In this episode, Barbara and Dr. Williams discuss:
- How the “new patient experience” relieves anxiety for patients and builds trust.
- How web-centric marketing strategies will increase website traffic.
- Growing a successful practice through patient referrals and hiring associates.
- The principles of effective dentistry practice can translate across any business.
- Connecting with clients is essential to understanding their goals and perception of their dental situation.
- Until recently, redox molecules could not be stabilized or manufactured for supplementation.
“They know who I am when I walk through the door; they’re going to be meeting a friend, not a stranger.” – Dr. Bill Williams
009 Dr. Bill Williams- The $10k A Day Dentist
Barbara Hales: Today, we have the extreme pleasure of interviewing Dr. Bill Williams. Dr. Bill Williams is the founder of Solstice Dental Advisors and Director of the 5M Mastermind, where dentists learn to be $10,000 a day producers and how to market and manage multimillion dollar practices. Wow. Over 44 years in practice, he has been a noted international speaker, business coach, number one bestselling author, and clinician, and still maintains a thriving private practice in Suwanee, Georgia. He is a master of both the AGD and ICCMO. He was a Small Business Person of the Year in 2005, and received the Ron Lamb Award from the Christian Dental Society as the Outstanding Missions Dentist in North America in 2007. Not only that, he’s a certified Guerrilla Marketing Instructor and a certified trainer for Bio-Dent’s Ultratooth Implant System. Wow. Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
Bill Williams: I feel tired after listening to that introduction. I think I’ll go lay down.
Barbara Hales: Well, over his 43-year career, Bill was a dentist who was a founder or one of the founders of the Stone Mountain Dental Group, the Atlanta Craniomandibular Society, the TMJ Framework, the Solstice Research Group, Suwanee Dental Care, Web Central Dental Marketing and Design, Kenya Medical Outreach, and Solstice Dental Advisor, as well as being the Top Gun Dental Conference. My, we’re really interviewing a superstar here today. He’s noted author, including number one best sellers Marketing the Million Dollar Practice, Smile 360, A Patient’s Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry, and the $10,000 a Day Dentist. It’s amazing with all of that, that he’s still had time to be married to his wife Sheila, or shall I say she still stayed married to him for 42 years, and they have two sons, Will and Tyler, plus two grandchildren, Harper and Jude. Welcome, Will, and thanks for being here today.
Bill Williams: It’s good to be here, Barbara. Thanks so much for inviting me to the Medical Strategist. Is this a parlor where we’re going to sit and talk about teeth, medicine, or what?
Barbara Hales: Well, we’re just going to talk about marketing, dental practices, and a little bit of homespun fun at the same time.
Bill Williams: Okay. I can’t wait.
Barbara Hales: Having a $10,000 a day practice is really pretty amazing, wouldn’t you say? It’s certainly something to aspire to, and you have 50 ways to build the perfect day. Tell us a little bit about that.
Bill Williams: When I started teaching… And I’ve always been a very widely educated doctor, so I can do a lot of things, right? And so when I started educating other doctors on things that I thought were important, I started back in 1981 with my first class that I gave. I was six years out of dental school when I started teaching other dentists. And I was teaching orthodontics, TMJ, occlusion, neuromuscular dentistry, things that are difficult for most dentists to do, because I had a passion and I felt like what we were given in dental school in that arena was just not adequate. And so, I went to every course I could find for years and years, five or six years straight, before I started teaching. And once I did that back in the early ’80s, I found that I really like it teaching and I like to share knowledge. And so it never stopped during my whole career. I’ve been looking to give seminars, conferences, write books, and just 44 years I’ve been doing it and I’m still enjoying it.
Barbara Hales: That’s great. Tell us the 28 ways to grow your practice $500,000 a year. I mean, that’s so remarkable to me.
Bill Williams: I did a book called Marketing the Million Dollar Practice, and I had 28 chapters in the book, and each of the chapters was basically a way that we marketed our practice. See, I started over. My story’s interesting. I came out of dental school, started from scratch, and built a nice big practice. And then I sold it when the area went bad and there was crime in the neighborhood, and people were actually shot on the very street where my office was. I decided I’m moving, and we moved when I was 48 years old and started over my new practice from zero. And I grew it from zero to $5.8 million in 10 years. And when I did that, I wrote a chapter in my book about each of the marketing tools that I used.
Barbara Hales: Well, that’s really remarkable. And is it still available on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles?
Bill Williams: Yeah, I completed that book about 2012 and it was number one for a couple of years on the Dental Business book list, and now it sits there available all the time. And it’ll pop up to 10 to 15, 20. People have been reading it for five years now, at least.
Barbara Hales: And it’s called Marketing the Million Dollar Practice?
Bill Williams: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.
Barbara Hales: That really sounds like good reading to me.
Bill Williams: Well, it’s so applicable to every type of a professional practice. I know that a lot of your listeners are particularly medical doctors, and everything that I write in my book applies to any professional practice, because it’s how you treat people, it’s how you build your funnels, and how you do internal marketing to show patients that you’re a real person.
Barbara Hales: Tell me about your idea for web-centric marketing.
Bill Williams: Oh, I got started as a webmaster back in 1997. I took it on when I moved to the new location, and I had plenty of time on my hands because it didn’t have any patients. I learned how to start marketing my own practice, because in the middle of the year we couldn’t get in the yellow pages, and that used to be how we marketed our practices was yellow page only. And so that was a dying horse. You couldn’t ride that horse very far. It was running out of fuel.
And so I became a webmaster, and I decided I would point everything that I did toward the website. All of the newspaper ads, all the radio, all of the handbills, all the blog articles, all the newspaper articles, everything would feed back to the website. And it would be a dynamic website that would be changing all the time, updating it with new information. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, that was radical. Most people hadn’t even heard of a website that early. And so over a period of time, it became web-centric marketing. I formed a company to help other dentists and others get their start and grow their practices. It was just a great place to be in the early 2000s.
Barbara Hales: Yes, you were really at the forefront. Tell me about your new patient experience that you recommend.
Bill Williams: I want to have people know us before they meet us. That means that I want them to understand who they’re going to be meeting when they walk in the door by having read about me, seen me on videos, read articles I’ve written, know my philosophy, know my culture of our practice by seeing us having fun on the videos, in the social media, listening to us on podcast. See, if they have an experience with me and they know my voice, they know who I am. Then when they walk in the door, they’re going to be meeting a friend basically, not a strange doctor in a white coat.
Barbara Hales: Well, that sounds absolutely great. Patients are nervous when they come in to see a doctor or dentist for the first time, so having the knowledge of what that dentist or doctor is all about and their personality before they walk in and they know what to expect really helps a lot, so I agree with you completely.
Bill Williams: One of the things that happens when they come in is called the tour. And not only do we want to have them warmed up before they come here, we want to simmer them a little bit before we put them in the frying pan, you might say. So, we give them a tour to get them more warmed up, to see the place, to meet the people, to look at the plaques on the wall, to see the pictures on the wall, to walk by and see how clean it is, to see how well-behaved the staff is, how the staff greet people. Everybody has a job in the practice. When I see a staff member walking a new patient through the hallway, they know that this is somebody that they want to speak to, not just to pass them by, for instance. And so, we do the tour, and we find out what their interests are during the tour, and then we will go to an interview room. And how many doctors interview the patient before they actually go in the exam room?
Barbara Hales: Well, fewer and fewer as time goes on these days.
Bill Williams: I know. It’s a time element thing, isn’t it?
Barbara Hales: It sure is. Everybody is short on time now. The patients want more and the doctors don’t have as much to give.
Bill Williams: Yeah. I don’t know how you can do it. It’s very difficult. In the medical profession, they’re taking away time and they’re packing so many patients into the hour, it’s difficult. I guess that’s the biggest difference between medical and dental is we’re the examiner, we’re the operator, we’re the surgeon, we’re chief cook and bottle washer. Is it like that in medicine also?
Barbara Hales: No, nowadays everyone is a specialist.
Bill Williams: Yep.
Barbara Hales: Tell me about Redox Dentistry.
Bill Williams: In Redox Dentistry, Dr. Lee Osler and I are pioneering, bringing that particular concept into the dental profession. It’s been around for a long time. It’s a concept where we’re talking about a redox signaling molecule that is naturally made in the mitochondria, and when a patient gets old or they lose the ability to create as many of these molecules that the body desperately needs… And so they say about 10 percent of every decade, you lose your ability to create these molecules. And so, you have less signaling going on, and so you have less activity and the cells are basically dying out.
The job of the redox signaling molecule, some of the different things they do… And there’s a lot of different types of signal molecules that are naturally made in the body, but they work to tell a cell to go ahead and die, to be repaired, or to regenerate a new cell, for instance. It’s like the messenger. The DNA transcription occurs because there’s this message that goes from cell to cell. It says we need more cells over here, so create some more liver cells.
Barbara Hales: How does that translate for you to wellness and health? Is there a way to prevent these cells from dying out?
Bill Williams: There’s not. What we do is supplement them. We can actually make them, and it’s only been in the recent past that that science has grown sophisticated enough to where we could actually stabilize the redox molecule. In the past, it was a fleeting thing that was gone within a nanosecond, but now somebody in the research labs in Utah has found out how to stabilize and put them in a bottle. And so we can drink a solution or rub a topical on the skin that we’ll apply and add more redox molecules to the system, and the bodies takes them up, some up readily. And because it’s a natural, identical, bio-identical product, it’s not toxic. It’s useful for every single animal, not just humans, but veterinarians use this also, this concept.
Barbara Hales: Well, this is really exciting, and I’m sure more patients are going to want to go to a dentist that has this than not, so this is also a great marketing technique.
Bill Williams: You know what? The redox industry is the brand-new kid on the block. And because so few people know about it, everybody’s clamoring to know more. They want to know what it is, how you use it, and what difference it makes. The health benefits of it are legions. You can’t put enough things on one page to describe how much of a health benefit this is. It’s wound healing. It’s genetic expression. If you’ve heard the term epigenetics, the actual ability to create gene improvements in the body, this is what this redox signaling molecule actually does, increases gene expression.
Barbara Hales: Now you mentioned the perfect day and how to recreate it over and over. What do you consider the perfect day?
Bill Williams: When I was putting together a lecture for my Mastermind about four years ago, the first lecture on the first Mastermind, I wanted it to be a wow lecture, a real impact thing that would grab their attention. I sat down and thought about what do I do that is significant that they haven’t seen or heard before? And so, I looked back at my last 15 years and I said, “Well, I’ve been very productive. I figured out some secrets about how you can be productive and consistently be productive every day.” I came up with the figure $10,000 a day average for the last 15 years every day I work. And so that was significant, and I go, “How can I transmit that to other people? How can I teach another dentist to do that?” And so, I just sat down and made a list, and it came out to be about 50 things that I do, think, say, or believe that I get my staff to see, think, do, and believe.
Barbara Hales: Well, I want everybody to know, Bill, that in addition to being a great dentist and a marketer for dentists, you also do missionary work. I mean, this guy is like the nearest thing to a saint, I know. Tell me about your Kenya experiences.
Bill Williams: Back in 2000, I had a birthday party, and we call it the halfway there party because I was 50 years old. My brother and I were raising money for a missions hospital to be built in Kenya, and I hadn’t been yet, but he had been the year before. That’s when the concept came to build a hospital over there. And so, it was 2001 that I went on my first Kenya mission. And I thought, “Well, I’ll just go one time and it’ll be a fun time. We’ll have a great experience.” But what happened was I was radically impacted in an amazing way, and that became an annual trip that we would go to Kenya every year for 11 years. And we continue even now to sponsor mission trips over there, and we have on the ground missionaries there. We built hospitals, we built silos for grain, water cisterns to keep the water safe from the groundwater for cows and humans, we built schools. We just had an enjoyable time serving the people, doing dentistry, doing medicine.
Barbara Hales: How would you say that has affected you in terms of working with patients here?
Bill Williams: I’m a lot better dentist than I was before I went, technically. I can take out teeth very efficiently, because we do a lot of it on a mission trip.
Barbara Hales: I would imagine so.
Bill Williams: I got a lot of compassion for people that don’t have, because most of the people we treated over there don’t have anything, hardly. I mean, they’re happy and they don’t have stuff. I’ve learned that you don’t have to have stuff to be happy.
Barbara Hales: So true. Tell me, Bill, do you have two pieces of advice or tips that you could give my audience in terms of marketing their professional practice?
Bill Williams: Yeah. I think we see in dentistry that a good average is to have 50 percent of your referrals coming from word of mouth marketing. And so if you look at your money you spend marketing, if you don’t have enough new patients coming in to sustain your level of production and growth that you want, you have to create the growth. You have to create a number of new patients. And so to do that, you’ve got to either stimulate the existing patients, or you’ve got to go out and create leads with new patients. And so most people don’t understand that you can get new patients by asking your current patients. That’s the cheapest and the best type and source of new patients, because they already believe in you, because the trust factor is transferred by a referral. They believe in you. They already trust somebody that trusted you. And so that means they’re going to be more loyal. They stick with you longer. And so if a practice could actually create a system that would generate more new patients through word of mouth referrals, that would be their number one source of anything they do.
Barbara Hales: Well, that’s really great advice. Is there anything else that you would like to tell my audience today?
Bill Williams: The experience the patient has in the office, and that’s why we call ours the new patient experience, not just a new patient exam, the experience carries with it a goal, and that is to get the patient to bond to the team, to the doctor, to bond to the practice so the number of people coming in is not equal to the people going out the back door. We want the practice to grow and build, not stay the same size, to be small. The ultimate goal of any physician is to grow a business and have it successful. And so, one of the ways we recommend people grow in is by bringing in associates as you grow. And so anytime you’re the owner of a business, you want to have a loyal group of patients coming in, and there’s nothing better than that natural, organic growth.
Barbara Hales: Well, this is so true. We have been listening to Dr. Bill Williams, and he has been very gracious to offer a free download of his book, 10kway.com if you go into his website. Can you tell us what that website is, or is that website 10kway?
Bill Williams: The website that will have the free download will be 10kway.com, and that’s the book I’m going to be offering is the one that is the $10,000 a Day Dentist: 50 Ways to Build Your Perfect Day. Any profession that reads that book and thinks of their profession when it sees the word dentist will probably be able to come away with some significant gems that would allow them to make their day better. See, the one thing about it, dentists think a little different than others. And so what you’ll find is gems in there that you’d never thought about before, the way we look at the world, the way we look at treating patients, and that’s the gem that a medical, chiropractic, physical therapist type of doctor would see. They would see something that they never thought about before.
Barbara Hales: Well, that’s been very helpful. Thank you so much for your tips and for your advice.
Bill Williams: Welcome. Thank you, Barbara, for having me on the show.
Barbara Hales: Okay. Until then, live well.
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