10.26.12 Issue #555 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Gene St. Louis
VP Practice Solutions
McKenzie Management
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Goals of Case Presentation and Treatment Acceptance
By Gene St. Louis

Case presentations are based largely on communicating specialized health care information to patients who are nearly always laypeople - therefore, they shouldn’t be long or drawn out. Time requirements are determined by how long it takes the presenter to achieve the necessary communication, i.e., 10-20 minutes. Case presentations should be thought about in advance so information is clear and concise. The most effective presenters are often those who take the least time - however, the presentation must never seem hurried.

It is impossible, of course, to compose a case presentation that will be appropriate for all dental professionals and all patients. It is essential for the presenter to use his/her own words and own manners of speech. Presenter confidence and enthusiasm can only come from experience and the desire to succeed. When dental professionals are convinced their treatment plans are the “right thing” for the patients, they soon develop an aura of confidence that is unmistakable and readily communicated. All patients need to feel a sense of concern from their health care professionals. 

When patients have been sufficiently involved in the diagnostic process, case acceptance is almost guaranteed. If the patient detects that you are trying to “talk them into it” they will resist. The thing that turns people off the most is when they perceive that they might be talked into something. It is human nature to resist being told what you must do.

You Must Establish the BLT
When someone likes you, they want to believe you. When they Believe you and Like you, they will Trust you. When BLT is established correctly, with the right type of patient, there are few patient objections to treatment. BLT does not mean you’re everyone’s buddy. This is the foundation for having happy patients who complete treatment and maintain recall as well as making referrals. Make them feel important. Give them your undivided attention and communication. Be sensitive to the patient’s anxieties.

Use the SWOT Rule
Strengths - Find out what good dental experience that patient has had (their likes). “What is it you are looking for/expect from a dental office?” “Tell me about your good experience at dental offices?”

Weakness - Find out what bad experience that patient has had (their dislikes). “Is there anything you don’t like about coming to the dentist?”

Opportunities - What is the patient interested in for themselves from a dental perspective, i.e. what do they perceive their interest to be? This will clue you into their dominant buying motive. “If you had a magic wand, tell me what your teeth would be like?”

Threats - What are the patient’s concerns (objections) to having the treatment done, i.e., fear of pain, money or time. These threats must be addressed. “Is there anything that has kept you from getting your teeth fixed?”

When treatment planning your next case, consider this flow:

1. New Opportunity or Research (prior to arriving)
New Patients - ask for referral source; Existing Patients - make sure you know what they came in for at their last visit for and if any treatment is outstanding; Lost Patients - ask how the patient has been treated and if everything is ok.

2. Pre-Approach or Pre-Heat (prior to arriving)
Find out what the patient knows about you and the practice prior to the appointment

3. Initial Communication/Interview/Introduction
Combined with New Opportunity and Pre-Approach, it creates the ultimate in chair-side manner and rapport. The combination of the three utilizes the principle that 85% of successes come from the ability to deal with people effectively and 15% is from technical skills. Prior to the meeting, patient information must be shared (preferably in the morning huddle) about what was gathered from the New Opportunity and the Pre-Approach.

4. Opportunity Analysis and Discovery
The art of finding out what the patient really wants and how to present it in a manner they want - determining whether the patient has immediate or future needs. Identify and develop solutions to the patient’s primary interest or buying criteria, use presentation tools like patient education systems, etc. Don’t run off patients due to an overload of clinical information. No one likes to be “sold” something they do not want or do not understand. Understanding each patient’s concerns/needs is critical for having successful case presentations. All patients are unique and will respond most positively to presentations that are developed specifically for them.

5. Solution Development and Presentation
This is the consultation phase of the complete exam where you pattern your presentation to satisfy the buying motive of the patient. Consider phrases to help open the patient’s mind. “Would it be important to you…?” “Am I safe in assuming…?” “If there were a way…?” “Would you have an interest in…?” Also consider questions used after a statement to maximize the impact and the retention level of the patient. “Is that correct?” “Is that important?” “Do you agree?” “Am I right?” “Is that accurate”?

6. Patient Evaluation/Objections
Listen - don’t interrupt. Cushion - use a neutral acknowledgement: “I appreciate your concern and hear you.” Question - reshape the objection into a question to be sure you understand what their objection is.

7. Commitment to Buy or “The Close
Get a commitment from the patient. Examples: “Do you see any good reason that we shouldn’t start today?” “Would you like to begin treatment on Monday or Wednesday?”

8. Service or Follow- Up
The job of the dental team is not only to “close a case” but to create and maintain a happy, paying patient for life who will refer other happy, paying patients to the practice.

McKenzie Management offers professional training to yield significant improvements in securing patient commitment. View the Treatment Acceptance Training Program details HERE.

Interested in speaking to Gene about your practice concerns? Email gene@mckenziemgmt.com

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