Want to Increase Predictability? Here’s the Solution!

ACT U 52 Launch 4 from ACT Dental on Vimeo.

We got a call from an Office Manager a couple weeks ago. She sounded a little frustrated.

When asked what was wrong, she told us she was preparing for the weekly “gripe-session.”
(She actually used a stronger word than “gripe”…but we want to keep it G-rated here!)

From planning and sticking to an agenda, we gave her some ideas to turn that team meeting around.

There is no doubt about it: Productive team meetings are standard operating procedure for the highest performing dental teams we see. We also know they’re a potential time and energy-suck when they get negative.

Are you stuck in this rut? Have your team meetings become repetitive, or perhaps even toxic?
All to often, the solution to bad team meetings is to stop doing them altogether.
Don’t give up!

Stay tuned, this Friday we’ll be releasing ACT U 52. This cutting edge, total practice improvement program is a one-stop solution for boosting every area of your practice. Say goodbye to holes in your schedule, get past those difficult insurance questions. Get a grip on your collections. Add new patients, and get them to accept more dentistry. Learn how to work even more effectively as a team (and much, much more!!!)

Meantime, see if any of the team meeting trouble spots in this video apply to your practice.
Ask yourselves if creating and sticking to an agenda might help. Also, get a glimpse of how ACT U 52 can give a jolt to your team communication.

It’s time to stay positive, and finish the year strong!

One Treatment Presentation Mistake (and 3 Ways to Fix It!)

Think about the last time you bought a household tool or appliance (for sake of demonstration, I’m using a power drill).

What sold you? Did you choose your last washing machine solely because it was made by a certain company? Because the control buttons were cool? Maybe you considered those things, but when it came down to making the purchase, one consideration probably stood out in your choice: The expected results.

Take some time to think about how are presenting treatment. In the case of a crown, are you better explaining what it is, or what it does?

Make sure you are talking about treatment in a way that patients can truly understand, appreciate and embrace the benefits. And of course, do a lot of listening! This is a surefire way to turn the dentistry they truly need, into treatment they really want!

Fill Those Holes in Hygiene

Ever have those patients who just won’t schedule their next appointment before they leave your office? They might want to check their own schedules, have travel plans, etc.

My Hygeniest, Haley Kagol, puts those patients in the schedule in an extra column (or phantom column) 6 months ahead, less a week. That way, 6 months down the road, Administrators can reach out to those unscheduled patients to try to fill holes in the schedule.

They might say,
“Hello Mrs. Jones, I was noticing it’s been 6 months since you saw your Hygienist, Haley. We know you weren’t able to schedule at the time, but we want to make sure you stay in great oral health. I do have an opening tomorrow at 8am, as I know you prefer mornings.”

There are multiple benefits to this simple strategy:
•It keeps patients in your schedule
•Helps fill open time or cancellations
•Lets patients know you are actively engaged, and care about their health.

We typically like to think 97% of patients will leave with their next appointment scheduled, but there will be the exceptions. Give this trick a try, and keep plugging those holes!

Score Big with Systems

Download the Critical Systems Checklist here!! Download Now

Check out ACTivate Dental Seminars

Kirk: Hey, Kirk here and I’m in a bowling alley. You might be wondering why, but there’s some really amazing stuff going on here. There’s 32 lanes in this bowling alley and can you imagine setting up all these pins?

Announcer: Well, think about doing this night and day for dozens of bowlers at once.

Kirk: I can’t.

Announcer: That’s exactly what the famous AMF Automatic Pin Spotter does quickly and accurately.

Kirk: It was unbelievable. The systems set up the pins by themselves.

Announcer: Have you noticed how fast the ball is returned to him and he’s ready to bowl again?

Kirk: This little film is funny because people were amazed that the ball would get sent back on its own and the pins would be set up automatically. Now we take it for granted because it’s a system that happens all the time. And it allows businesses to become productive, profitable, and very predictable, which is ultimately what dentists need more than anything, high levels of predictability. And the only way to do that is through systems design. You know what’s right across the street from this bowling alley? A Chipotle.

Worker: You guys hungry?

Kirk: Nationally Chipotle does 97,000 pounds of avocados per day. You know how many employees ever come to work here and say, “How are we going to make the guacamole today?” Zero. You know why? Because the system drives the business. No matter who does it, it’s done the same way every time. So after I finish my lunch, you know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to walk a few steps over there to one of my favorite Starbucks and grab a post-lunch drink.

You know what I love about this great company? Eighty-seven thousand different possible combinations to how one of these drinks is made. It’s called predictability. Now you might ask yourself, what’s the secret? Well, the secret isn’t so secret. It’s on the back of the cup. It’s called the system. The system creates high levels of predictability. So whatever you do, find the system so that you can ultimately create higher levels of predictability. Whether it be this cup of coffee, that guacamole, your dental practice, or this bowling alley, the system runs the business.

Kirk’s “Fishy” Idea


When I study the most successful people in dentistry, they all seem to have one strategy in common. They find out what works best, and repeat the process over and over again. Take for example, my good friend Dr. John Cranham. He developed a series of checklists for his office, so every night they set things up to be as predictable possible the next day. The system worked the exact same way day after day.

At lunch time, this repeat discipline concept can be really hard for me because I LOVE FOOD. At our last office location, we had a fantastic restaurant below our office. There were amazing options on the menu: Tasty burgers, deliciously greasy pizza, etc. I consciously made a decision several years ago to order something healthy every time I ate there…which was pretty much every day (The team here at ACT threatened to petition the restaurant to retitle my favorite, “Kirk’s Salmon Salad”). The world is full of choices, but in order to stay healthy I have to put systems in place that will move me forward. If I were really good, I would do what our CFO Barb does- she brings her salad from home.   Maybe I’ll try that next week.

For this week, commit to a little self-improvement by putting a repeat discipline in place. Whether it’s something you do at your practice, or simply what you pick for lunch, repeat an action that helps move YOU forward. As Ron Popeil says, “Set it and forget it.” Make life a little easier, and maybe healthier, on yourself!

Want to know how your systems and business processes stack up? Take our online assessment to find out!

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