How To Get More Patients To Invest In Their Health

We have been talking a lot about selling and how you go about it in dentistry.  The irony, that you already understand since you are here, is the least of what you do is actually selling the dentistry.

And next week on a very special day (you’ll have to wait and find out) I’m going to share something with you for the first time ever.  Believe me, this message is exactly what you will need to hear leading you into the record breaking year ahead!

To culminate our last few weeks about “selling,” I want to tell you something very important that ultimately becomes the key to leverage, growth, and profitability in your practice.

This is the single greatest factor and profit driver in all of dentistry and it’s the one that nearly every practice invests the least amount of time and effort in.

When you really think about it, the majority of the systems, the training, and every part of your day is all designed around “doing dentistry.”  And when you match that up with the fact that you are not “selling dentistry,” you immediately see the discrepancy.

Instead, I challenge every doctor to build and create a more diagnostic centric practice and to focus on the creation of opportunity (which means ways to help patients).

It does not mean find another hole in a tooth or repair a broken crown.  It means to always be aware of big picture, complete health and comprehensive dentistry.  You must own the responsibility of discovering ways to help your patients improve their health and lives.

The bottom line is that you can’t do the dentistry if you don’t first diagnose it.  Therefore, where you put your focus determines your ability to control your results and outcomes.

If you begin with the end in mind of your vision for optimal health with every patient and then reverse engineer it backwards diagnostically to identify the gaps between where they are now and their ideal reality, you arrive at a customized pathway to health for every patient.

Do you do this?  With every patient?  In every circumstance?  With the help of your team?  By way of a patient experience that focuses on education, demonstration, and engagement?

Those questions are like gifts in your stocking to discuss together as a team.

Of course, you know where I’m going with this because I set you up for it.  If you aren’t selling dentistry and you shift your focus on diagnosing but yet you aren’t selling diagnosing either, what then is exactly the key doing more dentistry?

I call it the objective of all objectives and that is simply stated…


The way to get more patients to invest in their health is by getting more yeses on what you are actually selling in the first place.

When they say yes to the outcome and benefits then they by default say yes to the way in which you are going to deliver on that… the dentistry, the treatment, the procedure, the appliance, or whatever else it might be.

Yeses are the ticket to everything.

A lot of practices make excuses why more patients don’t say yes.  They accept the idea that their responsibility ends after they’ve presented treatment.  The fact is, anything short of a yes is a no.  And you simply don’t improve the lives of patients who say no.

When you align everything in your practice, every decision, every system, every training, every team member, every conversation, every diagnostic strategy around your most important objective – you will in fact get more yeses.

We all know that you won’t win them all every time.  You are investing in the future of every patient, some call it “planting seeds,” when you educate and build trust.  Even if you don’t get a yes today it doesn’t mean a no forever.

That said, you can’t let that be an excuse and an easy way out.  Don’t make the assumption that every patient is coming back.  That’s why you want to leave it all on the field every time which is the only way to help everyone along on their journey towards optimal health and the only way for you to be of the most value and service to your patients.

So now what… because we still aren’t done.  Actually, it’s far from over at this point even when you and your team embrace it.

If you get stuck here on “great case acceptance,” you will always wonder why your numbers plateau because you won’t reach your potential until you grasp this.

That ‘yes’ is not enough.

The actual point around ‘selling’ is about ‘what’ you are selling and the value you are delivering with every yes.

When you decide to grow your practice (other than by volume which requires more overhead, space, patients, and people), you must increase the value of the average appointment in your schedule by breaking the chain between dollars-per-hour and actual production value.  That means getting bigger yeses more consistently and increasing the value of every patient.

Now, this is exciting stuff.  The reason it should excite you is not only the dollars derived from it or the increase in the value of your time, it is the increase in the value and benefit you are provided to your patients.  That’s why selling matters.

Anyone can get an agreement on the easy stuff… the patient is in pain, the broken tooth, the insurance dentistry, etc.

It takes real passion, conviction, belief, commitment, and …selling… to get to the good stuff.  The things that matter most.  The life changing dentistry.

We are going to get to that in my special announcement next week in the most significant way.

Today, I have three challenges for you…

First, as common sense as it sounds, don’t just track the yeses, track the value of the yeses in comparison to what they could have been… the potential of the yes compared to the reality of the yes is critical.

But don’t stop there.  Here’s where it gets exciting and where the magic is created.  It’s not in the numbers.  Anyone can watch the statistics though so few do.  Instead, follow through with your approach to “patients first” and relationship dentistry by tracking the people.  Follow the patients, know their status along their journey, and understand their why behind the yes.  This goes deeper than the treatment plan and the diagnosis into the who behind it.  That’s what really matters and where you expand on the yes in the first place.

Second, and this is pretty easy really, understand that you won’t win them all but that doesn’t mean they all don’t deserve a chance.  
My challenge for you is not to accept a “no” (or even a “yes” on low-value case acceptance) when there is more that’s in the patient’s best interest.  Tell them that.  Follow through in real time, in person, face to face.  Don’t rely on their next hygiene appointment or an email or phone call ‘someday.’

Find out when every team member (beginning with you) settles, compromises, and accepts a “no” on treatment that a patient deserves.  Because a “no” doesn’t often mean no.  It mostly means you haven’t focused on the health benefits that will result from the dentistry or the patient has questions that remain unanswered.

Third, the final challenge which is actually most important of all, is to make sure you see success not by a google review or even great diagnosis or even the number of yeses.  What matters most is that you see the value of the yeses growing.

Work diligently on developing your practice through your team, your systems, your diagnosis, your communication, and your patient experience to help patients understand and ultimately say “yes” to the outcomes, benefits, and life improvements you can provide.  That’s the key to getting more patients to invest in their health.