How to Achieve Consistent Case Acceptance Success

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve talked about the fastest, most dramatic and sustainable way for you to add profit to your practice. The fact is most practices aren’t anywhere close to their potential. They are playing for minimums, baselines, and daily goals that are by themselves self-limiting.

What’s worse than that is the entire system, process, protocol for patients getting healthy is one that leads to a constant and never-ending plateau you can’t break through because of the four key leverage points of dentistry leaving you stuck in your ways.

Today, my focus is to build on your bottom-line efforts from the past two weeks by going straight to the heart of the matter with diagnosis and case acceptance. You will breakthrough all plateaus, remove the limits, close the gaps, and discover a better way to achieve optimal health for your patients. As a result, you will also maximize your ability to become more profitable because you have maximized your ability to impact your patients’ lives through transformative dentistry.

This is what it’s, what you, what they, are all about.

Because we’ve talked about New Patients and we’ve also hit on Retention, today we are going to talk about creating more opportunity by building better patients by expanding on our principles from last week and ultimately expanding case acceptance.

Let’s start with how to dramatically increase the value of your new patients whether 1, 10 or 100. We’ll build your New Patient Business inside of your practice that delivers results through valuable dentistry and gets patients to proceed with full, comprehensive treatment plans.

The reality is, if you don’t keep your patients in the practice, in the cycle of treatment, nurtured in hygiene then you never get the chance to cultivate the real-life changing treatment they need (which also happens to be the dentistry you love to do).

We both know that brand new patients don’t often say yes to everything or at least not right away. This is, of course, relative and depends on your process to get big case acceptance with new patients.

That said, if you are only relying on this and never planting seeds in order to cultivate treatment in the future, then you are missing the majority of all the opportunity in your practice. Therefore, quite literally, starting back over at zero on the first of every month.

If you want to turn these seeds into profits and your patients into treatment value over time then you have to keep them engaged in your practice. Not just through the new patient process but through enough points of engagement and steps to solidify a real relationship with them so they will stick around.

Every practice says they do a great job taking care of their patients BUT… what they really mean is (and maybe you say this too), that the patients that you keep like you and you take care of them inside of their mouths.

Unfortunately, this is not enough, because you also have to take care of them outside their mouths. To do that you have to really embrace knowing your patients and establishing your relationship with them.

I want to give you five typical pitfalls that doctors and teams suffer from that all can be fixed.

First, most practices are too desperate for short-term gratification of getting the easy money or billing insurance and then moving on to the next patient instead of building for the future value of the patient along the way.

Second, most practices have a culture of “busy” and they let that get in the way of actually being productive and working towards tomorrow’s treatment; not just today’s production.

Third, maybe the biggest pitfall is lacking a system that covers all parts of the patient engagement from phone through completion of treatment to follow-up and turning them into referrals. At least we need a system that holds accountable every patient opportunity so we know what happened to them and where they ended up.

Fourth, it’s quite possible your team missed the main point of where they put their focus. It could be they are in such a rush to turn emergencies or grab some same day dentistry that at the end of the day you have some money but you also lost patients that you’ll never see again (maybe without even knowing it). Money today is actually negative returns tomorrow.

Finally, Fifth, every doctor once in a while gets in the habit of starting or stopping (depending on how you look at it) at diagnosing the patients’ mouths instead of getting to know the patient. The mouth doesn’t buy from you, trust you, come back to you, refer to you… the person does.

This is a provocative shift and it has to come out in more than just words. It’s about the essence of your practice, the culture inside, the focus of your team, and the conditioning and education of your patients.

You have the ability to mine your patients for gold that will never run out and it will actually build upon itself leading to a consistent cycle of the highest value A Patients coming through Referrals.

Therefore, you’ll never reach a point when you get to compounding growth and building the value of your practice for the future. You’ll be making money today to pay last month’s bills instead of out ahead of your practice getting paid for the future and increasing the value of your patients every step of the way.

This will be a game changer for you.

It all boils down to the four pillars of case acceptance success. Using my structure, you can systemize, yet keep personal, your patient flow and outcomes so you are controlling the backend of your practice and building wealth for the future like we talked about last week.

The first pillar is creating individualized experiences. The core concept is not every patient should or needs to go through the same type of experience.

You want the phone process to organize properly the patient’s experience so that you can match it to what they need and what is going to be the most personalized experience for them.

The second pillar is all about customized treatment planning. On the surface this sounds silly because of course you customize your treatment plans. You don’t shuffle them up and let the patient pick one and just go with it. Every patient has a treatment plan unique to them.

Here’s the point though… Is it complete? Is it comprehensive? Do they know it’s unique to them? Has it been made personalized, individualized? Is it obvious that is it customized from start to finish?

The best and easiest way to do this is to be certain you are representing the photographs and/or included them with the treatment summary and presentation by the patient concierge or treatment coordinator.

It doesn’t matter what you are doing, it matters what the perception is to the patient.

The third pillar is a triad of tracking, following-up, and following-through.

This is the one that every practice does half-way or just doesn’t do at all. There are three things here and you can’t do just one of them.

Track what you want to know… every statistic is not as relevant or important as the next. You want future focused values and numbers that reveal true effectiveness of your systems.

Follow-up… on everything, every patient, every dollar, period.

Follow-through… on what you promise, what you say, what you do — this is big.

It could be referred out treatment that you need to know what happened with the patient. Treatment plan follow-through. Phone call follow-through. Clinical question follow-through. Even specific procedures that a patient is interested in moving forward with but not enough time was taken to discuss in the heat of the moment in the midst of the day.

I’d bet every day there are 5-10 balls dropped by doctors and teams that would have resulted in patients saying yes but they just weren’t followed through with.

Every single practice on earth has at the very least $5,000 a day and probably more like an hour that is NOT accepted and probably not even presented… all because we are too busy or too bashful or too distracted or too apologetic or too whatever.

Slowing down to ensure this is secured and you net another million dollars. There is only one thing that is required for this to happen — one — and that’s belief, humble belief that it exists and it’s your fault for missing it now.

When you accept that REALITY and own that RESPONSIBILITY you breakthrough and you never look back!

The final pillar is so important and that’s to always remember to set up an actual system and expectation that the experience is never over when the patient leaves.

Now is when you get to really wow them. What happens post-visit, post-check, post-treatment, post-referral, post-everything is really the difference between the good and the great practices.

These are the ones that get the big cases coming back and that have consistent referral streams coming in.

Those four pillars ought to give you some serious aspects of your practice and your team to assess. Constructively look at each one so you can make improvements in what really matters.

So many doctors waste time on things that really don’t matter or will at very best have a insignificant impact. I always loved when Zig Ziglar said, “Let’s keep the main thing, the main thing.” There are so many distractions taking you away from the actions, decisions, strategies, and work that will give you leverage, growth, profit, and satisfaction.

These four are exactly that. The main things. And they should be yours.

All too often people have the wrong perception and understanding about Case Acceptance and Patients saying “Yes.” I’m talking about You and Your Team.

Questions are asked of me and comments made that imply some concept of “black and white.” Where patients either want it or they don’t; patients either say “Yes” or “No.”

The reality is: all that does for you is let you off the hook. Which is what most people want. Not the smart, successful, ambition people, but most. They settle for this idea that “it’s up to the patient.”

It is not (just) up to the Patient.

You play the most pivotal role in terms of getting patients to say yes. They don’t come into your practice pre-determined to say yes or no. Sure, some do, but most are on a continuum of interest. Your job and your responsibility is to move them towards the yes, towards more interest, towards being committed to their health.

This whole process, done right, is just that — a process. It requires certain things to happen along the way. Then if everything is aligned properly (the emotional engagement, the desires, and the goals of the patient are being met), then you can achieve the outcome you want… because (and I mean only because), that is also what the patient wants.

You can’t and you aren’t going to sell a patient something they do not want. But, you have to acknowledge the fact that they do not walk in necessary “wanting” what they need right now. Which this is good news for you because if they already wanted it, then they most likely would have already gone somewhere else before and bought it.

Make no mistake about it, it is not your patients’ job to walk in believing or even feeling they deserve any of the life-changing benefits you can deliver. It is your job to bring them to that point.

I could go on and I will. Case acceptance is a process that is not cookie-cutter or one-size fits all but customized for patients based on how they buy, what they value, their own personal principles, ways they make decisions and how they justify investments (among many other things).

Here is what I want you to know: every single thing you do either takes away from or adds to your patients’ journey down that continuum to case acceptance. You are either moving them forward or pushing them backwards.

Plain and simple, I’m challenging you to take more control and responsibility over every patient “Yes” that you and they deserve to hear.