It is so easy to forget that each patient has his or her own story. Remember to treat people; not teeth!
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AUDIO - HSP #198 - Jay Geier
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VIDEO - HSP #198 - Jay Geier
Howard and Jay Geier talk about going from good to great with a little extra, person-to-person, intentional service.
Jay Geier was only 18 when he started his first company. He and his mentor, Dr. Alan Goodwin, developed a board game designed to help kids learn how to make good life decisions called "Drugs and Alcohol: Play It Straight." The duo ended up selling a million dollars worth of games to school systems around the country via direct mail. The experience taught Jay the power of marketing. He pursued a marketing career and ultimately became the marketing director of a large private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where his sole responsibility and livelihood was based on generating new patients. This experience is really where the Scheduling Institute began. He employed every imaginable marketing tactic for getting new patients. They generated hundreds of calls, but the calls weren't translating into new patients. On a mission, he studied every part of the patient intake process and discovered two huge problems. In less than 90 days he fixed both problems and spent the next four years growing the practice and setting new patient records - his personal best: 601 new patients in ONE week. Eventually he decided to use what he had discovered to help other doctors grow their practices. That's how Jay founded the Scheduling Institute. Jay and his wife, Diane, have 3 kids and live in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Howard: I am live from Phoenix, Arizona with one of my idols, role models, Jay Geier. I'm sure you already know who Jay Geier is; he needs no introduction, but I got to tell you the long story about Jay Geier. My best friend who's a dentist that I went to Creighton University within Omaha, Nebraska from 80 to 83 was Tom Madon, and we practice up the street from each other, we both had four kids. Him and his wife would babysit my four kids every Friday night, and then they dumped theirs off at my house every Saturday night when they were young. He told me to sign up for this [inaudible 00:00:40] probably for about three years, and my thick skull wasn't listening. Then Tim Taylor, remember Tim Taylor?
Jay: Yeah, sure.
Howard: Basically Steve Jobs said that a CEO isn't a leader unless he's an innovator and what I like about you-you completely innovated something out of nowhere. You went and made two products. 9 years ago I was to become a dentist. My dentist Jan has been with me since day one 20 years, and I went to a year long Apollo Dental college. These receptionists they were just picked up off the street they came from banking and finance and restaurants. It was just amazing how you saw the need to train the front desk. What you did for me? I’ll just tell you what you actually did for me is you started recording our phone calls. Then I would go in with the ops manager and your consultant and we’d listen to them. These are team members that have been with me for 10, 15 years.
Questions like do you do [inaudible 00:01:44]? We used to, and I don’t think we do that anymore. We’re just like are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Your dentist just assumes that since he loves Veronica, she’s been with him for 10 or 15 years. She obviously just knows all the right, and there’s just no, there’s no management, there’s no measurement, there’s no accountability. This is what I believe that you did to my office. This is what I personally. I believe that about for every 4 people that called up and said, “Hey doctor Jay Geier I just moved to town. I need a crown. How much does a crown cost?” “That’s $1,000.” “Okay well thank you very much. Bye.” Then now post you the scheduling suite it’d be like “Well that’s a great question.
There’s a lot of different [inaudible 00:02:36]. “We’re at the corner of 48th in Alley and Safeway. When could you come down? Because if you came down I’ll have Dr. Farran come in and look at it and he’ll tell me what kind of crown and then I’ll tell you how much.” We changed nothing. We changed nothing and our new patients doubled. Patient flow is cash flow buddy I owe that all you.
Jay: It’s awesome I appreciate that.
Howard: I also got to tell you one thing you’ve got some critics.
Jay: Yeah, yeah.
Howard: It’s so funny how your critics the only thing that you criticize you on is that “Well he advertises too much.” Dude, you don’t do any advertising. The reason the advertising offends you is because you just don’t like advertising, and you don’t do advertising, and that is your problem. How can you be an American and not want to advertise?
Jay: Let’s just cut to the chase on that. The truth of the matter is what everybody wants is conformity. What’s really funny, and I’ve done a lot of studying about this to try to help myself because I just wanted to be the best at certain things. Being the best comes with a price and the price is always judgment. It’s just so interesting how that judgment is something that people throw around quite liberally. It usually is about something that they truly don’t understand. Yeah, you’re right and that I love that. To me, that’s almost invigorating. For me, marketing is almost like a donation. I’m a very generous person, so I look at marketing as a donation to try and help somebody. For every five that judge me, I get to one, and I’ll take those odds any day, but I’ll take that cost. A person who does nothing judging doesn’t really affect me. It’s the one that takes action like you were describing yourself.
Howard: What’s funny because in society people will call you selfish if you’re not following their self-interest?
Howard: If you’re following my self-interest oh you’re generous. If you’re following your self-interest and I, don’t like it now you’re selfish. I think that there’s so many things that the successful dentists do that the none successful [inaudible 00:04:42]. A lot of its stuff that you can’t control. Every dental consultants has told me that being born in the United States is a huge negative. The dentists that come out of these dental schools that are young and hungry in Asia they have twice the work ethics in America. Dentists coming out of school that wasn’t born in United States is going to double what some American kid did grew up on a couch. Another one is the dentists who take 100 hours of CE every year.
I want to ask you, and this is one of the biggest of biggest questions. Whether or not a dentist should spend on advertising? I see dentists that spend zero on advertising. I see experts saying you should spend 3% of collects on advertising. Some say you should spend 6%. I do know this that dentists that don’t spend money on advertising they’re not going anywhere.
Jay: Well, let me flip it up upside down for you. One of the things that I’ve always approached it in a little bit of a different way. There is a formula, and it’s kind of interesting. If you think about it if you’re either a dentist or you see yourself as a business owner there are formulas. I know you’re a guy who likes, and you’re such a history buff. You love data and facts and history. You have such a great ability to connect that to the future. What I always did is I always realized in studying business that they are just principles, right. One of the things that is true is that if you want to have a successful business that business is going to have to over deliver to the patient or to the customer whatever it is.
It’s going to have to be faster, better, but you have to focus on value. The way that I look at it is a little bit different than a typical dentist looks at it. I look at it as a business. If you have a business that over delivers. If you take money from somebody, and you can give them more in service value, you now have a business that you have a great future in. When you think about the price of changing a smile. If it costs $25,000 to just make someone confident and comfortable in smiling, what that will do for the remainder of their life is not worth $25,000. It is, I don’t want to say priceless because that’s not real but you and I both know that’s life changing stuff. They don’t look at it that way, right. What I would challenge people off is this?
I believe that the percentage that you spend to market is indicative to the value you think you create which is the exact opposite of how they perceive it. For instance, if you believe your company creates great value then you would buy choice … See Steve Jobs spent more than other people to market but they create more. Don’t you think every one of their products is …? You’re iPhone is way worth more than you paid for it, right.
Jay: Okay. That’s why they market. What I would get people to think about is forget the percentages for a minute. Look at your percentages as a level of commitment to help people. If your business is good what portion should you give back to regenerate new customers or clients? It’s not 3%. That’s ridiculous. 3% is a very minimal number.
Howard: That’s how much they give the American Express for the use of their card.
Jay: That’s right. It depends really what you’re trying to do. What I would try to do is I would just tell you that we look at financials for dentists, and it’s amazing how they don’t know how to put their money in the right area. Marketing is a place that is an investment and it provides a super great return, but they just don’t look at it that way. They take it personally like it’s somehow a failure of their clinical skills. Here’s what you ought to do. You ought to spend to the number of new patients you want. There’s actually a formula for that. If you want to, 100 then spend to get 100. If you want, 200 spend to get 200. Keep upping what you spend because it’s kind of like that giving back part. Take some of the profits off the last patient you had who hopefully you over delivered to and let those then help generate the next patients you get to help. There’s a different way to look at it. They’re looking at it backwards.
Howard: When you look at their numbers where do you think they’re misallocating money?
Jay: Well first of all what you’ll actually see is if you’re spending 2, 3% on marketing those are not growth numbers those actually go backwards numbers. That will take you backwards. Then what ends up happening if you think about it is most of where they spend money. Think about it this way; if you run a corporation what you should do is you should buy things that pay for themselves and then create a profit. All the money you spend should pay for itself and then make a profit. All my products do that because I made them that way, but I’ll have people who buy them, and they figure out how not to make that happen. If you look at a collection; let’s use $100, 000 in collections and let’s say the doctor has a 25% margin.
What happens is? He’s spending 75 he’s got 25% margin, and he goes and buys something today. Most of the time what they do Howard, is they spend their margin. If you don’t know how to turn … There’s three things they got to know; there’s money, there’s time, and there’s energy. Every time you buy anything. If it’s equipment or supplies or whatever if you don’t know the correlation between money, time and energy, how to flip it into a profitable thing they eventually spend all their margin. The next thing you know … By the way, if you know your margin when the United States government forces you to reconcile your money there’s no intention in your life whatsoever.
You know a lot of people don’t know their margin until they have to do their taxes. You all year just spending money, not paying attention here, not paying attention here. They think that throwing money at things is how you make money. That’s not how you do it. Money is the least important part. It’s energy and understanding the correlation of time and return is what you have to understand. What I’ll see and you’ll notice that. For instance I’ll give an example; human capital which is manpower it pays for itself. When you add a new person, typically they will pay for themselves and make a profit. They won’t add people because they don’t have money to add people. Marketing pays for itself makes a profit. New apertures; pays for itself.
The guys like three apertures for after 20 years you’ve got to be kidding me, right. You never took any of the proceeds and reinvested it in the business. It’s understanding those certain areas. By the way, equipment is not the thing. You can’t keep dumping money in equipment. I see them do that without even thinking about it and then they’re financing the equipment. I want to pay cash for it, the interest. They take a $150,000 of equipment they spend $200,000 on and then not spend anything on marketing because they think it’s below them.
Howard: Then they’ll buy $150,000 3D x-ray machine that the technology will be outdated in 5 years when they could have just sent someone to a 3D x-ray center up the street for 150 bucks.
Jay: They dream that that next piece of equipment solving the problem and that’s not what solves the problem. It’s telling people who you are and what you do and then delivering amazing service beyond what you expected. The other place that they underspend is inpatient experience. We teach people to make a patient experience that just blows the patient away. I got clients where you get to sit down in one of those chairs where you get that neck massage first. You’ve got your paraffin … People do all kinds of crazy stuff like cookies, paraffin wax. It has nothing to do with dentistry it has to do with the over delivery.
Do you get a water when you walk in? Do you get a welcome gift? I tell people you’re in our building, and this is where I spend money on our clients, you don’t underspend on your clients, you don’t underspend on your patients. A lot of them are literally not spending any money to create a great experience because it’s really all you have. You’re probably not going to make a product. They’re not going to perceive the work you do in their mouth having the same value as that phone. It’s going to be the experience that’s makes the difference.
Howard: I believe the new patient experience is probably the most under-reported, under-taught, under trained and it’s everything. The [inaudible 00:13:27] just from [inaudible 00:13:29] doctors. You go and get a prostate exam, you go to PSA, you get your whatever, whatever and I mean you feel like cattle. You don’t ever leave your endocrinologist and go and tell a friend I just got wowed by an endocrinologist. It’s usually a place like wow.
Jay: One of my favorite things to do I always tell people okay there’s a few places you need to go and sit in your office that most people never go to, all right. Let’s pretend it’s a male dentist. You know what they don’t ever do go sit in the female restroom on the commode, look around, find the dust. The big driver now is the female consumer. If you want to know what it’s like to go to your office go sit on the female toilet in your office and see what you see. They look and see that behind your door when all those dust balls come out, that’s what they judge. Is that thing set up? Does it have everything that she would ever need in there?
Then you go and lay in your chairs, and you look in the ceiling and you know what you find 9 out of 10 times there’s a fluorescent light or a direct light shining. Literally people will give you glasses instead of fixing the lights which you ought to fix is the lights so that when you look up there’s no light shining down on you because that’s what that room is designed for, for God’s sakes. You’re kidding me you can’t find a fixture that doesn’t shine in my eyes one that just reflects back up. Then they’re looking at how much dust is coming out of that vent. You haven’t cleaned that vent in 7 years I can see just up there. Instead, you got, and I’m looking at the mouth, but they're looking up there, and they’re looking down there, and this is just kind of an example of go right now and look at those spots and see what you see.
Howard: You’ve got to spend money. Every time I take my car and the maintenance light comes on and an oil change or whatever they always put me in my exact car if it was brand new.
Jay: That’s nice.
Howard: When I come back, and they always tell me how much my bill is, and it’d be waived if I free bill, give them keys of my car and if I wrote them a check for x thousands I could go home and [inaudible 00:15:34]. We’re talking about this that not only are they not going for it how do they believe in what they’re doing Jay when they look into a mouth, and they just diagnose one tooth. How come the most successful dentist are passion? They want to spend more on equipment, they want to spend more on the new patient experience, they want to spend more on marketing. When you come in they look at your mouth and say “Wow, okay, and I’m excited and to do this right and this is all you’re going to do.” They present a whole mouth dentistry. Then other 90% are like well which one is bothering you. I’m sure you don’t want to pay for anything because your house is free, your care is free, your clothes are free.
Jay: Do you have Chic Felays here?
Jay: We have one of their training videos. I’m trying to remember what it is. We got a hold of one of their training videos. Chic Felays is a fast food company.
Howard: Explain it for our international viewers.
Jay: It’s a company kind of like a McDonald’s you would think of or Burger King, but it’s called Chic Felay. They have this incredible, quality, fast food, but it’s high service. You go to the drive through, and they say my pleasure. They’ve completely flipped up the model. The kids that work there are these clean-cut kids, and they’re learning good service, and it’s just really an amazing process. In training video that I watched it’s called Every Life Has a Story. They’re panning from customer to customer. They’re showing, and this person walks in, and it says, “Okay her husband of 52 years just passed away from cancer she’s very lonely.”
The next one cuts over to this young family. It’s a dad with a daughter, and it says, “The mother was recently killed in a car accident.” What they’re telling you and they go through each of these stories and by the time you get done with this thing men you are bawling. What they’re telling you is what you can’t see when you look at a human being. How it is. There’s a story behind everybody. You don’t know on what day that story is happening. You don’t know that when you cross their path but you’ve got to treat people like people don’t treat their teeth. Across the street, I got 500 people over there, and they’re going to be over here tonight. These are people to me. Those are not dentists and clients. They’re people with real moving lives and crisis’s and opportunities.
Howard: It’s so self-absorbed in our systems when someone will go, and they’ll have an interaction at a restaurant or a waiter or a bartender or whatever, and they’ll say, “That person …” and they’ll say something that that person wasn’t very nice or wasn’t very good, and it’s like, “Well you don’t know what that girls going through.”
Jay: Oh yeah you don’t know it.
Howard: Maybe her mom just died yesterday. How narcissistic do you think that it’s about you? There’s 7 billion people on the planet, and her bad attitude is about you.
Jay: See what I think what occurs and I believe that the majority of people they’re office is all about them and they want to say it’s not. I will tell you right now when you’ve got a 3 day week practice open till 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon through the week that practice in 100% about you and they’ve got some balls to act like it’s not. You’ve got a team that they don’t know how to control. Let me give you a visual and I think you’ll love this, and I figured something out. As a business owner, this is what you’ve got to watch for. This crisis is funny, and I think you’re going to love this. Here’s what I’ve discovered. In a typical business if you don’t have a good leader someone who is driving toward an intention like with intention service you know what happens.
In dentistry the patient and who’s always your most vocal patient. You’re worst one. You ever notice that. What’s funny in a lot of businesses is they let the worst patient dictate the entire practice. What you’ll have is a person who walks in, and she’ll says, “I can’t believe you don’t accept my insurance bam, bam, bam.” Well, it gets in the head of a frontline staff member and the next thing you know you’ve got a business that’s all about only inviting people in with the right kind of insurance. The truth is if you diagnose where it came from it came from the fact that a crappy patient, one that would bitch about anything that ever goes on in their life who you have no future with, dictated the way you treat people. You are not doing it based on your best patient. You’re with me?
Jay: It creeps in and all of a sudden, when we get a client who’s not doing well who’s got 5 new patients a month or 10 new patients a month the truth is I know that the worst patients are dictating the rules of that. Even the staff is now being governed by the worst patient because they just want to avoid that from happening. If you think about your best patient; If you think about your best patient ever I bet you it is the one that you did the most for and paid you the most and simultaneously had the greatest level of gratitude and referral and everything else for you. People don’t go try to find more of those they cater to the lowest denominator. The next thing you know, the practice is sort of it’s not that great.
Howard: They don’t understand that with lawsuits and car insurance. You have car insurance just in case you ever get in a car wreck. I’ve been driving for 53 years. I’ve utilized my car insurance before. In my whole 20 years, I always know one dentist at rock bottom because of one patient lawsuit or [inaudible 00:21:19]. Why would you let that one patient and that one case … You’ve had this amazing practice, this amazing [inaudible 00:21:27], and you literally can’t scrape these dentists off the floor with a putting knife. They literally go into depression. I had one friend who was in full-blown depression for a year. That is your ego. What you’re saying is why are you letting that one patient dictate your whole mind when you had so many amazing patients?
Jay: What about not even thinking about catering to …?
Howard: Imagine getting into your car and every time you got in your car you thought about the one time you hit your car.
Jay: I agree. I totally agree with you. Then you’ll look at it and say, “What does it take to be intentional?” You would definitely have to mark it. Does that make sense? You would have to say, “Hey we want these kind of people.” The other thing that’s interesting is; why are people so uncomfortable saying to someone this isn’t a match. Why do we try to cater to everybody? It’s like I don’t like for me. I don’t like people who want something for nothing. I find those to be very unattractive people to me. When I can learn somebody wants something for nothing, I prefer not to have them in my life. I prefer to make them; I have a system to make them go away.
A person who understands value you have a great future with. You think about patients there tends to be two kinds of people. One’s who have the capability of appreciating what you do and those that will never appreciate it no matter what you do. I think a lot of people don’t know how to distinguish between the two. Your business should cater to the good patient, not the one who will never give you credit for anything. There’s just no future in that.
Howard: I don’t know the secret to success, but I know the secret to failure is to try to be all things to all people.
Jay: That’s exactly right.
Howard: Just focus on the people who appreciate you. I want to ask you something because I’m a dentist, and you’re a business person. Why do you think my homies …? Why do you think they hate the word selling? When I talk about how much, usually I advertise. Jay, I’m telling you on a fundamental level I feel half of them don’t even believe in advertising. It’s like dude every time you watch Monday night football there’s advertising. The NFL did what 9 billion in advertising last year. Why do dentists despise at a gut level marketing and advertising?
Jay: I really actually think that everyone despises it. When you use the word selling, it has a negative connotation. I believe that the majority of people have a negative connotation about selling but at the end of the day here’s what you and I both know. You take a sales team out of a company, you take the marketing out of a company, you don’t have a company. What’s fascinating is in dentistry we’re so blessed to be able to make a living and do so many things wrong, but it isn’t always going to stay that way. It is not going to stay that way. I think that you have a general negative connotation, and a lot of it is created by selling. The truth of the matter about selling is there’s a seller and a buyer. The truth is nobody ever puts a gun to anyone’s head and tells them they have to buy anything.
What I find so funny about it is all the cool things that you have in your life that you bought that you liked somebody sold them to you for God sakes. The truth is it takes two parties. One says yes. People are kind of funny about that but really the question is are these really people who don’t understand that you have to pay for good things in life too. The cheapest people in the world Howard, are the most judgmental about selling because they’re unwilling to pay for good things. A cheap person, by the way, is very challenged by marketing. They’d just rather judge it than understand what it is. I think it’s just a general misunderstanding all the way. What I find so funny is that no sales has ever put a … Who has manipulated me? If I get my wallet out or my credit card out I do that by choice you didn’t manipulate me, right.
Howard: That’s why marketing is so [inaudible 00:25:26] because if everybody says this stock is buy somebody else is saying well you can buy mine.
Jay: I think it too you’ve got to get focused on the fact that basically we all in business we all have a solution and somebody has a problem. All you’ve got to think about is that look at it in a different way. I like the definition of sales or marketing being telling people who you are and what you do. Then particularly going after it and finding the people that are most suitable for what it is you do. The group that you’re most likely to be able to solve their problem and then if you understand the law of success which is ‘then only do it when you can over deliver.’ I think there’s a lot that people don’t understand. You should only really sell somebody something if you believe you can over deliver or give them more than they paid for. It should up your willingness to promote.
Howard: Absolutely, you always want to under promise and over deliver. I have been telling dentists that for years that. Someone will get a tooth pulled, and they’ll say, “Well is this going to hurt afterwards?” “No, you’ll be fine.” Then it hurts. If you tell them “That root was that long.” I tell my patients when this thing wears off oh my god you’re going to wish you’d never been born. I set the bar so low if they’re just glad that they’re alive I beat their expectations. I want to ask you something. When I told one of my friends, I was going to go see you today. He said to me a very good question; [inaudible 00:26:55] but he says, “What was Jay is that considered internal marketing or external marketing? If you’re educating my receptionist how to answer calls, close calls, get more people in the chair. Technically would you call that internal marketing?
Jay: You know what they think. Here’s what they think. Let me just clarify two thing. Number one; I want your listeners to know and you to know I make no one do what I do. Does that make sense? When people judge me, I never teach people to do what I do because I know they don’t have it in them. I know they would never do what I do. It’s kind of funny people get the perception that I’m going to teach them to do what I do. I teach no one to do what I do. You can have a dental practice; you don’t have to do any of the stuff I do. I’m a different guy I’ve got a bigger mission. You can get 100 new patients and not even begin to cause a wave in your community whatsoever. It’s very important that you understand there’s a distinction between people judge and think I’m going to teach them what I do.
I never teach dentists what I do. I do that for me. Now you jump to a dentist the reality is that I’ve been teaching this for years we barely ever sometimes ever get into external marketing because you don’t’ even have to if you get the inside right. What people’s perception is that the only way I should change this is because I’m doing marketing. That is not true. The truth of the matter is it’s so stinking easy to get 100 new patients in dentistry. You can do it with almost not even sending a single thing out here. It’s crazy how easy it but they don’t know how to it. We work off of a you start with the most conservative thing you can. You start with fixing your human capital. I can double and triple people’s practices without …
Here’s my original claim; 10 to 40% increase in new patients. No marketing or advertising in 90 days or less. I did that without advertising. You don’t have to send a piece, you don’t have to send an email, you don’t have to do anything is all you’ve to do is get your people to follow the correct process. Now when the guy gets a little increase he goes, “Now I want a little more” we can add some marketing. I rarely teach people how to do external marketing because it even isn’t necessary and I can double or triple the new patients. They just have blockage. People would never have the you know what’s to do what I do. I could never teach people to do what I do. They're just like …
Howard: It’s funny they think that you have to buy $150,000 CAD/CAM to be [inaudible 00:29:32]. $150,000 [inaudible 00:29:34] 3D, a $75,000 laser and do all this external marketing and you and I can give them names of 100 dentists doing a million a year who don’t have a laser, don’t’ have a CAD/CAM, don’t advertise external, don’t do any of this stuff but they’ve got the players on the team, and they have intention, they’re motivated, they’re fired up and they’re crushing it and they don’t have anything that everyone listening thinks they have to have to be successful.
Jay: You know what else is crazy. We have clients all over the world, and the craziest thing to me is that I’ve got clients, and you go to their town, and you think where the hell are the people. You’re just like where are the people. The guy will be getting 200 new patients. There’s not like 200 people in the county, but he’s getting 200 patients a month. It’s just the [inaudible 00:30:20] that encourage anybody who is in a small town or out there who thinks well there’s no patients those are some of the best practices to really just go through the roof that we’ve ever seen, and I don’t know where they come from. When a guy is in Manhattan, and you just look out your door, and there’s …
Howard: What do you think the fire motivated dental office staff is doing to get new patients when it’s not about showing off a CAD/CAM or a laser or that they don’t have the billboard or direct mail or Facebook page posting every 5 minutes? You have this small town [inaudible 00:30:56]. Here’s a dental office with 5 people and a dentist who’s a receptionist who’s [inaudible 00:30:59] and here’s another one but this one’s doing twice as much as this one. This one is in debt with all this high price lasers.
Jay: They could have all the crap in there and everything. What happens is it’s like when you and I walk into a business, you said this to me, one of the time you said, “You can feel it.” The truth is and let me tell you what the feel is; this is how I think of it is. This office the bad one you know what it’s about it’s about the doctor. You probably had to get to get in there. When you walk in a place, and there’s 13 reserved tables. They say, “They don’t have any tables” and you go “Well there’s tables.” [inaudible 00:31:39] it’s going to be 20 minutes. Really? This office you walk into it’s about you. Everything is engineered backwards to make you feel like it’s about you. You walk in, you get a water, they have your paper walk pre-filled out, no windows, none of that crap, you’ve got computers to play with if you have to wait.
You go wow what is going on here. You go right back, you don’t wait; you’ve figured how not to make a bunch of people wait in a room awkwardly, you’ve figured out how to get them in. You walk out with a gift, and it just feels like what the heck just happened here. Most dentists even though they think that they’re so smart; you know the data about people being afraid to go to the dentist. It’s astronomical. We don’t print enough about it; we don’t talk about it. The data it’s like in the top 10 fears of all society is to go to the dentist. If you look at how these people communicate or what they do when you walk into an office. They do not deal with patients that are afraid. Does that make sense? They don’t. They think they do.
They’re so self-centered they have nothing. You say. “Well explain to me how … Show me one thing you do to prove to a patient that it doesn’t hurt.” That’s what happens in this office, and here we’re just not going to address that. That’s hard to create because it’s culture Howard and it comes from the leader. That’s why we’ve had to do it for a lot of people because they just don’t have the capability. When we train a team; we can train a team to do this, but if you don’t know how to do it yourself, it’s very difficult to put in place. What happens is they walk out, and they tell a friend. Then that person comes, and they tell a friend. It is really that easy at the end of the day, but it’s only when you get it right.
Howard: You almost had to be Dr. Phil though to consult a dentist because you really got to get inside their head because the dentist is the problem.
Jay: Yeah but one of the things we figured out; I remember I used to go into offices, and I could remember the first thing that would happen is that the receptionist would say, “Come here, come here, come here.” She’d go “I’m so glad you’re here. He’s got a lot of problems. Before you get started, I just want you to know that I don’t have any time to do anything but he needs help.” I said, “Oh men that’s going to be trouble.” I started going into offices, and I would say, “Come here, come here.” When I get done today, you might be making like 200 extra bucks a month, but you’d got to do what I tell you to do.” She goes, “No problem.” He knows everything about time after that.
Now I train her and all of a sudden she’s like and so she doubles the new patients because the truth of the matter is if you don’t reverse engineer this you walk in an office and say, “Hey look let’s double the new patients.” The only thing she’s thinking is “Crap. Why would I double the new patients it’s twice the amount of work.” You’ve got to give them a reason to want to do it first. Humans need a reason to do things. It’s not just because their boss wants them to do it. The other reality of it is sometimes the doctor is so consumed … Basically, eventually if you cut me loose with the staff, you’ll be in the way because you want to go home at 5, and we’ll have patients to keep you there till 7. The other thing a lot of guys don’t realize is you’ve got to work around that. Good business should not be blockaded by the owner or their willingness to work. Sorry guys you work around them to a degree.
Howard: Tell the people who don’t know what you do your scheduling too. Tell them specifically. Do you have an intro program? Do you have a …? Tell them what you specifically do?
Jay: It’s a lot different than people perceive. What they’ll see typically on the front is they’ll see … If you go to our site Scheduling Institute or whatever, you’ll see you can fill in, and you can request information. The first thing I would always do, and remember everyone hearing this says I don’t need this, I got this, but I know fundamentally that this is the cheapest increase that you can get. What I typically ask people to do is I say “Let me do the thing I like to do first. Let’s see what kind of result it gets then decide how you want to escalate up.” The guys that you saw in the room we’ve got going on over there those are clients that are going 5 times.
We’re in a full-service capacity with them, I’m coaching their teams at our university, we have out trainers going into their office 8 times over 2 years, they’re coming up to see me once a quarter, they’re getting coaching. We’re turning those businesses into amazing businesses. They didn’t start that way. The reason they got there is they bought our new patient program. I don’t do phone training I never have we’re the new patient business. When I send you that package that shows how your person does it’s not about training them on the phone. Everyone’s trying to copy me. They literally have all these new things now where people say, “We do phone training.” I’ve never done phone training we’re the new patient business. People hire me to get new patients.
I created a way where we track what you get, we train your people, and then they track it, and you can see the returns. I walk in, and you’ve got 5 I take you to 10 that’s an amazing return which you get for the remainder of your life. Typically what we suggest is we have to main options; one is the self-study kit, and it’s less than $2,000, and you can literally install it. People who can’t install, people who do not have any control their staff should not buy the self-study kit because every other thing that they bought that they were supposed to implement they’ve yet to implement it. You don’t buy that when you’re horrible at self-study. If you’re good at self-study, you can buy that. The next solution we created was we called an onsite training. What that does is that allows us to get live with your people. We recommend that for people.
The only reason you’d buy the self-study course is if your budget was so limited that you wanted to start. You’ve got to understand there is that some people are good at that; others can’t do anything. What you’ll see is our first deliverable is an increase in new patients. A lot of people are out there, and they have problems but you know what they’ve somehow disconnected is that they don’t think that new patients is the answer to their problems. Have you ever noticed that? They think it’s all these other things. If you trace back the … Okay, you’ve got a guy under stress. Why is he under stress? Because he don’t, have enough money. He can’t control his team. You look at it what every problem, with the exception of real personal problems, almost all of them get fixed but ratcheting up your new patients.
If you went and interviewed people, they’ll say I don’t need new patients. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t figure out why they have such a disconnect. I like the first solution to be let’s increase your new patients. Then I prove my value, and then you come to one of my seminars, and then you become a coaching client. I want people to move up based upon their success and a small initial investment where I’m able to prove return. I’m never like people to get more than they need. I want to prove returns as we go. Let us show you the new patient process first and then after that you can move up. There’s lots and lots of things that we do obviously.
Howard: Basically, repeating what you said you get the inside the inside people on the right track you don’t even need the billboards and the radios and the …
Jay: No, no, no there’s no reason for it. You’ve got to think like this; I probably have the biggest laboratory. I have right now between 6 and 7,000 staff who come and attend our universities. I have clients all over the world everything from people with 5 new patients to as much as 4. I have a client the other day we did a profile on he used to do over 400 new patients a month. It’s like this wonderful laboratory. I’ve got 250 spouses over there that you saw or maybe it’s a little more than 300 spouses. Guys going 5 times. What is kind of fun is that I really sort of get to get my pulse on a big scale of what’s occurring? What we’re learning is that there’s not much leadership in dental offices.
What we’re now doing is getting offices big enough that we’re actually creating a real leadership. We’re dismantling that old office manager process and developing real leadership teams in offices which is a lot of fun. We’re learning that a lot of people don’t have the capacity to add associates. I just have all these different tests going on, and these high-level sort of really beyond what most people would ever think is possible kind of activities occurring, and that’s what we do. That’s what I mostly do, but you’ve got to come in and do the new patient thing first.
Howard: The other thing that I see is that they need to be motivated. What was helping the most going to your institute there is eagles fly with eagles and turkey’s fly with turkeys. When you’re going through an institute, and you meet some local buddies you kind of start … If everybody you hang out with is just says, “There’s nothing you can do. The president’s horrible, the economy is horrible, the whole world’s horrible.” You hang with those people you just don’t get out of it. When you go to these institutes and you, hang out with people that are just going for it. I was always surprised when I went to the Missions Institute I probably learned more stuff about my practice that was no implant related.
Jay: I have a little take on it, and my take is that it’s a weird deal. Dentist are, and you know this because you’re in this industry, they go to these shows, and it’s funny, and people get this impression that … First of all, we don’t do CE and the reason I don’t do CE because legitimately you cannot teach the correct things and give CE. When you go to CE, you are getting … CE has to be done. Don’t confuse yourself and think that was the best money making advice you can get because you can’t give it and actually give credit. You’ve got to give content about something that … You literally if you read it. For instance, if they came, if the CE board came to what I’m teaching people they’d say we can’t give you CE.
It’s the actual real money making stuff, and you can only get a limited amount of CE for that stuff. People have this confusion. They falsely think because they do sometimes because they do x amount of CE that that is … I was sitting with some lawyers the other day, and they were kind of asking me questions about being successful. I said, “Well what did you guys spend on your education?” He goes like, “100 grand.” I said, “Okay well you’re about a 1.9 million less than I’ve spent on mine, so you’ve got some more money to spend.” It’s understanding specialized knowledge. The amount of money that I spend to develop because I buy anything and everything that I need to a crossroads the best that is available and it comes at a high price. I was trying to tell the guy that I probably spend 2 million post college on self-development over my life, and that’s the difference between you and me. You stopped the minute you got out.
He does his x number of hours of CE, and that’s it. Then you can’t stay with the same people. These guys are going dental convention to dental convention, dental convention because eventually a guy gets a $2 million practice; he shows up at a dental convention, and he thinks he’s the ticket. Come hang out with guys like me like entrepreneurs and all of a sudden you feel like small potatoes. Whenever you think you’re the smartest guy in the room, you need to find a new room quick. It’s dangerous.
Howard: Jay, what was your thinking and everybody knows you from Atlanta Georgia. That’s where you’re born, bred and raised.
Jay: Most probably don’t know me because they judge me. They just get my marketing and think that they don’t need me because they’re so smart. You didn’t know that?
Howard: What made you go west of the Mississippi river and come out to my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona? What made you come out here?
Jay: What was happening is that I would show up at my workshops, and they’d be a guy in the front, and he would come up to me and say. “Sorry, I’m really tired.” I was like “What is it?” He goes “Well I’m from California. I took the red eye here.” I was like “Ugh.” I was bringing in so many people from California, from Phoenix to Atlanta to our place I just decided … When we opened up a building there, it was just like a great success. We developed this building where people could come, spend the day together, and it was fantastic. I just felt that the right thing for me to kind of do to kind of serve …
Again it’s an example of I did not want to travel here, Howard, but it was what I needed to do for the clients. I said “You know what I need to make a guy from California to be able to take the an hour flight, show up here in the morning and be home that night to his family. It was probably going to mean that I had to make some trips to the West Coast.” I felt that that was the right thing to do. This is really our center for serving everybody in the West Coast and then also having the great opportunity when it’s cold. People want to come here in the winter, right.
Howard: Big time.
Jay: 107 out there today.
Howard: What’s bizarre is that the dentist who love Phoenix the most in winter it’s always New York and New Jersey. They just fill this place up.
Jay: The Mid-West guys I’m surprised how many too.
Howard: The Georgia that’s the south who’s more hot and miserable in the summer Phoenix or Atlanta, Georgia.
Jay: Well it’s different. It’s different. I bought a place down here, and it’s different. I bought a place down here, and we’re sweating, and you guys are getting that blowing heat that you can barely breathe in right just a little different. It’s good, we’re looking forward to it, we’re excited about the place, we’ve got a big party here tonight kind of like a grand opening with clients. For me, it’s all about figuring out how we can serve people in a way that makes sense and making it more accessible for them I must say.
Howard: I want to ask you a different question and take you down a different road. When I got out 20 years ago, maybe the person doing the most marketing was an innovative dentist. Now the person is competing against a corporation that might have a marketing department. How has marketing changed now that corporate dentistry is in the game? Do you think corporate dentistry is going to spend more on marketing? Do you think it’s going to be more sophisticated? Does that change any of the marketing for the individual dentist? What are your thoughts on that?
Jay: We’re convinced that there’s a few things that we’re teaching our doctors to do. The first one is we’re teaching them to broaden the opportunity of providing service. A lot of my clients now we’ve engineered a cradle to grave arrangement. They were originally general dentists and then what they did is they went and bought a bigger building. Then I told them, and I said, “Don’t get rid of your old building.” I said, “Keep your old building.” “What am I going to put in there?” I said, “I want you to put all the ortho dentists in there.” The nest thing you know they built an ortho and a pediatric clinic. Then they have their main … We’ve literally now, and they’ve created this multi-disciplinary thing. Then in big facilities what we’re doing we’re creating multi- disciplinary.
Marketing is making them not have to go places is marketing. They don’t see it that way, but that’s literally marketing. Then the second thing that we’re doing is culture. If you think about dentistry, there is no culture. Culture gets created when you invest enormous amounts of money in raising the expectations on the people who work for you. If you look at great companies that have great culture, they’re training companies. The Ritz-Carlton is a training company. It’s not a hotel company. They just happen to be in the hotel business. The Four Seasons is a training company. We’re making our play right now is we’re saying “Look the one thing that corporate dentistry’s have and a harder time doing culture on a big scale is rough.”
Culture under one roof if you’re willing to spend the money can be achieved, and that’s really marketing. That’s where were making the play. We’re not telling people to spend out postcards in massive levels and all this kind of stuff. We’re saying just make your place that’s marketing. Whatever you spend in that waiting room that’s marketing. That’s where people are they don’t make the connection sometimes. If you have the culture right; a person walks in, gets treated and then walks right out and multiplies themselves every time. If they’re walking into your office now and they’re not multiplying …
Howard: What do you think of the thing that I always read that ask your patients for referrals? What would you say to dentists?
Jay: They don’t have the courage to do it.
Howard: Do you try to [inaudible 00:48:43]?
Jay: I used to do a lot of work with chiropractors. We trained chiropractors to do it, and that’s how they doubled their business. If you don’t have a lot of money tomorrow morning, you start asking your patients for referrals, and you’ll crush.
Howard: How would she actually do it because she’s shy, she’s an introvert?
Jay: Those are called excuses. We all have to work around our deficiencies. We all have them. I’m just being honest, and I think to say and people love to say that but the truth … Look if you don’t have any money. If you have money, go out and market, you’ll crush. Send out some postcards too. Put some things in mailboxes right. You’ll do really well. You don’t have any money then you’ve got to go hike and front which is why don’t you ask this next patient for a referral. Maybe you just pay your staff to ask them if you don’t have the courage. How about that? How about telling your staff for every time somebody comes in from referral you’ll give them 10 bucks. Most likely they will gladly ask the patient. At least, make a brochure or something.
Howard: What was funny is when I owned my own practice in [inaudible 00:49:48] of Phoenix and built this million dollar practice and [inaudible 00:49:52] “You’re so lucky you’re at the right place at the right time.” Think about this; I was at the right place at the right time. I was born in Winchester, Kansas and moved 1,000 miles so I was lucky I was in the right place at the right time. Number two you know what I did every evening and weekend when I had no patients.
I got a map of my Ahwatukee my zip code 85844, and I walked down every single street, knocking on the door, they come to the door, and I just say, “Hey my name’s Howard Farran and I just want to tell you that you know 48th and Alley that Today’s Dental that’s me. I’m going to practice here till the day I die, and I’d just thought I’d walk the neighborhood and just meet people and just say hey if you ever need a dentist I’m right there.” Then I’d give my business card or whatever. I knocked on every single door in my zip code in my evenings and weekends, and it took me half the year. Here it is 28 years later I [inaudible 00:50:45] said, “You know I still remember. I still remember when you actually …” I just thought that was just natural. That’s what you would do if you were running for mayor. That’s what you were doing if you were trying to win a city council. I have as much passion about oral health as I do.
Jay: Right now you’re making people freak out you do know that. [inaudible 00:51:09] is we’re all lazy, and the truth is its just a soft culture. The reality is if you’re hungry go and knock on doors. You’re hungry you do what you got to do. Today, it’s amazing how people have no like literally about what they do for a living they don’t have any passion about it. I’m not going to knock on doors.
Howard: What’s sad is when every consultant and there’s just things consultants don’t want to talk about because it might be considered bad or whatever. Everything I want to tell you that the worst thing for a client is that he was born in the United States. That there Asian doctors will come out of dental school, and they’ll work 7 days a week for 3 years without blinking but the American kid who grew up playing Nintendo and eating Chitos you can’t even get him to work Friday, Saturday or Sunday. They’ll open up Monday through Thursday 8 to 5 but the kid from Kathmandu oh my God he’ll take a toothache at 7:00 at night on a Tuesday.
Jay: You know what the great news is we figured out that the trend is changing. You’ve got all these kids coming out of dental school right now, and they’re being, and I call it brainwashing which is probably an exaggeration, not to own their own practices. They have that work ethic, and you’ve got a lot of females. The truth is for a guy who’s in his 50s who’s getting tired. We have the best window that has ever existed to hire these kids. You get two of them, and one works 3 days, and another works 3 days because they don’t want ownership. They’re not going to do what it takes. As long as they know what they’re doing clinically you can plug them into your practice and do incredibly well. Instead of doing that people are selling their practices for nothing instead of building them up to what they should be which is a shame.
Howard: I thought it was funny in the 50s. Mom and dad would have a restaurant for 30 years, and they lived in this town of 5,000, and they were born in it, they went to church and school with them. McDonald’s would come in, and they would open up their restaurant and in 30 days the mom and pop would be bankrupt. Everybody would say that McDonald’s was so bad. [inaudible 00:53:18] used to just say, “Well if you were born and just raised in this town. How did you not know 60% of them wanted a drive through?
Jay: [inaudible 00:53:25].
Howard: How did we know in Des Plaines, Illinois and you didn’t know, and you were born in [inaudible 00:53:33] Kansas. These dentists they’ll say, “These corporates are hiring all these young kids.” There’s 168 hours in a week and they’re opened 32. That’s 19%. They’re closed 81% of the week. Then you say [inaudible 00:53:49]. When you’re closed 81% of the week how many times are the incoming call come.
Jay: That’s one of the tricks I’ve made a great living off of …
Howard: Is what?
Jay: … Is solving that one right there. It’s one of the things that we do right on the front is that you have to fix it. Get the phone answered just the times you don’t answer it.
Howard: They don’t even know who’s calling and begging with a toothache to come in on Thursday night, all day Friday, all day Saturday, all the Sunday. My gosh, when a corporation opens up and solves that problem they blame it on the corporation.
Howard: It seems that dentists have and in the last 4 years I’ve seen more things blamed on the government, the economy, Obama. They blame it on everything except the man in the mirror.
Jay: We grew our company very big during the worst economic conditions. One of the reasons why that happened is I told those guys I said listen “I don’t care who you are, where you are. All you’ve got to do strap yourself to me. I’m going to tell you what to do, and I’ll promise you I’ll make your practices big as it’s ever been because everyone else is going to be on pause.” The guys that stepped up over the last 7 years have grown. We’ve taken market share, and it’s been just a wonderful thing. People are waiting for the economy to get good. You want to know what happens now, now that things are perceived to be better they’re worse than they were. It doesn’t change people’s behavior. Now they’re not doing more because it’s good that’s a false belief system. It’s crazy.
Howard: [inaudible 00:55:19] salesman wrap this thing up, give them a close. If they’re interested in Jay Gaier or the scheduling or something how do they find you, how do they call you, what do you recommend.
Jay: I’ll tell you two things. I’ll just say a couple of things. If you are interested in doing what it takes, we’re glad to have you. If you’re looking to not do anything and you’re looking to get it free, and you’re looking to not put any effort in I’m not interested. It’s a big [inaudible 00:55:42] I’ve got plenty of clients. The truth is if you want to know what we do you can go to our site which is schedulinginstitute.com.
Howard: The Scheduling Institute.
Jay: It’s just scheduling institute.
Howard: Spell that for [inaudible 00:55:54].
Jay: Spells out S-C-H-E-D-U-L-I-N-G and then institute.
Howard: S-C-H-E-D-U-L-I-N-G and then institute.
Jay: What you do there’s usually a place where you can fill in, you give us your information. What do I give every client a person value before they even become a client? What I would do if you go there is I will have someone on my team at my expense do an evaluation on how you answer the phones. Just like I did for you at no cost, I spent money to do that. Then I will send that to you, and we will arrange we’ll have a conversation with you about it, and we’ll show you how much money you’re missing because we have all the data if you have to do as much as I’ve done.
We can access a practice; we can tell you what your upside is. Then what we like to do is we like to get that first deliverable. We will track what you had before you became our client; we’ll track what you had after, and we just want to show you how everything we do will pay for itself and make a profit. The truth is we can do it with your staff if you don’t want to put a lot of energy and effort into it, and that’s where we like to start. That’s it because I like to prove what we can do before we go on to other things.
Howard: Is there a phone number they can call?
Jay: Yes. 770-518-7575.
Howard: I always tell my friends or post of social media, when [inaudible 00:57:19] to respond, just to see what people say. One of my friends said “Is Jay Geier is a shedulist who’s at better at urban rule? Is it better in some geographies? Is this better for a big town like Atlanta or Phoenix or New York? What if it was small rural? Are there any differences?
Jay: What we do happens in the office, and so it’s not external marketing. The fallacy of that is it wouldn’t matter where they were. I can tell you there’s better places to externally market, but I will tell you that what we do happens inside of every office, and it doesn’t matter where the office is. I’ve learned to make new patients go up with the person who’s there no matter what. They think they need to be marketing to make this happen, and it’s all a fallacy. It does not matter literally.
Howard: Well we are out of time, and I just want to say a couple of things. I want to say a couple of things. Number one thank you so much for helping my office personally. I’m sorry that my best friend had to tell me for 3 years before I [inaudible 00:58:27].
Jay: That’s all right, that’s all right.
Howard: Number two I want to tell everybody listening … Everybody logs onto Dental Town. It’s a free website and you it free because of advertisers. Jay, you have been our number one advertiser, supporter, sponsor for years. This is the man that makes your website, your podcast; this is the guy that’s making all your stuff free. You’re my number one supporter.
Jay: It’s awesome.
Howard: Thank you for supporting my mission.
Jay: You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure. Thank you so much.
Howard: All right thank you.
Jay: Appreciate it.
Howard: Bye, bye.