This week on the Dental Up podcast Shaun Keating (founder of Keating Dental Lab) and Dr. Jack Ringer discuss dental marketing.
Find the Podcast Notes: https://keatingdentallab.com/podcast
Shaun Keating: Hey everybody, Sean Keating here, this week’s Dental Up podcast. We’re excited to have Dr. Jack Ringer again with us. Jack, thank you for coming back.
Dr. Jack Ringer: My pleasure. This is great stuff.
Shaun Keating: It’s awesome. Before we start talking about dental, I like to start off talking a little bit about sports, and hell, did you watch some of the games yesterday a little bit?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Loved it, man. I wasn’t happy with the first result, but yeah, it was really exciting. I’m looking forward to the Superbowl. How about you?
Shaun Keating: I am, kinda. Not my teams are in there, but …
Dr. Jack Ringer: Who are yours?
Shaun Keating: I don’t know, the Rams.
Dr. Jack Ringer: So we’ll be waiting for awhile, I’m sure.
Shaun Keating: You know, yesterday, that game at Atlanta: I’d never really watched Atlanta this season. I didn’t have anyone in fantasy or anything, but damn, last week I was calling him Matt Moore, I think it was. It was Matt Ryan. Matt Ryan, what a stud that dude is.
Dr. Jack Ringer: And Julio. Julio Jones, that guy. Who the heck is Julio? That dude is a monster.
Shaun Keating: receiver.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Is he really?
Shaun Keating: Yeah, he had like 200 yards, I think, so really impressed and not really watching Atlanta, but they looked … I mean, it was 24-nothing at half time. It was like let’s go hit another pub, man. We got to go get some different food, so we did like a … called a three pack. We went to three different places, but 24-nothing.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah, Packers screwed up in the first half a bit, though. They had a few turnovers, but nevertheless, Atlanta just outplayed them.
Shaun Keating: You know, those first two turnovers, we were screaming because it was like they should have scored that first series, and they should have scored … I don’t know if it was an interception or fumble.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Where the guy fumbled right at the 1.
Shaun Keating: The guy fumbled, and then the next series, the field goal is like-
Dr. Jack Ringer: He missed that.
Shaun Keating: He missed that, and that just set the tone for the game. These poor Packer fans … I was sitting next to a couple of older women, and they had all their Green Bay stuff on and all the Cheesehead stuff, whereas a bunch of other people in this area that were mostly Atlanta fans and I felt sorry for them, so I was talking to them, like, “Hey, it’s all going to be okay. Roger is going to come back,” and then after awhile I’m looking over at her and I was like, “Sorry, lady, but it ain’t going to happen today.”
Dr. Jack Ringer: Don’t feel sorry for the Packers, they’ve won the Superbowl plenty times. Atlanta has never won it, so that’s cool.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely, and that’s the way I look. I like the underdog, but good to see them. Then watching the damn Patriots.
Dr. Jack Ringer: They’re a machine.
Shaun Keating: They’re a machine. They looked really, really good. Belichick, the way he coaches, man, he demands respect and it’s just the way they do it.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Perfectly professional.
Shaun Keating: Like they say, offense wins games, defense wins championships, and what do you have? You have the number one offense in Atlanta going against the number one scoring defense in New England, so I think-
Dr. Jack Ringer: It’s going to be a good game.
Shaun Keating: It’s going to be a good one.
Dr. Jack Ringer: You got to give to the Patriots, though.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I think so. I think because of the defense.
Dr. Jack Ringer: And the experience.
Shaun Keating: The experience of being there, but you know, these young guys over there, Matt and that Julio Jones, and their defense looks pretty steady, too. Just seeing the same teams, it’s good to see Atlanta get in there. I think I even still have a shirt from … I actually bought a jersey a couple years ago when the Patriots went and I’m wearing it around. It’s a little tighter than it was a couple years ago. I put it on last night and Shannon, my wife, goes, “You know, you’re just … what do you call it when you jump on the bandwagon? It’s like you’re a bandwagon dude,” and I’m like, “Go Patriots.”
Dr. Jack Ringer: Fairweather fan.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, fairweather fan. Anyways, good for football. We’ve got a couple of weeks to go on that. I’m excited. I always hate it when it’s over after that. It’s like you got to wait eight months or something.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Well, we got hockey, we got basketball going now. Baseball will be soon.
Shaun Keating: Our Ducks are looking pretty good.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Except the other night they so blew it, oh God.
Shaun Keating: Did they really? Yeah.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Two best teams in the Western Conference, Ducks are up 3-1, five minutes left in the game, and they gave up three goals.
Shaun Keating: Oh, my God.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Four goals.
Shaun Keating: What the hell?
Dr. Jack Ringer: 5-3.
Shaun Keating: Unbelievable.
Dr. Jack Ringer: I’m sorry, they were up 3-2. They were 3-1 at the beginning of the third period, but yeah, I thought, “Oh, great, they’re going to beat the Wild?”
Shaun Keating: Yeah. pretty good.
Dr. Jack Ringer: One of the best teams in hockey right now.
Shaun Keating: And they weren’t for awhile. At the beginning of the season, they were having a tough time, and even Getzlaf, Ryan, he’s pretty cool.
Dr. Jack Ringer: He was hurt.
Shaun Keating: Was he?
Dr. Jack Ringer: He was hurt, and they brought back Carlyle, their coach, who used to be, so they had to get that whole gelling going again. Yeah, they’re really good. You going to go with me to a game?
Shaun Keating: Yeah, let’s do it. Heck, I want to look at-
Dr. Jack Ringer: I have tickets there.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you do?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah.
Sean Keating: Shit, last year, I remember Ryan took a puck to his mouth. We made his teeth. He came in, so I went in some of the games afterwards. I’m not a big hockey … I want to go. I like when they hit each other and.
Dr. Jack Ringer: In the teeth, right? That’s what you like.
Shaun Keating: Break the teeth, I want to make you some teeth. No, that’s good, but also last step, do you like horse racing at all a little bit?
Dr. Jack Ringer: No.
Shaun Keating: I like betting on them. I’m not a big-
Dr. Jack Ringer: No, I don’t like that.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, my wife’s the same way. She goes, “I don’t want to see them hurt, or you have to put them down a few years back, if you have to do that,” but I like betting on a favorite. You know, when you just know it’s a favorite, and I’ve done really good, because I don’t bet first, second, third. I mean, that shit will take you forever.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah.
Shaun Keating: I like a guy that … like this week, it’s a Pegasus World Cup, and California Chrome, man, that horse … California, right here, Los Angeles. Okay, every race, I’ve won on this guy, and the last one, there’s a horse named Arrogate that beat him at the Breeder’s Cup by whatever it was. It was very little, so I lost him that week, but this week it’s coming up Saturday and I have a feeling this Arrogate horse … I don’t know where the hell he’s from. I was going to go California Chrome, but I’m going to go Arrogate; bet the house on it.
Dr. Jack Ringer: How much of the house are you going to bet, dude?
Shaun Keating: A couple grand. They have a little place locally now and it’s called Sammy’s. They have one in San Clemente, where you can actually gamble and bet on horses.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Really?
Shaun Keating: Now in Lake Forest, it’s a little restaurant called Sammy’s, and they have it where you can bet on all live races from Gulfstream Track to everywhere.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Wow.
Shaun Keating: It’s cool, it’s cool, go in there and have yourself a corned beef sandwich and fricking bet on horse races in New York, horse races at Santa Anita. Shit, I was there last week and I was only there for two hours and I bet on four races. I won all four races, but you know, when you’re betting on a favorite, sometimes the favorites don’t come in, but I always like it. You bet a buck, you can get a buck, so the more bucks, it’s neat. You bet two grand, you get two grand back. But then again, I’ve lost on it.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Not a big gambler, but you enjoy it.
Shaun Keating: All right, I’ll shut up on this. We’re going to talk today on our dental education. We’ll talk about marketing a little bit, and I’ll let you do this, because you’re the dentist and I’m just the lowly dental lab technician. I just make teeth, so I’ve always wondered what does a dentist want? What does a dentist need, and I really don’t have those answers. I know how to make teeth, but with you, you’ve been in this field a long time and you’ve really been up there. You know the in’s and out’s from regular marketing, social media marketing. I mean, it’s all changing in all this stuff, so I’ll let you go ahead and just go with that.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Sure, Sean, thanks. Like you said, I’ve been in the game a long time, and marketing has drastically changed over the decades. It used to be when I started off in dentistry, that it was a no-no to do any type of marketing as a dentist. In fact, you were forbidden to have a sign on your door that was bigger than certain dimensions.
Shaun Keating: Oh, you’re kidding.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Now you know, you see billboards and everything. You weren’t allowed to do that. I guess the Dental Association thought it was beneath us to market. Well, obviously that changed over the years, and dentistry’s a business like any other game, right? You guys are a business, everybody’s a business, and we have to drive our clientele to our doors. Up until say 10 years ago, it was a whole different world before we had our smart phones, okay? The reality is back then, most marketing was traditional. What were we trying to do? We were trying to get people to find us in the Yellow Pages, so we tried different things, right? You’d have a lot of the analog marketing, the paper stuff. Penny Savers ads and whatever, and coupons.
Shaun Keating: They even did them on cars and their windshield.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Sure, sure, but the problem was though, is the type of clientele you’re trying to drive to your office. There’s some dental offices that work more on a volume basis. They are just trying to address everybody, so they would offer specials.
Shaun Keating: Whitening.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Or two fillings for the price of one or free this, free that. Well, nothing’s wrong with that, if that’s what you’re looking for, but there are a lot of offices, mine included, that our type of clientele are looking for quality first. Sure, they want to have value, but they don’t want to come to us because it’s cheap. They want to come because there’s good quality, and then let the office work out the finances, make it more valued, if you know what I’m saying. That type of marketing is a little different. Then it becomes more of an informative thing: A dentist writing out an article about say porcelain veneers or something like that, getting certain credentials, whatever, and getting it marketed out there, exposed.
Then the world changed, right? We got the social media with the gazillion different platforms, from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest. There are tons of them. What is the objective today for anybody who is marketing now? What do you think they’re trying to do as far as the digital environment is? What is their objective when they do anything in the marketing world? What do you think it is? Do you have an idea? I’ll tell you. To get that person to go to Google. If I was looking for a lab, what do I do? I Google labs in Orange County, so everything in social media marketing is directed at getting people to be higher up on that Google page, the firs two pages, right?
Shaun Keating: Yeah, that’s what I always heard, like get on the front top page, and organically I guess.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Organically is like you and me doing it. The other way is when you buy an ad. On Google, on the top three, are paid, and on the right hand side, it’s paid.
Shaun Keating: It’s paid up there, and what’s on the right?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Also paid.
Shaun Keating: Oh, okay.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Then organically it’s three down.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, right below it.
Dr. Jack Ringer: They’ve done studies and they’ve shown that the vast majority of people, something like 75% of them, ignore the paid.
Shaun Keating: Oh, really?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Because they’re just saying to themselves-
Shaun Keating: This guy’s paid for it.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Paid for it, so how can I believe them or whatever, but it’s still good to be in there. A lot of people who have marketing strategies will set aside a budget, and part of it will be I want to pay to get my position higher. The other way to keep yourself higher up on that Google page is, whatever business you’re in … and dentists, just the same … you have to have a very dynamic and active digital footprint, so you have to have a strategy here. You have to have a Facebook presence, there’s no question. You have to have a Twitter presence. You have to have a very, very up-to-date and dynamic website, okay, because with all these different algorithms that these companies like Google use, they figure out who is more active digitally.
Shaun Keating: What’s an algorithm?
Dr. Jack Ringer: That’s called a computer lingo, where they can analyze the data, and then they can figure out how to position somebody who’s doing this. An example: Many years ago with Google, the way people would try to be higher up, is like … let’s say your specialty are gold crowns. You would put in your website the word “gold crown” like 5,000 times.
Shaun Keating: Oh, yes.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Key words. Well, that’s gone. In fact, if you do that too much now, they bump you off.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, I think that happened to us. Some guy that did my website years back, they were writing some stuff that wasn’t true writing, or using somebody and using too many words. It was like, “I didn’t do this,” but they booted you off. It’s just like you don’t know, and I guess Google and stuff changes the rules every once in awhile.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Once in awhile? They change their algorithms I don’t even know; it’s like 600 times a month or a week or whatever. It’s ridiculous.
Shaun Keating: Because they don’t want someone probably getting in that door and figuring. If you want to do that, buy it from them, probably they’re saying. Otherwise, so it’s true that the true guys that are at the top are probably policed so much that they deserve to be organically at the top because they’re doing it the right way, which is … do we even know the right way? Are there rules to it?
Dr. Jack Ringer: There are some certain guidelines. Like I said, a very active digital footprint. One of the things that Google wants to see, to be higher up, is that you have a lot of positive Google reviews.
Shaun Keating: That’s like Uber, where like I got a guy that took me home last night, and he was a 5.0. I said, “Dude, I always get 4.8’s.”. He was telling me how nice he … but I see that, it’s important, the ratings.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Reviews are huge. It’s not just Google reviews: Yelp reviews and other social media platforms. Yeah, so there are strategies to do that too, and there are companies that can help you get good reviews. I’m working with a company called Podium, which is really good. They help you, because here’s the big problem. You have a magnificent operation here, right, and you’ve got tons of people. Now, you probably know virtually every aspect of your business, and if you had to, you could fit into almost any one of those roles, but you’re not going to. You have so much time to do your thing and you hire experts to do the other things. In our game, it’s the same thing. As a dentist, when I was in school, I was taught how to do a root canal and an extraction and all those, and I could do those, but I want to focus my specialty or my expertise in other areas, and refer that to other people.
Shaun Keating: Absolutely. That’s for sanity’s sake, too. A lot of guys, with dentists, they try to practice everything. Let’s do the root canals, let’s do the ortho, let’s do fricking perio surgery, but they don’t sleep at night. It’s like do what you do best, do what you’re comfortable, and just outsource … not outsource, but just refer it to-
Dr. Jack Ringer: Refer it to the people that know, work with a team. There’s an expression. The definition of a specialist, you know what that is? It’s a person who knows more and more about less and less, until they know everything about nothing.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Jack Ringer: The other guy who does everything, a generalist, this is a guy who knows less and less about more and more, until he’s knows nothing about everything. In a sense, it’s true. If a dentist is spending tons of his time on too many things, the quality somewhere, unless he’s Superman, is going to take a little bit of a beating. When it comes to marketing, to me it’s the same thing. I could have one of my staff be delegated to post on Facebook or do my tweeting or whatever. If I had the time, I would do it, or the desire, but in this day and age, it is so competitive, that that doesn’t make any sense to me.
A few years back, I was speaking to a friend of mine. He’s an amazing dentist. I think everybody in the world has known him: Bill Dorfman. I called up Bill and I said, “Look, can you direct me to somebody who is pretty clued up on dental marketing on which way to go and stuff?” He hooked me up with this company called Dentainment. Pretty clever name, Dentainment. There’s a guy, Brad Newman … in fact, I introduced you to him … and his only job is social media for the dental world.
Shaun Keating: For dentists, yeah. What a trip. You really are off the charts. When my guys were looking at your site … because we’re new to it and we’re trying to find our way; I got a guy named Zack doing mine. I don’t have Dentainment, but it’s just something really off the charts, really is neat. It’s very interactive and really engaging, which I think is important.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Even for you guys, every day when a patient comes to my office and I ask them, “How did you find me?”, I’ve got to do some analysis on how my people are coming in, right?
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Virtually everybody, other than the word-of-mouth referrals … which fortunately we get those … it’s some type of internet search. It’s like this: If you are looking for a pizza place, unless you know the name of the pizza place, if you went to the phone book, using that as an example, you just go to restaurants and you’d be scrolling down, right, because you don’t know the name. In dentistry, I’ve been finding a lot of patients are also researching the labs.
Shaun Keating: Oh, really? I didn’t know that.
Dr. Jack Ringer: In my practice, about 20% of my work is re-doing work from other practices, because there’s just been a little disconnect with the cosmetic world. I’ll say to them, “How did you find me?” “I Google the internet.” Thanks to Dentainment and other strategies that we’ve been doing, our digital presence is higher up and we can target it. If you have Facebook, for instance, Facebook, you can reach the entire world, but I’m not looking for a patient in China to come to me, right? I’m looking for people in my community, so with Facebook, you can target areas. Then I get a patient: “How did you find me?” Google. We’d sit down and we’d do a consult about the problems. Their veneers look lousy, for argument’s sake. I start explaining to them about dentists need certain training to be skilled in the aesthetic world, and I said, “Yeah, same with my labs.” I said, “If the dentist is awesome, but the lab is not very artistic, you’re screwed, right?”
Shaun Keating: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Jack Ringer: So many of them said, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve looked up labs,” so it’s not just the dentist, it’s also the specialists around us, because even if they didn’t on their own want to look, those particularly who are re-doing their work, they research the dentistry world. Then I have so many of them say to me, “What lab do you use?”
Shaun Keating: That’s new. Before, they could really care less, but now they’re saying that well, the lab is a pretty important part of this, and unless that lab’s in the doctor’s office that he’s bragging about, and if he’s not bragging about who he’s sending it to, then that’s when you got to probably think, “Well, is he sending it … “, because a lot of doctors don’t have to disclose where the crowns … or you don’t have to … I’m sending them to China, I’m sending them to Vietnam.
Dr. Jack Ringer: They don’t know.
Shaun Keating: Not that that matters, but it’s just a consistent in seeing the quality of a restoration on your mouth. You want to know where it’s being done, and the aesthetics.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Sure.
Shaun Keating: We can look at guys from the ’70s and ’80s, the porcelain work, and we look at it and we call it like a headlight.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Right.
Shaun Keating: It’s just the monolithic deadness of the porcelain, it’s just not as vital as it is to this day and age, so it’s just something the people … I wish they would get smarter, because-
Dr. Jack Ringer: They are.
Shaun Keating: They are getting smarter, especially if they’re re-doing. They’re going to say, “You know, this dentists is okay, but the crowns themselves, I wish we could … “, so hopefully … I like that. I like that they’re looking at that, because then the good labs that do the good work should maybe benefit a little bit maybe as the doctors have more demands from the patients, saying, “Well, I want a top-notch lab, if you could.” Well, we have no problem there.
Dr. Jack Ringer: You know, dentists today, because of the costs and the overheads, they’re looking to find ways to cut corners. They know the vast majority of patients unfortunately aren’t very dentally educated, so they really care about is it going to hurt? Is it going to cost them anything? If the dentist can overcome those two, they can get away with a lot of bad stuff, because if I put a crown in a patient’s mouth and it was done pretty poorly… part of the lab, but the patient didn’t feel it, that big open margins or whatever. The patient’s not going to know, right, until five years down the road and there’s decay. Then the dentist will blame it on the patient or whatever, or on the lab or something like that, right?
Shaun Keating: Exactly.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Again, thanks to the digital world, people are now going on YouTube and they’re learning.
Shaun Keating: Oh, I bet.
Dr. Jack Ringer: There’s tons of education just at our fingertips, right? Take out our phone, blah, blah, blah. Like I said earlier, with the reviews-
Shaun Keating: Like the Yelp stuff. The Yelp, I hear a lot of dentists complain when I go online and listen to some of the community talking about Yelp and it just seems like there’s a lot of crazy people out there in the world, a lot of nasty people.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Sure, that will give a bad review unnecessarily.
Shaun Keating: Unless you just really … I mean, I think it’s so important the customer’s always right, you really help … but yet if someone were to come back and bite you, and it gets you, but is it honest or is it … not trolls, but people out there to … I don’t know.
Dr. Jack Ringer: In the review world, like with Yelp, there’s the big problem with Yelp, is that if somebody posts a bad review, you can’t take it down, but if you have a business or a practice that is making virtually all your patients happy, and there is one nutcase … and we always get them, we always get them … well, if you have a 5 star rating with Yelp and you’ve got tons of good reviews and there’s this one bad one …
Shaun Keating: I think the problem is when the dude only has two or three, you know?
Dr. Jack Ringer: There’s where they have to start getting into this world. It’s a different world now.
Shaun Keating: Even too with like a Yelp, do they have it to where when the person comments, can you as the owner go in and comment afterwards?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yes.
Shaun Keating: It’s like, “You know, we’re sorry,” like hotels will do and stuff on their sites.
Dr. Jack Ringer: 100%.
Shaun Keating: Hopefully there is: “Yes, Mr. Thomas,” and hopefully they’re not anonymous enough that you can’t just have the trolls on there putting stuff in. Hopefully Yelp makes sure there is a person behind this, in a way.
Dr. Jack Ringer: You can go back in and say, “Our aim is to help everybody. We’re sorry if so and so.” They may not respond to it, but the rest of the community sees it.
Shaun Keating: A good heart, that you know that the other community will see it. They’ll say, “You know what?”
Dr. Jack Ringer: “This guy’s a good guy.”
Shaun Keating: Yeah.
Dr. Jack Ringer: It could be that that’s just a one-off. It could be a crazy patient. Everybody knows this. It’s where you have like a 2 star rating and a whole bunch of negatives, most people aren’t going to go to that restaurant or to that dentist or that lab. Yeah, being active with that, and that also leads to having someone … again, whether you hire somebody like Dentainment or you’ve hired somebody on staff or whatever, who is active following all of these things. There’s a ton to do. I mean, every week, I’m having some kind of blog put out, Pinterest, which another social media.
Shaun Keating: What’s Pinterest?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Pinterest is …
Shaun Keating: That’s sounds like for cooking or something or ladies, or no?
Dr. Jack Ringer: No, no. Pinterest is, it’s photographs, where people will pin a photograph and then people comment on it and they’ll re-pin it and then they’ll put theirs, so you can have people commenting on your dental work, if you want to do it. It’s not the most important, I think, social media platform for dentists, but Instagram is important, tweeting is-
Shaun Keating: I think we got Instagram …
Dr. Jack Ringer: Twitter.
Shaun Keating: Twitter, whatever.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Twitter, Facebook.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, Facebook, and Facebook Live is like … we’ve always been this way. We’ve always, just when we did videos, we just do it. There’s no script. We are really unscripted, but the Facebook Live, it’s one and done. I guess it goes out live.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Sure.
Shaun Keating: I didn’t really understand. It’s like, “Hey, let’s do a Facebook Live.” “Okay, when’s it going to be on?” “No, it’s already on,” and I was like, “Whoa.” Then you go watch it and it’s pretty cool.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah, but it has to fit into your profile and your personality of whatever your business is. For instance, back in the day, there were some people who would advertise on radio and got a tremendous response, and other people would advertise and got nothing. You have to analyze your demographic, and it’s the same thing with the digital footprint, is number one, who are you going after?
Shaun Keating: You guys are lucky, because you’re going after all the people in the world, because everyone needs to see the dentist, in a way, a lot of the public.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah. Well, yes and no.
Shaun Keating: Where I’m going after, just dentists only, so it’s not worked for me yet. Maybe it will work in the future, social media. A little bit, I think we’re seeing a little bit, but we’re a dental lab at the end of the day, and the patients … what I would like, like you were saying, the patients looking into the dentists: “What’s your lab?” I would like to get it online for us, that hey, the patients, maybe we could go to the patients, the masses, and say, “Go to your dentist,” but it’s different, where you, you can hit demographics of … Do you do children dentistry or kids, or no?
Dr. Jack Ringer: A little bit, family dentistry.
Shaun Keating: You’re not saying, no, I don’t do …
Dr. Jack Ringer: No, but I’m not looking for people who need oral surgery, who need implants placed, who want to do root canals, this and that, okay? But in your particular game, there are certain aspects in your lab that you do, that maybe A, other labs don’t. You have certain technology or you may be more skilled in certain technology, and part of … We’ll do this in a future podcast … is the relationship between dentists and labs.
Shaun Keating: Is critical.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Because I’ve got to tell you, most dentist don’t know who their lab guys are.
Shaun Keating: Yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Jack Ringer: They don’t know what’s going on. They just see the box come back and they see this piece of whatever it is, white in the box, and they look at what it had cost, so you for sure have an opportunity to reach out to dentists to say, “Hey, look, we’re going to educate you guys, let you know who’s going to be handling your work, and this is why we’re doing it and this is what we use,” and you can get … it could be, to me, a win. Right now, I wouldn’t say we’re on the early stages of social media or anything, but the reality is a lot of all of this marketing, the masses aren’t doing, like the dental work. They’re still conventionally doing … a lot of dental practices get their patients from insurance companies.
Shaun Keating: Oh, okay.
Dr. Jack Ringer: You as a businessman provide insurance for your employees, and the plan that you have tells the employee they need to go to these dentists on that list, and a lot of dentist rely on that, but they are selling their soul to the devil a bit.
Shaun Keating: They’re selling it like it’s such a small fee that they’re getting, that they can’t almost afford my lab, and it’s a tough situation for these, where the medical field, like all my guys, you can go and have an angiogram for $100,000 and it’s 100% paid expect for your deductible, where you can go in and see a $50,000 rehab on a mouth and it’s $1,500 in insurance for x-rays, so it’s a tough field.
Dr. Jack Ringer: It definitely is.
Shaun Keating: The fee for service for dentists out there back in the golden days-
Dr. Jack Ringer: Was great.
Shaun Keating: Was great, and …
Dr. Jack Ringer: It’s a dying animal.
Shaun Keating: It really is, because all my big practices limited to cosmetics and fee for service, they’re getting insurance plans now and they’re doing more of the things they didn’t do before, because out of necessity have to, to do a few more root canals. My brother’s an endodontist, and he said back in ’08 and ’09 when everything went through the roof economy-wise, he started seeing less and less of the root canals because more of the GPs in town were trying to do them.
Dr. Jack Ringer: To get some more money.
Shaun Keating: To get some more income, so he was only seeing the nasty, hardest, hardest ones, which a true endodontist, limited endodontics, should be, you know? I think. You’ve got to work for it. It’s just something a lot of those guys … even like my lawyers back in the day, they were like a … my buddy has a law firm. It’s mostly civil suits and stuff like that. Now he does everything: Trademark, everything, because you have to. He does, like you said, you do about … Sorry, Dave, I’m not saying you don’t do that great, but you’re doing about 20% effort on five different things when you should be doing 100% effort on your one thing you do good, but when your income and your salaries are down [00:33:30] 50%, 60%, of what it used to be, you got to look at that liability, you got to look at that assistant, you got to look at them Mercedes payment. You got to look at stuff because you’re seeing less patients, and the whole thing with these dentists through all these past years, they never really had to market. Back in the day, patients’ word-of-mouth would be it, and now there’s so many dentists and there’s just so much competition and it’s hard. Dentists have to do some kind of marketing, so it’s important.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah, and I’ll tell you, when you were [00:34:00] just talking about that, right now we’re noticing in the dental world that a lot of stuff that was humanly done before, we’re moving to machines, right? Digital impressioning, you guys manufacturing things digitally, because let’s face it, our biggest cost is people.
Shaun Keating: Yep, absolutely.
Dr. Jack Ringer: You guys have a fabulous digital department. What a great opportunity to reach out to [00:34:30] dentists to say, “Look, we can make you this stuff. You get it back quicker. It fits beautifully, it looks great, and it’s cheaper.”
Shaun Keating: It is, it’s just amazing.
Dr. Jack Ringer: It totally is. I can’t believe how much it’s [crosstalk 00:34:41].
Shaun Keating: It’s really an amazing technology that’s changing the whole industry. What we had to do to make teeth 10 years ago to what it is now, it’s a whole paradigm shift like you wouldn’t believe. It’s like God, I got IT guys and stuff I’m looking at more than these master ceramists. I mean, I love having a master ceramist and a certified. I still need them, but God, just the whole mindset, and I thank God for my children, my Millennials that I have that are doing our videos, because I’ve become an old dinosaur, just with the old ways, so this old inner web stuff’s new to me.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Inner web?
Shaun Keating: Inner web … it’s just something … but you got to get behind it. You talk about dentists not really doing a lot of it. Labs, there’s probably less than 1% or a couple percent-
Dr. Jack Ringer: So you should be jumping on the bandwagon, dude.
Shaun Keating: We’re on it. We’re not seeing anything really, but-
Dr. Jack Ringer: It takes time. It takes time to percolate and develop. Whether it be my business or your business, you need somebody to analyze properly who you’re targeting and how to get those people to recognize your presence. Then it starts to snowball a bit. Joe Schmo has a practice and then he comes to you …
Shaun Keating: Then it’s up to us to show the real deal.
Dr. Jack Ringer: There you go.
Shaun Keating: It’s cool, so let’s wrap it up just with for your outgoing advice on marketing, like I know you use Dentainment. I have Mikhail over at 712 Marketing. He’s my guy, and he’s a young guy and he’s never worked with a dental lab, but he’s working with your guy in conjunction; we’re trying to figure things out. What would you say for a dentist out there to get involved? If it’s a college student or a professional company, just to get it and invest a little bit in it. Get your feet wet, right?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Sure, 100%. The younger generation now, they are virtually born with a cell phone in their hand, and they understand a lot of these social media platforms better than my generation or even the generation just behind me. If they have the time to devote to really focusing on their social media presence for their practice, then they should do that as much as they are focusing on actually doing their dentistry.
I would advise though, if they really trying to be a successful dentist, focus on your dentistry and research, whether it be a company like Dentainment or someone else, who can be a partner with you. I could learn to be a lab tech, and there are some dentists that do their own lab work, right, but I don’t have the time and the skill to do all of that, so I hire you. This is no different. It’s another part of your practice. This is a different world. Like I said in the beginning, in the old days, you hung up your little plaque, you had the fee for service. There wasn’t the competition.
Shaun Keating: the Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah, you go and you have a little breakfast and everybody would know you. Those days are virtually gone. You have to be super proactive and it has to fit your style of practice.
Shaun Keating: It’s got to be real, and people will pick that apart.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Very quickly, yep, so that would be my advice, is to get that incorporated in your practice. Don’t wait on it. The early bird gets the worm.
Shaun Keating: Get with your website, because it all works together.
Dr. Jack Ringer: That’s the other thing too, you have to have a very, very active up to date website. I mean, mine is being modified or changed all the time, because Google knows that. If they see you’re doing lots of video and things are changing, they acknowledge that. If you have a stagnant website, down you go on that. Remember, everything is about Google today. Just get to that first page for your community with Google, first or second page with Google.
Shaun Keating: That’s just crazy. I always tell my wife, “Google it,” and she’s like, “Shut up with the Google it,” but it’s true.
Dr. Jack Ringer: That’s what it’s all about. Before, it was Yellow Pages, Yellow Pages, Yellow Pages. When was the last time you looked at a Yellow Pages?
Shaun Keating: Oh, forever.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Right? Years ago you’d have to have that new Yellow Pages to figure out where you’d want to be on that. You want to buy a front page cover or whatever the case may be, right?
Shaun Keating: Yep.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Now no one cares about that anymore.
Shaun Keating: It was the biggest thing for a dentist to take out a Yellow Page ad. It was like a thousand bucks or something.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Yeah.
Shaun Keating: If dentists can do it, work on that website. Get to a little bit of the Facebook, Twitter, try to get that stuff going. It’s just what it is in the future for getting patients in your doors, I think.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Present, now and future. It’s not going to go away. It’s not going to go away, it’s a whole different world out here. People have to start recognizing that analog world even in our game is disappearing a bit.
Shaun Keating: It’s crazy.
Dr. Jack Ringer: You’ve certainly seen it in yours, right?
Shaun Keating: Absolutely.
Dr. Jack Ringer: If you didn’t buy digital technology, where would you be right now?
Shaun Keating: I would be …
Dr. Jack Ringer: You’d be pushing a shopping cart on the street, right?
Shaun Keating: 10 employees, if that. Yeah, it would be tough, but we got on right when it was starting, too.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Smart.
Shaun Keating: We weren’t late to the game, and that’s why we’re doing this in social media. We’re getting upfront a bit, you know?
Dr. Jack Ringer: Gathered in front of the camera here, although we don’t look as good as we used to, or I don’t.
Shaun Keating: All right, I want to thank you guys for listening in on this week. Thank you, Dr. Ringer, you are the man. Appreciate it so much.
Dr. Jack Ringer: We’ll be doing it again.
Shaun Keating: We’ll do it again. If you guys need anything from us, we got keatingdentallab.com/promo, and also for the podcast, you can go to keatingdentallab.com/podcast. If you guys got any ideas on any topics or anything you want us to talk about, please go online on Facebook and let us know. Again, we appreciate you listening in on us, and we look forward to seeing you next week. Thanks again.
Dr. Jack Ringer: Bye.