Transcript of Dr. Michael Ling on The Dental Marketing Guy Show:
Justin: welcome to the Dental Marketing Guy Show, I’m Justin the dental marketing guy, and today we have a very important guest, you’re going to want to hear what Dr Ling has to say, he is starting this year, he has practice on fire, he’s started this in the past. If you haven’t heard of practice on fire yet, it’s very very useful, but don’t let me talk about it, let’s hear from Dr Ling, how’re you?
Dr Ling: great Justin, how’re you today?
Justin: I’m doing great, I’m doing great. It’s an honor to have you one and I’d love to hear more about practice on fire, I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. I’ve heard there’s a really all start speaker line-up. But before we get into the details, I was hoping you could kind of tell me about the history of how practice on fire came to be, and why you started it.
Dr Ling: Well practice on fire was actually started by Dr Graham Dersley, and it originally started as a mastermind group, and he’s thinking was that it would be great to get together a group of like-minded dentists, and he chose to bring members in who are entrepreneurial type dentist’s, and the idea was to get together online and have a free and safe area to talk about stuff that we are comfortable talking about with our peers that we know, and it’s not completely anonymous. And it turned out really great, we’ve shared a lot of amazing things, we’ve really helped each other and it really just shows the power of surrounding yourself with people who have similar mindsets as you, or surrounding yourself with people who maybe have accomplished the things that you’re trying to accomplish. And out of that grew the live events where Graham and I thought that this is so much fun to do virtually, or online, how much fun would it be to do in person? And that’s how the live events took place. The first one was last year at San Antonio – that was amazing, we had great feedback from everybody that was there, even though we had a lineup of pretty much rookie speakers; people that have never done this before, but people that shared a lot of passion for what they were doing. I think they did very very well, so we’re going for round 2 in May this year.
Justin: wow, I mean I would have never guessed, I hear so much buzz surrounding this, I would have never guessed this was just kind of amateur speakers, because what I heard was, the value that was offered at practice on fire last year, was un-paralleled.
Dr Ling: yeah, well, we hope to bring speakers that are really passionate about what they’re talking about, and have a lot of experience and success from what they’re talking about, and I think that even if you’re an amateur rookie speaker; if you’re talking about something that you know a lot about, and that you really love talking about, that makes it a lot easier, and I think that authenticity really comes out in our speakers.
Justin: well let’s see. Just off the cuff, I’m thinking you’ve got, at least last year, you had Andrew Turchin, I think this year you’ve got Stephan Kuzmak, Gina Dorfman, Dr Christopher Phelps, who am I missing?
Dr Ling: you know, most of the guys are names that you probably wouldn’t recognize, they’re guys that are regular dentists, they’re not superstars in their world, but they’ve found little areas of success, they’ve found some little secret that’s working really well for them, and that’s what they’re going to share.
The names that you would recognize are the ones that you mentioned, guys like; Cory Glenn – he’s going to be there, he’s our native Tennessee host that’s going to be showing us around Nashville, and showing us a good time as well, bet he is, at least to me, one of my mentors, a real hero in the clinical world for the things that he’s doing, and right now, I don’t think people realize the things that he’s working on. He’s going to change the world and how we approach guided implant surgery for implants, and he’s really lower the barrier for enter to doctors to do, he’s going to make it so much more accessible. Right now, and we as dentists understand the value in guided surgery but there’s so many barriers to getting in the game and Cory’s just destroying those barriers, he’s going to make it so easy to get in the game and really provide amazing service for patients.
So he’s a big name.
Chris Phelps is another one that is definitely underrated, he’s not super well known, mostly because he’s quite a modest guy, he doesn’t like to brag or talk about himself, he likes, I guess other people to promote him, but he’s another guy that’s changing the game and is talking about things that are just mind blowing, so simple, but so effective in terms of how we communicate with patients and how we market to patients. So he’s another guy that in a few years, he’s going to be a massive name in the dental world.
Justin: I believe it, I believe it. You know, he was on the show and we had a nice conversation about walking down the price stairs and some of the persuasion techniques that he’s used throughout case presentation, and what really happens in the mind of a dental patient, which I think a lot of dentists don’t really think about when they’re presenting a case; they think about ‘clinically this is what you need to do’ and would you say practice on fire, so you’ve got a nice combination of, you know, clinical stuff, and then maybe more the business or marketing side, would you say it’s more oriented towards marketing business, or would you say it’s more orientated towards clinical?
Dr Ling: before I get to that, Justin, I just wanted to respond to the stuff about Chris Phelps, and I know that one of the hot topics on dental town these days is the ethics of using things like persuasion and influence in the medical profession, and I think the people that are responding in the negative, just haven’t heard Chris speak, once you hear him speak, he’s the most stand-up guy, I mean, I’d let him work on my teeth any day of the week. I’d send my kids to his office any day of the week, he’s very ethical, and he teaches not just how to influence patients, but also the why behind it, and when it’s ethical to do it, and when it’s not ethical to do it. So, I mean for anybody that’s maybe a little bit turned off by phrases like; influence or persuasion, or consider them salesy – you’ve really just got to give them a shot, maybe listen to one of the lectures, maybe the clips that we videotaped of him, and you’ll see that it’s just like anything, you use your powers for good or you use them for evil, and there’s definitely ways we can use them to better our patients.
Now to get to your question ‘is it clinical or is it non-clinical?’ – I don’t really see it as clinical versus non clinical, I see it as having a single goal, which is practice growth, and were going to talk about practice growth from stuff you do chair-side, for example, talking about doing digital implants with Cory Glenn, and that’s something that is technically clinical, but really the purpose behind it is to be able to help our patients better and to help grow our practices. And then there’s the obvious practice growth aspects like; how do you market? How do you present cases? how do we lead our teams as well, so it’s a good mix of chair-side stuff, non-chair-side stuff, all of it really focused though on how to grow your practice.
Justin: yeah, you know, it’s funny you mentioned that there’s some negative about the whole influence thing, I mean, here’s the way I see it, I wasn’t even aware of any negative side of things, maybe I’m just not paying attention, but you know, I just told Dr Phelps, I said “listen, you can be the best clinician in the world, but if you can’t convince anyone to accept treatment, it doesn’t matter, your skills mean nothing”, so I mean, he’s really, I think he’s changing dentists lives if people would just open their minds up, like you said, just go on the practice on fire website, you can see him talking about walking down the price stairs, it makes perfect sense! Because you present the $8 000 case, and then you bring it down to the $2 000 case, the persons budget doesn’t change, but the person feels like your understand where they’re coming from, when you present it a certain way. So I’m actually, I’m really on board with that, that’s a really, I mean, I’ll endorse it, I think its great what Dr Phelps I doing. So – Yeah, go ahead
Dr Ling:I was just going to say, Justin, that, you know, you may listen to Dr Phelps for 2 hours and maybe some of the stuff you find is super helpful for you, some of the stuff you find is maybe, you’re not comfortable with, but that’s the great thing, is that there is no one way to do it. And we’re not saying that you should do it all this way, or you should do it all that way, this is what Dr Phelps has found to be successful, this is what other people find to be successful, maybe it could help you too, and even if you don’t follow to the letter, everything he says, I guarantee you’ll learn something from him and from the whole conference.
Justin: excellent, excellent, well it’s not just about Christopher Phelps, let’s talk about, I mean, who else maybe that I didn’t mention is talking, and maybe we could talk a little bit about Graham because, apparently he gave some massive, massive value, could you tell me the topic that he spoke on?
Dr Ling: well last time Graham talked about implants, he’s a prosthodontist by education; he talked about implants from the point of view of, not ‘this is how you place implants’ but ‘this is how you get more implant patients into your practice’. This time he’s going to be talking about lean principles, and these are just things that he’s learned from other industries, things like; Toyota principles in terms of manufacturing, and how can we apply these manufacturing principles to dentistry, and it’s not about becoming an assembly line, or a factoring impersonal, it’s about finding inefficiency’s, and finding repeated steps, finding rate limiting steps and trying to do things as comfortably and as efficiently as possible in our office. So I’m really excited to hear that, that’s something that not a lot of guys are talking about, and it’s another one of those things where, you know, you hear Toyota and you think ‘oh, I don’t want to be like a car manufacturer’, but really what we’re doing is so similar to car manufacturing. There are a certain number of steps involved, they almost always go in the same order, they’re very predictable, so why can’t we look at these steps and see if we can re-order them, or make each one just a little bit more efficient to make the whole process more efficient?
Justin: right, right. And, you know, for those dentists out there, if your spending money on marketing, you know, there’s a lot of dentist that are spending 2-3 thousand a month or more, on marketing, what I found is, I do SEO for dentists, and what I’ve found is, you know, that’s really only one piece of the puzzle. So, we could get your ranked, we could get you slammed with traffic, we could even, if you have a good website we could even get your phone ringing. But man, I mean, if the way you answer the phone, and the way, all the way down to the last steps clinically isn’t all, like you said, it’s why wouldn’t you want to learn from top, top corporations, because, look corporate dentistry, they’ve got it down, right? I mean, they’ve got systems in place, that’s how the corporate machine comes in and defeats the little guys, is the little guys just aren’t willing to adapt, they aren’t willing to learn, right? Would you say that’s true?
Dr Ling: it’s not about becoming an assembly line, it’s about learning bits and pieces and stealing ideas that have worked for this organization, and how can we apply them to our organization, while maintaining our own values and our own values and our own culture.
The other person I’m really excited about that is not a big name and is not well known is Dr Nathan Jeal, from Manitoba. And he’s a multiple practice owner, and what he’s working on now, is studying the follow up process. And we all know that when we talk to patients about treatment, we rarely get a yes on day one, in fact most of the treatment that I do, is from patients that have been talked to about this treatment, their last re-call visit, or even several years ago, and now they’re ready. So, he’s studying this follow-up process, and what’s the most effective way to talk to patients, after they have left the office, and they haven’t said yes and given you the credit card on day one. And how do we follow up with them? What do we say? What’s the best interval for that? And are there ways to use software and automation to make it even more effective and efficient, to do that as well. So he’s got some really innovative things he’s working on, I think that’s another game changer, where, right now it’s very manual follow-up; somebody comes in for a consult, they leave, we might call them, send them a letter, we just hope they call and say ‘yes, can I please have my root canal now?’, and it just doesn’t happen very often.
Justin: yeah, that’s for sure. People aren’t that – people’s minds are not on dentistry. you know, and like I said in an earlier episode with Anissa Holmes, prospective dental patients don’t think of themselves as prospective dental patients; they’re human beings, you know, and we all want to be treated as certain way, you know, we want the – the way that people accept treatment is, doing thing like you’re talking about, like what Dr Phelps is talking about.
Man, this just sounds like a really, really great opportunity for dentist’s to, kind of – the matches are there, if you want to light your practice on fire, where do we go? And time and website and all that, how do we find out more, Dr Ling?
Dr Ling: you go to PracticeOnFireLive.com; that’s the website with all the information, the full speaker line up, everything is one there, you can register on there.
Justin: excellent, man, this is a huge even guy, and well, what is the capacity? I get the impression that it’s, I mean, there’s just a huge amount of value, but I don’t know, how many dentists do you expect to be in attendance?
Dr Ling: we’re trying to keep it relatively small, we’re certainly not going for, you know 500 000 attendees, I know what we learned from our last event, and a lot of the feedback was that, some of the bet experiences happened between lectures, or on breaks, or in the evenings where we could just get together very casually in small groups, and just chat informally about stuff, and doing a lot of networking, making some great friends. So we want to keep that environment where it’s a tight-knit group of guys who are super excited to be there, people that are like minded and encourage that social aspect of the break time networking. We’ve built in some features this year, including a Friday night social, who ever’s interested can buy a ticket, we’ll all go out for dinner and drinks and just chat about our practices, chat about our families, our lives, and a great opportunity to network and meet people with similar mind sets.
Justin: that’s excellent, no, that’s awesome. Alright, so, practiceonfirelive.com, that’s where you go to find out more information, I’ve seen the video, you’ve got to see this testimonial video, and then make a decision, if you’re like ‘ohh, I’m not sure’ watch this video, then make a decision.
Dr Ling thanks for joining me, it’s been a huge honor and I hope you find great success with practice on fire.
Dr Ling: alright, thanks for that Justin.
Justin: excellent, thanks guys. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, if you see this on YouTube, dental town, social media, wherever you see this, feel free to reach out with questions for Dr Ling, or for myself. I’m the dental marketing guy, thanks for watching the dental marketing guy show.
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