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EPISODE 171: Why a Well-Oiled Practice is Like a Perfect Venue

Casey makes a triumphant comeback from St. Louis, ready to delve into a captivating discussion with Jarrod about the remarkable parallels between successful venues and dental practices.

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EPISODE 171 TRANSCRIPTION

Announcer:
Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Millionaire Dentist Podcast, brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory. On this podcast, we break down the world of dentistry finances and business practices to help you become the millionaire dentist you deserve to be. Please be advised, we do speak with an honest tongue and may not be safe for work. Hello, and welcome. This is Casey Hiers, back at The Millionaire Dentist Podcast, in studio with co-host, Jarrod Bridgeman.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Casey, how are you?

Casey Hiers:
Good to see you, sir.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Good to see you. You just got back into town not that long ago. Weren't you out and about?

Casey Hiers:
Had a fun event, man. Went out to the west suburbs of St. Louis. Webster's Grove, if you will.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Okay.

Casey Hiers:
It's far enough out from downtown St. Louis that people like it. Also close to the extreme western suburbs that are lovely to come eastward.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
All right.

Casey Hiers:
Webster's Grove.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Webster's Grove.

Casey Hiers:
Went to a really nice place. Today's podcast is going to be about venue matters.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Venue matters.

Casey Hiers:
And by venue, it can also mean practice matters. The niceness of it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Practice matters. What about Family Matters?

Casey Hiers:
What a great show, Little Urkel.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Okay. I'm telling you what, I got my 10-year-old daughter into that show recently.

Casey Hiers:
That's gold.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yes, yes. So Casey, you were out there. You were at a pretty nice restaurant presenting, doing CEE, and we were also partaking in a bourbon tasting?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, yeah. Actually some good friends of ours who like the finer things in life, they moved from my neighborhood to the western suburbs, and I had told them, "Hey, I'm going to this place in Webster's Grove called Olive + Oak.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Olive and Oak. Olive + Oak.

Casey Hiers:
And they go, "Oh, that place is amazing." I'm like, "Okay", especially coming from them. But yeah, went to a really nice place. I'll get into that in a little bit later. But yeah, we had a couple dozen practice owners come for some great hor d'oeuvres. Had a nice bourbon tasting, where we walked through it. People that don't even like bourbon, they were like, "This is really cool. I'm learning a lot." And then, we transitioned into...

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And they take a drink and it burns their throat, but still, they had a good time doing it.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. "How's the first one taste?" "It burns." "How's the second one taste?" "It burns more." "How's the third one taste?" "It burns less."

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's why I can't lead stuff like that, because I'm like, "Ahh, it all tastes like booze to me, but yes."

Casey Hiers:
That's awesome. Yeah, so had a great time. And it's funny that, on a Thursday night, on a great venue, again, it puts everybody in a really, really good mood. We had a nice event, even though our subject matter is tough.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Oh, for sure.

Casey Hiers:
But yeah, had a great event. A lot of people learned a lot, and some might even look to fix some of those challenges on the business side of dentistry. But it got me thinking... And then, we did a Topgolf the next day as well, so I had a real nice time. But it got me thinking venue matters. And what I mean by that is some of the places that we look to go to for these events, we're looking to see a whole lot of things.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah. I was going to ask you, when someone says to you, "Oh, that's a great venue," what comes to mind? What are some expectations you may have for a great venue?

Casey Hiers:
Here's my list. It's in a good area. When you walk in, it's aesthetically pleasing. Did I butcher that? Aesthetically.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Aesthetically.

Casey Hiers:
Pleasing. Their food is impeccable, right? They have unique things, like an appetizer maybe you don't see or maybe a wine or a bourbon that you don't see. So they have some unique offerings, and then, impeccable service. You can see they've got that sparkle in their eye, that pep in their staff. They want your evening to be good.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's the thing is, with a great venue or a great practice or a great anything, all those things have to be firing in all cylinders.

Casey Hiers:
Yep.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
One thing that's bad can leave a really bad impression.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, no, that's exactly right. And we had such a great night, because almost everything was firing on all cylinders. Our attendees, my gosh, they were having a great time.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Good. I see I wasn't invited, so that's good.

Casey Hiers:
We had a packed house. We were actually oversold. They were a little nervous with fire code, but neither here nor there. But again, venue matters. As we're looking to some of these different cities, our events coordinator, we run through those. "Where do we want to go?" And then, we'll find something. We go, "That's it. That's special. That's unique. People want to go there."

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Let's correlate that, obviously, to practices and dentists. When someone says "That's a great practice," what comes to your mind, in terms of coming from a patient?

Casey Hiers:
That's a good question, and let me back up. Have I been to practices that had a pond and a little waterfall? Yeah, I have. There's some things that are over the top. There's balance to everything, but when it comes to a dental practice, you want to be in a place that people want to come to. And so, when I mentioned that sparkle in your eye, the people there, they wanted to make sure you had a good experience. They offered things that maybe were rare, so Invisalign, Botox, there's different things in a practice you can offer, your staff or your team taking ownership of the total patient experience. That matters. You don't have to have the most beautiful large waterfall office out there, but cosmetically, put some lipstick on it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Throw some pain on the wall.

Casey Hiers:
Maybe a nice aroma.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, this is something that I catch every single time, if it's me or I'm taking one of my kids to see our family dentist, is our front office lady greets me by name the second I walk in the door. Now, she's probably cheating. And was like, "Oh, Jarrod's coming in at 3:15 today." But right away, she's like, "Hey, Jarrod, how are you? How are your kids?"

Casey Hiers:
Both are true. If you have a good software and good office, yes, they know those things, but how much extra effort did that take and then, translate it into, it made you feel good?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yep.

Casey Hiers:
I just heard the song the other day, the Cheers theme song. "You want to go where everybody knows your name." It's true. And so, those little things matter.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Unless it's prison.

Casey Hiers:
Oh, geez.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
But no, those things really, really do matter. Being treated as an actual person and an individual, instead of just a "Get in, let's do your teeth and get out."

Casey Hiers:
And it doesn't have to be the nicest office, but put a little effort into it. Make sure it smells good. Having some decently upholstered chairs is not that hard, some bright light, some of this, some of that, but all of that matters. But the other extreme is way too many practice owners spend way too much money making sure everything is outfitted perfectly, and that's almost, they overdo it. That can come from a lot of places. It can come from ego. It can come from pride. It can come from a misconception, but you don't have to spend an obscene amount of money to have the best or the most perfect waiting room, lobby, hallways, operatories, all that stuff. It doesn't have to be, because some of the... We've seen it, some of the folks with the nicest, their numbers are trash, their income's terrible, their overhead's terrible, retirement savings is laughable.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And they think that, if they just keep trying to make the place prettier and prettier, that's what's going to fix it.

Casey Hiers:
Right. They have to have the top of everything, and then, that perception's there, and then, they're going to get... There's diminishing returns, and so, there's balance to everything. And that's really important. Now, I will say, I've been to some venues, like I just mentioned, and they're four times too big. Great venue, great food, great service, great offerings, and it's too big. Or it's in a street that's too expensive, and their overheads... They're going to go out of business. And so, then what was the cost of getting over your skis and having the best and the...? And so, you've got to find that happy medium. But what you can control is your staff taking ownership and having passion to have a good experience, greeting somebody by their first name, nice lighting, nice paint, clean upholstery, maybe some nice music.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I would say even passion with yourself too, in terms of when you see the patient.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Yeah. But it's incredible. I've been to other places. Again, venue matters. They just had a flood. The carpeting hadn't been cleaned. It smelled mildewy. It was still soggy. Their screen, the projector screen, was broken. So they had a white sheet hanging on the wall where... It was trash, right? There was very little effort. Nobody cared. There wasn't a lot of accountability. Did we accomplish the same thing? Yeah. Yeah. We had a nice event at a restaurant, and there was food and beverage consumed. And there was great subject matter presented and learned, but they couldn't have been the polar opposites.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
As you said, with venues and restaurants, I've been to places where the food was fantastic, but the place kind of looked like a dive.

Casey Hiers:
Well, if you're talking sushi, the best sushi are in the strip malls that are going out of business, because I don't know why that is, but it's been some of the best sushi joints look a little rough. And some of these large, freestanding, beautiful places have terrible sushi.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's true. That's true. Probably cutting cost on their sushi, huh?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Well, and again, speaking of good venues, that's incredible, we just keep having more and more people having waiting lists and being oversold for our subject matter. And I always ask people, "Hey, you know what? Why'd you come? Just probably because the place is cool?" And they go, "Yeah, no, it's cool. We've been here before. We really want to figure out how to make more and lower overhead and actually retire and not die treating patients." I go, "Wow, appreciate your honesty. You've come to the right place."

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Now, again, though the venue matters. If we did this opportunity at a White Castle, I'm not sure we'd get the same results. Don't get me wrong. I love White Castle, for the people who are regional to this area.

Casey Hiers:
What an extreme, extreme example.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Or Krystals for down south.

Casey Hiers:
No, there's a lot of nice places we could have these at, but again, we want to align it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Speaking of great places, we've got a great place lined up for when you're going to Minneapolis in about a week and a half.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I'm pretty excited. That one's called Spoon and Stable.

Casey Hiers:
Is that what it's called? Spoon and what?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Stable.

Casey Hiers:
Interesting.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah. I think there's horses inside that you spoon.

Casey Hiers:
That doesn't make any sense.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
No, but we'll be there on August 17th, and then, the next day, we'll be at Topgolf and Brooklyn Park area, so that's August 18th. Please check it out. Go to fourquadrantsadvisory.com/events. Again, these are free to register. You'll get great education, you'll learn some cool things. Casey might also poke you a bit with some verbal jabs, in terms of "Here are some problems we've seen across the dental world, and you're probably experiencing that as well."

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, you're right. I had two more seasoned practice owners in the room, and ultimately, when we played stump the chump, they wanted to argue. And ultimately, they admitted "We've spent decades screwing this up, and we were trying to defend our failure. And you're right, we should have done that."

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Did you get all right in their face? And did they get just super defensive about it?

Casey Hiers:
One did, one didn't, but ultimately, we just spoke very straightforward. And they both sort of came around to being like, "No, you're right. We didn't have benchmarks. We didn't have goals." They wanted to argue about different benchmarks for employee wages or hygiene production or insurance adjustments, and ultimately, if you don't have the goals, you're not going to even be close to them.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So again, feel free to check us out. Don't feel free, do it. I'm telling you right now, I'm being confident. Do it.

Casey Hiers:
You just said they're complimentary. To be honest, we're going to probably start instituting something where, to register to hold your spot, you're going to have to pay, and then, if you attend, you'll get refunded. But we have so much interest, we get overbooked, and then, a handful of people don't come, and then, those spots have been ruined.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah. I think this may be our last complimentary event for a while.

Casey Hiers:
Probably going to what? Minneapolis, Houston. We've got a whole bunch of fun places.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Oh, yeah. I'm excited to watch you go.

Announcer:
That's all the time we have today. Thank you to our guests for their insight and for sharing some really great information. And thank you to you, the listener, for tuning in. The Millionaire Dentist Podcast is brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory. To see if they might be a good fit for you and your practice, go on over to fourquadrantsadvisory.com and see why, year after year, they retain over 95% of their clients. Thank you again for joining us, and we'll see you next time.