Q: How should I present implant cases as opposed to a smaller treatment plan?
Presenting an implant case is ultimately not any different than presenting any other larger treatment plan. The primary difference between a small versus large treatment plan is the amount of time you allocate for the presentation.
How much time you need when scheduling treatment presentations is determined by two things:
- The size of the treatment plan
- The attitude of the patient
1. The Size of the Case.
If you’re going to present something larger or more involved, you want to make sure that you (the doctor) have enough time scheduled to explain why a patient needs the treatment and talk it through with them. This includes adequate time for them to get used to the relatively large expense associated with it.
You would never try to squeeze an implant presentation into five minutes at the end of a hygiene check when you have another patient waiting in the chair. In fact, if you just bring it up to the patient quickly and don’t follow it up with a thorough explanation—you may not see that patient again for a while because now they’re scared by the price without really understanding why they need it.
So the first rule of presenting an implant case is to make sure you have enough time to actually address all of the patients concerns. By the end of the consultation they should be on board and ready to make financial arrangements.
2. The Attitude of the Patient.
Another factor to take into consideration is the attitude of the patient. If it’s a patient of record you may have an idea of how fearful or easygoing the patient is. People who are more fearful of dentistry are obviously going to need more time (even for a smaller case).
If you are not sure how much time you need with a patient, err on the side of more time. We have a simple rule we teach our clients – don’t start a presentation that you don’t have time to finish! Some doctors are hesitant to put a lot of consult time on their schedule, because they want to be producing. But this consult time is how you create future production. Isn’t it worth an extra 20 minutes getting a large case with multiple implants accepted, rather than spending that time squeezing in more fillings, hygiene exams, or checkups?
Another important thing to understand when presenting an implant case (or any case for that matter) is that each patient is unique. Not all people react the same way. So, I would never recommend using a script. I know it’s easy to have and use a script, but if you take into consideration the different personalities and reactions you’ll encounter, you’ll see the liabilities associated with treating everyone the same. Now if you really want to learn how to communicate effectively with just about ANYONE, I’d recommend the MGE Communication & Sales Seminars!
(Related: Presenting BIG Dental Cases)
Q: I think my overhead is too high! How do I determine what it should be?
I actually get asked this question a lot because ultimately your overhead determines whether you’re making money out of your business (or not).
In order to answer this question intelligently, the first point I’d make concerns the difference between overhead and how much money you’re spending – which would ordinarily be covered in a Profit & Loss Statement (P&L).
A P&L is a piece of paper used by your accountant or bank in order to get bank loans or help calculate your taxes, provide indicators of business health, etc. And while it can bear similarities to ACTUAL overhead, it’s not always an accurate reflection of how much money you need to run your business. A P&L shows you how much money you’re spending versus income.
Your overhead is how much money you need to spend to keep your business operating and expanding.
Now, how much money you should be spending to run your business (your overhead) may be a completely different figure than how much you’ve actually been spending on various things (your P&L).
Your overhead includes things you need to be spending to keep the business going – things like rent, payroll, lab, marketing budget, etc. For a complete overhead sheet, showing every category of expense and the percentage of revenues you should spend on each, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’d be happy to send one over.
Now, once you’ve calculated all categories and figured out how much money you are spending and should be spending on these categories, and then compared it against your average monthly income, you know what your potential for profit is. If you don’t have a lot of money left as profit, then your overhead is too high. Simple.
So if your overhead is too high, you’ll have to review it and determine if every single thing in there is absolutely necessary to the survival and expansion of your business. If not, you may need to cut some things out until you are in a condition in which you can actually afford those things.
If you’ve cut all the unnecessary expenses out of your overhead and the number is still too high…then you need to take a closer look at the income side of the practice and determine how much money it should be making, because you are probably underproducing. You’re paying for things (staff, facility, equipment, etc.) that should be generating a certain amount of income—and they’re not. If you’d like to figure out why you’re not producing at your full potential, please give us a call and we’ll help you isolate the reasons and fix them so that you start making money.
Overhead is a very large subject and very difficult to cover in a few paragraphs, but I hope this helped!