I’ve always tried for 100% case acceptance. I mean why not? Go big, or go home right? I know you’re thinking that’s impossible, and you’re probably right, IF you’re thinking about treatment being done right away.
I’m always thinking long-term. I want to make sure you’re building solid practices that are killing it for the next decade or 2, not the next week or 2! This philosophy helps dentists do that, and is also responsible for a large part of my own success.
I think of case acceptance as anytime treatment is accepted, and a patient chooses OUR office to get their dental treatment done.
As we all know getting 100% direct conversion is probably not going to happen. By direct conversion, I mean we treatment plan it, and the patient walks right up to the front desk to schedule, and then actually shows up for their appointment.
Build Your Farm League.
Since we all know that doesn’t happen every time, I want to set myself up for the future . I call it my farm league. I have a whole lot of patients that have been treated (interpersonally) very well by our office over the years. They may come in every 6 months or they may not, but when they have trouble (and they will eventually) they wouldn’t even think about going anywhere else.
You probably have patients in your office right now like that. They don’t get cleanings like we suggest, but once or twice a year when they break a tooth, or have pain they’re calling you up.
Everything works together. The culture in our office, how we treat our patients, their customer experience, etc.. We treat them well, we love them where they’re at, we don’t judge, we make suggestions and make our best case presentation, buuuuut if they’re not ready for whatever reason, they’re just not ready. We don’t push them.
We don’t get mad or lecture them every time we see them about getting in more regularly, or taking care of their teeth better. We’ll mention it, but we all know some patients just aren’t going to do it. We all have patients that are too busy, just can’t afford it, etc...
We don’t push, we’re their friends, and we let them know when they’re ready, we’ll be here.
I actually use that exact line. So down the road, maybe a month, a year, 5 years…when they need a dentist they’re calling OUR office. By then things have usually gotten worse and they need more treatment, and they’re ready.
I’m not happy they’re having trouble, I’d prefer they would just get treatment done when we first treatment planned it, but to each their own, and I’m not complaining about it either.
Treat them right, don’t judge, inform them of what’s going on and the severity if needed, and if they’re not ready right now, let them know you support them, and when they are ready, your office will be there for them.
These are people that if I tried the ‘my way or the highway approach’ they would have split and gotten treatment down the road when they were ready, and most of them have experienced that kind of attitude from others places, and it makes us stick out even more.
It may take a little while to get your farm system built up if you’re starting from scratch, but if you’re getting patients through the door you’ll be glad you treated them right from the beginning, and after awhile the snowball effect will become greater, and greater!
It also amazes me how these patients can be some of your best referral sources. They may only come in once a year, if that, but in their mind, we’re their dental office! Perhaps they don’t have a lot of places in their life where they’re accepted exactly as they are without hesitation or judgement? So in return, if they have a chance to sing our praises, they do it!
So evaluate how your patients feel inside your office. Accept them right where they are. A ‘not right now’ is ok, we’re focused long term. Now don’t get me wrong, this approach will also help your patients’ who ARE ready right now, say ‘Yes’ more often too. This combined effect, mixed with a team who also shares your vision, can put you well on your path to your own Lifestyle Practice that allows you to work less, and profit more!
Remember this is just one piece of the puzzle.
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