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Episode #590: Tips to Avoid the Summer Slump, with Adriana Booth

Summer is approaching, and so is the summer slump. But it doesn’t have to happen to you! To help you avoid the “slow months” in your practice, Kirk Behrendt brings back Adriana Booth, one of ACT’s amazing coaches, for ways to stay focused and boost production when every other practice is feeling stuck. Enjoy your summer while still being productive! To learn how, listen to Episode 590 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

It All Starts with Marketing by Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca

Main Takeaways:

Have a year-at-a-glance calendar.

Start managing the summer schedule ahead of time.

Use the summer months to reactivate your A and B patients.

Utilize summer fun to build relationships between teams and patients.

Be aware and mindful of the summer slump so you can work to avoid it.


“One of the things we want to look at is, what do we have coming up? We talked about having a year-at-a-glance calendar so that we know within our own team who is where this summer. Are people out on vacation? Do we have events coming up? We have graduations, graduation parties. We have all these things going on. And yes, we have a digital calendar with the schedule. But being able to see it in front of us is so much more effective when it comes to planning so we can see the vacations, we have fun days possibly planned, and we have something to look forward to. When we also think of that, we look at our schedule internally, so where our patients are coming in, and we want to manage that time appropriately.” (3:47—4:34)

“If we notice we’re getting a lot of last-minute cancellations, we’re getting a few no shows — our patients also get summer brain. How can we stay ahead of that? So, we want to work our recare system. Starting April, May, we’re planning for June, July, August to get us through the summer months that we traditionally call the summer months because school is out and we can say, ‘Okay, who hasn’t been in?’ So, we think about reactivating patients who maybe have a little more free time. Kids have more free time in the summer. So, we want to really focus on our recare systems. How do we get people back into the flow, and then reactivating patients who, maybe it’s been a year, year-and-a-half since they’ve been in. It’s not that they don’t want to see us, it just slips their mind, usually.” (4:35—5:24)

“I think that [summer is] a perfect time to think about your patient identification system. We call it the ABC system. And we’re not classifying patients based on, ‘This one is a little grumpy,’ or, ‘This one is really fun and happy, so they’re an A patient.’ [A patients are] the ones that show up for us. And we’ve talked about it in other podcasts, and we have great resources on that in our process, in our program. Identify your A patients. Who are those people that hit the mark and who we want to see? Get those people reactivated and in the recare system first, and then we’ll go through the B patients.” (6:28—7:07)

“We think of [reactivation], here at ACT, as in, they have not been seen for an appointment in 18 months. Now, every software is a little different in what they consider an active patient. But just to be clear, we think of it as 18 months since Kirk was seen in our practice for any type of appointment. We’re still in the forefront of his brain, but he hasn’t been in. He’s not so far gone that we think, ‘Oh, we’re going to have to really catch up and do a lot of work when he gets in.’ He knows us, he trusts us, and he likely values us. But he may have got busy. And life goes fast. So, we focus on seeing, ‘Hey, who hasn’t been in?’ And likely, you or your team will look at that list and say, ‘Oh, Mr. Smith. Where’s he been? How has he missed us for 18 months?’ Get in touch with them. Reach out. Most of us have systems. We can send a text, a quick call, ‘Hey, I care about you. Wondering where you’re at. Is everything okay? We’d love to see you in the office.’ Make it personal.” (8:36—9:39)

“It doesn’t always have to be so head-down serious. We do need to lighten it up a little bit so that when we have to pull that serious energy out and really work hard, we have it. We have it in the reserves because we know something fun is coming.” (11:40—11:56)

“[Summer is] a great time to reconnect with your patient base by introducing your team. And some of you are going to say, ‘But everybody knows our team.’ That’s not true. We see each other. When patients come in the office, you see them. We always know a lot about them, but they don’t usually know so much about us. So, it’s a great time to even do mini interviews. Jaime and I talked about doing these hallway interviews where they’re planned. So, you have three questions that you prep the other team member with, and it’d be like me passing Kirk in the hallway, ‘Kirk, favorite ice cream? Favorite color? Bucket list travel item?’ just to make it fun and very spontaneous feeling. Your patients will love it. Even if you are okay with posting a picture of maybe your family, or a vacation, pets, something that they can, when they come in the office, ‘Oh, I saw your picture. I have a lab also. We have the same type of dog,’ or, ‘Our kids have the same name.’ It’s all about connection. You and I have done a podcast on connection and relationships being so super important. It’s not only inside our team in the office — it’s with our patients as well.” (15:57—17:12)

“[Make] sure you’re being mindful of it, speaking it. Say the words, “summer slump.” Like, ‘No summer slump here.’ Kirk used to have, ‘No energy suckers.’ A lot of our clients had that all over the office. It’s those little catchy things that, it does get into your mind. And when you’re aware of it, you will actually naturally avoid it so you don’t get into those negative habits.” (18:06—18:34)


0:00 Introduction.

1:54 Why the summer slump happens.

3:32 Get ahead of the summer schedule.

5:24 Summer is perfect for the patient identification system.

8:25 Reactivation, defined.

10:28 It doesn’t always have to be so serious.

14:27 Utilize social media to promote your team.

18:00 Last thoughts on avoiding the summer slump.

Adriana Booth, BS, RDH Bio:

Adriana Booth is a Lead Practice Coach who partners with dentists and their teams to cultivate leadership skills, build practice growth, and streamline business practices. After spending nearly two decades in the dental industry working with top-notch dental teams, Adriana came to ACT to share her passion for professional growth, high-level training, and systems creation with our clients.

As a dental hygienist with a love for continuing education and personal growth, helping a practice become successful is at the heart of her passion for dentistry.

Adriana has a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from West Liberty University/O’Hehir University. By being involved in several Columbus, Ohio, study clubs, Adriana maintains strong relationships within her local dental community. She enjoys a variety of fitness activities, family time, good books, and at the top of her list, her fur babies.


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