Roadside Recommends |12 min read

Should Your Dental Practice Hire a Dental Consultant? [VIDEO]


If you’re curious about hiring a dental consultant, you’ll want to hear this.

We’re sitting down with dental coach, Christi Bintliff, and asking all of your need-to-know questions.

Between finances, marketing, and managing a team, you might need someone to “hold you accountable,” as Christi talks about in her interview with Angela.

In a quick 20 minutes, you’re going to learn:

  • Why you need to hire a dental consultant
  • When is the right time to invest in a consultant
  • Why you shouldn’t do everything yourself

Angela: Well, hello, everybody. Welcome to another Roadside Live… This text opens a new tab …. We have a special guest with us today who, many of you may know, but those of you who have not met her, you’re going to love her. This is Christi. Tell us who you’re with and why we’re chatting with you today. What’s your business?

Christi: Hi everybody. I’m Christi Bintliff and I am the owner and coach at Leap 2 Solutions. I’ve been partnering with this group for about 20 plus years. Absolutely love the collaboration that we have and excited to be a dental consultant. Especially at this time, when I think a lot of dental practices are really needing some guidance.

Angela: Yeah, for sure. And that’s really why we’re excited to have you on today. We hear a lot of the pain points that the offices are having. And so we figured let’s just chat with one of our coaches or consultants and find out from your perspective how you guys can assist a practice. So let’s just start with this – why would a practice decide to invest in a consultant or coach?

Christi: Oh, I absolutely love this question. I get excited when it’s delivered to me. So, dentists love their field. They absolutely have a passion for working on teeth, creating beautiful smiles, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of the practice in terms of crunching the numbers and reviewing the key performance indicators, they’re not so keen on that.

But in order to be a great leader and owner of your practice, you have to be passionate about both ends of the spectrum, or at least on the one that you don’t really like so much – have a keen understanding. So that helps you identify what’s working and what’s not.

Angela: Know your weaknesses, right?

Christi: Because in dental school, they don’t really teach you the world, the real world of the business and of dentistry, because they’re focused so much on the clinical aspect. I wish this would be a curriculum that they would focus more on before they turn them loose in the real world.

Angela: Right. And I’m sure that for the new dentists coming, you know, the first few years of practice, it’s hard to juggle the clinical side and learning the business side because those are both two separate mindsets and different worlds.

But even the established practices. I think there’s been a lot of practices that have gotten by without having any professional help for a lot of years until the storm hits. Then, they go “oh no, now we’re in trouble” because we’ve been skating for so long because we were busy, or because we were successful enough, or we were profitable enough until something rocked our world.

Then, dentists realize they didn’t really have anyone in place to navigate it with them.

Christi: Right. And I think it’s really important because just as you mentioned, a lot of times they are getting in the reactive mode. Something’s not working, it’s a crisis. They’re trying to figure it out. And all of a sudden they’ve got their anxiety levels up and it’s speeding through the practice.

In order to be extremely successful and aware of your business, you need to be proactive more than reactive.

In order to be extremely successful and aware of your business, you need to be proactive more than reactive. Developing your practice and honing the skills so that you’re able to identify those areas that aren’t working quicker than when it’s becoming a crisis. Nobody likes to operate in that mindset.

And for us consultants, it’s hard for us to calm you down so that we can start figuring out what your needs are, but we’re really good at that. So, no worries on that end. I would say to somebody that’s thinking about, or on the fence about, using or getting a consultant, is this, if you look at any high performing athlete that is, whether it’s NFL or MLB or whatever the case may be, they have coaches.

They’ve got coaches, helping them fine-tune, you know, what they need to do in order to be at their peak performance. And that’s where we are. We’re here to get you to that peak performing status.

Even top-performing, mega-million-dollar businesses often have someone in their court walking them through it.

Angela: That’s actually a really good point. Even top-performing, mega-million-dollar businesses often have someone in their court walking them through it. Very rarely are they doing all the decision-making on their own. So that’s a good, a good point.

When do you think would be the time to reach out for help? You mentioned not being reactive, being more proactive. And I know that as a coach, you probably prefer when a doctor calls you before they’re literally on the edge of the cliff. you know. But when is a good time to start consulting with an expert? Should they wait until they’re seeing a danger zone? or when would be the best time to start talking to a consultant and see if you need to invest?

Christi: Well, especially dentists that are taking over a practice, and getting into their ownership role. They’re getting a practice or building it from scratch or inheriting one because they’ve been associate and now they’re buying it. I think that is a great starting point because this is oftentimes where you’re really trying to put your own mark on the practice.

Developing it to your culture and changing things because you’ve got your vision of where you want it to go. So I think that time is a good starting point. It’s anybody that’s really just kind of easing into that ownership role and needing some guidance on that part.

Angela: Right. I think a lot of the new owners, are maybe the ones who realize they need some help. What about the established practices that COVID kicked the stool out from under them?

Have you noticed a lot of them deciding that they need help when they thought they had it under control before?

Christi: Yes I have because they are really, really at that point now where they’re hyper-focused on their practice. They are starting to see the red flags, the warning signs, whether that be challenges with staff because they can’t find staff to replace the ones that didn’t come back from COVID and therefore the ones that are there carrying other people’s load.

They’re starting to see maybe that they’re not attracting new patients and therefore there’s no growth in terms of their practice that way. Or they’re starting to see that they’re losing patients and not really knowing why. Whether they’re going out of network or maybe they didn’t like the vibe in the office.

You know, they need people to help them identify where the problems are. We’ll see that their production and collection numbers are low and they’re trying to figure out what’s going on. Dentists don’t know that it might be low case acceptance, scheduling issues, financial options that aren’t available to patients.

They may have everything looking good on the management side, you’re getting new patients, but on the other end, it’s not profitable. So you’re needing somebody to come in and just be able to have that global view.

We can see it on both sides of the spectrum. We identify what’s working and what’s not.

We can see it on both sides of the spectrum. We identify what’s working and what’s not. Some of the systems they have are working and need to be tweaked, or maybe it’s time for us to suggest some new ways of doing things and set you up with some systems to be able to monitor it.

Angela: Right. I think when you’re in the thick of it, when you’re in the day-to-day caring for patients, answering phones, it’s hard to do the business self-analysis you need. You’re putting urgency on the day-to-day. Practice owners need a bird’s eye view – especially if there are team changes.

They just may not have the mental or physical time to look at that. They need someone else to evaluate it. So what about the practices that have, you know, they have the office manager that they really, really like. She does an amazing job. They have a lot of respect for her. They have other team members who are, back-office and willing to do the work. Why shouldn’t an office just try to do it on their own? I mean, a lot of offices say “we have enough people.” If we all band together, we don’t need any help. What would you say to the ones that want to tackle it on their own? Why should they still consider consulting?

Christi: Well, honey, we have all had conversations with our good friend, Google haven’t we? Doesn’t she just give you the most awesome information? I’ve done it myself, you know. So you can find information out on your own, but the problem is – who is going to hold you accountable for putting this plan in action?

Every good coach in any business, in any arena, will hold you accountable. They’re going to be walking you through this journey. They are going to be asking you to do homework so that they can identify if the key performance indicators are working. Then identifying what’s not working and how do we need to tweak it. They’ll be able to identify what team members are on board because, let’s face it, when you’re trying to move forward and you have one part of that chain that is not working or together and making it solid, it makes it harder for the rest of the team to move because of that negative energy.

Angela: Right. So if they have a team that they’re happy with and they feel is supportive, do you think working with the consultant helps them get even better results? I mean, sometimes doctors feel like they should only bring in a consultant if they’re having challenges with their team. But what if they do have that kind of dream team? Do you think they can get a higher return on investment with a coach?

Christi: Ooh, I can speak from experience. So in addition to my consulting business, I also work as a practice administrator for a really high-performing dental team.

We brought them in and I will say this – if you’ve got an awesome team and you bring a consultant in we saw the greatest shift in terms of solidifying the team, and synching everybody together. The greatest shift in terms of our production and collection ratios rising, and just being able to implement a lot of new things into the practice because we were learning. We were growing together. Sometimes dentists will send in their manager to a consultant and then they come back and try to put that into place. Sort of like looking at it on Google, but it doesn’t have the same effect as when the team is learning and growing together.

Angela: Yeah. I think often the natural mindset of some practices is to wait until they’re seeing the red flags and then bring someone in. If they are proactive and they bring us in before the danger zone or before they’re worried about their production numbers, not making payroll or, you know, where it gets bad. That’s when they can really see exponential growth because you can really focus on going forward to grow the practice.

Christi: Just enjoy the process! The consultants have this way of engaging with you. They are engaging the team and relate to you because they’ve experienced it in some shape or form so they can relate.

Consultants can flip the script and say, “but when we change this, that changed.” I think that’s important as is syncing with a consultant. When you fit together like that, then you’re learning. You’re more receptive to the information that’s being given to you.

Angela: Yeah, that’s a good point. Finding the right fit for your practice’s personality. If I was in a practice right now, I would love to have your personality around because you are so much fun! So if someone wants to reach out to you and get consulting advice, or find out how you could help their practice, how can they reach you?

Christi: Yes, go to my website… This text opens a new tab … or email, or my phone number (919) 798-2116. I am available for virtual consulting, telephone, or whatever the case may be that fits your needs. And we can just have a chat and see if I can offer you some assistance. And if I feel that I’m not the niche for you, then I know I can pass that football to somebody else.

Angela: Perfect. And we’ll put your contact information in the chat here so people can grab it. I would love to have a follow-up conversation because I feel like this could be something we could talk about for hours. So let’s do another follow-up conversation to do round two of hiring a consultant and more questions. So, everyone stay tuned for part two with Christi, but thanks so much, Christie. You’re so much fun. We always love having you as a guest.

Christi: Okay, let’s do it. See you guys later!

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