Before taking my turn on the stage at the recent Invisalign GP Summit in Las Vegas, I squeezed into the room where Dr. Molis was lecturing. The room was packed, and I was lucky to secure a spot standing against one of the walls. A minute or so later and there wouldn't have been anywhere in the large room to sit or stand. People poured in to hear his suggestions and ideas.
I was interested in what Dr. Molis had to say about his success and also why he was drawing such a following from his fellow Invisalign doctors. As a practitioner-adviser to Align Technology's CEO and leadership, Dr. Molis has established himself as someone to hear, both by his colleagues and industry professionals.
Using Invisalign as a core product, Dr. Molis has grown two practices to incredibly successful levels. Again, it's not by chance. It's by using a formula he believes works.
What is that formula? That's one of the questions I asked him in a recent Q&A.
Kevin Henry: So I guess the biggest questions are, and I know you get this all the time, what kind of steps did you take to build up your practice and what are your best pieces of advice to those who are looking to build up their practices as well?
Ryan Molis, DDS.
Dr. Molis: It's a great question. So, first, there was a lot of trial and error. I remember when I first started doing Invisalign, my first year, I did six cases. My second year, I did ... how many? 24? I was proud of myself for rocking out 24 cases. We all started at zero. It took a while to figure out really three things, which we break down to as much as coaching into marketing, the whole practice approach, and, obviously, the clinical skills.
I was trying to figure out how to get those patients in, then we found out that Invisalign was by far my strongest word-of-mouth referral source. I realized that people aren't going to talk to their friends and tell them how excited they are that they're going to have a root canal done. They do, however, talk about Invisalign.
Invisalign is something that is always going to be top of mind for patients. They are proud and they want to show it off. I figured out some of the old-school traditional marketing still works well. But the more pieces I figured out with Invisalign, all of a sudden, these patients were referring lots of other patients, so the snowball effect started.
And what about advice for those doctors out there who are just starting to build up their Invisalign practices?
Stay motivated, stay motivated. Share your goals with your team. We're big believers in goal setting. Let your team know what you expect from them. Make it exciting. Whenever an Invisalign patient walks into my office, really the more Invisalign we do in a day, the whole aura in the office changes. It's different from myself. It's different from the staff. Invisalign ended up being a game changer.
It is a game changer. And I'm not even talking about financially because that's a whole exciting avenue with Invisalign. Invisalign is my most profitable dental procedure that I can do. But I'm talking about just a whole lifestyle of working in your practice, having less stress. No one wants more stress in their life. So, it's all about less stress and more efficiency, and it gives my team a real sense of responsibility. It's good for everyone.
How do you involve your team in this process? This isn't just you leading the way, but you have your team right there behind you. How do you bring them on board? How do you keep them motivated?
I bring my team on board because I do between 600 and 750 cases every year. I need them.
First, incentivize your team. Make it worthwhile for them. When you share your goals with your team and you have to let them know what you want, it's a game changer. If you tell them that you want your practice to be the top one for Invisalign in your area, incentivize them. I do it with my staff. I give my staff members, for each new Invisalign start, they share $150. So, $150 goes into a pool and is split among all my staff members, paid out every two weeks when they receive their paycheck. So, every Invisalign start is good for me, but it's also good for my team. It gets them excited.
They're a very, very integral part of my practice. I can't do without them, and I let them know that. I let them know how much I respect and need them.
When my assistant is checking the attachments and they're going over the initial delivery instructions, I'm in the room next door doing restorative dentistry. So again, I'm being productive instead of wasting my time. You have to focus on the business of your practice.
Tell me a little bit about your patients. How many of them walk in knowing they are going to accept Invisalign treatment versus you and your team having to explain to them the benefits and then them getting on board?
Most of my patients do not realize they are going to get Invisalign that day.
It's one thing to say, "I'm going to keep Invisalign top of mind, and I want to be able to tell my patients." It's another thing to do it. Well, we walk the walk and we talk the talk, so we absolutely do mention Invisalign to every single patient.
Here's an example. I had a patient come in. Her daughter was getting married. I said, "Your daughter's getting married? Have you thought about straightening your teeth before your daughter's wedding?" A lot of dentists will focus in on the bride or the groom. Here, I focus on everyone.
Every patient could use a nicer, straighter smile. It's not hard to sell. So, my hygienist really just says one simple line: "Does the crowding of your teeth bother you?" With marketing, we know it's all several touch points, right? Patients see Invisalign spending millions and millions of dollars in advertising. So the consumer knows about it, right? They see the advertisements on TV. They walk into my waiting room and see Invisalign material. My waiting room speaks to my patients that I do Invisalign. It's not overbearing, but I don't want the patient to ever leave my office and say, "I wonder if he does Invisalign?"
Do you see a certain time of year, like New Year's resolutions or the wedding season, when you see more demand, or is that something that you're able to generate all year long, no matter the time of year?
In my practice, we try to keep it top of mind, so I'm pretty consistent for 12 months.
How can you do that? Have an Invisalign day in your practice. Invite your Invisalign rep to be a part of it and have him or her help you reach your goals. Try to plan something, maybe every quarter. If it's wedding season, they can help you with marketing. If it's a day you, designate a day as Invisalign day. Do it in what you consider to be a "down month" and involve your rep to really make sure those down months become positive ones for you and your team.
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