Stop waffling and start communicating effectively. Stop giving 75 different treatment options and RECOMMEND the ideal plan based on their goal (hint: ask more questions!). Become efficient with patient communication by switching to video letters using Loom.
In this episode, Prav Solanki talks about the trust built between the Dentists and their patients, and how that trust is the foundation for providing the best treatment plan for each patient. After this episode you will realise that sales is NOT a dirty word, and you will love his definition of it.
Check out the example Loom videos on Premium Clinical Videos section of the Protrusive App.
Highlights of the episode:
- 6:33 Prav Solanki’s Introduction
- 8:56 Sales in Dentistry
- 13:53 Information that patients needs to know before being eligible for a free consultation
- 18:47 Learning the art of concise communication
- 25:56 2 Stage processes in Business
- 27:58 How to build trust with your patients
- 34:05 Delivery of the Treatment Plan
- 36:51 Using Loom for Treatment Plan Presentation
Check out courses by Prav Solanki:
If you enjoyed this, you will also love Presenting Treatment Plans the Comprehensive Way
Click below for full episode transcript:Jaz's Introduction: You could be the best dentist in the world with your hands, but if you can't communicate effectively with confidence to your patient, if a patient can't sense that you as a clinician are confident to carry out whichever plan you are advising, then guess what?
The patient will not go ahead and that’s a disservice to the patient because you have your heart in the right place. You’ve trained for this. You’ve been on additional courses, but if you can’t convey that to the patient, then it’s an absolute waste. Hello, Protruserati. I’m Jaz Gulati. Welcome to this Interference Cast, this non-clinical interruption to help you grow as a dentist and do more dentistry on the right patients and get better outcomes.
That’s what it’s all about with Protrusive, as has evolved over the last three years. The key word of this episode, that episode title I really purposely picked it is RECOMMEND, right? Recommending treatment plans with confidence. And I think the word recommend is so, so key because it’s something that you, as a clinician, you earned the right and you’ll see later in this episode why I use these specific words.
You’ve earned the right, you’ve done their full examination. You’ve got all this training behind you, now you can make a recommendation to a patient. And I think a lot of dentists are guilty of not recommending. What I mean by that, I’ll just expand a bit, is what if you’ve just finished your examination and instead of recommending something to a patient, instead of that, you are just splurging out.
We can do a filling, we can do a sandwich, we can do a crown, we can do an onlay, we can do this, that and the other. And then really you give your patients choice fatigue. And you’re not really guiding them, you’re not advising them. You’re basically like trying to give them all this dental knowledge and letting them decide for themselves.
There’s something not quite right about that. And the beauty of the word recommend is it empowers you, the dentist, to use all that information that you’ve gathered during the consultation to come up what is the best plan for that patient? I’m joined today by Prav Solanki. He’s now a good friend of mine.
He helped us to put together the occlusion course, Occlusion Basics and Beyond. We’ll talk about that a little bit later. So I’ve got to know him a lot more in the last year. And I can say this guy is an absolute genius. Now he’s come on the podcast before on ICO23, where we talk about non-clinical growth, your relationships, time management, all these wonderful things.
So if you haven’t listened to that, do check it out. But today is about you as a clinician, how you can become more confident in communicating with the patients about what is the best plan for them. And what I love about this episode and so many takeaways shared, and you put together a one page PDF summary for all premium members of the podcast.
So protrusive.app is website or download the app on the Play Store or App Store, become a premium member for the cost of a Nandos per month, and you get access to all these premium summaries and CPD questions, et cetera, et cetera. But Prav talks about TRUST, right? Like we make a recommendation. We’ve earned that right.
And it’s based on a relationship of trust between you and the patient. Now, when I listen to this episode, again, to come up with this intro, outro, and dive the team on how we can deliver a really educational experience for you guys listening and watching, thank you so much. Now, when it comes to trust, Prav was referring to a trust between you and the patient, but I want to introduce one more facet into this, right?
I want to introduce the concept of TRUSTING YOURSELF. I feel like a lot of young dentists, they doubt themselves and therefore they don’t trust themselves to give the best treatment plan available. So, I want to extend this definition. So yes, sales, we’ll talk about dirty words, sales and whatnot, and why we need to embrace it when we’re recommending treatment plans.
But it’s not just the patient trusting you, but it’s you trusting yourself that with the information that you had available at the time with the training and knowledge that you have. That you really genuinely chose the best plan for the patient that you could and recommended their options, but ultimately, you want to make a recommendation.
I cannot stress this enough. And so a big part of this episode about making recommendations. If you just literally start making recommendations, if you’re not already making explicit recommendations to patients, you’ll see your treatment plans skyrocket in terms of acceptance. And this podcast will be worth this four or five minutes, say in already.
Just the whole five minutes of this podcast will be worth everything and more. And maybe this introduction will be all you need from this podcast to really thrive and grow as a clinician. Now, the other themes that we cover in this episode are, do you need to write letters to your patients?
And if so, what should that look like? There’s a specific format, those who like to do letters, Prav is very clear on, if you’re got to do letters and make sure you do this one specific step. So we talk a lot about that, as I’ve already touched on, how can you give the patients all their options without choice fatigue? Without overwhelming your patient and just confusing them?
We discussed the choreography of the ideal consultation and the treatment plan delivery, and lastly, how we utilize something called Loom? Loom is a software that we use that me and Prav are both passionate about and how I use it a lot in my communication with my patients, and it’s almost replaced letters.
Always the precursor to letter. Because think of it this way, right? Letters take a long time to do if you’re got to do it properly, they do take a long time to do. But a video for me, I just hit record. I go through a patient’s photos and whatnot. And then once they’ve seen that video and they want to definitely go ahead, then I can send them their letter.
I haven’t wasted my time creating this beautiful letter. And then the patients are, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll think about it kind of thing, right?’ So by making this video, it’s a WOW factor. Patient’s like, ‘wow, this dentist sent me a video and this dentist was highlighting all these things and this is amazing service’.
And then when they go ahead with a plan, it gives you the reassurance that, okay, you’re got to spend a bit more time now to put their letter together, but it’s worth it. Because now they’ve accepted the treatment plan. Cause you’ve covered everything so beautifully in your Loom video. So in the last part of the podcast, we talk about that as well.
Now, just before we join, Prav Solanki in this killer episode, I just want to make an announcement that me and my wife, have had baby number two. We’ve introduced to the world, Sihaan Singh Gulati, and we are just so, so made up, so happy. I always worried that will I be able to love my second child as much as I love my first child, right?
But the moment I saw him, the moment I met him, the moment I held him in my arms, It was just so euphoric and it’s like your heart gets split into two, so each child gets a piece of you. And so it’s a very, very happy time in the Gulati family. And I thank you so much for your well wishes. But I just want to share this news as a personal thing.
But I just want to share it with you guys because I know many of you were with me over three years ago, almost four years ago now, when my first born was born. I talk about him and my podcast very in the early days. And now there we are, baby number two has come along. So Sihaan Singh Gulati’s entered the world and I’m just so happy that I just want to share that with you. Anyway, let’s join the main episode with Prav Solanki.
Prav Solanki, welcome back to the Protrusive Dental Podcast. We last had you on nonclinical growth for dentists, and I tell you, Prav, I’ve had so many messages saying that this was absolutely brilliant. It’s really opened their minds to all those things and you actually influenced me so much. I get now quarterly blood tests done to check my own personal dashboard of my health. So welcome back my friend. How are you?
I’m great and thanks for having me, Jaz. It’s always a pleasure to come back and talk to you and yeah, it’s always a two-way learning experience whenever I speak with you, whether it’s about this or something else, right?
Whether we’re talking about the best occlusion course on the planet, or we’re just talking about patient communication, right? There’s always learning points, but today’s got to be a topic I think is very, very, close to my heart. And it’s how we can influence the decision making that patients make in a, we’ve gotta preface it with this in an ethical way. I don’t think anyone listening to this would ever do it in a unethical way. But it’s how we can feel ethical from a mindset perspective which is important.
Prav, I get messages from young dentists all the time, and when I class back myself, six, seven years ago when I was like two, three years out, and the biggest dilemma I had was entering private practice and just not feeling confident enough in my own skillsets or my mindset to charge patients.
And I often had, I went through all these dilemmas that young dentists go through, which is a lack of confidence because of lack of experience. And that feeds into it. And also, which I think would be great, I actually literally had a message essay from an Australian dentist, asking about how to tackle that.
So at the end, maybe we can get your advice about, if you’re not very experienced, how can you actually then be confident enough to, in that inverted common cell, a treatment plan. So, we’ll talk about that. But I also fell into the really bad habit or just really bad zone of diagnosing someone’s wallet.
You never want to do that. So, and I know dentists do it all time. I speak to dentists all the time and say, ‘well, I didn’t want to give this more expensive plan cuz I didn’t think the patient might be able to afford it’. Like that’s, I think we can agree. Everyone’s probably nodding their head right. Yeah. That’s the worst thing you could do. Every patient deserves the best.
Happens all the time.
So we have so much to talk about because you could be the best dentist in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas, you can’t make a recommendation. Key word there, which we’ll talk about, we were just talking before we hit record, you won’t do that beautiful dentistry if you’ve got the best hands ever.
So there’s a lot to be said about this. So I guess where to start, Prav is, we were talking before we hit record is ‘Sales is a Dirty Word’ and I think we’ve covered-
Disgusting. So are we selling to our patients or in healthcare is selling aloud?
Jaz I think it comes down to what you believe selling is right in your head, in your mind. If you believe that selling is a dirty word, if you believe talking about money, is one of those things that perhaps, you’ve got an idea in your mind what the value of what you are going to deliver is, but you are making preconceptions about that patient that, crikey, if I recommend this and I recommend that, what’s it?
Are they got to be able to afford it? And you are making judgements on their behalf, right? And I think as healthcare providers, as professionals, we’ve got a duty of care, but also clarity of communication to be able to explain all the options to the patients. All the price points to the patient and guide them on where we think the best solution is for them.
The old, if you were my daughter, if you were my son, all that sort of stuff. And because they’re looking for a recommendation, right? And so Jaz, we were talking earlier and I talked about a mini course I delivered for a group of full mouth reconstruction dentists, right?
And they all came to this course, and then one of the delegates from the course went away and it was very clear in his mind that he was got to go away and execute. I met him two days later at a Neodent event, and he said, ‘Prav I’ve sold two cases north of 15,000 pounds’. I’m scratching my head thinking, ‘wtf, right? What happened?’ Yeah, because I’m trying to-
But this is someone who has never sold treatment plan. Okay. I mean, let’s just use that term. It’s a dirty word, selling and treatment plan. But let’s just accept once you change your mindset that it’s okay to say that. But he’d never done that before.
Predominantly NHS dentist who was upselling to a patient who’d come in for essentially an NHS checkup. He’d done a discovery process in this patient’s mouth, presented what the options are, and sold two plants north of 15,000 pounds inside a week of us having that little course together.
So I was intrigued, right? I was like, ‘what the hell went on here? What did you take away?’ I really wanted to know what he brought away with, and he said ‘Prav, it was really easy. Your definition of sales changed my mind about everything. Gave me the confidence’. He said ‘the other seven and a half hours of the day’.
Yeah, it was good, but it was just that one pivotal moment when you said to me. It’s what your definition of sales is, right? And we all know that. Like we go to a course and we have one takeaway moment or one thing we want to take away, implement, and go and execute it. And he did that beautifully. And so the definition of sales.
Let’s hear it, let’s hear it. Drum roll.
That he used to say to us is the definition of sales is earning the right to make a recommendation. Okay? So when you’re selling to a patient, you’re earning the right to make a recommendation to that patient. And that recommendation and the right that you’ve earned is based on a relationship of trust. That is all sales is.
So if you sit back and tell yourself that mantra now. That sales is earning the right to make a recommendation to this patient, and that recommendation is based on a relationship of trust. And there happens to be an exchange of money that happens when you take my services up, right? Okay, but you trust me.
We’ve built some trust. I’m making a recommendation. And by building this trust, I have a right to give you this recommendation and give you my opinion. That is it.
Can we break it down? Cause I love that and I think my enthusiasm, like when you first shared it to me, I was like, ‘yes, I love this, I love this. We need to get this out to everyone’. But, one thing we didn’t do is let’s break the different components of this, right? So earning the right is that, are you earning the right by just doing that examination? You are the dentist, you’ve got your BDS or DDS, whatever.
You’ve done the checkup, you’ve got the expertise. You are the one with the expertise. You are the one with the expertise of their mouth, because you’ve done a thorough examination and you’ve diagnosed. So is that what you mean by earning the Right?
It’s a really interesting question. I’m got to digress. I’m got to come back to it. I do this a lot. I always say in my own practice, patients have to earn the right to get a free consultation in my practice. You can’t just walk into my practice and earn a free consultation. You have to earn, you have to earn the right to walk into my practice for a free appointment.
I know a lot of people don’t even do free consultations, whatever, right? Works for some, doesn’t for others. But what is that? How do you earn that? And the certain criteria that you need to make.
I’m thinking, I’m got to second guess you. They need to send you the photos. They need to fill in some forms. They need to give you their email. They need to follow you, I don’t know, something like that to make it some sort of return.
For us, it’s really simple, right? Patient comes in for a free consultation. We have a conversation, they walk out and they thought they could get their teeth straightened for a thousand quid, you’re doing nobody any favors.
Nobody any favors, right? Because my time as a clinician, I’ve just given it for you when there was definitely a mismatch of where the value is, right? It’s not the patient’s fault that they thought they could get the teeth straight for a thousand quid. Don’t blame them. So whoever’s passing that information in between, so somebody gets to book into my clinic, they need to hit minimum criteria.
Number one, they need to know the price. Really, really important. They need to know the price and they need to know the range. So we always say, ‘look, if you’re coming in for Invisalign treatment, our prices range from three to 5,000 pounds. Most patients sit, slap bang in the middle’. But that’s what you’re looking at, okay?
Then they need to get an idea of who they’re dealing with. So maybe one or two little USP’s about the dentist, right? Where with Invisalign’s becoming a commodity now, right? What is different about having Invisalign at our practice? So price point a little bit about us. A deposit. So even though it’s a free consultation, I’ll take 30 pounds off you, and the first thing that’ll happen, I’ll whack it straight back on your card when you walk through the door.
So, if they’re willing to put, you want to up the state of quality, just increase the value of that deposit. If you want to take 30 pounds, take a hundred pounds, 50 pounds, whatever, right? And you’ll increase that filter of quality coming through your door. And then finally, you want to understand what they know about that treatment.
Okay. Now this, the whole other stuff about building rapport, learning about their why now, what’s the pain points? What could they do before? How couldn’t they do? What would they like to do? Wave a magic wand and all that Razzmatazz, right? But what do they know about this treatment?
And often when you ask them that, you will get an idea of have they been through other consultations somewhere? If they have bit of a red flag, but also an opportunity for you to say, ‘So what is it that Dr. Smith didn’t deliver to you that you want from me?’ Okay. ‘ Why didn’t you proceed with treatment there?’
That’s a very fair question, which I think many dentists might shy away from, but they come this far now it is worth asking, but all it’s while you’re saying all these wonderful things, Prav and everything, every piece of information you get from that patient serves a purpose and a value.
And especially, them knowing the fees, it’s just so, so, so important before they come on, but what does this look like? Is this from a email questionnaire? Is this your treatment coordinator going on Zoom? How a phone call. Okay. Right. So making the phone sign, universal, find for the phone.
First phone call, mate.
I mean, that’s often, and it’s not always the first point of communication, right? Because in today’s day and age, sometimes we’re having conversations over voice notes. Sometimes we’re having conversations over DMs, social messages, this, that, and the other, right? What’s really important, depending on who you’re communicating with.
I think it’s important for us as businesses today, because as well as healthcare professionals, we are running businesses. If you’re an associate, you’re running your own business within a business. I truly believe that. But we need to adjust our communication style and methods of communication in line with what your patient or your client wants in terms of their communication preferences.
Let’s say I get someone who gets in touch with me and they message me on Facebook. I will message them back in Facebook. We’ll have a little bit of, but then I’ll bring ’em into the fold of what our onboarding processes. Whether it’s email or whatever, they’ll share email. If someone sends me a voice note, I’ll voice note them back. If someone sends me a voice note and I want the detail of that voice note to sit on the screen, yeah. I’ll request that and I’ll tell them why I need it on the screen. Yeah. Because sometimes I might be going back and referring to that. Yeah. But our patients-
Are this is receptionist or treatment coordinators who are doing the phone or pre-qual- Because essentially this is pre-qualifying someone.
Yeah. So we have given whatever title you want, right? Every practice, once again, different business structure. I’m not got to dictate here. It needs to be a receptionist, it needs to be a TCO. Some practices don’t have TCOs. The definition of its TCOs. Fire and wide as far as I’m concerned, as well, but in my practice, it is Kerrie, our lead ninja. And so her responsibility is overall patient communication to get somebody to come in and attend a consultation or an assessment, whether that’s a paid assessment or a complimentary consultation.
Her job is to get someone through the door that hits a certain level of criteria, all those different points that we’ve discussed. And so earning the right to make a recommendation based on trust that we went on earlier, Kerrie starts that relationship. It’s not just the dentist, right? And so part of that course that we spoke that I delivered that day.
One of the questions I asked this, obviously this is, how many of you have had a conversation with, call it receptionist, Lead ninja, TCO, whatever, right? How many of you have had a one-to-one with the person that answers the phone on your behalf, speaks to your potential patients about you and your services, and what instructions have you given them about what you want delivered when that patient lands in your chair? And it was at that point, that was a real rabbit in the headlights moment. Okay.
Huge Prav. I think most dentists are completely guilty of this, especially when they’re go in a course, right? And we do it to our nurses as well, Prav. We go in a course, right? We’ve done all these techniques, which is completely, fundamentally, switches everything on his head compared to what he used to do.
And we start doing it. And then the nurse is like looking at us like, ‘wait, this is completely different than has been doing in the last five years. When did this happen? Why did this happen?’ Because nurses, they crave consistency and so we owe it to our nurse to say, ‘actually, I’m doing it this way because some studies have shown that this is a better way to do it or this’s more efficient way to do it and get them involved’.
But yes, reception, if you’re starting to offer orthodontic solutions, which you weren’t before, that you need to really you owe, it’s your front of house team. Let’s call them to have that sort of enthusiasm that you have, basically that needs to be passed on to the front of house team.
And I feel embarrassed that I’ve been treating TMD for a while. I get referrals from all over the country to treat it. And because we have certain, we have got a morning team and an evening team. Because it’s a shift pattern. Next week is our first ever joint meeting every single receptionist who even who’s not supposed to be usually be there, is got to be there. So we can just talk about how to handle these queries and what actually happens in a consult. And they’re desperate for this.
Don’t wait for the meeting. So this is the one that have the same thing. Right? So the next rebuttal I get when I release that statement is, ‘oh, senior management, we don’t have meetings, we don’t all get together, blah, blah, blah’, all the rest of it.
Is there a moment during the week where that team member and you are on the same lunch? Could you take that personnel for a coffee? Do you have to wait for that official sort of meeting box, block, whatever to appear? That’s never going to happen. Hasn’t happened in the last three months. Isn’t got to happen in the next three months. Or do you create that?
And so there are pockets of time and opportunities in which, and they will get so much value out of that. The other thing, if there’s four other dentists in that practice and you are the one giving the time to that person. Preferentially you’re got to get the patient’s.
That is so true.
It will happen. I’m not saying that’s an ethical way to influence things or whatever, but it will happen, right? They will have their favorites and whatnot, but what’s really important is that, if you approach your reception as a person answering the phone and you say, right, okay, so there is three things I’d like every patient who potentially wants to book with me to know about Jaz Gulati.
Yeah. He runs the most educational world’s best podcast in dentistry. Okay. That’s listened to by several thousand or tens of thousands of dental professionals, whatever that number is. He also teaches other dentists. So this thing, what you are coming in for. Hundreds of dentists have learned these techniques from Jaz.
The great news is you are coming straight to the teacher himself. And then whatever the third thing is, right. He’s really gentle caring, and you don’t need to be nervous about anything. Everything’s got to be just all right when you meet Jaz. Yeah.
And what was the response like from the delegates? Because you taught this on the course. Like listen, you train your reception team to give some information about you.
Yeah. So look, I hate to say you get two different types of delegates, right? But you get those who just sort of like, that ain’t got to happen. And you get those who are furiously scribbling notes and saying, there’s a lady called Sania on the course, and she was very clear about what she was got to do and go and execute that part.
Remember, we spoke about people choose what they’re got to execute and some chose that they were got to go and do that. But the other thing is that boils down to the next element when we talk about sales, right? Which is concise communication. If you teach your receptionist how to speak about you in three points, okay?
You are delivering and you are learning the art of concise communication without question. You’ll have to think about that and you’ll have to think about how you articulate, and you’ll have to think about how he or she will articulate that back to you before they go and articulate it to a patient, right?
And then that comes down to if we think about sales, well, I think one of the biggest areas of failure that I see amongst dentists, healthcare professionals is the waffle. It’s literally falling over your feet, talking about the detail, the material, the tooth’s made out of justifying which lab you use when they don’t even really need to know.
The process for teeth whitening Payman bangs on about it, it’s like you don’t go through the entire sequence of teeth whitening. They don’t need to know the name of the technician making it what the tray’s made out of.
I do a little bit of Business coaching for some clients for their practices. And I talk about frontstage and backstage. So in business we have frontstage processes and backstage processes. There are backstage processes that patient should never, ever learn about.
And front stage processes and stuff that you need to shout about. So just take one example, is that Jaz only works in his practice on a Tuesday and Thursday, so you can only book him on a Tuesday and Thursday. So do you want this Tuesday or that Thursday?
Oh, and he’s getting, he’s getting married next week and he’s got to be off for a few weeks. And so that’s the reason he can’t see you. Nobody needs to know that. And there’s the loads of examples of backstage conversations that I’ve heard that do not need to be delivered to that patient, right? Jaz is incredibly busy, and over the next couple of months I’ve got these couple of days available. Which one would you like?
So much more powerful and concise and absolutely.
And we are cutting out the waffle. And that happens on the phone that happens in consultations. We want to make the communication concise. So one of the ways in which you can do that is remove all the backstage processes. How the tooth is made, what the whitening process is, all the rest of it. You’ll get those patients who want to know, but they’ll let you know they want to know. Or you’ll figure it out in your people stills.
I’ve got an engineer in the room. They want to know how the springs and the cogs and all the sprockets bit together, right? And you can deliver that, but get the essence of, look, this is your problem. These are the three ways I can fix it. This is the way I would recommend that would work best for you.
And this is the investment level involved. And you’ve built the trust in everything. And then go into the detail if you want afterwards, right? Yeah. And then reiterate that. But look, Jaz your thoughts.
Hey guys, A few weeks ago you may remember we launched OBAB, Occlusion Basics and Beyond. The online course, and I’ve just been blown away by the feedback we’re getting. I’m just got to read a recent one out to you on April 23rd, 10:39 AM. One of the reasons that I worked with Prav Solanki and the IAS Academy is I wanted to work with the best in the business in delivering an educational experience for delegates. So what I love about IAS they already have mentorship forums already built up, cuz what we don’t want is to put on a course and not have anywhere a safe place, encrypted place and just generally a safe environment to discuss cases, right?
So IAS have this infrastructure set up already for all their orthodontic courses. And so now they’ve got the occlusion board. So when you join the course and you have a case to submit, you can submit it and we can mentor you throughout.
So, mentorship was really important to us and the way that now underneath each lesson, there’s a comment section so you can actually comment, and track me and Mahmoud daily are replying to the comments as you all learn together. But I just want to share this one comment by Dr. KC this is brilliant, right? So she said, ‘this is so great and what I’ve been craving for a long time, how weird am I? Back in dental school in the early nineties, occlusion was shrouded’. Shrouded? Oh gosh, I didn’t know how to say this word. ‘Shrouded in mystery. Everything went quiet in cons when a facebow came out in its special cushion. It’s just brilliant to have things explained to us as a dentist rather than engineers or physicists.
For me, envelope of function was always mysterious as was guidance, but I feel really excited to get to work tomorrow and start seeing all this. Thank you guys. Fantastic’. So that’s the feedback we had at the last lecture of module one. So module one is our introductory module. We have five modules of OBAB. So it’s just amazing.
So thank you so much Dr. KC. And there’s loads of feedback and comments that we’re getting. So I just want to share that with you guys. So if you guys are ready to learn occlusion online with me in Mahmoud in the IAS Academy, head over to occlusion.online.
I think it’s spot on because we don’t make a recommendation enough or a classic example that a young dentist or lots of dentists doesn’t have to be young dentists. It’s just the ones I speak to on Instagram nowadays. They say, ‘my patient needs a crown’. They actually say it to me. The patient really needs a crown here because it’s all the textbook features of thin cusps and it’s broken down. There’s only a certain size of filling a restoration can be.
Before it’s really not appropriate for that tooth anymore. It’s a simple thing to grasp. Most dentists know this. But when they’re communicating, okay, we can do a crown, which can cost X or we can do a filling which can cost x. The filling involves this, this process, the crown involves that process.
Which one would you like? And really what you’ve skipped out, what you missed is a good comparison would be if someone’s got caries in their teeth. Decay, tooth decay. And so most dentists are very confident to say that, okay, you need a filling. And then you’re not got to say, well, you need a filling, or we can just put some fluoride varnish and see you in six months.
We don’t say that because we know that’s not appropriate for that tooth. It is technically an option. Very minimally invasive, negligent kind of option, maybe. But you don’t say it. So in the same way, dentists need that confidence, actually, this is my recommendation. You need this because X, Y, Z, and a great tip that Lincoln Harris gave me, which really echoes what you says, Prav in terms of being concise, is the three sentence treatment plan like you need, first, we’re got to whiten your teeth, then we’re got to lengthen them using invisible filling material, and then we’re got to protect it with a splint.
This is the way we’re got to treat you. It will take four appointments and the total fee will be this, and that covers everything. Pause. Okay. And then suss out the patient in terms of how much detail.
Obviously you’re got to back it up with your written estimate because you know anything over a certain amount. You need to really give them more information. Patients deserve more information, but that doesn’t have to happen in the surgery. So that’s what I’m thinking. Make a recommendation. In fact, the GDC, no matter which country you’re in, your regulatory body says, make a recommendation.
People skim over that, but we can and should be making a recommendation. Yeah. Yeah. It says it in the GDC. You should make a recommendation.
And we go back to, well, how’d you earn the right to make that recommendation? You earn it by building trust with our patient. Okay. And lots of us, lots of practitioners have been building trust over many years and months and decades for some dentist because they’ve been seeing the patients every six months, every 12 months. And so the level of trust is way up there. However, a patient that walks in off an Instagram inquiry, the level of trust is way down there.
And you’ve gotta build that trust before you make that recommendation. And then how do you build that trust? It’s that rapport building. It’s understanding their situation. It’s what Kerry did for me beforehand is me articulating to the patient that Kerry passed on this information from me, and I understand that you’ve been for a consultation here, and one of the things that you didn’t like is whatever.
And I’m got to make sure that, that isn’t an issue here for you and so on and so forth, right? You build that trust. There’s usually a human connection on that. In that point there’s social proof. In the last podcast we talked about inviting our previous patients into the consultation, right?
Be that before and after, be that a Google review that you’ve printed out. Or be that video testimony that you print out and say, ‘hey, John, I’d love you to meet Mike. Now, Mike was one of my patients who, same situation like you, years of unfortunately not looking after his teeth lost him, they’d become loose.
He ended up wearing these partial dentures, and he wouldn’t go out, he wouldn’t socialize, and he felt very, very, very upset about his situation. He was in pain. He couldn’t eat the foods he wanted. And just watch his video and see what you think. Let me know if there’s any similarities with you’.
Boom. That video’s dealt with the objections. It’s built the trust. There’s a connection between me and that patient. Cause I treated that patient. I can do the same for you. So we’ve built that trust. Now it’s time for me to come in and make a recommendation for you. And if I’m in your situation, look.
There’s very little we can salvage here and all things being equal, I recommend that you go for this option and that’s what the level of investment that you’re looking for is. And with different Patient groups or Jaz, you spoke about values, there’s a certain value you need to go above, and then they need a written treatment plan and they need this letter and all the rest of it. There’s probably a regulatory reason as well that you need to document everything and put everything in writing right?
And but once again, the way I spoke about how do you deliver the communication now, right? It’s the same thing in the written word. Okay. How do you deliver a letter? Does your letter go into so much detail? I’ve seen treatment plans this thick.
But you know why that is? Right?
The letter, and this is once something Koray Feran taught me. He’s prolific for doing like the best letters ever. He the best, very detailed, very thick wards, basically. And I don’t know if he’s changed his process and hat tip to Koray Feran for all a does in dentistry. But, he says that, look, this letter, the patient, I want them to read it and understand it, but really it’s for the lawyers, it’s for the patient, but it’s also written for the lawyers as well.
So everything is foolproof. So that’s the element of the regulatory body being satisfied and then you leave no stone unturned by listing all the risks and benefits. Because technically, we see the charge sheets of dentists in trouble. You did not state all the risks and benefits.
So we feel dentists like, okay, fine, it will take five hours in the chair to it. But if you just print off this 25 page booklet that covers to some degree of it. And we know consent is very complicated. Consent has layers like an onion. We talked about that in a previous episode.
But that, I think that’s why we are satisfying the regulatory body as well.
But, okay. Have you what? But the first two pages should be-
Yes. The executive summary.
It should be a thing of beauty.
Yes. Agreed. That’s lovely.
Conciseness, bulleted information, whatever that is. And look, I’ve spoke to one of the things that I’ll speak to a new client about is take me through your patient journey, right? And part of that patient journey. Let’s get to the point where you’re delivering the consultation, right? So everything’s happened before that your patient journey, you’ve delivered the consultation, and now that patient needs a treatment plan. Can you explain to me how you deliver the treatment plan to the patient?
The difference is between how dentists deliver treatment plans, and I’m not just talking about their verbal skills or their sales skills, but actually the methodology of delivery. Yeah. The means of whether it’s a FedEx or a DPD or an email or whatever. The method of delivery. It’s very different.
Inconsistent, even amongst a practice, every associate will do it differently.
And even that dentist himself or herself will do it inconsistently, right?
Yes. Guilty as charged.
Yeah. So but then we look at let’s just forget about inconsistency within, and think about inconsistency across the industry, right? Some dentists will do a PDF and email it to the patient and cross their fingers and toes. Some dentists will get the patient back and present the treatment plan to the patient and book in what’s called a ‘letter chat’ or a treatment plan.
That’s something that I do quite a bit with my bigger cases. Yes.
Some will ask another team member to just get this over to the patient. Some it will go out by royal mail or whatever in the post.
In a gold envelope with the perfume on it.
Wax seal, whatever. And so there are numerous different ways in which treatment plans can be delivered. But the interesting thing is when I sit down and ask that dentist and say, ‘so you’ve emailed that treatment plan, what said it went into spam? What’s your contingency for that plan?’ And then that same rabbit in the headlights moment. Right. And some will say, oh, but we phone the patients afterwards to see if they’ve got it.
Okay, cool. We’ll see if it went to voicemail. How many times would you phone that patient? Would you text that patient? Would you email that patient? Have you told the patient you’re expecting, I’m got to write to you and it will be on this day. And no, because your life is so busy that you actually don’t even know when you’re got to get that treatment plan out.
That’s a common problem for dentists that I see is that, ‘oh, Tuesday nights I’m doing my treatment plan. I’m doing my treatment. I haven’t quite got round to this. I’m got to get this treatment plan out tomorrow. I’m got to do it the next, all right, I’ll do it next Tuesday now’. And time passes.
You’ve done all the hard work in building the trust and everything. You just need to get this out. Patient gets cold. And then where’d you go with that? One of the most successful ways I think of delivering a treatment plans in the easiest way to do it explain this is by is maximizing your output. But minimizing your time.
So I’m liking where this is going.
I think, I’ll tell you where I’m going. The gold standard is you get the patient in and you block out time in your diary. And you get the paper. But that requires a lot of time and energy. But recording and Jaz, I know you are a Loom fanatic as I am I.
I record probably about 20 to 40 Loom videos a day. And I know you do a lot as well, Jaz. And I find it an amazing way of communication, and for those of you who don’t know what Loom is, it is a piece of software that is essentially either free or if you want the premium version, it’s 10 pounds or something like that.
It’s so cheap. The website, I love it so much. I actually bought loom.dental and basically it’s my affiliate code basically, because I just recommend everyone just go to loom.dental, everyone, every dentist use it.
loom.dental. There you go. And buy it. But try it out for free first. Right? Try it out for free. I don’t think there’s a single reason why you wouldn’t buy it but you’ve gotta execute, right?
So just explain for those dentist who- you’re got to explain what it is, right? How it’s actually used.
Yeah. So what Loom is a piece of software. You press a button on your browser, chrome or whatever it is, and it records your screen. At the same time, it records your voice. And if you’ve got a webcam, it can record your face and you can put your face anywhere on that page you want. You can stick it in the corner here, there, wherever you can make it bigger, smaller, whatever.
And I think when you are delivering a treatment plan, now picture this, your treatment plan’s there, you can wave your mouse around on the screen. You could annotate the screen. And you are there in your, just sort of your personality, right? And you’re saying to that patient, okay, Prav, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you a couple of days ago.
So from the conversation that we had and the problems that you are experiencing, the key problems being A, B, and C, I’ve got three key ways in which I can help you. And here’s option one, and you’ve got a picture of their teeth on the screen. You wave your mouse around, you go, oh, this is what we can do with this and this is what we can do with that.
And you say, for this solution, this is how many appointments and this is what it’s got to cost for this solution. Now I’m got to send you the rest of this document as well, which has got all the detail about the risks and the blah, blah, blah and all the rest of it, right? And I’m got to send you a PDF of that.
Once you’ve received this video and watched it, just tell me that you want the PDF. So I know you’ve received this video and I will email the PDF to you.
It creates a touchpoint, it creates an interaction.
Creates an interaction. And why am I not sending the PDF directly? A, I want engagement b I want to know they’ve watched the video. Although Loom will tell me that.
So that saved me before, I love the fact that, when someone, when a patient watches my loom, I’ll get an email saying, ‘ Mrs. Smith has opened is, has watched your video’. And imagine if you start doing it in the way that I do it, my consent process is like you need to know this really important for consent.
And I’ll talk a little bit more about consent in a moment. But if they haven’t seen that for me, they haven’t consented because sometimes I go over a compromise option. Okay. What we’re doing is very fringe, very compromise, and therefore you need to understand everything. So if they haven’t seen that video, I know that, that isn’t satisfying my consent level.
So I like the medical legal. So aspect of it. And just like you mentioned, Prav with consent, how you said in your loom you are pro to pretend loom to the patient as you were describing it, saying, ‘ I’m got to send you this PDF. I think consent has to be individual, right? For that patient, right.
Your individual risk. So there might be 50 different risks of a line of treatment, but there’s one or two which is really significant for that patient. And the loom allows me to go, okay, there’s about 50 risk, but number 24 and number 48 are really relevant to you because you’ve bashed your tooth before, there’s something called ‘resorption’, which can happen.
And so that’s really important and your tooth could discolor, blah, blah, blah. And you’ve really, really now individualized consent. So you gotta bear that in mind. So that’s why I love Loom.
Hey guys, if you want to see an example Loom video that I’ve sent to one of my patients, if you’re Protrusive premium member, you can find it in the Premium Clinical Video section because when I was editing this episode, I was thinking, hey, wouldn’t it useful for you guys to see an example, Loom Video, discussing the patient’s treatment suggestions, recommendations? So I’ve got that available to you. I know some of you ask for it on Instagram as well.
So it’ll be available for you in the premium clinical video section of the Protrusive app. Obviously you can access it by web, by protrusive.app or the app store, however you like, but it’s all there for you. So if you want to check out an example, go ahead.
Some of the features that we’ve probably not dug into that I love about Loom, is that when you send that link to the patient, they click on it and out pops a video and it plays your recording. The moment they play that recording and they stop playing that recording, for whatever reason, you get an email saying your Loom video has just been watched by such a body, right? If they’ve got a Google account and they’re logged into it, you get the details of who’s watched it.
The other important thing that you get is you get details on how much of it they’ve watched. Have they watched all?
I didn’t know that.
A hundred percent of the video? Or if they watched 60% of the video. A habit that I’ve got into is I label or rename all my loom videos.
You’re so anal.
So that, I know when I get that email notification. So if I send you a Loom, I’ll put Jaz Gulati – OBAB Course Landing Page. So as soon as I get a notification pop up, I don’t even need to know. I know straight away with the notification to get Jaz has just watched that video about this that I sent in bosh done because I’ve labeled all my video. The moment I record the video, I retitle it, so the notification I get back tells me a story.
Really simple. The other thing with Loom videos is if they watch it a second time, a third time, a fourth time or a fifth time, you get that data. If somebody else watches it? It will tell you this Loom video has been watched by two people, three people, four people. What are they doing now? They’re sharing it with their friends and family members, getting an opinion, whatever that is.
Which is key because you’ve essentially one of the things that was taught is that, if you see a lady and you present a treatment plan and the lady happens to then bring her husband to the next consultation is a 99% acceptance rate.
Where when the partner’s there, it’s just got to happen. Because there’s A, there’s serious, the partner’s giving up their time is two people’s time now and they’re dead serious. They just want to iron out the details. So you are now inviting that significant other, or their family member or friend to that consultation. And I think it’s powerful. The shareability, you’re totally right.
And then once again, I think we could run an entire course on the Art of Loom presentations. But another little sort of hack or a trick or call it whatever you want. All of my, I call it treatment plans, right?
But marketing proposals that I send out, they’re done by a Loom. Okay. Now if I’m speaking to one of the stakeholders and there’s another business partner who couldn’t make the initial sales call. Do you know what I mean? And by the way, please do share this with, Jaz. I know he wasn’t here.
But what’s really important that he understands the other things that we discussed with. So you can add color to your treatment plan. You can add color to the words by voice, right? But just talk about them and invite them. And by the way, Jaz, if you want to jump on a separate call with me, if anything’s not clear in what I’ve described today, because you didn’t have the context.
I’d be delighted to jump on a separate call with you, right? And so in the same respect, look, I know you’re got to be sharing this with your other half, your husband, Mr. Smith, if you’ve been smart enough, you’ve got the name or whatever, Jack, Bob, whatever. Yeah. And Bob, look, if anything here doesn’t make sense or you want a little bit more detail, why don’t you come back in with Brenda and we’ll sit down and we’ll go through it, right?
So then that’s sort of little nuances and how you can tweak and optimize the use of language in Loom. But I think it’s a wonderful tool. If you’re worried about security, you can password protect every Loom video with a separate password. So on my proposals, I send out I password protect them.
I tell them what the password is and so why do I do that? First of all, they’ve gotta jump through another hoop to access that loom video. And the other thing I think about is if somebody accidentally just clicks on their video, starts playing it, but they’re not in the mind frame or the head space to watch the whole video. They’ll watch 60% of it. But if I put a password in there and one more, one last bit of advice is I tell them how long the Loom video is in the message.
Here’s a four minute video I made for you. Mrs. Smith. Link.
So they know how much time they need to invest in watching it. Find the headspace, put the password in. Off they go. And you know who’s watched it.
This is a very personalized way to do a letter. It’s a video letter. It’s very personal, it’s very shareable, it’s very unique. And every single patient I’ve sent this to, they’ve always comments like, wow, thank you for your thorough explanation. I really understand.
No one’s ever communicated with me in this way. That’s why I’ve been hooked on Loom. Brilliant. Before we summarize this e episode because I want to the Protruserati message me saying, ‘we like it Jaz, you just go with the bullet points of because sometimes it is so much information overload’.
So we’ll do that in just a moment. But is there any other point you want to make on the follow up conversation because you mentioned, okay, things get lost, they don’t listen to voicemails and stuff. And that element is important no matter how you communicate that follow up sequence. Any other comments you want to make on that?
We’re talking specifically about treatment plans, right? And how we can be following up with that or how we should be following up with that.
So once we’ve earned the right and the trust to make a recommendation, we’ve made a recommendation. That recommendation is got to be concise. And it’s also a treatment plan that the nurse, and the nurse and the reception team are already familiar with. You are known in your practice for delivering that treatment plan because you’ve had those conversations with the front of house. And now you send that treatment plan out via, let’s say, loom.dental or any other way that you want your written one any way you like, basically. And then so what other tips and advice perhaps I haven’t mentioned here just now that we glossed over or the microphone is yours, my friend?
Well, I think, we could talk at length. We could do a whole another episode about the nuances of the conversation that happened when you are delivering that treatment plan, how to talk money, how to break money down into lowest common denominators, how to talk to them about accessing funds. Really important. I’m got to mention this and I might get a bit of stick for you. But my colleague Mark Northover, is probably one of the most emotionally intelligent human beings I have ever come across in my life, right?
And he’ll be embarrassed about me saying this. Most of the communication stuff I learn, a lot of the communication stuff I learn is eavesdropping on him, speaking to patients in our clinic.
And the words that come out of his mouth are a thing of beauty, and it’s not through any sales training. It’s just-
Nothing like NLP, nothing like that. It’s just-
None of that crap. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say that but none of that stuff, right? It’s none of this contrived and need to do this. They’re locked up to the right. They scratched their nose. They did none of that nonsense.
It really does come down to the fact that he’s just a people person. He communicates concisely and he connects with patients in a way that I have not seen other healthcare professionals connect with patients. It’s just purely that, and in our clinic we do a lot of same data, full arch implant dentistry, call it that’s placed on the same day and it’s very high value stuff.
So I listened to Mark’s observations and we had this patient who’d failed finance and we had another one who had a deposit and they had the means to pay the finance, but they’d failed or whatever, right? Mark’s a problem solver. He really is. So you think at this point, I’m got to give you the solution now and then you’re got to think flipping egg. But then we’ll go back to the definition of what sales is, right? And Mark-
You can say, you’ve told me a story before, so you get everyone, get your mandible’s ready cuz it’s got to drop.
Mark asked this patient to remortgage their house to pay for their implants. Okay, but that’s the shock statement, right? But actually, when I asked Mark, I said, ‘mark, I’ve never ever heard anyone ask a patient to remortgage their house to pay for their teeth. What? Like, where did that come from?’ And he said, ‘ Prav, this patient really wanted this treatment. They just needed to understand where their possible sources of funding are’.
So we have finance. We have money in the bank. I asked, are you a homeowner? Have you got equity in that house? I think the cheapest access to money, maybe you need to speak to your broker, would be to perhaps just take some money, some equity out of your house. And that could be a way, and she thought the patient was absolutely delighted and over the moon that he’d made that suggestion cuz neither. Another dentist nor that patient would’ve ever thought about that solution, and that patient is super happy eating their steaks, smiling in a great relationship.
I’ve seen the video testimonial of this patient. He looks great and he’s so happy. You could tell.
Yeah. So look, access to funding, I think that’s where we’re going. But we spoke about follow up and what’s really important about follow up is that the patient who comes in and has a treatment plan from you today, Jaz may be ready to proceed with treatment tomorrow, may be ready to proceed with treatment in three months, may be ready to proceed with treatment in 12 months or two years time.
And that’s the long and short of it, right? We have slow, middle and fast lane bias in my dictionary, right? And so, those patients who are ready to transact in two years, but not today. We can either view them as time wasters or we can see them as patients that are not quite ready to transact yet, but let’s stay in touch, right?
And so there’s numerous different ways in which you can do that. Through emails and newsletters, sharing case studies and success stories, every couple of months, giving them a quick call and saying, ‘Hey, Prav, I know now’s not the right time. Do you know what level with that patient, right?’
Because if you have built that trust and you have made that recommendation and that patient feels comfortable enough to tell you Prav not now, but when the time’s right, I ain’t going anywhere else. And then you turn around to that patient and say, is it okay if I just give you a call every couple of months, see how you’re doing, share a few case studies with you that we’ve completed that we are proud of.
Would that be okay? Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got our follow up sequence, and then you can either do that through some kind of CRM system. You can have a spreadsheet, a Google sheet, whatever. You maybe ask chat GPT to tell you the best way to do it. But yeah.
Prav I’ll tell you something I do actually which is very on that same vein is patients who have made a treatment plan for that. In my heart of hearts, I think they’d really benefit from, but it’s a lot more than what they expected. And they’re interested, but maybe this is not the best year for them. Well, I seen for the checkup six months later and I said, oh, remember we had that conversation?
Is that something that you are still interested in? And then you say, yes, but, maybe now’s not the time. And said, listen, when you are ready, I’ll be ready. And then one, this one sentence, which I think dentists should be saying, we don’t say enough, is that I love doing this kind of work.
I let them know I love doing this kind of work, that one sentence. And I know that’s not a tactic. That’s not a thing.
No, no, no.
I generally do love that work. And when they are ready, then. A I’ve been sympathetic to scenario empathetic. Again, when you’re ready, I’ll be ready, but also, you know what I bloody love and they’ll want to go to someone who loves doing that kind of work.
Absolutely. And I think we’ve covered all the key elements that we wanted to. I’m sure there’s a few missing pieces to the puzzle that we have.
We obviously need to learn more from you. You did a one day thing for these reconstruction dentists. You also did a one day just the elevator pitch for the dentist and how to get change their mindset.
Because ultimately everything we talked about is underpinned by mindset, right? And so the way we think about sales, the workflows in your practice. Are you doing any more of these training days?
I do have some coming up. So with, in collaboration with the IAS Academy, I’ve got two courses coming up this year. I think the dates for one of them has been set, but they’ve not gone live yet. So one of them is, a TCO course and I think what I wanted to put together is a TCO course that’s nonclinical. I’m got to teach you how to take photographs. I’m got to teach you how to scan. I’m got to teach you how to look in a patient’s mouth, but I’ll teach you how to communicate in the best possible way to get that patient over the line.
And call that, let’s just call that sales. And then another course that we were speaking about at the academy that will go live this year is one called ‘Phone School’. And Phone School is pretty much love the name, it’s a Ron Seal statement.
It does what it says on the tin. And it’s the art of conversations on the phone, what the ideal sales call looks like, what the ideal customer service call looks like, what the objections sound like on the phone. And then we are just designing now the workflow of the course. But what one of the things we’re talking about is the delegates that register, some of them will have the opportunity to allow us to record calls coming into their practice.
And but instead of a mystery shopper, we’re got to play those calls back in front of the whole audience and coach them on that. And we will also probably do a couple of live calls to some of the delegates practices during the course. To get some instant sort of feedback, right?
Instant red faces.
But you know what, those, that, this is the way I look at it, those that volunteer to have fair practices call it exposed, right? Because look, if you call my practice today, I guarantee you that the will make some mistakes as well. We’re all always improving, right? They’ll get the most out of the course, they’ll get their personalized direct advice.
And what I like to say is the environment in which I do this will be a safe environment, where everyone would be encouraged to share and learn and whatnot, and like-minded people in a room for one purpose, which is to get better at communicating.
I think that is certainly communication, as well as having the skills to stick the drill in the right place. And all the other bits and pieces it’s the thing that’s got to get you out of trouble. It’s the thing that’s got to get you the patient to say yes. It’s the thing that’s got to get that patient to bring the friends and family members and all the rest of it.
I’ll put the links and the dates in show notes, but you need to do something again for dentist. I don’t think you do that enough. I know you’re a super busy guy, but if you’re up for it, let’s get something organized for Dentist.
I love that actually people will actually find that really valuable. We should consider that.
I think Loom School, I’m evangelical about Loom because I think it is one of the tools that even my agency has saved me days every month because when you are recording a screen and you are pointing at something and you’re saying, move this here, do that there, or even communicating via voice rather than typing saves me a ton of time. I also have accountability cause I know that person’s watched it.
Prav honestly, we all love loom here. So, for those of you who hadn’t discovered Loom before, now’s your time to check it out. We covered a lot ground here. Thank you so much. Prav. We talked about being concise.
We talked about doing it in a way that the patient will understand doing it a way that your team are on board different ways of communicating and just changing your mindset about the definition of sales. So I will reach out to you, try and twist your arm to actually do some live training for dentists.
Again, I’ll get you back on that. I know you’re be busy, but man, thank you so much for making time. I really appreciate it, Prav.
Pleasure. Jaz. Thanks for having me. Really enjoyed it today.
There we have it guys. Thanks so much for listening all the way to the end. I mean, there was a lot of different themes covered here, which is why we have the executive one paid summary for all Protrusive premium members to download.
And of course, you can also answer some questions to get your CPD. Why not, right? I don’t think we do enough CPD in the non-clinical stuff, so I think this will be golden. So if you want to answer some questions, get your certificate, please do that on the Protrusive app as well. And of course if you like the idea of Loom, check out loom.dental and make a video, make a practice video.
I think for free you can use it. It’s like a five-minute limit. A lot of my videos end up being more than five minutes, which is why I pay, I don’t know, like 70 bucks a whole year to make unlimited videos. It’s also how I communicate with the Protrusive team through Loom videos. So thanks so much for listening all the way to the end.
Check out loom.dental. But lastly, if you want to learn from Prav, I believe he’s got some courses at the end of the year for dentist 2023 December, but also the one for TCOs and phone calls, et cetera. So I’ll put that all in the show notes if you check out how you can learn more from that man, Prav Solankhi. Thank you again. I’ll catch you in the next episode.