Laura Horton relates her journey from dental nurse and TCO to practice owner and growth consultant.

Laura gives a clinic-eye view on the invaluable role of TCOs in shaping patient experience within the practice, shares wisdom on team growth and development, and discusses the highs and lows of practice ownership.



In This Episode

00.50 – Backstory

07.00 – Nursing, TCO and consultancy

12.00 – Practice workflow insights

17.20 – Practice ownership

29.25 – Professional relationships and career development

35.00 – The TCO role

44.00 – Team training and development

01.26.00 – Friendship Vs professionalism

01.36.30 – Trust and karma

01.54.00 – Fantasy Dinner Party

02.01.10 – Last days and legacy


About Laura Horton

Former TCO and dental nurse Laura Horton owns and runs Flagstaff-based clinic Dental Smiles. She is the founder of Laura Horton Consulting, which provides practice growth and development support. 

Laura Horton: We want patients to get their treatment plans quickly. Momentum is key. If they’re just sitting there in a pile on the dentist [00:00:05] desk, we’ve become nagging, nagging wives at work as tcos if we’re female, have you done it [00:00:10] yet? Have you done it yet? Have you done it yet? No one wants that. It’s another system. It’s another process. It [00:00:15] does improve your conversion rate, not necessarily the speed of it, but it does increase your [00:00:20] conversion rate because of the way that it the way that it’s done. But slow is best. Sometimes things are just too fast. [00:00:25]

Intro Voice: This [00:00:30] is Dental Leaders. The podcast where you get to [00:00:35] go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [00:00:40] hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki. [00:00:45]

Payman Langroudi: It gives me great pleasure to welcome Laura Horton onto [00:00:50] the podcast. Laura, I’ve known for a long time, so I think the first time I met [00:00:55] you was at, uh, Ashland. Uh, Rahul’s practice in Hartford. Yeah. [00:01:00] Back in it would have been my estimation of that is 2010. Were [00:01:05] you there?

Laura Horton: No earlier than that.

Payman Langroudi: Are you left by then? Yeah. Oh, wow. Yeah. All right then, 2008 [00:01:10] call it.

Laura Horton: Yeah. It might have been maybe more 2007, [00:01:15] 2008. When did you start enlightened?

Payman Langroudi: 2001. But I remember coming to the [00:01:20] course with our Cosmedin stuff and Cosmo. Then we started around 2007. [00:01:25]

Laura Horton: It probably was around then. Yeah, yeah, I remember that. That’s where I first met Prav [00:01:30] as well.

Payman Langroudi: I think what I remember was a well-oiled machine. Um, [00:01:35] I’d seen practices like that in the West End and stuff, but never, never in [00:01:40] the middle of nowhere. Like, by the way, I know Hartford’s not the middle of nowhere. Yeah, but, you know, as a local practice, [00:01:45] I’ve not seen a practice like that. And I’d been to loads and loads of practices. And [00:01:50] I remember meeting you first. You were the first person I met, right? And [00:01:55] I remember thinking, wow, what a team these guys have, like what training they’ve done. [00:02:00] And I don’t know, later on I listened to your pod with Sandeep. [00:02:05] I think I got out of that, that you were the reason why everything was so good in the practice. I [00:02:10] can’t remember, I can’t remember exactly. Um, but anyway, since since then Laura’s, [00:02:15] you know, done a bunch of jobs, but now Horton consulting really probably [00:02:20] the first sort of academy, if you like. The first organisation that would teach people [00:02:25] how to become CEOs. And timing was excellent, I guess, Laura, because [00:02:30] Tcos have become a gigantic part of Dental practice. Um, I’m sure [00:02:35] you know, there’s now lots of different people doing this sort of training, but you [00:02:40] were the first that I remember doing it. Yeah. Um, and we would definitely [00:02:45] get into that. But let’s just start with the backstory. Where did you grow up? How did [00:02:50] you end up in Dental? Why?

Laura Horton: Um, [00:02:55] so how I ended up in Dental was purely [00:03:00] because I had dropped out of my college course, and [00:03:05] my dad went mental. Yeah. And said, you’d better get yourself a job. And [00:03:10] I was like, okay. And I where we lived, there was like a community [00:03:15] centre. There was a Sainsbury’s Chinese fish and chip shop. I used to [00:03:20] work in the fish and chip shop, dentists, doctors and that’s where we were as a family in this [00:03:25] dental practice. Tiny little place. Where was it in Bishop’s Stortford. And [00:03:30] also there was a pub and I’m going to admit to underage drinking. [00:03:35]

Payman Langroudi: And.

Laura Horton: Fake ID was a thing back then. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Still is is it? [00:03:40] Yeah, of course.

Laura Horton: So I don’t know. I feel sorry for kids these days because I just used to photocopy [00:03:45] my driving license and changed the it’s got.

Payman Langroudi: No it’s got to be more digital isn’t it. Again.

Laura Horton: Um, [00:03:50] so I was going to the pub and I saw in the window they were looking for [00:03:55] a receptionist and I thought, oh, I can do that easy. And I went in and [00:04:00] applied for the job, got to Bradbury, got to be, as we used to call him. Um, [00:04:05] he said, would you like to be a dental nurse? And I thought, yeah, why [00:04:10] not? And I fainted within a few days, passed out on the floor. [00:04:15] And he wasn’t only a dentist, I don’t know how old he was when he actually started [00:04:20] working, but he did dentistry. Medicine. Max Fox [00:04:25] I think his parents were loaded, so I reckon he’s probably about 32 [00:04:30] by the time he actually finished uni. And then he just as you did quite easily just [00:04:35] set up this practice. Yeah. And he also used to get a lot of referrals. So the [00:04:40] reason I fainted is he was showing me this impacted lower rate or.

Payman Langroudi: Drilling [00:04:45] the bone.

Laura Horton: Yeah. And you know he’d he’d got it all ready you know have a good look in here [00:04:50] and you could see it lie in there and that’s it. Oh I was gone on the floor and the [00:04:55] patient was sedated and everything. And the dental nurse, Alison, who’s one of my great [00:05:00] friends to this day. Yeah, she put me in the recovery position. I remember coming round and her [00:05:05] taking my gloves off, and they were soaked with sweat. And then I felt really ill afterwards, I [00:05:10] got this horrendous headache and went home, and I was so embarrassed to go back the next day [00:05:15] and my mum was like, you’re going back? And I was like, oh, but I’m just really embarrassed. My mum really embarrassed [00:05:20] and she said, it doesn’t matter. My mom was a nurse. She said, everyone faints in this line of work, get back to [00:05:25] work. I was like, okay. And I went back.

Payman Langroudi: Your mum sort [00:05:30] of the enforcer in the house or.

Laura Horton: No, my dad.

Payman Langroudi: My dad was. Yeah. [00:05:35]

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Is it you, by the way, in your house?

Laura Horton: It is Payman. [00:05:40]

Payman Langroudi: I kind of figured that, but I.

Laura Horton: Try to be very delicate. [00:05:45] Mhm. Well, maybe come back to that. Okay. Um, but yeah, my [00:05:50] mum I guess if my mum, she’s always had a message which is do [00:05:55] what makes you happy. And this was, you know, one of those times with this college course I wasn’t happy, [00:06:00] I hated it, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. And I was [00:06:05] like.

Payman Langroudi: What was the cause?

Laura Horton: I was like, travel and tourism. Um, I decided to do it because [00:06:10] I liked holidays.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, that’s a good a reason as any, right? Yeah.

Laura Horton: I didn’t know what I wanted to do. [00:06:15] I had no clue what I wanted to do in life. So I thought, well, I like holidays. I’ll go and do this. [00:06:20] Travel and tourism. Oh, it was the most boring thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Payman Langroudi: At what point did you [00:06:25] switch from someone who drops out of courses, didn’t know what you want to do with yourself to this sort of hyper focussed person [00:06:30] that I met.

Laura Horton: I, I would say when I started working as a dental [00:06:35] nurse. So Doctor Bradbury and then. Yeah, straight away Doctor Bradbury said, right, all my nurses are [00:06:40] qualified. You don’t have to be qualified. But all my nurses are qualified. So you’re starting [00:06:45] the course. So off I went and did the course. Welwyn Garden City every Wednesday [00:06:50] I had my driving license and I took one of the other girls from the practice who wasn’t yet able to [00:06:55] do the course because she couldn’t drive. So we went together. So that was quite nice. So I did [00:07:00] that. And I kid you not, the day I got my letter through saying I’d qualified, [00:07:05] I actually had to go home at lunchtime to check the post because that night [00:07:10] I was starting my radiography qualification at, um, Hertfordshire University. [00:07:15] He’d already booked me on it. So you’re.

Payman Langroudi: Fast tracking?

Laura Horton: Yeah, he was really into [00:07:20] progression and development of his team and this is way back when. So [00:07:25] I loved that and that’s why I wanted to work there. I really enjoyed that. [00:07:30] Mhm. That you know he wants to keep pushing you on. And then while I [00:07:35] was there two of the nurses went on to do one hygiene, the other [00:07:40] hygiene and therapy. So he was very much about supporting and moving you forward. He [00:07:45] didn’t just want a dental nurse or being a dental nurse.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. So I really want to ask [00:07:50] you this question because you’ve seen dental practice from lots of different angles. [00:07:55] Then you’ve seen a lot of dental practices, albeit I reckon the ones that you’re seeing, they [00:08:00] probably skew a certain way because of, you know, TCO. Right. So you’re not going into [00:08:05] loads of full on NHS places anymore. No, but I guess you must have worked in a few, right?

Laura Horton: Yeah, [00:08:10] definitely.

Payman Langroudi: So the question of progression. Yeah, I come across too [00:08:15] many dentists that when I ask them this question they sort of say no, the best nurse is one who doesn’t want to [00:08:20] progress and, you know, someone who will turn up, do the work, learn how [00:08:25] to to handle that dentist and not want progression. Because there isn’t [00:08:30] much progression in most dental practices, is there? I mean, you’ve just outlined a nice sort of, you [00:08:35] know, radiology qualification or hygienist or I guess there’s dental health [00:08:40] educator type things as well, therapists and all of those. Right? Yeah. [00:08:45] But the question is, having seen lots of practices, have [00:08:50] you got an idea of best and worst practice? And what are some of the stories of bad [00:08:55] practice? I mean, this one you’ve told of good practice? Yeah.

Laura Horton: It’s interesting [00:09:00] because that first practice that I worked in, it was your bog standard general [00:09:05] dental practice, NHS, NHS Monday to Thursday, Friday [00:09:10] was and Saturdays were private. But it was the same thing, just a different price. [00:09:15] Yeah. It was, you know, the same materials. There was no. What are we talking.

Payman Langroudi: 90.

Laura Horton: Something [00:09:20] talking. Yeah. Late 90s. Yeah there was, there was nothing different in it. Doctor [00:09:25] Bradbury’s no longer with us. And, you know, I don’t think it would be being [00:09:30] disrespectful to say that he did end up [00:09:35] at the GDC because of the dentistry. It was fast paced. Rct in 15 [00:09:40] minutes. What on earth that about? Do you know what I mean? But when it’s your first practice that you’ve worked in, [00:09:45] you don’t know that anything’s wrong. And there were things like, we had to wear [00:09:50] the same pair of gloves all morning and just wash them with alcohol. So when I started this college course [00:09:55] and I’m like, hang on a minute. And me being me, I’ve always been very outspoken. Say what [00:10:00] I think, going back to him and saying, doctor B, we’re not meant to be doing this. We’re not meant [00:10:05] to be doing that. We’re not meant to be reusing this. He’d say, it’s my practice and that’s what [00:10:10] I’m doing. And it did cause me to leave. Mhm. And [00:10:15] I felt really bad because he’d paid for all this education, but I knew there were things in that practice [00:10:20] that were wrong.

Payman Langroudi: So interesting isn’t it. Because you wouldn’t imagine someone who’s saving on gloves [00:10:25] would pay for the nurse’s education. Yeah. But he was doing that. He was very forward thinking [00:10:30] in one way. Yeah. And yet he was pinching pennies on on the other end. Yeah. [00:10:35] So interesting.

Laura Horton: Yeah. Really interesting. Like his his mindset I don’t know, it may [00:10:40] just be the culture that he’d been ingrained into I don’t know. And what I can say [00:10:45] is two of the dentists, including doctor B, who no longer are no longer with us, both of them ended [00:10:50] up in, you know, at the GDC. I don’t know, was it the pressure on the NHS, [00:10:55] 70 patients a day, you know, it was mental. And I used to get told off for talking to [00:11:00] patients, you know.

Payman Langroudi: That was all free. So it’s the one thing we encourage [00:11:05] now. Yeah, yeah.

Laura Horton: Laura what are you talking to this patient for? [00:11:10] Oh, they’re just really nervous, you know, and you get instruments thrown at you and things. [00:11:15]

Payman Langroudi: Uh, back then, back then.

Laura Horton: It was fine. Yeah. You know, and.

Payman Langroudi: But [00:11:20] other examples you’ve seen, I mean, for instance, other examples, this focus on the price of stuff. Yeah. Obviously [00:11:25] in our world it’s a major issue isn’t it. People. People worry about how much each thing costs them. Yeah. [00:11:30] So on um. It’s weird. Because it’s one of the only sort of moving parts that a dentist’s can [00:11:35] can touch. It’s hard to reduce staff costs or building costs, but somehow [00:11:40] material costs you can. I had a buddy. He had the bright idea of stick 3 [00:11:45] or 4 of those pink mouthwash tablets into a jug. You know, fill the [00:11:50] jug up with pink pink water, then pour it out to save on mouthwash tablets.

Laura Horton: So [00:11:55] silly. It’s so silly because I’m sure we’ll get to this. But if you implement [00:12:00] the TCO role and use my methods, you just make money easily. There’s so many ways practices [00:12:05] are losing big bucks. Like stop concentrating on these little cuts here and there. It’s silly. [00:12:10] But back to your question. I think it’s really important to progress [00:12:15] your team. It’s all about culture. And I think as dentists, you’re [00:12:20] your hickory professionals, your course junkies. You’re always learning. Yeah. And [00:12:25] isn’t it great if your team are inspired by that and also want to do well? Don’t get [00:12:30] me wrong, if there are people that don’t want to do anything, fine, leave them to it. The world is made up of different people, [00:12:35] but I think it is really important to offer progression. So after I [00:12:40] left doctor B, I went and temped as a nurse and.

Payman Langroudi: Loved lots and lots.

Laura Horton: Of [00:12:45] loved it. Yeah. Did you loved it? I was the kind [00:12:50] of nurse I can nurse with anyone because it’s all about communication. So I was quite happy to come [00:12:55] into your clinic for a day. Right? Okay. Payman, this is the list. What do you need do do do do do and [00:13:00] sort of run the show, as it were. Which is what dentists want. Dentists want their nurses to run the show. They should [00:13:05] do. If they don’t, that’s another discussion. Yeah, but I love Tampin, so I [00:13:10] could be in community in Hackney. I just used to drive into London in my little car with my A [00:13:15] to Z on my steering wheel, you know, and I’d pre-planned all the pages I needed to turn over [00:13:20] the night before. And I just think that’s mad now. I couldn’t do that now, driving with an eight, is it.

Payman Langroudi: Do you think you [00:13:25] turn up to a practice? Sometimes within the first five seconds you get a vibe of [00:13:30] is it a happy place or isn’t it?

Laura Horton: Totally. And I’m really impacted by [00:13:35] that as a person. Wherever I go, I can be like, whoa, this isn’t good here.

Payman Langroudi: Sometimes you can just [00:13:40] feel it straight away. You can feel it. And the opposite, of course.

Laura Horton: Absolutely. You can just get excited by it. [00:13:45] So yeah, I think if people don’t want to progress their team, [00:13:50] I think that’s I think that’s an issue and I’m recruiting at the moment. So I’ve got [00:13:55] a practice that’s opening in a few weeks. My first practice. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, amazing.

Laura Horton: It’s [00:14:00] opening in a few weeks. It should have been open sooner, but that’s down to the CQC. Amazing [00:14:05] that they’re so. I am just currently, right now [00:14:10] inundated with applications for trainee dental nurses. [00:14:15] And I’m like, whoa, I’ve had to think fast on my feet about this, because the amount of applications [00:14:20] that have come through has surprised me. We already have one outstanding [00:14:25] dental nurse experienced. Fantastic. We were going to [00:14:30] employ a second, but because we’ve had this delay, we were like, should we go back to our original plan now [00:14:35] of looking for a trainee because we’re going to have the time. And so I’ve had to think on my feet, and [00:14:40] I will confess, I’ve stolen this from a client that I worked with for many years. Her name’s Naomi, [00:14:45] and she’s a lovely lady, but she once did an event for our trainee dental [00:14:50] nurses. Get them all in one room, tell them what it’s about, what their progression is, how it’s going to work, [00:14:55] and then move forward with interviews from there. Really sort of screen people. Yeah. [00:15:00] So I’m screening them already or indeed with a few questions. And [00:15:05] I’ve put this very quickly, put this event together 530 Tuesday night, fill in this application [00:15:10] form and confirm you can come. So what I’m putting together for this presentation is actually [00:15:15] about progression. We don’t just want to support you to qualify. [00:15:20] We want you to qualify and be an amazing dental nurse. From that moment you qualify because [00:15:25] that’s a problem as well. It’s a bit like driving. I feel some people are taught just to pass. [00:15:30] They’re not taught all the skills they need. So we want you to be an amazing [00:15:35] dental nurse, working with all the clinicians within our practice. And then from that moment [00:15:40] you qualify, get your GDC number. You’re then contracted as a dental nurse and this will be [00:15:45] your progression path. There’s already one who’s put I want to be a hygienist. Fantastic. [00:15:50] Come on then.

Payman Langroudi: Work towards.

Laura Horton: That. Brilliant. Because we’ll have you back as a hygienist. [00:15:55] Yeah yeah yeah. And and that’s the type of person I am. I want [00:16:00] to work with people that want me to do well. I think that’s really important. [00:16:05] I remember one practice I worked at and they brought in appraisals, [00:16:10] so it’s the first time we’d ever had appraisals. And I’m going back in time. And [00:16:15] one of the questions were, oh, you know, what are your goals for the next five years? And I said, [00:16:20] whatever. I said, you know, I’d love to go travelling. I didn’t mention anything about hygiene or therapy, [00:16:25] but I know I definitely said I want to go travelling. And then from the appraisals they gave everyone a [00:16:30] pay rise and. Me with my skills got the lowest pay rise because of course [00:16:35] there’s a team. Let’s not forget, we all discuss this. I was livid and I said to the manager, why [00:16:40] have I got the lowest pay rise? She said, because you’ve said you want to go travelling [00:16:45] well. And I was like. Ridiculous, you [00:16:50] know. I then left yeah. I was like, right have that is my [00:16:55] notice. Goodbye. I’m not working in this place any longer. On that you went. Yeah. It was like the icing [00:17:00] or the cherry on the cake, I say. Anyway, working there, I was like, just go away. I [00:17:05] just can’t be in this place. It’s toxic. Yeah. Um, at that time, I was also doing my oral health education [00:17:10] qualification. I was funding it myself. There have been really difficult about it. So [00:17:15] there were lots of things. And that was the final. I was like, oh, why.

Payman Langroudi: Tell me more about this practice? [00:17:20]

Laura Horton: So I am opening a practice in Colchester with [00:17:25] Free Dentists and partnered with them. Yeah, all equal partners and [00:17:30] myself and Katie are going to be working in the clinic. Andy and Daniel, [00:17:35] well Andy will for some implant cases. Daniel’s not at the moment, but [00:17:40] he might see the bright lights and be swayed over. We’ll find out. And [00:17:45] yeah, they’re really lovely. I’m the eldest, which I find quite hilarious. Um, [00:17:50] but yeah, they’re really great. And I had an opportunity to work with them for a year, actually, not with [00:17:55] treatment coordination. I was supporting them with their management and restructuring. They’ve got two [00:18:00] clinics, and I worked with them for a year right up to the pandemic. [00:18:05] So probably a couple of weeks before it’s probably the end of the February [00:18:10] before. I was sat with them and we were all like, is it going to happen or not? And I [00:18:15] remember Andy had just exchanged on his house and I was about to exchange on a house, and [00:18:20] me and Andrew were both like, shit, we’re both about to double our mortgages like [00:18:25] it’s the world’s going to end and all this stuff. Yeah. So I worked with them right up to them, [00:18:30] but I had a fabulous insight into how they ran their business. [00:18:35] Yeah. And it was fantastic. There weren’t any recommendations [00:18:40] I could make to them about their partnership, their set up and the way that they ran their [00:18:45] business. They’re already doing it all. And Andy and Katie are brother [00:18:50] and sister and they’ve all known each other many, many years. So they’ve got a really successful partnership [00:18:55] already, which I thought was how did.

Payman Langroudi: The conversation come about to open a new business together?

Laura Horton: So [00:19:00] I’ve always kept in touch and actually we’ve all moved there as a family to [00:19:05] the practice as well because it was local, so it was a right result as well, working with the local practice instead of travelling. [00:19:10] So what’s happened is since I had my little boy, I needed a new dentist [00:19:15] and I was saying to ash, like, it’s a two hour round trip. Like, I can’t [00:19:20] keep coming to see Luke for a check-up for a two hour round trip. I can’t bring a child like that distance either. [00:19:25] So I politely moved practice and all my family’s gone there, and [00:19:30] we’ve always kept in touch because I really liked them and got on really well with them. And I’d say that about [00:19:35] a lot of my clients. You do end up having a relationship on a different level. It’s not just [00:19:40] purely business friendship. Yeah, it’s a friendship. You know, one client who I’ve worked with for years has messaged [00:19:45] me today. My little boy was in hospital yesterday and he’s seen that and said, oh gosh. And you [00:19:50] know, he’s his daughter’s unfortunately in hospital and he’s oh my gosh, what’s happening? And he’s [00:19:55] sharing all that with me. So I feel really lucky to always work with such fantastic people. [00:20:00] So we’ve always got kept in touch. I’d say Andy and myself have always got on very [00:20:05] well because we’re very similar in personality, quite direct people.

Laura Horton: And he called [00:20:10] me up and said, we’ve got this situation, and the situation is that they’ve bought [00:20:15] a building for a third clinic in Colchester. The idea being Katie’s going [00:20:20] to be the main person working there. She lives in Mersey, so it’s like 20 minutes. She’s [00:20:25] got three young children. It’s going to be better for her work life balance, but it’s not [00:20:30] happened. It’s not come to life. And the reason for that is her son has got cystic fibrosis, [00:20:35] so he’d been quite poorly. So this is 2022. So he’d been quite poorly [00:20:40] in hospital a lot. So it hadn’t sort of got off the ground. So he said to me we are [00:20:45] looking at getting a fourth partner. And I wondered if you knew any dentists. And [00:20:50] I said, oh, I don’t know. I said, it might be quite uncomfortable because people I do know [00:20:55] are more associates, so I wouldn’t want to upset any apple carts. But let me have a think [00:21:00] about it. I then went on holiday, so it was. Yeah. October 22nd [00:21:05] went on holiday with my husband just to Centre Parcs and I said, this phone call with Andy, [00:21:10] this is what they’re thinking of doing. And I’m thinking, why can’t I be the partner? And [00:21:15] my husband said, well, why can’t you? And I said, well, of course I can. And I’m still GDC registered. So that’s [00:21:20] not an issue, you know? Of course I can.

Laura Horton: But it took me probably about another month [00:21:25] to speak to Andy and sort of, sort of pluck up the courage. Really? Yeah. [00:21:30] So I spoke to him and, um, have you found anyone yet? And he’s like, [00:21:35] oh, no, and all this. And I’m saying to myself, just say it, Laura. Just say it, just say it. [00:21:40] You’ve got nothing to lose. Just say it. And I went, okay, so I’m just wondering, could I be the partner? And he said, [00:21:45] I was hoping you were going to say that. Oh, nice. And I went oh, fantastic. And [00:21:50] then so that was probably yeah mid-November, end of November [00:21:55] time. So then yeah, mid-December went round and we had [00:22:00] a curry, had a good chat about how we could all see it working because I have [00:22:05] my methods and my ways. They don’t [00:22:10] have a TCO, for example. They’ve not implemented that role in the way that I [00:22:15] would implement it. So they may have in one practice, they’ve got no option for it and another they have and they’ve got someone [00:22:20] who has has a title, but it’s not they’ve not been trained by me. It’s not the way that I do [00:22:25] treatment coordination. Yeah. So another example would be that within the plans [00:22:30] that they’d had made, there’s no consult room. So it was a conversation of well I’m having [00:22:35] a surgery, the TCA room.

Payman Langroudi: So you kind of wanted overall sort of creative [00:22:40] control over that part of it.

Laura Horton: Yeah. And I’m very much wanting to lead the patient experience and the [00:22:45] team training and what we’re delivering and what we’re offering to patients so that it is a really what. [00:22:50]

Payman Langroudi: Is it like? Is it like a very high end beautiful whatever, or is it a what’s it like?

Laura Horton: I’m definitely [00:22:55] describing it already in information for patients. It’s a state of the art clinic. [00:23:00] Just because we’ll have all the mod cons, all the toys. But [00:23:05] I think really my message to patients is that it’s a comprehensive clinic and just trying to effectively communicate [00:23:10] what comprehensive dentistry is. I want patients to come in for general [00:23:15] dentistry and receive really good general dentistry to treatment, plan them really well [00:23:20] so that they’re not being patched over. They’re having long time care. That care has got guarantees [00:23:25] on it. They’re involved with the whole clinical team, not just one dentist, and [00:23:30] really ensuring that we’re improving our patients oral health and [00:23:35] working with that patient to do so. So we will require a certain type of patient [00:23:40] who wants that, you know, patients that just want to be patched over come in for an [00:23:45] emergency as and when it suits them, they’re probably not going to be for us. Yeah, [00:23:50] but we’re starting off. So with Katie obviously is the dentist. We have a hygiene therapist. [00:23:55] I’m going to be the TCA Payman because I thought it just makes sense. Although [00:24:00] I’ve got to train someone, you know, all the time I spend training someone trying to get this business off the ground, [00:24:05] I might as well just go and be the TCA myself. You recruited a lovely front of house person. [00:24:10] She’s got no clinical background, which is what I wanted.

Payman Langroudi: Is that what you’d recommend? [00:24:15]

Laura Horton: It’s what I wanted.

Payman Langroudi: But in general, is that what you’d recommend? Um.

Laura Horton: Not [00:24:20] necessarily. I think it depends where you’re starting. I think the problem is, if you’re [00:24:25] trying to develop your clinic. It can be difficult to [00:24:30] have people on the desk that know too much. I think one of the greatest things that I was [00:24:35] ever told, which was by Bill Blatchford, who? Ash and Raoul. It was amazing. Working [00:24:40] with Bill Blatchford.

Payman Langroudi: Was solutions.

Laura Horton: Right? Yeah. Yeah, it was amazing, such an opportunity. [00:24:45] That was and I remember Bill saying to me, do you know what, Laura? You [00:24:50] need to think that you know nothing. That’s what you that needs to be your approach. [00:24:55] You know nothing, he said. And then you’ll find things easier. And that’s always stuck with [00:25:00] me. Why does it.

Payman Langroudi: Help to know nothing?

Laura Horton: So, for example, if you’re on the front desk, if you’re a TCO [00:25:05] and you know so much clinically, you end up having a clinical conversation [00:25:10] in a non clinical environment.

Payman Langroudi: Giving solutions that not necessarily the right solutions. [00:25:15] Yeah.

Laura Horton: And patients pre prescribe enough don’t they. Oh I’ve got a toothache I need [00:25:20] a crown or I need a filling. You don’t even know. You know what you need. So you’re prescribing. We don’t [00:25:25] need anyone else doing that at all.

Payman Langroudi: But for a TCO role [00:25:30] you’d rather that was a clinical person, right?

Laura Horton: Ultimately, the best treatment coordinators [00:25:35] are have a clinical background. Yeah. And that’s because you can then fully utilise them [00:25:40] in the role. I think it also depends on the dentistry that’s being offered as well. Because [00:25:45] if you’re using a TCO for a general dentistry workflow, it’s not the [00:25:50] end of the world to have someone non-clinical. If you’re using a TCO for implant dentistry, [00:25:55] rehab, dentistry, in my opinion, without a doubt, having someone who’s clinical [00:26:00] is just going to pay off because if a patient’s asking me a question, I can’t be [00:26:05] blagging it. I don’t want to make something up. And also I need to [00:26:10] be able to give them some kind of answer, or I need to tell them from [00:26:15] my understanding, what you’re saying is correct. But we will double check all of this.

Payman Langroudi: Because [00:26:20] I’ve come across people who want non-clinical people to be the TCO. Yeah, [00:26:25] that sort of. They want executers like sellers. Yeah. And they [00:26:30] don’t think sellers come from dentistry.

Laura Horton: Well, I don’t think the TCO role is a sales role. And [00:26:35] I agree with you.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, not primarily.

Laura Horton: Right. And anyone who says that my [00:26:40] my comment back is not being disrespectful. But you’ve never worked with a TCO [00:26:45] and you’ve never worked in practice to know that that role is not a sales role. It’s an education and consent [00:26:50] role. And there’s nothing worse than having someone. In a sales role, pushing [00:26:55] patients into treatment because they’re going to get a commission. I just think it’s a recipe for [00:27:00] disaster. Come on.

Payman Langroudi: Right on to in a moment. But back to the practice. To the.

Laura Horton: Practice. [00:27:05]

Payman Langroudi: Do you have plans, like have you got plans to open [00:27:10] more of these or have you started with the end in mind or.

Laura Horton: We have started with [00:27:15] the end in mind. So that was one of the things that we agreed upon really early on, which [00:27:20] is our exit strategy. So that was really good. We’ve also got in place [00:27:25] legal partnership agreements. Again, they already had one. So that was like a box ticked for [00:27:30] me. But again, I’ve been in so many businesses where there isn’t [00:27:35] a legal partnership agreement.

Payman Langroudi: Common isn’t.

Laura Horton: It? It is really common. And I understand when you’re [00:27:40] starting up, it’s all rosy and it’s exciting and you love each other, but then [00:27:45] it’s like a divorce, isn’t it? Down. It’s a prenup basically down the road. Things could go wrong, [00:27:50] you know, everything’s covered in this agreement, you know, from death to incapacity [00:27:55] to work. You know, it’s quite dull reading, but it’s really important. So can [00:28:00] you share.

Payman Langroudi: The plans with me a bit or. No.

Laura Horton: On the partnership agreement?

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Like, are you thinking [00:28:05] this practice and flip or are you thinking more of these? What are you thinking? So it’s a bit early, [00:28:10] isn’t it.

Laura Horton: But it is a bit early. And right now I’m perhaps quite mindful [00:28:15] of the existing teams within their two practices [00:28:20] to sort of talk about it. Okay. I don’t know if that would necessarily [00:28:25] go down too well, but what I can say [00:28:30] is and I sort of joked about it with Andy the other day, well, this is good for the next one. [00:28:35] Yeah. Do you remember when you said to me, Laura, why don’t [00:28:40] you just go to the bank, borrow loads of money and open loads of practices? Do you remember that? That’s when all that was starting. [00:28:45]

Payman Langroudi: Really? Really. I’ve always thought someone like you. Someone like Prav. [00:28:50] You know, I’ve always thought people who go into practices and train [00:28:55] teams on how to maximise and so forth. Of course, you can go work for a corporate [00:29:00] and do that on lots of practices, but I’ve always thought that’s a great, great person [00:29:05] to go and raise money and open a bunch. I mean, I’d say, of course it makes sense for you to go [00:29:10] in now. Yeah, but I wouldn’t have expected you to say you want to be the person who actually do the TCO ING [00:29:15] in this practice. Yeah. Although I do remember from your other interview that you were saying that’s your job that you love [00:29:20] the most, all the jobs that you did. Yeah. Um, even more than management roles.

Laura Horton: Oh, definitely. [00:29:25] Yeah. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So you like the patient interaction?

Laura Horton: I’m a people person, so [00:29:30] I, you know, I love I love being with people. So that’s why I’m a great TCO. [00:29:35] Yeah. Just sort of picking up on what you’re saying there. You know people that do training and such like I’m [00:29:40] all up for other people going out in the world setting themselves up, but [00:29:45] I think it does take a certain type of person to move [00:29:50] solely into training and consultancy. You know, I’ve been doing it for 15 years and [00:29:55] not had another job on the side. I left perfect Smile Studios [00:30:00] amazing salary, seven weeks, paid holiday a year, amazing [00:30:05] bonuses. The bonuses were sometimes double my salary [00:30:10] every month. Yeah, and I left that. And ash said to me, why don’t [00:30:15] you stay part time? We can make something work. And I said, no, I need to [00:30:20] just go out and do this to make it work. And that was, well, it’ll be 16 years in the summer. [00:30:25] That was.

Payman Langroudi: So how quickly did you make it work?

Laura Horton: Quite [00:30:30] quickly actually, I. And [00:30:35] I just sort of add to this as well. I had no money. I was in quite a lot of debt. [00:30:40] Mm.

Payman Langroudi: So tell me about the first couple of clients and you know, how did it come about. Was [00:30:45] it people you used to come on their courses?

Laura Horton: No, not at all. Let’s just get [00:30:50] that out there. Um, because you couldn’t. Because you’ve got a contract, haven’t you? You’ve got a contract. Contract. [00:30:55] So what happens? First of all, interestingly, I also [00:31:00] do a lot of networking for Ash and Rahul, um, for the academy also as well. [00:31:05] I don’t know if you were there, but the first ever what’s now the dentistry [00:31:10] show, it was called The Aesthetic Dentist. Do you remember that? Yeah. So we had a stand [00:31:15] there, me and Cheryl Ash and income and there, [00:31:20] there was this couple that I met, and they have a consultancy in health [00:31:25] care and they introduce themselves. And I just kept their details, followed them on online [00:31:30] and everything. And I think it was, um, the guys [00:31:35] saw a post I’d put on, I don’t know what it was. Facebook was in its infancy as well, and he [00:31:40] reached out to me and said, we’ve got some work you can do for us. We’ll pay you a retainer fee, £500 [00:31:45] a month, do you want to do it? And I was like, um, okay, do you know what? [00:31:50] I will didn’t enjoy it whatsoever. What had happened was [00:31:55] that ash had opened some doors for me and with Ellis Paul at [00:32:00] private dentistry, and put me on to a phone call with him. And Ellis was lovely [00:32:05] and said, oh, I’d love some articles from you, Laura. I distinctively remember the phone call. Great guy, [00:32:10] amazing guy. And he said, you’re like an English rose and I’d love to [00:32:15] feature you. And I said, oh, thank you so much. And he really helped me. Like, English has [00:32:20] never been my strong point. But yeah, he was a really great and really helped me and put like a series [00:32:25] of articles in which kicked off. Yeah, I’m in PD this month [00:32:30] for February, this month for an article about the practice actually. But definitely [00:32:35] 15, 16 years ago, being in a journal was like a big thing.

Payman Langroudi: It was [00:32:40] gigantic.

Laura Horton: It was huge back then. So that definitely paved the way. The [00:32:45] other avenue that sort of kicked things off for me, which was really interesting. Well, [00:32:50] there were two. One of them was the amount of people from companies such as yourselves [00:32:55] who had been to the academy, who’d been into the practice. I’d taken [00:33:00] care of them, who were reaching out to me and saying, I understand you’ve left there. You’re [00:33:05] going out on your own. How can I help you? Mhm. Richard Collard was one of the first [00:33:10] to do that. And I was just getting more and more taken aback. The more it was happening. You looked after [00:33:15] me. Let me look after you. Yeah. What is it you’re doing? Let me spread the word. I’ll recommend [00:33:20] you to anyone. No one’s asking for kickbacks or anything like that. I was like, oh, wow. This. [00:33:25] It just goes to show how important relationships are. So I had a lot of support [00:33:30] in that direction. And then the other link that’s quite interesting was actually [00:33:35] through Prav. But he probably doesn’t know this, which [00:33:40] is that he came to our he came to the practice for a meeting about a website with afresh. [00:33:45] And what happened was Ash and Rahul took a bit too long [00:33:50] to decide and go back to him.

Laura Horton: Yeah. And when they went back to Prav, he said, sorry, [00:33:55] there’s already someone in the area who, like, we’ve taken someone else on basically [00:34:00] in your area, so it’s not fair. I don’t do that. And they were like, ah man. [00:34:05] And he said, I will put you on to my friend in Liverpool. Her name is Shelley. [00:34:10] She’s got this website company. So Ash and Rahul engaged with her. I had no idea who she [00:34:15] was. Suddenly I’m dealing with this, this company. Fine. Whatever. Really nice people. What [00:34:20] happened was just from speaking on the phone and the projects and getting things off the ground, I ended [00:34:25] up working quite closely with them. And Shelley, when I said, oh, I’m just let you know I’m leaving next week. [00:34:30] She said, have you got a website? I said, no, nothing. [00:34:35] And she said, give us your mobile number, I’m going to help you out. [00:34:40] So again, from our relationship, just purely professional. [00:34:45] And she became quite a good friend actually. She did have clients that were dentists. And she was [00:34:50] also saying, I’ve got a new client myself. I’m doing her website. This is it, this is Laura. Get [00:34:55] her into your practice, guys. You won’t regret it. So that that was really lovely as well.

Payman Langroudi: I mean, I’m going [00:35:00] to call it professional karma sort of thing. Yeah, definitely. It does go to show that, um, [00:35:05] and, you know, it pays to be nice. Yeah. But as [00:35:10] I say, my biggest memory of going to that meeting with, um, Ash and Rahul. [00:35:15] Yeah. Was you. Yeah, yeah. And I guess you were, you know, taking care of me. But there [00:35:20] was this feeling that it was just. It was like being in Novikov or something. And Novikov [00:35:25] didn’t exist back then, but, you know, it was it was just like, come in, cup of coffee. Sit [00:35:30] down. Have you got this? Is there anything else I can do for you? Yeah. Everyone being like you could see the staff [00:35:35] were happy but working. Yeah. And it just was a special, special vibe [00:35:40] in, in that practice, you know, and I’m interested in this sort of professional karma [00:35:45] thing you’re talking about because. Do you believe in karma? Karma?

Laura Horton: Yeah. Totally.

Payman Langroudi: Karma.

Laura Horton: Yeah. [00:35:50]

Payman Langroudi: So what? Supernatural karma.

Laura Horton: I believe that what you put out there comes back to you.

Payman Langroudi: Well, [00:35:55] we’ve discussed how practically it does. Right. But you believe, like, I don’t know, you [00:36:00] find £10 on the floor and you don’t hand it in and you buy something with it, and that thing messes [00:36:05] your life. Yeah. Like that’s.

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I do quite superstitious like that to you.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. [00:36:10]

Laura Horton: I’d be like, oh I found a £10 note. Oh my gosh I’m so uncomfortable about this. Who can I give it to? I [00:36:15] wouldn’t take it I couldn’t I’d find a homeless person.

Payman Langroudi: Funny tangent. Do you believe in God?

Laura Horton: No. [00:36:20]

Payman Langroudi: Well, you see, that’s why I’m either. No.

Laura Horton: I don’t I [00:36:25] was I was raised a Christian.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, really? Did you reject it?

Laura Horton: Some of my youngest [00:36:30] memories are sitting in a freezing cold church with my mum and then my mum. My mum [00:36:35] went off it, so naturally we did. Yay! But yeah, there’s some of my earliest memories. [00:36:40] Uh, and I’m. I’m Christian, I’m Church of England.

Payman Langroudi: You book.

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah. [00:36:45]

Payman Langroudi: Let’s move the story on from from from let’s let’s now get to the whole TKO game. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. [00:36:50] So I want to I want to hear these few things. Right. What are the typical situations [00:36:55] you come across? Practice doesn’t have a TCO. Once one [00:37:00] has an idea what it is. Yeah, I expect sometimes internally [00:37:05] you have to deal with politics. Mhm. And we see that a lot in dental practices. We see [00:37:10] sometimes two different power bases. Yeah. And I expect you’ve got a really good feel for that. You can feel [00:37:15] what’s going on. Yeah. How do you deal with that. How do you tell them. Who should [00:37:20] it be. Someone internal or someone external. Or is there resistance to changing [00:37:25] the systems? Do people even understand that people need constant training [00:37:30] rather than one off training? Yeah, because I hear that a lot. People say, come, come to my practice, teach my team [00:37:35] how to sell whitening. We do it. We get a little one blip for that month and then it goes back. Everyone goes [00:37:40] back to their old ways again. And, you know, people need constant training. Yeah. So some of the stories [00:37:45] about practices looking to take on tcos and the kind of solutions you have to put in place. [00:37:50]

Laura Horton: Yeah. So for me it’s all about making sure firstly that [00:37:55] the manager and clinic owner understand the role and what they want to do with it. So [00:38:00] interestingly, just this week I’m actually running something totally new for the first [00:38:05] time ever and I’ve called it a treatment coordination implementation sprint. And [00:38:10] it’s for managers and clinic owners to get the the ball rolling and get the roll going. [00:38:15] Because treatment coordination is a project. And in practice we start too many projects [00:38:20] and never finish any of them. Something I really dislike. I like to finish stuff and [00:38:25] I think we should work on one project, implement it, tweak it, and then happy days, then [00:38:30] move on to the next thing. In practice it isn’t like that. We’ve got too many plates spinning. [00:38:35] It’s very difficult for managers. Clinic owners come in, they have what I call [00:38:40] shower moments. Stop what you’re doing. Yeah, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve had this idea, but we’re doing [00:38:45] this yesterday. It’s me. I know it’s me as well, but as a manager, it’s very difficult. [00:38:50] And as team members, it can be very difficult. A lot of the team need to understand the why [00:38:55] behind everything. So that’s really important. And I would definitely say [00:39:00] that from the amount of calls that we do and Cheryl takes all the initial calls, she’s an amazing tseo. She [00:39:05] worked with ash right up until her maternity leave. I trained as a TCA. I’ve [00:39:10] actually known her over 20 years.

Laura Horton: Clinic owners that we talk to are all game. They’re all [00:39:15] excited. Yeah, but actually the communication back to the management and the team can sometimes [00:39:20] be lacking. That’s where we definitely step in and definitely help. [00:39:25] One of the other problems with treatment coordination. In my opinion it [00:39:30] should be internal. It should be internal recruitment. And that’s one of the things I’ve gone through it just this morning actually on [00:39:35] the sprint. This is the job description. This is your this is how you interview internally. This [00:39:40] is how you, you know, the copy for the internal advert. If we cherry pick, I can [00:39:45] tell you now your chances of the role being embedded long terme [00:39:50] are going to be decreased. And adding to that [00:39:55] then that TCO is not had any training and they’re just trying to do it off their own back which hats [00:40:00] off to them. It’s doomed. Mhm. There’s nothing worse than the team [00:40:05] saying oh Payman. He just sits around all day having cups of tea. Patience. [00:40:10] He’s not even doing anything when treatment coordination is hard work. Yeah. So [00:40:15] practices again get the role mixed up. You know [00:40:20] what is all this that’s out there. That oh Tko’s taking new [00:40:25] patient phone calls. That’s a receptionist job. That’s a TCI. I haven’t got time to take new patient phone calls. [00:40:30] I haven’t got time. If a lead comes through, it’s just going to sit there.

Payman Langroudi: To [00:40:35] chase it.

Laura Horton: Yeah, well, I’m not going to be able to call that patient. I’m seeing patients. So what am I [00:40:40] going to do? Call them at 6 p.m.? Sorry, you’ve already lost. You’ve lost that patient. You need [00:40:45] to respond to them quickly so the role gets misconstrued. It gets [00:40:50] mixed up. People take oh, that will be a TCO. That will be a TCO. How do TCO recently [00:40:55] say, well, I don’t think I’m a TCO. I think I’m a glorified receptionist. [00:41:00] I said, that’s for you to have a discussion with your clinic owner about. Sorry.

Payman Langroudi: Okay. What’s best practice [00:41:05] that the TCO sees patients for appointments. Yes. That what free appointments. [00:41:10]

Laura Horton: Free consultations for high value patients and nervous patients. If you’re a practice that’s [00:41:15] supporting nervous patients, like proactively supporting nervous patients within your marketing, you [00:41:20] want them. You’re going to sedate them. That’s one of your usp’s.

Payman Langroudi: But but [00:41:25] but no role in actually following that patient up and getting that patient in. You’re saying that’s receptionist [00:41:30] job, but when when the practice isn’t doing that very well, you’re saying well.

Laura Horton: Fix the reception [00:41:35] team separately. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And you, you deliver that too. Yes. Oh really? Okay.

Laura Horton: Yeah. So [00:41:40] we train teams to handle and convert new patient inquiries. Okay. And while everyone’s got [00:41:45] their strengths and weaknesses again it’s not fair on the reception team to be told you know or [00:41:50] I don’t like when people go on my reception team is shit. You know they’re crap at. Converting or what training have you given [00:41:55] them? And like you just said, what is it, just a half day training or a one day training? Who was the training [00:42:00] by? Was it someone who actually knows what they’re doing? Who’s actually done this for real life? Like it’s [00:42:05] not fair on them. And do you even have enough staff? Most practices don’t even have enough [00:42:10] staff.

Payman Langroudi: That’s a bugbear of mine. Yeah, it really is like, you know, why is it that Dental [00:42:15] practices are so undermanned? Yeah. I mean, you go to. I was telling someone [00:42:20] about the Ivy. Yeah. It’s not exactly high end restaurant.

Laura Horton: It’s lovely though.

Payman Langroudi: It’s all right, [00:42:25] but it’s not. It’s not the high end restaurant. Right. You get your, I don’t know, shepherd’s pie for £18 or something. [00:42:30] Right. Lovely.

Laura Horton: Lovely though, isn’t it?

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Laura Horton: That’s amazing.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. It’s a I’d call it a [00:42:35] chain restaurant. Yeah, yeah. Okay. It’s fancy decor, whatever. But the number of humans. [00:42:40] Yeah. The staff to customer ratio is through [00:42:45] the roof. Compared to a dental practice in dental practices, there’s not enough humans. [00:42:50] Now we go back to the cost cutting part that, you know, [00:42:55] we. If you agree with me. Yeah. Um, it must be that [00:43:00] if we have more people working in practices, we’re going to do better, because, [00:43:05] you know, for me, the very obvious one is the nurse of the hygienist. So obvious [00:43:10] the hygienist should have a nurse so the hygienist can discuss whitening, discuss, you know, [00:43:15] high value items instead of cleaning up. Yeah. Something, you know, the hygienist should be [00:43:20] the one selling stuff. Yeah. Go. Go ahead. I don’t want to interrupt.

Laura Horton: And I think, [00:43:25] you know, Prav a degree as well. All these practices spending an absolute fortune [00:43:30] on marketing, and you haven’t even got enough staff to answer the phone. What a waste of money. [00:43:35] Practice is poor money down the drain. Now, I say, with my TCO methods, [00:43:40] I can make each dentist that treats high value patients 100 K within a [00:43:45] year easy. And I can because that’s how much money practices are pouring down the [00:43:50] drain.

Payman Langroudi: So okay, you go in, you ask some questions. Are you just naturally good at not [00:43:55] antagonising the people?

Laura Horton: Yeah, I’m on the side of the can.

Payman Langroudi: Be because it can be can it? It can [00:44:00] be, you know, when, when a when a when a call comes in who follows that up. Everyone looks at each other. [00:44:05] No one. How do you manage the sort of the politics of it.

Laura Horton: Yeah. So in regards to myself [00:44:10] and my team, we are motivational people. We’re never there to put anyone down. So if [00:44:15] you know it has happened in the past, can you come in and read my team the Riot act? No, I’m not the one for you. Go [00:44:20] away. I’m. That’s not me. I need to sleep at night. I’m about saying. Right. Okay, [00:44:25] so these are the problems we’ve identified and I’ve come in to help you. [00:44:30] But we want to keep things simple. We want to systemise processes, and we want to make your life easier. [00:44:35] And if we need to do that in stages, that’s fine. But we need to achieve all of these things. [00:44:40] And I’m honestly here to help you. Let’s work through it together now, because myself [00:44:45] and my team, we are all from practice. The barriers are down. You know, we’re not [00:44:50] someone walking in with.

Payman Langroudi: A introduce yourself as someone who used to be a nurse and.

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah yeah [00:44:55] yeah, yeah. So if that introduction hasn’t been made. Yeah, we’ll [00:45:00] make it now like we’re from practice. Everything we’re going through today I’ve personally experienced myself. [00:45:05] We are really good at handling objections from the team. And if we get objections. [00:45:10]

Payman Langroudi: What are the typical.

Laura Horton: Ones? I don’t think this is going to work. You don’t, you don’t. This. Our patients [00:45:15] aren’t going to like this.

Payman Langroudi: Would you say?

Laura Horton: I say, okay, tell me more. Yeah, tell me [00:45:20] more.

Payman Langroudi: See, I just go in and say you’re wrong. Yeah. No. I’m like.

Laura Horton: Tell me more, right? Because I think [00:45:25] and I say this about treatment coordination as well. If a team member has, [00:45:30] you know, stuck their neck up and said, excuse me, I’m a bit uncomfortable with this.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Laura Horton: That [00:45:35] is a compliment to me or Liana because they’re comfortable [00:45:40] spoken up to. They’re comfortable to say it. Yeah. They’re not being difficult. They’re [00:45:45] comfortable. We encourage questions okay. Tell me.

Payman Langroudi: More. She says. We don’t have time [00:45:50] here. Patients won’t like that. What do you say?

Laura Horton: Yeah, I’ll say I do. You know what? I [00:45:55] understand how you feel. We’ve got a story for everything. Mainly Anna.

Payman Langroudi: Feel felt. Found that one. Love.

Laura Horton: Feel. Felt. Found. [00:46:00] Brian. Tracy. Yeah. So we have an answer [00:46:05] for everything. For every objection. Because we’ve done this so many times. And I [00:46:10] know things are also uncomfortable for some people. And what we’re also quite good at is saying what we’re [00:46:15] going to do is trial this. Let’s find out. You know, and another [00:46:20] thing that practices do a lot that we’re able to bring to the table is just because one [00:46:25] patient doesn’t like something, you shouldn’t stop doing it. Absolutely. There are loads of practices [00:46:30] that make this mistake so often. I also like to say, all right, team, are there [00:46:35] things you can think of that have actually been really good and you’ve stopped doing [00:46:40] them for some reason, but we don’t know why. But actually be good to bring them back. So [00:46:45] we’re very engaging in what we do and say, oh yeah, well, you know what? We used to offer everyone? Tea and coffee. But, [00:46:50] you know, one patient said they’d. Why would they want coffee? The dentist, so we [00:46:55] stopped at just one. Just one patient. How [00:47:00] many patients liked it? You know, so I think it’s a big mistake. A lot of businesses make [00:47:05] they don’t listen to the masses. They listen to the one and make decisions based on that [00:47:10] one, whereas ours always make decisions based on the masses. So so.

Payman Langroudi: You [00:47:15] get them on.

Laura Horton: Side, get them on side, which is the biggest thing.

Payman Langroudi: You do. The sort of internal advert for who’s [00:47:20] going to be the person who’s going to get promoted, I guess, to the job. Yeah.

Laura Horton: I [00:47:25] think the other thing we are very clear about is, you know, not cherry picking, [00:47:30] but giving everyone opportunity to also apply for the role of the TCO because [00:47:35] there are some people and I’ve been into practices and I’ve gone, oh, she’d be great as a TCO. Her [00:47:40] really? Why? Oh, this, that and that. I had not noticed that. So it [00:47:45] is important some people have got really good skill sets and we need to we need to bring out the best in some people. Some [00:47:50] people just haven’t been given opportunities. They’ve got low self esteem. They’re not sure about [00:47:55] going forward with them. We need to get those people on board as well. We need to bring out of them if it’s there. So [00:48:00] I think it is really important.

Payman Langroudi: In the selection process.

Laura Horton: We can do. Yeah. So what we tend to do is [00:48:05] speak to a clinic if they’ve already got a TCO, fantastic. Let’s just move forward with that. If you [00:48:10] need more TCO sessions or TCO growth, then we need to recruit another. So we’ve got we’ll [00:48:15] help you with that. As part of the onboarding to a six month program TCO growth [00:48:20] program. So it’s a six month program because it’s all about momentum [00:48:25] coaching and mentoring of the Tcos. It’s not a one day course. [00:48:30] Go back, implement it. Keep your motivation high. It’s about supporting [00:48:35] the TCO predominantly within the business to help bring everything to life. So [00:48:40] Liana, as part of our onboarding, will also help the managers put together their interview as well, [00:48:45] which is really lovely. We want to give that back to the managers. We want the managers to [00:48:50] be leading it because again, I think if our managers not understanding something and not leading it got [00:48:55] another problem. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve got a clinician and his nurse who’s now the TCO because [00:49:00] he wants her to be the TCO or she wants it to be the TCO. They’re running off doing their own thing. The rest of the practice [00:49:05] is sat there going, oh yeah, what’s this about? Why why is she getting [00:49:10] to sit and drink tea? Let’s see where it comes from. Yeah. Of course. So to me, [00:49:15] to me, treatment coordination is it is a long time game. You need to get it right. We turn away [00:49:20] more clinics than we take on. Because they’re not ready. And it’s [00:49:25] like a patient going forward with a big treatment plan. They need to be ready. Their oral health needs to be right. [00:49:30] So therefore in a practice, your set up needs to be right. You haven’t got a consultation [00:49:35] room okay. That’s a problem. You know moving around surgeries isn’t [00:49:40] isn’t great. Yeah. It’s not going to work I do have a solution for that. But uh, [00:49:45] I’ve got a TCI program. So six months is three months and it’s for virtual [00:49:50] treatment coordination. So virtual free consultations. So it helps people get [00:49:55] get the ball rolling which is good I mean.

Payman Langroudi: But the you train them on photography [00:50:00] scanning.

Laura Horton: I used to do a lot of photography training. Not so much anymore. [00:50:05] Um, scanning. The companies themselves are pretty good at doing that.

Payman Langroudi: But [00:50:10] certainly that’s what they’re doing, right? They’re taking photos?

Laura Horton: Not necessarily. No. Oh, really? Yeah. Not necessarily. [00:50:15] The a lot of people have also started choosing Tkos [00:50:20] because they’re good at scanning. You won’t find in my job description scanning or photography [00:50:25] or anything clinical. I’m selecting Tkos based on their attitude, [00:50:30] their skill set. Absolutely. It’s all of those skills that come first. So we do [00:50:35] have a problem that we’ve got nurses who are being cherry picked for the role. [00:50:40] Oh, you can scan. You’re a TKO. Off you go and see a patient. And then they’re just sort of sat [00:50:45] there with them like, okay, what do I say now? Oh my gosh, this is really awkward. [00:50:50] And it’s so cold. It’s a cold. Much of it.

Payman Langroudi: Is [00:50:55] the person’s, you know, are they are they meant for it and how much of it is trainable? [00:51:00]

Laura Horton: I do believe that skills can be taught. So listening, for [00:51:05] example, is a really important skill within treatment coordination.

Payman Langroudi: You can teach that.

Laura Horton: I feel you can teach that. I feel [00:51:10] I definitely learned that as a skill. I really worked hard on it. Yeah I would just [00:51:15] talk for England otherwise.

Payman Langroudi: So so so repeating back to people.

Laura Horton: Rephrasing yeah, [00:51:20] actively listening to patients, taking notes, interlinking. Yeah. [00:51:25] Coming back at different appointments and remembering different things. Yeah. Listening is definitely a really [00:51:30] important skill I believe can be learnt. I do feel it is about the personality profile [00:51:35] of the patient. So if you are an introvert you’re probably not going to be a great talker. That’s fine. There’s other things [00:51:40] you can do. Yeah. Also, we don’t want someone who’s bouncing off the walls, do we? Who’s uncontrollable. [00:51:45] Yeah. We need someone who can adapt to all personality [00:51:50] types. That is critical. You know, I’ve got to be able to adapt [00:51:55] for.

Payman Langroudi: That, isn’t it? Yeah. Prav scores very highly on that test, interestingly. [00:52:00] But what I found, look, we try and have like our team [00:52:05] to be super sort of service orientated and I’ve found some people [00:52:10] just are they’re trainable in that sense and some aren’t as [00:52:15] as much. It’s almost like a it’s the same word, but it means [00:52:20] something to be of service. You know, some some people enjoy being off service. [00:52:25] Yeah. To another person, another human. Yeah. And others see it as [00:52:30] like a chore or something. Yeah. And that if you could bottle that and understand [00:52:35] who that is. Yeah. That’s the right person to be a TCO right to take looking [00:52:40] out for, for the other person. Yeah.

Laura Horton: And it’s the same with the with the whole team. So I know, you know, [00:52:45] you had a fantastic experience when you came to the practice when I was the manager and TCO there. And probably at [00:52:50] that stage I’d imagine we’d gone down to one practice. So we, we did, um, well [00:52:55] they had three, then went down to two. So I was with them while we had the two. And I was managing actually [00:53:00] the Hornchurch practice. Hartford was nearer to me, but I was always in Hornchurch with ash, [00:53:05] and when they sold Hornchurch and we were just going to Hartford, [00:53:10] I was then ash gave me the option. He said, you can stay here with a new owner [00:53:15] or you or you come carry on in Hartford as the manager. And I was like, oh no, I’ll stay with you, ash. I don’t [00:53:20] want to be with anyone else. And, um, don’t divorce me. And, [00:53:25] um. You know, the the team there, the way we [00:53:30] interviewed everyone, for example, you know, I really I was quite, quite hardcore in an interview [00:53:35] getting making sure we’re getting the right people. I think that’s really important.

Payman Langroudi: What [00:53:40] do you mean by hardcore? Explain it.

Laura Horton: A lot of questions about scenario [00:53:45] questions, testing in interviews, you know, can [00:53:50] can you even type you know, give me examples if you haven’t got examples [00:53:55] that you can’t give me, I’m not going to employ you. Yeah. You’ve got to [00:54:00] test people in interviews instead of, oh great, you’ve got what we need. Crack [00:54:05] on, answer the phone. You had to give you another example. A new employee would not be allowed to pick up [00:54:10] the phone in our practice weren’t allowed. And the reason for that is our average new patient [00:54:15] spend was £14,000 for cosmetic dentistry, 25 K for implants. [00:54:20] So that’s a risk.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: Yeah. So we we wouldn’t let [00:54:25] people pick up the phone. So it was about explaining that to them as well. Like there’ll be things we won’t let you do [00:54:30] and there’s a reason for that. So then they’d have a hunger for that. Well I want to be able to pick up the phone. [00:54:35] I want to be able to. And it’s just about weeding the right people out, isn’t it? You know, [00:54:40] um, just recently recruiting a front of house person myself, it’s really interesting [00:54:45] how different people are on the phone versus coming in. And again, [00:54:50] you know, all this, oh, there’s no staff out there. Well, I’ve been inundated for [00:54:55] every role I’ve advertised.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. Well but but then you’ve got social media profile [00:55:00] and all that. No, no not like that.

Laura Horton: Indeed indeed.

Payman Langroudi: Oh okay. Perfect. Well, [00:55:05] another thing is any shortage of people, um, shortage of good people, I found not not [00:55:10] as good as I do.

Laura Horton: Think you’re right, though. It is. You’ve either you are either a people person or you’re [00:55:15] not. You know, if you are, you know, if you look at disk profiling, if you are that conscientious [00:55:20] person who likes detail, who, you know, you’re probably [00:55:25] preferred to be sort of on your own in an office kind of job. Yeah. You’re [00:55:30] not a front facing person. Yeah. Uh, and that’s just that’s fine. [00:55:35] If you want them for that role, then they’re not right for you, are they?

Payman Langroudi: Tell me about the things that [00:55:40] go wrong with echoes. Does the TCO sometimes sort of upsell something [00:55:45] that’s not not, not sort of the right thing to do or overpromise [00:55:50] or. Yeah, tell me some of the common mistakes.

Laura Horton: I’d say it all goes down to training. [00:55:55] So one of the things that’s really definitely a mistake [00:56:00] and some people don’t see it as a mistake, but I certainly do, is just because you have experienced [00:56:05] a treatment yourself, you’re recommending that to a patient in a free consultation. [00:56:10] When in a free consultation, you should only be discussing potential solutions to [00:56:15] patients. They want to know what they’re suitable for, they need to have a clinical assessment. But because [00:56:20] I don’t know, I’ve had an implant and you’re talking to me about wanting an implant, I’m [00:56:25] going hell for leather about how great an implant is. You might not even be clinically, clinically suitable. [00:56:30] You might not have enough bone, you might not have enough space. And I’m really banging the drum about [00:56:35] it. You’re going to end up disappointed. So while it’s great for patients to know that you’ve had [00:56:40] treatment at the clinic. That’s where it should stay. So that’s definitely one thing. [00:56:45] Recommend and recommending. Also not acting with the best interests of your dentist. [00:56:50] Again in the free consultation. So a patient comes in wanting whatever [00:56:55] and not sowing the seed around other potential [00:57:00] solutions that the dentist may need to discuss with them because they need to medically, [00:57:05] legally, and that patient being led up the garden path.

Laura Horton: I think that that’s [00:57:10] a mistake that’s often made easily fixed all of these things, by the way. [00:57:15] And I think, yeah, just sort of can end up sort of throwing your dentist [00:57:20] under the bus a little bit as well by getting overexcited for a patient. [00:57:25] Yeah. And that is, it’s hard because when you are a people person and you’re connecting with this patient [00:57:30] and you’re thinking, gosh, I know I can help you, this is amazing. But you’ve missed some key things [00:57:35] such as these are prerequisites to treatment. So if the great news is Payman, if [00:57:40] you are suitable for this treatment, you will firstly need to embark on an oral health development programme. [00:57:45] We need to make sure that health of your mouth is at a really high level [00:57:50] before moving you into treatment. What happens is patients get the treatment plan. Well what’s this? Why [00:57:55] have I got to see the hygienist three times? No one told me about this. That’s a problem. [00:58:00] And definitely over promising and delivering clinics. Do that as a whole. [00:58:05]

Payman Langroudi: To make a sale sort of thing.

Laura Horton: It’s just not having the right systems in place. Like a classic [00:58:10] example would be you want to move a patient into treatment. Your hygienist is booked up for three months. [00:58:15] So what are you doing about that? Our dentist will do a quick SMP. [00:58:20] No, no. You know, be sensible. What I say to [00:58:25] clinics is every new patient exam you have like I’m big into diary zoning, every [00:58:30] new patient exam slot you have, you have a hygienist new patient slot a week later. How [00:58:35] many patients don’t need to see the hygienist come in like just.

Laura Horton: And [00:58:40] common.

Laura Horton: Sense a little bit.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah a lot of this is common sense. But you know, the common sense is often [00:58:45] the thing that needs, needs to be put into businesses. Yeah. And not not because all dentists [00:58:50] are terrible or all training is terrible. But just sometimes you need an outsider to, to tell you [00:58:55] things. You know, you haven’t, you haven’t figured out for yourself or you got into bad habits. But [00:59:00] would you say it’s different training a TCO for a high end cosmetic [00:59:05] set up or just a, you know, normal private practice [00:59:10] set up must be right.

Laura Horton: There’s different levels of treatment coordination, without a doubt. [00:59:15] Just like there’s different levels of dental nurses, different levels of dentists. So the type of TCO [00:59:20] that I am, I’m a fully utilised high level clinical treatment coordinator. [00:59:25] I have an immense amount of clinical knowledge that I [00:59:30] was lucky to be taught by ash. You know, ash was going on a [00:59:35] huge clinical journey and he’d already been on that journey, but he still [00:59:40] never stops anyway. But he would teach me everything and [00:59:45] it was fantastic. So having that amount of clinical knowledge [00:59:50] to be able to deal with patients that are having rehabilitation versus, [00:59:55] you know, just improving their dental health, there’s a big difference. Again, with treatments, [01:00:00] you tend to end up with tcos that can be pigeonholed into just one treatment, like [01:00:05] maybe like an A line, a TCO, a whitening TCO, that’s all they [01:00:10] do. So and then all they do is maybe free consultations.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: Do you know what I mean? So [01:00:15] we’ve got different levels of treatment coordination in my opinion. If you’re going to have a [01:00:20] TCO you should fully utilise them, which means supporting a free consultation, [01:00:25] supporting the day of the examination appointment with a suitable handover [01:00:30] to the to the dentist.

Payman Langroudi: So the two of you together.

Laura Horton: Yeah. So for the [01:00:35] high value patients they’d have a free consultation. First I’m going to pre-screen you essentially make sure you’re [01:00:40] you’re happy with everything. You’re confident within us, you trust in us and you’re ready [01:00:45] to move forward. Also, you’ve got the money. Okay? So the day you come.

Payman Langroudi: Back, [01:00:50] dentist hasn’t met this patient at all yet.

Laura Horton: Not met them at all.

Payman Langroudi: So you just have a feel for what which way it’s going. [01:00:55]

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: But even to the level of you can tell this is going to go to a rehab.

Laura Horton: Depends on what they’re [01:01:00] saying. So I would not tell the patient anything in a free.

Laura Horton: In your.

Payman Langroudi: Own head.

Laura Horton: Yeah. [01:01:05] So if you’re talking to a patient and they are talking to me and their [01:01:10] story is perhaps that I’m just absolutely fed up with my dental practice, I [01:01:15] am always having teeth that are breaking. I’m always going backwards and forwards [01:01:20] to get repairs, and I’m just absolutely fed up. And I’m also sitting there looking [01:01:25] at them and I think, gosh, you know, your teeth are worn. Yeah, I’m not going [01:01:30] to say that. Right. But I’m thinking, gosh, you know, you’re.

Payman Langroudi: Going that direction. [01:01:35]

Laura Horton: Yeah. Your vertical dimension is completely reduced. You know, it’s um, you know, okay. [01:01:40] I would then be straight away. Thinking of which dentist is best for this patient to move them [01:01:45] into the right dentist, so I wouldn’t necessarily move them. You know, if I had a few dentists to choose [01:01:50] from, I wouldn’t necessarily move that patient into a general dentist. I’d move them into a restorative dentist [01:01:55] because they’re going to need a they’ve got a higher need but don’t need to scan them. And I don’t need [01:02:00] to take photos in this free consultation. And this can also be done virtually. Okay. [01:02:05] Right.

Payman Langroudi: The patient you have thrown out that this might be a £30,000 [01:02:10] treatment.

Laura Horton: I wouldn’t necessarily at that stage, but I would say, [01:02:15] look, if you’re you know, what do you think you need? I’d put it back on the patient. I don’t know how many teeth [01:02:20] have you got a concern with?

Payman Langroudi: I keep breaking all the time.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: So let’s have a look. Here’s a mirror. Which [01:02:25] ones are you most concerned about? And I would guide them in regards to fees. [01:02:30] Yeah. I may say to them, you know, there are occasions where some patients are having [01:02:35] chips and breakages because their bites. Not right now. Your bite is something very [01:02:40] complicated. And if that is the case, Katie will talk to you about that when [01:02:45] you see her. It’s not something that I’m sort of able to go down the route with you, but just to let you [01:02:50] know that in some certain cases that that is the case. I’m using the word case and I hate [01:02:55] the word case.

Laura Horton: Payman I.

Laura Horton: Really do. I hate it when people call a patient a case. And I’m saying case, case. [01:03:00]

Laura Horton: Case no, that.

Payman Langroudi: Is the case is different.

Laura Horton: In some.

Laura Horton: Situations that may be the case. So I’ll sow [01:03:05] a seed. It’s good to sow seeds and I’ll give the patient prices, you know.

Laura Horton: So [01:03:10] what you’ll say if, if.

Payman Langroudi: They if you do go down that route we might be looking at.

Laura Horton: It depends [01:03:15] what type of treatment you’re, you’re looking at. Yeah. But you could be looking at anything between [01:03:20] 4000 and £10,000. It could be more. It depends on your clinical situation. I’m [01:03:25] not a dentist. I can’t give you the answer to that. But you would be looking at a considerable investment. Have [01:03:30] you thought about a budget? Yeah. Because if you’re like.

Payman Langroudi: So when they go so now they [01:03:35] go £10,000.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Like it’s a shock isn’t it.

Laura Horton: Oh absolutely. [01:03:40]

Payman Langroudi: It’s even a shock when a dentist says it to them when he’s going to tell them all the reasons why. But then how do you handle [01:03:45] that.

Laura Horton: So what I also do feel felt found without a doubt. But again, it’s [01:03:50] really important to have a portfolio of before and after pictures. Oh yeah. It’s golden. [01:03:55] Yeah. And I think you can’t do a free consult without it. Yeah, yeah. Because I’m then able to pull up pictures [01:04:00] of patients and I’m able to say, okay, Payman, let me show you a couple of examples. So this is a patient who came [01:04:05] to us. Totally similar situation actually. It turned out just to be one tooth that was causing all [01:04:10] the problems. That tooth was out of the bite. So that tooth was fixed. [01:04:15] This this and this was fixed. And this patient spent 3500 pounds at the [01:04:20] other end. We’ve got this patient and this was the situation and they’ve spent [01:04:25] X amount. So it’s it’s allowing them to see it [01:04:30] depends.

Payman Langroudi: So okay tell me about the second appointment with dentist.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: So the [01:04:35] handover is golden. Yeah. Right. So the patient comes back in. The patient [01:04:40] is greeted by myself again I will take them through to meet the dentist. But [01:04:45] before I do that I’ll be with the dentist and nurse. So if you’re the dentist, I’d say right. [01:04:50] Payman this patient D character don’t waffle. Get to the point. [01:04:55] Yeah, this is their concerns. This is their goal. Are you both ready? Brilliant. [01:05:00] I’ll bring the patient in and I’ll say, hi. Payman. So this is Sarah. Sarah [01:05:05] came to see me last week because she’s concerned about her smile, her teeth breaking, missing teeth, whatever [01:05:10] it might be. And Sarah feels, and I’ll repeat how Sarah told me she [01:05:15] feels emotionally about her smile. So again, they’re showing that I’ve listened, that I’ve cared. So [01:05:20] I recommended that Sarah had a comprehensive assessment with you, which is why she’s here today, so [01:05:25] that she can find out what all the options are to help her fix this problem and [01:05:30] remedy her concerns. So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to leave you with lovely Payman [01:05:35] and his wonderful nurse here, Richard, and I will see you at the end of your appointment. [01:05:40]

Laura Horton: Yeah. Okay.

Laura Horton: And that’s golden, because what that allows dentists to do. Oh, [01:05:45] sorry. There’s one thing I’ve missed that’s really important. I’ll also then try and drop in anything that’s socially [01:05:50] connects. So. Oh, did you know you’ve got children the same age. Oh. Did you know that whatever [01:05:55] I can find that connects I mean, some patients are not going to give you anything. We’ve just got to deal with it and move on. [01:06:00] But if I can find something, I will drop that in. That allows you then straightaway [01:06:05] as a dentist.

Laura Horton: And yeah.

Laura Horton: Instead of going.

Laura Horton: This is all in.

Payman Langroudi: Your training for tkos, you [01:06:10] can look out for that thing that connects. Oh, amazing.

Laura Horton: Absolutely.

Laura Horton: So rather than opening [01:06:15] script every dentist, how can I help? Oh, I’ve done that. You don’t need to repeat yourself. [01:06:20] What you need to do is go. Oh, great. Okay. How? Boy girl. Oh, yes. [01:06:25] Yeah. My. Yeah. My daughter is 12 two. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Oils the rapport a little bit.

Laura Horton: Exactly. And [01:06:30] I think this is where you know dentists who do have good rapport building skills really [01:06:35] love treatment coordination because they get to go in deeper with that rather than, oh, what have you been doing [01:06:40] for work today? And rubbish, I’ve already done that. Yeah. It allows you [01:06:45] to go in deeper with it all.

Payman Langroudi: Okay, so.

Laura Horton: Dentist.

Payman Langroudi: Goes through I guess three [01:06:50] options recommends one patient. Well it depends on the [01:06:55] complexity of the case isn’t it.

Laura Horton: So it depends on complexity. So firstly if it is what we’d call [01:07:00] simple you’re able to treatment plan there. And then within your assessment appointment. My advice is to always [01:07:05] treatment plan. In that appointment I will come back into the room. I’ll be part of that treatment planning. [01:07:10] This is where the nurse needs to be involved. The nurse needs to be getting all the treatment plans on the computer, [01:07:15] supporting all the notes we can’t have. Like you said earlier, nurses that don’t progress or don’t really [01:07:20] do anything. The nurse needs to be highly involved here. It needs to be a well-oiled.

Laura Horton: Machine if.

Payman Langroudi: Possible. [01:07:25] Do get that treatment. Plan out as soon as possible so that yes, they don’t go off somewhere else or.

Laura Horton: Whatever, but [01:07:30] I.

Laura Horton: Will take that patient back into the consultation room with me to go through everything they’re not.

Payman Langroudi: Second [01:07:35] hand. Over back to you.

Laura Horton: Yes. That’s interesting. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So then what are you, the one closing [01:07:40] the deal?

Laura Horton: Yes.

Payman Langroudi: You must get dentists who wanted to close it themselves.

Laura Horton: That’s fine. [01:07:45]

Laura Horton: But still, instead of that patient going back to reception, joining a queue, being [01:07:50] next to Mr. Moody who’s moaning about the price of things and the lovely new car outside.

Laura Horton: She’s [01:07:55] going to.

Payman Langroudi: Cement it.

Laura Horton: I’m going to take them to a private space, and there’s nothing worse Payman than being [01:08:00] on reception. You’re busy and a new patient comes out of ten appointments to book. You’re like.

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah, [01:08:05] she would just book one.

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah, because you’re busy and you’re thinking, I can’t be dealing with this right now. And this is really [01:08:10] complicated. And look, there’s all these notes on here. Ah, it’s much better. I just take them into a private [01:08:15] space, get you another nice tea or coffee. You relax. I’ll get all of this booked and sorted [01:08:20] for you. I’ll arrange your.

Laura Horton: Finance.

Payman Langroudi: So this is best case scenario. So now let’s imagine she says, [01:08:25] I really wasn’t expecting to spend this much money. And, uh, I need [01:08:30] to talk to someone at home about it.

Laura Horton: Would you say that?

Laura Horton: I completely understand that. I’d [01:08:35] feel exactly the same as well. Yeah. What I think’s a good idea is that you can either come back [01:08:40] to see me for a complimentary consultation, not complimentary consultation. You can either come back to see me for an options [01:08:45] meeting. You can see me in person, we can book it online. Or I can arrange [01:08:50] to call you in three days time to answer all the questions that you have. What would be best for you?

Payman Langroudi: Okay, [01:08:55] so I’ll call you in three days time. Call me in three days time. Yeah.

Laura Horton: So let’s arrange a time that works for you. So let’s speak [01:09:00] on Monday. What time is best for you? And I’ll check my diary.

Laura Horton: It’s perfect.

Payman Langroudi: I mean, we go through this [01:09:05] with our salespeople, you know, like to make that.

Laura Horton: And if you’re going to make. No no no no [01:09:10] no. Yeah. What does that mean.

Laura Horton: It’s no no. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah okay. [01:09:15] So you call back and she says something like. Its [01:09:20] cost price, you know. Price objection again.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So that’s too expensive.

Laura Horton: Yeah. [01:09:25] What’d you say?

Laura Horton: I’d say I completely understand that now. This isn’t the only option that was available to you. [01:09:30] Let’s go back and explore the alternative options again okay. They may be a compromised [01:09:35] result. They may be a well, not a compromised result, but a compromise solution.

Payman Langroudi: But when it comes down [01:09:40] to it, what tends to happen? I think about it with my parents or whatever, you know, older people, they [01:09:45] go talk to someone else and someone else says, oh, I had my teeth done for four grand [01:09:50] and your dentist is charging 40 grand. Yeah. So go, go see go see my [01:09:55] dentist or they’re ripping you off or or whatever. So when when it finally comes down to that. [01:10:00]

Laura Horton: Yeah, it’s.

Laura Horton: Very rare when you’ve executed everything so well for [01:10:05] a patient to leave at this point. What the problem is in most practices [01:10:10] is they are forgetting to go back to the alternative options. [01:10:15] And I think it is much better for a patient to have a beautiful.

Laura Horton: Something, a. [01:10:20]

Laura Horton: Beautiful chrome denture. Yeah, that’s going to fit well. It’s still going to support [01:10:25] them enjoying food. It’s going to be aesthetically pleasing. I’d rather the patient [01:10:30] has that than six implants. They’re still with us. When the time is ready they will [01:10:35] have the implants. Yeah. But people overlook and forget. Oh well they don’t want that. You [01:10:40] know, I’ll never forget. This is a real high end clinic in Northern Ireland. I [01:10:45] will never, ever forget in my life getting a taxi from the airport to this clinic and [01:10:50] the taxi driver telling me I went there, I said, oh, did you? And they said [01:10:55] to me, are you a dentist? And what are you doing? I say, oh no, it’s just a couple of bits of materials and equipment. I’m doing like. And [01:11:00] so he started telling me and he said, yeah. So I went there and they said this was the only [01:11:05] option. Well, I went, I went to so and so practice and had this. And I’m sitting there like, oh my gosh, [01:11:10] that’s basically the alternative option. And I went in there, I said, guys like got to [01:11:15] add this into the agenda today. We’ve got to really focus on this. Your patients aren’t understanding all the options. [01:11:20] They’re just being given one option. They need to be given a clear recommendation clinically. [01:11:25] And then I need the alternative options. So it’s very [01:11:30] rare that there’s.

Payman Langroudi: The other thing. Crowd bangs on about slow lane middle lane, fast lane.

Laura Horton: I’m.

Laura Horton: All about [01:11:35] I’m all about slow.

Laura Horton: Yes.

Payman Langroudi: So the law says if the guy doesn’t go ahead there [01:11:40] and then yeah, they feel like that’s a, that’s a, that’s a lost opportunity and just move on to the next [01:11:45] person. Mhm. And whereas you know the first time and perhaps this [01:11:50] is a thing when you, when you’re playing something for 20 grand the first time you approach [01:11:55] that often is months after when you actually buy the thing. Mhm. Um [01:12:00] so the follow up process, do you even get into that, into CRM and all that.

Laura Horton: So my saying [01:12:05] is your fortunes and your follow up. So you should be proactively follow up with patients. Like I just [01:12:10] said can I call you in three days. Yeah I’m just going to call you out of the blue. That’s awful. Everyone hates that. We [01:12:15] need to be proactive with follow up. It’s really important. It’s a KPI that I get my [01:12:20] CEOs to track as well. So how many people are in follow up? What’s the percentage of conversion out [01:12:25] of follow up each month, and what income has come out of follow up each month as well? Because it’s a critical [01:12:30] system within your clinic and it’s a responsibility of a TCO. And I’d rather [01:12:35] if we go back to handling leads, I’d rather a tcos bang on it with the follow up and [01:12:40] converting patients that we know can have treatment plans of four, six, [01:12:45] ten K than dealing with a lead who’s not even ready to move forward. Of course. Yeah, because [01:12:50] they’ve got the skill set to do that. They should have. And if not they’ll be trained to do that. The other thing, [01:12:55] just going back to the assessment days, if the dentist needs time to treatment plan, [01:13:00] great.

Laura Horton: I really encourage that. I think that’s great. And it’s a lovely message to [01:13:05] patients that the dentist needs to take time out of their diary to treatment plan all the solutions for you. [01:13:10] So the idea would then be that a TCO supports the dentist. A lot [01:13:15] of dentists are sitting up late at night, their treatment planning to all hours spending their weekends [01:13:20] doing this. They’re not getting to enjoy their family. Their health suffers. They don’t eat like so [01:13:25] many things. Whereas you know, with the TCO and treatment planning, you work together [01:13:30] as a team. And I, you know, take 90% of the non-clinical stuff off. You give [01:13:35] it all back to you to check it’s all done. And then instead of chucking that to in an email, [01:13:40] the patient comes back. I can do it online if I want, sure, but you invite the patient [01:13:45] back for a complimentary options meeting where me, the dentist and the patient are [01:13:50] sat there together and the dentist goes for everything and the dentist presents [01:13:55] the fee. Because I feel this is a really big thing. Dentists aren’t presenting [01:14:00] the fees to patients. It looks like they don’t believe in their own work.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. [01:14:05] I mean, yeah, if you want to say that, I find it when a dentist, there’s a there’s [01:14:10] a common thing. I don’t know if you’ve come across it. Yeah. Patient says how much is a crown. Dentist says I’m not [01:14:15] sure. Like as if as if it’s plucked.

Laura Horton: Out the sky. No.

Payman Langroudi: As if he’s something he’s never done before [01:14:20] or, you know, like, for me, if a dentist doesn’t know the price of something, it means he hasn’t done it very often. Yeah. [01:14:25]

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So. But this but this, I’m not sure. They almost say it as if money is not in my head. [01:14:30] Yeah, sort of thing. I’m not sure.

Laura Horton: Talk to talk to your desk or.

Payman Langroudi: We can talk it up later or [01:14:35] something. It’s like it’s an uncomfortable moment.

Laura Horton: Really uncomfortable.

Laura Horton: For some. But I think I’ll [01:14:40] never forget when I first again started working for ash. And we had this husband [01:14:45] and wife in, and I remember each of their treatment plans was 12 K each. And ash [01:14:50] said, right, you’re our go for everything clinically, and then you’re going to tell them the fee. [01:14:55] And I was like, what, like 24 K’s is like more than I earn. I was totally like, I’d [01:15:00] only been there like a week. I was like, what the heck is going on in this practice? I don’t know, he’s like, yeah, we’ll just try all this. It’s [01:15:05] something new. He was saying that where I am, and I was sat here and he [01:15:10] said, oh, any more questions? They said, no, what’s the price? And ash said, Laura [01:15:15] will tell you that. And I was rigid to my seat. I was petrified and ash couldn’t get [01:15:20] out behind me, and he was trying to squeeze behind me. It was a bit of a comical scene. Looking back, [01:15:25] he got stuck in between the wall and the chair and he’s like, Laura, can you move? Can you move? And I was like, [01:15:30] no, like I’m scared. He left and I remember he was [01:15:35] called Neil and he said, are you all right, Laura? And I said, yeah, yeah, yeah. [01:15:40]

Laura Horton: So basically it’s £12,000 each. And they never went ahead and I don’t blame them. And I followed up with them and [01:15:45] they never went ahead. And I said that to ash, I said, you need to present the fee. And he’s like, yeah, it’s you know, [01:15:50] this is like 20 years ago. He’s like, oh, it’s really uncomfortable. I was like, don’t worry, we’ll work on it together. [01:15:55] Like, I can quote, I can give patients treatment plans. We’ve had serious [01:16:00] treatment plans three where I’m not scared or worried or confident [01:16:05] to tell the patient, but it’s better if it comes from the clinician. But that whole process, [01:16:10] again, is really refined because we don’t we want patients to get their treatment [01:16:15] plans quickly. Momentum is key. If they’re just sitting there in a pile on the dentist desk. We’ve become [01:16:20] nagging, nagging wives at work as tcos. If we’re female, have you done it yet? Have you done it yet? Have you done [01:16:25] it yet? No one wants that. It’s another system. It’s another process. It does improve [01:16:30] your conversion rate, not necessarily the speed of it, but it does increase your conversion rate because [01:16:35] of the way that it the way that it’s done. But slow is best. Sometimes things are just too fast.

Laura Horton: To encourage.

Payman Langroudi: Performance [01:16:40] related pay. Do you encourage sharing numbers with the team? [01:16:45]

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: I mean, it’s funny because I come across loads of dentists don’t want to do that. [01:16:50] Yeah, yeah. Well over here we, we, we send [01:16:55] an email to every single member of staff every day on sales.

Laura Horton: Yeah. Good. Yeah, yeah. [01:17:00]

Payman Langroudi: What do you think.

Laura Horton: Yeah. No. And that’s what I really enjoyed actually about when I first started working with ash, this [01:17:05] openness about all the figures. And there was a team bonus and it was really [01:17:10] fair. It was a great bonus. I would say I probably got the most in the bonus pot most [01:17:15] months, but that’s because I was performing so well. But it was fair and everyone was involved and I really liked [01:17:20] that. And it was really clear like, we are a business, this is our target, this is our break [01:17:25] even figure. This is our target, this is what we need to achieve. And if we achieve this, there’s a bonus. [01:17:30] Simple. It’s hard work for everyone. And there was complete transparency about the figures [01:17:35] at all times. It was just, you know, it can often be an elephant [01:17:40] in the room. Just get it out there. Why did you.

Laura Horton: Come across practice?

Payman Langroudi: You don’t want to.

Laura Horton: I don’t want to. Some [01:17:45] don’t know their own figures. Firstly that’s why. Yeah. And maybe it’s a bit of embarrassment [01:17:50] because there’s a lot of, you know, bury your head in the sand mentality, which I understand. [01:17:55] But you’ve got to know your figures. You’ve got to know what’s going on in your business. And then I do think, [01:18:00] yes, sharing everything with your team is really important. I know I’m going to be doing that with my team. [01:18:05] Like this is our break even figure every month. Like we’ve got to at least hit this. It’s [01:18:10] really important that we’ve got to pay the bills, we’ve got the payroll, we need to hit this. But actually this is our [01:18:15] target. And that’s what what we need to get to. I think complete transparency is.

Laura Horton: Important [01:18:20] as a nurse.

Payman Langroudi: When when you see a treatment plan that’s more than your annual salary. [01:18:25] How does that feel? Yeah.

Laura Horton: It is [01:18:30] difficult if you’re not paid well. And I do feel now team [01:18:35] members are paid better. Yeah, I would definitely say, you know, working with ash, everyone [01:18:40] was paid well. Initially there wasn’t there was a big disparity, um, big [01:18:45] issue across both practices. So where I worked, actually, everyone was paid a lot less. In the [01:18:50] other practice. Everyone was paid a lot more that that got sorted out. Everyone was put on the same pay because I was like, this is ridiculous. [01:18:55] You can’t. I think it’s about understanding your [01:19:00] practice where you work and understanding the figures. Because if you know that actually [01:19:05] just to pay the bills, the clinic needs to take 42 K. Yeah, [01:19:10] just to pay the bills. Yeah. Then if you see a 20 K treatment plan, [01:19:15] no bones is.

Laura Horton: It. Yeah.

Laura Horton: Yeah. Whereas team members if they don’t [01:19:20] know they have no clue I’ll often break things down, you know. What do [01:19:25] you think here’s I think I got this from Chris Burrow actually here’s £100. Here’s [01:19:30] £100. What’s coming out of this £100 and then what’s left. Oh great. So that’s left for [01:19:35] the owner. Plus by the way they’re getting taxed on that. And it’s a real eye opener. But [01:19:40] I think if you’re transparent with your break even just be with your break even costs. [01:19:45]

Payman Langroudi: Well I found when I was a dentist I used to ask my nurse, [01:19:50] how much do you think the boss makes? Yeah. And the numbers people would come [01:19:55] out with. Yeah, well, way more like way more than what this guy was earning. [01:20:00] And yet this guy wasn’t disclosing any of the numbers to the team. And, [01:20:05] you know, when I actually told one of my bosses he had a swimming pool in his house, and [01:20:10] somehow people translated that as he’s earning £3 million a year, you know, that [01:20:15] just just that fact that he had a swimming pool and he wasn’t he wasn’t anything near that. No. Um, [01:20:20] so the transparency question around around actually, that’s why we instituted [01:20:25] it here. Because because of all of this. Yeah. Because of asking these questions. Um, [01:20:30] I think we need to be open more open about it. And you’re absolutely right. People have no idea how much [01:20:35] it costs to run a dental practice per minute. Right. Exactly.

Laura Horton: That’s it per.

Laura Horton: Minute. [01:20:40]

Laura Horton: And I think that is really important with the front of house team. Then they know then to fill white space. [01:20:45] This is costing us, you know, £2.65 a minute because that space is [01:20:50] sat there. I yeah I think it is really important to be super transparent. [01:20:55] You don’t have to share what you pay. I think maybe that’s a misunderstanding that clinic [01:21:00] owners think sharing the finances means showing what. [01:21:05]

Laura Horton: I’m being.

Laura Horton: Paid. Yes.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, I’m being paid as the boss.

Laura Horton: As the boss? Yeah.

Laura Horton: You [01:21:10] don’t need to share that at all. Yeah. You know, I used to love it when, you know, Mitesh would come in [01:21:15] the morning. Bless him. He was always late for our morning huddle. And I’d give him his day sheet and I’d go. You’re [01:21:20] in for invoicing through 1800 today, mitesh. And he’d be like, nice. [01:21:25] Yeah. And I remember when Mitesh got a Porsche, I [01:21:30] was like, well chuffed for him. I was like, well done, mate. You deserve.

Laura Horton: That. Yeah.

Laura Horton: Like, you’re working [01:21:35] really hard, working really well, and you’re investing in your skill set. I think, again, [01:21:40] it’s not just about the money, it’s about the clinician and what they’ve done. When I asked [01:21:45] Tcos to put Usp’s together, they’re like, oh, I don’t know. I don’t know [01:21:50] why my clinic owner is so great. Go and ask them how much they’ve invested in their education. [01:21:55] Go and ask them. You know, I used to with permission from ash, in the end tell patients [01:22:00] when patients were being really like, well, okay, Laura, like I understand you’ve just given me this treatment [01:22:05] plan today from this smile makeovers, £12,000. But I know down the road it’s 6000. [01:22:10] I’ve been in there too, because this was a problem we had in Hornchurch.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: And I’d say look, [01:22:15] that’s absolutely fine. And you can always get things cheaper elsewhere in life. [01:22:20] But what it goes into this fee is Ash’s skill set [01:22:25] and the investment that he has made in his education. And I’m proud [01:22:30] of what he has invested in his education because he hasn’t invested it in [01:22:35] anything else. And I tell patients what that cost was and they’d be like, okay, [01:22:40] yeah, I want someone who’s spent a quarter of £1 million on their education. That’s [01:22:45] that is the guy for me.

Payman Langroudi: Or it seems to me like you’re a sort of pure bred [01:22:50] salesperson. You know.

Laura Horton: My mum always said that, though. She always said [01:22:55] you could sell eyes to escalation.

Laura Horton: Could?

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, almost. The thrill you get [01:23:00] it is.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Talking about it.

Laura Horton: I also have always really enjoyed [01:23:05] difficult patients and people think I’m mental.

Laura Horton: I love difficult.

Payman Langroudi: Dentists. You were saying?

Laura Horton: Oh, [01:23:10] always.

Laura Horton: I was always the nurse that got put with a difficult dentist and I’d just run the show, [01:23:15] you know, why are they the difficult dentists? Because people are maybe [01:23:20] a little bit scared of them and too scared to be like, oh, which which material [01:23:25] did you want for this? Yeah. And I’d be like, what do you want? Like, yeah, [01:23:30] okay. Is that how you want it? Is that. No. Okay, I’ll do it again. I’m not emotional about it. [01:23:35] I think people get too emotional about things anyway.

Laura Horton: Hello, boss. Are you.

Laura Horton: I. I’m a very [01:23:40] fair boss because I get extremely irritated in life with unfairness. [01:23:45]

Laura Horton: Oh, yeah?

Laura Horton: Yeah. And I people also ask me often, how do you know so much [01:23:50] about HR? I know so much about HR because of how I’ve been treated [01:23:55] as an employee. And my mum would she wouldn’t come and [01:24:00] fight my corner for me. She’s not going to turn up with me, is she? Do you know what I mean? Like, I hate it when that happens. By the way, with [01:24:05] trainee nurses, they’re like, mum turns up with them to have a moan. It’s like, go away. But she [01:24:10] would say, this is wrong. Only you can fix it. And you need to stand up for yourself and you [01:24:15] need to get all the facts. So I was always down the Citizens Advice Bureau. Do you remember we didn’t have [01:24:20] on you didn’t have internet? Yeah. Um, yeah. So I used to [01:24:25] sort of fight, fight for things. My mum would be like, you’ve got only you can do that, you know [01:24:30] it’s wrong. You’ve got to stand up for it. And I think that’s, you know, always been a big part of [01:24:35] me as well. Like fairness. I’m the eldest of three girls. I was probably, I felt, [01:24:40] treated quite unfairly growing up, like as the elder sister, like my other sister got things [01:24:45] before I was allowed them. Things like that. Hated it, I don’t know.

Payman Langroudi: Oh, I see as a.

Laura Horton: As [01:24:50] a as a sibling. No.

Payman Langroudi: As an you were 16 and you’re 13 year old. Yeah. Sister [01:24:55] was getting things at 13 that due to 1415.

Laura Horton: You know that’s normal I know. [01:25:00] But you really get.

Payman Langroudi: Things for being the oldest as.

Laura Horton: Well. No.

Payman Langroudi: Maybe that’s an eastern thing. [01:25:05] It definitely is an eastern thing.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: No, no.

Laura Horton: The oldest.

Payman Langroudi: Seems to get [01:25:10] first dibs on stuff.

Laura Horton: No, no.

Laura Horton: I was I [01:25:15] feel my youngest. Faye. Yeah. Faye got away with everything.

Payman Langroudi: Because she was the cute [01:25:20] little one.

Laura Horton: She got away with murder.

Laura Horton: She even had, like, one of mum and Dad’s credit [01:25:25] cards. Like an additional card holder. When me and Sarah found out, we were like.

Laura Horton: What is she.

Payman Langroudi: A lot younger. [01:25:30]

Laura Horton: She’s nine years younger than me.

Payman Langroudi: She. What sometimes happens is the family situation changes.

Laura Horton: Yeah, [01:25:35] it.

Payman Langroudi: Did in that nine years, you know like.

Laura Horton: Totally so.

Payman Langroudi: So so suddenly, you know your parents were like [01:25:40] more well to do nine years later. Yeah. And so they could afford to do things for her. And you know. [01:25:45]

Laura Horton: If I was living in the house with the swimming pool.

Payman Langroudi: Is that right?

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah.

Laura Horton: But [01:25:50] no. So as a boss, I feel that I’m very fair. I’m very understanding. [01:25:55] I’m always wanting to listen to someone’s concern [01:26:00] or complaint and always understand things from their side. So I will [01:26:05] always question and listen and. But why is that? Why do you think that’s happening? How is that making [01:26:10] you feel? Okay, fine. However, I am also very firm. Yeah, [01:26:15] I’m also very firm in that that’s, you know, you’ve come into work late. I’m [01:26:20] pulling you aside. Yeah. What’s what’s happening? Nice way. First of all. But you know what’s [01:26:25] happened. Your contracted start time is 830. It is 832. You should be ready to work [01:26:30] at 830. What’s happened this morning? And it might be you’ve had a terrible time. Yeah, [01:26:35] yeah. And I’m like, okay, look, I’ll sit and talk to you about it. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: But the line [01:26:40] between both and friendship.

Laura Horton: Oh, yeah, it’s really difficult.

Payman Langroudi: It’s a difficult one, isn’t [01:26:45] it.

Laura Horton: It is, I think I, I think I did really well with it [01:26:50] in particularly when I started managing the Hartford practice. So in Hornchurch, [01:26:55] when I managed that practice, ash said to me, you can’t be friends with anyone when you’re the practice [01:27:00] manager now. I was already friends with everyone. Yeah, I was the TCO. Yeah. And now he’s like, you need [01:27:05] to be my manager and you can’t be friends with anyone. And I was like, oh, but we all get on really well and we [01:27:10] go out for curries and stuff. And so it was just an open communication of, [01:27:15] right, okay, listen, I’m in I’m in boss mode now and you’ve just got to respect [01:27:20] me as your manager and what I’m saying to you. And then, yeah, we’ll have a laugh tonight when we’re out having a curry or whatever. [01:27:25]

Payman Langroudi: So you found it easy to navigate there.

Laura Horton: I think if you’re being open with your communication, it’s fine. What [01:27:30] I found harder was when I started managing the Hartford Clinic, where they were all younger [01:27:35] than me. Yeah. And I found that difficult because they were like, oh, Laura. Yeah. Do you want [01:27:40] to come out clubbing with us on Friday night? And I’d be like, oh no. Also, Cheryl, [01:27:45] who I just mentioned, Cheryl was working there, and Cheryl actually used to pull me aside. And she [01:27:50] used to be like, you’re really hard on me. You’re much harder on me than others. And I’d say, look, mate, [01:27:55] I have to be in a way I don’t want to be, but they have to see I’m not letting [01:28:00] anything slip with you.

Laura Horton: Yeah, because you were already, buddy. We’re already.

Laura Horton: Friends. Yeah, they [01:28:05] have to see that. And she was like, yeah, I know, I get it. But sometimes I think, like, you know, it’s not fair. And [01:28:10] I’ll be like, well, that’s the way it is. If you want to work here, I’m your manager. I’m also your friend. [01:28:15] You’re not getting an easy ride. It’s a harder ride. Yeah.

Laura Horton: It was overcompensated. Yeah. [01:28:20]

Laura Horton: Because you can’t let it will be thrown back in your face. There’s a great book called The [01:28:25] Five Levels of Leadership by John C Maxwell. You come across it. It’s really good and [01:28:30] I love it. And I used to teach it in a practice management program. And because it really helps you to identify [01:28:35] whether you should be friends with people or not. So what [01:28:40] it says is a level one leader. And when you’re at level one, which is the lowest level, just to confirm, [01:28:45] that’s, you know, a team member, an employee does something because you [01:28:50] are their boss. That’s it. You’re their boss. You’ve told them to do it. They’re doing it. Yeah. A level two [01:28:55] leader means they’re doing it because they like you as well as you being their boss. [01:29:00] So what I always used to say to managers was like, this is your first goal is to get to level two with everyone. [01:29:05] You don’t have to like each other. You don’t have to be friends, but you need to put the [01:29:10] effort in because this whole you shouldn’t be friends, don’t connect with your team. I don’t think [01:29:15] is great leadership. It’s management, but it’s not leadership. And I’m very much into leadership. [01:29:20] Yeah. And then a level three leader, um, is then about what you’ve done for that person. [01:29:25] So we’re talking about progression, supporting their development, giving them training. A [01:29:30] level four leader is about also what you’ve done for the organisation. So they can see you’ve [01:29:35] developed the patient experience. You develop this whatever it might be. A level five leader [01:29:40] is like.

Laura Horton: Nelson Mandela. Do you know.

Laura Horton: What I mean? So [01:29:45] my goal within leadership is to be at level four with everyone. And I think that’s a great place [01:29:50] for clinic owners and managers to be. And you don’t need to worry about being level five. I’d [01:29:55] say ash is level five. I’d always describe ash as a level five leader, but yeah, as [01:30:00] a manager and clinic owner, if you can get to level four, which means you’re doing great things for them, [01:30:05] for the company and you’ve got a connection, even if it’s at a basic level, [01:30:10] you’re going to be doing really well.

Payman Langroudi: I guess in your in your time, you’ve had to fire a bunch of people. Oh, [01:30:15] God.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Do you think, do you think when you know, like, do you think it’s [01:30:20] ever makes sense to like, not fire someone when you think [01:30:25] you should fire them, they give them a second chance? Or because every time I’ve done that, it hasn’t worked.

Laura Horton: Okay, [01:30:30] bear with me.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: I distinctively [01:30:35] remember one week and it was a Monday. And Rahul said to me, hey [01:30:40] Laura, what are your goals for this week? And I said, my goals for this week are not [01:30:45] to fire anyone because I hate it. And the last three weeks in a row, I fired [01:30:50] people across both practices and I don’t like it, I hate it. And he’s like, [01:30:55] yeah, but you’re really good at it. I said, don’t care if I’m good at it. I don’t like it and I’m not.

Laura Horton: Why are you why.

Payman Langroudi: Were [01:31:00] you firing so many? Was it one of those practices where you would hire a lot and fire a lot? We would.

Laura Horton: We would we. [01:31:05]

Laura Horton: Would fire quickly and definitely let people go quite quickly. Our [01:31:10] induction, um, was intense and it was intense for a reason. You’re either [01:31:15] able to progress quite quickly within the training and dedication that we’re giving you or [01:31:20] you’re not, and people stand out. And it wasn’t necessarily you’re being fired. It’s do you know [01:31:25] what? You know, you’ve put a lot of effort in. I don’t think we’re the right practice for you. And they’d often go, [01:31:30] no, I’m really missing my old practice. I’d be like, okay, why don’t you go back there then?

Laura Horton: Um. [01:31:35]

Laura Horton: I remember one person I had to fire was a hygienist. I’d never [01:31:40] even met the woman before I was in Hornchurch. Rahul called me up. You need to come and fire this person. And I [01:31:45] was like, oh my God, this is the worst day of my life. And I hated it. And she was really upset. And she’s like, but why? But why? [01:31:50] And I’m trying to give her like reasons and stuff. And I’m thinking, I don’t really know. Like this is [01:31:55] horrible. I hated it, hated that day. That was probably one of the worst.

Laura Horton: And yet you.

Payman Langroudi: Were [01:32:00] that soldier that they use. So are you the person who’s just going to do everything, whatever it takes [01:32:05] to do the job?

Laura Horton: Yeah. Yeah, because the job. What [01:32:10] do you.

Payman Langroudi: Think that determination comes from?

Laura Horton: I’m very.

Laura Horton: I’m very stubborn [01:32:15] as a person, but I don’t know where the determination comes from. I just I don’t know. [01:32:20]

Laura Horton: Your dad. No, I don’t know this.

Payman Langroudi: Sense of unfairness.

Laura Horton: Yeah, I [01:32:25] don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know what it is. But, yeah, I’m very determined. If I’m doing something, I’m doing it. Um, [01:32:30] and.

Payman Langroudi: Like, over the years, my interactions with you, I’ve always noticed you even taking [01:32:35] care of stuff yourself that I would outsource. Mhm. Yeah. And [01:32:40] that shows like a curiosity as well. Like a massive curiosity for what’s what. [01:32:45]

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: Um I love to learn.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Laura Horton: So [01:32:50] I have got an amazing VA Allison. She’s my tech queen and she’s taught me [01:32:55] a lot about tech. How great is she? That’s her business. And I’ve gone, oh, yeah, I want to know this. I want to know [01:33:00] that, you know, and she’s taught me things. So I love editing my own videos. I don’t particularly [01:33:05] love filming them. Um, you know, but yeah, I do like to do different things, [01:33:10] but only so that I can master something and then share with my team how to do it. So you mentioned CRMs [01:33:15] earlier. Like, I absolutely love CRMs. I think they’re awesome. Um, and I’ve just done [01:33:20] a big migration myself for my company because my CRM just wasn’t cutting the mustard anymore. So [01:33:25] I went back to my first ever CRM, and already with Sheryl, it’s like, right, [01:33:30] let me teach you how to do this. Let me teach you how to do that. She’s like, oh, I love learning this stuff. We’re very [01:33:35] like minded people, but I know, I don’t know where determination comes from. [01:33:40] I just I see it more as being stubborn, I guess.

Payman Langroudi: I [01:33:45] mean, the great sort of assets. Right? The pure bred sort of sales person [01:33:50] determined, fair, like you’re like, you’ve obviously come far already, but [01:33:55] it’s, it’s gonna it’s gonna take you far and let’s now get to [01:34:00] darker times.

Laura Horton: Let’s go dark.

Payman Langroudi: But we like on this pod. [01:34:05] We like to talk about mistakes, and generally it tends to be a clinical error. By the way, [01:34:10] I’m happy for you to discuss a clinical error. Don’t mention the dentist name, but. Errors. [01:34:15] What comes to mind when I tell you when I say errors?

Laura Horton: I [01:34:20] had a situation quite a few years ago where [01:34:25] I was expanding my team and took someone on who I had [01:34:30] a fantastic connection with, and she was a practice manager [01:34:35] and we had an equal love for marketing, and I was really looking [01:34:40] at growing my consultancy at this time into all different areas. So for example, [01:34:45] we were doing qualifications, post qualifications for nurses, impression taking, training. [01:34:50] The management training is now very much back to its core. What I love treatment [01:34:55] coordination and the patient experience. So with that in mind, we’ve really progressed forward with [01:35:00] with the marketing aspect. And we we got on brilliantly. [01:35:05] But there then became a situation that arose. And I’d say [01:35:10] the reason it was very difficult is because one, I really liked this person [01:35:15] and I trusted them. I came to my wedding. And [01:35:20] they stabbed me in the back.

Payman Langroudi: Financially.

Laura Horton: Not financially, [01:35:25] but they basically I was told by the lovely [01:35:30] Michael Bentley, who’s worked for me for many, many years. Basically it was something like Michael [01:35:35] messaged me, what’s going on with you? And you two need to bang your heads together. [01:35:40] That’s a bit like a comment from your mum, isn’t it? And I said, no, you need to call me. And [01:35:45] I can’t remember the ins and outs of exactly what has happened. And on this phone call he, he said, [01:35:50] oh gosh, I’ve got something to tell you. And she had been on to [01:35:55] him and also to Rachel, who worked for me at the time, saying, let’s leave, Laura, let’s set up [01:36:00] on our own. I was gutted, gutted. Michael told her, no. She [01:36:05] said, absolutely no way. I would never, ever do that. But I’d let her in to [01:36:10] my business. And like I just said, I’d like to share. I like to learn things and share things, and I’d shared [01:36:15] so much because I wanted her to grow as a person, and she was really just taking it all [01:36:20] for her own good and was going to set up on her own. But she did, [01:36:25] and it failed. So where’s.

Payman Langroudi: The error? Trusting her?

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah.

Payman Langroudi: I’m [01:36:30] not going to let you.

Laura Horton: Get away with that.

Laura Horton: Let me get away with it.

Laura Horton: Okay. That’s awful.

Payman Langroudi: That’s [01:36:35] the answer to a different question.

Laura Horton: I’ve got a worst.

Payman Langroudi: Day at work or.

Laura Horton: Something. Okay. All right.

Laura Horton: I’ve got another one then. Error.

Laura Horton: Yeah. [01:36:40] Mistake.

Payman Langroudi: Something. Something we can learn from.

Laura Horton: I’ll tell you what.

Payman Langroudi: Because trusting people. [01:36:45]

Laura Horton: Yeah. Okay.

Laura Horton: I have got one. I don’t really like to talk about it. You know, the pandemic. Sorry, [01:36:50] but I’m going to mention it. I know everyone’s over it. Pandemic comes along, and, um. [01:36:55] It’s a scary time, isn’t it? For every business owner, you’re like, shit. Yeah. And [01:37:00] I just sort of went off on a tangent with Michael [01:37:05] creating something, trying to reinvent the wheel and and creating something [01:37:10] new, which was a complete disaster. Yeah. I had sitting there my [01:37:15] treatment coordination program 1.0 is 4.0 [01:37:20] is about to release. I had it sitting there like, it’s like my baby. And [01:37:25] I could have monopolised that without a doubt. To all these dentists that are going [01:37:30] online doing virtual consultations. But instead I’m like creating this whole other program. [01:37:35] I’m up to all hours Payman like and getting up at 5 a.m.. Um, [01:37:40] the weather was nice. I had to walk the dog early, but, you know, yeah, that was [01:37:45] a.

Laura Horton: Bit of.

Payman Langroudi: That. We all did a bit of.

Laura Horton: That because.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, I’ll tell you something. I’ve noticed here that [01:37:50] since the pandemic ended, when we had the pandemic, [01:37:55] the amount of content just exploded, right? Exploded. And it made [01:38:00] me realise that dentist actually worked quite hard. Right? Because, you know, we could spend this time doing this [01:38:05] content. Right. And, and I do this one hour a week sort of thing. Yeah. And you [01:38:10] know, for me it’s one of one of many hours like, yeah, it’s not like I’m working [01:38:15] every hour. Yeah. So everyone well I’m quite open about it. I’m [01:38:20] not constantly working every hour. I’m not. That’s not me. Yeah I do sometimes stay up till [01:38:25] 4 a.m. thinking about something. Yeah. Yeah that happens. Right. And I don’t class that as working. Yeah. But [01:38:30] anyway when the pandemic happened you realised my god yeah there’s [01:38:35] all this content and there’s as soon as everyone opened up again the content just completely [01:38:40] died. Yeah. And so yeah, but but what I’m saying is [01:38:45] everyone went through a bit of this. Yeah. Yeah. So you made a whole new course and. [01:38:50]

Laura Horton: Well, then it sort of wasn’t needed because it.

Laura Horton: Was pandemic course. Yeah, [01:38:55] yeah, yeah.

Laura Horton: I the message was, you know, that don’t [01:39:00] reinvent something, don’t reinvent something and don’t make decisions [01:39:05] based on fear and panic. I’d never felt fear and panic in my life [01:39:10] until that point. And I felt fear and panic. Yeah, because I had a [01:39:15] little boy and I was about to move and travel my mortgage and everything else that goes with it.

Payman Langroudi: I’m [01:39:20] now I’m thinking about it. I drew some pictures of these hydrogen peroxide, the thing to [01:39:25] wash fruits with, you know, remember, you’re washing stuff in the supermarket.

Laura Horton: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And [01:39:30] it was hydrogen peroxide people were using for that, right? Yes.

Laura Horton: And reinventing the wheel. Yeah. [01:39:35] Yeah yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Laura Horton: We we don’t need to do it. We need to just be like, what works? [01:39:40] Let’s focus on that. And it was. Yeah, I definitely say it was a strange time for me because [01:39:45] I’d never felt like that. I’m always a go getter. This is what I’m doing. I’m really sure it was the first time I [01:39:50] probably wasn’t sure of things which which was quite difficult. [01:39:55] And I was also consumed by fear. And never in my life had I had [01:40:00] I been in that situation of feeling fearful. I was scared of [01:40:05] getting Covid. I was really scared about it all. And then it was okay. [01:40:10] In the end. I took took a, you know, gave myself a talking to and said, sort yourself out, Laura.

Payman Langroudi: It [01:40:15] was a funny situation, man.

Laura Horton: Yeah, but the.

Laura Horton: Media did a great job of scaring people that weren’t even normally. Scared, let [01:40:20] alone those that probably lived with anxiety. There must have been horrendous situation. But yeah, it was. I [01:40:25] gave myself and talking to her, I was like, right, okay, I’m moving on now.

Payman Langroudi: Different. Different pod. Yeah. But we [01:40:30] do this, uh, mental health pod.

Laura Horton: Yeah. With Reiner. Yeah, yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And, you know, we’ve been [01:40:35] grappling with this question of suicide. Why dentists? Why do dentists commit suicide? And [01:40:40] and, you know, we’ve been thinking about it, and it’s definitely a multifactorial [01:40:45] thing, I’m sure. But why would you say that? Some dentists adore their lives [01:40:50] and we’ve come across them.

Laura Horton: Yeah. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: And some the opposite. And what, [01:40:55] you’ve seen so many dentists. Right. Um, just owners. Associates. [01:41:00] What would you say is the thread running through the ones who are loving it [01:41:05] and the ones who are hating their lives? And by the way, it switches, right? [01:41:10]

Laura Horton: You get.

Payman Langroudi: People who adore.

Laura Horton: It. Who?

Payman Langroudi: Who then hate it. Yeah. Or adore their life and hate [01:41:15] their life.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: What? What comes to mind when I say that?

Laura Horton: I think from all [01:41:20] the dentists that I’ve worked with as a nurse, as a trainer consultant, [01:41:25] it is really difficult. Like you say, you can’t put one finger on it. But [01:41:30] if I think of the dentist that I know that are perhaps the happiest, [01:41:35] shall we say? Yeah. They lower their expectations of [01:41:40] themselves and what they’re going to do, and they don’t add [01:41:45] adverse pressure to themselves either. They’re not worried [01:41:50] about keeping up with the Joneses, which I think for mature dentists has been a massive [01:41:55] thing over the years. Like, they don’t care what car they drive. They don’t care about their [01:42:00] kids going to the prep school. They’ve sort of had a bit of a reality check [01:42:05] in that sense. I don’t know whether that’s come from parents, from peers, from hearing [01:42:10] these awful stories of dentists committing suicide. I don’t know, [01:42:15] but I would say those that are happiest in life are the ones that probably [01:42:20] have less. So they have less pressures, I don’t know.

Laura Horton: I think that’s.

Payman Langroudi: A fact [01:42:25] though.

Laura Horton: Yeah. I don’t feel like I can really talk about mental health I’ve never experienced and [01:42:30] I feel very happy. Lucky about that. I’ve never experienced mental health issues or concerns [01:42:35] in my life, but I would say that would be one thing. I think if financial [01:42:40] pressure is an absolutely huge thing, I know [01:42:45] from listening to another podcast that I listen to, that most relationships end due to financial [01:42:50] pressures and financial worries, and I would assume that that [01:42:55] carries a lot of weight in day to day life as well. Financial pressures and financial [01:43:00] worries. And you don’t need to you don’t [01:43:05] need to have the house with the swimming pool.

Payman Langroudi: It happens, though, doesn’t it? I know what you mean, but [01:43:10] it happens. You stick your kid in that school, then you know who they say you compare [01:43:15] yourself most to.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Um, as a man, the husband of [01:43:20] your wife’s sister.

Laura Horton: All right. Yeah. Really?

Payman Langroudi: You can understand it, right? In a way, right? Yeah. [01:43:25] Um, but but I’d say that the keeping up with the Joneses thing is, is is one of the [01:43:30] biggest sort of cancers in life. Yeah, definitely. Absolutely is. Yeah. But I can see how [01:43:35] people fall into it. Yeah. Because of this similar sort of thing. Schools and holidays and. [01:43:40]

Laura Horton: Things get carried away, don’t they get, you know, carried away.

Laura Horton: Could you imagine.

Payman Langroudi: You’d imagine dentists [01:43:45] right at the end of the day earning quite well. Yeah. Yeah. Quite. Well I don’t, I don’t [01:43:50] necessarily think it’s, it’s only about money I think like I [01:43:55] talk to my, my, my cousin, he’s a, he’s an eye doctor. Eye surgeon. Yeah. And he says he’s [01:44:00] got some days where it’s GA. Yeah. And some days where it’s LA. And he says on the LA days [01:44:05] he’s much more tired and stressed than on the GA days. Yeah. Because [01:44:10] the patients, you know, live patients are scared patient. Yeah. And you know we have that all day every [01:44:15] day scared people and your every move. And then and then I was [01:44:20] going to get to sorry. Yeah. The nurse.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah yeah. In this room four walls. You and the [01:44:25] nurse. Everyone else is a customer of sorts, right? Yeah. So if that relationship’s [01:44:30] not good.

Laura Horton: Oh, God awful.

Payman Langroudi: And it’s this multifactorial thing that happens, right? [01:44:35] Keeping up with the Joneses? Yeah. Your relationship with your nurse? Yeah. Something’s [01:44:40] gone wrong.

Laura Horton: Partner at home.

Payman Langroudi: Partner at home? Yeah. And, you.

Laura Horton: Know, nurse hates [01:44:45] you. Yeah.

Laura Horton: Practice manager hates you.

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah.

Laura Horton: The patients tell you they hate you [01:44:50] all day long. I think it’s very difficult. One thing I always try to express to team members is like, it [01:44:55] is really difficult being a dentist and your dentist has gone on this journey, which [01:45:00] is absolutely amazing. These are the investments they’ve made in their education or this is development in their clinical skills. [01:45:05] But you know what? Their life hasn’t got easier. Their life has got harder. And as team members, [01:45:10] we need to support our dentists at all times. This is also our treatment [01:45:15] coordination like is in my opinion critical because [01:45:20] of well it takes the pressure off. But we can also identify patients that you might [01:45:25] want to reconsider treating because that can be another thing that adds another layer. [01:45:30] Isn’t it difficult patient, complaining patient. All of these things build up. We can give you your [01:45:35] time back. You need to relax. You don’t need to be sitting up. Treatment planning, not not taking care [01:45:40] of your health, not eating properly. You know, so many dentists don’t even eat properly. You’re unbelievable. [01:45:45] Like it’s not. Surely. I know you probably get used to it, but I can’t go from breakfast through [01:45:50] to dinner without eating. I would. I would faint.

Laura Horton: Like this is.

Payman Langroudi: What you get [01:45:55] used to.

Laura Horton: It. That’s what you get used to. But I think I’ve always.

Payman Langroudi: Maintained four days is enough for dentistry.

Laura Horton: I [01:46:00] think. So it’s.

Payman Langroudi: Too hard to do five days a.

Laura Horton: Week. Well, I.

Laura Horton: Couldn’t, I couldn’t do.

Laura Horton: It.

Laura Horton: Yeah, [01:46:05] I couldn’t do it. One of the things we’ve, um. Katie, my business partner. Right. Which [01:46:10] I said to her about setting up this practice is I want you to have the most [01:46:15] amazing work life as a dentist. I am [01:46:20] determined and excited to change your working life as a dentist. Now [01:46:25] she loves being a dentist. Yeah, the first day I met her, she said, just one thing you need to know about me. I’m [01:46:30] not going to retire from dentistry till I physically have to. She’s [01:46:35] like, I love it. I’m like, that’s cool. So that’s why I was so excited also to do this for Katie. But I want [01:46:40] to make her life a dream. You know? I don’t want it to be stressful. I want the [01:46:45] clinic to run smoothly. We need lots of systems. We need to review them. We need [01:46:50] to keep communication open. We need to keep training at a high level. We’re just going to work every day and burying [01:46:55] our head in the sand. And as you say, as a clinic owner, you’ve got a manager that’s like a dragon [01:47:00] locked in an office, which they before I was a practice manager, the only types of managers I ever knew. [01:47:05] Why? I didn’t want to be one. Ash had to talk to me many times about being his manager. [01:47:10] And you’ve got, you know, patients that are complaining, receptions, squeezing patients [01:47:15] in left, right and centre patients, just being genuinely difficult [01:47:20] coming into you. They don’t like you not appreciating what you do because they don’t understand your skill set. [01:47:25] And you’ve got a nurse slamming cupboards like, no thanks.

Laura Horton: I [01:47:30] mean.

Payman Langroudi: I just got a bit of PTSD when you said.

Laura Horton: You know what I mean?

Laura Horton: I know lots of [01:47:35] dentists that have given up clinical dentistry and they say, oh, I just I love the [01:47:40] business side. Laura. Yeah. You tell your team that I know the reality. It’s not just that you love [01:47:45] the business side. It’s extremely stressful and it was too much. And, you know, if you [01:47:50] end up giving up clinically like you have and that’s just the way it is, you know, you’ve got to [01:47:55] do what’s right. I think there’s a lot of pressure as well isn’t there. Oh, I’m a dentist.

Laura Horton: Yeah. It’s hard.

Laura Horton: Yeah. [01:48:00] I don’t want to not do that anymore. I think there should be maybe more dentists who like yourself [01:48:05] speak out about this like it’s okay.

Payman Langroudi: It’s hard to stop. You think you know nothing [01:48:10] else and you know nothing.

Laura Horton: Else, you know?

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. And you realise what else? You know, like when you start looking [01:48:15] into other stuff. Yeah. Developing.

Laura Horton: Right. You’ve got loads.

Laura Horton: Of skills across over, you know.

Laura Horton: It’s hard [01:48:20] to.

Payman Langroudi: Persuade a dentist of.

Laura Horton: That though. You know, you can.

Laura Horton: Imagine, look, you know, probably the majority of senior [01:48:25] schools being geared up, if definitely not the last couple of years. Your A levels geared up to being a dentist, five years [01:48:30] plus your vocational training year or whatever else you do in hospital. That’s just starting, isn’t [01:48:35] it? You’re what, 2223? Immerse in the whole of your 20s into it. It’s [01:48:40] no wonder it’s overwhelming by the time you’re 32, because now you’re feeling the social pressure of where’s [01:48:45] your wife or husband and your kid and your porch?

Laura Horton: And why social media? [01:48:50] Social media?

Payman Langroudi: I’ll tell you one thing I’ve noticed the quality of dentistry has gone up so much [01:48:55] recently, especially with the young ones. Man, I see some of these young ones where they’re like [01:49:00] just qualified and like six months in, they’re doing things. I wasn’t doing five [01:49:05] years in, like as far as I mean, it’s it’s things come standard, right? Yeah. Rubber [01:49:10] dam and all that. We used to only bring it up for endo if that.

Laura Horton: If your nurse [01:49:15] got it out. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Laura Horton: Come on. It’s a it’s a moolah. Come on.

Payman Langroudi: Photography. You know [01:49:20] the the I watched that happen now and I think [01:49:25] wow. Worst case scenario if I had to go back to be a dentist, I’d have to go on a bunch of courses on, [01:49:30] like, you know, rubber dam and stuff.

Laura Horton: But do.

Laura Horton: You feel because I definitely think there’s a [01:49:35] pattern now that the younger dentists are perhaps being interviewed differently, you [01:49:40] know, in regards to getting their place in dental.

Laura Horton: School, they’re.

Payman Langroudi: They’re more sort of academic [01:49:45] because it’s harder to get in.

Laura Horton: I know it’s weird because.

Payman Langroudi: Dentistry isn’t an academic subject. You know. [01:49:50]

Laura Horton: I know they’re.

Laura Horton: More academic, but I would definitely say my experience, particularly over the last three years with newly qualified [01:49:55] dentists in practices, is they’re not doing like their foundation year. They’ve maybe like 1 or [01:50:00] 2 years in. They have got the soft skills. Yeah. And they’re very good at managing patients. [01:50:05]

Laura Horton: They’re kinder than us. Yeah. That’s what is it.

Laura Horton: Just younger people these days are just kind.

Laura Horton: It’s [01:50:10] the.

Payman Langroudi: Flip side of that woke.

Laura Horton: Stuff. Yes. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: The woke stuff. The I don’t [01:50:15] know for me the ugly side of it. Yeah. The you know, whatever we we’ve discussed that [01:50:20] a million times with Rowena. But the flip side of that, yeah, is that people are kinder. Yes. [01:50:25]

Laura Horton: You know, which is good.

Payman Langroudi: We used to we used to be in, in our day. I’m sorry to put you in the same bracket [01:50:30] as me because you’re younger than me. Yeah, but in our in our day, there’d be a certain pleasure in [01:50:35] in pain. Yeah. You know, in, in singling someone out or laughing at people [01:50:40] awful. You know, and then and then we went on to, you know, now would be called racism, [01:50:45] right? Yeah. But back then you say, oh, the Indian guy said this or Italian, mind your language if you remember [01:50:50] that show.

Laura Horton: Yes I do, yeah.

Payman Langroudi: But this now, now [01:50:55] I find my kids, their friends super kind. Yeah, super kinder than the [01:51:00] kids when I was their age.

Laura Horton: Kindness is everything.

Laura Horton: Yeah, it.

Laura Horton: Really is, isn’t it? You [01:51:05] know, that’s I. Do you ever watch First Dates? The show? You know where they go [01:51:10] on dates. Oh, it’s really sweet. And I make my husband watch it, and [01:51:15] he’s like, oh. And I say, but the thing is, I love, love.

Laura Horton: And.

Laura Horton: And then I [01:51:20] sit there and I’m like, oh, this person, they’re so kind. I hope they continue dating. They’re so kind. [01:51:25] And I say to him, you know, if anything ever happened to you, my next husband, [01:51:30] he the only thing I’d want is kindness. And he’s [01:51:35] like, does he take that?

Laura Horton: Not very well.

Laura Horton: He’s like, what? Am I not kind? No you’re not. Actually not all [01:51:40] the time. You’re not. Because that’s how we were brought up at schools. Schools. Horrible. [01:51:45] It was. You’re out for your own. Yeah. I’m hoping that’s not the way I don’t know. Is it [01:51:50] the same way in your daughter? She’s in senior school. I’m hoping that will changes somewhat, [01:51:55] but, yeah, we are raising a generation of children that are nicer, and now they’re coming through as [01:52:00] 20 year olds.

Payman Langroudi: Like girls.

Payman Langroudi: Girls a bit nastier than boys.

Laura Horton: Girls are a bit difficult.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. From my.

Payman Langroudi: Experience. [01:52:05]

Laura Horton: I’ve got a stepdaughter. She’s 22, 23. Sorry. Yeah. They’re difficult. [01:52:10]

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, yeah.

Laura Horton: She’s loving. She’s very kind. You know, she’s turned out to be a really kind girl. That’s [01:52:15] how I’d describe her.

Laura Horton: Yeah, she’s.

Laura Horton: Very sweet and she’s turned out very kind.

Payman Langroudi: I [01:52:20] got.

Payman Langroudi: A man. It’s like Rhona says her worst comments come from women on [01:52:25] online. And then some of them listen to my my daughter and her friends talking and it’s like. But [01:52:30] nonetheless, it’s like, you know, there are differences between men and women, right? And we talked [01:52:35] before. We talked about what what it’s like to be a woman. Right. And in a in a [01:52:40] dark alley. Right. Yeah. You know, um, so, you know, it is what it is.

Laura Horton: It [01:52:45] is what it is.

Laura Horton: But I think, you know, I had an awful time as a teenager. I mean, I [01:52:50] would say that throughout school and life, I’ve always gotten better with men. Maybe [01:52:55] that’s why. Because in dentistry, the there are more male dentists, weren’t there? It’s flipped [01:53:00] now. I think it’s fantastic. But I at primary school would always [01:53:05] be with the boys. I was a bit of a tomboy, and then through senior school and even [01:53:10] getting into sort of late teens, early 20s are all my friends were boys and [01:53:15] their girlfriends would hate me because I’d got better banter and [01:53:20] I had a better time. We’d have a laugh and we’d connect more. They were just my friends. That was [01:53:25] it. But their girlfriends would always hate me, and I’m sure [01:53:30] if social media was around then there would have been loads of comments and everything about [01:53:35] that. It’s just pure jealousy and over yourselves like. But yeah. [01:53:40]

Payman Langroudi: I understand.

Laura Horton: Women, women can be very difficult with each.

Payman Langroudi: Other. Competitive, right? Competitive, yeah.

Laura Horton: I would [01:53:45] say now like my greatest friends are it totally flipped. My greatest friends are [01:53:50] all women really five top friends? All women. Nice. Yeah. And I wouldn’t be without them.

Payman Langroudi: Let’s [01:53:55] get to the final questions. Fantasy dinner party. [01:54:00] Three guests, dead or alive. Who would you.

Payman Langroudi: Have?

Laura Horton: I [01:54:05] really, um, [01:54:10] miss my granddad. He is alive. He’s got Alzheimer’s. Oh, yeah. [01:54:15] I don’t think if I went to see him now, he’d know who I was. Oh, he was 90 [01:54:20] last July.

Payman Langroudi: He’s close. Yeah.

Laura Horton: And I’m as much as we used to [01:54:25] hear his stories and go, oh, God, we’ve heard that one so many times now.

Payman Langroudi: You miss them? [01:54:30]

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah. And every now and then, he’d pull one out of the bag that we hadn’t heard. My parents would [01:54:35] always be like.

Payman Langroudi: Your mum’s dad.

Laura Horton: My mum’s dad. Yeah. And my nan. Um, she died a few [01:54:40] years ago. She would just be like, oh, Mick, you know, and, uh, it’s quite. Yes. I [01:54:45] really miss his. Yeah. His stories. Um, and he just used to make us laugh [01:54:50] so much. Such a character. Brilliant, brilliant guy. And it’s so sad that all that’s gone. [01:54:55] Yeah. Um, he’s in a nursing home now. Yeah. And it was sad [01:55:00] when he turned 90 last year because she thought, well, okay. Yeah, he’s made it to 90.

Payman Langroudi: Was the first.

Payman Langroudi: Time you had an inkling? [01:55:05]

Laura Horton: Um, my grandad started to deteriorate. Probably [01:55:10] in the last couple of years of my nan’s life. My nan would moan about him. Okay. Um, yes. Oh, [01:55:15] he’s getting on my nerves. Like he’s asking me this and asking me that, but I think everyone was just sort of like, um. Then my [01:55:20] nan passed away and then it was it was sort of after that that he really [01:55:25] started going downhill. Um, and then there was an incident where it was actually [01:55:30] a heat wave. And I don’t know how this happened, but he was a few miles from home. He was living [01:55:35] on his own, but his friends from all his life, Ethel and role. Ethel just happened [01:55:40] to open the curtains one morning and said, oh, what’s Mick doing out there [01:55:45] in a great big winter coat? 8 a.m. it was already like 30 degrees. [01:55:50] And it was just coincidence that Ethel opened her curtains, because we don’t [01:55:55] know what could have happened to him that day. And roll went and got him and took him home. And that was right. Okay. He needs to go. So firstly, [01:56:00] he went into a care home, but it’s deteriorated into a nursing home now. So yeah, Mrs. [01:56:05] Story’s always had a laugh at my grandad and he liked to drink as well. And we both [01:56:10] have an equal love of roast potatoes. Um.

Payman Langroudi: So your granddad. [01:56:15]

Laura Horton: Yeah, definitely my grandad.

Laura Horton: And then my aunt, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. Who’s the most [01:56:20] funniest woman? She is my mum’s sister, so she’s like my grandad. I miss her [01:56:25] every day and think about her every day. She’s absolutely well, was absolutely awesome. And [01:56:30] then I think we’d need to mix it up a little bit. We’d need.

Payman Langroudi: Nelson Mandela.

Laura Horton: Not [01:56:35] want to go political. We couldn’t get my granddad on anything [01:56:40] political because he’d be off on one. Yeah. You know, he was he’d be a through and through and all [01:56:45] this, you know. So we’d have to mix it up a bit.

Payman Langroudi: Are you Labour left [01:56:50] wing.

Laura Horton: I’m, I’m not a Labour voter.

Payman Langroudi: No a conservative.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah. [01:56:55] Really. Yeah. Okay.

Payman Langroudi: So far these things tend to run in families though. But go [01:57:00] ahead.

Laura Horton: Yeah. You know what.

Laura Horton: Just speaking on that very quickly. My mum and dad will not discuss who they vote [01:57:05] for.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah I like that too.

Payman Langroudi: I like I kind of like.

Laura Horton: My sisters are like.

Payman Langroudi: You know, I kind of like [01:57:10] that. Yeah.

Laura Horton: My mum and dad are like, we’re not discussing it.

Laura Horton: It’s private. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Secret about it.

Laura Horton: We’re like, it’s weird. [01:57:15]

Laura Horton: Um, anyway, so yeah, we need to mix it up a bit. I can’t think who it would be, but we need someone [01:57:20] to bring the party to the table. I would say Payman. Yeah. Don’t want to be having a serious [01:57:25] conversation. We’d need someone really fun to bring. Bring the party [01:57:30] to the table.

Laura Horton: Who’s wild?

Payman Langroudi: Who’s fun and wild?

Laura Horton: That’s wild.

Laura Horton: I don’t really know too much [01:57:35] about them, but I’d imagine someone like Mick Jagger, he’d be pretty wild.

Payman Langroudi: I see, I see he’d be.

Laura Horton: Quite wild.

Laura Horton: Wouldn’t he? [01:57:40] I love that, you know.

Laura Horton: I don’t want any drugs there because, you know.

Payman Langroudi: Mick Jagger.

Payman Langroudi: Your granddad. You’re right. It’s [01:57:45] a beautiful.

Laura Horton: Combination. Wow. Someone’s going to turn up, like, let’s get this entertainment.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, yeah.

Laura Horton: Yeah. [01:57:50] Someone who’s just absolutely bringing the energy, bringing the laughs like.

Payman Langroudi: He’s [01:57:55] someone you want to talk to. Like, who would that be?

Laura Horton: Oh, do you know, I know you’ve just said Nelson [01:58:00] Mandela. It’s a bit of a cliche, but gosh, what a man. Yeah, what a man. [01:58:05] And I mentioned him earlier in that five levels.

Laura Horton: You know.

Laura Horton: I remember not [01:58:10] knowing too much about him actually growing up. And then I remember reading that great big book [01:58:15] and have you read it or seen it? It is literally like this. And the writing’s [01:58:20] tiny. I just fired through it. I was like, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it. And I remember saying to [01:58:25] like, my mum, oh, Nelson Mandela, this Nelson Mandela, she’s like, yes.

Laura Horton: Yes, yes.

Laura Horton: Yes. And I’m like, [01:58:30] but why didn’t you tell us all these things? Yeah. Like I think probably trying to shield us from the awful [01:58:35] world and the awful things. But yeah, what a guy. I think there’d be many lessons [01:58:40] in leadership, mental toughness and attitude [01:58:45] and flipping your mindset, I’m really into all of that. Um, or I know I’m [01:58:50] going through them right now. Anthony Robbins yeah.

Laura Horton: Like.

Laura Horton: He’d be so cool [01:58:55] to have there as well, just to be like, I don’t know, but I think I’d want it to be fun. [01:59:00]

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, well, Anthony Robbins is a quite fun guy as well.

Laura Horton: Yeah, yeah, I reckon.

Payman Langroudi: I had, I had an Anthony Robbins CD [01:59:05] stuck in my. It was one of those. It was what you remember [01:59:10] back in the day, the five CD Multi-chain.

Laura Horton: Oh yeah, living the dream.

Payman Langroudi: Those five CDs were the only [01:59:15] ones that I could ever listen to. And one of them was Nancy Robbins. Yeah, and I must have listened to that one [01:59:20] like, a hundred times. The interesting thing is, the only one I remember, like, of all, it was like a 20 [01:59:25] CD.

Laura Horton: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Like a compilation.

Laura Horton: All online now.

Laura Horton: Isn’t [01:59:30] it? Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Payman Langroudi: All right, let’s get to the final. Final?

Laura Horton: Yeah. Go for it.

Payman Langroudi: It’s a weird one. [01:59:35] Deathbed.

Laura Horton: Oh, God.

Payman Langroudi: On your deathbed, surrounded by [01:59:40] your friends and family. Mhm. What are three pieces of advice you’d [01:59:45] leave for them?

Laura Horton: Be kind. Always be kind. Be [01:59:50] honest. Always be honest I think. Even if you’re going [01:59:55] to upset others. Being honest at all times is really important, particularly [02:00:00] in relationships and about how you feel. I think people just sit [02:00:05] quiet and don’t say anything, and it always ends up being a detriment to yourself. Always [02:00:10] be honest. Always be honest, I think.

Payman Langroudi: Funny one, I know, but.

Laura Horton: I [02:00:15] can’t help it. Payman, I just, I just.

Payman Langroudi: I know, but if you.

Payman Langroudi: Were 100% honest, right, right now, you’d [02:00:20] say something inappropriate to me. You know, let’s imagine the only [02:00:25] joking.

Laura Horton: Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: It’s a funny, honest. It’s a funny one because it’s like, honest. From what [02:00:30] perspective? But I like it, I like it. Come on.

Laura Horton: Yeah. And I think just be just be open as [02:00:35] well. Don’t don’t mince your words. Just say what you think I say. [02:00:40] Same as being honest. But be true to yourself. In that sense, don’t [02:00:45] go along with something just because everyone else is. I’ve done that. We’ve probably all done that. I know, and you know, [02:00:50] when you’re older not to do it. Yeah. And, you know, in that sense, I guess what I’m trying to say is [02:00:55] follow your gut and follow your gut instinct. And if your gut instinct is telling you something that’s not right, [02:01:00] then just don’t do it.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah.

Laura Horton: I guess that’s what I mean about.

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, [02:01:05] that’s good advice.

Payman Langroudi: Amazing.

Payman Langroudi: Thank you. I’ve really.

Payman Langroudi: Enjoyed it. [02:01:10]

Laura Horton: Thank you very much.

Payman Langroudi: I don’t know how long we’ve been going.

Laura Horton: No, no. Do I know?

Payman Langroudi: It’s just. Um. [02:01:15] Really lovely. I know we had a few, um, times. We arranged it, and I.

Laura Horton: Finally. [02:01:20]

Laura Horton: Got there, didn’t we?

Payman Langroudi: Finally got there? Yeah. Thank you.

Payman Langroudi: So massive luck with the new practice.

Laura Horton: Thank you so much. [02:01:25]

Payman Langroudi: I’m sure the other business is going to go from strength to strength. Really lovely to have you. Real enigma.

Laura Horton: Well, thank [02:01:30] you very much. Thank you very.

Laura Horton: Much for your time.

Laura Horton: Pleasure. Cheers. Bye.

Intro Voice: This [02:01:35] is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one [02:01:40] on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your [02:01:45] hosts. Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

Prav Solanki: Thanks [02:01:50] for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing. [02:01:55] And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve [02:02:00] had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it. [02:02:05]

Payman Langroudi: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would [02:02:10] share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so so, so much for listening. [02:02:15] Thanks.

Prav Solanki: And don’t forget our six star rating.


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