Dr. Howard Farran has been lecturing to international audiences on the business of dentistry. With his blunt, practical, and often times humorous insights into the industry’s most controversial subjects, he has been captivating audiences since 1990. He was then, and is still now, driven by a genuine passion for helping dentists provide faster, easier, lower cost dentistry of a higher quality to their patients.
Dr Farran is the owner and founder of the hit vlog series “Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran”, where he discusses these topics with some of the best Doctors, Dentists, and Dental Practitioners of today. Dr. Jonathan Cook was recently a guest on his show, and has allowed us to share with you their conversation.
Howard Farran: They would learn how to place implants, but they’d rather pay $4,000 for a weekend course than have an uncomfortable conversation asking the periodontist across the street if they can be your buddy. And it’s always going to be a win-win if you don’t think in fair and scarcity. I mean, if you learned how to do implants, I’m sure for the first 100 you’re going to be placing upper second bicuspids, maybe first molars. You’re not going to be doing any all on fours. And if you do anterior implants on a gorgeous woman, you might as well just move to another foreign country today before you get smacked upside the head.
Howard Farran: I remember one time I was at a basketball game. I was at my son’s game and I had all four of my boys there and we ran into the periodontist I’d just given some front implant. A number eight I did and the gums didn’t turn out right. Oh, my gosh. She wanted to shoot me and I told the boys this is the guy that fixes daddy’s big mistakes. And he was laughing his head off. He goes, “You owe me a beer for that one.” So I bought him a beer. So kudos to have uncomfortable conversation, and same thing with staff. If the staff come in Monday morning and everybody was like, “Well, what was your weekend like? What did you do?” And that’s all fun and games, but then what I do is I clap my hands and say, “Okay, let’s get to work. What’s on the day today and tell me what looks good on your schedule, tell me what looks bad. Did anything keep you up last night?”
Howard Farran: So you gotta switch from that let’s all be social animals. Five dogs get together, they all want to start smelling each other. Well, we’re homo sapiens, let’s have an uncomfortable conversation. So all of my reviews just have uncomfortable conversations.
Jonathan Cook: And not to mention, you have these reputation builders, too, but how much money do people pay for these reputation builders where they not only build your reputation, so get you five star or four star reviews, but you’re paying them to try to attempt to remove negative reviews. And is that more wise to hire some company that’s going to do that or just pick up the phone? I just feel like a lot of people are throwing all this money at these reputation builders, where they’re missing the real picture here. And the real picture is if you’re getting negative reviews on a consistent basis, there’s something you’re doing wrong or your staff. So you better get on top of it quick and remedy it, otherwise it’s just going to continue. So at least for us, it’s not a wise thing to put your money towards, which is the reputation builders where you’ll pay somebody to stay on top of your negative reviews.
Jonathan Cook: We don’t have that problem. It’s not as issue because we tackle it before it bites us in the butt.
Howard Farran: So have you ever used a consultant?
Jonathan Cook: When I was in my original practice, yes, I used some consultants out of Denver. I would go on Denver, Colorado. What was the name? The Marcus Group, or something. Judy Marcus. I don’t know if that name rings a bell, but they were out in Denver, Colorado. I made four trips up there. Each of the four trips, it was a weekend that we would spend there and learn some good things. I didn’t use all of it, I used very little of it, but I did get some pearls. Man, that had to have been in 2012, I want to say. 2011, 2012.
Howard Farran: Judy Marcus with Vanguard [crosstalk 01:06:29]
Jonathan Cook: Yeah, there you go, Vanguard. Yeah, that’s it.
Howard Farran: Yeah. So you made the trip up there four times?
Jonathan Cook: Yeah. And it was mostly sales. It was sales. It was how do you present treatment. And I appreciate their approach. It made sense. We did it for a while, I just couldn’t find a place for it. But getting your org boards together. I mean, I learned that from there. That’s super important, but mostly just sales. And they also provided those mailers that we were talking about. That’s part of their package. They’ll provide the design and sending out all these letter leads.
Howard Farran: Treatment plan presentation. So many people think, “Well, to increase revenue, I need to add lasagna, or I need to start placing implants.” And you start asking them, “Well, what is your treatment plan presentation? What is your close rate?” They don’t know and then they tell you I don’t like sales. Well, in a way, that makes me love you. You’re a dentist, you went to eight years of college to help people, and do surgery with your hands, and you don’t want to sell. I really respect that, but your patient’s going to walk out with a lot of disease if they don’t accept the treatment plan. So if you don’t learn how to present the treatment … I love the fact that you don’t look at the mirrors at some big salesmen, but my gosh, at my age my four boys have turned into five grandkids. And when I pass on, I want my grandkids to go to a dental office.
Howard Farran: And if there were two dentists and my grand kid had four cavities and he went to you, and you couldn’t convince him to do any, and he went to someone else and they got him to do all four, the better dentist is the one who did all four. I don’t care if it was a malgum composite or if he just removed the decay and packed it with butter.
Jonathan Cook: You hit the nail on the head.
Howard Farran: How do you get them to do that?
Jonathan Cook: I think that that’s probably the biggest problem that dentists have psychologically. So they are constantly telling themselves that sales are bad, closing cases, they don’t even like to say those words. You hit the nail on the head, you can’t prove to these patients that you’re good, bad, or somewhere in the middle dentist if you don’t do the work. And so you have to close the case in order to do the work. So I think that’s probably the biggest thing that most dentists have to work against, that natural feeling of, “Well, I just want to do the dentistry, but I don’t like having to sell somebody.” Well, you better get to liking sales or have somebody in your office, better yet, who really enjoys and likes sales so that you can do the dentistry and they do their sales part.
Jonathan Cook: But at least then you get to prove to these people what kind of a dentist you are.
… Continued in Part 10 …