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In this episode, you will learn about an incentive system that’s going to provide multiple benefits to you and your team alike! The concept of a bonus system is that it helps you and everyone in your team be on the same page. A bonus system can certainly help you in getting everyone on the same page if it is done correctly. It is a bit of an art and a science as you have to set targets on which the team has to work on but they have to be realistic. Gary will explain how you can create one in your practice in this episode.

  • 00:01:00 – Intro to today’s topic
  • 00:01:17 – Register for the second masterclass! 
  • 00:03:44 – What is the bonus system?
  • 00:05:12 – Set a goal!
  • 00:11:00 – Everybody has a role 


G: Welcome to another Less Insurance Dependence podcast I am Gary Takacs your podcast co-host we have an episode that I think you are going to enjoy today it is called a starter bonus system. A starter bonus system and I will share something with you that you can use with your team, to create an incentive system that is going to provide multiple benefits to your practice, but before we get into that episode – I have an announcement to make – coming up on March 31st we have a master class available this is a 3 hour concentrated topic – and the title of this master class is a specific plan to reduce your overhead to 60 percent or less. And that is on Wednesday evening, March 31st, from 7 to 10 pm eastern. 7 to 10 pm eastern – and that is our second master class of the year, we just finished one, in February that sold out – we limited attendance to these master classes, because we do run them as a workshop and in order to provide the attention we would like to spend, on our workshop attendees, we do limit attendance and that one sold out, we anticipated this one will as well, so simply go to thriving class and you will see information about this, upcoming one, a specific plan to reduce your overhead to 60 percent or less – there will be counter on that page, and that center will indicate how many seats are left – if you see seats are available you might want to grab them, because we do anticipate that this one will sell out, hope to see you in this master class, we are going to have a lot of fun, we give 3 hours of CE credits in the master class and if you are interested including your overhead you will be in the right spot for sure, well Naren lets dive in to this topic, starter bonus system – and it is one that I am excited abbot, you have seen the results of this, with our mutual clients, so you have seen you know it is kind of like you have seen the movie, you know how it ends –

N: Yeah haha absolutely I think it is magical because that was my first experience how you coach some of your clients, and it is amazing to see how people who have never you know had a team where everyone was working toward a goal, right off just from day 1 itself, are now working towards a goal and the rewarding thing for me is, you know I have worked with clients for a long time and getting practice team members to you know nudge patients to get reviews have been like, extremely hard and you made it look so easy and again I am just going by memory but almost all of your practice had at least 10 or more new review every month.

G: Lets let the cat out of the bag and tell them what this bonus system is – and it is going to be a bonus system to allow you to consistently add more Google reviews, so a bonus system is ties to your Google review number, and it – the concept of a bonus system, is all about helping you and your tm members all be on the same page, the imagery that I like to use is where everybody you and your team are in the same boat, rowing in the same direction – you are in the same boat rowing in the same direction, and a bonus system, can certainly help with that if it is designed right – now I am not an advocate where there is a one size fits all bonus system, practices are different, in my client base we currently have 4 different bonus systems, in place – in different practices it is usually one bonus system, per practice, but we have 4 different models based on the practice and I have experience with all of these and it is kind of a matter of learning about the practice, earning about the team members, and then applying the bonus system, that best fits that practice – one of those we titled a starter bonus system, and it is a great way to get started if you are kind of new to the concept of a bonus or incentive system or maybe you have had some in the past that doesn’t work, it is kind of a good ay to get back on your horse, so the concept very simply is that we set a goal – for monthly, on a monthly basis, we set a goal – for the number of new Google reviews, that we are striving to get that month, now unfortunately I can’t give you a generic number – fir that, because it depends, I want the bonus to be a little bit of a stretch, a little bit of a stretch I do not want a bonus something that automatically happens, Naren does that make sense?

N: Absolutely – you want it to be something that they have to work on.

G: Something that they have to work on – also it is a bit of an art and a science because I do not want to set the bonus goal so high that it is unrealistic because that can be demoralizing it can be defeating and you certainly do not want that to happen – so when it comes to the number of new Google reviews that we set as a target that will depend, but let me give you an example of how to determine this in your practice – take a look at the number of reviews, that you have – Google reviews, by the way that might be a sobering exercise – Naren you remember that when we did this with mutual clients and we asked them to take a look and see how many Google reviews they have, it is like oh we only have this many – you know, we have been doing this for a while and we have got 18 Google reviews and you know, so that might be a little bit of a sobering exercise, but look at it historically – how many you have had, and then think about how many months years whatever it is that you have been focusing on Google reviews, and then simply look about at what your monthly pace is, so if your monthly pace is 8 Google reviews a moth, I am just making up numbers for illustration here – if your pace is 8, we might you know set the goal at 12 you know at 50 percent more and think about It now – if you got 12 new Google reviews a month for the next year, you have got a hundred and 44 Google reviews I mean if that was to happen each and every month and imagine if that continued for the second year, how about 288 Google reviews all of a sudden you look a whole lot different, well I say all of a sudden, but it took a couple of years, but you look very different in the eyes and mind of Google. So one of the reasons why I am suggesting this bonus for our listeners in less insurance dependence is because we want to strengthen your marketing – we want to strengthen your marketing, we – you have heard me talk about it on this podcast, we want to reduce the dependency on the insurance company sending you patients because you have to pay dearly for that, the tax I have never called it a tax before

N: Ha-ha

G: But I am going to call it a tax because that word kind of conjures up some emotion does it not – you pay a very high tax

N: It is an expensive tax like 40 percent tax

G: It’s a 44 percent tax, so we want to get off of depending on the insurance companies sending us patents, and we want to develop an effective done for you marketing system, to consistently attract quality new patients, and the best way to do that by far is digital marketing – and that is all about Google – and we know that Google won’t tell us, what their ranking algorithm is – what that means is, when a potential patient types in dentist phoenix, certain practices will show up on page on your goal is to get on page 1 – we are in phoenix at my life smiles practice – so when someone types in dentist phoenix we want to show up on page one – Google won’t tell us the algorithm that they use to determine that but they will give us hints – and we know that the goggle reviews are heavily weighted on their ranking album – it is 10 percent of the total algorithm, that is a heavy weighting and within the weighting they are looking for 3 things – they are looking for the sheer number of review you have, the more the better –

N: Mhmm

G: Secondly they are looking for the velocity of those reviews meaning how frequently do new reviews come in, and then third they are looking for the character of those reviews, character meaning are they just five stars with no text, you know that has value because it is a 5-star review but it is not nearly as valuable as 5 starts and 8 paragraphs of praise –

N: I think Google calls it diversity –

G: Diversity is true – you want diverse reviews, and we call them love letter reviews and when the patent writes glowing praise, hundreds of words about why everybody should go to your dental office clearly that has a lot of weight, and certainly one thing that will help greatly with that, is to increase your Google reviews and I want your office this is bold – I want your office to have the highest number of Google reviews of any dental office in your community – that is, it won’t happen overnight, but this bonus will help you get there – so let’s walk through the details of the response – first of all you set a number, and again the number on new reviews, new Google reviews for the month – we are doing this monthly and again you are going to look at your history, and you are going to add a little bit to it, do not make it, you know automatic, and also do not make it so far out there that if your history is 8 reviews a month, we would not want to set the bonus at 40 – that would be way outside of your past history as much as I would love to get 40 reviews a month for you – that is outside of your past history and that can be defeating in terms of the feeling for the team, so we are going to set the number, and here is how we are going to do – we are going to set a dollar amount for every team ember this is a team sport, for every team member – we are going to set a dollar amount, I will let you determine what that is, but I will share with you what I have done recently with a client, and again a similar number that we are talking about is – historically heave got about 8 just kind of randomly gotten about 8 Google reviews a month – so we set the number at 12, and we said if we get 12 Google reviews, everybody on the team gets a 100 dollar bonus for the month, then again you can determine what that number is – you know that budget, and you can set that – now a hundred dollars is not like we won the lottery – right Naren

N: Yeah I agree

G: But who would not want to have an extra 100 dollars in their pocket? 

N: Exactly

G: I mean everybody would I mean think about that – that is a couple of tanks of gas, that is some nice dinners out, that is some nice walking around money and we added a wrinkle to it, and this client that I am leaving nameless because I didn’t ask permission, but in this office, we said if we get 12, everyone gets a hundred dollars – and if we get 20 we are going to double it to 200 dollars. Now think about that – the office historically had been getting 8 and if we really exercised – it is about one a day, depends on how many days a week you work, but if you get 20, that is about one a day – Naren if an office was really tuned into that, is it reasonable to expect that any dental office could get one Google review a day?

N: Oh absolutely I mean we saw it in action – your live clients I know one practice that got 40 reviews in a month, of course, they were the overachievers. I mean the lowest we saw was 10, and pretty much anybody even the ones who have not been doing this for 6 months, one year even those people they got within a few weeks were able to get 10 a month. Couple of points I want to add – 1 is you talked about the benefits of doing this – one is the Google algorithm, so your practice for example ranks 485 key words on the first page of Google – so when you do this, it help you rank for all of those key words, not just one or two – so it has this global effect – it is one of those activities that helps, it lifts up all the boast – the rising sea lifts up all the boats, so that is one benefit, and that then turns into also more calls because if two people are considering a dentist – like you Garry one has 650 reviews 5 starts a lot of love letter reviews, another one has 50 reviews, 4 stars not too many love letters I mean studies have shown not just me and my opinion, but studies have shown that the chance of their person calling you is much higher that the person calling the other practice – so not only does it help you so well, but it increases conversion – so in your case, you get 500 phone calls approximately that is 20 percent , 100 new patient calls

G: Naren the other point with reviews is the review you get the benefit of the voice of the patient.

N: Yes

G: Let’s talk about that for a minute, you know Paul and Tim are very modest – and you know I could never imagine in my wildest imagination – either Paul or Tim, saying to a potential patient – you have to come to our office we are the best dental office on the planet – that is just not in their character – that is not in their nature – they are humble and modest, and that would never happen and even if it did it would not work, because what would be the reaction to a potential patient who does not know you? Wow you are full of hot air aren’t you but when a patient says it, it is the voice of the patient – and frankly some of them, and I have to tell you they are almost embarrassing in a good way – it is like gosh they really think highly of us but it is unfiltered, genuine you know we do not write the reviews patients write them on their own – it is unfiltered and remember 82 percent of the visitors to your website will be female mom and she is not going to read 650 reviews, but she is going to look at the number and see life smiles – 650 and here is another office that has 42 – in her mind she will make a value judgment on which office is probably better based on the reviews, then she will read a handful of them, and when she read them she is going to get confirmation that she is calling the write office – so this project has all kinds of side benefits and back to the reason to doing incentive system, is to get everybody on the same page – now remember we are doing this in a very specific way, everybody on the team – is going to get the bonus – everybody has a role in this, now you will have some team members that maybe more social more gregarious, more outgoing and they might be more interactive with your patients, but every team member can play a role in this and be part of this – and you know maybe they are an administrative team member that is on the less extroverted side – maybe she is more introverted but she might be the one that sends out the reviews to your patients – grow my reviews is a product that you provide through EKWA that is kind of an automated system that goes as a text message so that person that is introverted maybe sending that out and that is her role, in this. And you might think of two levels, the hundred dollars for a base goal like we said we go from 8 to 12, and then again it is optional but what you might choose to do is say hey and if we get to 20, then we are going to double it, and now at a 200 dollar bonus it gets more interesting wait a minute that is a part of the car patent, that is some really nice dinners out, you know save that you know for the year and that can be some really – some new peloton bike and I mean think about it and it is fun, and watch what happens to your reviews, again if you are using this example, I think this particular office I am thinking of when we started it had reviews less than 50 – I want to say it was in the 42 46, and if they got 20 a month and that continued for a year, they hit the double bonus we now added 240 new reviews they went from, let’s say the number was 46, they went from 46 to 288 – would you agree that is a very different profile when it comes to Google?

N: Absolutely –

G: I mean this practice did so much better couple of, year and a half later – hardly beau of the CEO and partly because of these reviews, and  because you are strengthening what you are doing all this as we mentioned by really focusing on Google and it is making your marketing g more effective which is going to allow you when you are ready to go out of network, it will allow you to have your marketing replace those patients that used to come in, form being on their PPo plans – by being listed as a PPO member – so this has so many benefits, and you know one thing I like to do is actually set a time period for  how long we are going to do this, and we might say we are going to do this for the rest of the year – and then on December 31st, we are going to revisit it, we may continue it we may change the numbers around a little bit we may make some minor modifications to it, we may drop it and add a different one, and we may not do a bonus at all but this is going to be the game for the net little while – give it long enough to build some momentum, so as we are recording this, it is in February, but you might say hey we are going to do this for the rest of the year – at the end of the year we will decide if we want to continue it – so that way they know it is not just a guarantee that is going to keep happening forever – and it is just a fun way to get started and start to build some experience and some muscle around the concept of using a bonus successfully in your practice, and it really fits the topic of this podcast so well because of the way it will enhance your success when you go out of network, by enhancing your marketing, and Naren I do want to add that if our listeners really want to get serious about marketing I would encourage you to follow my lead we use your agency Naren EKWA is our marketing agency, it has been over 4 years and awe get over 90 new patients a month, and I absolutely love what you do to support our office – providing our office with quality new patients every month, Naren can we put this in the show notes – can we put a link to your marketing strategy meeting would that be okay?

N: Absolutely Garry – Lila would spend 6 hours reviewing your marking and helping you develop a one-year plan and she would share that with you in a marketing strategy meeting, yes we will do that – Garry.

G: And if I can share with our listeners sharing your fees is it okay if I do that?

N: Yes, please

G: It is an all-inclusive monthly fee of 1200 dollars a month, there is literally pages of information about what you do – as a part of that fee –if you annualize that – that is 144 a year and I think it would be a lot better to spend 14, 4 a year on a comprehensive done for your marketing system that whatever it is you are paying in the of adjustments to insurance companies – you are paying in multiple, many times over that so great investment. Well, Naren this has been a fun one, and I hope that our listeners take action on this episode because it will produce results in many different forms for the practice.

N: As we come to a close Garry I just wanted to ask you – I know it sounds very simple and you tried to summarize it in 20 minutes, but watching you do this with your coaching clients, I noticed it took a bit of time and a lot of troubleshooting, because there are roadblocks – how do I deal with this and that – if anyone is interested in learning more about your coaching would you share a tiny bit – I know you have the Covid pricing still available for a few more slots –

G: Yeah you bet, when Covid hit I wanted to help more offices, we knew that some practices would be affected by course and we wanted to help them once we created our vital customized coaching and practice management and support service and we work with practices all over the country, to help you develop your ideal practice – we have got 24 system, we have 6 very specific goals, we do a ton of team training, and once of those elements is successfully reducing insurance dependence. If you are interested you can go to and you will find information about our coaching services. You can also see a link there to schedule a coaching strategy meeting with me – look on the calendar you can pick a time, and you will meet with me by zoom, and during that meeting, I will learn more about your practice, and you will learn more about our coaching services, and we will determine if it is a good fit, but love the opportunity to work with you if that is your choice – on that note let me say thank you for joining us today, and thanks for being part of the I love dentistry because of our YouTube group but thanks for being part of our less insurance dependence community we appreciate each and every one of you see you on the next episode.

Gary Takacs

Gary Takacs One of Gary's most significant achievements as a dental practice management coach is transforming his own practice, LifeSmiles, from one that was infected with PPO plans, no effective marketing strategy, and an overhead of 80% to a very successful dental practice that is currently one of the top-performing practices in the US.

With over 2,200 coaching clients, Gary has first-hand experience transforming insurance-dependent practices into thriving and profitable practices.

Through his Personalized Coaching Program, Gary shares access to the systems, strategies, processes, and experience gained over 41 years of coaching dentists and transforming over 2200 practices worldwide.

Learn More:
Connect with Gary Takacs on Linkedin

Naren Arulrajah

Naren ArulrajahAs CEO of Ekwa Marketing, Naren has over a decade of experience working with dental practices and helping them attract the ideal type of patients to their practices. It is his goal to help dentists do more of the type of dentistry they love with the help and support of effective digital marketing.

Ekwa’s "Done-For-You" Digital Marketing model blends fundamental persuasion principles with an all-in-one Digital Marketing solution to help your ideal patients find you and choose you for reasons other than being on their insurance plan.

If you’re interested in finding out if Ekwa is the right fit for you and your practice, book a Free Marketing Strategy Meeting with Ekwa’s Marketing Director, Lila Stone.

Book Free Marketing Strategy Meeting:

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