? Now they want to work there. This is a two way thing. They can decide too. So that important kickoff is just everything. There was one office that had limited parking. They had a new employee who was pregnant and they put her parking down the street on one of her first weeks. Pregnant, walking down the street. Without management involvement, would that have been discovered? This is insane. This is not okay. So all of these things, a lot of these crazy little whatever's happened behind the scenes and remaining in communication with your team members will keep them guarded in case you have some bad seeds in there too. So there's a lot to that. 

Howard: I want to change subjects completely. I have another pet peeve and you're going to be a big part... My dream is that you're going to be a big part of this solution. 

Dana: Okay. 

Howard: When we talk about practice management software, when you go into the Hilton like we're at right now, they just have a stripped down... These are the nine things they do to check you in and they can't check you in until they've checked off their deals. 

Dana: Right.

Howard: When they check out, it's seven things. When I take my car to Hertz Rent-a-Car, it's so streamlined. The guy’s on a iPad and he's just, “What is your mileage? What is your name?” And then you go open up... The number one practice management system is owned by Henry Schein, it’s Dentrix, it’s about  a third of all dental offices. Number two is Patterson, they own Eaglesoft, it's about another 25% of practices and they got forty thousand, million, gazillion features and if you used their own software and go to report generators, say what percent of this has never even been used? It's like eighty freaking percent and you try to go talk to the CEO of Patterson, of Dentrix or Eaglesoft, it would be easier to have dinner tonight with Trump. I could probably get Obama to come to my house and spend the night for the weekend before you could get Dentrix to return a phone call. So I switched after thirty years of SoftDent to Open Dental because Jordan Sparks, the dentist that started it, but then he gave it to his brother Nathan sparks, who's just blossomed with it. Nathan Sparks has been on the show. He totally gets it and he says, “If guys like you, guys like me, if we have ideas, where Open Dental can go… Number one, it's open.

Dana: Right

Howard: So I can have my five programmers take it and start programming bridges to it, but I don't want to selfishly do that to myself. But I told them about the deal with the first thing I want to do is, I don't want some little girl to open up Dentrix or Eaglesoft and just be overwhelmed and mesmerized by fifty thousand ... I want to be able to x out of everything I don't use. I'm a big fan of a Classic Practice. I'm a big fan of you. He says that if you went down there or if we had a summit, or maybe my team and your team, and you told him what you need. He has twenty programmers, and so I think calling it ‘practice management’ is insane because I come from the hamburger world and my dad had nine Sonic drive in’s. When I was ten the cash register was owned by NCR, National Cash Registers. Did you ever hear of that one?

Dana: No.

Howard: It was before you were born. It got swallowed up by IBM, but the cash register, your staff all clocked in and clocked out. When the meat man came and delivered ten boxes of fifty patties each, you enter that into your cash register. At the end of the day, you pull out the paper strip, you say… You knew more practice management… When I was ten at a Sonic drive in. 

Dana: Keep it simple, stupid. Like, oh my gosh, you know.

Howard: I tell people if you own Dentrix, whenever you get the bill for Shein, don't pay it. 

Dana: Right. 

Howard: And then when the Schein rep comes and says, “Hey, your bill.” “Oh, do I need to pay you? Awesome. Get on Dentrix and issue yourself a check.”

Dana: Oh Wow. 

Howard: “Oh, Dentrix doesn't do pay accounts receivable and payroll.” “Oh, well it sucks to be you. Now, you know how I feel.” When you have your Quicken or QuickBooks Pro, or we use Peachtree... I got an MBA, I can't run my world on Quicken. You've got your accounting over here, your… call Dentrix a practice management system would be like calling me a Chippendale. It's so insane. 

Dana: You’re correct.

Howard: And then you go to Arby's or McDonald's, and here's McDonalds. “Dana, it's Wednesday night, 9 o’clock, he closes the midnight. Wednesday nights from nine to midnight we only average $300. We want to have a 31 % food costs, a 19% crew labor. You still got six people checked in. We’re estimating you going to do a 24% crew labor. So you need to send home two people. We recommend you send home Rachel and Johnny.” And then you wonder, how does this punk ass kid run a store doing $2,000,000 a year? And they make all their numbers. 31% food costs, 18% crew labor, net 12%. Then you go into a dental office. The owners a doctor. He got an A in calculus, trig, and physics, but he can't run a damn dental office. He doesn't know what it costs him to do two MOD fillings in operatory three and he charges twelve different prices because he signed up for twelve..., so he doesn't know what it costs him and he signs up for twelve different prices. That is the problem. And Nathan will..., I mean, I've talked you up and down, he will listen. He would go to your two day course deal. If you go to Oregon, I'll go with you. But he is the first guy… and if you're a practice management consultant or if you're a dentist who’s really into your numbers, our only hope Obi Wan Kenobi, is Open Dental and he's ready to help us. 

Dana: I think the biggest improvements that need to be made is not necessarily more KPIs and all of this. I don't need to know more numbers. I need to visually have the team see them in a beautiful interface, keep it very simplistic. They need to pull in a whole board of consultants that could give them an earful. Because even sitting around the lunch table yesterday, there was some killer discussions. 

Howard: How do we start that? 

Dana: Call him. 

Howard: You want to have a KPI submit? 

Dana: Let's do it. 

Howard: You want to do a KPI summit?

Dana: Let’s do it. Yes.

Howard: At Open Dental?

Dana: Yeah. 

Howard: Okay.

Dana: It's not complicated, but it's just special alerts built into the software that tell the team, prompt the team what to do, when to do it... 

Howard: Here's what I'm going to be confused, with Southwest Airlines, what he did, is he… Herb Kelleher, he dumped all of his costs into one unit, a seat flying through the sky for a mile. Now if that seat is empty, and it costs money, was it being pulled by magical fairy dust, tooth fairies riding a unicorn. So this seat is going to fly through the sky for a mile, whether someone's sitting in or not. So all the costs are divided by a seat flying through the sky for a mile. These dentists have four operatories, they're open thirty-two hours a week, they don't even know what operatory hour costs. And then a girl up front is scheduling, “Okay, well I'll schedule an hour to do an MOD composite.” So you don't know what the room costs, and then I'll ask the doctor, “What do you get for an MOD composite?” Whatever fee he says is his cash price, which he doesn't even get 95% of the time. He says, “I think a MOD composite, I think we get two fifty.” “Dude, this is a PPO, you get one twenty five. So they scheduled an hour for $125. How much does that room cost? I don't know. When you're selling a bottled water and you don't know what you paid for it and you're selling it for twelve different prices..., which the most amazing thing on the PPOs is, the lowest PPO to the highest PPO is a 50% difference, like it might be one twenty for an MOD composite and the most expensive one is two forty. So it's like, “Well, dude, if you had 50% overhead you'd have to know this one was… you're doing it for free and you know you don't have 50% overhead. 

Dana: Right. 

Howard: So do you realize that these bottom three, you actually are taking a $20 bill and shredding it to do a $120 MOD composite? So if they don't know what it costs and they don't even know what they're selling it for because it's at least… How many PPOs  would you say the average dental office is signed up for, that you work with?

Dana: Oh Gosh, probably... I'm seeing people trying to drop them. So probably what, like threeish, they're trying to drop it.

Howard: Okay, and say it was only three…

Dana: That’s average.

Howard: What percent of the staff would know the three different prices for all the procedures?

Dana: None. Zero. 

Howard: Yeah.

Dana: Zero. 

Howard: Yeah. I think that's a huge issue. Is there an accounting software that you recommend? 

Dana: We haven't really gone into that realm. No.

Howard: Yeah. I’ve asked my team if they could go to Quicken Pro and they showed me the tree they would lynch me in and then they picked out a casket even though I refuse to be buried in a casket. No, I refuse to be cremated. I don't believe in cremation or a casket. 

Dana: So what do you…

Howard: Well, I believe that you've been eating all these plants and animals for years and to cremate you and turn you to radiation to be thrown out into the cosmos is kind of sad. To put you in aluminum box, that's pollution. You should be buried in the ground and let all this return back to farming. I mean the Indians used to put two fish by a corn. I mean everything I've… all the nutrients should be returned to the soil or throw my ass in the Mississippi and you might see me floating by Baton Rouge. There'll be a hand going down the river.

Dana: You’ll be the cleanest thing in that water. 

Howard: So you would be willing to talk to Nathan Sparks? 

Dana: Yeah. 

Howard: Okay. 

Dana: Absolutely.

Howard: I'm gonna hold you to that. 

Dana: Yes. 

Howard: I’m going to hold you to that because growing up in franchise, and I don't care if the franchise is a Long John Silver, a Hyatt Regency or Hertz rent-a-car, they just have better data to make better decisions. And what's really cool is we are this close, not only to driverless cars, but machine learning artificial intelligence. We're not far down the road. The next generation dentist, they might have a voice saying, “Dana, you have an opening at three and Megan's been trying to get in for two weeks. Why don't you call Megan and see if she can come down now to get her crown done?” 

Dana: Exactly.

Howard: Instead of waiting on a silverback gorilla without a tail to think of that, you'll have machine learning, artificial intelligence.

Dana: And that's what we've got to do. We've got to automate these things because the people are so concerned about new patient numbers, new patient numbers, you know, what comes first, the chicken or the egg, right? Why would you spend money on marketing when you're chasing away every person that walks through the door. 

Howard: Okay, let me go to a holding area. 

Dana: You need marketing. 

Howard: The more expensive it is, the more stressful decisions. You've dealt with..., you know, more million dollar practices than probably anybody I know. Do the million dollar practices, are they most likely to have a CEREC machine, a laser, these high-tech…, when you come out of school $350,000 in debt you get stressed over $150,000 decision to have a CEREC machine or $100,000 decision to have CBCT or $100,000 decision to have a laser. Do you associate these big, expensive high-tech toys with success or is success not dependant on those?

Dana: It's not dependent on those. Now, while it is quite important to remain abreast of the technological advances and relevant, and all of these things, it really is. But, again, we're going back, we're looking at chair time, the value of what procedure are we doing in here and sticking with your core competencies. So are you going to pump out a bunch of porcelain crowns? Is that something that you really, really want to do? If so, do it. But that's not what I'm seeing in these high dollar practices. They have this equipment…

Howard: What are you seeing?

Dana: They outsource. But it's all in how you schedule and that's really where Sandy’s specialty comes in. But it's in how you schedule and it's not taking up chair time, so while you're waiting for that crown to be built, you better be pumping out on another room somewhere. Let's move that patient out. Let's keep going. So you've got to think differently. Pump people through and just not hold up a lot of chair time while you're waiting for a crown to be made.

Howard: Chairside milling holds up the chair for how long? 

Dana: You tell me.

Howard: What do you see in the field? 

Dana: A couple of hours.

Howard: Yeah, yeah, all the lecturers, “One hour.”

Dana: No. 

Howard: Yeah, you'll see a unicorn run into the tooth fairy twice before you see someone do that in hour operatory.

Dana: Right.

Howard: It’s two if they're good, it's three if they're average and it's four if it's their first one thousand crowns. 

Dana: Yeah. 

Howard: And have you ever seen a patient sit in a chair from eight to noon? Yeah, they’d rather be in a car wreck? 

Dana: They don't want to be with you. 

Howard: Yeah.

Dana: They don't want to be with you, so, what you going to do?

Howard: It just seems like they're always going to fix your problem by buying a high piece of technology, and I have yelled at them for a thousand shows, “Get your house in order.”

Dana: Patients don't care. 

Howard: Dental office consultants.

Dana: Your patient with three teeth, or prospective patient, right, isn't sitting there going, “I'll go to the dentist for the first time ever if they only have this one laser.”

Howard: Yeah.

Dana: It's not what the patient is originating in their brain, unless it helps you do your job more efficiently and better and you can still run your business productively. 

Howard: I want to ask you another… A whole different subject. When a cottage industry is when no player has 1% of the market. So if you look at dentistry there's two hundred and eleven thousand Americans alive with an active dental license, but there's only a a hundred and fifty thousand offices open. That's about a hundred and twenty thousand general dentists, about thirty thousand specialists. The biggest obvious change, Rick Workman, eight hundred locations, you would need twelve hundred and fifty of that 1%. So dentistry is a total… No different than cotton, soybean. Nobody grows 1% of all the wheat in America. Cattle, dairy, these are all cottage industries, and in the cottage industries they always talk about advertising for a new patient, but then when you get to the Fortune 500, you start dealing with Southwest Airlines and Chase. They don't want a new patient, hell, everyone's flown Southwest once. They're all into loyalty programs. They're all keeping customers for life with credit cards, incentives and frequent flyers. So the dentist all talking about the new patient experience, but what do you mean the new pacing experience? Every time I put twenty-five new patients on your schedule, twenty-five fell off your schedule because you're the same size a decade later, two decades later, three decades later. If a hygienist works forty hours a week, fifty weeks a year, that’s two thousand hours, she could clean a thousand people twice a year. So if I put on thirty new patients a month, then every three and a half years you'd have another hygienist. Three and a half more years you have another... So the first ten years you have three full time hygienists at the end of twenty you’d have six, at the end of forty, when you're getting ready to retire, you have twelve full time hygienists and guess what? You still got Bessie three days a week. Because here's what they always say, “Well I don't know if I need a consultant. Because if I could just do advertising and get just ten more new patients a month.”

Dana: Right.

Howard: “Fix all my problems, and I've already paid my rent, mortgage (inaudible: 55.23) computer, insurance, malpractice, professional news updates. If I just had ten more patients, it'd be nothing but net. I'd get rich.” 

Dana: It’s so crazy.

Howard: So how do you switch them from the worst drug on earth. It's worse than heroin and crack and cocaine and whatever Michael Jackson and Prince were on. It's the new patient. 

Dana: It’s crazy.

Howard: It’s the new patient covers up all your problems. If you just fix all your problems you wouldn't even need a new patient. 

Dana: So back to software. They don't fully utilize their software. So we say pull me a report for patients that haven't been in in thirteen months or longer, some very simple report, but no one is pulling it.

Howard. How many of them even know how? 

Dana: Well most don't. I have to ask Sally at the front desk, she's been with me two days and I have to ask her how to pull this report. Right? So, but you pull the report and they go, “Whoa, wow.” So while some marketing is important, you're bleeding out over there, you've got patients right here. Reach out to them. And your team need to know any kind of downtime … If they want to work extra hours on a Friday when you're closed, send them to the office. Give them a list of people to call. Just pick up the phone. 

Howard: And you know when you're advertising to you and you don't know me from Adam. 

Dana: Yeah. 

Howard: How is this little ad trying to sell you me and our (inaudible: 56.48) These are people that have already met you.

Dana: Yes.

Howard: They’ve been in your office, they’ve shook your hand, they know your staff.  

Dana: They consider you their dentist. 

Howard: I know. The most low hanging fruit to get back into your office is someone who's ever been in your office, yet they're advertising to Africa, Asia and Australia and Antarctica.

Dana: And I won't make any friends saying this, but I'm not here to make friends. So we see where they fall out is with these texting and these lame little reaches. If you're a guy and you go out with this girl who's like, you just think she's so beautiful, so smart, she's got a great job and all you do the next day or a week later, is text her and say, “I'm over here if you want to hang out. Whatever.” And it's just really weak and just go get it. If you want your patient to come back, pick up the phone. One time I had my dental office…

Howard: That’s what I always did. I always drive over there and now my eyes are immune to mace and pepper spray. I’m totally (inaudible: 57.51)

Dana: Be proactive. Lead the relationship. I always think of the time my own dental office texted me a reminder for my appointment the next day. Literally when I got the text message, I'm holding my phone, I get it, I put it down. I had a kid that was throwing up and the dog started having diarrhea and I think the pot over boil… like I was making macaroni and cheese, right. And I'm like, “Oh my gosh,” you know? So when do you think I saw that text? I dismissed it and I never thought about it again. And I mean, I don't break appointments. So if it can happen to me…

Howard: So you don’t like all these robotic, artificial intelligent communication things, bots?

Dana: It’s not the blanket solution. My husband gets texted and he'll text me and say, “I just got a text and they want to see me tomorrow. Can I go?” And I'm like, “I don't know, what is your meeting schedule look like?” But I’m his event coordinator and he knows that, he knows to run everything by me first. I feel like there's better ways to reach out to people. I love a good phone call and it takes the same amount of effort as going in the software and clicking a button. Just pick up the phone. If you've got good numbers, you're going to reach them. You're going to know if they're coming or not. But it's this ownership of the schedule and that's what Sandy preaches all of the time. Just own the schedule. Every fifteen or ten minute slot has a real dollar value. To keep the lights on. 

Howard: Yeah, and all I'll say on this deal is that, my God, whoever answers the phone has got to be your best person. Who's ever calling that patient has got to be your best person. I'll ask the dentist, “What percent of your inbound calls went to voicemail?” You don't even know. Then I'll say, “What percent of the calls that went to voicemail no one even listened to.” You don't even know. “And what are you doing this weekend? Oh, you're going to a bone grafting course. Who would have guessed?” And your million dollar question is should you do Straumann or Nobel Biocare or who gives a (inaudible: 1.00.00) The business of dentistry is so important and I don't know if it's because they're not interested in it or because they're..., I think it's, personally they're just wearing so many hats. 

Dana: They're wearing hats, but most are not good at it. 

Howard: Yeah.

Dana: So if you're not good at something … I’m not good at dodgeball, do you want to play dodgeball? 

Howard: And here’s another thing I'll see. It would be like a woman dentist and here's she's in her dental office and her husband is in sales at some company making $80,000 a year. And I'm like, “Hey Bozo. If he was your office manager and you grew this thing from seven fifty to one and a half million, instead of you making eighty and your husband making eighty, the whole office might net four hundred. Now your each making two hundred.” 

Dana: Right.

Howard:  I see so many spouses that are getting underpaid as opposed to... I mean that spouse owns half of your business. If you don't believe it, get a divorce and you're gonna find out in an hour that you a don't own half of your business until you write a big fat check. Or get an office manager. I mean, we always say that, you know, my Lori, she's been with me, she’s coming up on twenty years. Batman and Robin, Mickey and Mallory Knox, Bonnie and Clyde. She knows what I'm good at. So I do all the toilets, dirty dishes, pull weeds. She knows what she's good at. And as far as staff training… when you got Ken who’s been with you twenty years, Dawn's been with me twenty years, my accountant Stacy has been with me twenty years, Laurie's been with me ... You don't have to train employees like that because they've been there for decades. And then the people that are next in line have already been with them seven to ten years and you just… but you're right, it all starts with leadership. And it also starts with priorities. When your house is on fire, that's not a good time to go to the grocery store. 

Dana: That’s right.

Howard: And when your house is on fire that's not a good time to add sleep apnea and Invisalign. True or false, the average guy I know that collects a million, low overhead, takes home two fifty, pretty much does just cleanings, exams, fillings, crowns and simple endo.

Dana: Right. I completely agree. 

Howard: And doesn't do implants, bone grafting, Invisalign, re-treats half his molars, all second molars. But what is he doing right? Oh, his new hygienist, been there seven years. The girls answering the front or the phone are just lovely ladies who could talk to a tree. I mean anybody that walks into, you don't have to give him a script card to say, “How's the weather? What's going on?”

Dana: Personable.

Howard: I have always said, I can feel it. I can feel a million dollar practice the minute I walk in. It's just fun, it’s alive, you just feel the energy and when you walk in and you feel the library from college, it's just so dysfunctional, you don't even know..

Dana: The fluorescent lights.

Howard: Yeah. So, you can feel it, man. You can feel it. Can you feel a million dollar practice when you walk in? 

Dana: I can feel a million dollar team away from their office and at a convention. I know it. You know it.

Howard: Well, hey, big fan of yours. I can't believe you've been doing... what it nineteen years now? 

Dana: Well, since I was nineteen.

Howard:  How many years you've been doing it? 

Dana: I don't know. Well, almost eighteen years. Scary.

Howard: Eighteen years. And you’re 37. 

Dana: But I went to college.

Howard: No, I’m talking about.. We’re at Townie meeting. This is the sixteenth one?

Dana: Yeah.

Howard: Okay. Your Mamma was taking you to Townie meetings. I mean, I'm trying to remember how little you were when I first met you, but…

Dana: It wasn’t that little, but…  

Howard: YOu were in high school. Do you remember how old she was the first time he took her to a Townie. How old would she have been? 

Dana: Sandy has to do the math.

Howard: Twenty, twenty-two. 

Dana: Okay.

Howard: But you think she looks young now, you should've seen what you looked like when you were twenty-two. 

Dana: Right. It looked like I was ten.

Howard: Yeah, when you were twenty-two you looked like you were twelve.

Dana: That’s right.

Howard: And now that you thirty-seven, you look like you’re twenty-one. But a big fan of you. You're helping a lot of dentists big time. But I really, really, really, really, really hope you get involved with Nathan. And by the way, I have no money for Open Dental. I personally flew to Provost several times. I've gone to Dentrix user meetings, I've flown to Effingham. Do you know where Effingham is? It's in the middle of effing nowhere. To talk to these people and they don't care. I mean they don't care. And I use Soft Dental, which originally was owned by Kodak and then it's been Carestream or whatever. The only reason I switched Open Dental is because the CEO actually has a mission. He wants to help us run our dental office better, faster, easier. And I told them that I could deliver people like you, and so…

Dana: I’m ready.

Howard:  So Open Dental’s the movement. If you're a practice management consultant, if you're really on top of your numbers, maybe you're the dentist’s spouse, maybe your dentist is driving to work right now and you’re his wife or husband, and you're like, “I really want to do these three things.” And remember, if you wanted to add three things, I want to be able to turn off three things because I don't want my team opening up a window with forty million options. I want it streamlined, stripped down, so that everyone can do it, make it easier so they can spend more time on the phone, bonding with the patient. And on that note, thank you so much for coming to Townie.

Dana: Thank you.

Dana: And I have a story for you. 

Howard: Okay.

Dana: Before we end, and I think you’ll like it. It's a true story. And it was from Shel Silverstein. Do you know this one? 

Howard: Nope. 

Dana: All right, get ready. Oh, the crocodile went to the dentist and he sat down in the chair and the dentist said, “Now tell me, Sarah, why does it hurt and where?” And the crocodile said, “I'll tell you the truth, I’ve got a terrible, terrible ache in my tooth.” And he opened his jaws so wide, so wide, the dentist he climbed right inside. The dentists laughed, “Oh, isn't this fun?” as he pulled the teeth out one by one. And the crocodile cried, “You're hurting me, so please put down your pliers and let me go.” But the dentist just laughed with a ho-ho-ho. He said, “I still have twelve to go. Whoops, that's the wrong one. I confess. But what's one crocodile tooth more or less?” Then suddenly the jaws went snap and the dentist was gone right off the map. And where he went, no one could guess, to north to south to east to west. He left no forwarding address. But what's one dentist more or less? 

Howard: That is awesome. That is awesome. And who is the author of that?

Dana: Silverstein. The children's writer, the poet. So I actually had a cassette tape in like 1988. I memorized that. I don't know how. There's a few others that I remember. And it came to me one day and I'm like, “Well, I am in the dental industry, so maybe I should share that.” So I thought you would enjoy. 

Howard: I did. Thanks for all you do and…

Dana: Thank you for all you do.  

Howard: Thanks for coming on the show.

Dana: Okay, thank you.

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