Alex Nottingham discusses DIY coaching: Empower your team with consistent vision, skill training, call grading, and coaching for a thriving, high-performance dental practice.
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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.
Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.
This is Dental All-Stars, where we bring you the best in dentistry on marketing, management, and training. Here’s your host, Alex Nottingham. Let’s talk about the do-it-yourself coaching checklist. The premise here is that coaching your team is critical, whether you do it or somebody else does it. With coaching, you’re going to see an increased team performance and increased team efficiency.
You’re going to have less team mistakes and complacency is going to go down. You’re going to have better systems, better implementation. You’re going to be more involved with your team and the team is going to have greater buy-in. Ultimately, you are going to make more money. You’re going to have more time. You’re going to have happier patients and a happier team. Let’s go right into your do it yourself coaching checklist. And this is something that you can use to coach your team.
First is make sure you convey your vision consistently. I did a whole podcast about vision. Now with respect to your vision, it could be your purpose. It could be your mission. Doesn’t matter what something that you live by, and that is what guides you in coaching your team. Make sure you onboard all new employees within 30 days. So they have a minimum level of skill. And this can be basically the skill or the position specific.
but it can also be what we often advocate being customer service skills, phone skills. We want to make sure everybody has a certain competency level within 30 days. Then train your team 20 minutes per week on customer service skills. Everybody phone skills. This could be just the entire patient experience process, case acceptance, rapport building techniques, 20 minutes a week is enough. And that is a competitive advantage. Very few dentists.
or businesses do this. Grade live monthly calls. Forget mystery calls, we’re against it. But record your phone calls. This helps you track your marketing. But also find some grading system. And if you need one, ask and we’ll give you ours. And you can use it to grade your calls. You should be getting a 75% on these calls. And if you’re not, you need to provide more coaching to your team. You want to review KPIs or key performance indicators monthly.
This could be broken appointments, phone conversion, case acceptance conversion, open time, whatever that might be. You want to look at not all the numbers, not all the indicators, but what are the ones that drive your business and make money and what can you work on to optimize your business and improve? You want to identify areas to improve and then coach your team.
based on those results. You wanna collaborate with other dentists and professionals and coaches. Now this is what I’m saying, if you are acting as a coach for your team, you need outside support to collaborate. You need an inner circle. That could be other dentists, that could be professionals or other coaches. You can share ideas and learn from them. Our coaches are always doing podcasts and YouTube videos, so definitely check out all of those to help work.
and model from the coaches that you see. Improve yourself. If you’re gonna be a coach, you’re gonna coach your team, and I’m speaking to you typically if you’re a dentist as the audience, you’re gonna coach your team, improve yourself. You gotta go to personal development seminars. Perhaps get a coaching certification. Maxwell is one of many coaching certifications so that you have the competency to coach your team. Now let’s build on the checklist with your team specifically. Make sure you’re providing feedback.
to your team from those call grades. So if they’re below 75, they’re going to get feedback from you and be polite, be supportive, motivate them, ensure the systems are properly created and implemented, role play with your team and quiz them on training materials. Whatever training materials you have. We at All-Stradental Academy have an online training system that you can use at the training materials and it quizzes them through the process. But even if it’s quizzing them,
you still need to provide them feedback. You still need to role play with them and coach them. Motivate and inspire your team. Be a leader, show appreciation as well to your team. That’s one way of inspiring them. Hold your team accountable to the training and areas to improve. That’s your job as coach. Take your team to events, like the Practice Growth Summit or the Total Case Acceptance Program that we have at All Star Dental Academy.
You can learn more about that at also dental academy.com slash events. And events are very helpful because they turbocharge your team. They give them excitement. They make it more real for them. So you’re coaching them. Give me an example. It’s like having a kid. You can homeschool the kid, but they got to go play with other kids. So go into the events. It’s not only the content, but it’s the experience where you’re rubbing shoulders with other.
practices that other team members that are being coached, right? This is what you want to convey to your team. It’s not just a job. This is a career and you, as a dentist, you are investing in their career. Another thing you can do is create your own events or retreats, but have a clear agenda and make sure you have team building exercises included. Utilize a practice management system to keep your team organized. This is not your practice management software. This is a way to make sure all your tasks are in order. Make sure that
You’re holding your team accountable by the tasks and projects and systems. So all that you should be doing as a coach. And then it comes to the question, do I do it myself? And I gave you the checklist or do I outsource? And here’s the way that I like to think through that, that you can think through this and consider. First, do I love or like coaching my team? You got to be something that you like and that you enjoy. Second, am I good at coaching my team?
Is this something that I have the competency? And as I said before, you can take personal development courses to improve your coaching. So first step, do I like or love coaching? Second, am I good at it? The next question is, am I the best person to coach my team? And I used the analogy before that if you have a kid, sometimes your child doesn’t respond as well to you, but to somebody else it might. So a coach often may be less threatening than you. So even you could be a great coach.
You could be really good at it, but your team may not respond to it. That’s where an outside coach is helpful. At All-Stradental Academy, most of our coaches have worked in the office in a front office position or hygiene or assistant, they know what it’s like so they can relate. And lastly, and maybe one of the most important steps is, is it worth my time to coach my team? Now, doctors, you’re making $500 to $1,000 an hour and your business will be
thousands of dollars an hour. So is it worth your time to do it? It’s worth it because your business grows from coaching, but if you can be producing thousands of dollars an hour for your business and the decisions you make, then leveraging a coach may be a good way to optimize your time. So if you’re producing thousands of dollars an hour or influencing your business to produce thousands of dollars an hour, it may be more beneficial to leverage a coach to.
do the coaching and support you so you can keep your eye on the big picture of your business. And I would say, if you go through all these questions, 99% of the time, it’s better to have an outside coach. So why don’t dentists pursue outside coaching? Now we talked about in this podcast generally about just do it yourself coaching. Let’s talk about outside coaching.
Why won’t dentists or what is in between dentists from doing coaching? What’s the barrier to coaching? One, they don’t know what to expect. What is coaching about? Another, they don’t see the value in coaching. Another, they don’t want to spend the money. Well, that makes sense. If you don’t see the value, you don’t know what to expect. And what goes with money is time. They don’t have the time to do coaching. I see this actually more of an issue. It’s not so much the money. Money is important, but it’s often the time that’s the problem.
time and money go hand to hand. And lastly, many dentists have had a bad experience with coaching. Let’s look at each one individually. So don’t know what to expect. Well we have to differentiate between consulting versus coaching. Consulting is a much broader experience and it can be quite expensive. And the consultant has a framework that you’re going to be doing and you have to follow that framework.
They’re building on what you currently have. Next is commitments versus monthly. So when it comes to consulting, it’s typically a longer term commitment. Coaching is typically a monthly commitment, depending on what coaching is or how they set it up. At least at All-Stradental Academy, ours is month to month. And coaching is typically more affordable than consulting. Consulting can be 60 to $100,000 a year. Coaching shouldn’t be more than $1 to $2,000 per month for coaching. When it comes to coaching, two to four calls a month maximum.
Anything more than that, you’re getting into a consulting situation and it’s very hard to handle all that input. This is what we recommend and what we do at All-Star is one call focused on KPIs or your key performance indicators. We talked about that earlier. One call with the team to apply the key performance indicators that we saw were lacking in the research. The next issue is dentists don’t see the value in coaching.
Well, let me give you some statistics. 75% of Fortune 500 CEOs stay coaching as one of their top three factors to success. Fortune Magazine found a conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from coaching to be six times what the coaching costs their companies. And in dentistry, we find that coaching provides a minimum 10X return on investment when it comes to dentistry, because dentistry is so profitable.
Another objection to coaching is dentists say they don’t want to spend the money. Now, if you know what to expect and you see the value, then you have to face this concept of don’t step over dollars to grab pennies. And I’m a big fan of frugality, but when it comes to, when you see there’s a way to be more efficient and make money, you have to do that as a good CEO. And we have to be mindful that we’re not stepping over potential and opportunity of growth to grab these quote pennies. Which are.
short-term perspective versus long-term perspective. And like I mentioned, I consider myself frugal, which I think is a positive trait. However, I can see the quote cheapness arise within myself. Basically that’s, I don’t want to part with money. Who wants to part with money? But you have to have the big picture in mind that this is an investment. This makes you money. Think in terms of a CEO. They always spend what is a good return on investment.
an ROI. When they see an ROI is good, they make the investment. I know it’s hard. I know we have to break habits, but we have to go step by step and think logically, not just emotionally, that we may have been conditioned in the past. Otherwise, imagine each day that ROI, that return on investment is foregone, that you have this opportunity cost. You have this money that you’re not going to get over time. See, we only see it right now. This is what the investment is. We have to see over time.
what the missed opportunity is, and that can be great. The next one dentists report to me is they don’t have the time. This is a big one. I love this quote from the Hall of Fame college basketball coach John Wooden. If you don’t have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over? Imagine all the inefficiencies in your office. So many dentists tell me they’re overwhelmed with busy work.
And so dentists cannot work on their business, which are activities that improve your business for the future. They’re stuck and all of you are stuck putting out fires. So coaching is designed to not just make money, but to give you back more time. Think efficiency. And lastly, some dentists report to me that they had a bad experience with coaching. And I like this quote.
You got to kiss a few frogs until you find your prince. It’s like a patient saying, I had a bad experience with a dentist, so I’m never gonna go again. Yeah, you can brush and floss, but eventually your teeth are gonna be in trouble if you’re not seeing a dentist, you still have to go. So stay persistent, be vigilant in finding the coaching experience that works for you. Let’s look at the benefits to outside coaching. A coach will bring in a unique perspective.
They’re not in your business. There’s no group think going on. They can see blind spots or quote gaps in your business. They can see opportunities for growth that you may not be able to see. It’s like seeing the forest from the tree. You’re looking at the tree, the coach can see the forest. The coach has specialized knowledge. Coaches are specialists and work with hundreds of clients that they can pull their collective experiences. And at All-Star, all of our coaches meet together and share
client information and wins so we all get better. So let me talk to you briefly about All Star Dental Academy self-funding coaching. So we believe at All Star Dental Academy, coaching should pay for itself. That’s why with our coaching, we set the goal to pay for coaching within 90 days. And coaching is also month to month. There’s no commitment. And what’s cool about this, we find that the average client stays with us for five plus years because there’s no pressure.
It’s month to month and it pays for itself within 90 days. So coaching becomes an annuity. It becomes house money. And you use that growth to continue to build your business. To learn more about our coaching, you can reach out to us or go to allstardentalacademy.com backslash coaching. And I wanna end with this, ABC, not always be closing, always be coaching. Whether you work with one of our coaches, another coach, or you’re gonna do it yourself and coach your team.
Always be coaching. Coach your team, coach yourself, and be coached. Until next time, go out there and be an All-Star.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Dental All-Stars. Visit us online at allstardentalacademy.com.