(Wendy Briggs, RDH is our guest blogger today at Sidekick Magazine)
There are only 3 ways to increase revenue in your dental practice:
- Get more new patients
- Increase the average value of the current patients you have
- Increase the rate in which your patients accept treatment
The BEST way that I have discovered to increase the rate at which patients accept treatment, and the way that I teach all of my private clients and Diamond Member Coaching clients is by using what I call “Tribal Language.”
The most common issue that I see is over educating the patient by going into too much detail and focusing on complex medical terminology that only confuses your patient.
There needs to be a common language that everyone in your practice uses when presenting treatment to a patient. This includes the hygienist who may be broaching the conversation, the assistant whom the patient is asking questions, the doctor who is presenting the treatment, the financial coordinator, all the way through the front desk who may be scheduling the next appointment or fielding a question on the phone.
It’s vital to use simple, easy-to-understand terminology. All of my testing has revealed that this simple formula will not only simplify the lives of you and your team, but are….
Why does this work so well? Because the formula was designed and has been proven to have patients understanding 100% (well I probably should say 99.9% because I am sure that there is 1 patient out there who no matter what we do, isn’t on the same page as us) of what you are presenting and most importantly for the patient to feel like they are 100% in control of the process.
You might want to re-read that… it’s very important… “the patient feels that they are 100% in control of the process.”
So what are these magic words?
Mandatory: We place all of the most urgent needs, the obvious problems, anything that is broken, infected or decayed in this category. These are the “building is on fire” issues and the ones that you feel should be first addressed before extensive damage occurs.
The word mandatory in itself conveys both an urgency and need for immediacy. Therefore, this is our first phase of care.
Elective: Here we place things that could pose a future problem if not addressed at some point. We consider this to the ‘rebuilding phase.’ For me, it’s replacing older looking amalgams, replacing missing teeth, sealants, or de-sensitizing treatments.
If you have ever used the phrase “we are going to watch that” …. I would instead place it in the elective category. Elective carries more urgency than watching…plus if it does get worse and need mandatory care, the patient has more ownership…after all have you ever had something you were watching heal itself? (Of course early stage cavities are the exception here, not that they heal themselves, but they can stay small and progress at various rates)
Cosmetic: The easiest of treatment to categorize. This would be any service that would cosmetically enhance the appearance of the smile. Veneers, Invisalign, Whitening for Life of course and replacing unsightly fillings, etc.
With this formula, you can take that $12,000 treatment plan and break it into bite-size pieces so that the patient is in control and in a better emotional state to move forward with their treatment. Before using this simple formula the patient would have walked away from the treatment plan feeling like they were being ‘sold’ and in a state of shock at the $12,000 price tag.
When that $12,000 price tag is broken down into bite-size pieces that the patient is in control of makes all the difference and sets you and your practice up for long term success.
In our day and age, patients are looking for someone to blame when things go wrong. When you use this formula you are setting the stage for long term dental health and a long term partnership with your patients.
Note: I just released my newest training “The New Breakthroughs In Mastering Implant Case Acceptance,” which features an in-depth training on the tribal language, guidance and implementation tools for increasing your case acceptance utilizing your entire team. As a sidekicks reader, you can grab a copy for 50% of the regular price! Click here to grab your copy for only $197 – but it’s only good for the next 4 days
Wendy Briggs is a registered Dental Hygienist with more than 25 years of experience. For the last 15 years she has taken her unique skills in doubling hygiene production directly to the practices, as the founder of The Team Training Institute. She has consulted with more than 3,718 dental practices in 12 countries. Hygiene is her passion … and exploding hygiene productivity, case acceptance, and profits are her areas of expertise.