Q: How can my staff contribute to treatment acceptance?
While case acceptance is ultimately the doctor’s job, staff can contribute from their individual positions.
A good place to start would be making every member of your team aware of the overall goal of your practice (for instance: to completely restore patient’s oral health and function). This is after all why you are all there! And having everyone aligned with this goal is important.
From there, you would have them look at how their job contributes to this goal being accomplished. With this in mind, every job takes on a new perspective.
So now your Scheduler isn’t just “filling the appointment book,” he or she is getting patients in for hygiene and dentistry that will contribute to restored health and function. Your hygienist wouldn’t just look at a patient from the perspective of periodontal health; he or she would be looking at that as a part of the overall restoration of health and function. So, the idea that a patient gets needed dental treatment becomes all the more important.
You’ll find this mindset does two things: People like being a part of something bigger – especially when that thing is improving the lives of others. You’ll also find it positively impacts the numbers. Why? Because the numbers improve in a dental office when you are doing more of what you are there to do in the first place: Dentistry. And with everyone aligned with the purpose of improving patient’s health and function more needed dentistry gets done!
Q: After I finish explaining treatment, I often hear from patients that they “have to think about it.” What can I do when this happens?
Let’s start by looking at this objection. No one goes home and “thinks about” whether they are going to do a dental treatment plan. Imagine – someone sitting at the dining room table making a pros and cons list for root canal, post and core and crown. Yeah…doesn’t happen.
When a patient tells you they “have to think about it,” it could mean a lot of things. It doesn’t mean that they have to think about it.
It may mean they want to speak to their spouse, or they just don’t want to deal with this right now, or they’re not “closed” on doing the treatment. They could have a concern that they don’t want to discuss with you, etc. The list of what’s really going on is endless.
Which brings me to the point: your best bet is to level with the patient and find out what their objection actually is.
The best way to approach this is to be direct and say what is on your mind. You can start by asking a few questions (but do it in a friendly manner), such as:
- “What problem are you trying to solve by thinking about it?”
- “What are you still concerned about?”
- “Do you want to do the treatment?”
- “Is it the money?”
It really doesn’t matter what you say. Get the patient to communicate – that’s what’s most important.
If a patient says they don’t want to do the treatment right now, they probably didn’t understand the treatment plan completely along with the importance of doing it as soon as possible. In this case, you should explain the treatment again. If the patient says they want the treatment but don’t know how to pay for it, help them explore various payment options and come up with a way to take care of the finances.
Again, when someone tells you “they have to think about it,” dig a little deeper to the root of the matter and then handle it with good communication between you and the patient.
Increasing treatment acceptance is the key to raising collections and growing your practice. And it all starts with improving your ability to communicate effectively with patients and help them overcome objections to accepting treatment. The best place in the entire industry to do that is at the MGE Communication & Sales Seminars. We deliver them monthly at our Florida office. Give us a call today to learn more! (800) 640-1140 or (727) 530-4277.