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You're constantly either selling or being sold. Renowned speaker and author Grant Cardone tells dentistry exactly why "sales" is not a bad word.
Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author of four books since the 2008 economic collapse, international speaker, business innovator and leading social media personality in the world today.
Cardone owns multiple companies; Cardone Training Technologies, Inc., the most viewed sales training platform in the world, Cardone Group, a software and technology business, Grant Cardone TV, the first business and entrepreneur on-demand platform of it's kind, and Cardone Acquisitions, a national real estate company with over $500m in real estate transactions.
300 71st Street, Suite #620
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Howard: It is a huge, huge honor for me to be ... you're the most famous person I've ever podcast-interviewed, Grant Cardone. My four boys ... You're always on the television. You're always on the TV. They're always listening to your words. The reason I wanted to get you on, Grant, is I think you're a hell of a good guy, but I'm a dentist and there's two million dentists on earth. I've got this website, Dentaltown, with 200,000 dentist members, and dentists don't like to sell dentistry. They think it's unprofessional, and I see it differently.
I think firemen want to put out fires, I think policemen want to catch bad guys, and if I can't convince Grant Cardone to come in my office, and I tell you, "Grant, you've got five cavities, and if you don't get these cavities fixed they're going to turn into root canals." If you can't afford a cavity, then you're not going to be able to afford a root canal, and that's why 10% of Americans don't have one tooth in their head at age 65. How can you help me convince dentists that selling is professional, it's ethical, and that if you don't do it, then there's no dentistry done?
Grant: I completely agree with you. There's a reason, though, that the dentist doesn't like this idea of sell. In society we tend to value things that are put in big books, that have big words, and that would have some professional capacity wrapped around this, because there's some course taught by Harvard or Yale. It's an interesting phenomenon that none of the big schools actually teach a sales course, so I think that that causes the dentist to think, "Well, I didn't go to school for eight years ..." How long does a dentist go to college?
Howard: Four years of undergrad college and four years of dental school.
Grant: "Yeah, dude. I didn't borrow money to do it. I didn't spend eight years. I didn't study any courses on it, so how can it be important?" Let me just tell you this: Why is revenue the top line of your business? Why is the revenue of a company more important than the next seven pages of expenses? You're not going to have a company without revenue, and you're not going to have customers without prospecting and without marketing and branding, advertising, and revenue. Without selling your client on solutions, you will not have a business. Here's some statistics to consider: Two-thirds of all businesses in America break even or lose money. Two-thirds of all businesses in America break even or lose money.
Most dentists actually don't make much money. They're not getting rich. You've got millions of dollars worth of equipment, you've got eight years of college, right? You've got college debt that you're trying to respond to, and you've been out of college for ten years. You don't know how to get the revenue. When I talk about sales, I'm not talking about a bad thing here. I'm not talking about a commission; I'm talking about, I'm trying to build my company out. I have four companies, and in each of those four companies ... a software company, a consulting company, we have a digital network. All of these businesses that are completely different, and I own a real estate company with about $350 million worth of holdings.
All four of those companies have one thing in common: Sales and revenue are the vital holy grail of those companies, because without new revenue, without new customers, without new income, I can't continue to expand, market, brand, promote, and service my customers.
Howard: Wouldn't you think that a dentist would be extremely motivated to try to convince you to do treatment? I don't want to say the bad word "sell," because they find it offensive. I just don't know why they find it offensive. If I can't see myself-
Grant: Look, I have a cracked tooth. It's been cracked for three years because a dentist cannot convince me to slow down long enough to get it handled. I have, on the left side of my mouth, up in the top, when I drink water I notice there's something wrong with it. I don't know what that means, because it feels chilled or cold, or I have this sensation every time I drink water.
If you guys care about me as a client, if you really, really love your profession, if you really, really believe in what you do, why would you not keep calling me back until you've fixed the crack, until you've fixed whatever's going on on the left side here? Why don't you care about me enough? You want to drop the "sales" word? Then give me the service; give me everything for free. Come to my house and do it. No, you can't do that because you'll be out of business, so you have to understand the bridge, then. The bridge is somebody needs to pick up the phone: "Mr. Cardone, that cracked tooth still is not handled. What can we do to make this ...?
I think about it every day, every single time I eat. Every time I take a drink of water I know I've got something going on over here and something going on over there, and, look, I've got nice teeth. What about the guy that every time he smiles, he's like, "I hate my smile." For 30 years, for 30 years he's hated his smile. The dentist needs to care enough. Care enough about your client, your profession, your business, so that it can expand. That's what I would tell somebody, "Look, you guys don't love your business enough." If you don't love the commitment, if you don't have a commitment to training your staff to create new revenue and learn this sales game, the revenue game, the income model ... if you don't learn that, you don't love your business.
What has Mark Cuban said to every person that presents a product to them, Mark and the Sharks? What's the first question after the presentation?
Howard: What's the revenue? How many have you sold? Right?
Grant: I don't know why it's a bad word to dentists. Sales is not a bad word to Warren Buffet, it wasn't a bad word to Steve Jobs. It wasn't a bad word to any Fortune 500 company, it's not a bad word to anybody on Wall Street. Why is it a bad word to the dentists?
Howard: Grant, you're talking to about 7,000 dentists right now. The way I see the patient, they come in with a car that might have cost anywhere from 10 to $30,000; they live in a house that might have cost anywhere from $100,000 on up. They look at a mouth of ten cavities and all this disaster, but the patient's just pointing to one. Probably nine out of ten dentists do one-tooth dentistry and say, "Oh, that's the one you wanted me to fix?" Then this upper 10% look at you and say, "God, Grant, wouldn't you like to get it all fixed up?" but the other 90% of the dentists are thinking, "Well, you don't have any money."
I'm always thinking, "Why did you get money for a house? How did you get money for a car? How did you get money to go to Disneyland?" How can you help these dentists listening to you go from one-tooth dentistry, the worst one each year, to this "I'm going to sell you on just fixing up your whole mouth and getting ...?"
Grant: See, here's what happening: The sales cycle, because you guys think this is a bad word, you misunderstand, and you get it. You're misunderstanding that the customer's selling you, "Oh, I can't afford that right now." They're paying $200 for Direct TV right now, so the same person that's over budget, "I can't afford that right now." The reason they're over budget, and we talk about this extensively in "Sell or Be Sold." I've written five books on sales and business experience in the last six years since the economy collapsed, because nobody knows how to get money. Remember, two-thirds of all businesses break even or lose money, so why? Why are you losing money? You're sold that the customer doesn't have any money, and they do have money.
They have money for the things they're being sold on. They're eating Oreo cookies, bad for the teeth. They're going to a movie that costs $19, 3D movie, and then they spend another $8 on popcorn and candy that's ruining their teeth. Your customer is going to spend money on something. If you're sold on your practice, your service ... if you're not, you need to quit being a dentist. If you're completely sold on what you do and you believe what you're doing's good, then it is your obligation, it is your responsibility, it is your duty as the dentist to make sure your staff knows how to control a customer, sit them down in a chair, tell them the truth, explain to them the cost of not spending money.
Money is worth nothing. I use my teeth every day; I use money every once in a while. That's how sold everybody in the company needs to get. I think one of the problems is that we call everybody something other than, "Hey, we're here to provide a service that people pay for."
Howard: Dentists are big readers. I spent the night in 100 dentists' homes in 50 countries. They always have 100-plus non-fiction books. Go through your five books. Which ones do you think they should read? What are the highlights of your books? I assume, would you want them to find them on Amazon, or would you want them to go to GrantCardone.com?
Grant: You can find my stuff anywhere, so you can go to Amazon if you want to; you can call our office. Sometimes Amazon takes three weeks to ship anything in the book space, because they don't love books; they love numbers. They love big, giant numbers. I want to help the dentists. I'm focused on, basically, two major things we do: We teach people how to get revenue and how to expand their business. We don't teach people how to save money. I don't teach people how to invest money; I teach people how to make money and build a business out. Once you learn how to bring money in and build a business this way, you will have money to save, and you will have money to invest.
Howard: What's the number to call your office?
Grant: People can't save, and investors don't make enough ... GrantCardone.com. You can find any of the books at GrantCardone.com. The first book's "Sell or Be Sold." That's the first book people should start with. That book was written for people that are not salespeople. It was written for the dentist, the chiropractor, even actors, actresses, directors, producers, anchors. People that do not consider themselves typical salespeople is who that book was written for.
I buy real estate; I have a big real estate company. We're trying to buy 4,000 apartments right now. That is not a purchase. I'm not the buyer; I'm the salesperson trying to convince a seller to sell me product. In every situation in life, if you're trying to expand, you're trying to sell. There's no getting around this, and that's what that book's about, "Sell or Be Sold."
The second book is called "The Closer's Survival Guide." That's when somebody's in the chair, you present them with an $18,000 implant. You're going to completely reconstruct. The issue there is not the money, because they're going to put it on a credit card, anyway. The issue there is the pain and the downtime. If you actually handle the pain and the downtime, in the customer's mind, they'll put it on the credit card. You guys should be responsible for actually providing the financing on that transaction. You need to be responsible for giving people money, getting people money to handle the money objection that they're actually having.
The third book is called "If You're Not First, You're Last," and this book was about expansion, marketing, branding, and also about follow-up and keeping that appointment calendar you have at your dentist office full. You're selling time, and those blank spots on a calendar for a dentist or a chiropractor or a fitness director, a gym, whatever, for me, time is the most valuable commodity I have. I want my time paying me, so I want that calendar filled. "If You're not First, You're Last" is an awesome, awesome, strategic book.
The fourth book is called "The 10X Rule," which is really about an entrepreneur, or a business owner. The reason why people don't get what they want, the reason why employees get to a disengagement, they're not excited about their business anymore, is because the company is too small. You cannot have something great that's small, and I see a lot of dentists going into business thinking, "I'm going to be a quality, quality guy. I don't want to do quantity; I want to do quality." That is a monster, monster mistake made by most business people in the early stages, thinking they're going to stay small and provide quality.
The truth is, you need to 10X your business this way in order to ever get quality customers first. The problem with any business is quality customers. Your quality service does not get quality customers. Quality service, it is proven, does not get quality customers. Quantity of customers gets quality, then you can deliver a quality service. "The 10X Rule" is about expansion this way, not just vertical. It's about big, big, giant think and the actions necessary. That's a book that you want to get your entire staff; that's not one person in a organization would read that book.
That's something like, you're going to basically build a culture out on, "We're going to go 10X our clientele, 10X our revenue. We're going to 10X our expansion; we're going to have ten offices, not one office. In fact, I'll just tell you, "The 10X Rule" is used by Google, if that matters to anybody.
Howard: To get quality patients, you need a quantity of patients, is what you're saying?
Grant: If you have ten patients, your chance at quality is impossible. For instance, I want the most quality entrepreneurs on Planet Earth. I need to meet 7 billion people. I'm wouldn't keep, "Oh, I'm just going to go after this sector." I want 7 billion people. Seven billion people opens me up to the quality. My service is not a problem, my products are not a problem. It is my audience that is a problem. In the 7 billion people there's some whackos. You've got dentists right now, 30% of their business are freaking people that are whackos, that you actually don't want to do business with. No matter how good a job you do for them, there are problems. You want to discard those people.
The way to build a quality practice is to get rid of clients that you don't want, the same way you would get good employees. You would actually hire lots of people and get rid of the people you don't want, not have them quit. You would fire them and get rid of them.
Howard: What was your fifth book?
Grant: It's called "The 10X Quotes" book. It's basically a coffee table book out of "The 10X Rule." It's for people that don't want to read, but they want to maybe gift a book away to a client. They're not readers; they like images and quotes. It's an awesome book, and we've got two more books coming out right now that I have publishing deals on, so I'm busy right now.
Howard: Yeah, and it's an honor, a complete honor, that you, the Man, the New York Times bestselling author, gave me some of your time. Dentists always think about price. They never know if they should raise their price, lower their price. What do you think a dentist should be thinking about price?
Grant: To raise your prices. Raise your prices, raise your prices, and raise your prices. Your customer's going to complain about the price no matter what price you give them. No matter what price you give them, they're going to complain. People that don't complain are the people that pay a little more. The way to distinguish yourself from other people that are delivering a similar product or service is to raise your price. Raise your price and have a quality service.
Look at how many places this works for: Tiffany. I can get the same diamond somewhere else, but Tiffany gives me a box, a blue box, and they give me a price that's seven or eight times higher, but they give me the certainty that it's quality. They separate themselves from others with a higher price. This is a very scary topic for dentists and chiropractors and service-related people, because they're so price-oriented. You think you're going to build your service out with a lower price; you're not Walmart's. You're not Walmart's. You're not selling a dead product in a package. You're selling what? You're changing something I use every single day.
The company's got to be sold. The culture of the dentist needs to be changed, to understand that revenue is the holy grail of your business. Without revenue, you cannot service clients. Without new client, you can't get great clients. Mr. Dentist, Mrs. Dentist, get your revenue handled. You are a revenue first business, service second. Nobody is telling you this but me. There is no expert in the field today saying, "Revenue must be first." You must make revenue the holy grail of your company. Without revenue, you cannot grow, you cannot service. You cannot follow up, and you will not be there tomorrow.
We're in a very, very fragile economy right now. The government lies to you every day: Unemployment is not what it is; inflation is not what it is. People have money, and they will spend money on their biggest problems first. Unfortunately, the dentist has a client with a problem. I'm sitting in front of you right now with one cracked tooth and some problem over here. What's my problem over here, if it's cold every time I drink something?
Howard: It's a crack that's getting close to the nerve. You can only feel this-
Grant: I've got a crack, I've got a fracture. Look what I've got? I've got money. I don't even use insurance when I go to a ... I'm like, "Just charge me. Let's roll. Let's go. Get it done. How fast can you get me handled? What else do I need? Do I need to have a cleaning? Do I need to have everything ... I don't know what else I need. I'm 57 years old. My teeth are dying, man."
Howard: Grant, from all the dentists you've met in your life, would you bank on trying to get the dentist to think like you, or do you think the dentist should hire a treatment salesperson to present? You know, the dentist does their diagnosis and findings and treatment plan and give it to someone else to be a salesman. Do you think it's harder to make the dentist a salesman or easier to just hire somebody else that can do it for you?
Grant: No, I think the dentist that tries to hire a salesperson will always be in conflict with the salesperson, because you're trying to offload what you think is some dirty word. That's the problem. You've got a mental problem; you're disturbed. You're a great dentist, but you're a lousy business man or business woman. I'm just telling you the way it is. You're not going to stay in business. You can't take care of your family like this; you can't even take care of your customers. I take care of a lot of customers; I have great customers. I have Morgan Stanley, Google. This is my presentation to all of them, the US Army.
I just left the Pentagon. I'm telling the Pentagon, they have 100,000 people coming into transition back into the civilian workforce, and they can't get jobs. They're killing themselves; 22 a day are killing themselves. They can't get work. Highest unemployment in the world are soldiers in transition.
I go in there and present to them, "You guys are coming back out of Afghanistan. You need to learn how to present yourself, how to market yourself, how to sell yourself. You need to get a freaking job. I'm not going to feel sorry for you. You went to the desert. Thanks for serving. I'm going to show you how to get a job, the job you want that will take care of your family, and it'll provide you with financial freedom. If you're not willing to pay the price to do that, then don't tell me about all your other problems, because you're sure going to have them."
The same for the dentists: Embrace the fact that a business ... and a dental practice is a business. Call it whatever you want to call it; it is a business. Your job is the business of helping people, and that means people need to exchange money for your time. The biggest issue actually is not money, with the client. Your biggest issue is selling them on driving to your office, sitting in a chair, taking the time to confront whatever's going on in their head.
Howard: Grant, I can't even get dentists to ask a patient for a referral. How would you recommend dentists get new patients? Internally, like by asking for a referral, or externally, like advertising, social media, newspapers, that kind of stuff? What do you think of a dentist, if he fixed you up, at the end saying, "Grant, by the way, we fixed you up, and if you liked everything you experienced here, do you have a wife, children, neighbors, friends, co-workers?"
Grant: I'd think at this point it doesn't matter, Howard. You've taken people to trigonometry now. Let's get the first thing handled. Let's sell the person in the chair something. I wouldn't even talk to the dentist about the referral right now. You guys got to get your head wrapped around ... I'm talking to the dentists right now. Get your head wrapped around taking care of the person in the chair and making sure ... I come there one time, and you do everything to me that one time. I don't want to keep coming back. Time is your enemy. Distractions in the marketplace are your competition. You're worried about another dentist doing it for less; what you need to worry about is me spending my money on a car or a movie or a swimming pool or having my kitchen done.
Your competition is not another dentist; your competition is time, the enemy of time and distractions. Before you start asking for referrals, the dentist needs to make revenue the holy grail, fill that calendar up. The company must become a culture that's about revenue. Your company's livelihood and surviveability is based on its ability to produce new revenue. Period. End of story. All companies are valued the same way, the dentists, the chiropractors, Las Vegas, Nevada, the airlines. You name it. Technology companies. Every company is valued on one thing: the ability to produce new revenue, not last month, not last quarter, not last year, today and going forward. The expansion of revenue tells me how much people love your business.
Howard: Great advice. Great advice. What else do you think dentists need to think about? How much time do you have, Grant? I know you're a busy, busy man.
Grant: I've got a plane waiting on me right now, so as soon as me and you finish here, I'm a little tight right now, actually.
Howard: Actually, what I would like to do is, would you be interested in coming to Las Vegas and speaking to a couple of thousand dentists about trying to get their head wrapped around? Would that be something that would take an hour or two?
Grant: I'd love that. I'd love that idea.
Howard: How long would it take for a Grant Cardone boot camp to take a dentist ... I'd want the dentist's team to go with her, so that they all get onboard? How long would you need, to psychologically turn around the mentality of the dental office? Is that an hour, a half-day, a day, two days? What are you thinking?
Grant: If there's 2,000 people in the room, I'm going to probably have 400 of them who'll walk out and their businesses are going to change. How many people in the room, 2,000?
Grant: I'll probably change about 800 people's lives that day, in an hour. To change the entire culture of the company, we need to provide them with training every day. We have a university that basically takes a business and shows it how to [inaudible 00:25:08] that business from the point of phone call to follow-up and everything in between. Everything you're asking about, the follow-up, the second sale, sitting somebody in a chair, the customer service, the greeting, the telephone call, lead generation, responding to a lead. The follow-up: How do I handle somebody? How do I bring them back in? How do I keep my calendar full? All that is handled at a university that we created called CardoneUniversity.com.
Howard: C-A-R-D-O-N-E university.com.
Howard: How much does it cost, and how would a dental office implement that?
Grant: It's an $11,000 program. You would implement it. We give user name and log-ins. We actually provide a webcast every week, a live webcast to support, so the dentist could call in to the webcast. Last week we were actually calling clients of a company back, literally filling chairs up of companies that people had gone in and did not close, and we're doing a live webcast on people that are on our university so that they're getting support every week. People aren't having to fly out of Vegas once [inaudible 00:26:10]. Do you follow me? I don't want people out of the company; I want people in the company, learning every day.
We provide sales meetings, sales training, testing, and exact curriculums that your dentist can get everybody. Let's say, they have eight people work in the office; everyone from technicians to the front staff, to that front office, to people that are maybe doing follow-up calls, to the salespeople, to the dentists, to their children and their families, can be understanding how we want to help grow that company.
Howard: That sounds exciting. Have you had much success with dentists, or that area?
Grant: We have. We have veterinarians, chiropractors, dentists. We have technology companies, software companies. The fact that you're a dentist is not the issue; the fact that you're a dentist is your opportunity. It's like somebody tells me, "We sell software." Good, you're still selling something. Do you have customers? Everybody's income statements look the same. The name of your company is different, but the income statements are almost identical. I'm a CPA; my background is an accountant. All income statements of all companies look identical. It doesn't matter ... dentist, chiropractor, car dealer, they all have income, expenses. Something's left over. Who's giving that income? Those are human beings.
All companies have human beings giving money. It's not the teeth that are giving money, or the cars; it's the people, so Dentist, quit thinking that you're different. You're not; you're a dentist. You have an unbelievable industry with tremendous amounts of competition, and the competition is not the other 1.99 million dentists. The competition is the movie, the car, the plumber, everything else that people spend time on. Not money. Time. Netflix is your competition.
Howard: I know you're busy, and we're right at a half-an-hour, and I just want to say this. Greg, come over here. Greg, come over here. This is my son. I have four boys, twenty, twenty-two, twenty-four, and thirty. This is Greg. He's your biggest fan. He's the one that put me on to you, and I'm going to make it my mission to ... what's that?
Grant: Good to meet you, Greg. Get me to Vegas, man. We'll do that Vegas deal. Let me know.
Howard: I'm going to make it my new mission. There's 150,000 dentists in the United States. We billed out $103 billion last year, and I'm going to make it my mission to turn them on to Grant Cardone.
Grant: Dude, let's do it. Thank you so much, all right? I'll be great.
Howard: All right. Bye-bye.