Heather Nottingham, VP of Training discuss the confusion between All-Star Academy, All Star Academy, AllStar Academy. It’s more than cooking! Alex discussed the confusion between All-Star Academy, the cooking show, and All-Star Dental Academy, and decided to have some fun with the podcast. Alex and Heather discussed how to build a “recipe for success in a dental practice,” with Heather talking about her love of cooking, and the variety of “recipes” and systems that All-Star Dental Academy uses in their training.
Key Highlights – All-Star Academy
[01:26] Creating an All-Star System for Dentists
[02:46] The Benefits of Following a Recipe for Success
[04:12] Strategies for Providing Consistent and Adaptable Customer Service
[05:32] The Great Call Process
[10:14] Establishing a Personal Connection with Patients to Increase Engagement and Appointment Bookings
[11:34] The Great Call Process and Other Recipes for Successful Patient Experiences
[12:49] Case Acceptance Training and Team Training
[14:46] Discussion on the Benefits of Team Feedback and Training for Consistent Results
Notable Quotes – AllStar Academy
- Yeah, how do we apply recipe and adaptation to and flexibility to the training of the team? I think just doing things consistently once again, it’s like having those weekly meetings, talking about the training together.
- After you build sufficient rapport, you review findings with the patient, you review fees, you respond to any objections. If there are any, and you receive payment. And that might seem obvious to receive payment.
- One is the five “P”s of the patient experience, the first being the phone call, and that’s the great call process. And then you have to make sure that you prepare for the experience, for the patient to come in, prepare for the exam, and then you have the patient exam, the third P, then you have the presentation, which I’m going to give you the 5 hours of case acceptance.
- And each letter stands for a different aspect of the process. So G stands for the greeting, R stands for rapport, E stands for Engage, A stands for Ask for the appointment, and T is take information or think depending if it’s a new or existing patient..
Resources – All Star Academy
- PODCAST: Boost your Phone Skills with “Share the Sizzle”
- Free Training Webinar: Dental Practice Excellence
About Heather Nottingham
Heather is the VP of Training & Phone Skills Instructor at All-Star Dental Academy. She is a former retail sales trainer and manager for Bloomingdale’s, Kate Spade, and Theory, and a top new patient coordinator for a multi-million-dollar high-end dental practice where she personally increased revenue by over a million dollars in less than 18 months. She has over 24 years worth of customer service, training, and phone experience, and designed the All-Star Dental Academy Phone Success Course as well as the GREAT Call® Process.
About Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.
Episode Transcript – All-Star Academy
Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.
0:10:12 – 22:21 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Welcome to Dental Allstars. The title of this podcast is All-Star Academy: More Than a Cooking Show. Our guest is Heather Nottingham. Heather is a co-founder and VP of training at all-star academy. She was also our phone skills instructor. Please welcome Heather.
0:23:04 – 25:21 Heather Nottingham
Hey, everybody. Thanks, Alex. Thanks for having me.
0:26:06 – 46:16 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
I find something really interesting. Many of our fans, even people that have been with us for over ten years, still refer to us as All-Star Academy, either All-Star dental or All-Star Academy. It’s got an end to it. It has a nice ring to it. And we do actually own the domain name All-Star Academy now, but also that we’re all star academy.
0:46:27 – 07:15 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Look at that dental in there. But All-Star Academy was a popular cooking show on the Food Network, right. So if you do a Web search for All-Star Academy, you’re probably going to get a lot of food references. So I found that let’s have some fun with this podcast and we can be all-star academy today, or actually we can be All-Star Academy today.
1:07:15 – 1:26:06 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
We’re going to be All-Star Academy today. And we’re going to show you an All-Star Academy. We’re going to do with the all star academy way, which is how to build a recipe, right? How to build a recipe for success in your practice. And let’s just have some fun here. Heather, you love to cook. Tell me about your cooking a little bit.
1:26:22 – 1:31:18 Heather Nottingham
Yeah, that would be fun. Maybe we can do, like, a cooking thing, cooking an All-Star on the show.
1:31:18 – 1:35:27 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
But we’re doing it now. Let’s. Let’s cook. Let’s cook. You can cook, too. You can cook.
1:36:03 – 1:57:21 Heather Nottingham
I do have a lot of cooking to do in the next few days for the holidays. But yeah, it’s I think one of the things that, you know, kind of connects the cooking aspect with the All-Star aspect is I feel like dentists and team too. But dentistry and dentists, they like following recipe books step by step. Dentists are very engineer, like very methodical.
1:58:05 – 02:25:27 Heather Nottingham
And so one of the things that we said in creating All-Star is we need to have sort of recipe books or step by step processes for our systems, whether it be for scheduling. We have our triple our scheduling system and the great call process is also sort of recipe like because it’s step by step in doing training in the past before we created All Star, I noticed that there were a lot of really great speakers and consultants and things out there teaching fun skills, and a lot of it was very theoretical.
02:25:27 – 02:46:03 Heather Nottingham
It was like, Oh, well, you can say this and you can do that, and you can build rapport. But it wasn’t a systematic step by step approach. And I feel like for team, it’s like they’re like, tell me what to do and how to do it so that I can do a good job and we don’t advocate for scripts because scripts are like, you know, if you have a recipe and you use that as an analogy, sometimes people want to put their own spin on it and their own flavor on it.
02:46:03 – 03:07:02 Heather Nottingham
It’s like maybe the recipe calls for cayenne pepper and you’re like, I don’t like spicy food, but you can change it up. You want to be able to put your own spin on it. So that’s why a script doesn’t allow that. It makes team members very robotic in their speaking, in their verbiage. So we want to have the recipe, but we want to allow flexibility for them to change up the recipe and make it their own, make it what is good for them.
03:07:11 – 03:27:07 Heather Nottingham
So that’s how it’s kind of like that. And the great call process is really a five part process where we’re doing that step by step recipe and there’s different steps that have to happen in certain order so that the recipe works out well. Right. It’s like you can’t put certain ingredients before others otherwise, if you try and bake a cake, it’s just going to be a Pinterest fail.
03:27:08 – 03:35:01 Heather Nottingham
It’s going to look awful, you know, if you don’t make certain things right or if you add sometimes too much of one thing or not another, it just doesn’t come out the right way.
03:36:05 – 03:51:12 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Well, just kind of going in order here. I’m just thinking that comparing you and me in terms of recipes, that you’re very methodical, you follow it, you enjoy it. I do not follow it very well. And hence the result that I have is very inconsistent. And I think that is one theme.
03:51:12 – 04:12:12 Heather Nottingham
If you tell your three team members at the front to make scrambled eggs, they all probably or make eggs. Everybody probably has a different way that they do that, and that’s fine. I’m not saying that one is better or worse than the other, but if you want to have a consistent experience for the patient, like look at companies like Chick fil A and the Ritz Carlton, they have a very consistent way that everybody kind of does things.
04:12:28 – 04:27:20 Heather Nottingham
Similarly, with the same process, the what they say and what they express can be different. But the process is the same. And so we want to make sure that you don’t have one team member doing it one way and one doing it completely different because it just makes the office look inconsistent and a little bit broken.
04:28:13 – 04:49:21 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
So one level is follow the system and you get a predictable result. The next level or thing to consider is that we have to be able to adjust on the fly. And you mentioned with scripts, the problem is that we get so reliant on them that if we’re producing, let’s say, a hamburger and then the middle of it, somebody is saying, wait, I’m allergic to gluten, then we have to adjust.
04:49:21 – 05:10:28 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
We can’t do does not compute. And there are some dental offices or or you say like places of work that they cannot adapt. It’s I joke in my Disney discussion the other day, which is where I reference the model T car from Ford and he said, you can have any color you like as long as it’s black.
05:11:12 – 05:32:14 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
And there are some businesses that cannot adapt. They only can do it one way. The recipe can only be done one way and no matter who requests it. But when you’re looking to provide five star customer service in a great experience, you’re going to have to adapt. You have to train yourself well with strong systems and strong recipes, but you’re going to have to adapt and make adjustments on the fly based on the patient.
05:32:14 – 05:33:02 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Does that make sense.
05:33:14 – 05:52:06 Heather Nottingham
Mhm. Right. Yeah. It’s like, it’s like when, when we went to Disney to the restaurant and we were like oh can we have a booth instead. And they’re like oh and then they, they don’t know what to do and then they have to like go back and talk to somebody and then you have to wait instead of being like, Oh, I’m happy to, you know, sure, I’m happy to get you put over there.
05:53:07 – 05:55:18 Heather Nottingham
The compute does not exactly. Yeah.
05:56:27 – 06:05:17 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Well, give us one of your recipes that also Dental Academy, the great call process. What is it? How does it work? Like a recipe book. And if you don’t follow it, you get a burnt turkey. What happened?
06:06:25 – 06:29:04 Heather Nottingham
Yeah. So the Great Call Process is an acronym G create is an acronym. And you know, we said we called it great because we want your calls to be great. And each letter stands for a different aspect of the process. So G stands for the greeting, R stands for rapport, E stands for Engage, A stands for Ask for the appointment, and T is take information or think depending if it’s a new or existing patient.
06:29:18 – 06:50:13 Heather Nottingham
And it’s really meant to be followed step by step, like a recipe, just like you said, not we’re not scripting, but we have this process because it’s the natural process of the way things work in an order that is optimal for the patient experience. So for example, a lot of times what happens in an office, patient calls up, they start asking questions.
06:50:13 – 07:10:06 Heather Nottingham
First thing team member does is starts answering questions, which is essentially engaging with them. We’re going right to answering their questions. And so let’s say, for example, what do you charge for a venir or what do you charge for a crown? They always start off answering a question or making a statement, patient says. Our team member says, we charge X, Y and Z.
07:10:21 – 07:15:06 Heather Nottingham
Okay, thanks. I’ll give you a call back. Call is over. Right. We went out of order. We?
07:15:11 – 07:15:26 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
07:16:13 – 07:31:13 Heather Nottingham
Right? It’s the EAGR process. We’re engaging with them. Then we’re trying to backtrack and we’re trying to, you know, ask for the appointment. Oh, did you want to make an appointment? Oh, no. I’ll call you back later and. Well, can I get some information? How did you hear about us? It’s. It’s too late. The recipe. The cake has already sunk in.
07:31:13 – 07:50:20 Heather Nottingham
You’ve already had your Pinterest fail. For people that know what that is, it’s where like, you know, somebody does like this nice cupcake with Cookie Monster on it and it looks all professional. And then you try and recreate it and it’s like the face is all, like, sunken in and melted and it just looks awful. So it’s essentially that we we engage too soon.
07:50:20 – 08:07:06 Heather Nottingham
It’s like, I don’t like to use the analogy. Well, we can use like hunting or fishing. It’s like you yanked the rod too quickly or, you know, you scared them away, basically. You scared you scared them away. You got to like get get them a little bit eased in to the process. And so the great call process, we’re greeting them.
08:07:06 – 08:22:27 Heather Nottingham
Hey, it’s nice to meet you. Can I who can we thank for referring you? Can I get your name? It’s like the basic things, right? Sometimes they tell tell us their name and then we’re asking them to repeat it. That’s, you know, not a good not a good thing. So we want to get their name. That’s a huge missed opportunity that a lot of offices don’t do.
08:23:10 – 08:41:09 Heather Nottingham
And so that’s like the main part. That’s like prepping your ingredients. You got to prep them properly, right? And then we get into the R, which is rapport, which I believe is one of the most important parts. And the one of the biggest missed opportunities is all practices. Do they skip over rapport or they try and do it at the end?
08:41:16 – 08:58:01 Heather Nottingham
Like I had a call the other day, I was calling to make an appointment, a doctor’s office and first thing out of the gate I call up, I say, I’m a potential new patient. She’s like, Okay, I need to get your name this night. And it’s like a wall of information that you’re getting no personality, no rapport, no connection.
08:58:16 – 09:13:16 Heather Nottingham
She’s like, The appointment is going to be this much money. It’s these are the dates we have. And it was just a very like for for a high end practice. It was a very dry interaction. And then at the very end she said, Well, and who can I think for? How did you hear about us? Who can we think for referring you?
09:14:00 – 09:30:12 Heather Nottingham
And then I told her, Oh, I’m actually a friend of the family of the doctor. And she’s like, Oh, what a small world. We know you’re your father in law. And I’m thinking that would have been such a great thing to do at the beginning. That’s why we talk about that part. You know, who can we think for referring you get your name so we can use those things.
09:30:12 – 09:47:08 Heather Nottingham
In the beginning, it sets the recipe up for success. It’s making that connection and we’re getting to know you. Then we’re building rapport with you. So she could have easily in that interaction then taken that fact that my father in law is a friend of the family of the doctor, and not such an easy way to move right into rapport.
09:47:14 – 10:14:07 Heather Nottingham
Oh, that’s so great. We love him. You know, this, that and the other. Tell me a little bit more about what your wants and needs are. So that’s why the greeting moves into rapport. We get to know the patient. We understand their wants and needs, what’s important to them, what they didn’t like about their other practice. And then once we’ve done that and we have that personal connection with the patient, it makes it so much easier to then move into engage, which is one of the hardest parts of the process, and that’s the one that they usually start with incorrectly.
10:14:21 – 10:31:29 Heather Nottingham
And so then we know the person, they know us, they they like us. There’s that friendly connection. It’s easier to talk about the harder things which are the price question, the insurance question, you know, sharing the sizzle about our practice. And then once we’ve kind of covered that, it’s like, okay, I know you and like you, you’ve talked about these tough things.
10:31:29 – 10:54:01 Heather Nottingham
We can overcome their objections. Then it moves into naturally asking for the appointment where we’re like, Great, we answered all this. I have a great rapport with you. Now let’s go ahead and get you scheduled. It’s just a nice flow and it works out well. And even if the person doesn’t make an appointment, you still have set things up properly where you have a great connection with them, where you can go back and follow up with them later.
10:54:08 – 11:08:24 Heather Nottingham
Just because it’s no right now doesn’t mean it’s no later. Most of the time they will make an appointment, but there are some times that they’re still not ready. But it’s better. What’s better if we have? They’ve called up and said, Oh, what do you charge for a crown? And we’ve said this much and they’re like, okay, thanks.
11:08:24 – 11:34:05 Heather Nottingham
I’ll think about it. We have no way to call them back. We have no way to follow up with them. We have no rapport and personal connection. And so you’re not going to even be able to follow up. We’re in the situation that I described with a great call process. You have all their information, you have a rapport and you feel like, hey, I’m going to reach back out to you in a couple of weeks to see how things are going and see if you found a dentist yet that that’s more easily done with the great call process.
11:34:11 – 11:46:03 Heather Nottingham
So just like a recipe, if you have the foundation, right, even if things don’t go right in the end and you, you know, maybe like overcooked something a little bit, you can go back and you can repeat the steps easier and have more success. The next time.
11:46:27 – 12:29:13 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
I’m going to put a link in the show notes for our free webinar all-star academy dot com slash free training, which is our webinar where we talk about the great call process, broken appointments, how to reduce turnover, great webinar. I’ll put a link there and I’m just thinking about some of the other recipes we hear and we have here at All-Star Academy. All-Star Dental. All-Star Academy. all-star academy. One is the five PS of the patient experience, the first being the phone call, and that’s the great call process. And then you have to make sure that you prepare for the experience, for the patient to come in, prepare for the exam, and then you have the patient exam, the third P, then you have the presentation, which I’m going to give you the 5 hours of case acceptance.
12:29:27 – 12:48:16 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
And then finally you have proactive follow up because not everybody accepts or they do accept or imparts, and we have to continue. The follow up process is very important. So just giving everybody that’s another recipe. Let me give you one other recipe while we’re on the topic. And the other is the 5 hours of case acceptance. These are all in our online training program.
12:49:08 – 13:10:20 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
First is rapport, sound familiar? Borrow that from the great call process because a great call process can really be the foundation for any of these modalities. After you build sufficient rapport, you review findings with the patient, you review fees, you respond to any objections. If there are any, and you receive payment. And that might seem obvious to receive payment.
13:10:24 – 13:32:27 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
But often we get so excited that they accepted that we don’t take any money and we don’t make the next step in the process. And so I just wanted to highlight, we also had the triple scheduling system. We have some alternative case presentation formulas that may work better for you. So we like to give you a variety of systems and recipes because you may feel a little different one night.
13:32:27 – 13:55:19 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
You want Thai food, another night you want Chinese food or occasion food or Mexican. But you can decide what recipe is most appropriate. And that is where we’re not looking to create robots. We like a practice that is system based, but it is also people based, hiring and keeping the right people. As many of you as you know, we have a hiring service because of the need to find the best team.
13:55:19 – 14:18:10 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
And then when you have them, do you train them well? Do you give them the systems, the recipes, and then the training? And this was my last question for you, Heather, is how do we train the team like a recipe? How do we. Yeah, how do we apply recipe and adaptation to and flexibility to the training of the team?
14:18:10 – 14:46:15 Heather Nottingham
I think just doing things consistently once again, it’s like having those weekly meetings, talking about the training together. I think that it’s good to get everybody’s feedback on what they’re learning. People, different people have different takeaways when they listen to something you could ask three different people and they’ll have three different takeaways. So talking about it together, I think having people train individually is great, but having everybody come together and talk about what’s being learned and how would we say it as an office, right?
14:46:15 – 15:04:22 Heather Nottingham
Like just like we talked about in a previous episode, the sizzle we want it to be consistent, but we want everybody to put their little spin on it. And so some offices might do their greeting a little bit different from another office, depending on where you’re located. I might say it more bubbly than somebody else in the practice, because that’s my personality and that’s okay.
15:04:22 – 15:22:08 Heather Nottingham
Different people can add different flavors to it. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but it’s good to have everybody talking about it together, whether it’s the scheduling system or whatever it is. It’s, you know, how are we going to do this as an office? What works best for us having team members practice and role play together so that they get more comfortable doing it.
15:23:02 – 15:42:12 Heather Nottingham
Just consistent training like we talked about before. Those are really, you know, and asking team to I think it’s important to get their their feedback on what what we could be doing differently how would they say it like getting getting different people involved. The more people involved from the team, the more that they feel like they put their mark on it, the more they’re going to stick with it.
15:42:23 – 15:44:02 Heather Nottingham
So I think those things are helpful.
15:44:12 – 15:58:05 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
And I’ll put a link in the show notes as well to the Sizzle podcast for those who would like to review that. And you can also go back in the episode list, whether you’re on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, to go back and find or any it were in like 23 channels. You can find it on the list there.
15:58:24 – 16:19:06 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Heather, thank you so much for helping us get a better appreciation about recipes and our systems that All-Star Academy, All-Star Dental, All-Star dental. You put them together. all-star academy. That’s who we are. We’re more than the cooking show, All-Star Academy. But we can play both ways. And today we had a little fun with feeling like All-Star Academy.
16:19:13 – 16:39:26 Alex Nottingham JD MBA
That’s who we are with recipes. And please remember, as I mentioned before. Follow us on Apple Podcasts and or Spotify, depending on your device and click on that follow button. It really helps us. It helps our ranking. It helps us get those episodes to you faster and it helps us support you and all your friends in dentistry. And until next time, go out there and be an all star.
16:41:20 – 16:52:13
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Dental All Stars. Visit us online at AllStarDentalAcademy.com.