11.27.15 Issue #716 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

How to Improve Case Acceptance and Grow Your Bottom Line
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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You’re beyond frustrated. It seems like no matter what you do, patients just aren’t interested in accepting treatment. You feel stuck, and you’re not sure how much longer your practice can survive if something doesn’t change soon.

While this is stressful, there are steps you can take to improve case acceptance in your practice – and you don’t have to do it on your own. I’m here to help and offer guidance that will boost your production numbers, your bottom line and even your confidence.

Ready to get started? Follow these tips to improve case acceptance in your practice.

1. Hire a Treatment Coordinator. As much as you might like giving treatment presentations, you simply don’t have time to go over the details of every treatment plan with every patient. And let’s be honest, the 10 minutes you do have to quickly go over treatment certainly isn’t enough to make patients comfortable saying yes.

I recommend hiring a Treatment Coordinator, who is trained in sales, to sit down with every patient and go over treatment. This important team member should take patients to a quiet, comfortable environment to present treatment, and spend as much time as necessary answering questions.

2. Find out what motivates patients. When patients say no to treatment, you have to find out why. Are they worried about money? Do they not want to take the time off work? Have they had a negative dental experience in the past that makes them fearful of going forward? Find out what their concerns are and address them, and patients will be more likely to reconsider. If money’s an issue, for example, talk with patients about the third party financing options you offer, such as CareCredit, and how this can make dentistry more affordable.

It’s important to know what motivates patients from the beginning. If you don’t already, I suggest you start conducting new patient interviews. Ask new patients about their oral health goals, and ask current patients the same questions every 18 to 24 months. When you know what your patients’ oral health goals are, you’ll have a better feel for which services to recommend, making them much more likely to accept treatment.

3. Build relationships with your patients. If you’re like most clinicians, you’d probably much rather focus on the dentistry than spend a lot of time chatting with patients. Sorry, but that isn’t enough these days. No matter how talented you are clinically, if you want to increase practice productivity, you need to take time to get to know your patients. Build a rapport, and encourage your team members to do the same. The more connected your patients feel to the practice, the more likely they are to accept treatment.

4. Don’t talk over their heads. Providing patient education is key to improving case acceptance, but you have to make sure patients understand that education. Don’t use clinical words they’ve never heard of; this won’t help you get them to say yes to treatment. Instead, talk at their level and ‘show don’t tell’ whenever possible.

5. Make sure patients understand the value of dentistry. If patients don’t know how important it is to maintain their oral health, they’re not going to accept treatment. Educate them about the oral systemic link, and what could happen if they ignore what’s going on in their mouths. Talk to them about the services you offer, and the value those services provide.

6. Always follow up. Patients typically don’t say yes to treatment right away. They usually want to think about it, or talk with their spouse about the options. That’s why it’s so important to train your Treatment Coordinator to follow up with every patient.

Before patients leave the office, your Treatment Coordinator should schedule a time to follow up. If that isn’t possible, he or she should follow up in two days. That way, the conversation is still fresh.

Trust me, if a patient isn’t sure about scheduling treatment, they aren’t going to call your office to schedule an appointment. That’s why your Treatment Coordinator must follow up and take the time to address any lingering concerns. Before making these calls, the Treatment Coordinator should be armed with information from the case presentation and already know the patient’s chief concerns. If these concerns can be addressed during the call, patients once unsure about treatment will finally show up on the schedule.

Many practices struggle with case acceptance, and it’s killing their bottom line and their confidence. If you’re one of them, it’s time to make changes that will ultimately grow your production numbers and practice revenues. Focus on building relationships with your patients, and on educating them about the importance of maintaining their oral health. Once you do, you’ll notice your case acceptance rates rise, putting your practice well on its way to true success and profitability.

I know change isn’t easy, so if you need more guidance, I’m here to help. I offer a one day treatment presentation training that’s designed to help hurting practices get on the path toward success. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested in signing up and finally improving case acceptance in your practice.

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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