Well, we’ve come to the grand finale so to speak, at least until next week.
Let’s review, two weeks ago I ask you to refocus your Practice away from passive, reactionary dentistry and basing everything in your life on the past (past production & past collections), what happened in the rear-view mirror and switch your focus to creating FUTURE VALUE PRODUCTION; and explained in great detail that the key to everything in your life, every patient, every dollar of production, every day in your schedule is in the MOST critical number of your practice, Patient Diagnosis, the value of this number is the first, the origin, the inception of every other key growth, performance, and production indicator of the future.
Unless it is diagnosed it can’t be presented, accepted, schedule, paid for and produced. That is the number one mission of your practice, to create healthy, beautiful, functioning mouths preventing problems in the future and permanent solutions – all of this begins with treatment being diagnosed.
Then last week, I shared with you working backwards the 3 most important tactics, strategies, structural practice systems to ensure Patients are comfortable and confident with you so that they will accept the treatment that is presented.
Now we are moving to the front lines, the first point of contact, we are going to take a stroll through the New Patient Experience (or any patient experience for that matter) and unveil the 8 most powerful Treatment Diagnosis Tools you will ever use, deploy, employ, and execute in your Practice through the life of every Patient.
In part 1 we will focus on the 4 places that lead patients up to the Operatory, before you ever look inside of their mouths, how to ensure they will be receptive to what you will have to say and to get them to self-diagnose their own dentistry and healthy mouths and/or smile makeover experience.
1 – The Phone Call
Simply put, the phone call is the most important first step of every Patient Experience and Gurus around the industry would have you believe the faster you can get them scheduled and get them off the call the better you are.
And I say, that’s ridiculous. That sounds just like the place I would love to go and be a patient, where the people who have no time to talk with me on the phone who don’t give a s#!t about the fact that they have scheduled me without really getting to understand who I am or what I do or why I want to visit the dentist.
Of course, you have your standard questions, when’s the last time you went to a dentist and why are you calling and so on and so forth; an obviously scripted phone call where the same thing is said to everyone.
C’mon. Give me a break. The phone is the most valuable piece of technology you have and it’s the least costly; yet the most expensive to make ring. You should coddle every single phone call as you would a brand new baby.
Here’s a bet (as long as you know what you are doing and you follow my specific proven psychology based relationship building and patient screening method) the longer you are on the phone with a new patient – the more valuable and more successful that first visit will be.
This is where you begin THE DIFFERENTIATION that matters most, this is where you begin making them comfortable and getting to know them so you can open their mind to the possibilities of the dream-dentistry you can be doing when they arrive.
Here’s the key – one new patient – one more single new patient each month would pay an entire months salary probably 3-4 months salary of a dedicated NEW PATIENT PHONE ANSWERING PERSON who is always available and always ready and always open, interested, and best at talking with new patients over the phone.
I see the single most important position in a practice often filled with the worst possible personalities and less talented humanized people in the office.
You really ought to think through this. Go ahead, have someone call your office, pretend to be a new patient, you see how it goes, and then do it 3-5 times a day at the busiest times and the dead slow times and you gauge how well that begins your experience.
When you fix this you fix the first step in the new patient experience and it can single handedly be the catalyst for $50,000-$100,000 in backend production from New Patients.
If you have a busy practice where the phone rings like crazy then hire more people or have someone who the calls are handed off to or have someone schedule the appointment and have someone else call the patient back to properly welcome and greet and get to know them and prepare them for their first visit.
2 – What Happens Next / Material and Pre-Appointment Call
Ultimately what usually happens next is some stupid fake auto-text reminder of an appointment that is the exact same message they would get if they made an appointment at 10 other offices. It’s literally insulting.
What should happen next is a very friendly and positively affirming letter that goes out to the patient, email is okay, mail is better, depending on how fast the new patient is scheduled that describes their experience how excited you are for them to come in and reassure them you will take time to get to know them and in fact you’d like to begin that process right now.
Then you ask them to complete a very friendly and yet basic survey that begins introducing some concepts that you will most likely have to bring up to them when they visit.
This is like a pre-visit and I also like to have someone call, ideally the person who will be the new patient concierge or the treatment coordinator and welcome them in advance so they have a familiar name and face to look forward to seeing.
3 – The New Patient Material
I’m going to make this one quick and easy. If you are using the same material everyone else is using, change it, ask questions that matter not questions that look like they are going into a prison cell. And if you really want to make a WOW experience have someone call and talk with them through the new patient material or sit down with them in the office and do it together.
And above all else make sure you are asking MORE emotional questions related to what they want and what they consider a victory for their visit and for their smile and have them give you permission (on paper, in writing) that they are interested in complete health and preventative approaches to the dentistry you will recommend.
This is a game changer for you inside of the operatory to have these things discussed and known, on the table in advance.
4 – Begin with an Open Dialogue / Interview
Finally, for this segment, this ties together with #3, ideally if you are doing complete reconstructive full mouth smile makeover style dentistry then the Dentist should be interviewing the Patient or your #1 right hand New Patient Client Person who will be guiding the patient through the exam, can also do it, this is a very in-depth interview just like the phone call so they feel like once they go back the RELATIONSHIP IS WITH THE PATINET and NOT WITH THEIR MOUTH – do you see what I’m saying here.
If you have a very busy practice and see more than 2-3 new patients per day then this has to be handled by Treatment Coordinators. And usually this is just fine.
However if you are in a boutique lifestyle type environment then I recommended the Dentist provide Interview before any x-rays or scans are done. Think of this as consults for implants or invisalign or sleep or tmd style procedures usually the Doctor is doing more talking to the patient in advance of presenting treatment or even looking around.
It’s all about investing in the patient relationship and what your goals are for the patient and your practice.
If your New Patient Diagnosis value is not above $10,000 consistently as an average for every new patient then you either have big problems as a dentist or your practice and systems are just so lax that things are happening by accident or the patient is the one defaulting the control of every decision made.
If 10 new patients do not average at least $100,000 in new production placed into your next 30 days you are probably living on a plateau or riding on a roller coaster.
When this foundation doesn’t exist in your Practice you are relying on Hygiene to do all the heavy lifting and create all the treatment. That’s a bad place to be in.
This experience changes all of that.
And the good news is, it’s all up from here…
Every one of these is a very specific step, I do not see them as al a carte however doing any one of them or even partly doing some of them will always make a big difference for you. This is not all or nothing, every little bit helps and you can never do enough to engage in the patient relationship, to show empathy, and build rapport to lead to a successful outcome for both of you. Your team knows you are focused on the same healthy goal the patient needs and wants, they simply don’t have the knowledge, experience, or understanding to realize what they don’t know and the implications of inaction or indecisions.
These steps will serve everyone in your practice as their guide. Enjoy, have fun, and hey, get to work. These are easy and immediate structural changes; once in place they will work forever and you’ll reap the rewards and benefits of them and your patients will know, see, feel and experience a difference.
By the way…in less than 30 days I will be conducting the most advanced Comprehensive Dentistry, High-Fee, Complete Case Presentation System with live Q&A, specific examples, guest appearances from some of the highest income earning Dentists in North America, it’s going to be an extraordinary experience.
If you believe (that with the right system and without changing your dental philosophy), you could sell more dentistry and would be excited about more $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 even $40,000+ cases: then you do not want to miss this live webcast on how to close more high-fee cases no matter the demographics of your practice (or how many patients based every decision on insurance) … you can reserve your spot right now and be the first notified when registration opens by emailing info@DentalSuccessToday.com with the subject line “Save My Seat”.