Become a Dental Speaker, Author, and Expert – Season 1 Episode 15

Our Special Guest Penny Reed and I share our formula of how we became recognized in this elite club and how we think you should begin your journey to becoming an in-demand dental speaker, author, and expert if you have an interest in cracking into dentistry’s most inner circle, the Speaking Circuit.

With over 35 combined years of experience in the Dental Speaking Industry, we will share the most common ways that dental speakers sabotage their careers and how they can make choices that make them highly sought after.  You will learn:

  • How to Become Known for a Hot Topic, Giving You a Huge Advantage
  • How to Create a Strong Platform that Develops a Web of Interest
  • The Fastest Course to Getting Booked Solid Without Sitting Around Waiting for the Phone to Ring

And Much, Much More…

Resource: Best Dental Speaker Course by Dr. Griffin and Penny Reed

Click Here to Learn More

Read Full Transcript

The Dr. Chris Griffin Show – Season 1 Episode 16

“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.” Now who said that?

Welcome to the Dr. Chris Griffin Show. Your resource for leveraging systems and technology to easier workload, increase productivity and provide you with the time off you deserve to live the life of your dreams. It’s time to practice productivity in the passionate pursuit of a better life with your host, Dr. Chris Griffin. The Dr. is in.

Let me tell you guys, anytime I get a chance to throw out a quote from a theoretical physicist, I’m going to take that chance because I guess it’s not every day that overlaps with the world of dentistry. But here you go, that quote was by none other than world famous doctor, Neils Bohr. Now Neils Bohr was a theoretical physicist like I said, he’s from Denmark and I mean this guy’s done, he did so much. I mean this guy developed all these theories about Physics back in the 20’s. You know, then along comes…and he wins a Nobel prize by the way for all that. And then comes along World War II, the guy fights the Nazis, the Nazis gets after him, he runs away to Sweden then he ends up in England. He becomes part of the Manhattan project that won, eventually won World War II for the Americans. And then after that you know it’s just off to the race as he founds the Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and it just goes on and on from there.

So this is one of the smartest guys that ever lived on the face of the planet. Now why did I throw that quote out? Well because today’s show is a lot about being an expert in what to do if you are an expert and recently, I did a project with Penny Reed. Now Penny is someone I’ve known forever. Of course I’m about to introduce her in a minute, of what I’m going to share with you but we, for years, wanted to do a project together. But you know, hey, we both coach dentist and it seemed like we’re going to compete with each other. It seemed odd and weird and so we could never find a way to do it until now. So we both have a passion for motivational speaking and just speaking in general. And both of us have kind of pulled ourselves up from the boot straps and become speakers in this dental field. Just you know, basically on the force of our will and so we want to share with everyone how that we did it. And how that we think it’s very possible but there’s a formula that you could follow and you could also become an expert in this field and the speaker and author and all that stuff if you want to.

So, we held a live training on April 19th. So I just took the body of that live training which I had to edit it a little bit because let me tell you, there was just some comedy of errors. Just a lot of crazy stuff happened with me having to update apple right before the webinar because it’s something that, I don’t know why and then it has some conflicts with the webinar program. And anyway, there are a lot of editing but I got it down to reasonable time frames. So I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to share this training with you guys. I hope you get a lot out of it. If you’re interested at all in being an expert in the field, this is for you. Okay? If you want to hear about implants and fillings and stuff like that, hey maybe just fast forward in next week, but I think there are a lot of people out there who are interested in this topic. And so I’m really proud to share it. Please forgive the audio quality, like I said it has some crazy technical difficulties but we fought through it and the content is just killer. Okay? So I’ll see you on the other side.

Hey everybody, this is Dr. Chris Griffin and welcome. Now you are in the right place tonight if you are looking for the training on the top 7 mistakes that dental speakers make when launching their careers. I know this is a little bit of a different topic usually on this training webinars. We’re talking about you know, improving your dentistry and all this stuff. Well tonight, this is a special thing that’s just for dental professionals and we’re trying to help as many people as we can and learn about this career. Now let me throw out a little stat out at you, okay? There are about a 130,000 general dentists in America. There are about 1 million dental professionals that support the dental industry. Now if you think about it, there are about 2,000 speakers in the USA that focus primarily on just speaking to dentists. Okay? That means that less than 1/10 of 1% of all the dental professionals out there have taken advantage of this opportunity that we’re talking about tonight.

This amazing opportunity for a second income; a second career in some cases, and in just a whole lot of significance in contribution to our profession. So by the end of this session tonight, you’re going to know what that top 1/10 of 1% know. Or what, or tonight really kind of what they don’t know but as we go through that, you’ll learn also what they do know that allow for this type of opportunity to happen. Now tonight, in a minute I’m going to talk about our co host, can you read and I’m going to explain why she is absolutely perfect person to be part of this training with us. But right now…

Dr. Griffin: Hey Penny! Are you there with us?

Penny: Hi! I’m excited about being here with you tonight. And boy, I think we’ve pretty much got both of the ends of the spectrum covered for the dental professionals, with you being the dentist and me being a former office manager. I’m super excited about working on this project with you. Chris, I’d like to tell them how we met. Can I tell them that story?

Dr. Griffin: Hey, go for it!

Penny: Alright. Yeah, I remember pretty much the time when we first met by phone because my daughter who will be 17 this summer, hard to believe, was about 8 weeks old. And Dr. Griffin had called, he’d been in practice for probably a little over a year. Because Chris, looks like you graduated from dental school in around ’98. And he called me and asked about us possibly working together and I said, “You know I got this sweet little baby that I’m enamored with and presently I’m not taking any new clients.” But he wound up working with another one of our team members which was awesome. And I did get the opportunity to work with him and Boy, he has…I knew he has the potential. He has really exceeded the expectations that I think most dentists and dental school would…Chris I’m going to go ahead and brag about you a little bit. I believe your first speaking engagement occurred in 2002 in Houston, Texas. And some of you may or may not now that Dr. Griffin started out wanting to be an Engineer. Isn’t that right, Chris?

Dr. Griffin: That is true. That is true.

Penny: Now that’s true, right. So what’s awesome about this and what really has helped build his dental business outside of the practice, is the expertise that he has in efficiency. He thinks differently than some of the rest of us too, which is great. That means we have a lot to learn from him. And then he founded in 2008, Effective Dentistry LLC and the Capacity Academy and he teaches his concepts both of the Clinical Efficiency and Practice Management to other dental offices. And he has spoken all over the country and what else I think is really cool is that Dr. Griffin hosts AGD approved hands-on training courses at his practice in the Metropolis of Ripley, Mississippi; which I actually have relatives that live in Ripley, Mississippi. Which is nearer him over there. And dozens of dentists and I know that they brought some team members with them, so I’m sure hundreds of dental professionals have travelled from across the United States and Canada to Ripley, Mississippi to learn from him. So he has got a lot to offer, expertise-wise, not only as a presenter but also as a meeting planner and a dental business coach. So I’m super excited to be working on this project with you Chris.

Dr. Griffin: Yeah you know that ever since that fateful night of 17 years ago when Penny rejected me of when I was (Penny laughs) seeking out for help and begging her for help with my brand new practice, you know. It’s time for us to finally work together. But hey, it’s finally happened and I’m looking forward to…you know, Penny, it is amazing to me. I think we have had dentists down here that have traveled. I mean like you said, Ripley population 6,000. We got all sorts…I already know how many provinces there are but I believe all other provinces in Canada have been represented here in over half the States. It’s just shocking if you think about that.

Penny: Wow!

Dr. Griffin: You mentioned 2002, just a quick little tiny story about that. I owe all my speaking career really to Howard Farran because he was on the front row in 2002, when I gave my first presentation and I was so you know, exhilarating that I looked down about 5 minutes and I’m thinking “Oh my gosh, Howard Farran, one of my heroes on the front row!” Howard Farran is dead asleep; arms fold and head back. About 15 minutes into the 1 hour lecture, he starts to audibly snore. So he is snoring and snorting, the people around him are looking and laughing and he sort of chapping and poking. They look at Howard, you know and I just, I’m like “Oh, my gosh! This is awful, I’m going to die and I’m never going to speak again.” And so I end my presentation, you know mercifully the slides go black. The next guy is getting on the stage and Howard snaps to attention and wakes up, stands up on the front row, turns to this crowd of about a 100 dentists and starts waving his arms up in the air like a basketball player to give me a standing ovation and then he turns around and gives me the loudest standing ovation I’ve ever heard. And from that moment on, I was absolutely hooked on this crazy thing, right?

Penny: That’s awesome!

Dr. Griffin: So no matter what Howard Farran does to the rest of his career, and he is a little bit you know, he can be a little comfy at times but he’s aces in my book and I’ll be you know, I’ll be his guy from now on. But Penny, if you don’t know Penny, let me tell you…you are in for a treat tonight. Because now Penny, like she has done it all. She’s been a, you know office manager extraordinary. Now a lot of people on this call, you guys maybe some…there maybe some office, I think there are. In fact, I know there are some office managers out there who signed up for this thing. Now she went, she was so amazing at that course. She got a little taste of this up and she, she ventured out into coaching and it’s turned her into now she’s an author, she’s been a dental management consultant. Obviously more than 17 years, she’s began her career in 1992. Like it says, as a manager from ’94 to 2001, she was a franchise owner and a director of training for a dental management company that was founded by none other than Tony Robbins. Now that’s the one that I called her and tried to get her to help me. You know, Tony Robbins is a big tall guy with a great smile you see on late night T.V. So then 2001, she launched her own dental coaching business. You know, hey, God bless you Penny. You know dealing with dentists, if the majority of your income comes from dealing with us, every day of the week, God bless you. You know if you’re a dentist you know how hard and difficult it can be to deal with you sometimes. She has written articles by mail for most of the major dental publications. And she’s been speaking to audiences all across America too since 1999. Penny is also a long standing professional member of the National Speakers Association and the book that she wrote, which I am currently holding in my fingers is…you hear me flipping the pages? Is “Growing your Dental Business” okay? It’s a really good book, I can honestly say. I have read this book and I can like every word, Penny but I have read a good bit of it. And it is pretty awesome, you got some good quotes in it too from some dentists that I know. So I thought that was pretty good. And as a result of all these worksheets put in, her clients are more focused, they earn more and they have more confidence about their business and they have happier teams to support them. That’s a big thing too having happier teams because it certainly makes your life better when you have a happy team. So that’s it Penny. You’re head’s probably gigantic by now.

Penny: It really is. My headset’s a little bit tight but I guess we’ll keep on going here. Thank you for all of those kind things and it really is amazing how this journey has led us up here and really I think in a nutshell, and I won’t necessarily read this next slide all together immediately for you. But here’s why I’m so excited about tonight’s course. And that is when I think back to 1997 probably. When I approached my first meeting planner, and while you know, I took a big deep breath, swallowed hard, and walked up and said, that was an exhibit at that meeting. I said, “I would love to be a speaker at one of your meetings in the future.” And he was like, “Oh really? What do you speak on?” And I don’t even remember what I said. It probably didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but now looking forward and what many of the conversations that Dr. Griffin and I have had together our whole world when putting this course together and this training together is to save you not only the pain. And I would say some of the embarrassment, probably. If some of the things that I said and maybe we’re just lucky enough or nice enough to get booked anyway. But also call for the mistakes, you know time is money that we made when we were launching our speaking careers. So I think we’re going to have a great time tonight, stay with us, you know through to the very end. We’re packed a lot of tips in here for you. And Chris, I don’t know if there’s anything you want to add before we tell them what mistake number 1 is.

Dr. Griffin: Well for my point of view, what I would like to see everyone. Everyone that gets under this field and by the way, I see a couple of people signed in that I know really well. So if you’re on and I know you really well, Hey! It’s good to see you signed in. But at the end of the night, I would really like to see everyone that mostly get into this field to be able to conquer the fears and doubts that hold you back you know. For pursuing what I think is an amazing opportunity that’s fun, that’s profitable, is significant and I would really feel like you’re doing a wonderful service of contribution to your profession. That is absolutely what I would like to see happen. Now also that and of course if you’re ready to get into the, and we probably need to get into the 7 mistakes. Time is going by but I feel like what Penny and I are trying to do is really pull back the curtains to a lot of people who are afraid to share and don’t know ways to share with people. Because hey, like I said, there’s only 2,000 speakers out there that’s less than 1/10 of 1%. So a lot of people don’t want you to know what’s going on. Well Penny and I have been there, done that, we want you to know what’s going on. So hang tight and at the end of this 7 mistakes tonight, we’re also going to give you a place where you can go grab the night slides. So I encourage you to take a lot of notes but absolutely we’ll give you the resource if you need at the end of the night to get what you need. So hey, are you ready to jump into these?

Penny: Absolutely!

Dr. Griffin: Okay, so mistake number 1. Now if you’re on tonight’s call, there’s a good chance that you are in possession of the, what I’m going to, okay I’m just going to go right up. I say one of the best special reports that’s ever written, right? The report that Penny and I wrote about how you can find or pinpoint the absolutely perfect topic that can make you a sought after dental speaker. I’ve seen so many people out there, when, I’m sure Penny will back me up on this. When I’m going to speak, a lot of times you’ll speak right, you speak for a couple of hours, 4 hours, 8 hours sometimes if you will. At the end of the thing, there’s always going to be 4-5 people coming up, they want to talk to you, ask you questions; most of the time it’s about what you just spoken about. Now there’s always somebody, maybe a couple people kind of lurking behind that initial group. And once you’re through answering those questions, they sort of come up to you and the question that they usually ask is, how could I learn to do what you just did? I would really like to get into this field but I just don’t know how. And so inevitably, what I will do is I’ll say, “Okay, well hey what’s your message? What do you talk about?” and the response I get usually “Oh, I can talk about a lot of stuff. We did a lot of stuff that’s really good and awesome. You know.” Well that’s the problem. That’s the mistake right there. Most, if you can’t clearly define like how about a like a micro niche, if you will, of an area of expertise, then it’s going to be really hard for you to get your foot in the door because you’re going to just you know, you’re going to look like just whatever else you know, the same old same old copy cat stuff that everyone’s talking about. For me myself, I would say when I was picking out a niche, I was really passionate about people, you know, not succumbing to this idea that anybody, anywhere can have a really high end expensive boutique type practice, right? And so we developed a way where you could make a really high amount of income, just seeing regular folks. And so I chose dental efficiency and productivity is sort of my niche. Now you know looking back, I picked out. I certainly picked out a very micro niche. There was not a lot of competition, I feel like there’s a reasonable chance I’ve planned near the top of the heap of people that are trying to talk about that. But the downside is of course that’s not a huge niche. So you know, I’m not getting, I’m not getting that…I’m not the guy that’s talking about implants; like you know I’m no implant guy. But if somebody’s looking for the productivity guy, I’m on the shortlist almost every time. Penny, I know you got a story too just like that, right?

Penny: Oh, absolutely! And one of the things that I think about too that I want to re emphasize about Chris’ background in knowledge is that you put on some pretty big meetings in the past where you hosted other speakers. And as a meeting planner, you want to know that the message that you’re speakers that you’re bringing in to present that it’s relevant. And that they’re going to do a great job. It doesn’t matter necessarily how much you like them but they need to be crystal clear about what the message is that can be presented. The other thought that I had too is I can remember years ago thinking what would I need to speak about in order to get booked. Instead of what would I enjoy speaking about. Instead of what am I knowledgeable about that I have a lot of enthusiasm for because you can create a program based on something that’s popular. And if you don’t enjoy presenting it, one of the worst things that can happen is that they actually do book you because it’s not fun. So I think it needs to be just like in that perfect topic guide. It needs to be something that you have knowledge of that you can be clear and concise with and also that you’ve got a passion and enthusiasm for.

Dr. Griffin: Yeah, I mean just like you said. I mean for several years, I hosted a 3-day multi-speaker event and I was so proud when I would go out and I was able to bring in a speaker maybe that have not have a lot of experience, either new or the same. And I felt like, I mean I, I don’t mean to brag but a few people ask me like I saw their value maybe before other people did. In fact, there are a few people who I hired to speak at that event that went on to, I mean way bigger and better things and you see their picture all the time and they’re speaking here and there. I’m so proud and I’m super proud of them. Hey a lot of them are doing better than me right? I mean they’re more in demand than me and so nothing may be happier as having an opportunity to introduce really talented people to the world but as a meeting planner, let me tell you, the last thing I wanted to do was put another guy up on the stage just talking about implants for a you know, cosmetic dentistry just generically. I don’t care how famous you were, there should always be some sort of a little niche that leads us to our next slide. So the second mistake that we see people making so many times is about not positioning their message properly and that’s what we’ve been talking about, right? So, just having a little bit of knowledge about a message, it is not the same thing as mastering it. And one of Penny’s favorite words is you got to become a ninja on the topic right? You need to know things that most people don’t know. You need to know things that people can’t find by picking up Dental Economics or Dentistry Today. You need to know the little ins and outs, you have to be so knowledgeable like if you’re not ready to like have an open Q&A at the end of your lecture, I think you’re probably not prepared enough. But truthfully, Penny, I think if you pick a proper niche, that’s small enough that you can absolutely master it, you can master pretty quickly, right? Because if you’re going instead of, you know, a lot of people they would do something so broad and have this gigantic reach, speak to the whole world right? That’s just really hard. It’s really hard to just stick your claws in there and get noticed. But if you just go like an inch wide, in your interest but you’re going mile deep on how much you know it and how much you’ve mastered it. And one thing that I’ve always thought I had a great advantage on, was I use my dental office really as my laboratory. So if there’s an idea of health, like I mean it’s just long and just totally off the wall, like I want to learn more about 3D printing. So what did I do, I bought a 3D printer for my dental office and I’ve been making 3D dentures and all kind of crazy stuff but I haven’t mastered enough to really want to go out and talk about it yet. But if I have an interest in the topic that I think I might want to talk about someday, I use my office as a laboratory to experiment and stuff like that. So what do you think, so what are your thoughts about positioning your message?

Penny: Oh I couldn’t agree more with you. And I was again thinking about you took what you were naturally good at and had the instincts for with the clinical efficiency and really turned it into, it wasn’t as if you sent out to get good at it so you could talk about it, you sent out to get great at it and improve on it because it helps you and you were able to speak from experience which sort of leaves into our next mistake, you know coming up here. But having the positioning so that people would say, you now Dr. Chris Griffin speaks on Clinical Efficiency. He speaks on being able to produce the same or more in less time which I do think is probably the American Dream for most dentists even though I know that’s not. Well I think it’s the American Dream period, right? We want to make more money for less, that’s the symbol of America. So I will, I’ll head on down the road here with mistake number 3 which does tie in. Actually this all sort of tie in together not having the expertise and let me say this first, if you don’t quite have it yet, it doesn’t mean you might not get it. So in other words, oftentimes, people have the expertise that they think that they don’t. So think about relevant examples and when you think about your wording, you want to talk in terms of what you have done. You know this is what we’ve done in our office versus this is what we thought about doing. Or you know, we’ve tried this and we’ve tried that, and we’re not really sure what works. Think about a legal proceeding, find as positive of a term as you can but when an attorney prepares for a case, they put together their evidence. So we’re not saying put together slides that look like chemical equation so that you’ll put everybody to sleep but your audience wants to know…they want to know that what you’re talking about works. So it’s either how it worked and you work business of in your practice. How you seen it work in other people’s practices. So you know, have that background you want to talk about how your background can relate to, in your experiences can relate to their office. One of the things that I like to do and maybe it’s just because I have a great time making fun of myself, it eases a little bit of my nerves when I’m speaking. But I’ll talk about how my…even though I have a management degree. Have been in management with a really large retail company, had been in IT, when I got into dental office, a lot of that expert…I didn’t have expertise yet. So I’ve made almost every mistake than an administrative person could ever make. I’ve called patients that had dentures to schedule them for their next cleaning. So you know I can talk about learning things the hard way, like all the mistakes that I’ve made. It sort of puts me on that even plain field because I’ve been there. So I think oftentimes if you can show them your…you can show them your expertise because you can show them that “Hey, there was a time when you didn’t have it all figured out and here’s how you’ve improved things.” And they can do the same exact thing. So you want to show them that you’ve learned from your mistakes and that you’ve learned from other’s mistakes and you’ve got real solutions that they can implement and by doing that, that proves that you have the expertise. So and anything Chris, that you can think of that you want to add to that one?

Dr. Griffin: No, I think you nailed that down exactly right. I mean I think that, I think obviously real world expertise probably trumps everything else. But there’s no reason why you can’t start out learning. You know, just dive into a topic and then build towards getting some real world expertise for you. You march your platform out to the world.

Penny: And so I think if we want to move on along here and keep things moving on, Boy not being clear about honorariums. That’s almost, if I could give a dental correlation to that, that’s the patient asking “Well how much is that going to cost me?” right? Or call them up on the phone and say “What do you charge for a crown?” So obviously, we would assume that most of you that are participating in this with us either tonight or in the replay that you’d like to speak to make a little additional incomes or a lot of additional income. So you need to be clear about a couple of things and I’ve had this conversation with up and coming speakers before, what should I charge? What’s the going rate? I would say that the going rate is anywhere from 0 to $20,000 a day. Would you say that’s about right, Chris?

Dr. Griffin: Yeah. But you know it’s true now, I have some friendships with people who are you know, top 5 paid speakers in the country. And the top rate has certainly gone down over the last few years. There’s 12 ½ thousand dollars a day it’s probably right at tops right now. You could, I mean I was never a guy that if he doesn’t do much, he is just going to charge what he wants to charge and if you’re going to pay it. You know you could get a guy for $5,000. The top dogs out there are making about 10 to 12 ½ thousand dollars a day. And you know, when you’re starting out, certainly hey, you just want to get your name out there and so a lot of times you’ll do that for free or basically free or sometimes you have some kind of a little you know, you can have a little deal with the meeting planner and you’ll get paid a percentage of whatever happens when they get you on stage. So, there’s just a lot of ways that you can go about this but what to your point is really great to be clear before you begin on stage and before you get down there and you know re arrange your life. And then find out, “Oh hey, there’s a misunderstanding to the point I don’t even want to do this.” You know, that’s the worst case scenario.

Penny: Sure, sure. And part of the being clear about honorariums it’s not just that you know what you will be compensated for an event, but you also have to think about what you’re ultimate outcome which this could turn into and then have a training course on its own is are you looking to earning income because you are paid to speak. You know, only paid to speak or is speaking is the door that swings open to these audiences that you build relationships with and they become clients. So if you have a consulting business, the speaking event, yes you want to become compensated for it, but if boy nothing promotes your business more than being in front of an audience. That’s a different scenario than a dentist who maybe taking a say out of his or her practice to go to a meeting or maybe 2 days alright if it’s on the other side of the country to go and speak when you know, they still have a lot of their overhead covers. So there’s a…you’ll know that number when you hit it and it’s probably not the best thing for me to say but I would say to anybody that’s getting started, I’d be less concerned about how much you’re making per event on the front end. If you do a couple of events you’ll get some great testimonials and then that allows you to build on your work honorarium from there.

Dr. Griffin: Absolutely. And there you are, what about. I mean I, it’s a 3-day deal so you’re taking…if you’re doing an event somewhere, you’re pretty much taken away 3 days from either your practice or your family time, even if you can get there and get back in 2 days. Let’s say, you’re going to be so tired the third day; it’s a 3 day deal. Just know that you’re giving away 3 days of your time and if you are looking to be compensated fairly, you need to consider that on the front end.

Penny: Uh-huh. And so I would also lead into, it’s kind of funny because I’m going to say that this next not having a speaker website or speaker promotional deals how you come across to the meeting planners which a lot honorarium has to do with your budget. But if you come across like you’ve got your act together, you’ve done this many times before. You are ready. You are going to be able to justify a higher honorarium than someone who, let’s say, doesn’t even have any online presence at all that they’re speakers. So you know, for example, whether you’re a dental consultant of some sort, like myself, a management consultant, or a dentist like Dr. Griffin or maybe you’re a hygienist or an office manager; so your picture maybe on a website. Meeting planners get bombarded. It’s just like we as consumers get bombarded by messages, right? I mean if we go in a grocery store, there’s an advertisement for a plumber or dentist on the shopping cart. We turn on the radio, there’s another commercial. So meeting planners are continuously being marketed, too. The harder that they have to dig and look for your information, the less likely you are to get their attention in the first place or capture their attention. So whenever anyone approaches me and says, “Hey, do you have any tips? How can I get more bookings to speak?” If I have an opportunity beforehand, I’ll stalk them a little bit and see if I can find them. In other words, if I was a meeting planner and I heard their name. If I heard the name Penny Reed or Chris Griffin, how easy would it be for me to pick up my smart phone and find them and see what it is that they talk about. So building that presence, I think it’s huge. Chris, any more thought on that that I may have missed?

Dr. Griffin: Well no, I mean yeah, I mean that’s the thing. The thing about being a meeting planner is weird because the people that really pester you, a lot of times they don’t have their act together. You know if people, let’s say, someone’s really pestering me to let them to talk then you will say no when they talk to you, they’re going to want to speak on your stage or do something with you. So before I ever to talk them, you know you’re exactly right. I’m going to be a good one in finding out everything that I can find out about this person. I mean it’s more than not even more than once, it’s more than half the time. I’ll look and see what I see online it tells me I do not want to call this person back. Or no, do not let this person through to me because you know, you just know it’s going to be a bad deal. You can just about tell just from looking, you can certainly tell by looking at their references or what they spoke and stuff like that. You know, this segways nicely though into the 6th mistake which is sitting out there and thinking that associations of meeting planners are going to find you. So you know I thought, let me tell you something. When I talk, Penny, let me tell you how crazy I am. So I thought…I thought when I have this event with these 225 attendees, I was primary speaker. I thought okay, this is going to be so you know, known in the community now the phone’s going to be ringing off the hook. And the phone rings off the hook for a few days maybe after an event like that, but then guess what? If you don’t do anything, it’s totally dead. I thought when I got an article published in Dental Economics, before Dental Economics sort of became what it is now back when it was by far the most respected business magazine in Dentistry. I thought the phone’s going to ring off the hook, I mean you speak like you’re speaking a book like crazy, this I finally made it. So a couple of times for that article of his, the phone rings a little bit and then guess what? It dies again. Then I thought, okay, Howard Farran. I did a podcast with Howard Farran but you‘ve actually done one right, Penny?

Penny: Yes, I have.

Dr. Griffin: So I thought, okay. I think I was number 13 or something like that. I thought, okay. I’ve done a podcast with Howard Farran. We’ve had nearly a thousand downloads. I finally made the big time. It’s going to hit. Phone has rung a few times from that more than anything I’ve done like this. But for the most part, if you were trying to make a living on the people that have called me from that podcast, it would be kind of tough. And I guess finally, I did video course for Dental Town you know, it was listed in the magazine as the number 2…the number 2 overall course for 2014. And also the quickest course they’ve ever done to 100 downloads. So I said, okay I finally made it, the phone’s going to ring off the hook. Nope, not quite any phone calls off that right. It’s crazy! And so, the truth is, you have to learn the mechanism by which to reach out and grab the attention of the person that’s booking the meeting; the meeting planner or the seminar director or the association leader or the association secretary. There’s really a science to this that most people just don’t understand and that’s why they get discouraged. The stuff, oh if you just… you could really built a very impressive wall of things that Penny and I have done but if Penny and I stop promoting ourselves tomorrow, I would dare say to follow the rain for a little while and then it would triple off nothing, right?

Penny: Uh-huh. Absolutely.

Dr. Griffin: So yeah, I mean that’s the whole deal. So it is tough I mean Penny talked about you need a website, a course, you need…there’s a lot of things. You need what they call a one-page you need a good nice well laid out description of a course online of what you can do, an easy way to download a speaker packet. That’s a very important thing to do. But just as, I think for now, it’s good enough to understand, yes it’s good to do these things to get noticed. But when you have a small modicum of success, don’t just think, okay the phone’s going to ring off the hook I can stop promoting myself now. Unfortunately, because a lot of dentists out there, me included, we’re kind of wall flowers you know. We’re a little bit shy, we hate to talk about ourselves. Unfortunately, if you want to succeed in this business, you kind of got to put yourself out there and not on a bad way. You just kind of have to know the formula so that you can reach out and touch these people.

Penny: I think that so true, yes. If you’re the type that says that only your Momma should be the one that’s allowed to talk good about you then most people aren’t going to notice that you’re out there and available. So tagging on to mistake number 6 would be… and you touched on a little bit, mistake number 7, not marketing their programs. And I might even say, not aggressively marketing your programs. And this has been a huge “AHA” for me, really even over the last 6 months prior to, I think this has may have been what led to Chris, when we had our phone call about, Hey what’s something fun that we could do for other dental professionals that would really help them move along with their careers. You know, kind of a way to share what we’ve learned and shorten the learning curve; and so mistake number 7, not marketing their programs. I have to brag on my team, I’ve really I guess probably just started about a couple of months ago and I’m a huge believer in coaching and I guess that’s why I, you know, in some level I do business coaching. That’s why Dr. Griffin does it as well that we began as a team to work on looking in…okay, we have these programs. We know that the more people that know about us, and that know about my programs the more that we’ll get…you know, the more bookings that we’ll get. We began to do some of our own research, right? We rolled up our sleeves, we networked. Like good old relationship skills, look to see who our contacts were and we began to make and not by using a speakers bureau. I mean this is my team, in which my team is awesome. And they truly believe and they’re enthusiastic about my programs which is one of the reasons why, I think this just work so well. So much so and it’s kind of funny that it happened today and awesome at the same time. It’s in…well today, booked confirmed one event and another one tentative that will solidify the date on tomorrow and booked 3 events last week. Now I’ve talked to some other speakers, you know in our industry. And they’ve been telling me that they’re bookings have slowed down a little bit. I said, “Well ours have picked up and the exact reason is we realized that just because we’re listed in a certain directory, I mean I’m a member of National Speakers Association, love NSA. I think that anyone that’s looking to build career and speaking in the industry should definitely look into NSA. But being a member that professional association or any other professional association or listing does not guarantee that you’re going to get phone calls from that. What we have found is yes, through word of mouth or people being in the audience and hearing me that’s really been helpful. But those outbound marketing efforts, through phone contacts, email contacts, and just consistent follow-ups has worked wonders.

Well that was quite a long one, I do apologize for taking a little bit longer than usual guys, but I thought this was a really powerful show if this is something you’re into. And if it is something you’re into, Penny and I actually have decided to develop a course together. We’re actually offering a really nice 7-week course for we’re going to actually take a handful of people and train them through the process to get them on stage and get them to be a dental speaker and whatever field they would like to be. It’s a really cool process. If you would like to hear about the course, the other training we’re offering. We’re not going to make you listen to or hear anything but I’ve set up a webpage at it’s You can go there, you can listen to Penny and I talk about the course and if you’re interested, you can sign up. It’s going to be a lot of fun, it’s going to be really awesome. But if you do want to get in on that, at least on this first group, debater group, you need to hurry up and go there to and sign up, okay? Alright everybody, well thank you all so much for listening. We love doing this show, we love doing it for you. I can’t wait to see you next week where we go dive into a topic, I promise next week it’s going to be more than just plain old dentistry, okay? So if you like dentistry stuff, hang on till next week alright? We will see you next time.

We appreciate you joining us for this episode of the Dr. Chris Griffin Show. Be sure to visit for the latest resources and updates to keep you more productive every single day you’re at the practice. So when you’re not working, you can do the things that matter most in life. We look forward to having you join us in another episode of the Chris Griffin Show; where the doctor is always in.

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