Christopher Donaldson

On today’s episode of AmericaSmiles Tips and Tricks, we’re going to talk about creating legacy crowns. What do I mean? Let me tell you a little story. My nephew bought a new golden retriever pup. I hadn’t been to his house in a couple of weeks, and when I showed up at his house, I … Read more

On today’s episode of AmericaSmiles, Tips, and Tricks, we discussed the easiest way to get new dentists to try your laboratory. The best tip I can give you to bring in new dentists is to utilize the AmericaSmiles One Voice program. So, I’m going to explain to you what One Voice is and give you a little bit of its “Genesis” (That’s a little plug for the zirconia!).

How One Voice Began

The fact of the matter is that for most dental laboratory owners, the weakest area of their business is marketing and advertising. I explained on a previous episode of Tips and Tricks that marketing should be just as predictable as sending out statements, ordering supplies, or anything else that you do on a daily or weekly basis. So, I recognized this weakness in the lab industry a long time ago and I started what was called America’s Smiles. 

We had an American Smiles membership program that we did called Direct Connect. I realized that most laboratories don’t reach out to doctors. So, I started calling doctors on behalf of labs saying, “Hey, can I schedule a meeting for this guy’s laboratory to come out and meet with you?”

I would schedule the appointment, and the lab would meet with the doctor, show them the samples and the price list, and the labs got to close the deal and get them to commit. While the American Smiles Direct Connect program has been successful for the last 10 or 12 years, we gradually changed the program over time. 

We changed the name to what we call One Voice and started putting everyone on the same program. With the One Voice program, we would send out a postcard one, two, three months in a row to soften up that dental office. Then I would call and say, “Hey, you’ve heard of All Smiles Dental Lab, right? I’ve been sending you these postcards. Can I get you to schedule a meeting with this guy?” Eventually, I discovered that the lab guys weren’t keeping the meetings because they didn’t know how to close the deal or ask for a case. So, now we do that for you too. Today, we’ve got 12 people calling on behalf of over 200 laboratories, with what we call One Voice.

How the One Voice Program Works

So, here’s what we do. We send a postcard, introduce the doctor to your laboratory, and tell them about your special—maybe a $119 crown or whatever it is. We follow up with a phone call and ask them to give you a case and try out your lab. We save you time and you get new clients. It’s a win-win for everyone.

A Special Limited-Time Bonus

Now, for a limited time, there’s an added bonus: This May 31, right after Memorial Day, we’re going to give $10,000 to one lucky dentist.

Here’s how that will work. I’m going to send out a postcard to the nearest hundred dentists to your laboratory. I’m going to tell them about your lab: who you are, what your business name is, and what special you’re offering. Then we’re going to tell the doctor about our QR code. In case you don’t know what a QR code is, it’s a scannable square barcode you point your smartphone camera at. When you do that, a website pops up on your screen. The doctor follows that link to the website. He can register to win $10,000 in free services from your lab; no purchase necessary. I’m paying the bill. So, on May 31, one lucky dentist is going to win $10,000 from one lucky lab.

Double Their Chances of Winning

You may be thinking that my sales staff are going to lose their jobs. But you don’t need to worry because we still have stuff for them to do. When a doctor clicks on your QR code, we’re going to call them and say, “Hey, check it out, send this lab one case and you will double your chances of winning.” So, now instead of the doctor being entered once, the doctor is entered twice. 

And it gets better: if they send you a case and they’re selected a winner, it isn’t $10,000 anymore, it’s $12,000. So, how do we do that? We’re going to pay the bill. We tell that winning doctor to use your lab for four consecutive months. Whatever your lab bill is, we’ll pay up to $3,000/month. So, if the lab bills $500, we’re going to pay $500. If the lab bill for the month is $3,500 we pay $3.000. The point is, we’re willing to spend up to $12,000.

Sign Up for One Voice Today!

So, the easiest way to get a doctor to use your lab is to sign up for One Voice. We’re going to charge you $195/month for this service. In return, we’re going to send postcards to the nearest hundred dentists to your lab, or the next town over, if you prefer. The postcard is going to be an advertisement for you. It’s going to say, “Click on the QR code, register to win $10,000.” My team is going to follow up and tell that doctor to click on the QR code. If they send you a case, they will double their chance of winning $12,000.

So that’s it. Today’s episode of AmericaSmiles, Tips, and Tricks is a win for everyone—The doctors get a great, reliable lab, I get your business, and you get more clients!

In today’s episode of AmericaSmiles, Tips, and Tricks, we’re going to teach you how to get regular zirconia—monolithic zirconia—to look like layered feldspathic porcelain. Starting with Classic White So, how do you get your zirconia to look like layered porcelain? Here at AmericaSmiles, we mill everything in classic white. I have previously argued why I … Read more

Welcome to the America Smiles tips and tricks. We’re going to touch on various financial subjects, technical subjects, and marketing subjects. The whole idea of this program is to give you simple tips and tricks to help you run your business more efficiently.

For today’s installment, we’re going to discuss something in the marketing category with how to onboard a new dentist. If you’re onboarding a new dentist, we’ll operate under the assumption that you’ve engaged in a marketing program or plan, making door-to-door sales, using a mailer, or hired a call service of some sort.

Getting Started with a New Doctor

In any event, once you’ve gotten a new doctor to try you for your first case, they’ll send you just one case to get a chance to get to know the patient and to see how the case fits. Let’s assume that the first case is a crown and bridge. We’ll speak from a crown and bridge standpoint, but in this first case scenario, you might want to call the office immediately after receiving it.

When one of the employees answers the phone, ask if your case patient has been seen. If they confirm, yes, the patient’s been seen, you might want to ask, “Can I talk to the doctor? I want to confirm how the case went.” She might volunteer to ask the doctor for you. Be persistent to make that personal and technical connection with the doctor. Throughout my dental career, I’ve made a point of not talking to auxiliary staff on a technical basis, asking them how the contacts were. They have to ask the doctor; then it gets back to you.

Set the Tone

I like to talk directly to the doctor. Sometimes I even sound offended, saying, “I’m sorry, I won’t speak to auxiliary staff about technical issues.” I want to get right to the doctor the best I can. If you’re confident that the patient has come in, ask the doctor, “How was the shade? How were the margins? How was the context? How is the bite at this point? Is there any chance we can get you to try us for a couple of more? We understand that anybody can get the first case, right?” I’ve always said, “Be honest.” I want to make sure I like working with you as much as you like working with me. There’s no reason not to establish your ground that you’re not just begging for new business, that you deserve respect as a business owner, and you have standards and protocols that need to be met, as well as the customer.

Generally, I like to get 3 cases onboard. How do you bring a new customer into your fold? Talk to that doctor for up to five minutes, ask him how he liked the service with generally the same line of questions regarding the fit, the finish, and the aesthetics. If you’re confident that the doctors liked the work, it’s your opportunity to establish yourself as an individual business owner. However, I also need a quality impression from the doctor. I need the right amount of time to produce what you need, and I’m a stickler for being paid on time. If I can get those things from you, then I’ll go to the ends of the Earth to get a quality product to you.

Remake Policy

You can discuss how we all know that remakes are a part of the industry. I’m proud to say my remake ratio is about 2%, or about two out of every hundred crowns will have to be remade. I reserve the right to make a case twice and be paid once. The whole idea of businesses saying, “I didn’t like it, and I’m sending it somewhere else,” is never going to work. Take the opportunity to say, “Doc, I have a policy here for the most part. If we’re pretty confident the flaw was in the impression, I’ll do that case for half charge. If we’re pretty confident that it’s my fault, I’m going to be doing it at no cost”. But let’s be honest, the weak link in our system and dentistry is that impression.

I’ll try to hold a doctor to a high standard. I’ll try to give them feedback on the impressions they’re giving me. If something needs to be remade, I’ll let them know that an impression must be retaken and I’ll tell them that ahead of time. But in any event, it’s an excellent opportunity to establish yourself and say, “I’d love to do your work, but I am an independent business owner.”

It’s All About Customer Service

You have standards that you have to adhere to. It’s your opportunity to tell the doctor what your needs are as well as your willingness to provide him with anything he needs. Go over some of the additional services you offer, some timeframes, make sure they have enough lab prescriptions, and your price list.

Onboarding a doctor involves communicating after cases and showing you’re more than willing to provide all they could ever ask. Don’t forget; it’s also your opportunity to set your standards of what you expect from them as a business owner.


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