5 Steps To Communicate The Value Of Your Services And Boost Case Acceptance
By Landy Chase, MBA, CSP December 2017Marketing New Patients/Treatment Acceptance
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What separates top-tier practices from the rest? It’s not the amount of time or money spent on marketing, or even the number of new patients generated, or the amount of treatment recommended. Rather, at the end of the day it’s only the amount of treatment accepted that counts.
Many doctors think it’s necessary to be pushy or otherwise aggressive in order to improve their acceptance rate. If you believe that, you have a fundamentally flawed perception of how your patients make buying decisions, says Landy Chase, MBA, CSP*.
The fact of the matter is that at the end of the initial consult, your visitor either wants to invest in treatment with you, or they do not, and nothing you do or say is going to change that. Attempting to change the already established outcome with pressure gimmicks or aggressive sales tactics accomplishes nothing. And practices that resort to these high pressure tactics have, by doing so, admitted that they have failed in creating the perception of value.
So what’s the solution? The key to creating the necessary perception of value is improving the new patient consultation process in order to create the desire to start treatment. Success here is in the details. To be effective in improving the selling process, focus on the following 5 key areas:
- Front desk – Make sure your front desk is skilled in handling incoming inquiries and inspect what you expect. Do they consistently gather the insurance information on the call? Do they know how to identify who will be involved in the treatment decision? Do they know how to invite both spouses to the consultation? Most doctors don’t have a clue how the phones are being answered. Even if you do, your team likely does not have the skill set necessary to address all of these issues.
- Effective doctor consultation skills – Do you, the doctor, have effective new patient consultation skills? By effective, we mean not in meeting your needs, but those of the visiting family? Is interaction with you boring, or truly interesting, to your visitors? You can learn how to do this correctly, including incorporating value into your treatment recommendations. And how are you setting yourself apart from your local competition?
- Flexible financing options – Are your patient financing options competitive? Are your down payment and monthly payments affordable for most people in your local community? Are you losing good cases because your terms ignore the fact that you’re in a competitive environment? Does your treatment coordinator know how to negotiate to a “yes” effectively, without lowering your fee? Do you have an effective and efficient process for handling and starting pending cases?
- Proof of your clinical quality – What evidence do you provide visitors to prove the quality of your work? Your potential patient is interested in paying for just one thing: an outstanding finished result. Are you providing them with compelling evidence that you are the one to deliver it? Similarly, what documentation do you provide to support your claims of outstanding customer service? Every practice makes the claim that they deliver outstanding clinical care and customer service – – why should they believe you instead of your competitors?
- Dealing with shopper patients – Do you realize that, particularly in orthodontics, many of your visitors are talking to another practice? Do you have an effective plan to identify and address the issue of competition in your consultations?
The reality is that improving your ability to educate patients on the value of treatment in your practice is the key. If that happens, your case acceptance rate will improve, and your profits will grow, without the need for high pressure sales tactics.
* Landy Chase, MBA, CSP is a case acceptance expert who specializes in helping orthodontists increase case starts. He is the author of 4 books on orthodontic case acceptance and is the creator of Case Acceptance Skills for the Orthodontic Practice, an on-site skills workshop. For more information, visit www.orthoyes.com or call 800.370.8026.
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