Have you ever met someone and instantly knew they were an amazing person, someone you could spend hours talking with, who could inspire you with every word? Well, I have! I had the pleasure in meeting Gary Zelesky, and within 10 seconds of meeting him I knew he was someone I wanted to befriend and learn from.
Gary has an energy that cannot be explained, it's something you have to experience for yourself. Over the past 25 years, Gary has been invited to speak at some of the largest dental association meetings, study clubs, and conferences. When I found out how many dental practices and professionals he has positively impacted and inspired, I knew I had to tap into his thought process and experiences. I had the unique opportunity to interview Gary, and was I ever excited!
I had to ask, what advice does Gary have in creating a successful dental practice, how does he view marketing, and why does he love working with the dental community? Keep reading to find out.
"When you are passionate, you are at your peak performance. Passion never needs to be motivated or reminded. People who are passionate about their position show up early and are the last to leave. They are contagious in the workplace and with the team. A passion-centered person sets the pace for productivity, which translates into the bottom line … increased profits. Trust me, the opposite is also true." – Gary Zelesky
Jackie: As you know, I’m in the digital marketing business. What percentage of dentists do you feel fully grasp the power of promoting their practice across various online marketing channels?Gary: Marketing of any kind is a major challenge for most dentists to appreciate. In fact, anything to do with the business side of dentistry is more of a burden than a blessing to the doctor. Dental marketing, no matter what form it might take, is more about the attitude of the dentist than the value of what is being offered. They must be educated rationally before they "buy into" any marketing channel.
Jackie: What marketing activities have worked best for your business that you would recommend to others?
Gary: Our most recent new hire is our social media director. She is a 28-year-old firecracker. Ninety percent of the things that she deems important I simply don't understand or have much of a desire to understand. But that’s why we brought her on board. Social media is the marketing voice being heard in the corporate arena. Just because you don’t understand the language doesn't mean it's not vital to your company's ability to effectively communicate the products.
ALSO BY JACKIE ULASEWICH:The superhero of conversions: How remarketing can increase new patients for your dental practice
Jackie: Dentists oftentimes come across as all doing the same thing – cleaning, whitening, and "fixing" teeth. Do you think it's important for dental practices to differentiate themselves? Do you find that those who do it well reach higher levels of success?
Gary: Much of what dentists are willing to redefine has to do with their passion for dentistry, their team, and the clients they serve. I find the practices that are successful (how ever you define success) continue to refine themselves by not being afraid to ask the hard questions. Our personal insecurities many times do not allow for critique, which leads to successful growth. My team seldom allows me the privilege of hearing only the applause from my audience.
Jackie: Your book, "The Passion Centered Person," and your presentations speak about workplace culture. What would be one piece of advice you’d give to a practice to enhance their workplace culture?
Gary: If you want your team to care about what you care about, then they must know you care about what they care about. I know that’s somewhat of a tongue twister, but it’s critical to creating the dental "A" team. The focus in most dental offices is on the problems of the team members rather than on the passions of the team members.
It goes from being a dental office to a therapy office. A passion-centered team member is more productive, profitable, and a pleasure to work with.
Jackie: So you stated that your client list is made up of 70% to 80% dental. Tell me why you love working with this industry?
Gary: We have something in common, which is changing people's lives. A practice changes a life from the outside in (their smile), I change a life from the inside out (their heart). We’re the perfect team!
Jackie: I would like to thank Gary for taking the time to share his experiences, advice, and remarkable insight. It's people like him that make the dental industry come alive. If you would like to learn more about Gary, ask about his upcoming presentations (be sure to check out his presentation called Naked in Paradise), or purchase his book, "The Passion Centered Person," visit his website.
"Because sometimes the places we don't want to be are the places we need to be." – Gary Zelesky, Naked in Paradise