Nothing! Most days that’s what it seems like. Some of my favorite phrases were:
“That’s not the amount I was quoted”
“You’re doing a root canal and crown today? Why?”
“You want how much for that cleaning?”
“You scheduled me for three hours but I only have an hour”
Are you kidding me? Unbelievable! Those are just some of the phrases I’ve heard throughout the years. I use to hear those statements more often than I want to admit. Most patients will only retain 10% of what you told them while in your office. With such a small retention rate of needed dental care, how can your patient tell their companions about the benefits of treatment? What about treatment financial obligations? If they can’t understand the “why” for dental care, are they more inclined to cancel scheduled appointments, or just “no show”? Absolutely! So how do we overcome patient memory loss?
My Dental Docs has virtually eliminated patient memory loss, thus increasing patient retention of specific dental conditions, and fulfillment of diagnosed treatment. Exactly how My Dental Docs increases patient retention of needed treatment is in the fulfillment of the last two “T’s” of business marketing. Best of all, it’s a simple business fundamental to implement in your dental practice.
The three T’s of business sales and marketing
The three T’s of business sales and marketing are as follows:
1. Tell them what you’re going to tell them
2. Tell them
3. Tell them what you told them
Most of us have done #1 very well for years. It’s the other two that have been lacking in most offices. And when all three are functioning, revenues increase, and misunderstandings are virtually eliminated.
Tell them what you’re going to tell them:
This first one is accomplished on a daily basis in the operatory. It generally happens during new patient, re-care, and limited exams. Simply stated, it’s your diagnosis and treatment recommendations to your patient. You “tell” your patient what dental condition they have and its recommended treatment. Hopefully most of you are doing this with digital images, both radiographic and intra-oral. Some of you might play a video at this stage that shows the actual procedure. Unfortunately, most libraries of procedural video resonate pain and destruction to our patients. I’ll cover that problem later.
The patient is now escorted to the front where financial arrangements are made, and scheduling occurs.
In my practice, this segment is the “tell them” portion of marketing and selling your treatment plan. My team lays out on the counter the financial treatment planner out of Dentrix, along with the necessary documents out of My Dental Docs which explain the “WHY” treatment is necessary. This takes less than two minutes, and is the best use of time for our patients.
The patient experience with My Dental Docs has now MARKETED your diagnosed treatment as well as any marketing advertisement your patient may encounter. Meaning, these documents have helped you place oral health care at the forefront of your patient’s discretionary funds. They’ll think twice about going to Hawaii over getting their needed dental care completed.
Tell them what you’ve told them:
It’s common practice that most patients, when leaving a dental office, to do so with a verbal description of needed treatment and financial responsibilities. Some practices go so far as giving the patient a pamphlet that describes treatment and conditions with 1980’s pictures and descriptions. Right here is where the business disconnect begins, for what does you patient go home with?
However, when patients leave my office they do so with My Dental Docs documents that contain and “tell them” the following:
What their condition is, and the benefits of treatment
What the procedure will be in language that is written in “patient speak” instead of clinical jargon
Information that is branded to the patient and our practice
Documents that are product and procedure specific
And of course, the “WHY” treatment is needed, thus promoting oral health care!
These documents are placed in a practice folder to complete the patient experience before they leave. My team completes all of this well within five minutes of the patient’s exam. The presentation of needed treatment contained in our practice folder is beyond anything found in dentistry today. At least that is what our new patients say when coming from other offices. When patients take this information home, several things happen. Patients remember what they were told, fewer calls are taken from the financial decision makers in the home and our patient, spouses are more supportive, and new patients are generated. It’s simple, as friends and family visit my patients, and visually experience the documents received from my practice, they migrate to the “hi-tech” office. Perception is definitely reality.
Most importantly, the documents and practice folders compete against any other purchase our patients may want to make. They are a constant reminder of needed treatment, and the benefits of maintaining good oral health. The competition for our patient’s discretionary funds comes predominantly from the marketing efforts of businesses outside of dentistry, and not each other. That’s why you won’t see travel magazines in my office reception area.
The document center contained within My Dental Docs is second to none. They teach the “why” treatment is needed, connecting to the Limbic system of the brain where all purchasing decisions are made.
Bring on the patient’s competition
My Dental Docs is the only dental case acceptance system that has actually leveled the playing field when it comes to our patient’s discretionary funds. And as a practicing dentist, I’m all about displacing trips, four wheelers, new cars, and teenagers’ frivolous needs with good oral health. My Dental Docs, and the Clinical Business of Dentistry Training given by My Practice My Business makes the above happen fast, simple, and easy. That’s why I love it, that’s why patients love it…and I should mention that the increased revenue is nice too.
Rob Thorup, DDS
My Practice My Business