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There were some very interesting finding in a recent online article.
A study was conducted on the national case acceptance rate and the results will be gratifying or dismaying, depending on how well you’re doing at selling your case solutions.
The national average for dental case acceptance is 61%.
The takeaway here is that there is a whole lot of business walking out the door.
The article lists three possible reasons why dentists have trouble persuading more patients to better their lives.
- They don’t teach selling in dental school and dentists are uncomfortable being out of their clinical element.
- Busy dentists don’t have the time for the multiple presentations typical of big cases or elective treatment.
- Self-fulfilling prophecy: dentists don’t believe that patients will accept, so they don’t bother presenting a case solution.
There’s another possible explanation for the fact that some 40 percent of patients reject their case solutions.
Dentists misunderstand what case solution “selling” is all about.
Approached with the right mindset, selling isn’t an “us vs. them” proposition. It’s not the approach of the stereotypical used car salesman who’s looking to gouge a customer. Instead, dental case acceptance “selling” is a way to come to agreement that both you and your patient want the same thing.
Your patient wants to eat without pain, smile without embarrassment, or have a healthier, functional mouth. You want your patient to have those things. The end goal for both of you is the same. That’s your starting point.
Too many dentists spend a lot of time describing the procedure. Your patients only really care about three aspects of the procedure:
- Will it get me the results I want?
- Will it hurt?
- Will it take a lot of time?
Those are you starting points. Begin with the end in mind for point 1 – they’ll have a beautiful smile that they’ll be proud to show, or the ability to eat all their favorite foods comfortably, or an end to a constant string of restorations. Those are the benefits to the patient, the results that they want. When you phrase the first portion of your case presentation that way, you’ll find your patients nodding agreement.
Point 2 is pretty straightforward. You’re an expert in managing dental pain, so give it to your patient straight. “There will be some discomfort for a while, but we’ll take care of that for you.” Or, “No, there’s no pain whatsoever with dental veneers.” Or, “We can keep you comfortable and pain-free through the entire procedure.”
Point 3 can be a stumbling block for patients with busy schedules, so it’s important to be prepared. If multiple aspects of the work can be performed in one session, emphasize that. If healing periods are required between phases, give them guidelines and emphasize your flexibility in appointment scheduling.
Once you and your patient have come to an understanding on the three points above, then, and only then, should the matter of price come up. Even here, you may want to have High, Medium, and Low options prepared. And, if you’re talking about a significant (to the patient) amount of money, and you offer payment plans, consider leading with the payment plan availability. That will depend on your “read” of your patient and your knowledge of their financial situation.
Follow these suggestions for approaching the “selling” of your case solutions, and you’ll see a lot less money walking out the door. You’ll also have more happy patients.