8.22.17 Issue #807 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter
 


Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
Instructor/Consultant
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How to Sell the Value of Dentistry
By Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Treatment Acceptance Training Case #TA251

Treatment Coordinator “Janie Fe” (names have been changed) enrolled in the Treatment Acceptance Training Course through McKenzie Management to learn some new strategies for selling patients on treatment to enhance their appearance and create a better wellbeing. Her challenge was that patients became impatient to get to the cost of treatment and weren’t interested in what she had to say.

When asked when she first meets the patients, Janie replied that she did not meet them until the treatment plan was printed and given to her to present. Prior to that, the patient was just a name on the schedule. This is typical for many practices, but not the best approach to build trust and show patients you are interested in them beyond the “money” aspect.

Take the opportunity to meet patients when they arrive. It can be in the reception room where you can introduce yourself, in the treatment room where records are being taken, or it can be in the hygiene room before the teeth cleaning.

With a friendly exchange and interest shown to the patient, it is easier to engage them later into listening to you about treatment options. Introduce yourself as the Treatment Coordinator who is at their service to answer any questions and see that they are comfortable during the visit. If the practice uses a New Patient Call Slip that lists the patient’s “chief concern” or what brought them to your practice, this will give you a “heads up” as to what the patient values and is there to hear about.

Selling on value, not price, involves a fine balance of confidence, personal rapport, and doing your research. It has become more difficult as technology gives consumers greater access to price information and insights into what other dentists can offer. Don’t be derailed by what the dentist down the street is doing – focus on what you and your practice bring to the patient.

Here are five steps that will help patients see the value in your products and services so price is no longer the big issue.

1. Understand your target patient market
If you are a “Penny Saver” advertiser, your target market is most likely going to be someone who will get the “exclusive offer” and never come back. These patients are interested in saving money, however many will come back for more services if they connect the value they are receiving with the price they are paying. It should be communicated that their visit is not about the discount, but is a way to “get to know” the dentist, staff and practice with the thought of making the practice a permanent home.

Understanding the demographics and psychographics of the neighborhood within an average 11-mile radius will help you to know the buying habits of potential patients. If the dentist or staff live ten miles or more from the practice it is wise to learn about the neighborhood. If you are trying to sell cosmetic services and replacement of missing teeth with implants to a predominately low income, low value of dentistry neighborhood, it could be a real challenge. You must meet the needs of the demographic.

2. Get to know your patients 
Don’t push products or services when you first meet the patient. Try having a normal, relaxed conversation and ask the right questions so you can understand their problem and determine how you can help them.

3. Have conversations that focus on the patient in front of you
Being too busy is not impressive to a patient who is spending their valuable time to meet you and consider you as a dental provider. Even if there are other patients and issues, focus on the patient in front of you who wants your undivided attention.

4. Don’t throw around discounts like you are desperate 
Value-based selling should be the foundation of all your treatment presentation efforts. Establishing the value of your services puts you at an advantage, and educating your patients about that value makes it possible to avoid the discounts/promotions that eat into margins.

Too often discounts have been the first resort, particularly for patients who say, “Your treatment is very expensive.” Giving a discount without communicating the value and long-term benefits will result in loss of credibility. Unfortunately, discounts eat directly into profits – especially if the practice fees are low anyway. Patients will learn to always expect a discount, despite what you tell them is a “one-time promotion.” Value selling eliminates these problems.

5. Advertise Your Strengths and Experience
Make sure your Treatment Coordinator and any other team members who discuss treatment options are educated on how your practice is a better choice. If the staff is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, the patient will become confident in making a decision. Document testimonials from past successes and don’t be shy to show them to potential patients.

What is your Treatment Acceptance challenge? Call McKenzie Management today to enroll in a training course to improve your communication with patients.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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