The Scheduling Institute
I have had a wonderful relationship with a dentist in St. Louis for many years. We initially met at a study club meeting in St. Louis. As we got to know each other ...
by Dr. Joe Blaes, Chief Editor
I have had a wonderful relationship with a dentist in St. Louis for many years. We initially met at a study club meeting in St. Louis. As we got to know each other, we found that we were following the same dental gurus. As time passed, Dr. Sam Cigno and I became good friends. He practiced in far North St. Louis County and I was in far South St. Louis County. We both were early computer users and had the same practice management software, so it was easy to share our numbers. We would meet once each quarter for a dinner at a quiet restaurant where we could spread out our computer printouts and compare how we were doing. We learned a lot from each other.
Five or six years ago Sam told me about a new program he had joined called the Scheduling Institute (SI). He explained how SI founder Jay Geier had helped him greatly increase the number of new patients in his practice. He had met Jay at a dental meeting and listened to him play recordings of dental staffs answering the phones at their dental offices. He said right then he believed his team could truly benefit. And they did. In a short time Sam's new patients went from about 35 a month to 120.
Now we all know the lifeblood of every dental practice is NEW PATIENTS. I wanted to know more, so I contacted Jay and ordered a set of his audio tapes. On a drive to Amarillo, Texas, I listened to a very passionate Jay Geier present his system for not only attracting new patients to a practice, but also how to get them to schedule their initial appointments and show up for those appointments. I had to meet him in person and I arranged to do that the next month while I was at the Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta. Jay and I had a delightful dinner together where he explained to me how his program worked.
SI's New Patient Focus/Telephone Training Program produces, on average, a 40% increase in a practice's new patients. When you think about that for a moment, that is an incredible increase. Think about what that kind of an increase would mean for your bottom line.
Jay's system is unique. It does not actually "generate" new patients, technically speaking. It actually recovers the patients you are currently losing but do not know about.
Ninety-eight percent of new patients call your office before coming in. This means your front desk staff is their first impression and the "gatekeepers" to your schedule. SI conducts research studies of more than 1,400 dental practices each month. These studies suggest that most dentists lose 20-60% of potential new patients due to their staff's lack of training in the art of closing (convincing the patient to make the appointment). This means if a dentist averages 20 new patients a month, worth roughly $1,500 each, they could be losing between four and 12 of those, or $6,000 - $18,000 per month. If your staff is not trained properly on how to handle these calls and "close" new patients for your practice, they could be costing you more than just what you pay them.
"Within four months, one staff member became certified with the Scheduling Institute and we saw a 10% increase in new patients. Over the next 12 months, we saw a 93% increase in new patients and 35% increase in production and collections. The Scheduling Institute has literally brought my practice back from the dead." – Dr. Carl Metz, AZ
The SI program is designed to shift the responsibility for generating new patients off the doctor and onto the team. This shift in ownership forces the staff to increase their engagement in the process. Then SI sets new patient goals with the team, teaches them actual strategies to use on the phone, and monitors their performance along the way. They implement incentives to motivate the team and reward them for their success. SI keeps the dentist informed by sending him/hera monthly rating of the staff.
"The Scheduling Institute has embedded a culture into our office which is evidenced by some pretty awesome growth… for example… Q2 – best ever and we beat last year's Q2 by $200K already and the month isn't even over." – Dr. Leif Loberg, CA
There's more to the SI story, however. After years of offering only the New Patient Focus/Telephone Training Program, Jay realized that he was creating friction in dental practices by increasing new patients and concentrating only on the front desk. A practice would plug into the program, get the front desk staff trained and certified, and see a big spike in new patients, but none of the other areas could keep pace because they did not have systems in place. Now, SI works with every area of the practice – front desk, assistants, hygienists, team leaders, marketing directors, and associates. They help practices increase everything from new patients and referrals to case acceptance, marketing ROI, hygiene production, revenue per patient, and more.
"What a transformation since we started working with the Scheduling Institute! Our new patient numbers went from 25 to 100, we expanded from five to 10 chairs, added employees, and our team is fired up." – Drs. Mark & Rudy Braydich, OH
SI also offers several levels of coaching for doctors, all designed to help a doctor increase his/her income while working less. SI teaches doctors many specific strategies to achieve this, from how to be a better leader in the practice to how to create new sources of revenue, to financial mastery and exit strategy, just to name a few. Clients are telling SI that a byproduct of all of this is they have a renewed excitement about their practice and are actually enjoying being a dentist and running their practice again. What's more, it's not unusual for doctors to tell SI they have helped improve their personal lives and relationships because their stress levels have gone down and finances are better.
To hear stories from dentists like Dr. Sam Cigno who have worked with SI and experienced increased results and growth, go to http://www.MoreAboutSI.com .
"Jay Geier and the Scheduling Institute staff have changed our lives. When you follow their advice and suggestions, your work life becomes fun and so much more rewarding!" – Dr. Randy Hiers, MD
Two months ago, during a visit to Atlanta, I had the opportunity to tour the Scheduling Institute's Training Center. It's a first-class 20,000-square-foot facility located just a stone's throw from the Atlanta Airport. It's the most convenient dental training facility in the world. You don't even have to get in the car to get there from the airport. You just take a four-minute sky train ride and walk 100 yards to get to the SI building. There are two nice hotel choices within walking distance.
To watch a video about the Training Center, go to http://www.SITrainingCenter.com .
I discovered many years ago the magic of getting out of your everyday environment and the day-to-day routine with all of the distractions. Part of the magic is surrounding yourself with other people who are just like you and have the same goals as you do. Jay Geier has known this for a long time and has experienced it himself. He built the Training Center three years ago with a vision to create an environment where his clients could experience this as well. His vision quickly became a reality. SI clients that were already seeing great results when they were trained in their offices began seeing significantly better results when they coupled that with training at the Training Center.
Last year more than 9,800 doctors and their staffs came to the Training Center for workshops and events. To hear stories from some of these doctors and their team members, go to http://www.MoreAboutSI.com .
"We averaged $60,000 in collections per month for many years and had completely plateaued. In six months we now average $99,245 a month. Thanks, Jay, for completely changing the path of my practice and my life!" – Dr. Dan West, UT
As dentists, we all know how many dental consultants there are. It seems like hardly a day goes by that I don't get some sort of an email or a postcard from a dental consultant. Over the years, I have relied on my trusted dental friends when it comes to consultants. I have used many during my career and I have many friends in the consultant community, but I think SI is unique first and foremost because Jay is a very successful business owner himself. He teaches only tested and proven principles and strategies that come from what he learns running SI. He actively leads his team of 165 people, which includes a dedicated team of 38 trainers, an in-house marketing and production team, and a full-time client support team. SI's clients benefit from a value that Jay is very committed to: "Give a client more in value than what they pay for." Jay and his team are constantly evaluating their client experience and the programs they offer. When they need to, they reinvent their business to provide better service and relevant training to meet their clients' needs.
"The consultant that we were interviewing before we joined SI told us our town was too small, the median income was too low, there were too many dentists, no one would want to buy a practice in our area, and that we should consider moving. We have since just plugged ourselves into Jay's system and the patients keep coming. I wonder what the other consultant would think of our numbers now?" – Dr. Michael Warren, IN
It is also clear to me that SI is unique because they are not in the business of producing incremental growth for their clients. They push their clients to produce significant growth. Dr. Sam tells me he is successfully setting and achieving bigger goals than he has ever gone after on his own or with other consultants. Sam has doubled the size of his office from six to 12 chairs and has hired another associate. He tells me he has a much clearer and more exciting vision than he had before … and he has more free time to go snow skiing!
"Our practice was struggling. We were affected by the economy, a lack of new patients, and a lack of leadership. Now we have a flourishing practice and most importantly, my wife is smiling more." – Dr. Franklin Maximo, OH
During my visit to Atlanta two months ago, I got up to SI's headquarters in North Atlanta and spent some time talking to Jay. He shared with me some big things they have on the horizon that he believes will have a significant impact on dentistry. SI will be hosting a three-day event called the "5X Summit" in Atlanta this October. Jay is promising this will be the largest private dental event in history and that it will be the greatest experience doctors have ever had with their teams. By late 2016 Jay says SI will open a new, larger Training Center at the Atlanta airport that will house all of their current trainings plus add some exciting full-service capabilities.
For more information about the "5X Summit," go to http://www.Dental5XSummit.com .
"All of Jay's events are really great events that are packed full of useful information that just puts everything together in a way that dentists can really fundamentally impact their future." – Dr. John Lhota
If you'd like to learn more about SI and how they can help you and your practice, go to http://www.MoreAboutSI.com. Take the "5-Star Challenge" to find out how focused your staff is on new patients and how well they are handling your new patient phone calls. This will reveal to you how many new patients you are losing as well as how many you stand to gain. There is no cost or obligation to take the Challenge. Once you've taken it, SI will send you a customized package via FedEx with any analysis of your practice. You also receive an informational CD that will walk you through their process and explain exactly how SI programs work in your office. Go now to http://www.MoreAboutSI.com and take the 5-Star Challenge.
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