This week on Winning In Business, Angus Pryor Number one Google-ranked dental marketer in Australia and Practice Growth Specialist will be sharing with you the first part of an interview with Dr Jesse Green, the overlooked skill in dentistry.
Angus Pryor: How to win in dentistry 2021?
Angus Pryor: Hi everyone, Angus Pryor here and number one Google-ranked dental marketer and practice growth specialist. I’ve got a special guest for you today. Welcome Dr. Jesse Green.
Dr. Jesse Green: Hello, Angus, how are you? Thank you so much for having me.
Angus Pryor: Jesse, I could say you need no introduction. But it’s inevitable that some people have not come across you before. So you’re a dentist, you’re still practicing dentistry?
Dr. Jesse Green: I still own a practice. I do a little bit of dentistry from time to time, but not not as much as I used to.
Angus Pryor: Yeah. And so now you’re spending your time and I think this topic is completely apt for you helping dentists to run better practices. In simple terms, that’d be right?
Dr. Jesse Green: Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. And really, it’s about helping them run a business that produces more cashflow, gives them more time, and so on and so forth. So yeah, that’s what we do.
Angus Pryor: Awesome. Well, when we talk about how to do better dentistry in 2021, of course, you know, one of the marvellous things about being in business is that the landscape changes. 2020 is the year we will never forget. Let’s start with a fairly broad one. For a dentist, that’s thinking, Okay, you know, what do I need to do in 2021? Because here, here are the facts. I mean, every year, dentistry is becoming more competitive. That’s just a statistical fact, the number of dentists joining the marketplace is growing faster than the Australian population is growing, in fact, something like two to two and a half times faster, just kind of let’s start with a kind of big picture. What are the sorts of things, the pillars, if you like that dentists should be focusing on?
Dr. Jesse Green: Well, there’s a number of pillars, Angus, and I guess, you know, like anything, which is your favourite child, they’re all important. And if you’re really good, and then you’re in all sorts of strife, man, it’s just not worth the arguments. But I guess all the pillars are important. But some might be more important to different people at different stages of their journey. So I’ll list a few of them off, obviously, being intelligent around your numbers, and your finance is going to be key managing cash flow, generating cash flow, etc, etc. We need to be able to build and lead a great team, we would refer to that as a self managing team, that’s going to require leadership and so on and so forth. Marketing, which is obviously something that you know, is your bread and butter, being able to attract patients, retain patients, reactivate patients is going to be key to having full books, case presentation, I like to use the word sales, because for me, if it walks like a duck talks like a duck, it’s a duck.
So whether you use sales or case presentation, in essence, it’s about them to offer treatment as appropriate and relevant for their patient and have them accepted. And then beyond that, is, you know, operations and systems and, you know, the structures that go into the business using data around that to make decisions. And, you know, those would be the big ones, I think, but having a plan above all that, you know, if we think about what sits above that, it’s about being strategic and thinking about if I’m going to win in 2021, I want to be intentional about that. And I want to have a plan about what I want to achieve and having to combat that.
Angus Pryor: Yeah, I think I mean, you know, Jesse, truth is everyone I, I went to school with Jesse’s wife. So we’ve got a bit of a connection there. But, you know, if I think about dentistry, 20 years ago, it was kind of open up a practice, I was actually talking to someone today, who had opened their first practice within three months of graduating, and it was pretty much graduate, get a lease, get a fit out, put out your welcome mat. And then kind of Bob’s your uncle, you know, like in only a matter of time, you’d be booked weeks in advance. But I would say in almost everywhere in Australia, those days are gone. Look, of the list that you mentioned, there’s a couple that I want to pick on. The first one is leadership. Because I agree with you, that is super important. And I just wondered, you know, I’m not here to beg the listeners. But I have to say I think that leadership is an area that a lot of dental practices struggle with, what do you think that it’s?
Dr. Jesse Green: Well, I think there’s a really good reason for it. And that’s because, for the most part, we spent five years at university being taught clinical things. You know, we learn how to do a great restoration, we focus on our margins, we focus on our anatomy of our restorations, crown and bridge, endo all those technical skills. And nowhere in the five year degree, at least when I was at uni, I don’t think it’s changed since Is there a single lecture on leadership or building a team. And so if you’re not trained to do that you learn by osmosis or you learn through the school of hard knocks, or you make an intentional decision to go and learn elsewhere around there. So I think it’s probably understandable that dentists are perhaps a little deficient in that area when they first get into practice ownership, and they’ve got to really kind of get up to speed with that, because they’ve not been taught. I think, that’s probably the main thing,
Angus Pryor: It’s interesting, I’ve always had a practice once where the, the owner of the practice literally said to me, and I was sort of a consultant coming in to help them do some work. Angus, could you get so and so to do such and such? I found myself thinking, I’m sorry, whose names on the door here like?
Dr. Jesse Green: Yeah,
Angus Pryor: But you know, I mean, that’s partly, I suppose, a kind of a leadership gap. And I suppose partly, maybe not wanting to have an awkward conversation, although it wasn’t a particularly, you know, I didn’t have to tell him to dress more appropriately or anything. It was something I thought was fairly routine. But I was staggered that I was being asked to effectively be a kind of a manager at a practice.
Dr. Jesse Green: Yeah, well, I think, you know, a lot of people when they run a business, and dentistry certainly falls into this case, but it’s not limited to dentistry, in my view. And the number one frustration that lots of practice owners talk about is team. And, you know, why won’t they or why can’t they? Or why haven’t they done whatever it is? And I think it’s a really common frustration, I think one of the things that as leaders we need to understand is, firstly, we’ve got to be able to lead ourselves. And, you know, we talked about primary, tertiary and secondary leadership and primary leadership is about Yeah, leading, leading yourself becoming the best person that you can be.
And you know, leading a team, of course, is secondary leadership, where you’re leading a small team for tertiary leadership is about developing other leaders. And so I think as your practice goes through different stages of growth, the levels of leadership and the skills of leadership increase throughout the journey. So it all begins with being able to lead yourself and in that situation, you just as I just described as perhaps having the courage to have that conversation and, and trying to understand why they’re not comfortable to have that conversation becoming more comfortable or, or learning how to have a conversation of that nature. So you know, baby steps, and then bigger steps. And then leaps is kind of the journey I think leadership kind of takes
Angus Pryor: There’s a book by management guru, Peter Drucker managing oneself, I think it’s called, it’s a favourite of mine, not least of which, because it’s something you can read about, honestly, half an hour. But one of the things that he says in that that I think is really interesting, because I, you know, I think we do need to know ourselves to get, you know, as you say, to lead ourselves. And one of the things that I found very helpful from that book is he said, Every time you make a big decision, write it on your calendar in nine months time about what you think’s going to happen.
And then, of course, the pop up pops up in your calendar, and you see how you go versus how you think you are. And I know for me, one of the things I learnt quite early on, is that I was a bit too optimistic. You know, every time I started something new, I’d say, Oh, yeah, we can achieve this outcome and so on. And the reality was quite a bit less. So that managing one self, leading oneself is really important.