In Episode 182, Payman sat down to chat with Stuart Campbell and Hatem Algraffee—hosts of the fantastic One in the Chair and Two Waiting podcast.

This week, Payman reconnects with Stuart to turn the tables and find out about Desert Island Discs, ideas for NHS reform and Stuart’s motivation for running gruelling ultra-marathons.

The pair also touch on politics, socialism, and Scottish independence.



In This Episode

01.58 – Vintage football shirts

11.59 – Backstory

15.55 – Dental school

24.40 – Specialising and practice ownership

31.06 – Excellence

35.03 – Teaching and communication

46.20 – Referral work

49.42 – Management, strengths and weaknesses

56.01 – Practice marketing and podcasts

01.04.24 – Best and worst days

01.07.38 – VT Trainer

01.09.45 – Determination, marathons and ultra-marathons

01.23.29 – NHS reform

01.29.48 – Scottish independence

01.46.43 – Dental influences

01.39.11 – Desert Island Discs

01.43.41 – Fantasy dinner party

01.51.06 – Last days and legacy


About Stuart Campbell

Stuart Campbell is a specialist prosthodontist and principal dentist at an Edinburgh-based multidisciplinary referrals clinic. 

He is an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, an expert witness for the GDC and co-hosts of One in the Chair and Two Waiting dental podcast.

You could be the best dentist in the world with your hands. But if you can’t communicate effectively with confidence to your patient, if your patient can’t sense that you as a clinician are confident to carry out whichever plan you’re advising, then guess what? The patient will not go ahead. And that’s a disservice to the patient because you you have your heart in the right place. You’ve trained for this. You’ve been on additional courses. But if you can’t convey that to the patient, then it’s an absolute waste.

In today’s episode of the Dental Leaders podcast, I will be the guest Jaz Gulati, the host. This was a podcast recorded for the Protrusive Dental podcast where me and Jaz spoke about essentially how you can increase treatment acceptance. We talked about sales and how to elevate sales and utilising some unique tools that are working really well in our own clinics. And to elevate, I would say, the patient communication experience. I’m not going to ruin it for the intro and in the intro, listen to the rest of this podcast. There’s tons of value that anyone involved in the patient consultation process or sales will get out of this episode.

This is Dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

I’m joined today by Prav. Solanki is now a good friend of mine. He helped us to put together the occlusion course. Occlusion Basics and Beyond. We’ll talk about that a little bit later. So I’ve got to know him a lot more in the last year. And I can say this guy is an absolute genius now. He’s come on the podcast before on 23 where we talk about non-clinical growth, your relationships, time management, all these wonderful things. So if you haven’t listened to that, do check it out. But today is about you as a clinician, how you can become more confident in communicating with your patients about what is the best plan for them. And what I love about this episode and some key takeaways shared and you put together a one page summary for all premium members of the podcast. So Protrusive app his website or download the app on the play store or app store become a premium member for the cost of a Nando’s per month and you get access to all these premium summaries and questions. Et cetera. Et cetera. But Prav talks about trust, right? Like we make a recommendation. We’ve earned that right. And it’s based on a relationship of trust between you and the patient. Now, when I listen to this episode again, to come up with this intro outro and guide the team on how we can deliver a really educational experience for you guys, listening and watching.

Thank you so much. Now, when it comes to trust, Prav was referring to a trust between you and the patient, but I want to introduce one more facet into this. Right? I want to introduce the concept of trusting yourself. I feel like a lot of young dentists, they doubt themselves and therefore they don’t trust themselves to give the best treatment plan available. So I want to extend this definition. So yes, sales, we’ll talk about dirty word sales and whatnot and why we need to embrace it when we’re recommending treatment plans. But it’s not just the patient trusting you, but it’s you trusting yourself that with the information that you had available at the time, with the training and knowledge that you have, that you really genuinely chose the best plan for the patient that you could and recommended their options. But ultimately you want to make a recommendation. I cannot stress this enough. And so a big part of this episode about making recommendations, if you just literally start making recommendations, if you’re not already making explicit recommendations to patients, you will see your treatment plans skyrocket in terms of acceptance. And this podcast will be worth this, you know, 4 or 5 minutes.

So you’re in already. Just the whole five minutes of this podcast will be worth everything and more. And maybe this introduction will be all you need from this podcast to really thrive and grow as a clinician. Now the other themes that we cover in this episode are you need to write letters to your patients and if so, what should that look like? There’s a specific format. Those who like to do letters, you know, Prav is very clear on, okay, if you’re going to do letters and make sure you do this one specific step. So we talk a lot about that, as I’ve already touched on, how can you give the patients all their options without choice, fatigue, without overwhelming your patient and just confusing them? We discussed the choreography of the ideal consultation and the treatment plan delivery and lastly, how we utilise something called loom. Loom is a software that we use that me and Prav are both passionate about and how I use it a lot in my communication with my patients. And it’s almost replaced letters or is the precursor to letter. Because think of it this way write letters take a long time to do if you can do it properly. They do take a long time to do but a video for me, I just hit record. I go through my patients photos and whatnot, and then once they’ve seen that video and they want to definitely go ahead, then I can send them their letter.

I haven’t wasted my time creating this beautiful letter. And then the patients are, yeah, I’ll think about it kind of thing, right? So by making this video, it’s a wow factor. Patients like, Wow, this dentist sent me a video and this dentist was highlighting all these things and this is amazing service. And then when they go ahead with the plan, it gives you the reassurance that, okay, you’re going to spend a bit more time now to put their letter together, but it’s worth it because now they’ve accepted the treatment plan because you’ve covered everything so beautifully in your loom video. So in the last part of the podcast, we talk about that as well. Now just before we join Prav Solanki in this killer episode, I just want to make an announcement that me and my wife have had baby number two. We’ve introduced to the world Cihan Singh Gulati, and we’re just so, so made up, so happy. You know, I always worried that will I be able to love my second child as much as I love my first child? Right? But the moment I saw him, the moment I met him, the moment I held him in my arms, it was just so euphoric and like it’s like your heart gets split into two, so each child gets a piece of you.

And so it’s a very, very happy time. And the Gulati family and thank you so much for your well wishes. I just want to share this news as a as a personal thing, but I just want to share it with you guys because I know many of you were with me over three years ago, almost four years ago now, when my firstborn was born. I talked about him on my podcast in the early days, and now there we are. Baby number two has come along. So Sujan Singh Gulati is entered the world and I’m just so happy that I just want to share that with you. Anyway, let’s join the main episode with Prav Solanki Prav Solanki. Welcome back to the Protrusive Dental podcast. We last had you on non-clinical growth for dentists, and I tell you Prav, I’ve had so many messages saying that this was. A brilliant it’s really opened their minds to all those things. And you actually influence me so much. I get now quarterly blood tests done to check my own personal dashboard of my health. So welcome back, my friend. How are you? I’m great and thanks for having me.

Jazz, It’s always a pleasure to come back and talk to you. And yeah, it’s always a two way learning experience whenever I speak with you, whether it’s about this or something else, right? Whether, you know, we’re talking about the best occlusion course on the planet or we’re just talking about patient communication, right? There’s always learning points, but today is going to be a topic I think is very, very close to my heart. And it’s how we can influence the decision making that patients make in a we’ve got to preface it with this right in an ethical way. I don’t think anyone listening to this would ever do it in an unethical way, but it’s how we can feel ethical from a from a mindset perspective which is important.

Prav I get messages from young dentists all the time, and when I cast back myself, you know, six, seven years ago and I was like 2 or 3 years out and the biggest dilemma I had was entering private practice and just not feeling confident enough in my own skill sets or my mindset to to charge patients. And I often I went through all these dilemmas that young dentists go through, which is a lack of confidence because of lack of experience. And that feeds into it. And also which I think would be great actually literally had a message yesterday from an Australian dentist asking about how to tackle that. So at the end, maybe we can get your advice, but if you’re not very experienced, how can you actually then be confident enough to, you know, in inverted commas, sell a treatment plan? So we’ll talk about that. But I also fell into the the really bad habit or just really bad zone of diagnosing someone’s wallet. Right. You never want to do that. So and I know dentists do it all the time. I speak to dentists all the time and say, well, yeah, I didn’t want to give this more expensive plan because I didn’t think the patient might be able to afford it. That’s I think we can agree. Everyone’s probably nodding their head, right? Yeah. That’s the worst thing you could do. Every patient deserves the best. So we have so much to talk about because you could be the best dentist in the world. But if you can’t communicate your ideas, you can’t make a recommendation. Key word there, which we’ll talk about. We were just talking before we hit record. You know, you won’t do that beautiful dentistry if you’ve got the best hands ever. So there’s a there’s a lot to be said about this. So I guess where to start Prav is we were talking before we hit record is sales is a dirty word and I think we’ve covered the theme, but filthy, filthy, disgusting. So how, you know, should we are we selling to our patients or you know, in health care is selling allowed jazz.

I think it comes down to what you believe selling is right in your head, in your mind. If you believe that selling is a dirty word, if you believe talking about money is one of those things that perhaps you know, you’ve got an idea in your mind what the value of what you’re going to deliver is, but you’re making preconceptions about that patient that, Crikey, if I recommend this and I recommend that, what’s it are they going to be able to afford it? And you’re making judgements on their behalf, right? And I think as health care providers, as professionals, as we’ve got a duty of of care, but also clarity of communication to be able to explain all the options to the patients, all the price points to the patient and guide them on where we think the best solution is for them. You know, the old, you know, if you were my daughter, if you were my son, all that sort of stuff. And because they’re looking for a recommendation. Right. And so Jazz, we were talking earlier and I talked about a mini course I delivered for for a group of full mouth reconstruction dentists, Right. And they all came to this course. And then one of the delegates from the course went away. And it was very clear in his mind that he was he was going to go away and execute. Right. I met him two days later, a near-death event, and he said, Prav, I’ve sold two cases north of £15,000. Right? I’m scratching my head thinking, W.t.f, Right. What? What happened? Yeah, because I’m trying.

But this is someone this is someone who has never sold treatment plant. I mean, let’s just use that term. It’s a dirty word. Selling and treatment plan. But let’s just accept once you change your mindset that it’s okay to say that. But he’d never done that before.

Predominantly NHS dentist who was up selling to a patient who’d come in for essentially an NHS check-up He’d done a discovery process in this patient’s mouth, presented what the options are, and sold to plans north of £15,000 inside a week of us having that little course together. Right. So I was intrigued, right? I was like, What the hell went on here? What did you take away? I really wanted to know what he walked away with and he said, Prav, it was really easy. Your definition of sales changed my mind about everything. Gave me the confidence, he said The other 7.5 hours of the day. Yeah, it was good. But it was just that one pivotal moment when you said to me, It’s what your definition of sales is, right? And we all know that. Like we go to a course and we have one take away moment or one thing we want to take away, implement and go and execute. And he did that beautifully. And so the definition of sales. Let’s hear it.

Let’s hear it.

Drum roll say to us is the definition of sales is earning the right to make a recommendation. Okay. So when you’re selling to a patient, you’re earning the right to make a recommendation to that patient and that recommendation and that right to the right that you’ve earned is based on a relationship of trust. That is all sales is. So if you sit back and tell yourself that mantra now that sales is earning the right to make a recommendation to this patient and that recommendation is based on a relationship of trust, and there happens to be an exchange of money that happens when you take my services off. Right? Okay. But you trust me. We’ve built some trust. I’m making a recommendation. And by building this trust, I have a right to give you this recommendation and give you my opinion. That is it.

Can we break it down? Because I love that. And I think my enthusiasm, when you first shared it to me was like, yes, I love this, I love this. We need to get this out to everyone. But one thing we didn’t do is let’s break the different components of this, right? So earning the right is that are you earning the right by just doing that examination? You’ve you’re the dentist, you’ve got your BDS, right. Or, you know, whatever you’ve done, the Check-up, you’ve got the expertise, you are the one with the expertise, you are the one with the expertise of their mouth because you’ve done a thorough examination and you’ve diagnosed. So is that what you mean by earning the right?

It’s a really interesting question. You know, I’m going to digress and I’m going to come back to it. I’m I do this a lot. You know, I always say my own practice patients have to earn the right to get a free consultation. In my practice. You can’t just walk into my practice and earn a free consultation. You have to earn you have to earn the right to walk into my practice for a free appointment. Right? I know a lot of people don’t even do free consultations, whatever, right? You know, it works for some, doesn’t for others. And. But what is that? Right? How do you earn that? Right. And there’s certain criteria that you need to meet.

Okay. I’m thinking I’m going to second guess you. They need to send you the photos. They need to fill in some forms. They need to give you their email. They need to follow you. I don’t know, something like that to, to make it, you know, some sort of return for us.

It’s really simple, right? Patient comes in for a free consultation. We have a conversation. They walk out and they thought they could get their teeth straightened for £1,000. You doing nobody any favours. Nobody any favours. Right? Because my time as a clinician, I’ve just given it for you when there was definitely a mismatch of where the value is. Right. It’s not the patient’s fault that they thought they could get the strain for £1,000. Don’t don’t blame them. So whoever’s passing that information in between so somebody gets to book into my clinic, they need to hit minimum criteria. Number one, they need to know the price really, really important. They need to know the price and they need to know the range. Okay. So we always say, look, if you’re coming in for Invisalign treatment, our prices range from 3 to £5000. Most patients sit slap bang in the middle. But that’s what you’re looking at. Okay. Then they need to get an idea of who they’re dealing with. So maybe 1 or 2 little usp’s about the dentist, right? With Invisalign is becoming a commodity now, right? What is different about having Invisalign our practice or price point? A little bit about us. A deposit? Yeah. So even though it’s a free consultation, I’ll take £30 off you and the first thing that’ll happen, I’ll lock it straight back on your card when you walk through the door.

Right. So if they’re willing to put you want to up the state to of quality, just increase the value of that deposit. You know, if you want to take £30, take £100, £50, whatever. Right. And you’ll increase that filter of quality coming through your door. And then finally, you want to understand what they know about that treatment. Okay? Now the whole other stuff about, you know, building rapport, learning about learning about their why now, what’s the pain points, What could they do before? What couldn’t they do? What would they like to do, wave a magic wand and all that razzmatazz. Right. But what do they know about this treatment? And often when you ask them that, you will get an idea of have they been through the consultation somewhere, if they have a bit of a red flag, but also an opportunity for you to say, so what is it that Doctor Smith didn’t deliver to you that you want from me? Okay. Why didn’t you proceed with treatment there? And by the way, that’s a.

Very fair question, which I think many dentists might shy away from, but they come this far now, you know, it’s worth asking, but all this while you’re saying all these wonderful things Prav and everything, every piece of information you get from that patient serves a purpose and a value. And especially, you know, them knowing the fees is so, so important before they come on. But what does this look like? Is this from a email questionnaire? Is this your treatment coordinator going on Zoom? How? A phone call. Okay. Right. So making the phone sign, the universal sign for the phone. First phone call me telephone conversation.

You know, often and it’s not always the first point of communication, right? Because in today’s day and age, sometimes we’re having conversations over voice notes. Sometimes we’re having conversations over. Social messages, this, that and the other. Right. What’s really important, depending on who you’re communicating with. I think it’s important for us as businesses today because, you know, as well as health care professionals, we are running businesses. If you’re an associate, you’re running your own business within a business. I truly believe that. But we need to adjust our communication style and methods of communication in line with what your patient or your client wants in terms of their communication preferences. So if I let’s say I get someone who gets in touch with me and they message me on Facebook, I will message them back on Facebook. We’ll have a little bit of it, but then I’ll bring them into the fold of what our onboarding process is, right? Whether it’s email or whatever, they’ll share email. If someone sends me a voice note, I’ll voice note them back. Yeah, if someone says me a voice note and I want the detail of that voice note to sit on the screen, Yeah, I’ll request that and I’ll tell them why I need it on the screen. Yeah, because sometimes I might be going back and referring to that. Yeah, but our patients. So this is receptionist.

Or treatment coordinators who are doing the phone because essentially this is prequalifying someone. Yeah.

So we have a given, given whatever title you want, every practice. Once again, different business structure, but I’m not going to dictate here. It needs to be a receptionist, it needs to be a TCO. Some practices don’t have tkos and the definition of a TKO is far and wide as far as I’m concerned as well. But in my practice it’s carry a lead ninja. And so her responsibility is overall patient communication to get somebody to come in and attend a consultation or an assessment, whether that’s a paid assessment or a complimentary consultation. Her job is to get someone through the door that hits a certain level of criteria, all those different points that we discussed. And so earning the right to make a recommendation based on trust that we went on earlier. Kerry starts that relationship. It’s not just the dentist, right? And so part of that course that we spoke that we that I delivered that day and one of the questions I asked the associates is how many of you have had a conversation with, I call it receptionist lead Ninja or whatever, right? How many of you have had a 1 to 1 with the person that answers the phone on your behalf, speaks to your potential patients about you and your services and what instructions have you given them about what you want delivered when that patient lands in your chair? And it was at that point, you know, that was a real rabbit in the headlights moment. Okay.

Huge Prav I think most dentists are completely guilty of this, especially when they go in the course, right? And we do it to our nurses as well. We go on a course, right? We’ve learned all these techniques, which is completely fundamentally, you know, switches everything on its head compared to what you used to do. And we start doing it. And then the nurse is like looking at us like, wait, this is completely different to how he’s been doing it the last five years. When did this happen? Why did this happen? Because nurses, they they crave consistency. And so we owe it to our nurse to say, actually, I’m doing it this way, because some studies have shown that this is a better way to do it or this is more efficient way to do it and get them involved. But yes, reception if you’re starting to offer, you know, orthodontic solutions, which you weren’t before, you need to really owe it to your front of house team. Let’s call them to to to have that sort of, you know, enthusiasm that you have basically that that needs to be passed on to the front of house team. And I feel embarrassed that I’ve been treating TMD for a while. I get referrals from all over the country to treat it. And because we have we’ve got a morning team and an evening team, right, Because there’s a shift pattern. Yeah. Next week is our first ever joint meeting. Every single receptionist, even who’s not supposed to be usually be there is going to be there. So we can just talk about how to handle these queries and what actually happens in a console. And they’re desperate for this.

Don’t wait for the meeting. Right? So this is this is the one have the same thing, right? So the next rebuttal I get when I when I when I release that statement is, oh, senior management, we don’t have meetings, we don’t all get together, blah, blah, blah, all the rest of it. Right. Is there a moment during the during the week where that team member and you are on the same lunch, could you take that person out for a coffee? Do you have to wait for that official sort of meeting box block whatever to to appear? That’s never going to happen. Hasn’t happened in the last three months. Isn’t going to happen in the next three months. Or do you do you create that? Yeah, absolutely. And and so there are pockets of time and opportunities in which and they will get so much value out of that that the other thing if there’s four other dentists in that practice and you’re the one giving the time to that person. Yeah, preferentially you’re going to get the patients.

That is so true.

That will have it will happen. I’m not saying that that’s, you know, an ethical way to influence things or whatever, but but it will happen, right? They will have their favourites and whatnot. But what’s really important is that, you know, if you approach your your receptionist person answering the phone and you say, Right, okay, so there are three things I’d like every patient who potentially wants to book with. Me to know about Jaz Gulati. Yeah, He runs the most educational world’s best podcast in dentistry. Okay. That’s listened to by several thousand or tens of thousands of dental professionals, whatever that number is. Right. He also teaches other dentists. Right? So this thing, what you’re coming in for. Yeah. Hundreds of dentists have learned these techniques from jazz. The great news is you’re coming straight to the teacher himself. Right? And then whatever the third thing is, right? He’s really gentle, caring, And you don’t you don’t need to be nervous about anything. Everything’s going to be just. All right when you meet jazz. Yeah.

And what was the response like from the delegates? Because you taught this on the course. Listen, you train your reception team to give some information about you. Yeah. So, look.

I hate to say you get two different types of delegates, right? But you get you get those who just sort of like, that ain’t going to happen. And you get those who are furiously scribbling notes and saying, I am going to there’s a there’s a lady called Sonia on, on, on the course. And she was very clear about what she was going to do and go and execute that part. Remember, we spoke about people choose what they’re going to execute and some chose that they were going to go and do that. Right. But the other thing is that that boils down to the next element when we talk about sales, right, which is concise communication. If you’re if you teach your receptionist how to speak about you in three points, okay, you are delivering and you are learning the art of concise communication, without question. You’ll you’ll have to think about that and you’ll have to think about how you articulate it. And you have to think about how he or she will articulate that back to you before they go and articulate it to a patient. Right. And then that comes down to if we if we think about sales, I think one of the biggest areas of failure that I see amongst dentists health care professionals is the waffle. It’s literally falling over your feet talking about the detail, the material, the tooth’s made out of justifying which lab you use when they don’t even really need to know.

The process for teeth whitening Payman bangs on about. It’s like you don’t go through the entire sequence of teeth whitening. They don’t need to know the name of the technician making it what the trays made out of.

I do a little bit of business coaching for for some clients for their practices, right? And I talk about front stage and backstage. Okay. So in business we have front stage processes and backstage processes. There are backstage processes that that patient should never, ever learn about. Yeah. And backstage and front stage processes and stuff that you need to shout about, Right? So just, just take, take one example, right? Is that jazz only works in this practice on a Tuesday and Thursday, so you can only book him on a Tuesday and a Thursday. So do you want this Tuesday or that Thursday. Oh, and he’s getting he’s getting married next week and he’s going to be off for for a few weeks. And so that’s the reason he can’t see you. Right. Nobody needs to know that. And there’s loads of examples of backstage conversations that I’ve heard that do not need to be delivered to that patient. Right? Yeah. Jazz is incredibly busy. And over the next couple of months, I’ve got these couple of dates available. Which one would you like so much more?

Powerful and concise and yeah, absolutely.

And we’re cutting out the waffle and that happens on the phone. That happens in consultations. We want to make the communication concise. So one of the ways in which you can do that is to remove all the backstage processes, how the tooth is made, what the whitening process is, all the rest of it, right? You’ll get those patients who want to know, but they’ll let you know. They want to know or you’ll figure it out in your people skills. I’ve got an engineer in the room. Yeah. They want to know how the springs and the cogs and all the sprockets fit together. Right. And you can you can deliver that, but get the essence of, look, this is your problem. These are the three ways I can fix it. This is the way I would recommend that would work best for you. And this is the investment level involved. Okay. And you build the trust and everything and then go into the detail if you want, afterwards. Right. And then reiterate that. But but just your thoughts.

Hey, guys. A few weeks ago, you may remember we launched OB Occlusion Basics and beyond the online course, and I’ve just been blown away by the feedback we’re getting. I’m just going to read a recent one out to you on April 23rd, 10:39 a.m.. One of the reasons that I worked with Prav Solanki and the IAS Academy is I wanted to work with the best in the business in delivering an educational experience for delegates. So what I love about is they already have mentorship forums already built up because what we don’t want is to put on a course and not have anywhere a safe place, encrypted place, and just generally a safe environment to discuss cases, Right? So is have this infrastructure set up already for all their orthodontic courses And so now they’ve got the occlusion board. So when you join the course and you have a case to submit, you can submit it and we can mentor you throughout. So mentorship was really important to us and the way that now underneath each lesson there is a comment section so you can actually comment and interact. Me and Mahmoud daily are applying to the comments as we all learn together. But just want to share this one comment by Dr. Casey. This is brilliant, right? She said, This is so great and why I’ve been craving for a long time. How weird am I? Back in dental school in the early 90 seconds, occlusion was shrouded. Shrouded. Gosh, didn’t know how to say this word shrouded in mystery. Everything went quiet and cons when a face bow came out in a special cushion. It’s just brilliant to have things explained to us as a dentist rather than engineers or physicists.

For me, envelope function was always mysterious, as was guidance, but I feel really excited to get to work tomorrow and start seeing all this. Thank you guys. Fantastic. So that’s the feedback we had at the last lecture of module one. So module one is our introductory module. We have five modules of OB, so it’s just amazing. So thank you so much, Dr. Casey And there’s loads of feedback and comments that we’re getting, so I just want to share that with you guys. So if you guys are ready to learn occlusion online with me and Mahmood and the Academy, head over to Occlusion online, I think it’s spot on because we don’t make a recommendation enough or a classic example that a young dentist or lots of dentists doesn’t have to be young dentists. It’s just the ones I speak to on Instagram nowadays. They say my patient needs a crown. They actually say to me, you know, patient really needs a crown here because it’s all all the textbook features of thin cusps and it’s broken down. There’s only, you know, there’s only a certain size of filling A restoration can be before it’s really not appropriate for that tooth anymore. It’s a simple thing to grasp. Most dentists know this, but when they’re communicating, okay, we can do a crown which can cost X, or we can do a filling which can cost X. The filling involves this this process. The crown involves that process. Which one would you like? And really what you’ve skipped out, what you missed is a good comparison would be if someone’s got caries in their teeth decay, tooth decay.

And so most dentists are very confident to say that, okay, you need a filling, right? And then you’re not going to say, well, you need a filling or we can just, you know, put some fluoride varnish and see you in six months. Right. We don’t say that because we know that’s not appropriate for that tooth. It is technically an option, right? Very minimally invasive, negligent kind of option, maybe, but you don’t say it. So in the same way dentists lack confidence. Actually, this is my recommendation. You need this because X, Y, Z. And a great tip that Lincoln Harris gave me, which really echoes what you said as Prav in terms of being concise, is the three sentence treatment plan like you need. Okay, first we’re going to whiten your teeth, then we’re going to lengthen them using invisible filling material, and then we’re going to protect it with a splint. This is the way we’re going to treat you. It will take four appointments and the total fee will be this and that covers everything. Pause. Okay. And then suss out the patient in terms of how much detail. Obviously, you’re going to back it up with your written estimate because you know, anything over a certain amount, you need to really give them more information. Patients deserve more information, but that doesn’t have to happen in the surgery. So that’s what I’m thinking. Make a recommendation. In fact, the GDC, no matter of which country you’re in, your regulatory body says make a recommendation. People skim over that. But we can and should be making a recommendation. Yeah, it says it in the GDC. You should make a recommendation.

And it is. And we go back to, well, how do you earn the right to make that recommendation? You earn it by building trust with that patient. Okay. And lots of us, lots of practitioners have been building trust over many years and months and decades for some some dentists, because they’ve been seeing the patient every six months, every 12 months. And so the level of trust is way up there. However, a patient that walks in off an Instagram inquiry, the level of trust is way down there. And you’ve got to build that trust before you make that recommendation. And then how do you build that trust? Right? It’s that rapport building. It’s understanding their situation. It’s what Kerry did for me beforehand. It’s me articulating to the patient that Kerry’s passed on this information for me and I. Understand that you’ve been for a consultation here, and one of the things that you didn’t like is whatever, right? And I’m going to make sure that that isn’t an issue here for you and so on and so forth. Right? You build that trust. There’s usually a human connection on that in that point there. Social Proof. In the last podcast we talked about inviting our previous patients into the consultation. Right? Be that before and after, be that a Google review that you’ve printed out or be that a video testimonial that you print out and say, Hey, you know, John, I’d love you to meet Mike. Now, Mike was one of my patients who same situation like you, years of unfortunately not looking after his teeth, lost him.

They become loose. He ended up wearing these these partial dentures and he wouldn’t go out, he wouldn’t socialise, you know, And, you know, he felt very, very, very upset about his situation. He was in pain. He couldn’t eat the foods he wanted. And just just just watch his video and see what you think and let me know if there’s any similarities with you. Boom. That video is dealt with. The objections it’s built the trust that there’s a connection between me and that patient because I treated that patient. I can do the same for you. So we’ve built that trust. Now it’s time for me to come in and make a recommendation for you. And I’m in your situation. Look, there’s very little we can salvage here. And, you know, all things being being equal, you know, I recommend that you go for this option. And that’s what the level of investment that you’re looking for is. And yet, you know, with different patient groups or jazz, you spoke about values. There’s a certain value you need to go up above, and then they need a written treatment plan and they need this letter and all the rest of it. There’s probably a regulatory reason as well that you need to document everything and put everything in writing, right? Absolutely. But once again, you know, the way I’ve spoken about how do you deliver the communication now? Right. It’s the same thing in the written word. Okay. How do you deliver a letter? Does your letter go into so much detail? I’ve seen treatment plans this thick.

But you know why that is. Write the letter. And this is something for an taught me he’s prolific for doing like the best letters ever like you know he’s the best. Very detailed, very thick wads, basically. And I don’t know if he’s changed his process and hat tip to to care for for all he does in dentistry but he says that look this letter the patient I want them to read it and understand it. But really it’s for the lawyers, it’s for the patient, but it’s also written for the lawyers as well. So everything is foolproof. So that’s an element of, you know, the regulatory body being satisfied. And then you leave no stone unturned by listing all the risks and benefits, because technically, you know, we see the charge sheets of dentists in trouble. You did not say all the risks and benefits. So we feel dentists like, okay, it will take five hours in the chair to do it. But if you just print off this 25 page booklet that that covers to some degree of it. And you know, we know consent is very complicated. Consent has layers like an onion. You know, we talked about that in a previous episode. But but but I think that’s why we’re satisfying the regulatory body as well.

But okay. Have you what? Okay. But the first two pages. Yes. The executive summary should be a thing of beauty.

Yes, agreed.

That’s lovely. Conciseness, bulleted information, whatever that is. And look, I’ve spoken to one of the things that I’ll speak to a new client about is take me through your patient journey. Right. And part of that patient journey. Let’s let’s get to the point where you’re delivering the consultation, right? So everything’s happened before that, the patient journey, you’ve delivered the consultation and now that patient needs a treatment plan. Can you explain to me how you deliver the treatment plan to the patient, the differences between how dentists deliver treatment plans? And I’m not just talking about their verbal skills or their sales skills, but actually the methodology of delivery, the means of whether it’s a FedEx or a DPD or an email or whatever. Right? The method of delivery is very different.

Inconsistent even amongst the practice. Every associate will do it differently. Right?

And even that dentist himself or herself will do it inconsistently.

Right? Guilty as charged.

Yeah. So. So. So then we then we look at, okay, well, let’s just forget about inconsistency within and think about inconsistency across the industry. Right? Some dentists will do a PDF and email it to the patient and cross their fingers and toes. Some dentists will get the patient back and present the treatment plan to the patient and book in what’s called a letter chat or a treatment plan.

That’s something that I do quite a bit with my bigger cases. Yes, some.

Will ask another team member to just, you know, just just just get this over to the patient some. It will go out by, you know, Royal Mail or whatever in the post. Yeah.

To the in a gold envelope with the perfume on it.

Wax seal, whatever. Right. And so there are numerous different ways in which treatment plans can be delivered. But the interesting thing is when I sit down and ask that dentist and say, So you’ve emailed that treatment plan, what if it went into spam? What’s your contingency for that plan? And then that same rabbit in the headlights moment, right? And some will say, Oh, but. We phoned the patients afterwards to see if they’ve got it. Okay, cool. We’ll see if it went to voicemail. How many times would you phone that patient? Would you text that patient? Would you email that patient? Have you told the patient you’re expecting? I’m going to write to you and it will be on this day. No, because your life is so busy that you actually don’t even know when you’re going to get that treatment plan out. That’s a common, common problem for for dentists That I see is that on Tuesday nights, I’m doing my treatment plans, doing my treatment. I haven’t quite got round to this. Right. I’m going to get this treatment plan out tomorrow. I’m going to do it the next right. I’ll do it next Tuesday. Now and time passes, right? You’ve done all the hard work in building the trust and everything. You just need to get this out. Patient gets cold. And then. And then. Where do you go with that? One of the most successful ways I think of delivering treatment plans in the easiest way to explain this is is maximising your output but minimising your time. So I’m.


I think the goal I think I’ll tell you where I’m going. The gold standard is you get the patient in and you block out time in your diary. Okay? Yeah. And you get the paperwork. But that requires a lot of time and energy. Right? But recording jazz, I know you’re a you’re a lume fanatic. As I. As a man. Yeah. You know, I record probably about 20 to 40 lume videos a day. And I know you do it. You do a lot as well, Jazz. And I find it an amazing way of communication. And for those of you who don’t know what Lume is, it is a piece of software that is essentially either free or if you want the premium version, it’s £10 or something like that. It’s so.

Cheap. You know, the the website, I love it so much. I actually bought Lume Dental and basically it’s my affiliate code basically because I recommend everyone. Let’s go to Lume Dental. You know, I think every dentists use it.

Lume Dental There you go. Right. And, and buy it and try it out for free first. Right? Try it out for free. I don’t think there’s a single reason why you wouldn’t buy it, but but you’ve got to execute, right? So just explain.

For those dentists who. Yeah. You’re going to explain what it is, right? How it’s actually used. Yeah. Yeah.

So what Lume is, is a piece of software. You press a button on, on, on your browser, chrome or whatever it is, and it records your screen at the same time. It records your voice. And if you’ve got a webcam, it can record your face and you can put your face anywhere on that page you want. Yeah, you can stick it in the corner here, there, wherever you can make it big or small or whatever. Right? And I think when you’re delivering a treatment plan now picture this, your treatment plans there, you can wave your mouse around on the screen. You could annotate the screen and you are there in your just sort of your personality. Right? And you’re saying to that patient, okay, Prav, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you a couple of days ago. So from, you know, the conversation that we had and the problems that you’re experiencing, the key problems being A, B and C, and I’ve got three key ways in which I can help you. And here’s option one. And you’ve got a picture of their teeth on the screen. You wave your mouse around and go, Oh, well, this is what we can do with this and this is what we can do with that. And you say, for this solution, this is how many appointments and this is what it’s going to cost for this solution. Now, I’m going to send you the rest of this document as well, which has got all the detail about the risks and the blah, blah, blah and all the rest of it. Right. And I’m going to send you a PDF of that. Once you’ve received this video and watched it, just tell me that you want the PDF. So I know you’ve, you’ve received this video and I will email the PDF to you.

It creates a touch point, it creates an interaction, creates an interaction.

And why am I not sending the PDF directly? A I want engagement B I want to know. They’ve watched the video. The lume will tell me that.

So that saved me before. You know, I love the fact that, you know, when someone, when a patient watches my lume I’ll get an email saying you know Mr. Smith has opened has watched your video and for imagine if you start doing it in the way that I do it, you know by consent process is like you know you need to know this really important for consent. And I’ll talk a little bit more about consent in a moment. But like if they haven’t seen that for me, they haven’t consented because sometimes I go a compromise option. Okay? What we’re doing is very fringe, very compromised, and therefore you need to understand everything. So if they haven’t seen that video, I know that that doesn’t satisfy my consent level. So I like the medical legal, so aspect of it. And just like you mentioned, Prav with with consent, how you said in your lume you to pretend lume to the patient as you were describing it, saying, I’m going to send you this pdf. I think consent has to be individual right for that patient. Okay? Your individual risk. So so there might be 50 different risks of a line of treatment, but there’s 1 or 2 which is really significant for that patient.

And the lume allows me to go, okay, there’s about 50 risks, but number 24 and number 48 are really relevant to you because you’ve bashed your tooth before. There’s something called resorption which can happen. And so that’s really important. And your tooth could discolour, blah blah, blah. And you really, really now individualised consent. So you’ve got to bear that in mind. So that’s why I love Lume. Hey guys, if you want to see an example Lume video that I’ve sent to one of my patients if you’re protrusive premium member. You can find it in the premium clinical video section, because when I was editing this episode, I was thinking, Hey, wouldn’t it be useful for you guys to see an example loom video discussing the patient’s treatment, suggestions, recommendations. So I’ve got that available to you. I know some of you asked for it on Instagram as well, so it will be available for you in the premium clinical video section of the Protrusive app. Obviously you can access it by web, by Protrusive app or the App Store however you like, but it’s all there for you. So if you want to check out an example, go ahead.

Some of the features that we’ve probably not dug into that I love about Loom, right, is that when you send that link to the patient, they click on it and out pops a video and it plays your recording. The moment they play that recording and they stop playing that recording for whatever reason, you get an email saying your loom video has just been watched by such a body, right? If they’ve got a Google account or they’re logged into it, you get the details of who’s watched it. The other important thing that you get is you get details on how much of it they’ve watched. Have they watched? Didn’t know that 100% of the video or if they watched 60% of the video. A habit that I’ve got into is I label or rename all my loom videos.

You’re so.

Anal so that so that I know when I get that email notification. So if I send you a loom, I’ll put Jaz Gulati Dash o Bab Course landing page Right. So as soon as I get a notification pop up, I don’t even need to know, right? I know straight away with a notification to get Jaz has just watched that video about this that I sent him Bosch done because I’ve labelled all my video the moment I the moment I record the video, I retitle it. So the notification I get back tells me a story. Right? Really simple. The other thing with loom videos is if they watch it a second time, a third time or fourth time or a fifth time, you get that data. If somebody else watches it, it will tell you this Loom video has been watched by two people. Three people, Four people. What are they doing now? They’re sharing it with their friends and family members, getting an opinion, whatever that is, which is.

Key because you’ve essentially, you know, one of the things that was taught is that, you know, if you if you see a lady and you present a treatment plan and the lady happens to then bring her husband to the next consultation is a 99% acceptance rate. When the partner is there, it’s just going to happen because there’s a they’re serious. The partner is giving up their time. There’s two people’s time now and they’re dead serious. They just want to iron out the details. Right. So you’re now inviting that other significant other or their family member or a friend to that consultation. And I think it’s powerful. The Shareability, you’re totally right.

And then once again, I think we could run an entire course on on the Art of loom presentations. Right? But but another little sort of hack or a trick or call it whatever you want, right? You know, all of my I call it treatment plans, right? But marketing proposals that I send out, they’re done via loom. Okay. Now, if I’m speaking to one of the stakeholders and there’s another business partner who couldn’t make the initial sales call. Yeah, do you know what I mean? And by the way, please do share this with jazz. I know he wasn’t here, but what’s really important that he understands the other things that we discussed so you can add colour to your treatment plan. You can add colour to the words by voice, right? Yes, but. But just talk about them. Invite them. And by the way, Jazz, you know, if you want to jump on a separate call with me, if anything’s not clear in what I’ve described today because you didn’t have the context, I’d be delighted to jump on a separate call with you. Right. And so in the same respect, look, I know you’re going to be sharing this with your with your other half your husband, Mr.

Smith, if you’ve been smart enough, you’ve got the name or whatever. Jack, Bob, whatever. Yeah. And Bob, look, if anything here doesn’t make a sense or you want a little bit more detail, why don’t you come back in with Brenda and we’ll sit down and we’ll go through it, right? So that’s sort of little nuances and how you can tweak and optimise the use of language in loom. But I think it’s a it’s a wonderful tool if you’re worried about secure authority, you can password protect every loom video with a separate password. Okay. So all my proposals I send out, I password protect them. I tell them what the password is. And so why do I do that? First of all, they’ve got to jump through another hoop to access that loom video. Okay. And the other thing I think about is if somebody accidentally just clicks on the video, starts playing it, but they’re not in the mind frame or the the head space to watch the whole video. They’ll watch 60% of it. Right. But if I put a password in there and one one last bit of advice is I tell them how long the loom video is in the message.

Here’s a four minute video I made for you. Mrs.. Smith Yeah.

Link So they know how much time they need to invest in watching it. Find the headspace, put the password in, or if they go and you know who’s watched it.

This is a very personalised way to do a letter. It’s a video letter. It’s very. Personal. It’s very shareable, it’s very unique. And every single patient I’ve sent this to have always commented like, Wow, you know, thank you for your thorough explanation. I really understand. No one’s ever communicated with me in this way. That’s why I’ve been I’ve been hooked on Lume. It’s brilliant. Before we summarise this episode because I want to Petrus Sarathi messaged me saying we like it jazz. We just go with the bullet points because because sometimes there’s so much information overload. So we’ll do that in just a moment. But is there any other point you want to make on the follow up conversation? Because you mentioned, okay, things get lost. They don’t listen to voicemails and stuff. And and that element is important no matter how you communicate that follow up sequence. Any other comments you want to make on that?

We’re talking specifically about treatment plans. Right. And how how how we can be following up with that or how we should be following up with that. Right.

So once we’ve earned the right and the trust to make a recommendation, we’ve made a recommendation, that recommendation is going to be concise. And it’s also a treatment plan that the nurse and the nurse and the reception team are very familiar with. You are known in your practice for delivering that treatment plan because you’ve had those conversations with the front of House and now you send that treatment plan out via, let’s say, a Lume Dental or any other way that you want your written one, any way you like, basically. And then so what other tips and advice perhaps I haven’t mentioned here just now that we’ve glossed over or the microphone is yours, my friend. Well, I.

Think, you know, we could we could talk at length. We could do a whole another episode about the nuances of the conversation that happen when you’re delivering that treatment plan, how to talk money, how to break money down into lowest common denominators, how to talk to them about access, accessing funds. Right. Really important. I’m going to mention this and I might get a bit of stick for it. Right. But my colleague Mark Northover is probably one of the most emotionally intelligent human beings I have ever come across in my life. Right. And he’ll be embarrassed about me saying this. Most of the communication stuff, I learn a lot of the communication stuff I learn is eavesdropping on him speaking to patients in our clinic. Wow. And the words that come out of his mouth are a thing of beauty. And it’s not through any sales training.

It’s nothing like NLP, nothing like that. It’s none of that crap.

I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say that, but. But. But none. None of that stuff, right? Yeah. It’s none of this contrived. I need to do this. They’re locked up to the right. They scratch their nose. They did none of that nonsense. Right? It really does come down to the fact that he is just a people person. He communicates concisely and he connects with patients in a way that I have not seen other health care professionals connect with patients. Right? It’s just purely that. And in our clinic, we do a lot of same day teeth, full arch implant, dentistry, call it, that’s placed on the same day and it’s very high value stuff. And so I listen to him talk to patients and we had this patient who had failed finance and we had another one who had a deposit and they had the means to pay the finance, but they had failed or whatever. Right. Max, a problem solver, He really is. So you think at this point I’m going to give you the solution now and then then you’re going to think flipping eck But then then we’ll go back to the definition of what sales is, right?

And now you can say, you told me a story before, so everyone get your mandibles ready because we’re going to drop.

Mark asked this patient to remortgage their house to pay for their implants. Okay, but that’s the shock statement, right? Yep, yep. But actually, when I asked Mark, I said, Mark, I’ve never, ever heard anyone ask a patient to remortgage their house to pay for their teeth. What, like, where did that come from? And he said, Prav, this patient really wanted this treatment. They just needed to understand where their possible sources of funding are. Yeah, so we have finance. We have money in the bank. I asked, Are you a home owner? Have you got equity in that house? I think the cheapest access to money maybe you need to speak to your broker would be to perhaps just take some money, some equity out of your house and that could be a way. And should what? The patient was absolutely delighted and over the moon that he’d made that suggestion because neither another dentist nor that patient would have ever thought about that solution. And that patient is super happy eating their steak, smiling, integrate.

They’ve seen the video testimonial of this patient. He looks great and he’s so happy. You could tell.

So look, you know, access to funding. I think that’s where we’re going. But we spoke about follow up and what’s really what’s really important about follow up. Right, is that the patient who comes in and has a treatment plan from you today, Jazz may be ready to proceed with treatment tomorrow, may be ready to proceed with treatment in three months, may be ready to proceed with treatment in 12 months or two years time. And that’s the long and short of it, right? We have slow, middle and fast lane buyers in my dictionary, right? And so those patients who are ready to transact in two years, but not today, we can either view them as. Time wasters or we can see them as patients that are not quite ready to transact yet. But let’s stay in touch. Right. And so there’s numerous different ways in which you can do that through emails, newsletters, sharing case studies and success stories every couple of months, giving them a quick call and saying, Hey, Prav, I know now’s not the right time. Do you know what level with that patient? Right? Because if you have built that trust and you have made that recommendation and that patient feels comfortable enough to tell you Prav not now, but when the time is right, I ain’t going anywhere else. I ain’t going anywhere else. Right. And then you turn around to that patient and say, Is it okay if I just give you a call every couple of months, see how you’re doing, share a few case studies with you that we’ve completed that we’re proud of. Would that be okay? Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got our follow up sequence and then you can either do that through some kind of CRM system, you can have a spreadsheet, a Google sheet, whatever, right? You may be asked Chatgpt to tell you the best way to do it, but yeah.

I’ll tell you something I do actually, which is very on that same vein, is patients who have made a treatment plan for that. In my heart of hearts, I think they’d really benefit from, but it’s a lot more than what they expected and they’re interested. But maybe this is not the best year for them. I you know, I see them for the check up six months later. And I said, oh, remember we had that conversation. Is that something that you’re still interested in? And they say, yes, but, you know, maybe now’s not the time and say, Listen, when you’re ready, I’ll be ready. And then this one sentence, which I think dentists should be saying we don’t say enough, is that I love doing this kind of work. I let them know I love doing this kind of work, that one sentence. And I know that’s not a tactic. That’s not a thing. No, no, no. I genuinely do love that work. And, you know, when they are ready, then, hey, I’ve been sympathetic to the scenario. Empathetic. Okay, when you’re ready, I’ll be ready. But also, you know what I bloody love? And they want to go to someone who who loves doing that kind of work.

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think we’ve covered all the all the key elements that we wanted to. I’m sure there’s a few missing pieces to the puzzle that we we.

Obviously need to learn more from you. You did a one day thing for these reconstruction dentists. You also did a one day just, you know, the elevator pitch for the dentists and how to get the change their mindset, because ultimately everything we talked about is underpinned by mindset, right? And so the way we think about sales, the the workflows in your practice, are you doing any more of these training days?

I do have some coming up. So with with in collaboration with the Ice Academy, I’ve got two courses coming up this year. I think the dates for one of them has been set, but they’ve not gone live yet. So one of them is a TCO course. And I think, you know, what I wanted to put together is a course that’s non clinical. I ain’t going to teach you how to take photographs. I’m going to teach you how to scan and I’m going to teach you how to look in a patient’s mouth. But I’ll teach you how to communicate in the best possible way to get that patient over the line. Right. And call that, you know, let’s just call that sales. And then another course that we were speaking about at the academy that will go live this year is one called phone school. And phone school is is the name. It’s a ronseal statement, right? It does what it says on the tin. And it’s the art of conversations on the phone, what the ideal sales call looks like, what the ideal customer service call looks like, what the objections sound like on the phone. And then we’re just designing now sort of the workflow of the course. But one of the things we’re talking about is the delegates that register. Some of them will have the opportunity to allow us to record calls coming into their practice library. And but instead of a mystery shopper, we’re going to play those calls back in front of the whole audience and coach them on them. And and and we will also probably do a couple of live calls to some of the delegates practices during the course to get some instant sort of feedback.

Instant red faces and.

Yeah, but do you know what those that this is the way I look at it, those that volunteer to have their practices call it exposed. Right? Because look, if you call my practice today, I guarantee you that will make some mistakes as well. Yeah, we’re all always improving, right? They’ll get the most out of the course. They’ll get their personalised direct advice. Right. And you know, what I like to say is that the environment in which I do this will be a safe environment, you know, where everyone would be encouraged to share and learn and whatnot, you know, and like minded people in a room for one purpose, which is, you know, to get better at communicating. Right. I think that is, you know, it it certainly communication, you know, as well as having the skills to, you know, stick the drill in the right place and all the other bits and pieces is, you know, it’s the thing that’s going to get you out of trouble is the thing that’s going to get you the patient to say, yes, it’s the thing that’s going to get. Our patient to bring the friends and family members and and all the rest of it. So, Well.

I’ll put the links and the dates in the show notes, but you need to do something again for dentists. I don’t think you do that enough. I know you’re a super busy guy, but if you’re up for it, let’s let’s get something organised for for dentists loom school. I love that. Actually people will actually find that really valuable. We should consider that.

I think I’m evangelical about loom because I think it’s it’s one of the tools that has in my even my agency has saved me days every month because when you’re recording a screen and you’re pointing at something and you’re saying move this here, do that there, or even communicating via voice rather than typing saves me a ton of time. I also have accountability because I know that person’s watched it.

Prav I said, No, no, no. We all love loom here. So for those of you who haven’t discovered Loom before, now’s your time to check it out. We covered a lot of ground here. Thank you so much. Prav We talked about being concise. We talked about doing it in a way that the patient will understand. Do do it in a way that that your team are on board, different ways of communicating and just changing your mindset about the definition of sales. So I will reach out to you, try and twist your arm to actually do some live training for dentists. Again, I will get you get you back on that. I know you’re busy, but man, thank you so much for for making time. I really appreciate it.

Pleasure Jess. Thanks for having me. Really enjoyed it today.

This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Thanks for listening, guys. Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Make sure you tune in for.



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