Podcast (Dental)

Top Tips to Attract and Keep the Best Staff on Your Dental Team

March 8, 2023

In this episode of The Art of Dental Finance and Management podcast, Art speaks with Eric Vickery, dental coach at All-Star Dental Academy. Art and Eric discuss how important it is for dentists to strengthen their leadership and team-building skills to positively motivate their dental team, resulting in increased retention.

Reach out to Art if you have any questions regarding dental finance and management for your dental practice. More information about the Eide Bailly dental team can be found at www.eidebailly.com/dentist.

Being more strategic in all aspects of your dental practice will lead to increased profitability.

Eric VickeryGUEST

Eric Vickery
All-Star Dental Academy

Show Notes and Resources:

The Transcript

Art Wiederman, CPA: Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman, CPA. I'm your host, Art Wiederman. Welcome to my podcast and I'm really excited about 2023. I think it's going to be a great year for dentistry. It's going to be a great year for my golf game. I hope if I can keep my wrist back and move my weight forward. You know, it's funny when you play golf, you know, the coach tells you to do one thing like our guest today, my good friend Eric Vickery.

As a coach, he tells you want to do one thing and some of his clients probably do the other. Same with golf. You know, it's like I'm going to the golf coach. And he goes, Oh, we worked on this last week. I said, Yeah, but my body is not doing what you told me to do, so blame it on my body. Anyway, that has nothing to do with anything we're going to talk about today, as I mentioned by today's program, is exciting. It's kind of a let's get a good start to 2023. I did a program earlier in the year with my thoughts. Eric Vickery is my guest. Eric and I have been friends for years. He's one of the best coaches in the country. I'll introduce him in a minute. And we're going to talk about are you ready for your team to take it to the next level and a lot of other stuff. So we'll get to Eric in a minute.

First, I want to thank my wonderful partner, Decisions in Dentistry magazine, Lorene Kent and her team and I have been together for close to four years that we've been doing this podcast and they have a wonderful, wonderful clinical magazine Decisions in Dentistry. Go to their website www.DecisionsinDentistry.com. And if you're looking for outstanding continuing education, easy to deal with 140 courses at a very reasonable price. That's where you want to go is www.DecisionsinDentistry.com. We are recording here in mid-January. The rain gods have stopped here. Now again, you'll hear this in the first week of March. So we don't know if they're going to come back again. But in some places here in California and my friend Eric on the other end is from the northern, northern part of California. So I asked him if he has drowned yet. He said not quite, but in some places in California, we got 40 inches of rain. It did rain out several of my golf games, which did not make me happy. But now the sun is out and life is good.

So I want to bring up a couple of things that I want to share with you. First of all, I am excited to announce that we are and I'm going to be involved in a wonderful live seminar series with the California Dental Association and sponsored by them and Bank of America. And it's going to be for young dentists. So dentists that are maybe out of school, that are working, that are looking at do I buy a practice, do I start one from scratch, Do I go to work for somebody? Do I go to work for a DSO? So what do I do?

And we're going to be in northern and southern California. So I want you to save these dates and if you're interested in attending, you can email me at awiederman@EideBailly.com. So Tuesday, March 23rd from 5:30 to 8:30, we're going to be at the Stone Brewery in Escondido. Let me repeat the Stone Brewery. So I would imagine there'll be some brewery stuff there. That's from 5:30 to 8:30 Saturday, March 25th we're going to be at. And I had nothing to do with this. Tentatively, we're going to be a Top Golf out in Ontario. I've been to a Top Golf once. It's really fun. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25th.

Then we're coming to Eric's neighborhood, Northern California, on Saturday, June 10th, from 9 to 12, 9 a.m. in the morning until 12 on a Saturday. We do not have a location yet but save the date and it will be in either San Jose or San Francisco, I believe. And then Thursday, June 22nd, will be in Sacramento. We don't have locations for that. If you are interested either call me at 657.279.3243 or email me at awiederma@EideBailly.com.

One more thing. Eric and I were talking before I pushed the record button about the Employee Retention Tax Credit. If you are interested in it, you had a greater than 50% reduction in gross receipts comparing the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2019 the 2020 window is going to expire in the middle of 2023. So you're going to hear this in March. So you've probably got three or four wants to get this done. So if you're interested in that, we have that available. We've helped over 125 dental practices get well over $5 million. I signed up two more today. I mean, it's legal and it's free money. One thing that Eric and I were talking about, Eric made the comment to me, he said, well, you know, Art, I'm getting all these dentists who are being told, well, I can't qualify for the ERTC because I got a PPP loan. Wrong.

You absolutely can qualify for the ERTC even though you got a PPP loan. We're not going to get deep into those weeds today, but just want to let you know that. Another thing I want to share, which I haven't talked about and talk about just for a minute, is the workaround for the state tax deduction. Back in 2017, the Republican Congress and President Trump passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and they limited your ability to deduct state and local income taxes that your state income tax and your real estate taxes for the most part to $10,000. Well, if you live in California and you're making three or $400,000 a year, your state income taxes alone are going to be significantly higher. Forget about the real estate taxes that you're paying. So they came up with this workaround and it's available in about 20 states. And here in California, it's the AB 150 rule.

And quite simply, what you do is if you are a member of either an S Corporation or a partnership that you run your dental practice through, you can pay and you have pass through income. So you make $500,000 and 400,000 ends up on a K-1, You take 9.3% of that about, you know, $36,000. You pay it in to the state of California, you get a federal tax deduction, which in essence is the workaround, and you get to use it as a credit on your taxes. If your CPA is not talking to you about that, please call me 949.657.3273. All right.

We talked about ERTC. We talked about that. Make sure that if you got money from the HHS Provider Relief Fund between July one of 2021 and December 31 of 2021, you must report between by March 31st into the HHS portal. So that's enough technical stuff for one day.

Now, let's talk fun stuff with my friend Eric. So let me tell you about my friend Eric Vickery. Eric is the president of the All-Star Dental Academy. He works very closely with Alex and Heather Nottingham, who have also been on our podcast. These three folks are as good as it gets in the world of dental coaching. Eric has a saying, "Without action, knowledge becomes powerless." I guess that he's right up there with Winston Churchill and FDR. But that's a really good saying. I like that Eric has a degree in business administration from Simpson University up in his hometown of Redding, California. He brings a strong business and systems approach to his consulting, his initiation in the field of dentistry was in the area of office management. Eric managed dental practices for over ten years. He's been consulting since 2001 with over 250 offices. Eric is really good with verbal skills, case presentation. I mean, he's done some things for clients that just boggles my mind. So Eric Vickery, welcome to the Art of Dental Finance and Management, my friend.

Eric Vickery: Art, Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, it's a treat for me too. And, you know, it's kind of like doctors when you're dealing with in your practice and you've got a specialist, you've got an orthodontist, you've got an endodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon, prosthodontist. And you have to like, go to people like, you know, it's like, great, I got somebody to call. Eric's that same thing for me. So you have not, your house has not gone underwater. You haven't drowned up there in northern Cal?

Eric Vickery: Now things just are starting to turn green. This is perfect. Yeah. We needed the rain and it's filling up the lakes and it's great. It's a really, really great thing.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, that I'm glad. I mean, some people. I mean, we had lots and sadly fatalities and roads wiped out and stuff, so I'm glad you and your family are safe, happy and healthy. So thank you. That's good. Good. Let's get into the conversation. So okay. Tell us a little bit about your journey.

Eric Vickery: Oh, so my father in law is a dentist, Dr. Cary Bryant up in Maine. Yeah. So job security through marriage.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I did. Did he? So you're set for life because the person that hit the $1.2 billion Powerball came from Maine. So did he take the lump sum or did he take.

Eric Vickery: It's weird. I haven't heard from in a while. I wonder if that's why.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Maybe you're out of the will. Maybe that's the idea.

Eric Vickery: Maybe that's what happened. You know, one of the things that I learned through him, you know, we did the dental boot camp thing. Walter Haley, we. I remember that. Yeah. So I work for Walter and Suzanne Black and just such a great launch of my career into coaching. You know, we were coaches in 2001, not consultants. And we learned how to help offices with case acceptance, with phone skills to convert new patient callers. And I started to help offices and starting with my father in law, remove themselves from being insurance restricted by in network insurance plans. So I've, you know, been coaching now for, oh gosh, 22 years. So it's been a long time. And then I met Alex and Heather Nottingham in 2015 and I now, you know, get to work alongside them all the time. Larry Calzado as well. Robin. We just have a really, really good team. We have a whole team of coaches now and we're helping offices work on their systems, scheduling, verbal skills, stopping cancellations, case acceptance, new patient call conversion, all of that and including insurance free and you name it, we're there.

Art Wiederman, CPA: So basically this will be a 23 hour podcast is what you're telling me. Right?

Eric Vickery: It's unlimited. We'll have to just touch on a few things in our, what, 40 minutes we have now?

Art Wiederman, CPA: We will make it as long as it's I'm the executive director, so I get to make it as long as I want it to be.

Eric Vickery: We'll do a part one and a part two. That's all you could do.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Exactly. So before we get into what to do for 2023, how did your doctors do in 2022, Eric? And what do you think some of the challenges are coming into this year?

Eric Vickery: I mean, best year ever. That's what we heard for client after client after client was best year ever. And in a year of inflation, we had to be proactive to get there. You know, I don't think we've had more clients sign up or request. You know, and in a year more than we had last year, say, please help us get out of insurance contracts. Oh, please help us out here in our work.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I am so hearing that.

Eric Vickery: How can you. Yeah. How can you handle the inflation problem when employees want more supplies or more? Everything's more. And yet insurance is not raising the fees of which they reimburse you. In fact, they're lowering them.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Yup. Yup, they are. And we that may be the second podcast and maybe we'll touch on that a little bit. Yeah. A little bit later. But let's I want to get into some of the stuff that's kind of in your wheelhouse.

Eric Vickery: Yeah, a.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Lot of stuff. So, you know, I mean, the team, the team is just so darn important.

Eric Vickery: Been so important. It is. Yeah.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And you know, you talk you and I have talked about how it's important for them to have self confidence. How can we, how do you and how can we help the team to believe in themselves? Sure.

Eric Vickery: So let's back up a step because, you know, as great as 2022 was, the challenge has been the great reshuffling, the great resignation. You know, employees decided to leave the, you know, hygiene department to sell earrings on Etsy, you know, and true story and make a good living at it you know, and why not go home and work from home. And so what that's created is a lack of not only enough team members, but quality team members. Yeah. And so those with experience were the ones that left, not the ones that were brand new. So one of the things that we know through, I'm a strengths finder coach, a John Maxwell certified coach, and one of the things we know is leadership, team building, understanding how to pull on your team is going to create retention. And Gallup strength finder will show you a statistic that when 33% more retention of employees when you coach and lead through strengths, when you understand your employee strengths and know how to maximize them and they really feel like you're appreciating them for the strengths they bring. We have a 33% higher retention rate. So at the same time. There's another study they did showed that on boarding, which we did a lot of in 2022, the first 90 days when they did their survey of new employees, 88% of employees feel like their company does not do a good job of onboarding.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I hear that a lot in dental offices. I talk to dental employees and I'll call. How's it going? Oh, my God. I'm overwhelmed. Why? Because nobody trained me.

Eric Vickery: We put them in front of a seat in the chair, in front of the computer, hand them a phone and say when that thing rings answer it. And then we wonder why they don't say it right.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And be nice.

Eric Vickery: Be nice. Yeah. Be courteous. This is where All-Star Dental Academy comes into play. You know, an online training program that you could put someone in front of for, you know, a couple of hours a day and go out and test these things. It's powerful is where coaching comes into play, listening to calls, you know, quality assurance. This call may be recorded. You know, we're there to support team members through that transition. So, you know, how do we retain good employees? How do we bring on new employees? How do you talked about it? How do they have confidence? We instill confidence in them. And you you have this green brand new team member answering the phone and patients are frustrated or they're not scheduling and therefore the doctors frustrated. And now they start to perceive their confidence through their performance.

Art Wiederman, CPA: They start feeling negative about themselves. And that makes things worse, doesn't it?

Eric Vickery: Exactly. Imagine you out golfing and your wrist is not leaning, you know, staying back and your balance isn't going forward. Right. And you shank one and your confidence goes down. But the last ten shots have been great.

Art Wiederman, CPA: So when does that happen?

Eric Vickery: Well.

Art Wiederman, CPA: No kidding. I'm getting closer to the answer. I know, right? But I won't be joining any golf tours any time soon. But yeah, I mean, with the team members. I mean and the other thing, Eric, about having a culture like that is that is it, isn't it like when that team member interviews and they talk to other team members, those people are happy, they're engaged. They love coming to work every day, Right.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. So we actually start in our coaching process with, from a leadership standpoint, working with the doctor on understanding how to lead, whether it's through John Maxwell, whether it's through just how to win friends and influence people, or just our own study of how to really pour into your team members to show appreciation, to encourage them in a positive way, but also know how to coach. There's a book by Gallup called It's the Manager - From Boss to Coach. Instead of bossing your team, know how to coach them as a leader. And so we lead we coach our leaders through that and help them understand how to instill confidence in their team through appreciation, through proper coaching. But also we coach the team on understanding that they're in control of their confidence level and if they are doubting themselves, the patient on the phone, the patient across them is not going to buy into them beyond the level which they believe. So if I perceive myself to be, you know, a scale of 1 to 10, if I value myself as a seven, that person across from me is not going to value me more than that. It's going to be less than that. And so why am I diminishing my personal value internally?

Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, that's a great point that the last three years have been so difficult for everybody in lots of different ways. And so if you come in to a dental practice and you're going to start coaching, you're going to have employees who have personal issues and problems. They have problems with money, they have problems with their kids, problems with their spouses. How do you get confidence in to somebody like that?

Eric Vickery: Well, so side note, my wife is a counselor at All-Star Academy has a therapeutic coaching division for that exact thing. And we say.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Can you get me on her schedule? I might want to get on it.

Eric Vickery: Listen, there is such a healthy thing about therapy. And so she meets with doctors and spouses. She meets with team members. She meets with them anywhere from 2 to 4 times a month for an hour. And they're working through how to develop the right habits. They're working through how to work through the past, things that are affecting them today. I, as a coach, work through how are we moving in the future. She focuses on past and recovery. So it makes for a really, really powerful team for offices. But what we do is say, look, you're in control of your attitude. Nobody else's in your effort and therefore how why are you letting other people dictate how your self-belief, your attitude, how you're responding to people? How do you get into that? So we talk about emotional intelligence and relationship management, and it's a way for you to really, really improve customer service and it trickles down into case acceptance. You're going to limit yourself on case acceptance. If you're limiting your self-belief, you're limiting your attitude, etc.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, you can tell when you call any business, right Eric. Whether the person on the other end is like a, you know, a chair filler or someone who is really happy and excited to be there and. Yeah. So one of the other things you and I have talked about is a championship mindset. I mean, you look at. I'm a huge sports fan. I mean, my listeners know that and I think you are too. You know, you look at someone like Tom Brady or LeBron James. Mm hmm. Now, again, this is being recorded the night after Mr. Brady made what might be his last pass in the NFL when they lost to the Cowboys in the wildcard thing but in the wildcard round. But Tom Brady and LeBron James are the epitome of having a championship mindset. So talk about having a championship mindset in a dental practice.

Eric Vickery: The simple foundation for that you've heard before. Negativity begets negativity. Positivity begets positivity. When you're walking into your day or your alarm, go back to when your alarm clock goes off and that moment, that alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button, you go, Oh, crap, I don't want to do this. It's raining outside. Can I just stay in bed longer? Why do I work here? Whatever it is. And then traffic. And you're talking to yourself some more, right? And then you walk in the office and say good morning. You know, everybody's grumpy and that festers. And if you don't know, you can't recognize that first. You can't cure that. And so it actually begins subconsciously. Your subconscious mind is an empty hard drive and it just believes what your conscious mind tells it. Yeah. So you're going to say stuff consciously and in your mind that your subconscious is going to believe this is fact. This has been known for years. I'm not sharing anything new.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I've mentioned this on a podcast. Previously we had a guest who was talking about the nonfinancial aspects of retirement. And one of the things he found in studies is that people with a positive attitude live eight years longer than people who don't have a positive attitude.

Eric Vickery: That's right.

Art Wiederman, CPA: That's another reason I have it. So it's all and it's culture. And where does the culture get set from?

Eric Vickery: Well, it begins with each individual, but the doctor's going to set the tone. If the doctor's the one that's being negative, the leader's being negative, then everybody's just going to follow suit with that. You see it in offices you go to. And by the way, every business, every office has a culture. It's either on purpose or on accident. And so if your champion mindset is. Hey, we're focused on how to win. We're going to analyze when we lose. We can handle losing, but we know how to adapt from that. If things don't go our way, we know how to coach through that. We know how to respond to it. Then you're going to have a better chance at winning later on. But people who just go, Yeah, I'm not even going to try because I don't want to lose. It's like that joke. I don't set any goals that way. I don't disappoint myself. You know, you're not going to get very far. You're setting what John Maxwell calls your own lore of the lead, right? You've predetermined this is as high as I'm going to go.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, if you read books of the most famous successful business people, Warren Buffett, you know, Steve Jobs, all these people, they failed many times and obviously they succeeded. But you have to fail to succeed. You've got to learn from your failures. You've got to try things, right?

Eric Vickery: Yeah. Look, there is no such thing as success without connection to failure. It doesn't. Nobody's just successful all the time. You have to be willing to extend yourself to try things knowing that failure is going to happen. And that's okay. Are you going to learn from it, adapt from it and grow from it? And are you mentally tough enough to do that? And so to sum that up, champion mindset, I'd say what's going on internally? What voices are you listening to upstairs that are dictating to you how you are externally being perceived?

Art Wiederman, CPA: So you mentioned that you use something called a strength finder assessment in the work that you do. How do you use that? How does it work? What does it do?

Eric Vickery: So Gallup has put this together with Jim Clifton. It's over 20 years old in this study, and they study it every single year. The same people that were in this study to come up with 34 themes. You're probably familiar with disc personality profiles. Yes okay. So D I S C. So they use four Gallup uses four different categories that they put these 34 themes into. Executing, sounds a lot like D disc, right? Influencing I relationship S and then strategic thinking C personality type. And then what they do is they break down all 34 themes into that. And a lot of times I'm an I'd personally type if I take the strengths finder, my themes fall under the I the categories of disc and things like communication, achiever, maximizer, belief, winning others over. Those are my top five strengths. Now I need to know how to lead my team through those five strengths. I also need to know that, you know, if communication's my number one strength and also because my weakness, because I talk too much and I need to be.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I know hey yeah I talked about that. And does that also include incessantly repeating yourself, which I also do?

Eric Vickery: Yes, it depends on how conscious you are of those strengths and how focused you are in using them. So in our leadership development track, we use DISC for the whole team, make sure the doctor's ahead of the team, an understanding that then we teach the doctor strengths finder Doctor gets a good understanding of strengths, then we teach the whole team and then we go in emotional intelligence and we use that as the barometer for measuring leadership capabilities and your interaction with your team and how you lead. And then we take specific situations that they're dealing with and teach them how to lead their team as well as how are you talking to patients? And if you know, you're putting the, you know, round peg in a square hole, somebody who's very organized, very introspective, very detailed out in front answering the phone, greeting patients it's probably not going to win a lot of people over.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah, there's a I hope I get his name right. Dr.. I think it's Daniel Child Dini if I have the name right. When I did my lecture in Orlando, he's got this 11 minute video. Yeah. On how to get patients to say yes. And it's kind of one of the things where he draws inspiration on the screen. Yeah, it's. Oh, cool.

Eric Vickery: Power of persuasion.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah, power of persuasion. It's just so, so cool. Yeah. So at this point, Eric, I want to I know that you, you guys at All-Star do a great job with your coaching programs. And I know you also have a big live program coming up. Yes. Can you take a minute? Just talked a little bit about what you guys do and maybe the program and how folks can get a hold of you and then we'll go back to the discussion.

Eric Vickery: Okay. Sure. So our growth summit this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will be May 19th and 20th. I think that's a Friday. Saturday. Yep. We're also doing a speak like an all-star program. We have eight seats left of the 20 on the 18th. So if you like public speaking, if you're a specialist and you speak to study clubs, we do a one day I teach speaking skills and then 19 to 20 years for the whole team, we'll have about 100 people in the room. And our goal is to take you through the patient interaction process. From your team's perspective, how do you treat a patient along the way, from answering the phone to greeting them to understanding different personalities like DISC to how to make sure the patient buys into the condition? Before you can prescribe, you must first diagnose. So do they really understand the diagnosis before you start telling them they need a crown? If your favorite line every day is you need a crown, your case acceptance is being negatively affected by that. And we spend two days teaching guys how to go from phone call to preventing cancellations to have really, really good case acceptance and creating verbal systems that the whole team can use. So everyone's on the same page and the goal is to get patients healthier. If patients are getting healthier faster, the practice is winning. And I think that's why, gosh, vast, vast, if not all, 95% of our clients had their best year ever last year because they're implementing systems that help patients get healthier, faster.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, that's huge. And I mean, dentistry is I've said this over and over again for 38 years, doctors and I'll say it again, if you're sick of hearing of it, they turn on somebody else's podcast. I want to tell you, you don't fix teeth. You're about a better life, a better self-esteem, a better job, a better relationship. It's all about total health. I think I told you, Eric, I also sell dental practices and when we do a closing, I talk to the buyers. And even though I don't represent the buyers, I do tend to give them a little advice. And I said, the first thing that you have to say to your new team when you meet them is, I want to let you know, guys, I am excited as the dickens to be here. I want to get to know all of you. And our number one objective in this practice is the total health of our patients. And if you say that to your team, in my opinion and you're the coach, not me, but you know, if you say that's your team, you can't lose. I mean, if you say the number one objective is how can we get each patient to accept as much treatment as possible and get as much money as possible? That probably isn't going to work as well. So but that's cool. So tell us again when is this and how do they find out about this live event in Fort Lauderdale.

Eric Vickery: Yeah just email me Eric@allstardentalacademy.com say that you heard me on Art's podcast and I'll make sure I get you with Heather Nottingham. Heather@allstardentalacademy.com and we will get you registered for the program it's May 19th and 20th it's in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and it's at a private resort. It's going to be amazing. We have people come every year to this growth summit. They love it. They bring their whole team. They were there last May. They'll be there this May. And, of course, new faces. And we'd love to see some new people as well. So it's a really, really powerful two days.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And is there a phone number if someone wants to give you a call, coaching services and stuff.

Eric Vickery: Yeah they're welcome to give me a call. Yeah. 530.356.4011 530.356.4011. And that's only because I don't have the All-Star number memorized.

Art Wiederman, CPA: But that's okay. We'll put that in the show notes. So let's go back to our topic. I got so much I want to talk to you about. Yeah. So I talked to lots of dentists Eric to what I do my work in my lectures and I hear him talking about team members who have no drive in or chair fillers. Again, how can we make this office a place that they look forward to? In other words, let's say you have somebody who's that type of a person. Can you convert them from the chair filler to a. So I'm not going to say so-and-so downer to someone that's a great team member. Have you been able to do that? Is that possible?

Eric Vickery: Yes, it is possible. If the person is willing and they recognize that they want to change, right. You can't change them for them. You can't motivate someone else. It's a leopard spot situation. So I mentioned my wife, Abby, when she does the coaching, she talks about creating new habits, you know, whether it's things like Atomic Habits by James Clear or Strengths Finder or whatever it is. People have habits. We're habitual people and she actually teaches and we teach as coaches how to create new habits that to avoid help you avoid burnout. And a lot of times what's happening, that situation that you're mentioning, the Debbie Downers or whatever it may be, is there's burnout occurring. And do you know the signs of burnout to recognize that, to diagnose it, therefore to say, oh my gosh, I'm in burnout or I'm approaching burnout, how do I address this? And in 2022, burnout was a very, very common thing that we heard from team members, from dentists and from spouses.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Oh, yeah. Because, I mean, we've gone through we went through two years of basically shutting our lives down.

Eric Vickery: That's right.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And that's human beings are not intended to do that. But so you've been able to turn some employees around. I mean, that must make you feel really good when you when take a team member who's got a really good attitude in there someplace, you just got to pull it out of them.

Eric Vickery: Look at what employees really appreciate in value. Most bosses I use that term, Bosses, not leaders. Well, most bosses believe, well, if I just pay them enough money, they will stick around and be loyal and they won't be burnt out because I'll be paying them enough. But we know that is not true. Most of you know of a dentist in your town that overpays wages and people leave that place all the time to go work for less money in someplace they'd be happy.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, people go to work for two reasons, and they've done it since the beginning of time, not necessarily in that order, number one, to make a living and pay the bills. Number two, because they want to do something that they enjoy, they don't want to throw up before they get out of bed and get in the car to drive to work. And they want to go someplace that they are going to spend one third of their life 8 hours a day being happy, right?

Eric Vickery: That's right. So Marcus Buckingham, he was a part of that strength finder. He did a book, Love and Work. He talks about red threads and the studies show you just have to find 20% of what you do every day that brings you love something that you love what you do. Changing people's lives through smiles like you're talking about, you know, finding their why and then giving them that through their smile. If you as your team can identify individually, what do you love doing at your work? Okay, how do we put that on repeat at minimum of 20% of your day, you will love what you do. You will avoid burnout. That's just a simple hack that we're talking about here. There's much, much more to that.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, when I talk to the clients, I work with the dentist for all these years, you know my legacy is going to be, did I help you get to the finish line? Did I help you? I have a specialist who we were talking and, you know, he told me, you know, he's been funding a lot of money into his defined benefit plan. And now he's basically maxed as defined them. And he's just really I said, yeah, they got limits. They don't want you to save too much money. Right? And he said to me, he said, Art, if it wasn't for you. I wouldn't have the ability to retire. That right there. That right there. And I'm sure you've had people who have said to you, Eric, if it weren't for you, I would have quit being a dentist. I'm sure there are people that you have and that is so fulfilling. And, dentists, we want you to find how you've improved people's lives for the better. And you have thousands of them. And that's a mindset. And yeah, we got problems. We got kids that maybe aren't where we want them to be. We got, you know, I mean, maybe you got money problems, Maybe you couldn't take vacations for two years. Maybe you got a family member that's driving you bat crazy. But you know, at the end of the day, you know, dentists are the best people and they help people so much. I can't. And I'm not just saying that because I have this platform with thousands of people listening to me. It's true.

Eric Vickery: True.


Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah, but Oh, absolutely. So yeah, let's talk about building trust. I mean, that is huge. I know we talk about building trust, and you mentioned earlier, I don't call it going out of network with insurance. They call it changing the relationship with insurance. And the fact is, you and I both know that there is no way. And you know what? That we can do that without our patients trusting us. So let's talk a little bit about how do we get trust.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. So just to piggyback what you're saying there, a lot of offices will come to us and say we want to be insurance free or we want to be on network insurance. Well, we have insulators that have to be in place first. Right. And what we're talking about today are a lot of those pillars that we implement and make sure are going in the practice, because you can't be just average and make that change, that relationship with the insurance company. Okay. So trust is absolutely one of those pillars. You know, when you are able to build trust, it's such an intangible thing, but you can feel it. Why the patient's opening up to you? They're making eye contact with you. They're agreeing with you a lot. Yeah. You're not supposed to force them. Yes, exactly. And I have to force them through it. So the verbal or non verbal skills that we teach are built around understanding that trust. As it increases, so does case acceptance. It's a direct correlation. People do not move forward with dentistry if they don't trust you.

So how can you build trust? You can listen. Well, one simple thing we do is we never have a clinical team member walk into a new patient and say, So what brings you in today? This is a very, very common thread that most clinicians don't understand and recognize them here, that a new habit has to be created, that they walk in and through the great call sheet from All-Star great through the great call sheet, we have research that they can walk in to that arbitrary and say, Oh, hi, Art, I'm Dr. Vickery. It's nice to meet you. I know you talked to Jen on the phone and she told me that. And you'll add a few bullet points. Yep. You start improving the wow factor and you start building trust right away. I'm not hovering over you with my loops on, and I'm sitting down. I'm facing you eye to eye, and we're making a connection.

Art Wiederman, CPA: But when I teach young see, and again, dentistry, CPR coaching, we all are about trust in what we do. When I talk to my clients and when you talk to your patients doctors, I always my long term clients. I know. How's Barbara? How's Jackie? How Susie, How are they doing? How are they doing in college? Are they getting suit? I mean, I know their kids, I know their spouses, I know them by name. I mean, that's important, isn't it?

Eric Vickery: Absolutely. The sweetest sound in any language is your name. That's. I mean, that goes back to Carnegie and how to win friends and influence people and all that. And, you know, they taught us what 15% of your success is in your technical skills in 85% of your success is going to be coming from your people skills, your communication skills. Well, when you look at a dentist, you say, well, tell me how many hours of see you spent on the 85% versus the 15% last year. And every single time we see tons and tons of investment in that foundation at 15%, we see very little effort and continued education hours spent in the people skills, the social skills, the communication skills realm, because you need to know how to build trust and build rapport and communicate with that patient to get them to allow you to do the clinical skills.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And everybody. Eric understands that when you go to a dentist, there is an implied or a CPA or a coach or an architect or an attorney. There is an implied understanding that you doctor, you who are a dentist have the clinical skills to do the job of being a dentist. You went to dental school, your degree is up on the wall, all this up that's implied. You don't have to justify. Well, you know, I was first in my class and I, I do occlusion better than anybody. No, no, no. They don't care about they don't care about that. What they care is do they trust you and do they feel comfortable with you? And I mean, you have clients. I have clients doctors. You have patients where you could tell them that that the moon was blue with pink polka dots and they go, Doctor, I trust you. It must be true. And that's where we got to get to. And that's that doesn't happen overnight, right? I mean, I'm sure you've come into some offices and you just go. You talked to the team and go these patients don't trust them.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. Building rapport is an art. And you go back to that disc personality, when you look at that dominant C personality, that's the left brain analytical, that is the undergrad was in the sciences. That's not typically a people person. And so what we have to teach you how to do is strength finder put the people around you to insulate you to help build the relationship healthy, but also teach you some hacks, some coaching hacks that you can use to interact with people that aren't complicated. I think seen some very, very high analytical people really learn how to make eye contact, really learn how to ask the right questions to active listening, to connect, to find the why, find what's important to the patient. We just know how to make it a process for them, make relationships a process so they can engage with the patient in a healthy way. The patient was thinking, Wow, this was not only the most thorough exam I've ever had, but I feel better. People don't remember what you say. They remember how you made them feel. So they felt good when they left. And they paid you for it.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And they went home and they talked to five of their friends and thought, My God, I just had a dental appointment like no other before you got to go see this guy.

Eric Vickery: That's right.

Art Wiederman, CPA: That's right. This lady or what have you. So that's.

Eric Vickery: Right.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Now let's talk a little bit about case acceptance. I know you talk about we're looking for maybe 80% of your patients to schedule at least 60% of the prescribed treatment.

Eric Vickery: They look at you, look at me.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I did my homework. Plus I teach this stuff to. I mean, you and I can do a whole day on case acceptance, how you position the patient and what you say to the patient. Mm hmm. You know, get a couple of tips on. I mean, if a doctor sitting here listening know, I've got, like, 20% case acceptance. Nobody's buying my there's some maybe some of your top tips.

Eric Vickery: Sure. This is our. So we do two days on this. This is our masterclass level one is built around this what we're doing in May. And so you're right. We could talk about this forever. I will tell you two things. And before I do those, I would tell you this if and I'm sure you agree with me on this Art, there are no professions that exist where self selling isn't a part of the process. Absolutely right. The artist paints and has to sell it. The pharmacist has to sell the pills.

Art Wiederman, CPA: My wife Lynn, who I talk about on the podcast, my wonderful wife of 38 years, she is a professional artist and professional painter. And oh my goodness, she goes to the gallery that she runs and. Oh, I hear it. Yeah, that's right. It's sales.

Eric Vickery: So stop fooling yourself into believing that you're not in sales. The trick is, is to do the sales right where you don't feel pressured. So since you brought up the artist, continue that. I was in Maui and I was in this art studio, and the guy is in there painting, and I. And I'm just watching him and I go, Wow, I just want to let you know compliments to the chef. Great job. I really love what you're doing. And he goes, Well, it's your lucky day. I'm here. Let's make a deal. And I just got this icky feeling all over me. And I went, Oh, my gosh.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Oh, does he know who you are?

Eric Vickery: You know, I wish I could coach him on his sales technique. So, yeah, all that to say that you have to understand two to absolute truth when it comes to case acceptance or sales, right? Case we can call it whatever we want in case presentation, treatment plan, presentation and sales is you can't put the cart before the horse. Start talking about treatment before the patient believes there's a problem. Because as I said before, people don't buy a solution to a problem they don't perceive to have. So we use our 95-five rule. 95% of your talk, your conversion, your conversation excuse me, your overhear psychology between you and your assistant over the patient. The exam has to be diagnosed. Diagnostic diagnosis focus meeting. You're calling out in layman's terms, simple terms that the patient understands. They diagnosed with you to create some urgency. You also have to understand they don't know what's coming if they don't do anything, because you'll hear them say, Well, it's not bothering me now, Right?

Art Wiederman, CPA: Dentistry is not a problem if there's no pain, right?

Eric Vickery: That's right. No pain, no problem, no pay. So they have to make sure as a team that the patient sees the future of what's coming, what's the consequences of that. So we have a formula that we use to help our team members remember, how do I want to present this to the patient in what order? So I get by in so simple, simple way for you to test this. If you're doing this well enough is to ask every single patient at the end of diagnosis to say, How concerned are you with what we found today? If you can ask that question, and they can say, Yeah, I'm really, really concerned. You hear sales people call this the pain point, right? You find the pain point. They present the solution pretty simple. Okay.

The second thing you have to understand is that people buy for their reasons, not your reasons. Yep. Earlier, you talked about peace of mind, health, longevity, confidence, beautiful wedding photos. Whatever it is, you have to find their Why? So if you really truly understood your patient and it's a barometer of trust building as well, if you know how to have a conversation with them to not only find out what they're looking for, but why they want that, you will hear those things. I want to have peace of mind. I don't wanna lose my teeth like my grandfather did. Well, now you're going to present it in that fashion. You know, earlier you told me that was really important for you to have peace of mind knowing you weren't going to lose your teeth like your grandfather. I'm concerned about the infection. Your gums. That's the reason people lose their teeth.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Patient is.

Eric Vickery: Doing it.

Art Wiederman, CPA: The patient is ready when the patient is ready. My good friend, Dr. Phil Potter, who is the closest thing to a dad that I have. Phil, he taught me that years ago, is that, you know, they're ready when, not when you're ready, but they're ready when they're ready. And sometimes you have to wait until they're ready.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. And you have to know what that is. And you mentioned a statistic. Are 80% of your people scheduling when you present at least 60% of the dollars that you present. Or another way to put that is 60% of the treatment plan you're proposing. And we measure that with dollars. And it's not because we're money hungry. It's just our numeric is dollars.

Art Wiederman, CPA: It's a way to measure it.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. So we put KPI trackers in place in our practices so that doctors understand their numbers and they understand if I talk this way, if I change this system, I improve that number. And we teach you how to be in control of your practice and your KPIs will lead you down that path. So with verbal skills and system understanding and KPI understanding, you can achieve any goal, right? As long as you have a willing intention, a determination factor.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And maybe someday that'll work with a golf swing. But who knows? I've always looked at Ritz-Carlton as they choreograph the customer experience. It is if you look at the way Ritz-Carlton does things, it's a textbook on how to treat clients, customers, or in this case, patients. So how do you create and again, another two day seminar because talk about how to create an after charge patient experience that makes them into raving fans and who refer their friends. Again, two days, I understand.

Eric Vickery: Yeah, it's a real loaded question and I would just tell you this. Get feedback. Ask for feedback. Here's a simple example. Okay. You can do this all sorts of ways. If you're a hygienist before every single appointment, just say to the patient, I can't feel what you feel. I have no feeling through my instruments. I have no idea what you're feeling As I go through and I clean your teeth. It's imperative that your hand is the measurement tool for how much sensitivity you're experiencing through the process. If you raise your hand for me a little bit, I know you're feeling something there. It probably would have to do with, say, recession or something like that. If it's more, raise your hand more. That gives me the feedback so I know what type of experience you're having. When you do that for me, you give them permission to communicate to you.

Art Wiederman, CPA: Always ask permission. Oh my God. That is so. Yeah.

Eric Vickery: And here's what happens when we don't do that. Patients just leave. They just leave. There's no raving fan experience because they don't want to offend you, so they just don't come back. And we don't know. We don't understand why this system isn't working. Our recall system isn't working to get them in. Well, they had an experience that made it so they were ignoring your messages. So a million little things like that create raving fans will create an experience that they're willing to. You know, share with their friends and family that they all the experiences you create through this process culminate into an overwhelming positive experience.

And you could do a couple of things. You can be a patient in your practice and listen to what's being said. How long are they waiting? We do practice evaluations, so we see this all the time. I was just in a practice in Toronto last week and doing a great job with a new patient. Spending all this time doing all the things we teach while the next patient waited 34 minutes for their guide. Right. And so, yeah, you're not at a part with patient A, but we really blew it with patient B and so are you cognizant of that? That's not creating, that's creating, and improving fans while you're creating a bad Google review.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And sometimes you walk into a and I'm going to use medical office as an example. Mm hmm. Yeah. Eric Vickery and then the person who's calling you turns around and walks away from you. It's like, follow me and you better keep up or you're going to lose me.

Eric Vickery: You won't find me in this area. Yeah. All of a sudden, you're lost in a medical facility. Yeah, And actually, same thing in that practice. Hey, Mike, I've got you checked in. Have a seat. Does it sound bad? But it sure doesn't sound as good as well good morning, Mike. It's great to see you. How have you been? Hey, I've let the team know that you're here. They're going to be right with you. And our goal is to make sure we see you right on time today. Have a seat. Have it. There's water there. You know, just things like that.

Art Wiederman, CPA: How's your family? There you go.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. I mean.

Art Wiederman, CPA: It's showing interest in people. I mean, it really is. And it's so last thing because I should. I could talk to you for days. This is, like, not fair that I can only do an hour on here. I can do longer, but people won't listen that long. Real quick, and again, another two day webinar you mentioned earlier about changing relationship with insurance. Yeah. And it's not something that you just wake up, listen to this podcast. Yeah. Okay. Tomorrow I'm going to send a letter. My page. Please don't. No, no, I know these. I know that. Yeah, there are people have done that.

Eric Vickery: Yeah, but we helped them.

Art Wiederman, CPA: You said that it's you got to put certain markers in place, go over those one more time because that is huge, Doctor. I'm telling you, I'm telling you it's look it this, if you're ingrained in PPOs, you got to look at this.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. The average write off rate for people is 42%. Yeah. The average profit margin is equivalent at about 25%. So you're paying someone you do the math for me, there are 17% to see them. Why would you pay someone $0.17 on the dollar to come into your practice? You're losing money.

Art Wiederman, CPA: You have a bunch of money in there and just hand it to them as they leave, you know? Yeah.

Eric Vickery: You're not profitable and you wonder why you can't give your team raises. You're wondering why this. And so we become approval addicted. We become restricted by the insurance. We have a lid of success that we put in. And so what we first would do is make sure that customer service, case acceptance, verbal skills and systems are all working efficiently with our insulators, our systems. But the second thing we would do simultaneously was we'd look at two numbers the percentage of population that you have within each plan. Right? Right. And the percentage of write off that you do for each of those plans. Yeah. And that will create a cost analysis for you based on each plan. And then we create a phasing we're not going to tackle at the same time and we will help you change the relationship that you have with that insurance company so that you're no longer giving up that 42%, you're giving up 0% and the insurance will still pay you. And so here's a simple number. If I don't know, let's say 30% of your practice is with X insurance company, right?

Art Wiederman, CPA: We don't mention we don't match insurance company names.

Eric Vickery: Yeah. 30% is with X and you're writing off 42% to be in-network with X, Right. And you go through our process to help you change your relationship with this insurance company in six months and at six months in one day, you're now out of network with them. Whatever the changes, maybe your fee for service now you would have to lose 42% of those patients just to break even. We will help you so you lose 5 to 10% of most of those patients. That means 90 to 95% of the patients stay paying 42% more. And doctors.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And doctors, you've got to realize, number one, you are going to lose patients. Get that into your head before you start this process. You're going to lose. You might lose if you do it right. You could me I've got doctors who said they maintain 95%. You're going to lose. They're going to be people who are immediately aren't going to listen to a thing that you say and they're going to say, Oh, you don't take my insurance anymore. I'm going down the street by. And you know what? All those patients are the ones you don't want anyway, but that is if you get that through your head. But Eric's perfectly 100% correct. And all my guests are 100% correct, or they're not allowed on the show. But that, you know, basically doctors, if you are discounting 42% and you lose 42%. Your patients, you're getting the same amount of money and working 42% less. Think of it that way. So. Oh, my God. Eric, you are awesome. You're an awesome man. I just love. I wish I could just sit here all day and just talk dentistry with you. It's just so much fun. So let's get back to it. Let's get back to it again. Fort Lauderdale, May 17 18, May.

Eric Vickery: 19th and 20th is a Friday. Saturday, I believe. Yeah. Get registered. We have special pricing through the end of the month. And if you reach out to me Eric@AllStarDentalAcademy.com and I'll get you connected with Heather Heather@allstardentalacademy.com and we'll get you all taken care of.

Art Wiederman, CPA: And doctors as I have said and I bring on the best people in the industry if something you heard from Eric and I today mostly Eric but if something you heard today resonates with you this podcast is a call to action and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over every single day and expecting a different result. Result If you are looking for a better result, a better life, a better practice, making more money, funding your retirement, putting your kids through college, taking the dream vacation that everybody else is taking. You might want to pick up the phone. Really? I mean, it's, you know, it's. And yeah, it's going to cost you some money to work with Eric or any good professional. But, you know, it's just I've just seen the value of coaching. The value of coaching over 38 years is just the offices that are coached and taught correctly and have a whole mindset like we're talking about today. They just have they just you can just see it in their faces. So do I sound passionate?

Eric Vickery: Like a little bit? Right. I'm going to have you on my podcast.

Art Wiederman, CPA: I think you should be. Well, I've been on your podcast. Yeah. So anyway, so hang on as I take the podcast out again, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the honor and privilege of your time, the thousands of people. I got two more emails the other day about that podcast and they ask questions and I answer questions because it's my joy and privilege to talk to people. I even got one what I thought one of my listeners, he calls me every so often. It turns out that we were I don't know if we were classmates at James Madison High School, but I know we went to the same school in Brooklyn, New York. And so I got listeners all over the country and in like 60 countries from what the satellite tells me.

But anyway, thank you so much for listening. And we've got great stuff coming forward on this podcast. Make sure you go to visit our friends at Decisions in Dentistry magazine. www.DecisionsinDentistry.com. 140 fantastic continuing education courses for a very, very reasonable price. The best clinical content of any magazine in the world on clinical dentistry. And I am honored and privileged to be associated with that magazine and with Lorene Kent and her team. Make sure that you again put down on your calendars for May and June the dates that we talked about for me lecturing at the CDA convention, that's Tuesday, March 23rd at the Stone Brewery in Escondido and San Diego County, Saturday, March 25th, tentatively at Top Golf in Ontario, California, Saturday, June 10th from 9 to 12. In Northern California, we have CDs working on the sites and Tuesday, June 22nd, up in Sacramento from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Make sure you join us if you want to look at the employee retention tax credit or the AB 150 SALT state income tax workaround deduction. Give me a call 657.279.3243 awiederman@EideBailly.com. Eric Vickery my good friend, thank you so much for your amazing information and how much you care about the dental profession.

Eric Vickery: It was a blast. Appreciate it.

Art Wiederman, CPA: It's always fun. And with that everyone, that will be it for this episode of The Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman, CPA. We'll see you next time.