Unlocking Practice Success

Alex Nottingham JD, MBA, is interviewed by Dr. Paul Etchison on Dental Practice Heroes regarding three ‘Silent Killers’ facing your practice.


About Dr. Paul Etchison

Paul Etchison is the host of the Dental Practice Heroes Podcast, he is the author of two books on dental practice management, Dental Practice Hero: From Ordinary Practice to Extraordinary Experience and Dental Practice Hero II: How a 3 day Work week can give you the life you want.   He is the owner of Nelson Ridge Family Dental, a large multidoc practice in the south suburbs of Chicago and Founder of DentalBusinessMentor.com, and online resource for videos about Practice management, leadership, and the best systems for Dental Practices.  He lives in the Chicago Area with his wife and two daughters.

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

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. Welcome to Dental All-Stars. I would like to share with you a podcast interview where Dr. Paul Etchinson of the Dental Practice Heroes Show interviews me. In this episode, I talk about the three silent killers facing your practice, some quick tips on how to overcome them, and Paul surprises me.


with some impromptu on the spot questions. We had a blast and I trust you will too. Hello everybody, welcome back to the Dental Practice Heroes podcast where we believe that armed with knowledge and intentionality, anyone can become the hero that their practice needs and deserves. I’d like to welcome my guest, a fellow podcaster, CEO and founder of All-Star Dental Academy and author of the book, Dental Practice Excellence.


Please welcome to the podcast, Alex Nottingham. What’s happening, Alex? How you doing today? I’m doing great. I’m really enjoying our backgrounds because we got the blue and the red. And it’s interesting, our podcast logo is red and it goes with the blue. So when this video, so those who are listening to the podcast, you’re missing out on the video version. So go onto YouTube at Paul’s website and check out the blue and the red. I mean, it’s just awesome.


Let’s do this. Yeah, I mean, we look like I mean, we’re a couple of professionals here right now. Giddy professionals. Yeah. And you guys have no idea what we do behind in the green screen, a blue room, whatever you call it. We’re comparing notes and backgrounds and cameras. We do a lot. We want quality for your listening experience. And what we joke around my team and your team is like, most people don’t even notice the amount of work that we do to get high quality compared to the others. But this is high quality stuff. So enjoy it.


Yeah, I remember, you know, back in the day, like I used to be in bands and I used to, we used to record it ourselves and they’re like all in forums. Like it wasn’t as easy to find information, but you could find it. And it would be like, we would record, find this mic, we’d buy it. We had the right preamp, we’d set the mic technique, I’d get it just right. And then we would record a whole album of guitars, like distorted guitars, cause it was heavy stuff. And then we would, I’d read something and I’m like, Oh, I’m gonna try this. And I’d like it. And then I’d go back and I’d re record the whole thing.


And long story short, that album never, ever got finished. It just, and if I could go back in time, I would say, dude, it’s good enough. Just move on. Just ship it out. You’re being too granular. Nobody cares. Nobody’s gonna notice our backgrounds, Alex. Well, that could be a whole show just for dentists because y’all are engineer-like and it’s like, we’re gonna do this perfectly. My father’s a dentist, right? So he’s like, what I did with this veneer, and you’re like, your patient’s never gonna notice a difference. They’re happy.


but I got to do it this way and wax it up 10 times. Okay, great. But it’s better. We care, that’s the important thing. That’s what it is. I’ll set a patient up after doing a cosmetic case and then just, oh my gosh, I love him, I love him. And I’ll be looking at her talk and I’m like, no, we got to go back. We got to lean you back. I got to polish off this corner. I’m seeing it from this angle. I don’t like it. And she’s like, what’d you do? I’m like, I did something and it made a difference. You can’t tell, but don’t worry about it. But oh, so yeah, if the listeners don’t know who you are, why don’t you give a brief introduction.


just your journey, I guess, into dentistry and working with dental clients and stuff like that, just like who you are. Well, I think I was on your show already, where the origin story, but I’ll tell it again. We did an origin stories. We’re both on each other’s programs. And so I’m not a dentist. I’m a lawyer, MBA, boo. Okay. So really why dentistry? I know. Well, I came, my whole family are doctors, right? And I’m the black sheep, but my father told me, he’s a dentist. He said, don’t go into dentistry.


His, this was 20 plus years ago. And he was just like, insurance companies, he’s high-end cosmetic and he’s just like, it’s not the way that it used to be. He says that people that are doing well, they have a good work-life balance, or lawyers, or business people. So I did that. So my goal was to be a Fortune 500 CEO. I worked for Tony Robbins. I was one of his top coaches for many years. And it was just so happens that my father’s practice was facing near bankruptcy.


and I offered to help. I mean, great dentist, right? But just nobody can manage his office, made a lot of bad business decisions. And so we took a $1 million practice, brought it to 2.4 million within 18 months. Marketing was a small part of it, but it was, I brought my girlfriend, who’s my wife at the time, or my wife now, girlfriend then. I gotta make sure I get that right, she corrects me. I took her from Bloomingdale’s.


And she ran the front office, the phone skills, the customer service, and it was a whole different experience. And that was where All-Star, the concept, was born. And I just remember driving up to the office, and it was so special to work with my dad and to make a difference. I love my dad. We’re very close, and he’s my hero. He’s my dental practice hero is my dad. And so I made the naive assumption that all dentists are like him.


they’re caring people and they could just use some help with business. And since launching over 10 years ago, we’re business partners with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Academy of General Dentistry, and Dawson Academy and so on, and helping thousands of dentists. And so it was naive. Now one thing I was wrong about is dentists, I got to give them more credit. I didn’t think they were really good at business. Most of them aren’t. But there are some, like yourselves and others that have…


that are out there. But still, everybody across the board, big hearts, they want to help, they want to give. They didn’t go into dentistry just for the money, although they wanted to make a good living, they want to help people and they enjoy. Like even the beginning, that perfectionism, that care, that artistry, that’s why they’re doing what they’re doing. And so that’s how we got into dentistry and we love it, love helping. Yeah, it’s amazing, man. I was just talking to a coaching client.


This is somebody that took over practice and was feeling really kind of bad about himself because like as we started doing coaching, people started leaving. And there’s that questioning of, man, that what am I doing? Am I not leading them right? Am I not? And I said, dude, you’re doing just right. You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And what he was doing is he was taking a practice that had no systemization, nothing to do. And he started saying, Hey, this is how I want to do things. This is what I want. This is my vision for the office. He started projecting and that had never happened at that office before. And fast forward, maybe.


I don’t know, three, four months of kind of turmoil and feeling really bad about himself. He’s like, I’m really happy with my team now. And I feel like we’re all on the same page and we’re all moving together. And they’re having meetings and they’re discussing like things like, Hey, what can we do better? And it’s amazing that I said, recognize your culture that you’ve created now. Because you have projected this culture and you said, this is how we’re going to do things. And now your team is starting to pick up on it. And now you’ve got a team full of people that want to do it.


And it’s all these little things that, oh, how do we fix this? How do we fix this? And it’s like, you just had to fix that thing. You just had to start projecting and say where we’re going. And I think that’s, it’s unfortunate that it’s, it’s simple, but it’s not simple, I guess. But I mean, I’m sure you see the same thing, like with your clients is that it just takes a little bit of work, a little bit of, I wish there was more business knowledge explained to us, I guess is what I’m saying. Well, I think the, yes. And I think one of the big issues


and that’s what we’re talking about today, the three silent killers, is I think that when it comes to personal development, which you and I do a lot of, and some dentists naturally are gravitate to, the ones that don’t see it, right? Once they see it, they get it. That’s part of what we’re gonna talk about today. Then they get into this sphere of, I know I always have to be being coached, like you’re a coach, having coaching that’s part of, I do a whole program about the five steps to an all-star practice, we can do that another time.


That’s a key element. But you first have to be able to identify the problem. And so what I look at is the big picture is that dentistry in general is profitable. You have to really, I joke, trip and fall to, you still fall into money. And others know the secret. And that’s corporate dentistry. And I don’t want to badmouth, there’s some good ones out there that are doing it right, high level of customer service, especially some of the smallest DSOs.


Many of them are corporations and they’re like, man, we can do this better than you. You guys are so inefficient and we’re going to buy you out or we’re going to push you out because we’re better at business. But I think that there’s room for both and what dentists, the issue that they have that they’re missing, so they have the economic factors, they have corporate dentistry that’s happening is how can they compete? And the advantage that they have is they can change very quickly.


But then the disadvantage is their mindset, that they have to be coached. They have to go to events. They have to train their team. They have to, and this is not one time. This is not go to one seminar and you’re done. It’s an ongoing process. It’s not one coaching call with Paul. It’s an ongoing process of coaching and growing. And there are these silent killers, and there’s three of them we’ll talk about today, that I believe you start to work on these, you’re going to be able to offload quite a bit


of money that I like to say you can self-fund the future of your personal development, the future growth of your practice. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah, totally. And I love these, these sign colors. We talked about these briefly before we hit record, but it’s, this is something that’s going to give you some bang for your buck. And hopefully if someone’s like, gosh, I got to put more intentionality into my practice. This is a great place to start. So yeah, let’s jump in it. Let’s jump in. And I’m going to give you a webinar you can put in your show notes. It’s allstardentalacademy.com.


Backslash webinar. That’s easy. And I spend between 60 to 90 minutes in great depth on these so you can learn more about that. But let’s just kind of like I’m giving you the let me interrupt you a second. A million dentists just said is all star hyphenated is all star hyphenated. It is. It is. When you type out the the the the actual legal name but for


All Star Dental Academy. How am I gonna get this webinar, man? Oh gosh, I didn’t say it. It’s gonna be very easy. Listen, Paul is gonna put it on a silver platter for you. You’re gonna click. Yeah, survey. You’re gonna go into your podcast notes, you’re gonna go into YouTube, you click down, you see there’s a note, a URL, and he does all the work for you. That’s what us podcast hosts do. We make it very easy for you. We’ll mention stuff, but everything’s gonna be in the notes. You just click.


I mean, I just, I have to add a little bit more time. I mean, this is going to be a 45 minute episode. It’s not, I got to put 47 minutes into it, right? No, no, no. You have people that are doing it for you. So, so the first issue is, is phone call conversion. Okay. That’s a silent killer. The phone really, but I’m going to give you some simple math here. So when we look at call tracking data, there’s about


The average practice is missing out on about, I think it’s like, is it 87? You’ll check my webinar, so you got it wrong. But 87 missed opportunities per month. Okay, so they’re getting a lot of phone calls that are coming in. Not all of them will convert. But let’s just say, for example, that one call a day we don’t convert. We either don’t answer the phone, we don’t provide enough rapport, something. We miss out on that opportunity. So…


working days for the average practice times four weeks per month is 16. Okay. 16 multiplied by the first year value of a patient by the this is an ADA, American Dental Association statistic, but this was actually several years ago, it’s probably more, but let’s keep it low. $642 for the first year value. That’s 16 times $642 is $10,000. Okay. And then over the course of a year, that’s $120,000.


Now, if you look at the lifetime value of that patient being 10 years, you have 1.2 million in that missed opportunity for future patient investment. And that we didn’t even include the multiplier of referrals and other things. Right, that’s what I was thinking. So this is what I’m saying, like this is such a simple thing, our phone. And let me ask you this, and you’re a coach, you know this, and you focus on this stuff, but if…


When we hire somebody new for the front office, how quickly do we put them on the phone? Probably first day. First day. Do we teach them anything? No, we do not. OK. So they’re answering the phone, and you’re messing it up. And when I have really good practices come work with us, and this is probably, people say, All-Star, what is your claim to fame? It’s phone skills. OK. We work with a lot of consultants, even though we do offer coaching. We have a lot of coaches that work with us and utilize our systems.


with respect to that and they use our program to coach their people. We’re totally cool with that because there’s so much business out there that needs to be done. There’s not enough coaches out there to serve dentistry. So, you know, we outsource our system, but it’s important to get there. So, you know, we’re doing like call grades too and we’re seeing like at a 40, they’re getting like a 10, but they’re nice. We put on their call evaluation. They were very nice.


but they didn’t follow any process, okay? And we talk about, okay, so in the webinar, I go into the great call process. I’m not gonna go today, because it’s in depth, and that’s just a taste of it. But we teach you a step-by-step service-based process, not sales. We don’t teach you closing. When you follow our process, you become the logical choice. You’re not commoditized. Typically, patients call, hey, Dr. Paul, what do you charge for veneers? And you give them the answer.


They’re like, I’m going to go price shop somebody else because you’re a high end dentist. They’re probably going to, but if they go. Right. But we’re going to answer, we’re going to give them a range. I talk about this in the webinar, but first we have to talk about Dr. Etchinson, his accolades and they get to know, wow, what a good doctor. So you putting price in its place, you’re not commoditized. We have to make friends on the phone and then we can get into the other stuff. Okay. So that’s a huge killer. And


If we don’t phone skills is the top of it, because if they don’t get through this hole, they don’t get the case acceptance. And that’s where we’re that’s the part that’s the biggest problem. You know, I’m listening to phone calls right now. And I got to say, it’s pandemic. I mean, it’s every office. It’s not just this office I’m listening to here. I’m the only ones I listen to. How many times a patient will call in pain wants to be seen today and wants to know what is it going to cost for me to come in and they have to put them on hold because they don’t know.


what it’s gonna cost for a cash patient to come in. And they go, well, it’s, you might, the x-rays and you might, you have to do the exam and you might have to do this. And it’s, I’m just like, dude, just pick a, pick a price. It includes it all. It’s, it’s 60 bucks. You know, it’s 80 bucks. I don’t know what it is. And they put them on hold and they come back, they’re like, yeah, it could be anywhere from like 200 to $500. And they’re like, oh, okay, okay. I’m gonna call some more. And it’s like, what the heck? And you have to be prepared. Like just for the listeners, there’s gonna be nine questions at the end that he’s gonna ask me that now he tells me, okay.


But you gotta be, so pardon my moments of having to think about it. If I was prepared, which I like to be prepared, damn you Paul, damn you. But it’s okay, it’s good for personal growth, this is good. But- Well the editor’s gonna make it sound like you didn’t think at all, so. There you go, I like that, I like that, I’m not thinking. Or he just, he’s that quick. No one’s gonna know. Let’s see what happens, I’ll even know what I’m capable of. If you do this to Heather, my wife, she would be very upset with you. I’m like great. So.


My point is that you have to be prepared. Your team has to be prepared. And they got to build rapport. That’s the big key I talk about in the webinar. And like Paul said, they got to be equipped what we’re going to do. And so one thing we talk about is scripts. Scripts have to be in context. You can’t just read a script. You have to be on your toes ready to go. So that’s phone call conversion. We can spend, again, a whole, this is just touching the surface. So let me go to the next one here, Paul.


Number two. This is gonna drive you nuts. The next big one is broken appointments. That drives, this is probably what drives dentists more nuts and crazy than phone skills, because they don’t see the phone skills, issue the phone conversion, but broken appointments, ooh. There’s nothing more dangerous than a doctor who just got a broken appointment, because what are they gonna do with themselves? They’re gonna cause chaos in the practice, because now they’re doing things they shouldn’t be doing, which is interrupting other people and.


They don’t know what to do, they have to work. So here’s some numbers. And again, these are conservative on the more the lower end. But let’s say doctor has two broken appointments a week at $500 an hour. And I know many of you that are coaching with us or coaching with Paul, you’re doing much more than that. But let’s just do 500 an hour. So you’re producing that four times a week, again, that eight times five, eight times 500, 4,000 a month from the broken appointments. That’s just doctor. And I’m being conservative.


Hygiene, it’s worse. That’s eight a month for hygiene. This is a low end. Four times four times 100 an hour for hygiene. That’s $3,200 an hour. Not to mention we miss production and we gotta pay them money. Okay, plus remember there’s also operating expenses of the business that we’re losing because of that. Fixed cost and variable cost wise. So that’s $7,200 a month right there. Nearly $90,000 a year broken appointments. So you got hit on the phone skills.


And now you got hit on broken appointments, right? And so I teach you in the webinar kind of how to deal with it, but I’ll give you right now the thesis. The thesis of broken appointments, how you solve it, is you have to have a policy that teaches and not punish. Because you start threatening patients. So the problem is we either don’t let them know how we feel, because we’re afraid they’ll get mad, or we threaten them, and then they leave, or they get mad.


So we have to teach them that they have to respect that doctor, you know, these are people’s livelihoods that go on and just to know about that. Plus, if we do a great job in the beginning on phone skills and they appreciate where they’re coming, they’re seeing a world-class doctor like, you know, Dr. Etchinson, and they’re coming in, everything’s taken care of, there’s less likely that they’re gonna not show, right? So we have to be, this is the idea of being intentional.


that we’re scripting out in our mind the patient experience process. All right. So that’s broken appointments. Thoughts, questions on that one? Well, you can do two things. And if I’m a new grad and I’ve got a big school loan debt and I’m like, I just opened my practice, I can’t pay back my loans. I mean, you just gave two gems right there that are very easy to correct. It just takes a little intentionality and training. And we had this happen in our office and we have a very high volume office. So these numbers might not jive so much for everybody else. But


I was saying hygiene visits, I was just putting $250 per visit on a broken appointment. We went from, I want to say 14% to 5% in six months by doing something very similar to, I don’t know what your system is, but same thing. It’s not a punishment. It’s telling them, it’s teaching them. And well, speaking of what you’re saying, what I found that our program represents, I would say the best in consulting and coaching. And a lot of people like yourself are going to go through what we do and say, we do that. And that’s a good thing.


It’s a composite. You’ll find that the service-based coaches like me and Paul, it’s very similar what we teach. It should be similar. It needs to be similar. You don’t want things that are, wow, this is revolutionary. Maybe what we do, what I find, is we just package it differently, where it might resonate with you a little differently, or personality differently. But it all needs to be service-based, intuitive. Oh, that makes a lot of sense.


And then the hard part of all this, and I talk about this at the end of the webinar, is how do you implement it? And that’s where you’re sticking with these things over and over again. Because once you’ve heard this, this is great, wow, this is a revolution at what you guys are talking about. What happens a few weeks later with you and your team if you don’t reinforce the training? They’re gonna go back. I see it, I see the call grades, and you see it too with your coaching clients. You start focusing, they go up. When they stop coaching and they stop focusing on it, it goes right back. Human nature.


It’s like the same thing, listen, and I put this in the dentist, because I’m a dentist. It’s like me saying, I’m gonna come see you, Dr. Paul. You’re gonna fix my mouth and I’ll see you in 10 years. Doesn’t work that way. I gotta keep maintaining this mouth. It is designed to fall apart, my mouth. Bacteria, tartar, all this stuff, using, chewing on ice, which I’m working on to do, all these things, it’s going to fall apart. Shame.


without, I know, shame, shame, without, I think my dad does it, he’s a dentist, well, whatever, okay, anyway. I do stuff too, I’m not perfect. But you know what you also, you didn’t mention, is that also with the whole broken appointments, it’s a disservice to our other patients that really wanna get in to see us, and they can’t, because of these people that are not valuing our time. Well, and that’s part of, you’re reading ahead, see, you know it, you didn’t even see the webinar, you know it, no, you’re right, you’re right. Part of it is,


And this is part of what we’re teaching them to appreciate. And a lot of people, we just go through life. I don’t think people mean to do broken women’s because if you go see your hairdresser, I don’t have that problem, but you respect him or her time, her time, because we see in their mind they have a life. And if I do that, then that messes with them and other people. But that’s part of what we have to communicate is what happens to the office, what happens to other people. And we do it in a very compassionate way.


and they go, oh, wow, I never looked at it that way. You know? Maybe you can keep your appointment or what happens. So we have to, this is a teaching process. Like we teach children, our patients are like children. We teach them positive reinforcement and support. And if people can continue to re-offend, are these the type of patients that we want to have in our office? That’s what we have to ask ourself. It’s a life we want to live. And that’s what I think both of us are doing with our podcasts and our mission is saying to all of you that you don’t have to.


be reactive to life. You can choose the way you want to live and the way you want to work and who you want to work with. So I love that you say that because I think that comes from like you being a life. Would you say you were a life coach with Tony Robbins? No, I was a business coach. I was his top business coach. But life coaching always came a part of it. And it’s funny, a lot of people that get to know me because I go a lot on business. That’s what I was educated to do. But we talk in my heart of hearts. It’s life.


I mean, you have to master life, you know, because I also think it’s not as interesting for listeners to go to talk about emotional intelligence all the time and Pilates or whatever. But it’s, it’s, it’s, we start with the business that’s a left brain. So this is a whole nother, this is a left brain. You have to meet, most dentists are left brain. They want to hear left brain things, business, right? Or dull dental stuff, DDS, right? They love dull dental stuff, but I’m telling you, stay away from that. You have enough DDS.


At All-Star, we have a philosophy. You come work with us, we stay clear DDS, still dental stuff. You have a lot of stuff you can do there. But you start with the left brain, and then you start moving to the right brain stuff, which is the creativity, which is life. At the end of the day, it’s moving to that. And I find it’s amazing that when you go beyond it, you start to see it’s all about that. You have to master life. So no, I’m a business coach with a minor in life coaching, we’ll say. Well, I mean, I just love, when I had a life coach,


you know, what do you want? Why do you want it? And what do you want? What would be ideal? And I’d be like, well, this and they’re like, I’m like, but I can’t because of this. And she’s well, why not? Well, because of this, but why not? And then, and then we, we, you pull it apart and then before you know it, I mean, fast forward a year and a half, two years of life coaching, everything I said I couldn’t do, I went and did it and it was fine. It’s like, you know what happens? What happens is as you do this journey of personal development and improvement, you start to these, these realms of business and life coaching start to fall away.


and you just go for like, how do I become a higher performing person, a happier person and as a good business person, because here’s my objective for me. And it’s interesting. I only teach what I do. I can only speak from my perspective. So my life is I want to maximize personal and business where I really enjoy what I do. I don’t want to be beholden to anyone. My house is paid off, right?


my financial situation is set appropriately, right? Where I don’t have to worry about money. And there, what I can just do to assert people and do things that are fun, right? My team, I build my life, my business around what I do. And so, and when you focus with passion, right? So this then being your part of your vision and what you want. And what happens too much with dentistry and everybody is the world imposes what you should be.


and how you should be, your parents, your whole world gave you that program of what you should be. And you have to say, no, I don’t want that. So like I say, I’m not a quote life coach, right? But everything comes down to, you know, I’m pretty maniacal about serving the vision of what you want, right? And then you put around you, so see, I almost operate like up here at the visionary stage, like dude, like you deserve something better, but then you need people around you.


coaches to do that for you. I don’t have the patience. I’m not patient enough to stick with coaching somebody because I get pretty annoyed. So I have coaches that do that. But you always have to start. And this is a whole nother, we can do another episode. I’m really big on visionary. And being a visionary, what it is, I would consider myself a true visionary, which means I have quite limitations, unfortunately. I need a team. Some people like yourself and others can do multiple things. But I think dentists have to embrace their visionary.


role and keep improving on it, which is a whole nother kind of process. But that’s what’s fun. You guys listening, as we’re talking, there’s so many different ways that you can grow personally and professionally. But personal comes first. If you’re not happy there, you won’t go. So let me get the third one because we’re going to take you off. So and then you have the nine questions. Okay. So gotcha. Third is the gliding team performance. All right. Because here’s the deal. And we see it.


post-COVID, inflation, all this, the big resignation, right? Declining team performance, that’s what’s happening. That will lead to turnover. Either they will leave or they’ll do what’s called silent quitting, right? Where they’re just basically, they’re not really, they’re punch a clock and go. We don’t want that. We want people that are drinking the Kool-Aid. They wanna be part of the team.


Declining team performance and we talked a lot about that in the podcast with you and me on my show So go to dental all-stars and listen to me interviewing Paul on that one. That’s a great program Yeah, that’s really good because you did a great job with your team. You’re doing great and with coaching so Declining team performance. So either they’re gonna quit or we’re gonna let them go or worse. They stay and they’re not being productive Do you know what the average cost is for replacing an employee? I’m gonna guess 40k


Well, that’s nice, but really the way we do it, it’s one to three times that employee’s salary. So the bigger the salary, it’s gonna be more. So if we do, and actually 40K is pretty close, so on the average employee, let’s be conservative and say just one. And this isn’t me saying this from my own point. This is Ben Erickson, we’re partnered with them, they’re one of the top HR dental firms in the country.


and that’s what they find. And you say, well, why is that? Well, not just the cost of replacing them, because we have a hiring service that helps hire team members. That’s not really that expensive. It’s the lost production. It’s the onboarding process that get them to where they go. All those inefficiencies. And you just saw phone skills, broken appointments, and how we’re getting crushed by that, the killing that’s happened, the bloodbath. But when you have turnover, all that’s accelerated, because anything learned is gone.


and now we have to redo it. And you’re probably not doing it right. So it’s a stacking effect. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. And you’re distracting from someone else that has to train. And when we are short staffed, as a lot of offices are, we’re trying, we’re having people train when they don’t have time to train. And they’re getting distracted from their job and they’re getting frustrated and burnt out because they’re trying to do three people’s jobs while training somebody. And then what happens is your best people get the worst job.


of having to take care of this, and now they’re not happy. So this is, man, I gotta shake you guys. As leaders, you gotta do all in your power to have those systems and support to be able to take care of you and your team, right? And you wanna be proactive before it happens so you have systems, because part of training helps improve it. So here’s some solutions here, and we talk about in the webinar, slash webinar, whatever. You wanna make sure you keep who you currently have.


And there’s a great quote, I’m not going to do it. I have to remember it because I know, but I forget the quote. But the quote, because then I butcher the quote. Act like you know, just act like I know it. But essentially, like our issue is with training. We’re like, well, why should I train someone and they leave? Right. But what if you don’t train them and they stay? And they stay.


So you have to always be training and I’m so I’m gonna give you a preview into one of our next one We’ll talk about the five steps to an all-star practice. That’ll be fun. We got to do that. Well, we’ll do another You’ll help me on my show be on your show. That’s a good one to talk about Because one of them is you got to be coaching you got to be training and you got to be going to events because events get you That excitement built up right where you’re rubbing shoulders with other people you have to create the environment Motivation theory is you change the environment and your people change


And you got to suck it up, guys, because that’s what the best do. And that’s one of the things I learned from Tony Robinson. Number one thing, model the best. And I’m telling you, this is what they’re doing. So do it. It doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton. It doesn’t mean you have to be stupid. But whatever the best are doing, you model them to the degree that you’re sized to practice. So here are some other things. Onboard properly within 90 days.


The Ritz-Carlton will not let you touch the phone without 90 days of phone training, and you see why, okay? We have a system called the Five Steps to All-Star Hiring. I can give you a link, but that’s on our podcast. It’s basically the job description, the job post, the interview, the offer, and then onboard, and those are the five steps. I hope that we talk about it at allstardentalacademy.com slash hiring, and like I mentioned, we have a hiring service where we do it for you. So we teach you the system, you can use it, or we help you hire, which is


I said, well, great, I’m going to take Robin Reese, our director of the hiring of our hiring service. She’s a Ben Erikson consultant, and she’s been hiring for decades. I said, let’s partner and build a hiring service specifically for dentists, which they don’t have many of those out there. Yes, you have job boards, but they do it all for you. They do Zoom calls and everything until they deliver it to the office. And I said, well, great, I’m going to take Robin Reese, our director of the hiring of our hiring service. She’s a Ben Erikson


Oh, this is another thing too. And this is very important, because I know a lot of consultants listen to this as well, your podcast. If we have, if you are working with a coach, even if they’re not an all-star coach, and you let us know you’re working with a coach or the coach emails us, you get our member rate. You don’t have to be a member, but you will get the member pricing for hiring if you’re working with a coach. And the reason we do that is, if you’re coaching, it’s gonna be much more successful, a hire.


So like we said, we don’t want to bully people. You have to be a member to use it. Hiring service is so needed that all coaches and consultants work with us to help your people do that. So that’s the hiring service. It’s amazing, because I have a buddy that does a hygienist for him. And he tells me, sometimes it stinks when he finds a great person and they stick him in an office. And he just says, I know it’s not going to last. He’s like, part of me just knows this is not a good office. And there’s a reason why.


they need so many people. I love when my team goes, well, I could go down the street and get this much money. And I said, the reason you’re gonna get that much money at that practice is because that guy, or Gial, is desperate as hell, and nobody wants to be there. Right, and we’re just trying, for those who are listening, I mean, these are just, we’re trying to save you time and frustration, and it’s not just money. Like I said, I mean, I like to save.


I’ll return things I don’t use and it’s silly, right? Like if you compare my net worth to what I’m returning, it’s just like we have this program of scarcity. And of course we have to be mindful, you don’t want to waste and things like that. But as business people, and that’s what Paul and I are working with you and coaching you is to be better business people, better entrepreneurs, and that does include the life component because it’s like you have to get better to watch those gaps in your business,


those perceptions that are holding you back from making those investments. And good CEOs, they make those investments for the future. They know. And that’s what we’re letting you know, because you’re like, again, this whole theme of silent killers, what’s happening, you’re not seeing. And we just talked about those, but all these missed opportunities, you’re going to pay for that later. It’s basically pay for it now and get a return on your investment or pay it later. And you’re going to pay the piper.


by making these mistakes, not taking care of your team, not doing what you’re supposed to be doing. And don’t even just ask me, what’s nice is you have, you have two coaches, right, two talking to you now on a podcast. You’re gonna hear from others too. We’re not the only ones and we’re not all in cahoots. And look at the best dentists. What are they doing? Model what they’re doing. So that’s my, I’ll step off my soap box. I love it, man. That was fantastic. And just putting it in that way, I hope that resonated with a lot of people.


All right, let’s move on to the segment where we share little systems that add up to big results. Alex, what is your little system? My little system, I gave you a bunch of little systems here with the littler, smaller, smaller than the silent killers littler. Give us another one. All right, we talked about the great call process. Is that too big for you? The five GREAT? Let me give you that’s easy. Okay, so GREAT is a great call process. I talk about in the webinar in more detail, but I’ll give it to you here. It’s very


First is greeting, okay? This is the order you’re gonna do a phone call. Just write it down, you’re gonna get it. Step one, greet them, duh, right? But do it well. Second, but this is the hardest one, most important, build rapport. Rapport means that they’re gonna know you, like you, respect you. Make sure you’re building rapport. If you don’t build rapport, you do not pass go, you do not go to the third step. Now your friends, you can go to the third step, which is engage, answer their question, whatever that might be. What do you charge for veneers? Do you take my insurance? After that,


You then ask for the appointment because you’re friendly with them now and you answer their question. Let’s go ahead and get you scheduled. And lastly, take information, which is be thorough, set the expectations, see what’s going to happen at the office so we don’t get a broken appointment. So great call process. Awesome. Let’s move on to the segment where we celebrate that all of us are human and none of us is perfect. Alex, let’s get real. What is the biggest struggle at your business right now? And what are you doing about it?


My biggest struggle my biggest struggle was having people help me get things done solve that that’s a whole nother Canada work a whole nother discussion which I’m very passionate about So that’s been solved gosh people are I love it because I have this vision and it’s all it’s all carried out So definitely the right people What’s a thorn in my side right now? I’m happy. I’m sure there’s little things like that that go on but I’m very at peace Paul


Nothing is added until, well, ask me this tomorrow. It might change. Right. It’s a good answer. All right. If you go back in time to the beginning of your career, what do you wish you could tell yourself?


I would say, and this is something that is like a hypothetical that I thought about too, but then now that I lived it, I realize it, is no, you’re going to get there. Just enjoy the journey, enjoy the process. Don’t push too hard because I tend to push because I get really, I want results right away. I’ve softened over time. So I say, take it easy. You’re going to get there. There’s no rush. Enjoy each moment because that’s all you got.


Yeah, so true, man. And yeah, I’ve learned that as well. The hard way. Share a story where you learned a valuable business lesson from an experience or the hard way. A valuable business experience. Oh, well. OK, go ahead. I was going to give you a paraphrase. Paraphrase. I like that. Share a story where you got burned and you learned something from it. Yeah, it comes right to me. I had one of my first business partners.


Very charismatic and didn’t work and this was the same problem that my father had in his business having the wrong partner and his was very expensive. Mine wasn’t. Mine was $25,000 in a lawsuit and my wife said to him, given the money, let him choke on it. We’ll make it back in a month, which we did. And it’s- Love that. Yes, somebody was charismatic, but they didn’t do the work and you got to cut it off.


early if they’re not, if their work ethic is not there and I was doing all of it. So I learned from that and not to be too overly impressed with people. You know, my wife’s been teaching me that I get impressed very, very easily, but take it easy and see what they actually do. Yeah, absolutely. Great. Now talk about All-Star Dental Academy. I mean, you plug your webinar one more time. What do you guys offer? What’s the whole suite? Like, what do you guys do?


Well, thank you. Well, we’ve grown over the years. I mean, we were just like the online training program, which is still phenomenal. I think it’s the best in the industry, especially on phone and scheduling. A lot of people have emulated what we do. And that’s another lesson I learned as well. I could say, oh, why are they copying me? But staying power. We stay, and we’re still the leader with it. And they fall. They try. That’s OK. We’re very good at that. With online training, we have a lot


what I call self-funding coaching. We have coaching that’s very affordable. We look to pay for itself within 90 days. We have our hiring service, which is so, everybody needs it, okay, to help with hiring. And so that definitely reached out. We do that for you. So hiring, we do events. And I think most importantly, that’s kind of what we do as a company. But I think for people new to us, because it’s very important, we get to know each other. I mean,


I want to commoditize this is we have a podcast. It’s a high-level podcast, one of the top podcasts in dentistry like Paul. If you listen to these two, you’re in great shape. Check out the podcast, subscribe, follow. That is you get a lot of… You also see my president of coaching every week is on the podcast. My hiring director of hiring services is on there. I’m on there, so Paul’s on there. There’s a lot of good content on the podcast.


And then of course the webinar is, you’ll get a great understanding of our philosophy and some great training with the webinar. Awesome, let’s move on to the dental practice heroes. Sexy6, what is your favorite quote and what does it mean to you and you cannot use the one you already used? Oh, this is fun, yeah. What’s my favorite? I think it’s kind of better. Maybe I won’t tell people before. Maybe I hit you like blindside you. I know, what’s my favorite quote?


Okay, so I have a book coming out next year potentially my uncle the magician and It’s a my magic uncle comm so you can get the free first chapter and watch the trailer Have you seen it? I sent it to you right Paul. Yeah, you sent to me. Yeah, that’s great So I’m gonna cheat and take it from my uncle, but the world is an illusion It works by magic and that magic is perception So if you change perception your perception you change your world. It’s all perception. Thank you uncle mark


the magician. Very cool. All right. What are you reading right now? What am I reading right now? Rocket fuel. It’s all about the dance between the visionary and the integrator. And those are very powerful concepts that if you’re able to embrace your visionary capability in your business and you can find somebody that can help basically take that vision and put it into play.


and you guys don’t kill each other in the process, it’s rocket fuel. And that’s by Geno Wickman over at EOS Worldwide. And depending on when this dropped, but I’m releasing, I interviewed one of their former CEOs we’ll have on the program from that. But they have EOS is a great program, scaling up. All these are great, e-myth, all these are great business systems to expose yourself to. Awesome. Recommend a single book that all dentists should read.


My book, Dental Practice Excellence. All right. There it is. And also Dental Practice Heroes, because you mentioned us. That’s how we got connected. They’re like, who is the guy? He found us. This is great. I think you’re in the phone chapter, I think, Elisa. You must be a smart chap over there to do that. I mean, that’s a good book for dentistry. And the webinar is the same thing. So if audio, you do that. I had to do the shameless plug for my book. I mean, it’s either you read it or you do that. It’s.


But we don’t want anyone to listen to the, I mean, you can listen to the audio from this stuff, but like, are you talking about the book or are you talking about no? So we want them to come see our backgrounds. Well, the webinar, the webinar is like the book. They were built together. So if you like to read, you can do that. And actually somewhere on my website, you probably can get the book for free if you want to download it. But the webinar is better because you get to see the audio, you know, the visual of it and experience, you see how hard.


You get our philosophy. So, that’s a good book as it’s appropriate to our discussion, which is having that life that you want to have and then how do you get it done with respect to it? Yeah, I had a… I’m listening to Flow. It’s something about Flow. It’s a nice book. I’m listening to a book right now. And I started the other night and I was up and I’m like, you know what? I got to go to sleep. So, if I can’t sleep, I’ll just go take a Xanax. So, I take a Xanax. I woke up the next day and I’m in like the end of the book. I’m like five and a half hours in.


Did I like listen to this whole book last night and not remember it cause I took a Xanax? Oh no. Or did I sleep through it on my headphones the whole time? So then I check out my sleep app and it says how much sleep I got. I slept through the whole thing. So I don’t know if I retained any of it. I don’t remember a damn thing. You’re subconscious. What were you in flow? Did you feel engaged and present? I was such in flow. I’m like, you know what? I’m gonna take a nap while I listen to this and I’m gonna learn everything.


Ask me questions in the book, I know the whole thing. Well, the book is great. Well, you know what? We’re living the book here because I think like this is what’s happening. We’re having a great time. We were like starting the beginning, like, how’s this going to work? We had all these technical difficulties and we’re just we’re just riffing. And and flow is a state of ego list. You put your ego aside, you’re just doing what you’re doing. And I think also that’s a great book back to how we want to live our lives. The more we can be in flow, the more pleasurable, the more flow is a very healing state. Right. Yeah. And.


you know, as we do these practices, you start to get into flow more naturally. I’m starting to think, did we talk about flow last time we got together? No, but maybe we talked about it subconsciously while you’re sleeping. No, you know what? I don’t think it was you, but I just had this conversation. We were talking about this. I was talking about my videos I’m making and somebody was like, are you in flow? And that’s kind of like when I’m like, I got to read that flow book. I’ve heard of it. So that’s I don’t think it was you, but it was recent.


And that’s what it was. I was like, dude, I’m working on these videos. I’m enjoying it. That’s a big book. I’ll just take the Cliffs Notes. I must have a different one. Because mine, I think the audio book is only five and a half hours long. Is it that Chekulosa something, whatever, that long name? Yeah, it’s a hard pronounced name. Is that the one? Maybe, maybe it’s the Cliffs Notes. Maybe you did. I don’t know. I’ll let you know how it goes. Oh, you already did. All right, let’s move it on. Recommend a seminar or continued education.


You know, of course, you’re putting me in a position to self-promote. I sound like the greatest showman over here, you know? I know you want to be like humble and not promote yourself. I mean, but you’re hitting it up. Geez. So we’re doing the practice growth summit in May. And that’s a great event that we do. It’s all about personal and business growth. And we bring in speakers and we’re talking about everything related to that. And we’ve been adding these intensives. So we’re doing one on leadership.


which is, and we split the rooms. One is for the visionaries, and one is to build the integrates, so visionaries, the doctor, the integrators, or the implementers, or people just get it done, team leaders, we’re gonna do a program for them supporting team leaders to get better, because let me tell you what dentists, and this is amazing, we’re talking, they love this, which is true, and any business person wants that. I just say the word, and they get it done. Oh my gosh, as a dentist, imagine if you can get there.


And some people just see some people get lucky. They just fall into a great office manager that can do that. But we’re working at All-Star at in our hiring service. Just today, we were talking about it is finding ways to help find those people because there’s certain characteristics. You can’t teach it completely. And then coaching them and teaching them. So that’s coaching. And that’s well, it’s events to be able to support. See, people that have the talent. You have to pour into them. You have to give them the training.


And the biggest mistake, this could be a whole other discussion, the biggest mistake we make is we push the wrong people there or we don’t give them the adequate training. But this event is one that we do to kind of help cultivate that. We also do a whole day on phone skills. And you may like this is what we’re talking about. We have another day at the end of the event called Life Mastery where we’re talking about how to balance life. We have a therapist that’s helping to run it with our president of coaching. So that’s going to, it’s a fun event, the Practice Growth Summit. So definitely, I’m going to pitch that one.


So that’s on our website, slash events. The life mastery stuff is like, I feel, I don’t know what the split is between Dennis, but I feel like half of the people are like, yes, I love that stuff. And half of them are like, no, no. And I feel like everybody could benefit so much from it. Like, just give it a chance if you’ve never done it yourself, like, you know, building on yourself or building in, pouring into yourself as you present. But you know why that they don’t want to do it? Cause they don’t want to get real with, they don’t, I don’t know. Oh, you’re getting close. You got close. They don’t want to get.


real, they don’t want to take responsibility for where their life is. They don’t want to be vulnerable. Because to go there, Oh, yeah, that’s a problem with that. That’s maybe that’s why I like it so much. Right. Well, you like growth. You see, you got addicted to the outcome, which is you get better. The pain goes away. But it’s like, what is it? It’s better to be with a double, you know, right? So it’s like, I’m comfortable where I’m at. Why would I go do that? And risk being uncomfortable.


risk having to see myself, risk having to change. And I love the quote, which is another quote, get a bonus quote, only a baby likes to be changed. Okay, with the dirty diaper likes to be changed. So we don’t tend to like change as general our human nature, but it’s the practices to run towards change appropriately. You can overdo it. You don’t wanna overwhelm your system, but move appropriately to change.



to be able to do that. So we do need to do more of that. And I think that, like I said before, as we start with the left hemisphere, the business stuff, and then we start to get more and more comfortable there. But listen, if you’re ready to go, definitely get into something like Life Mastery, talk with therapists, life coach. I do. I have a business coach that I work with. I work more with my life coach, right?


in terms of I call life coach, but every week and it’s phenomenal and my wife does as well and And different practices of all these are really important. I was talking I’m sure you had in your program. Dr. Uchi, right? If you haven’t get him on I never had him on my program, but I know he’s great reach him out He’s a lot of fun a great guy, but I was just thinking about this today I went for a walk I go for a walk with myself every night and my dog my Jack Russell loves it and I have a talk to myself Now fortunately, nobody’s answering



least verbally in my head that is. My dog isn’t talking to me. But I said, you know, what Uchi said too, which I love, which is, it’s all about life is about having more energy. And how do I maximize energy? Because with energy, and you have to take care of your body, you have to take care of your mind, the people around you, but how do I, how do I have more energy? That’s what we want. And if we burn out too quickly, that’s another big problem in dentistry is burning out. And we don’t have to help. Then


you know, what do we have? Energy is the currency of life. Yeah, I love that, man. All right, we’re gonna skip question five and just do the last question because we’re coming up on time. If you had three pieces of advice for a new dentist or soon to be graduate or just a dentist in general, I think I’m gonna change that to dentist in general. Yeah, but if you had three pieces of advice for a dentist who wants better things, what would you say? First is, and it sounds like a- Better results, I should say.



Well, it’s like a broken record here. Better things. Well, yeah, results is the same thing is one, be super clear about what you want. You can call it your vision, your mission, your purpose. Be so clear and it sounds simple, but be so clear with it and write it down, otherwise you’re not serious and go back to it and then live your life by it. Make that dictate what you do, not what you feel, because moods are going to go up and down. Do not be surprised. Right. Something’s going to trigger. But.


but stay true to that. So that’s the first one is being true what you want in a life, otherwise what’s the point. The second is, surround yourself with a great team. And that could be a high level team, coaches, whatever that might be. Also your team to run your business, right? Really doing the work upfront really well with respect to it. And then a never ending. And the last one, which goes to all these others,



is always be training. ABT is our floor. Not always be closing, ABC, ABT. Always be training. Keep doing that over and over again. Personal development, business development, and then the sky’s the limit. Awesome, man. Dude, great episode. Thank you so much, Alex. I’d love to have you on. I prepped for this and I asked you none of the questions. We just ripped.


We were up to the whole interview, but it was awesome, dude. I’d say, thanks so much. Can you just throw them in the air? I want to see what that looks like. Throw them. Yeah, I love it. That’s going to look great. That was fun. That’s going to look awesome. Yeah, you guys better check out the YouTube for that one. All right, dude, Alex Nottingham, All-Star Dental Academy. Go check him out. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. Thanks for being a great voice that I truly respect in the industry, because I think you and I share a lot of similar things and viewpoints and just our values on how we think the.


the way the dental industry should go. So I truly respect you for that, but thank you for being on the podcast. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. Thanks for joining us. And remember to follow us on Apple podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. Get the episodes as they are released, share with your friends. And 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.

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