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AUDIO - HSP #153 - Dustin Burleson
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VIDEO - HSP #153 - Dustin Burleson
Some of the most forward moving ideas come from outside the dental industry. What can we learn from taking a close look at completely different industries?
Dr. Burleson is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Dentistry. He holds additional teaching affiliations with The Children’s Mercy Hospital and Saint Luke’s Hospital Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Teams. He maintains four private practices in Kansas City, Missouri, is the Director of the Leo H. Rheam Foundation for Cleft & Craniofacial Orthodontics and is the nation's largest provider of free orthodontic treatment to children in need through Smiles Change Lives.
In addition to managing a busy private practice, Dr. Burleson is an author, speaker, teacher and consultant to he health professions through private coaching, practice management, business and marketing courses taught throughout North America. Accepted by invitation only, Dr. Burleson’s private coaching clients are some of the most- successful doctors in North America. His marketing campaigns have generated over $300 million in orthodontic revenue for his clients and his privately held companies.
When he's not busy working, you can find him on his sailboat, racing cars or jumping out of airplanes. In a highly-contested vote, he was recently named Best Dad in the World by two-thirds of his children.
Howard Farran: It is a huge honor today to be interviewing Dustin Burleson who teaches orthodontics at my alma mater. I went to UMKC, graduated '87. I hope you're listening to this on iTunes and you're not watching it on video or YouTube because you are one handsome devil. My gosh! I've never felt so old and ugly and grandpa-ish in my life until I sat down and saw your smiling face.
D. Burleson: Yeah.
Howard Farran: It probably helps you sell a lot of ortho case, people probably just come in and say, "I'll pay you $5,000. Will I look more like you?" You are an amazing guy. I mean really. I'm quite honored to have you. First of all I just want to start with, you've generated more charity orthodontics than probably anybody on earth.
D. Burleson: It's been great. Yeah. Smiles Change Lives is from Kansas City. Yeah, we're doing about 130 to 150 cases a year. It's been a lot of fun.
Howard Farran: Start with that. How did you get involved with that and how did that all happen?
D. Burleson: At UMKC. That's where I met Tom Brown and Virginia Brown at UMKC and they started in Kansas City with the Virginia Brown Foundation and they were a really integral part of our residency. I saw, it's interesting, those patients, they're not poor, they're not on Medicaid. They're working class people who are trying to get a leg up in life and really looking for some help, not a handout. They're the most appreciative patients we see. They write thank you cards. They come in with cookies and gifts. I saw how it made our team feel when we would treat these patients. We just made a commitment to help get rid of their waiting list. They had a couple hundred kids on their waiting list and we said just send them all to us. It's been a blast getting ...
Howard Farran: What was that foundation?
D. Burleson: Smiles Change Lives. You can find them, yeah, smileschangelives.org.
Howard Farran: What's the website? smileschangelives ...
D. Burleson: Smileschangelives.org
Howard Farran: Dot org. And who funded, who started that?
D. Burleson: Virginia Brown in Kansas City and her family and Tom Brown, her son now runs it in the area. A very giving, very charitable family who wanted to make a difference, at first in the cleft palette community and they found the one area that all these kids were missing or where their insurance wouldn't cover it was with braces. It really transitioned to braces. I think they've treated over 5,000 kids now throughout the country.
Howard Farran: Was she as orthodontist or ...
D. Burleson: No, it's a really cool story. She was a sister who, one sister got braces and one didn't. She saw her sister get braces. The family could only afford it for one so the one who needed it the most got it. She felt like that always affected her self-esteem. One day when she was very successful and had a lot of money she set aside a foundation to help other kids not have to go through that detriment of self-esteem and really it's helped a lot of kids throughout the country.
Howard Farran: That is so true. Because I was born in '62, and I'm gonna keep saying that over and over so when they look at this video and see how old and ugly I look and see you, they'll realize that you're only 36 and I'm 52 so that explains at least one percent in the deference of our view. But, yeah, back in the day I had five sisters and a brother and in Catholic high school one family, the [Hasstey 03:21] family, I think they had, I don't know like 22 kids, 21 kids. So when I was little the most messed up kid, and it was always the girl. No one thought, "Why should a boy look handsome?" You just had the money for one ...
D. Burleson: Exactly.
Howard Farran: And you'd look at that one really messed daughter and say, "Okay. We gotta fix her up or she's gonna have to be a nun." They would save her from the nunnery by sending her to the orthodontist. But now, at the end of World War II, America was averaging 5.1 kids per family. Now it's 2.3. So now everybody in the middle class, all the kids will get ortho if that's what they need.
D. Burleson: Exactly. Yeah.
Howard Farran: What did you want to talk about? I wanted to start with one, I believe success is how willing you are to have uncomfortable conversations with your kids, your staff, your team. I always stop people from venting to me because a lot of times a dentist will start venting to me about his hygienist. "Well, you know, if you vent to me you're gonna feel better and that's part of the dysfunction. You need to be venting with your hygienist." Or, the people talk about their kids. I'll say, "Well, did you tell your kid that they can't do that or this or that?" "No, I don't want to piss them off."
So I want to start off with the most uncomfortable conversation in all of dentistry and that is, this is weird for me to say but the bottom line is, endodontists don't really care if dentists learn how to do endo and molar endo. Oral surgeons don't care if you try to take out a tooth and this and that. It just seems like of the nine specialties, eight of them try to help you and don't really care and want you to do whatever you can do and be part of it and all that, but orthodontics seems to be extra, extra territorial and they just don't like if you even try to learn ortho. The reason I thought ortho was cool for me is when I went through Richard [Litz 05:38] program. He was a board certified orthodontist. He taught at UCSF and University of Detroit. But you can't really understand TMJ if you don't learn some ortho.
Carl Misch was one of the greatest implantologist that ever lived and he said that he was the best because he spent his early years in removable dentures and partials and he knew how to make the removable part and these implants that were breaking he said it was because you had the bite wrong, everything was wrong. I see it as cross-training. But I feel like many, many dentists have told me, "I'd like to do a couple of them, invisalign cases, but I don't want to piss off my orthodontist. He would go ..." then even in the orthodontics supply community, if an orthodontist selling you your monthly supplies and you're banding 15 a month and he finds out that you're selling one set a year to some general dentist up the street, he'll go ape crazy. What is that?
D. Burleson: What gives?
Howard Farran: Do you agree with what I just said?
D. Burleson: I totally agree and so we're a little, we're in a very different camp in what we teach our clients and what we do in our practice. I'll talk to you on why I think that is. In that, a lot of it's a limited mindset. So it's a scarcity mindset that orthodontists think there's a limited number of patients. My best referring dentists do the most ortho. That make sense?
Howard Farran: I know. Because they see it. Every time ...
D. Burleson: They look for it.
Howard Farran: Every time I see a kid that needs orthonalthic surgery it's because the general dentist was asleep behind the wheel when this could have been fixed with a retainer, but they've had no orthodontic training and now when he finally realizes, "Wow. This little girl when she smiles her liver shows and I need to send her to the orthodontist." And the oral surgeon's like, "Well, where the hell was this kid when she was eight?" Oh, the dentist was asleep behind the wheel because there's no ortho in the curriculum. Dentists now, I mean, how, exactly ... So say that again, when general dentists do ortho they refer more orthodontists.
D. Burleson: They're a better referral source and they're a more productive referral source in number of patients for their looking for malocclusion. Right? A lot of dentists, unfortunately, the words, "Bite down" don't show up in the exam. They say, "Open wide" and they probe and they don't ever look at if the lower front teeth are straight. They don't refer even though the patient's got a 12 millimeter overbite an over jet. And they refer when the patient pushes them. I did general dentistry when I was in residency. They let us work on the evenings and weekends. They've changed all that now. The first place I went to work, we didn't look for occlusion. In my first six months there I diagnosed 14 post-tier cross bites with a functional shift because the hygienist and the general dentist just weren't looking.
If I have a dentist doing ortho, he's look at malocclusion. He's a way better referral source for us and they're the best to work up cases with. I think there are so many patients that, and it's our fault cause we do what you just said which is, "Well, why would you treat an ortho case or how, or where did you get training?" Like it's some sort of secret. Like it's the Bush's family secret for the baked beans. Where the dog won't let the combination out of the safe. Orthodontists think they're the only ones that know how to do it. I'm convinced the restorative dentists who know how to do ortho get better restorative cases because they will pre-align before veneers or they will open the bite before anterior crowns and we see better results.
I actually go in with new dentists and I sit down with them, and I'm gonna have a lot of my colleagues probably call me and shoot me, a lot of my coaching clients, I'll actually sit down with them and we will sit down and go over their clean checks together. On Invisalign. Right? Really patients want to go where it's convenient and comfortable for them and the majority of patients could be treated, again this is like the AAO would just turn over in their graves hearing me say this, but the majority of patients aren't being offered ortho because we assume as general dentists or as specialists, that they can't afford it, that they won't spend the time to do it. So this conversation happens a lot, right? "Well, we could open the bite and you could get a better result with these crowns but you'd have to go through ortho and you don't really want to do that cause that would take two years. Right?" But if they could get that done pre-restoratively in the restorative dentist's office, they could get it done all in one place.
I've been teaching this for the better part of two years to our residents and to our coaching clients in that orthodontists specialists should be treating severe cases. Class IIs, skeletal Class IIs, skeletal Class IIIs, cleft palette patients and there's millions of patients out there that if we gave them the proper education, would get orthodontic treatment with a restorative dentist or a specialist and the majority could be treated with a restorative dentist. That's the message you're never gonna get from the AAO. Is that you've got to send everyone to us. Well, do you send every prophy fee to a periodontist?
Howard Farran: No.
D. Burleson: No. Right? Do you send a number six, right, to the endodontist? No. Yeah. I've always had a very different viewpoint on that.
Howard Farran: And the other thing is, as the owner of Ortho Town and Dental Town, so many dental manufacturing companies, there's about 560 dental manufacturing companies that are trolling those boards and reading what their customers are saying and they always tell me, "I didn't realize that my customers ... We were trying to make it thicker and they wanted it thinner. We were making it red, they wanted it blue." So many people tell me that the number one secret recipe for their dental manufacturing company is seeing what 200,000 dentists are saying about their product ...
D. Burleson: Definitely.
Howard Farran: And we have a search bar so they can type in their product and then they see what everybody is saying about it. It's just the feedback you would die for and on Ortho Town the orthodontists won't even let the orthodontic manufacturing companies become members. You have to be an orthodontist. In fact, I can't even be a member on my own Ortho Town website and I own the damn thing.
D. Burleson: I didn't know that. I had no clue. That's hilarious.
Howard Farran: I used to think how much more informative the orthodontic manufacturing companies would be if they got to see what 5,000 board certified orthodontists were saying on Ortho Town.
D. Burleson: Exactly.
Howard Farran: I want to ask you, and I'm sorry I don't want to get off topic of what you want to talk about, but I want to ask you following that theme, the most important thing, and I want to say it right in the beginning, this dentist ... Most people are listening to this sound only while they're multitasking. Most of it's an hour commute to work or an hour on the treadmill. They're multitasking and they're loving these things. About 7,000 dentists are listening to each show. I want you to clearly say and help this general dentist who doesn't know ortho, they didn't teach him anything in school. What should he be looking at, at a little girl and a little boy when they're little, that if he doesn't get ... Because he has to see this because if you would say, "Oh, you might want to see an orthodontist." That's not selling an ortho referral.
D. Burleson: Exactly.
Howard Farran: But he or she has to understand, "Look if you don't get this done now" and what are the age deadlines? I always hear girls two years earlier than boys, where a girl is at 6, the boy is 8, where a girl's at 12, the boy is 14. What are the deadline cutoffs to where if you don't go get your skeletal stretched and modified, your daughter is not gonna have a chin, or she's gonna smile with her upper liver showing? Can you discuss that?
D. Burleson: Yeah. It's perfect timing cause I just started a brand new fresh batch of residents. Today was my first day in with the new residents that started in July. So I'd been out a couple of weeks, down to the beach, but I finally made it to them and the resident brings me, like most dentists do, cause he's a dentist and he's not an orthodontist yet, will come with dental casts and say, "What are we gonna do?"
The first step is to think of it in three core areas. First, facially. Does this patient need some sort of correction with facial aesthetics? That would be a patient who has maybe a mouth breathing problem or a tongue thrust problem. Maybe they have a lip incompetence or their front teeth are protruding. They show much too incisable display or they show no incisable display. We start, much like a prosthodontist would start in setting the upper front teeth, we start at where should these teeth be in the face? We want to look at a patient and say "Are there any facial differences that this patient could benefit from if we did growth modification now?" Most of our patients starts around age 7. By age 7, the maxillary transverse arch width is starting to slow down inherently on its own. We can still impact it for several years but if we've got a post-tier cross bite at seven it'll be there, typically the rest of the life of the patient, unless we fix it.
So facially moves into then, skeletally. Is there a skeletal issue we could fix with this patient. For skeletal issues, you're right in that girls mature and go through their peak growth about a year and a half to two years before boys. So for most girls, by age 11 or 12, if we haven't planned appropriately for skeletal correction, we might miss that window of opportunity. For boys, it's a little bit later. Average boy, Caucasian male in the United States, North America, roughly 13 and a half, right around there. 13. 14. But the problem is in orthodontics we want to, I joke to the residents and I say, "If all you have is a hammer, then everything's a nail." So we want to put braces on and we want to put them all on everyone in the eighth grade. For girls, that's probably too late and for boys sometimes it's too soon.
Beyond facial and skeletal, now that's where we really want to dig in as dentists. We want to dig into, right, teeth. That's now our area where we get excited. If you can separate and talk to a parent about what you see facially, most likely not a whole lot, it's probably and cute boy or a cute girl that doesn't need a whole lot of facial improvement. But then, skeletally could you say, "Where are the jaws in relationship to the face and teeth and can I fix this with braces alone or will I need some sort of orthopedic correction, some sort of functional appliance, or is there surgery that could be necessary?" We want to talk to parents about that early. If Dad comes in and, like you say, he smiles and you can see his spleen or he's got severe under bite and you ask mom, "Does this run in the family?" And she goes, "Oh, yeah, we were just at a family reunion and three of his uncles just had jaw surgery last year." You want to start to prepare mom for, "We're probably not gonna fix this with braces. This might be something we wait later and do surgery with."
Howard Farran: Do you ever offer them a free vasectomy or a free tubal ligation so this doesn't happen again? The face is the most important because I didn't get mine fixed when I was little. That's why ever woman says I'm a two-bag man. They put a paper sack over my head and then they put a paper sack over her head just in case my sack falls off. Then I want to also tell you, I don't know if you really experience this only being 36. I'm 52. But back in the day when I got out in '87, the biggest complaint with orthodontists from general dentists is that if I sent you 100 people they all got four- bicuspid extractions and there were several orthodontists in my area that that's all they did.
Human are extremists so then it extremely went to the other side. Then there general dentists who would never allow anybody to have a four-bicuspid extraction. The truth's always in the middle. It's not black/white, yes/no, up/down so I want you to explain, talk about the next deal four-bicuspid extraction, cause I know my dentists. I been watching them talk in Dental Town four or five hours a day since 1998. A lot of them are freaks against four-bicuspid extraction and if you said you ever did that they would just check you off.
D. Burleson: Absolutely, I think it comes out of the right place because we were extreme with it and why we were extreme with it is because we were banding every tooth and just to get the appliances in the mouth we had to sequentially band teeth and it took five to six millimeters of space just to fill the bands in. Most patients, probably well above 75% all throughout the 60s and 70s were getting tooth extraction. Now everyone forgets that Edward Angel was wholly opposed against it. Him and his best student, Charlie Tweed got into huge fights about extraction versus non-extraction and Tweed didn't have the guts to start taking out more teeth until Angel passed away. It was that bad. When Charlie Tweed brought his first case into the Edward Angel Society and showed them that he had taken out four teeth, they kicked him out of the meeting. Physically removed him from the meeting. So we've had this debate for a hundred years.
Howard Farran: Oh, my God! What year was that?
D. Burleson: This was early 50s.
Howard Farran: Wow!
D. Burleson: Angel had passed away, maybe like late 40s and UMKC has a great history of that because Tweed's number one student was Laverne [Merrifield 17:54] who was a program director at UMKC for decades. We've had this debate back and forth forever. The truth now, if you look at most of our clients and inside of our practices, about nine percent of patients could benefit from tooth extraction and these are patients that have such severe crowding, and here's how we dictate it. We never take teeth out to correct a Class II. A lot of orthodontists were taking out lower second pre-molars. Just slip the molars forward and correct the Class II through tooth extraction. We never do that.
With patients with extreme crowding, where pushing the teeth too far forward might cause gingival recession or might actually cause lip incompetence, for those patients we will actually recommend tooth extraction. In our practice it's about nine percent. The rest, with today's technology, we can do expansion and arch development that really doesn't require any extraction at all.
Howard Farran: I also want to ask something on the ... I've lectured in every continent but Antarctica because I'm afraid to lecture to penguins, but there's, I hear a lot of people talking about how in Europe that some countries don't pull bicuspids, that they'll pull second molars.
D. Burleson: Absolutely.
Howard Farran: Every [punt 19:10] test I do is downloaded in every country measured by iTunes, so you're talking and I'm asking you so why is that? Why is there a difference between North America and Europe on that issue?
D. Burleson: It is definitely a European treatment plan. In fact, one of our practitioners that works in one of our practices for years took out second molars and a lot of it is the resistance of the dentist or the surgeon who is gonna be asked to take those teeth out. There's nothing wrong, at the appropriate time, for a patient to have the second molars taken out and dystalized to make room so the third molars and wisdom teeth can come in. The problem is for someone my age, to ask a surgeon to do that, some of them will say, "No. I'm not gonna take those teeth out. They're perfectly healthy." For some reason we've just been pre-conditioned in the US that we can take out pre-molars but we won't take out second molars. We have clients and we have colleagues that take out canines sometimes in severe crowding cases. That starts the biggest controversy ever, right? Cause now you've got protrusive and lateral guidance all over the place. Right? I see a lot of cases in Class II with crowding and the appropriate mechanics where that works out really nicely.
Two areas, the orthodontist aren't trained in it so there's not a whole lot of faculty members at teaching positions that teach orthodontists how to take out second molars and it's really about timing. Then third, younger practitioners that do it and know how to do it, we get some flak from the oral surgeon going, "Who the hell are you? We've never heard of this before. The guy down the street never does that and he's 30 years old, or he's being doing it for 30 years and you're brand new." A lot of it was that.
We get a lot of flak on fixed retainers, without switching the topic too much, in that fixed retainers sometimes are great unless the dentist who referred the patient says, "You're not gonna put one of those in my patient." We've had a lot of dentists say, "You're not taking out second molars on my patient" even though I do think that is very common in Europe. You're exactly right.
Howard Farran: It reminds me of another thing that's funny. Some dentists will pull out a second molar but they won't do, I mean a second bicuspid, not a second molar and they're emotional. It's so funny to watch these dentists talk about how bad you are to file down, for a missing tooth, to file down two teeth for a bridge. Like that enamel was made by a sacred cow. But they have no problem blowing out the whole maxillary sinus and stuffing up dead cow bone. It's like, "So the enamel on two teeth is sacred, but you can shove paper clips into a sinus and it's all right." You know? They'll destroy ... Because you're a dentist. I talked to my ENT friend, I don't know if I should say his name on this podcast, I said, "So what do you think of these sinus lifts that dentist do?" He was like, "[inaudible 21:38]."
D. Burleson: Exactly.
Howard Farran: He thinks we should be filing down the enamel of the two adjacent teeth and stay out of his sinus and I don't know if that's real or his territory, you know? He just doesn't want to walk in there some day and see cow bone in the sinus and it's just so ... Whatever. You maintain four orthodontic offices?
D. Burleson: Yes. Soon to be five.
Howard Farran: You own five offices and you have time to teach and you have time to consult? My God! Is that right?
D. Burleson: It's kind of the pot calling the kettle black cause I think you're ten times busier than I am. Yeah, it's true so I don't sleep a lot.
Howard Farran: First of all, introduce who you are. I didn't properly introduce you. You also consult to orthodontists or to general dentists, too, or both?
D. Burleson: Just about 98% orthodontists. There are some cosmetic dentists and some dermatologist dentists in the group. Anything elective.
Howard Farran: 98% orthodontists and the others were what?
D. Burleson: Cosmetic dentistry and dermatologists.
Howard Farran: Cosmetic and dermatology and what is that? If a general dentist is listening to you, would you take on a general dentist client?
D. Burleson: We do. Most of them are spouses of our orthodontic clients. Because most of the symptoms we teach are geared toward orthodontic clinical efficiency and marketing, a lot of them, it would work, they'd have to take it and stretch it and change it into implant dentistry and change it into restorative dentistry. Yeah. We opened the practice in 2006. In our first month we started with one patient. I went home and said, "We made a horrible mistake." The second month we started zero patients and I went home and said, "We really screwed this up." We grew up to 2009 to about a $1.2 million practice and the wheels were about to come off in that it was me staying late at the office, fixing everything that broke and doing all the lab work. A lot of people have heard this story, but it begs worth repeating.
One cold morning in February I left for lunch and so did the team. I was the only that came back. I had the entire team walk out because the office was really, really good at treating patients. It was really stressful, the systems we had put in place to have the team follow up on them manually. In 2009 we got involved with Infusionsoft and started automating everything.
Howard Farran: In 2009 your whole staff walked?
D. Burleson: Whole staff walked out. Yeah.
Howard Farran: Oh my! Did you cry? What did you do?
D. Burleson: Oh, yeah. I called my wife and said, "You gotta come in and help." We had one employee who stayed. She was a dental student at the time and she was back in school. The punchline of that story was I deserved it. We had created a place that was so stressful for the team that we sat down and said, "We're either gonna sell this thing, file bankruptcy, or we're gonna have to change something drastically." We decided to fight through and did make it work, but we took everything we do, every muscle movement, every phone call, every letter, every card, every recall, everything we do more than once in the office, and we automated it with software. Now, we focus as much on building team members and building associate doctors as much as we do on building smiles. Fast forward today, yeah, we really ...
Howard Farran: The best foundation is always rock bottom. It's rock bottom and a lot of times us humans, we need to hit rock bottom. I know a lot of dentists that didn't change their behavior until something drastic happened and it's the best thing that ever happened to them. By the way, I don't have a cold, I'm sorry about my nose. Iron Man is 103 days away so whenever I do my Iron Man swim it's 4,000 meter, 3,850 meters, 2.4 miles. But when I swim for two and a half miles in a swimming pool, I have about 18 gallons of swimming pool water in my sinuses and every time I do my Iron Man distance swim, everybody thinks I'm sick. So I'm sorry ... So, did you create your own software?
D. Burleson: We built it on the back of Infusionsoft we we actually have the ...
Howard Farran: Explain what Infusionsoft is.
D. Burleson: Infusionsoft is basically a software that helps you manage every step and every piece of interaction with a customer or a client or a patient. That way we don't ...
Howard Farran: Is that what you call CRM software? Customer ...
D. Burleson: Exactly. It's a CRM software. It's Customer Relationship Management. It automates direct mail for us. It automates postcards. It automates voice mail reminders. It automates emails. We even use it for our employees. We onboard new employees with a systematic way of on day one everything that should show up, shows up. On day two they take a course. On day three ... We've really systematized so that we could grow and leverage.
Howard Farran: They make that open source so you can add to it?
D. Burleson: Yeah. It's cool. You can really do anything with it. As a great story, when patients would get their braces off we would survey them and said, "What's the number one thing you want to go eat now that your braces are finally off?" Everyone said, "I want a caramel apple." Every Friday I would drive my sorry butt to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and buy a bunch of caramel apples, and pack them into little bags, and ship them to our patients when it wasn't 100 degrees. In the summer we would ship a gift card. Patients loved it. As we grew, you'd start to miss one or forget one or you'd, "I'll go next Friday." The system would break down. Today those all happen automatically. Infusionsoft knows the minute a patient checks out on our software that they got their braces off. It triggers a sequence. Our fulfillment center prints the card, stuffs the caramel apples. This all ships out of a place in Wichita, Kansas of all places.
Howard Farran: That's where I was born.
D. Burleson: It all happens automatically. Hey! That's where everything great happens,
Howard Farran: That's where I was born and raised. Love that town.
D. Burleson: It's really, really interesting that the consistency in the relationship and how we actually communicate with patients is sometimes great and sometimes very, very, very inconsistent. This software helped fixed all that for us. Really, what we've been teaching for the last three and a half years is how dentist can take back control of ... They want to be in the operatory with patients. That's where we all want to be. At 5:00 on a Friday or 2:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday they're checking reports. They're paying payroll. They're doing things at the office that can all be automated for them and that's really what we've done. That's the consulting side of our business.
Howard Farran: Do they buy this from you? Do they go to burlesondds.com?
D. Burleson: Burlesonseminars.com and it's a licensing thing.
Howard Farran: Spell Burleson, B-U-R-L-E-S-O-N.
D. Burleson: Yep. Seminars.com. Seminars. Burleson Seminars.
Howard Farran: These seminars that you do are they mostly all for orthodontists?
D. Burleson: It's mostly orthodontists but we have a lot ... Any dentist who's doing elective procedures. If you're doing implants. If you're doing veneers. If you're doing Invisalign. We do have a lot of dentists that come to our live seminars as well. We're doing one this Friday and it's on teaching treatment coordinators how to effectively communicate with parents to present cases. We've been doing that for years.
Howard Farran: Have you made any online CE courses for Ortho Town?
D. Burleson: Not yet. But we should.
Howard Farran: I really wish you would. I wouldn't know. I'm not allowed to go on there but if you do, just send me an email and say [inaudible 28:32]. Take a screenshot of it so I can see it.
D. Burleson: That's the best, that's the funniest and most backwards piece of information I've learned all month is that you can't get on Ortho Town.
Howard Farran: I love them. I love them to death.
D. Burleson: I own it. I own Ortho Town.
Howard Farran: Yeah, I own the damn thing and I can't get on it. On your burlesonseminars.com what do you teach mainly? I guess what I'm getting at, is Infusionsoft big in dentistry period or is this some special niche thing that you've introduced, Infusionsoft?
D. Burleson: It's really not. It's growing in popularity. The way describe it is, it's like getting a Ferrari delivered to your garage but it's delivered in all the pieces. It's not been put together. It's this really powerful machine that if you can get the wheels on and get the transmission put in and get the seats and get everything organized and the engine running, it's amazing. It comes as a blank slate and you have to go build it. We work with a company call DENTMA, who's licensed to use our stuff and go and implement that for dentists. They can call us and say, "Is my area available?" Cause we don't have doctors across the street from each other using the same system. And DENTMA plugs it in and starts to then automate ... For example, when a new patient calls our office today, they'll get a package of stuff in the mail that welcomes them to the practice. They'll get a map and directions. They'll get a DVD that talks about what service options we provide. All that happens automatically where years ago we had to remember, "Susie needs that thing mailed to her because she has a new patient consultation coming up next week."
Howard Farran: So, DENTMA? Is that ...
D. Burleson: DENTMA. Yeah. D-E-N-T-M-A. DENTMA. They're some really bright guys.
Howard Farran: Is that DENT from dental?
D. Burleson: Dental. Exactly. So the two founders, they're computer programmers. They're dad was a dentist and we recruited them out of Infusionsoft to help us build this thing. What it does is it talks to your practice management software. DENTMA helps Infusionsoft talk so that every patient automatically gets what they need to have.
Howard Farran: Are they your employees?
D. Burleson: No. They're their own company. Yeah.
Howard Farran: Do they only do dental now?
D. Burleson: It's pretty exclusively dental, yeah. They've got a bridge between Infusionsoft and every practice management software, Dentrix, Peoplesoft. ...
Howard Farran: I would love to meet those two guys cause I have five programs. Can you introduce me?
D. Burleson: I will.
Howard Farran: How long has this been out? How much does it cost? How many users do you have?
D. Burleson: We've been doing this since late 2009, so right when the practice transitioned and we fixed a lot of the stuff, dentists and orthodontists started coming to us saying, "Hey, can you show me what you're doing? Can we see how this is working for you?" Infusionsoft, we went on tour with them and talked a lot in front of their users and there's a lot of dentists and a lot of corporate practice owners or small practice owners, everyone trying to figure out how to really have a CRM software that really delivers what they need. What we've all right now is bits and pieces of the house calls here, and the text reminders here, and the email system here, and this really brings it all together. We license it in every major market. A market the size of Phoenix probably has 8 licensees. A market the size of Kansas City probably has 4 or 5. The software ranges on your individual needs. We've done customized packages that are six figures and we do a basic package that starts right around $7,000.
If you look at from the minute a patient calls your office until the minute they're done with whatever procedure they have done, and we have a general dentistry version of this as well ... So if a patient comes in a gets a crown prep, it shouldn't be a mystery when things need to go to the lab. It shouldn't be a mystery when they should get a phone call if you're not doing same day crowns. All those things can be systematized. We say that if you've done it more than once inside your business, you can automate it. Every muscle movement. There's no reason anyone should be going back and saying, "I wonder what insurance claims haven't been paid this month." It should all be systematized. Every phone call. A parent shouldn't go a week after the braces go on, or a patient shouldn't go a week after having a major procedure without having a phone call from one of your team members or the doctor calling to check in.
Before, it was so inconsistent. Parents would say, "It was really great when we brought Billy here four years ago. It's still great, but it hasn't been the same with Sally. She didn't the caramel apple when the braces came off. You guys didn't cal her when she got her braces on. We didn't get the birthday card that normally her brother got." Really it's about really blowing up internal marketing and expanding the practice through word-of-mouth referrals. When we put these systems in place, we see dentists go from 10 or 15 percent of their new patients coming from internal referrals all the way up to 50 or 60 percent. That's really the name of the game. So many dentists want to focus on, "Give me more new patients. More new patients." Really we gotta take care of the ones we've got.
Howard Farran: But you're mostly doing orthodontists right now.
D. Burleson: Yeah.
Howard Farran: You should do an online orthodontic course online because I tell people that podcasts, 95% of all dentists don't even know what a podcast is. They've never listened to one. Really. I've studied these dentists forever and some only like to go to lectures. Some want to read the book. Some want to watch a videotape, a VCR. Some still want audio cassettes. There are still audio cassette programs out there where people do a monthly audio tape. Podcast is a different sector. We have 525 courses, 325 courses on Dental Town. They've been viewed 550,000 times.
D. Burleson: Wow! Good.
Howard Farran: I want to ask you another question. You started that in 2009. That was ground zero rock bottom for orthodontists because we had a depression. [Lehman's 34:07] Day was August of 2008 and in '29 we had a depression but the newly young Federal Reserve thought it was smartest to save the US dollar so that made 25% unemployment from '32 to '36 and this time our Fed Chairman had a Doctorate in Economics from MIT and he knew that, give up the dollar. So he printed about eight trillion dollars. Most of the orthodontists I know, they said 2008 and 2009 and 2010 were the three worst years of their life in starts. Was that what you heard in Kansas City?
D. Burleson: Exactly. Yeah. We saw patients and parents who were using their home equity line of credit as an endless ATM leading up to 2008. So in 2006, 2005 parents were just taking out another helock and paying for braces in one swipe. We went from $110 billion a month in home equity line-of-credit issued to ten. $100 billion. $1.2 trillion just evaporated in consumer spending. Orthodontists were 20% down, 30% down. They hit rock bottom with us. We all hit it. This really forced us to approach it a different way. Approaching it a different way is, once you get one patient, you better turn them into two. This fall, our new book coming out is called, The Truth About Referrals, and it'd be a great thing to tie into Ortho Town. We could do an online CE course on ... Really, if I could wave a magic wand, most dentists would say, "Just give me more new patients."
Howard Farran: Right.
D. Burleson: They've got so many falling out of the holes in their bucket, which we talk about. With our funnel from the minute they call to the minute they're done you've gotta nurture them and take good care of them. They're losing them on the phone. They're losing them in the new patient process. They're losing them on failing to deliver what they promised. And they're losing them on bad customer service. If you fix that, you drastically reduce your marketing costs cause every new patient becomes two and they would bring a friend or family member with them. That's really what we're doing. It all started in 2009 because we had to. I wasn't smart. I didn't figure it out before then. I had to figure it out cause I had no other option.
Howard Farran: I want to ask you about another scary issue. I'm trying to have a hard time wondering if you're old enough to remember. When I got out of school in '87 an orthodontist in New Orleans named Lazzara started Orthodontic Centers of America ...
D. Burleson: I do remember. Yeah.
Howard Farran: And there was about a dozen who started on chains, that were traded on NASDAQ. But Orthodontic Centers of America was the only one to this day that made it to the New York Stock Exchange. Not only did it make that incredible feat, they had a billion dollar market cap and then they all fell apart and went away. Then ten years there was nothing. Now, they're corporate dentistry, they're back with a vengeance and you got Heartland and Pacific and all these corporate chains and everything. My question is, during the OCA days, Orthodontics Centers of America, every orthodontist I knew back then said, "You know what? Some day y'all be working for the man." Then the man went away. Do you think corporate dentistry ... Three-part question. Do you think it's here to stay this time or do you think it's gonna fall apart like OCA and do you think corporate dentistry is the biggest threat to orthodontists and general dentists today in America?
D. Burleson: I'll start with the first one. I don't think things every happen as quickly as we assume they do. We've been saying for ten years now that e-commerce is gonna kill Wal-Mart and kill Sears and finally Amazon turned a profit and in one day their stock jumped 15% and for about a half a minute they were worth more than Wal-Mart. But Wal-Mart's not dumb and they're gonna figure this out. All right? Everything happens slower than we ever anticipate. Still online spending is only six percent. So $94 out of every $100 are spent in a retail store. It is happening but it's happening really, really slowly. I think corporate dentistry serves a niche and it serves a market that a lot of us weren't paying attention to. Those are patients without insurance and a lot of them are migrant workers that are here and will never have insurance and they want to pay cash and get a tooth pulled and not be lectured about their perio and not be ... So you're gonna see things that look more like Super Cuts. Literally.
There is one chain in Oklahoma doing this. Where you come in and you point to the sign, "I'll have an extraction and a filling" and they're serving a market. As far as how long this lasts, if you study private equity and venture capital into these groups it lasts as long as they can get a good return out of it, and the minute they can get a good return somewhere else, the interest fades. I do think, probably my guess would be by 2026, we'll see some different in this. I don't think they're going away. I also don't think every dentist is going to be working for a corporate chain. For me, a bigger concern is dentists and group dentists being bought out or working for hospitals. I see that being tested pretty soon. I see the Cleveland Clinic in the next ten years buying up dental offices in the suburban ring and testing their brands. Strong brands like the Cleveland Clinic, strong brands like Johns Hopkins or Mayo could certainly test this.
We're a small enough fish that no one's really had that big of an interest in us. For the large part, we've been left to operate as solo practitioners. I don't see it as a big of a threat as most of us think. Although, we are definitely seeing, and I'm sure you've seen this, a dichotomy in every industry group. In retail, in restaurant, in housing, everything. If you look at the housing numbers the jumbo mortgages are killing it right now. The expensive houses are selling well and the really low-end houses are selling well and the middle's being evaporated. We're seeing this mass exodus of the middle class in the United States where people become more and more dependent on two jobs or are becoming their own entrepreneurs. Instead of working at an architecture firm, they're solo freelancing. We're gonna see that more and more. We're just following models that have been out 40 years ahead of us. If you look at emerging markets, they're where we were 50 years ago.
Eighty percent of Young Brand's growth is outside of the United States. 78% of Tupperware's growth is outside of the United States. Almost a quarter of the profit from Apple is in China. We're seeing what's ... Other countries in growth mode have growing middle classes, they have a strong work ethic and they have really a fueling system and a fueling growth system to support that. We had that post-World War II and we lost that about 15 to 20 years ago. I think dentists are gonna have to adapt. They're gonna have to move up and go into niche boutique practices. Or move down. If they stay in the middle they'll probably conglomerate and I think a lot of them will be with hospitals. There's nothing wrong with going up or down. There's nothing wrong with either one of those models. Some of our biggest clients are clients treating under-served populations. Some of our other biggest clients are treating the Housewives of Orange County. You gotta pick one and pay attention to what your market is telling you.
Howard Farran: Why do you think America lost that 15 to 20 years ago?
D. Burleson: Oh, God! You're getting me in trouble talking politics now. Honestly, I think we got rid of the draft. We got rid of the draft and we created a whole generation of people that have no idea what it is to really sacrifice. We've got 38% of millennials living in Mom and Dad's basement and and 3/4 of them are fine with it. If you survey them, "We're fine. Mom does my laundry. Mom cooks my meals. I'm happy with it." We've also lost, I think, really a work ethic change as a part of that in that a lot of young people want everything their parents want but they don't realize their parents struggled to get it. They think Mom and Dad always had the big house and always had the nice cars. Unfortunately, I don't think we only got a work ethic issue, I think we got a study ethic issue and I think two things; getting rid of the draft and taking the dollar off the gold standard was a huge problem for the United States. Still, I love it here. It's one of, the greatest country in the world [inaudible 42:00].
Howard Farran: You know what? The other warning sign I see is whenever I go onto a university, every PhD student is an immigrant. There are no Americans trying to get a PhD in chemistry, biology, math. You go to ASU, to any post-graduate PhD program, no Americans are in there. I mean, born in America. [Crosstalk 42:19]
D. Burleson: We've lost a whole lot of curiosity on what made this country great and it was a whole lot of hard work and building and ingenuity and, yeah, if you look at the number of people applying to engineering programs and the number of people starting businesses for the first time, it's immigrants coming over. And these ...
Howard Farran: Well, the one thing no practice manager person will say, but I make a living off being ... I think successful people talk about uncomfortable things. Every dental consultant that I know, that I've known for 20, 30 years says the same thing. 5,000 dental graduates, the ones who will always do the best are all the ones that weren't born in the United States. Because they will come out of school. They will rent 1,000 square feet and they will work there 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, seven days a week and that's all ... They won't even have a car. Maybe they have an $800 studio apartment that they walk there. But the Americans walk out and they go buy a practice and it'll be 1,000 square foot. They'll buy a home that's 3,000 square foot. They'll buy a $30,000 new car. They'll eat out for dinner five nights a week. They're taking trips and cruises on credit cards. In fact, every dental student always talks about how, "When I graduate, $250,00 in student loans." I look through that and every spring break they went on a cruise. They went to Cancun.
I didn't own a car in undergrad or the first three years of dental school. I bought a car senior year of dental school and I only did that because I knew I was gonna need a car if I was gonna be a dentist. Furthermore, they always talk about their $250,000 student loans like it's the end of the world. I remind them all their first divorce will cost them a million. Yeah, we have lost a ton of work ethics.
Then I want to ask you this. Everyone knows dentistry is changing. No one seems to know what to do about it. Case studies and other industries can shed some lights on things we should do and things we should avoid as a profession. What does that make you think?
D. Burleson: I love this topic and I love dentists who are open to talking about it. The first thing I'll say to everyone listening or watching is to not spend too much time being offended by what I'm about to say. We can learn a whole lot from outside of our industry. Most dentists, when I go to a dental meeting, in the hallways on the breaks they're talking about the newest contraction technique or the newest laser implant. Whatever they're talking about is what I call clinical skill. No one wants to talk about transferable skill. Transferable skill is if all the teeth in the world got sucked out of everyone's head and no one wanted dentures and we had no profession to go do, transferable skills are things like learning how to communicate. Learning how to sell and ethically persuade people. Learning how to manage teams and build systems. You learn a lot of that looking outside our industry. Cause when we get in a circle and we talk about what we're doing in our offices, there's a whole lot of monkey see, monkey do and a lot of it's never been thought through appropriately.
Examples outside our industry, if you look at fast food. Fast food came up with the idea for the drive-through. They came up with that idea by looking at what banks were doing. Banks were the first people to actually put tellers in a position where a car could drive up and do the business through a window. If I told a bunch of dentists, "Hey, we're gonna go to a banking convention. You're gonna go to the ADA and that's great, but after that we're gonna go to a banking convention and we're gonna look for ideas." They would think we were crazy. If someone had told Apple 30 years ago, "You're not gonna build computers really that much any more. You're gonna take the word computer out of your name and you're gonna get into the music industry and the telephone industry." They would have said, "You're absolutely crazy."
But the biggest and most stretching and forward-moving ideas usually come from outside of our industry. We're really about helping dentists see a lot of those and a lot of it's just driving around with your eyes open. We call "antenna up" and looking for, if you experience something at a hotel and it really impresses you, think about how you can put that into place in your practice. If you're at a restaurant and they follow up with you or they ask for your email address and you get a really cool invitation to come back on your birthday, you might want to find a way to replicate that in your business. The biggest breakthroughs don't come through looking in the mirror or looking at another colleague and saying, "What are you doing ... How do you guys ... What insurance do you take?" When that happens we really have this incest in that we really never break outside of the mold of what we've been doing forever. It's a huge bias in our industry and it's why really I see the top guys getting richer and richer and the middle guys floundering.
The top guys are looking outside of what they've always done. They realize it's gonna take something different. What got us to 2008 is not gonna work from 2015 to 2030. It's just not gonna work.
Howard Farran: I think it's funny because whenever you talk about what you and I know is the most important, "Dentistry [inaudible 47:04], that's just fluff. "What do you use when you bone graph? Do you use the [toggenous 47:09] or allergy ...?" It's like, really? Really? Now, it's even, and I want to address this. Now there's this deal where they come out of school $250,000 in debt and dental monkey see, monkey do is convincing them that, "Oh, you're $250,000 under student loans." But until you buy a $150,000 CAT cam machine and a $100,000 three-dimensional CBCT and a $75,000 laser, you're not even a real doctor. Now they've doubled down on their debt on three toys. I want to ask you that, specifically. When you see successful clients, successful orthodontists or dentists that are just knocking it out of the ballpark, what things do they have in common? Is it because they all bought a Dolphin and a CBCT and a laser? What is the association between technology ... They literally think, "If I buy this toy, especially if it's shiny and has lights on it, I'll be successful." Is that true?
D. Burleson: No, it's not at all. You and I know that. A lot of people don't want to hear it because by hearing that it degrades the amount of time we spent in school. I've always taught people, your clinical skills are a bare minimum. If you're not totally confident in your ability to place an implant on your mother, then you should go get more training in that area. But if you think the next wiz-bang gizmo is gonna take you to the next level ... Listen, I meet three times a year with a group of entrepreneurs. I'm in a little mastermind group and I have been pushed and challenged and stretched so much. I'm, by far, the smallest in this group. There's a guy in the group that has $500 million in real estate. Another guy owns a healthcare franchise. He's probably worth $250 million. These are movers and shakers. They all have a few things in common. They've got a really compelling vision for the future. No one's foggy on where these guys are going.
You could sit down with their employees, you could sit down with their vendors, you could sit down with their spouse and say, "All right. What's Howard up to?" And they would have a real, real precise answer for you. They know where you're headed. These guys are masters at leading people. They're masters at building a vision. Everything else, they can find talented people to do it. In our group, the most talented doctors are ones who have a bigger vision for where they're headed. With us, on our Cleft Palette Foundation, everyone knows, because that's where I want to go and what I want to do. It's like, of course, we're gonna be open on Saturday if we have to be to serve the patient better, cause that's how we go to the next level. It's all about who you're serving in the marketplace. Dentists don't want to hear that patients, really the minute you die or the minute you sell your practice, they forget about you. We don't want to think that because we think we have gifted hands.
I asked one of my residents, "What's the most valuable thing in your practice?" He said, "My hands cause I spent so much money learning my skills." I had to chuckle. Like God parted the skies and doves descended and a rainbow blessed his hands cause he was so gifted. The reality is, you could lose your hands tomorrow in a car accident. You could lose your practice tomorrow in a fire. The only thing that matters is your vision on where you're headed and the relationship you've built with your customers, clients, patients or donors. If you got a good relationship with people and they believe in your vision, you can lose your hands and hire an associate to treat the patients. You could lose your practice and build another one. You could have all your staff walk out like I did and tomorrow you could build it all back again. That's the difference. It's not about whatever gizmo you think is gonna put you to the next level. That's just gonna put you in more debt.
Howard Farran: I gotta tell about losing my hands. I gotta tell you one of my favorite role models and idols when I got out of school in '87. There was an 80-year-old Jewish dentist lady and she fled Nazi Germany and when she got here they didn't recognize her dental degree. Even though Germany made Mercedes-Benz and Porsche and we made GM, Chrysler, Ford. You think they would have gave her three licenses. Just the fact that she came from Germany. She was so sad and depressed, then she realized, "they took away my hands, but I can still legally own a dental office." She went and found an attorney who said, "You can own an office. You just can't treat a patient." That forced her to do what they call the "soft stuff" and when I met her she was 85, four offices, doing a million dollars. And I thought to myself the reason she's looking rocking hot and happy at 85 is because she's so busy driving around checking on all of her offices. She was the richest dentist I knew in Phoenix, Arizona. How many other dentists, if they would have got their hands cut off in an accident or they lost their license would just go crawl under a bridge and live in a box?
This lady was such and inspiration/role model. "They can take away my right to practice but they can't take away my right to lead a dental office and have a vision." You remind me of her because you have four offices.
D. Burleson: That's a mindset that's similar in all these practices we look at. It's in every single one. We see it all the time.
Howard Farran: What do you mean by you say, "The law of negative preparation. How dentists are missing the boat when it comes to building successful practices." What is the law of negative preparation?
D. Burleson: In summary, it's listing in your head, and it's not what she calls it but it's based on her research out of NYU, so Gabrielle [Ottenton's 52:32] group studied this, and they found the most successful people in life were not optimists. They certainly weren't pessimists. That makes sense. If you're like Eeyore and the sky's always falling you're probably not gonna go on to great things in life if you think everything bad is happening to you. They're also not purely optimistic. They switch between those. The law of negativity preparation says, "What are all the possible things that could happen to me that might screw up this plan and what will I do when I meet those roadblocks?" What we've done throughout our lives is to live in opposition to the truth, in that when you and I were kids and we got on our first bicycle and we started riding down the road, we would try to turn and we would fall and scrape and skin our knee.
We learned that sometimes things work, and things don't work. We got older. Every decade we got smarter. You learn how to drive a car. You're like, "All right. I got this figured out." One day you realize going around the turn on too slick of a road, too much rain, you learn, "Can't go that fast round a turn." So things work and things don't work and every decade of our lives, that's been true. In dental school things work and things don't work. We've all had someone either swallow a crown or half swallow a crown or break a tooth. Things work and things don't work. But we all trick ourselves into believing that from today forward, everything's just gonna work. So no one prepares for, "What's gonna happen, if I buy this new practice, what's gonna happen the first day when the main water pipe breaks and it floods right before our biggest day? What's gonna happen if the entire team walks out? What'll I do if an insurance carrier that sends us 60% of our patients decides to undercut our fee by 30%?" No one thinks about how to prepare for all the negative things.
That's the law of negative preparation and it's based on some research by Gabrielle at NYU and it's brilliant. If you go to the self-help section, which is the ultimate oxymoron. My joke is, if it really is a self-help section you wouldn't ... If it was really self-help you'd just fix it yourself, you wouldn't need the book for it. It you go to this stuff in the bookstore, all of it's telling you just be a positive thinker and it's gonna manifest all these great things into your life. Just think positive thoughts. You've gotta think positively but you've also gotta think of the 10,000 things that are gonna go wrong and have some sort of an idea of how you might solve those.
Most dentists, when they hire ... I see new clients hire a new hygienist. "Oh, Sally's great. She's gonna really change things here and this is gonna be amazing." I call them in three weeks, "How's Sally doing?" "Oh, you wouldn't believe ..." They get so optimistic and they don't prepare for everything they should have been learning throughout their life, which is sometimes things work and sometimes things don't work. It's when they don't work and how you respond, that's all the difference.
Howard Farran: I remember my first hygienist I hired, Missy. She wanted to really believe that I hired her because she won the Hugh Friedy Golden Scaler Award and that made her, that just validated her. She thought she was the best hygienist. She thought she could walk on water. I actually hired her because she just had so much positive energy and karma and I couldn't care less about her Hugh Friedy Golden Scaler Award. She hung it on the wall for a decade. It was like going home and seeing my mom's grotto or something.
Would do you think the number one enemy of private practice is? Do you think it's dental insurance? Do you think it's corporate dentistry? A weak economy?
D. Burleson: No one likes this answer. It's us. We are the enemy. The joke is, "We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us." It's our mindset and it's our inability to do all the things we just talked about. You hit on a huge one. Do you know if today we pulled all the advertisements; if I went through Craig's List and every newspaper and every Indeed job posting and Monster and pulled every single one that was advertising for a dental position, do you know how many would say "dental experience required"? Or something to the effect of "I hope you've got your Hugh Friedy Golden Scaler Award. Cause don't come to work for me if you don't." Well above 90%. All of us, in this example, it's our mindset. What prevents us from having a great team is we think we gotta hire someone that knows how to scale teeth. If Sally's scaling teeth so well she gets the Golden Scaler Award but she's so grumpy around patients that they never refer a friend or family member, you hired the wrong person. We gotta look outside our industry.
Richard Branson at Virgin says, "We hire people ... Every other airline does it wrong." Delta, American, they all hire. You have to have your FAA certification and your basic training. American says, not American, Virgin America says, "We don't want any training at all. You gotta have a good attitude. You gotta be able to solve problems and we want you to have some sales skill." The minute he said "sales skill" I went and bought stock. Cause these are people that can talk to people, communicate effectively and solve problems for them and upgrade them into first class or get them to buy another trip or get them to by a vacation or a rental car when they book their flight. Richard Branson doesn't say, "We hire people based on their experience." But every dentist hires people based on experience and what you get most of the time are people that are miserable and have a horrible attitude.
Think about this, let's say in my seminars business, let's say for some reason you said, "I'm gonna retire. I'm gonna go sit on the beach." And Howard says, "I'm out. I'm done. I'm selling Dental Town. I'm selling Ortho Town. I'm not gonna be a dentist. I've done it. I'm done." But you were sitting on a beach somewhere and for some reason one day you say, "You know what? I'm bored." In my business I'm looking for someone who's good with people. Who can motivate a crowd. Who can speak on stage. And I want someone who's full of life and who really gets what we're doing. We have this huge bias towards how we've always done things. We have a huge bias on what we've already invested in and we think, just like your assistant thought, it's all about scaling teeth. If you can't scale teeth, don't apply. It's so much more than that and it's almost always right here. It's in our head.
Howard Farran: It's funny. A dentist will say, "I've got this really great receptionist and she has 10 years experience." You're like, "Yeah, why did she leave the last office? Did the dentist kill himself? Did he go bankrupt?" Ten years experience in what? A thriving, energetic, functionally happy, growing practice with word-of-mouth referral or experience in what? Yeah, the dentists they just don't want to talk about the soft stuff.
I cannot believe we are out of town but I do know this, for me with you it was love at first sight. I love your energy. I'm serious. I love your karma. Would you every come speak at a Towning meeting with Forest?
D. Burleson: I'd love to. Absolutely. Yeah.
Howard Farran: I hope you make a course for Ortho Town and you can tell me about it, since I'll never be able to see it and maybe you want to tailor another one for Dental Town. Dental Town, we just hit 200,000 members. We have members now from every country on earth. In fact, I'm leaving Saturday to go do three lectures in Australia because Dental Town, people are, they see it from everywhere. How can some ... Do you speak just to your clients or do you speak for other gigs or ...
D. Burleson: We speak a little bit for Infusionsoft and at some dental events, but mostly for our clients, but we'd be honored, I'd be honored to come to Dental Town and do something for sure.
Howard Farran: If someone want ... I can't imagine anybody listening to this who's in charge of speakers. The United States has 250 different dental sites that bring in speakers, I can't imagine anybody that would not want you to come and speak. You've just been a thrill and a joy to listen to. So if they want you to speak they would go to burlesonseminars.com?
D. Burleson: That's right.
Howard Farran: Or they can email you firstname.lastname@example.org?
D. Burleson: That'll work.
Howard Farran: Do you have another email? Do you have an email for Burleson Seminars?
D. Burleson: Yeah. If you do email@example.com that'll go to my assistant and she can help get you scheduled.
Howard Farran: I was also thinking maybe a good sales/marketing thing would be if you also made another course or come back where you explained your Infusionsoft software. Dentists don't mind a commercial, an infomercial if you're transparent. If you say, "This is me and I'm selling this and this is my ..." It's like an endo file. I don't have a problem with a company paying for the endodontist who loves their file the most, to talk about how exciting his file is, as long as we're all transparent and say, "This file company paid this doctor to put this course ..." Just be transparent. Dentists are cool. They just don't want to find out that after I listened to your root canal seminar the whole hour that I find out a year later that some dental company gave you $5,000. Because the dentist usually is talking from the heart, but if you don't see that, if it's not transparent Americans are some big-time, cynical, bastard people. They are.
I get that because when I lecture in my Europeans countries, they just see the government is there to help them and all the industries and government, they all work together. Then you come to America that has more guns than people and you just say the word government and they draw up their pistol and aim it at you, you know what I mean? Maybe that's why we're the greatest country in the world. I don't know. Man, you're just awesome. Also when you come out, your book, I want you to know that the next feature coming up, the Dental Town app. We got 200,000 members on Dental Town. 5,000 on Ortho Town. But we got 35,000 of the Dental Towns have downloaded the app on their iPhone and the next feature coming up probably in about six or nine months is gonna be an audio book section and a digital book section. If you ever get in aLast saved 1 minute agosubmit sound room and read your book, you can put it on the audio book and if you have a digital book, do that.
And this is the part that is always the same. I got 50 employees but if you put out for free, we'll put out for free. If you charge a dollar, we'll collect the money and split it with you 50/50. Those are your options but God dang dude, you're the, literally the, you're probably the all-American boy. You should be the poster child for UMDC. You're smart, you're handsome, you're articulate. Man, I just had a blast hour. I hope you come speak at a Towning Meeting. I just want to see more of you.
D. Burleson: Thank you. It's a pleasure. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Howard Farran: All right. Have a rocking hot day.
D. Burleson: All right. We'll see you. Bye bye.