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Dentology Podcast with Lucie Simic


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Transcript – Dentology Podcast with Lucie Simic

Episode Release Date – Monday 4 March 2024

Andy & Chris (00:00.959)
So another episode coming our way sir. Indeed another dentology podcast. The business of dentistry. Yeah. Those people just sit there in anticipation with people out walking or driving their cars. What is it going to be this week? Well, well this week we have a very, very special guest. Dun dun dun. This week we have Lucy Simic joining us and Lucy is a dental consultant and speaker in the world of dentistry. So welcome Lucy. How are you doing?

Lucie Simic (00:22.252)

Lucie Simic (00:28.594)
Yeah, I’m really well, thank you very much. Thank you so much for having me on, really exciting.

Andy & Chris (00:32.083)
No, not at all. Not at all. We’re very much looking forward to it. Looking forward to it actually, yeah. Find out more about you. Well yeah, because we were saying before we started recording that kind of Dentology, our podcast channel, is the business of dentistry and whilst it’s great having dentists on, you know, we were saying how dentistry as a profession, as a community, requires so many people to support it for the dentist to provide excellent patient care and the things we’ll be talking today about.

Lucie Simic (00:37.35)
Yeah, who is this woman?

Andy & Chris (00:58.339)
fit into that really nicely because it is a large community and we talk about it being kind of an ecosystem and there’s so much support that’s needed for them to thrive so it would be really good to have that conversation. Let’s just wind back to the very beginning. I think our childhood often leaves breadcrumbs as to the people we become in the future. So what was your childhood like? Where were you brought up? What was that like?

Lucie Simic (01:19.671)

So I am one of those people who has never really settled any particular place until the last kind of decade or so of my life. I’ve kind of always been this wanderer I guess and that comes from my dad. So he is strangely enough a maxillofacial surgeon and he was somebody who

was really ambitious in life. He loved, and I mean literally loved his job. Still does, still does it part-time now, but he loved what he did. And I think that just filled me up from the very beginning in do something that you love. It sounds really cheesy, but it’s never been truer as something that I am and do. And I think when I look back through kind of childhood,

Andy & Chris (02:09.643)

Lucie Simic (02:21.312)
and career, it has always stuck with me because I’ve kind of changed or taken a path. I have very much had that sliding doors life, you know, forever reinventing, forever kind of challenging myself, moving on, changing, doing something slightly different. And I think it comes from him saying to me, you have to do something that you love so that you get up every day and want to go to work.

Andy & Chris (02:35.085)

Andy & Chris (02:42.435)
Great advice. Hmm.

Lucie Simic (02:43.518)
And I watched that in him. So he was a dentist when, so he qualified dentistry first, but never worked in practice, always worked in the hospital. And he met my mum in hospital, she’s a theatre nurse. So we are that medical family, they talk about stuff at home. And then…

Andy & Chris (02:58.575)
Oh, look at that. Did she dab his brow, wasn’t it? Isn’t it?

Lucie Simic (03:03.198)
Yeah, absolutely. And then he decided he wanted to see out the dream of being a maxillofacial surgeon. And so once my sister and I were born and we were very young, he went back to university. And so I actually watched my dad study for his medical degree. All the while my mum was working nights. So she was a theatre nurse working nights at a hospital in Cardiff whilst my dad was at university during the day so that somebody could be home with us.

things in order to achieve and it was it was wonderful we went to his graduation there’s a really cheesy photo of my sister and I in matching outfits with a boater because it was the early 90s and that’s what your mum did and so he did that with the support of the royal air force which he joined so he joined the royal air force with for them to be able to support him back to university which is how the traveling came about because

Andy & Chris (03:44.933)
My lovely

Andy & Chris (03:55.991)
Oh, okay.

Andy & Chris (04:00.234)
I was going to ask about that, so that’s right.

Lucie Simic (04:01.998)
Yeah, so that was how we moved. We were in different places around the UK. There was a stint in Hong Kong. So we traveled a lot and we set up. It’s one of the reasons I love a good declutter. Every so often I think a house move is really good for the mental health, just to kind of clear the decks and get on. So that’s very much, I’ve never really had home. I’ve never really been centered.

Andy & Chris (04:10.911)

Andy & Chris (04:29.577)

Lucie Simic (04:31.932)
there was you know houses that we lived in but no home.

Andy & Chris (04:34.827)
What was that like for schools and stuff like that? Because you must have to keep starting again.

Lucie Simic (04:40.142)
So I, yes you do or you would, but the kind of twist in it was that my parents sent us to a boarding school. So I went to school just outside Bath. It was a school in Wiltshire and look out, privileged upbringing, here we come. But it was an equestrian school as well.

Andy & Chris (05:01.251)
Cheltenham’s Lady College.

Lucie Simic (05:03.37)
That was it. That was a local school. But I took my pony to school with me. That’s how privileged I was. So I had the…

Andy & Chris (05:06.521)
Ha ha ha.

Andy & Chris (05:12.509)
There’s nothing to be wrong about that, I tell you. I think sometimes people feel a bit funny about it, and I think that’s just the way your upbringing was. Do you know what I mean? It’s just the way you were.

Lucie Simic (05:14.987)
No, and I…

Lucie Simic (05:20.106)
Yeah, yeah. I was really fortunate. My mum and dad worked really hard for what they had. Watched them work hard for it and it didn’t come easy. It wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t just, I mean, I went to school with some people who had, you know, extreme wealth and it wasn’t that. It was working hard for what you had. I think I did.

Andy & Chris (05:25.48)
Yeah, definitely.

Andy & Chris (05:29.87)

Andy & Chris (05:35.054)

Andy & Chris (05:39.804)

Lucie Simic (05:42.022)
I look back now and recognised the privileged position. At the time, you don’t and you kind of take it for granted. It certainly was something that again, created the person I am today. I’m very independent as a result of that experience.

Andy & Chris (05:54.459)
Yeah. You don’t buy your exams, do you? You know, it’s that thing is the fact of whilst you might have the circumstances, I think sometimes people get very funny about where people have brought up or where they come from, but actually it’s the individual and you still have to work hard. It’s not like just cause you can bring your pony to school or guess what? We’ll give you an A star or whatever it was. It doesn’t work like that.

Lucie Simic (06:10.838)
Yeah, it’s great.

Lucie Simic (06:15.087)

No, it doesn’t. You still have to, you know, do those things. And I think actually the bit that was hidden that I probably didn’t really recognize was I got up every morning from the age of I went to boarding school before I was 10. And I went until I was 16. And every single morning when I was at school, I would get up and I would go and look after the pony before I started my school day. So I would get up at six o’clock and I’d be on the yard. We’d be mucking out. We’d pull together.

Andy & Chris (06:42.457)

Lucie Simic (06:47.124)
it would be a team effort because there were rules and there were things you had to do. Not only did your pony have to be mucked out and looked after, but the yard had to be spick and span. And only when you had, we used to have, they used to kind of patrol it afterwards, they would do a quick kind of check that everything had been done and then you could leave, you could go back, you could shower, then you went to breakfast and then you went to school. And then after school, you went back and you did the same thing again before you had dinner and you did your homework. And so there was a huge amount of routine and discipline.

Andy & Chris (06:51.413)

Andy & Chris (07:02.4)

Andy & Chris (07:11.585)

Andy & Chris (07:15.911)
Yeah, character building I think is what we would say, character building. Do you still ride now or is it not something you do?

Lucie Simic (07:16.874)
that was involved? It was. Absolutely. I don’t. So yeah, I gave up. Just before I turned 18, I think boys made an appearance on the scene.

Andy & Chris (07:31.455)
Ha ha ha!

Lucie Simic (07:32.626)
And it was very kind of like, do I want to continue spending my time traveling around the country, competing on ponies, or do I fancy something different? And I picked a different life. I think I also recognized it wasn’t, it wasn’t necessarily serving me. I wasn’t gonna make a career out of it. So I was, you know, I moved on to other things.

Andy & Chris (07:43.206)
Eh, well. Mm.

Andy & Chris (07:51.031)

Do you have family? Do you have children?

Lucie Simic (07:56.146)
I do, I have two boys and they have both ridden. They don’t have horses, but yeah, I think if I had girls, it might be a little bit different.

Andy & Chris (07:58.151)
Oh. Yeah, I was gonna say.

Andy & Chris (08:04.776)
Yeah, I was going to say, I was wondering whether if you’ve got children and they want to ride, then you’ll be like, Mum might have a little go.

Lucie Simic (08:08.087)

No, yeah, I very definitely look and think if it would been kind of the roles reversed. I sort of think that my having two boys, which is exactly what my husband grew up with, two boys, is like some kind of karmic retribution for the girliness that was there. So my dad with his wife and my mum and my sister, he was in a very girly dominated environment. So I am now watching all the football that he couldn’t watch because he lived in a house of girls.

Andy & Chris (08:30.518)

Andy & Chris (08:35.071)

Andy & Chris (08:40.515)
Excellent. So when you were at school you got inspired on a school speech day. You had a journalist, the journalist of the era with her pearl earrings, Kate Aidy, came down and gave a talk at school.

Lucie Simic (08:41.42)
See you.

Lucie Simic (08:46.9)

Lucie Simic (08:52.338)
She… Yeah, I mean, this gives away my age to some degree, doesn’t it? But she was just my ultimate idol. By this point, I had identified the fact that I wanted to be a journalist.

Andy & Chris (09:06.776)

Lucie Simic (09:09.842)
chosen as head girl at school and for that we always had a an end-of-year speech day is what they would call it and there’d be prizes and lovely things and they always had a guest speaker and the year that I was head girl Kate Aidy was our guest speaker and this poor woman must have thought who is this child because I was like don’t leave and I watched her I had seen her in she was the

I guess, out there for me on a screen that was showing me that it didn’t have to be male, that there could be something else. And I think she gave me something to aspire to. You know, they say, don’t they see it, do it, be it, you know, that thing. And she absolutely was that to me. She was the person I looked at and thought I’d like to be doing that. Yeah. No, and she…

Andy & Chris (09:42.645)

Andy & Chris (09:47.724)

Andy & Chris (09:55.264)

Andy & Chris (10:01.995)
had in dangerous circumstances. Oh. It’s not like she was doing a weather or something. I think she was one of the first frontline reporters to the Iranian embassy, wasn’t she? Yeah.

Lucie Simic (10:09.522)
She was. Yeah and she wrote a book and I just to this day, I wish you know I could go back and say to her, I genuinely you have inspired me, you inspired me to do you know what I did and the course of my kind of life and she still inspires me to say you can put yourself out there. Yeah, yeah. No I really wish you’d said that you’re a good boy and child.

Andy & Chris (10:22.776)

Andy & Chris (10:28.599)
It’d be great if it… Did you read a book? Ah, because that was the only reference to you. That’s all I was thinking was that she… And then there was this really irritating girl. But it wasn’t just inspiring, it actually led you to your career choice before doing what you do in dentistry, because you were a broadcast and newspaper journalist.

Lucie Simic (10:41.054)
Yeah, yeah, she just wouldn’t shut up.

Lucie Simic (10:47.635)
It did, yeah.

Yeah, so I called it. I, despite growing up in a medical household, I quite quickly thought this isn’t for me, it’s not what I want. I wasn’t very good with bodily fluids, so I’m not sure that, you know, a medical background was necessarily the one for me, so I kind of looked at it and went, you know, I don’t think so. And so from a really quite young age I said I’d like to be a journalist, that’s what I would like. And my mum and dad could

Andy & Chris (11:04.919)

Andy & Chris (11:17.623)
Were your mum and dad supportive? Sorry.

Lucie Simic (11:19.174)
yet really supportive, like properly, I think, completely got it, saw what it could be. We went on holiday to New York and in Times Square, they have Fox News, don’t they, in the big glass box, and I remember standing on the street and I said, I’m going to do that, that’s going to be me, and it was just a thing I wanted. And I had through school done, at the time it was called

Andy & Chris (11:25.453)

Andy & Chris (11:32.235)
Mmm, yeah, yeah.

Andy & Chris (11:42.719)

Lucie Simic (11:49.148)
a thing anymore but I used to do that and obviously having been in Wales as well I used to go and actually perform for kind of competitions so speaking competitions and you’d be judged and you know etc on your presenting skills so all of that kind of built me to who I was and yeah I went to university and this was before media studies was cool so we had to do

Andy & Chris (11:49.961)

Andy & Chris (11:56.634)
Oh well.

Andy & Chris (11:59.991)

Andy & Chris (12:05.928)

Andy & Chris (12:12.041)

Andy & Chris (12:16.111)
I was at the recording, English with the communicator. Alright, okay.

Lucie Simic (12:19.374)
And so I studied that and whilst I was at university, one of my tutors, my lecturers, was also worked at the BBC in Cardiff. She was an amazing lady, again, formidable female, strong character working in production for the BBC and she offered me really kindly some work experience.

Andy & Chris (12:41.793)
Oh well.

Lucie Simic (12:43.154)
as seems to be the case, I just get involved and they can’t get rid of me. So that was it. I was stuck and I started out in a newsroom for the entry level job is called a researcher. So you are effectively the person who writes the stories, you find the stories, you determine with the rest of the production team what you’re going to make a highlight today or what you’re not or all of that stuff.

Andy & Chris (12:50.371)
Ha ha ha!

Andy & Chris (13:10.131)
Right, okay.

Lucie Simic (13:13.508)
and collecting guests and taking them into studio, prepping them. It’s a really…

Andy & Chris (13:19.371)
And can I, did they ask, did they suggest to you what the topic or was part of your job also to suggest topics? Wow.

Lucie Simic (13:26.45)
It was to suggest, so this was the interesting bit, yeah, because actually when you get in, every morning starts with a production meeting and they literally go round the room where they go, who’s got something, who’s got a story, what’s happening. And yes, I’m sure you can imagine, there are slower news days where things, you know, occasionally my own… Yeah. That was probably me at the very beginning. Yeah.

Andy & Chris (13:37.283)
I didn’t.

Andy & Chris (13:44.492)
I think we’ve seen them when they appear on BBC. Here we are reporting on a hedgehog crossing a road. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lucie Simic (13:53.298)
That’s what we had in Devon, it was, oh, tractor drove up the road the wrong way. But in Cardiff, it was much more kind of obviously metropolitan to a degree. And yeah, you would sit and yeah, you would pitch your story and hope that, you know, you had something. So yeah, I’m potentially, yeah, I mean, I graduated 2003. So yeah, I’m early 20s.

Andy & Chris (14:05.795)
Hmm. That’s great.

Andy & Chris (14:10.839)
So what’s this, you’re 21, 22 here?

Andy & Chris (14:20.311)
Hmm, that’s but I think that’s brilliant. I never really thought about it But you get an early age to sort of influence what I don’t know However, many people watch out if it’s BBC or BBC Wales or whatever it but you’re still got you know millions of people Tuning into a story that you have decided to champion or create. Do you know what I mean? That’s amazing

Lucie Simic (14:27.625)

Lucie Simic (14:32.45)


Lucie Simic (14:39.822)
Well, yeah, absolutely. And you would get it because people would contact you with their information and sometimes it would be PR companies, other times it would be people themselves. Sometimes you would be out and talking to somebody and they would either tell you something and you think that’s interesting, we should think about that. And then the…

Andy & Chris (14:44.727)
Mmm. Wow. Mmm. I’m going to try this with a little bit of a

Andy & Chris (14:57.047)
Wow flip makes me think of those films where someone goes i’ve got a scoop for you. Yeah

Lucie Simic (15:02.462)
That’s exactly it. That’s exactly what would happen. And then the most fascinating kind of moment. And this is where you realize things are so cyclical. But I was actually in the newsroom for the breakout of the Iraq War. So that was that moment and the pulling down of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Iraq and outside of the UN headquarters. I don’t know if you remember, there was a day where they bombed the UN headquarters there.

Andy & Chris (15:22.372)
Mm-hmm. Mm.

Andy & Chris (15:30.56)

Lucie Simic (15:32.216)
job at that point in the newsroom and I can’t underestimate the adrenaline that’s running through everybody. You know, there’s this weird, almost psychopathic kind of moment where you forget the human level.

Andy & Chris (15:47.217)
Mmm. Yeah.

Lucie Simic (15:47.914)
what’s happening. And my job at that point was we need to speak to somebody who either worked or works in that building, get me somebody. And so, you know, it’s not quite, it was a little bit more computerized, but not a much, but we’ve got this giant Rolodex and I’m going through all our contacts. And eventually I’ve trying everybody. And as you can imagine, the chaos means that phones are dead or nobody’s answering quite rightly. And I dial one number

Andy & Chris (15:56.222)

Andy & Chris (16:01.617)

Haha, well.

Andy & Chris (16:11.392)

Lucie Simic (16:19.19)
and he’s quite literally outside the building cowering behind a water fountain, a big fountain, and he said I’m hiding and I can hear the noise going on around him.

Andy & Chris (16:30.083)

Lucie Simic (16:30.558)
And at this point, I had this really divided moment where I thought to myself, oh my God, I’ve got the catch of the century. Like this is a chap who’s on the floor. He’s just led this building that’s been bombed. This is massive. And then the other side of me is I’m talking to this guy and he’s there almost kind of, yeah.

Andy & Chris (16:42.988)

Andy & Chris (16:51.363)
It’s a… Petrified… Fearing for his life. Yeah.

Lucie Simic (16:55.09)
I’m having to talk to him and go, I don’t suppose you would possibly mind, would you? He was amazing and he stayed there and we got onto Sky News. My contact, my phone call was the catalyst for him. We do.

Andy & Chris (17:07.223)

Wow. So do you sort of put them through or something? Is that how it works?

Lucie Simic (17:14.614)
That is exactly it. So once you have got your lead, you’ve got your story, so once I’ve given him to the BBC and they’ve done what they want, we then buddy up and say, hey, do you want, do you need? And everybody’s contacting us going, have you got this person? Yes, I do. Then I’ll put you through. And all the while, I am the in-between girl. So he’s on the phone for three, four, five hours with me and I’m just talking constantly. Yeah. Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

Andy & Chris (17:34.499)

Andy & Chris (17:39.702)
Flippin’ Hector!

It must be quite hard, you were just saying it, so that disengagement in a way, because you have to disengage your feeling brain. I don’t know if that’s quite the way to look at it. This is my job, this is my job. I can’t think about what else goes around it. I suppose it’s almost like the excitement of the job takes over. In that moment, it’s not about people, it’s about I’ve got an opportunity to deliver a message to the world.

Lucie Simic (17:53.386)
You do.

Lucie Simic (17:57.195)

And I think, yeah, it does.

Lucie Simic (18:08.742)

And I think it’s that there’s a phrase, isn’t there, ambulance chasing? And I think obviously journalists have not had the best of times in terms of reputation-wise recently and continue to for whatever reasons. And I can see why, I guess, because I sit across both sides of this argument and I go, we are, we are in the moment, we forget what we are doing. And that’s quite similar to dentistry because I think sometimes dentists do the same. They forget that there’s a human

Andy & Chris (18:14.135)

Andy & Chris (18:21.608)

Andy & Chris (18:37.963)
Hmm. Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

Lucie Simic (18:40.584)
in that mouth. And I think in that moment we become all encompassed on I’ve got a job to do and somebody is holding me to a higher level than human, if that makes sense.

Andy & Chris (18:50.983)
Mmm. Yeah There was a professor once wasn’t it was someone told us as a professor I think it was a good few years ago He basically described a patient as a biological way of getting that mouth into your office And it was like okay. That’s not really looking at as a patient Is it that was his that was his thought was very honest a biological method. Yeah

Lucie Simic (19:03.263)

Yeah, no, absolutely. It is honest and I think that’s the point with the journalism. I think you get swept up in an environment that tells you, I want the story, I want this, I want that and that’s exactly what happens in a newsroom.

Andy & Chris (19:20.225)

Andy & Chris (19:25.779)
So now you work in dentistry on the non-clinical side, so what would you say were the transferable skills you learned from that world that are serving you well today?

Lucie Simic (19:36.746)
So I genuinely to this day believe the biggest thing for me is the show business-ness of it. So the thing where you, I went to work and I put on a performance and I do that in dentistry as well because it’s about communicating and it’s about controlling the controllables and being that.

Andy & Chris (20:00.16)
Is it worth asking Lucy to tell us what actually you do? I’m just thinking for people might, but I still don’t know what we do. Just give us a sort of like a little snapshot of what you do because then it might sort of fall into place a bit really.

Lucie Simic (20:04.867)
Yeah, good question.

Lucie Simic (20:14.738)
Yeah, so I spent the first probably eight years of dentistry. So I joined dentistry in about 2013, just about, and I spent that time as a business manager, a practice manager, a general manager, whatever you want to call them, but the person who led the business. And I now

subsequently have gone on and worked within corporate. I’ve done squat practices, private, NHS, you name it. I’ve done kind of most things now. But I no longer work in a single practice. I am working for myself and I do a few things. So the first thing is I have a bespoke consultancy. I work one-to-one with practice managers and their business owners. I kind of talk about it as a,

other and their team, so it’s sort of looking up and down the tree if you like. And the other thing I do or hope that I do but I’m out there doing is training and speaking so I cannot tell you how passionately I love dentistry now that I’m in it and I honestly believe from the outside in it’s an industry that needs more highlighting to everybody else kind of the regular world because

Andy & Chris (21:09.493)

Andy & Chris (21:28.267)
Thanks for watching!

Lucie Simic (21:38.844)
endless and for me I’m a walking example of that. Someone who came in as a practice manager who then you know changed a little bit to this, moved into another practice, did something slightly different and now I’m out there working with practice managers, working with their teams, working with front of house, working on customer service. I call it the more than dentistry part of it so I sort of do everything but the dentistry. That’s the book title that I’m currently in front of then.

Andy & Chris (22:03.235)

Andy & Chris (22:08.497)
You said that when you were a practice manager you found that world quite lonely and that may have perhaps influenced the support you give to practice managers now. Why was it a lonely world and have things changed?

Lucie Simic (22:20.734)
Yeah, so I think firstly dentistry a decade or so ago was very insular. I think even dentists would go and they would network, but the rest of the team didn’t really do that. There was no real networking, there was no real communicating with anybody else. And it felt like we were these tiny islands kind of bobbing along doing our own thing. And I came in and…

Andy & Chris (22:35.536)

Lucie Simic (22:49.522)
I’ve worked in some bizarre environments, a newsroom being one. The second one was I was once a marketing manager for a Windows company. So I’ve worked with tradesmen and I will call them tradesmen because the correlation is important because that was a very male dominated kind of labor intensive job, slightly different to coming into a dental practice, which is very female, certainly in the non dentist kind of role as well. And so I came in.

Andy & Chris (23:03.864)

Andy & Chris (23:15.298)

Lucie Simic (23:19.696)
and very quickly realized that I couldn’t be their friend, I had to be their boss. And that meant that you got pressure from above and pressure from below, and you sat in this middle section, and actually the dentist that I’d worked for, who was an incredibly inspiring leader, had said to me, you can’t sit with them at lunchtime, you’ll need to remove yourself from that situation

sometimes you’ll do things and say things that will mean they want to walk into the lunchroom and go, what a bitch. And they have to be able to do that. And so, yeah, and I think the rest of the practice has these sub teams. You’ve got your front of house team, you’ve got your nurse team, you’ve got your TCO team, you’ve got your dental team, you’ve got your dental nurses, you’ve got the… You’ve got so many teams. And then this manager just sat…

Andy & Chris (23:57.306)

Give them their space, yeah.

Lucie Simic (24:16.138)
there and I so I see why it became a job that was kind of synonymous with closing the door if you get my drift you know there was a sense that practice managers would retreat they would close the door and nobody really knew what they were doing.

Andy & Chris (24:24.276)

Lucie Simic (24:34.05)
didn’t want that to be the case. I knew I couldn’t be their friend and I knew there were certain things I had to do but I also knew that I could communicate well with people. I knew that I wanted to lead them and so I wanted it to be open door and I worked in a practice that was fortunate enough to have a business hub on that it didn’t start out that way but once we had grown and developed the business we had this incredible open plan office space upstairs and I didn’t have an office that was purposeful so that I was out there and I would

sit on the reception and we were open seven days a week and that meant that I was there Saturdays and Sundays in the practice.

Andy & Chris (25:14.081)
It’s phenomenal really. It’s an interesting sort of change isn’t it to go from to them sort of suddenly being in that female dominated in the dentist part. And a great observation on your part.

which perhaps came back from the previous work that you’d done in terms of working on that floor where everyone was available and it was very high up time and it all happened in real time to having these little compartments where it’s like you don’t talk to these people, you do it this way. But from a kind of open communication point of view, the things you were seeing back then is now just the modern way of how we work. Good practices, good businesses have a very flat hierarchy.

Lucie Simic (25:52.792)
We’re in.

Andy & Chris (25:57.789)
you can talk to anybody about anything and things move forward so much more quickly.

Lucie Simic (26:00.undefined)

And I think that the more industries that you visit or you see or you’re involved in, you recognize as well that the great ones are there showing the aspiration and the career path. And I think that’s something that dentistry has been really poor at and something I’m mega kind of keen to change because actually the problem for a lot of staff members, I think in dental practices is they don’t know what’s available to them and what the next move might be.

Andy & Chris (26:13.055)

Andy & Chris (26:21.146)

Andy & Chris (26:30.759)

Lucie Simic (26:31.504)
And so I think it’s really important that we do show them. So I don’t back away when I talk to teams from telling them my own career path, but also kind of what I do. Because I think sometimes, again, we get very, I don’t want to let this person go. I don’t want them to leave. I need them to stay. We take it very personally. If somebody leaves, we think, blimey, what have we done? And often it’s about flourishing. And we have seen more of that in the last, I think, I’m not going to blame COVID

Andy & Chris (26:46.231)

Andy & Chris (26:52.063)

Lucie Simic (27:01.424)
I think it is COVID. I think what COVID did was microscope it so that it became something we saw a bit quicker. I think it sped it up. But we’re losing people from dentistry because they don’t know what opportunities there are in dentistry, because we don’t show them. Because we’re terrified of saying, go and find out about being an orthodontic therapist. Hey, dentonets, go and find out about doing this. Hey, practice manager, did you know you don’t have to be practice manager forever? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Andy & Chris (27:05.344)

Andy & Chris (27:09.527)

Andy & Chris (27:15.187)
Yeah, yeah. Mm.

Andy & Chris (27:21.736)

Andy & Chris (27:29.099)
And also maybe the White House, I suppose, wasn’t it? I mean, we were saying, weren’t we? You’re getting people during the COVID period, especially that when in our other life, you see valuations of what people pay their staff. And then suddenly there was this realization, hang on a minute, I could go and stack shelves in Sainsbury’s for more money than I’m earning now. I will get then 20% off my food bill because maybe no one has made me realize how important and the value that I have.

Lucie Simic (27:47.031)

Lucie Simic (27:57.986)

Andy & Chris (27:59.575)
in the team. Yeah, interesting. Lucy, how would you gauge the mood in dentistry at the moment? Because last year for lots of people was quite tricky, although interestingly during the year not that many people were vocal about it. It was great. Yeah, somebody’s great. Whenever one does their year-end wrap-up.

Lucie Simic (28:01.957)

Lucie Simic (28:10.667)

Lucie Simic (28:16.084)
I’m fine, I’m fine.

Andy & Chris (28:20.751)
I was surprised by how many people quite openly said, it’s a really flipping hard year. What’s your take on kind of last year and coming to this year?

Lucie Simic (28:32.309)
I think two things. I think…

Business-wise, we are still very buoyant. I think there are loads of opportunities for dentistry. I think I’ve got no concern over the financial ability to run a brilliant business in dentistry. The biggest problem that we have and will continue to have in dentistry is its people. And I think that feedback that you’ve had from 2023

Andy & Chris (28:49.91)

Lucie Simic (29:05.552)
them starting to feel the way the team has felt as well over the last couple of years. I think we feel tired. I think we’re looking for, I hate the word balance because I don’t think there is a work-life balance. I think we have to look at what’s a priority in the time and moment that we’re in. And I don’t think we’re doing that well enough for our teams and I think that makes it hard. So when we’re losing good staff members and we’re

Andy & Chris (29:11.352)

Andy & Chris (29:22.157)

Lucie Simic (29:34.952)
pressure on the rest of the team and they are then consequently seeing a way out and you talked about you know somebody going to work for Aldi or Lidl. I was in Bristol last week in Cribbs Causeway and they’ve got an itsu restaurant and there’s a job advert in the window and it said come and work for itsu. It is £12.90 for somebody who works in a restaurant but you could be a shift leader and be

Lucie Simic (30:04.812)
benefits and then it said and if you if you want progression and you want growth here is what you could be if you became store manager and it was 35,000 pounds

Andy & Chris (30:12.031)

Lucie Simic (30:15.266)
Two key things, firstly, notice how they’ve jumped to an annual salary for those big hitting jobs. I hate hourly rate. Why we do this in dentistry drives me insane. It’s such a backwards way of working. And as someone who’s professional and worked in loads of different industries, why we do this, I’ll never know. Yep, and we’re not.

Andy & Chris (30:23.055)
Mm-mm. Yeah. Mm.

Andy & Chris (30:36.099)
That’s so true isn’t it, because it makes you look like a shelf stacker. But also, I’ve never really thought about it before, but you’re right. If you’re going to pay somebody hourly, why wouldn’t they think beyond an hour? If you want someone to think and commit to your practice, if you say, well I’m going to value you on an hourly basis, why would somebody say, well is this a career I could really settle into for the next few years? I’ve never really thought about it actually, the hourly rate thing. You’re right, yeah.

Lucie Simic (30:45.934)

for 12 months.

Lucie Simic (30:54.602)
Yeah. No. Yeah. And it’s just, it’s something that I’ve wandered about for so long and always changed. Whenever I’ve gone into a dental practice, that’s the change I make. I say to them, we’re moving to an annual salary and this is what it will be. Yes, for the first few months, you convert for the team because they need to work out in their brain what it means. But eventually what you do is you start to build this.

Andy & Chris (31:06.955)

Andy & Chris (31:13.867)

Lucie Simic (31:19.574)
this culture that values the staff member and growth and what that looks like. And if they are competing, if I’m competing, because now I’m not competing with a shelf stacker, I don’t want to compete with a shelf stacker. I want to compete with people who are in sales and big end hospitality and they’re being paid an annual salary.

Andy & Chris (31:30.805)

Andy & Chris (31:37.923)

Lucie Simic (31:38.858)
And I also think from a workforce point of view, everybody talks about it now, the purpose, the meaning, the why, giving some meaningfulness, otherwise motivation rates. And I think people look at it and if you are working to an hourly rate, everything becomes that eight-hour day and nothing more. Whereas I’ve never gone into a job and thought, that job starts at this time and finishes at that time. I’m in it. I’m in it 365 days a year.

Andy & Chris (31:45.379)

Andy & Chris (31:56.897)

Andy & Chris (32:05.591)
Hmm And it is back here I think it is as you’re saying it’s about giving purpose isn’t it it’s about saying to people actually You’re important And I think that’s quite interesting your comment about the almost like a time lag In the fact of the princes have been having a great time. This is a generalization because they’ve done really well So business has gone really well, so they feel very buoyant about it But I wonder how buoyant in a lot of practices there

Lucie Simic (32:12.013)

Lucie Simic (32:23.158)

Andy & Chris (32:31.827)
Staff felt about the business going very well because did they know it was happening? They do because they see what’s going on But did they get any benefit from it and then now there’s almost like it’s catching up a bit Because the yeah, it’s fascinating

Lucie Simic (32:40.387)

Lucie Simic (32:44.578)
Well, there’s a big disconnect between the practice being…

successful and your team, because we don’t trickle the information down, we’re not very good at that. And again, something I’ve seen, I’ve watched, I’ve been in part of, and now I go in and I profess to this, you have to trickle that information through. They have to know what they’re working to, what those targets are, and what success looks like, because success for one person is different to another. And when you’re dealing with a front of house team member who’s seeing sometimes thousands of pounds

Andy & Chris (32:56.244)

Andy & Chris (33:05.161)

Andy & Chris (33:09.964)

Andy & Chris (33:14.176)
Yeah, true.

Lucie Simic (33:20.184)
the PDQ on a daily basis, they can sit there and feel very detached from the ultimate game. And you and I both know that money comes in hard and fast with dental practice, but it goes out as quickly. And the gap that we’re looking at is minimal. But the front of house team doesn’t know that. They have no clue because we don’t share with them that information.

Andy & Chris (33:33.431)

Andy & Chris (33:37.676)

Andy & Chris (33:42.323)
Yeah, that’s a bit like associates. It’s sorry. I’m saying it’s a bit of associates, isn’t it? Well, I can’t believe that bloke takes 50% of my, and it’s like, yeah, but hang on a minute. Have you realized that he’s also provided a, a nurse for you and all the other bits and all this and that. And lots of practices. Yeah. We know, cause we see lots of their numbers. They’ve had, they’ve done really well.

Lucie Simic (33:49.62)

Lucie Simic (33:53.639)

Lucie Simic (34:00.462)

Andy & Chris (34:00.695)
through the start in the back end of 20, but 21 and 22 in particular were good financial years because there was a spike in terms of spending on dentistry and some hadn’t incurred the costs in 20 that they might have. Have practices got better at their open communication with their teams on how they’re performing? Because I think what you say is right, I think from a culture point of view, if you only fed a limited amount of information as a team member, you can only judge based on that.

Lucie Simic (34:06.699)

Lucie Simic (34:12.946)
Yes, the date.

Lucie Simic (34:29.516)

Andy & Chris (34:29.859)
limited information ways. If you’re exposed to more information, you might have a better understanding in terms of where that business is really at.

Lucie Simic (34:37.806)
I think what’s interesting is I think that practices are getting better. I do think that more people recognise now that there is more to it than you know, hiding that away in the background. I think, you know, KPIs are a buzzword. Everybody’s talking about targets. And I think I think that is what needs reviewing or touching base on, because I think some of those that may have been from previous kind of years need

Andy & Chris (34:50.936)

Lucie Simic (35:07.76)
But I think what is interesting for me about the success of 2020, 21, 22, because let’s be honest, 2020 was an interesting year. We actually were only out of dentistry for a small amount of time. It felt like 10 years in the moment and we all wondered what was going on. But in reality, we got back very quick.

Andy & Chris (35:17.721)

Andy & Chris (35:21.096)

Andy & Chris (35:27.311)

Lucie Simic (35:28.266)
And I think we genuinely were very efficient. I know we were following, I know there were gaps, and that was frustrating for dentists. But what it did was I think it created this need to be more efficient. And so we’ve worked ourselves really hard and we’ve got really efficient. And I think that is why 21, 22 were so good because people were better at being cost-effective, efficient, using time wisely.

Andy & Chris (35:43.596)

Andy & Chris (35:57.427)

Lucie Simic (35:57.96)
squeezing patients and lots of patients in because we felt we needed to. And I think that kind of comes back to the same thing about, I talk a harp on about diary zoning all the time, but if you can be efficient with your diaries and you can look at it as a figure, a number in your head, a target, rather than a race to how many bums on seats, that’s the biggest change you can make going forward in your business. Because the moment

as a principal but also that you’re able to instil that in your team that this is not about how many patients we see but it’s about how much money we make.

Andy & Chris (36:37.906)

Lucie Simic (36:38.374)
I think that’s the biggest thing because we shy away from money chat. In general, I think, you know, being British, we do it. Being female, we do it. Being, you know, whatever it is, we do it a lot. And actually, I think if we can do anything, we can be better about sharing those kind of financial successes and saying, I want this.

Andy & Chris (36:42.176)

Andy & Chris (36:45.983)
Yeah. Ha ha ha. Hmm.

Andy & Chris (36:57.592)

And would you say that’s a priority for 24 or is it something that’s already happening?

Lucie Simic (37:06.262)
I think for some it’s happening, I’m seeing it happen, but I also think there is a difference between seeing and doing. I think you can talk the talk and see the sea, how many people actually do it. I think the other thing for dentists, and this is kind of hopefully where I come in and why I want practice managers to step up, because…

Andy & Chris (37:09.193)

Andy & Chris (37:13.527)

Lucie Simic (37:27.106)
Dentists who are running businesses who are not businessmen. So there’s a distinction, you’ll meet them, you see them all the time. You’ll have dentists who come in who are businessmen and then you have dentists who come in who are dentists. And it’s those, it’s that category that need the extra support around them.

Andy & Chris (37:34.487)

Andy & Chris (37:38.709)

Andy & Chris (37:43.595)
which is the biggest percentage by far.

Lucie Simic (37:45.514)
It’s the biggest percentage, huge. And they’re the ones that need help. They need that support. They need somebody to be guiding them because what they can’t do is be dentist and businessman. And they can’t go to a course or go off on a CPD weekend, fill their brain with wonderful things and come back and do nothing with it. Because it’s useless.

Andy & Chris (37:56.619)


Andy & Chris (38:05.763)
They can’t implement yet. And also I think it’s understanding it’s not their fault. They spend a minimum five years at dental school learning a very technical science-based thing, which from a patient point of view is amazing because we get good dentistry, but that doesn’t sit well with the broad range of skills you need to be a successful business person. So it’s not their fault. But I think the nature of the world, and particularly for dentists,

Lucie Simic (38:10.254)
Thank you.

Lucie Simic (38:13.835)

Lucie Simic (38:23.394)

Andy & Chris (38:30.823)
It’s a bit of a fantasy, but the reality is everybody feels a principal somehow from a status point of view ranks above an associate. So lots of people have an ambition to become a principal, but they then become…

Lucie Simic (38:37.142)
Yeah, totally. Yeah. Look, there are some associates doing really well.

Andy & Chris (38:42.667)
Yeah, exactly. But what you end up with is this huge cohort of reluctant principles They never really wanted to be a business owner But they had to because that was kind of the next stepping stone. They’re expected to learn by osmosis almost isn’t it? So if I stand next to you long enough, I’m gonna I might catch your business knowledge. It’s like mad

Lucie Simic (38:47.582)

Lucie Simic (38:54.518)

Lucie Simic (39:00.542)
And I think the thing you talk about sliding doors, but again, I think the other thing that you have to remember.

is that if you think too much about dentistry and you only fill your brain with dental and dental world things, that’s when you’re going to leave yourself open. Because remember, in the background, we’ve got dentists and dentist practice owners who are running along and they’re going, yep, I run a dental practice and I’m good and I do this and I tick all these boxes that I’ve been on this course and they’ve told me to do this and that’s great. But on the other side of this, I’ve got an entire patient base that is also changing.

Andy & Chris (39:26.37)

Lucie Simic (39:36.656)
If I was to canvas that patient base and I said to them, how was 2023 for you? I guarantee you they would give us some illuminating and fascinating insight into it because we are getting choosier as consumers. We’re spending our money and dentistry is showing us that. And now that we are moving out of that, I mean, it’s taken some time, but we’re moving out of the dentistry is NHS and therefore the government pays for it, et cetera, et cetera,

Andy & Chris (39:51.267)

Lucie Simic (40:06.816)
for my dentistry, I’m going to want it in a place that I feel respected and I feel like they give me good customer service and all of those things. So you’re not just dealing with your own challenges in dentistry, we’re dealing with the changing population in the background. You know, my kids, my eldest is 16, he’s going to be a ball breaker, he’s going to be the hardest person because he will walk into somewhere and he wants something completely different to what I want.

Andy & Chris (40:11.663)

Andy & Chris (40:31.527)
Yeah. That’s true. Like restaurants. Yeah. You’ve got about 10 years in the profession. Would you say the profession is the profession it was back then? Has it changed in those 10 years from your point of view?

Lucie Simic (40:35.755)


Lucie Simic (40:42.619)
Thank you.

Lucie Simic (40:46.158)
Do you know, that’s a great question because yes and no. I think…

I’ve been really lucky that the practices that I’ve worked with have always been forward thinking, been led by great people, trying to do different things, and it’s been fascinating. They’ve been early adopters of change and technology. And so I think the thing that I would say has changed is that is not the case anymore. There are far more up there in that level, pushing up into saying,

Andy & Chris (40:57.931)

Andy & Chris (41:06.094)

Andy & Chris (41:22.135)

Lucie Simic (41:22.18)
if I take locally to me, if I was to look across 10 practices within a 10 mile radius of me, it’s going to be quite hard to choose between those 10 practices. There’ll be other practices and they’ll follow it by the way. But there are more, I think, that are stepping up and from a perception point of view, because I say that because it’s not accurate if I went in, I would hazard a guess, but from a perception point of view, the consumer has a huge amount of choice.

Andy & Chris (41:35.053)
Hmm, thank you sir. Hmm.

Andy & Chris (41:41.229)

Andy & Chris (41:46.359)
They all look the same.


Lucie Simic (41:50.55)
But with that, when you do the smoke and mirrors, which is what creating a fancy website is, if you cannot uphold that same standard customer service and drive, you will lose your patience. And that’s what I think has changed, is there are more people who think they can show they do something and not as many who are doing the do.

Andy & Chris (41:58.245)
Ha ha.

Yeah, if it’s not genuine, yeah.

Andy & Chris (42:14.845)
More female.

Lucie Simic (42:17.97)
always felt like it’s been fairly female in the last 10 years. It’s nice to see more female dentists coming through obviously but I was very fortunate that everywhere I’ve worked I’ve always been surrounded by some incredible female characters as well and I think

Andy & Chris (42:32.343)
Are you seeing more female practice owners? Because in our other business, we see more female practice owners. At one time it would be like, oh, women don’t, wasn’t it? Probably when we first started, it was being like, oh, women don’t normally buy practices. But the answer is they do. The big shift, yeah. Yeah.

Lucie Simic (42:38.823)
That’s… Yeah.

Lucie Simic (42:48.394)
Yeah, do you know what, that’s probably actually a very interesting point, yes, and I think that also is an interesting marker because I think the way that you deal with female, you know, and I can say that, I think we’re a different beast. We know that. Yeah. It’s huge.

Andy & Chris (43:02.659)
I was going to ask you, is there a difference? Is there a difference? Do you find a difference in how you communicate? Or do you also find a difference in receptiveness?

Lucie Simic (43:12.906)
Yes, I have yet to work with a female business owner who hasn’t wanted to act on everything that I might say or do. And the same whenever I’ve worked with anybody else. There seems to be this hunger to go, I love what you’re saying. Yes, let’s do it. Let’s implement it. Quite often that isn’t necessarily the case with a male kind of figure. That’s only, you know, lots of the ones that actually I work with are really up for the change.

Andy & Chris (43:34.407)
Right, a bit of a resistance sort of comes.

Andy & Chris (43:40.739)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lucie Simic (43:43.254)
But I think, again, I’m seeing a hunger to do well, but not just do well on paper.

Andy & Chris (43:48.595)
is great. It is, yes, brilliant. Which is great. Well, one of the things that lots of dentists are able to tell us and they kind of think is a great number is how many new patients they’d attract on a monthly basis. They’re always able to give us that down to the minutest number, but they aren’t particularly good at telling us about retention and how many patients they… So if it’s a classic hole in the bottom of the bucket, do practices obsess about patient loyalty to the extent

Lucie Simic (44:01.663)

Lucie Simic (44:08.886)

Andy & Chris (44:16.811)
that they should or that they just constantly look at new marketing techniques to bring new people in.

Lucie Simic (44:22.414)
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’ve said it for the last few months about 2024, but for me, 2024 has to be about patient loyalty. And what that means is looking at how you service your existing patient base and do you do enough for them. We forget that actually…

Andy & Chris (44:38.357)

Lucie Simic (44:43.166)
I used to, so three KPIs that I would have looked at a decade ago would be new patient numbers, obsessed with them. And I would be looking at what my average patient spend was for a new patient. And so what I was saying was I’m valuing new patients over other patients because they’re going to spend roughly, and the number was 800 and something pounds for an average new patient spend in 2015, let’s say.

Andy & Chris (44:58.624)

Andy & Chris (45:06.071)

Lucie Simic (45:13.undefined)
And I was saying, if I could get, and we were in Exeter getting 250, 300 new patients every month, spending that kind of level on average, I was looking at that and going, that’s brilliant, that’s growth, that’s this, that’s blah blah. And I think if you are in a growth session and you are in that point, like for us it was because we were expanding, so we had extra surgeries to fill, I think there was a time and a place for that new push. Exactly. But for the

Andy & Chris (45:33.433)

Yeah, that fits.

Lucie Simic (45:42.64)
years, let’s squeeze all of the dentistry we can out of this building. Let’s kick our teams out of their staff rooms. Let’s build extra surgeries because that’s where the money gets made. And let’s just drill in this. Let’s get high, stack them high, get lots and lots of new patients in because they spend this great money. And we’ve forgotten that we’ve got patients who are spending lots of money with us over the course of 10, hopefully years, you know, if you think about a decade. Exactly.

Andy & Chris (46:09.643)
Yeah, lifetime client value, huh?

Lucie Simic (46:12.56)
Better still.

They are the ones that are out there telling other people how fantastic you are. Now, a new patient might come in and have a wow moment and go, yeah, lovely, but a patient who’s been going for however long is going to be worth their weight in gold if they tell one person every year that might be an extra 10 patients that you’ve got from every single patient. And so I think patient loyalty is something that’s been really undervalued in practices

Andy & Chris (46:18.987)

Andy & Chris (46:27.309)

Andy & Chris (46:38.901)

Andy & Chris (46:43.281)
Yeah, definitely.

Lucie Simic (46:44.312)
and membership plans.

Membership plans in 2024, I’ve been talking about this for a little while, but I honestly believe that we should have two fee guides. There should be a members fee guide and a pay as you go fee guide rather than this discount because membership plans give a, you know, let’s give 5%, 10%, 20%, but you only get that percentage if you actually need the service or you have to have the work done. So it’s this negative number of something that you get that you don’t really achieve any kind of benefit from.

Andy & Chris (46:59.249)

20% off, whatever it is.

Lucie Simic (47:16.56)
as a patient, let’s say. And supermarkets, yeah, absolutely. But supermarkets have cottoned onto this. You guys have probably been into, so the town that I live in has Sainsbury’s, so I’ll use a Nectar card as an example. But I went into Sainsbury’s, I was buying a couple of bits. One of my sons was having a few kids over, so I bought some beige food, basically crisps, pizza, you know.

Andy & Chris (47:18.568)
Hmm. Yeah, very true. Yeah, you get 20% off your crown, but only if you need one. Yeah

Andy & Chris (47:40.484)

Lucie Simic (47:41.038)
Yeah, I got to the till. They actually said specifically, can you buy nothing green? I was like, okay. Yeah, sorry. And so I got to the till and I scanned this stuff through on the self-service and it came to 48 pounds. And you know when you go, oh, okay. And then it said, have you got a Nectar card? And I went, yep, lovely. Scanned the Nectar card and it dropped to 23 pounds.

Andy & Chris (47:47.095)
No celery sticks then.

Andy & Chris (47:51.363)

Lucie Simic (48:06.034)
And what they are doing now, if you notice in supermarkets is they will put the price on the thing that says butter Seven pounds, but if you are a member of us, it’s only Three pounds or whatever it might be and they’re all doing it but boots are doing it

Andy & Chris (48:12.231)
Oh they do don’t they, yeah that’s right.

Andy & Chris (48:21.931)
But the interesting thing is you were like, wow, that sounds great. But if it had just ringed up at 23 pounds, you would have just shrugged your shoulders, paid and walked out. But you actually walked out thinking, I’ve got a real bargain. Got a psychology, isn’t it powerful?

Lucie Simic (48:32.159)
Absolutely all for having a nectar card in my wallet.

Absolutely and I think that’s the problem. What we haven’t been able to do is service our planned patients in the way they probably deserved for a period of time. We’re struggling with fitting them in. We have struggled with fitting them in. So actually some zoning to make sure that we can fit and service all of our planned patients. But secondly giving them something that’s tangible, there’s a reason to be a member and a loyal patient at the practice I think goes above

Andy & Chris (48:45.067)

Andy & Chris (48:51.061)

Andy & Chris (48:57.311)

Lucie Simic (49:06.688)
and beyond.

Andy & Chris (49:07.095)
Hmm. It’s true. When we when we do lectures, sometimes seminars, lectures, that’s very formal. When we talk about it, we sort about the, you know, if you can work out the lifetime value of your client, then it works out how much you can spend to retain that. And then we also say to people, you’re all focused on getting new clients, but you realize how much it costs to get you a new client as opposed to try and keep hold the one you got.

Lucie Simic (49:19.319)

Lucie Simic (49:28.683)
There’s a KPI around the new patients as well, because what’s interesting for me is what I’ve been asking practices to do recently is look at that KPI number.

If you are winning 50 new clients and your software tells you, so let’s say you’re using SOE, every month SOE tells you you’ve had 50 new bums on seats. What I am now saying is what I want you to do is I actually want you to track all of your inquiries because what I want to know is the number of patients who are inquiring with you who then don’t translate into bums on seats because that’s the disconnect. We can have all the fancy

Andy & Chris (50:04.157)

Lucie Simic (50:08.88)
We can have all the fancy everything. We can bring thousands of patients into our, you know, our kind of domain, if you like. We can’t service from that one phone call into, you know, actual conversion to a chair, if you like. Then I know there’s something amiss. And I don’t need you to be spending all the money that you have on outward marketing. What you’re gonna need to do is spend some of that money on training.

Andy & Chris (50:16.286)

Andy & Chris (50:21.933)

Andy & Chris (50:26.385)
Mm. Huh.

Andy & Chris (50:35.123)
on keeping people, retention. Fix the process somewhere else, yeah. Oh, TQM, that sounds like. Yes.

Lucie Simic (50:37.534)
Absolutely. Because there’s a difference. There’s marbling.

But there’s marketing for reputation and for that kind of perceived who you are. And then there is marketing specifically for patients. And if you don’t have the capacity, the skill or the team availability as well, because that’s the other thing, you know, I go into practices sometimes and they’ll say, oh, I’m using all these people and I’m getting this many wonderful inquiries. And then I say to them, okay, so your front of house team is made up of, and they go, yeah, one person. I’m like, right, we’re going to have them.

Andy & Chris (50:48.504)

Andy & Chris (50:58.88)

Andy & Chris (51:11.14)
And when a new patient rings up they put you on hold We sit there as consumers and we go this is terrible, but they just don’t get it. No, it’s brilliant I say it’s good. It’s good Lucy. It’s been it’s been wonderful. I can’t believe we’ve been we’ve been talking for over 50 minutes It’s scary. No, no, not at all. No, it’s all now. It’s been it’s not a boring moment in there No, no, but we have got to the point. We have got to the point where we need to ask you two questions

Lucie Simic (51:13.402)
Yeah don’t. We know we’re enjoying them. Yeah.

Lucie Simic (51:23.716)

Lucie Simic (51:28.322)

Lucie Simic (51:33.422)
I’m going to go to bed.

Lucie Simic (51:37.607)

Andy & Chris (51:38.887)
So the first question we have for you is if you could be the fly on a wall in a situation, where would that be? I’m going to be intrigued with this because it’s a non-dentist. That would be quite interesting to see.

Lucie Simic (51:46.962)
Yeah, so this is going to be my guilty pleasure. So please don’t judge me on this, you all listeners, but I have been absolutely roped into, pulled into the Colleen Rooney Vardy, Rebecca Vardy. So what the…

Andy & Chris (51:50.562)

That’s all.

Andy & Chris (52:05.137)
Oh, okay. Is this the journalism in you coming about here?

Lucie Simic (52:08.442)
I think it is because I want to be the fly on the wall when Rebecca Vardy and her agent decided that phone needed to go. And they all see. I would know, did they play the Titanic theme tune and do the whole, yeah, that moment of, yeah, absolutely, that’s what I want to know. So that would be the time and the place and the when and the who. I would love to know.

Andy & Chris (52:11.883)

Andy & Chris (52:17.983)
I was going to say to drop it in the water by mistake. Yeah. Oh.

Andy & Chris (52:26.367)
as they were doing it. Who was Leo and who was Kate?

Andy & Chris (52:34.763)
Well that’s unique, we never had that one before. No, that is unique, thank you. That’s a great one. And if you could meet somebody, who would you like to meet given the opportunity?

Lucie Simic (52:43.477)
Do you know, I’ve thought about this one and I could go round the houses all day long with amazing female, powerful, incredible, you know, I could do the Michelle Obama, I could do this, I could do that, all wonderful people. I would want to go back and I would like to have dinner with Kate Aidee. So if she’s listening, just by any kind of weird link.

Andy & Chris (53:05.343)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lucie Simic (53:06.134)
Hey, I’m happy to take you out for dinner. I’ll come to you. I would just love to fill in the blanks of the stuff that’s gone on for her from that, see what she thinks about what’s gone on in journalism and how it’s changed and obviously what’s happened after her because I’m sure she does on some level know that a lot of it is her leading the way. Yeah, cool, if you wouldn’t mind.

Andy & Chris (53:16.011)

Andy & Chris (53:28.964)
I’ll send her a text.

Lucie Simic (53:33.526)
but it would be her, I’d like to have dinner with her again and I’d like to just say thank you.

Andy & Chris (53:38.051)
I should tag her in the LinkedIn or the Instagram post because she never does that so much. She might look at it. That’d be great, wouldn’t it? Can you imagine that? Part two, I had dinner with Kate Oden. It’s a lovely book-ended episode, isn’t it? Because we started about how influential she was in your career and giving you that real passion and energy for journalism.

Lucie Simic (53:41.967)
You never know.

Lucie Simic (53:52.907)

Lucie Simic (53:57.099)

Andy & Chris (53:58.719)
And so to have that towards you is lovely. And yeah, let’s see, why not? Yeah, well, I’ll tell you, but I imagine that’ll be great. We should do it in a K and K, because at least there’s genuine reason for doing it, not like we just picked on someone out of random. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah, yeah. Why is they, yeah, no, I think we should give it a go, see what happens. And then you have to tell us, you have to tell us if by any chance remotely as it might be.

Lucie Simic (54:03.018)
Yes. Never know.

Lucie Simic (54:09.726)
Absolutely, yeah. He Michelle Obama.

Lucie Simic (54:15.586)
Yeah. You never know.

I will absolutely, I’ll record all of it.

Andy & Chris (54:26.179)
Can you imagine that? That would be great. Lucy, it’s been wonderful. Thank you very much. Yeah. Thank you so much. It’s been great. And I think you’ve got great Insights into dentistry from a non Clinical point of view and I would expect people listening to this will be able to Either reach out to you help from you or just think about how they operate and tweak what they do because A lot of it’s within their reach. You know, it’s not reinventing the wheel It’s just kind of tweaking what they’re doing and thinking about it. I was gonna say I do presume you travel

Lucie Simic (54:29.209)

Lucie Simic (54:45.186)

Lucie Simic (54:54.19)
I do, I will go anywhere and everywhere. I particularly like hot, sunny climates. Do you ever go to a hot climate club? Yes. Absolutely, I do. And I also currently am running Ashley Latta’s Practice Manager Club. So that’s a fantastic kind of entry for practice managers to come in and spend a bit of time with me, which is fabulous and definitely something I’m very proud of being part of.

Andy & Chris (55:00.692)
Oh, uh, a little some ant thing.

Andy & Chris (55:21.956)
Brilliant. If you could perhaps let us have a couple of links for things so that people can easily find you, we can drop those into the guest notes so people can just click directly through, which would be cool. Yeah, brilliant. Lucy, thank you very much indeed. Yeah, thank you very much. Appreciate your time today, it’s been great. Thanks, Lucy. Never forget to look after yourself. Bye.

Lucie Simic (55:34.85)
Thank you so much. Thank you.


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