April 2, 2018
In my blog post of January 31, 2018, I recommended increasing second visit treatment consultations as one of the five strategies that successful practices need to implement in order to grow their profitability in 2018. And I’ve spent the last few posts talking about how to use these second visit consultations to gain greater acceptance of quadrant and arch dentistry specifically for precipitating events.
Today I want to discuss a totally different kind of second visit consult which is used to present cosmetic choices to patients who have indicated an interest in improving their smile. These patients would benefit from whitening, veneers, anterior crowns or bridgework or even orthodontic treatment like Invisalign or 6 Months Smiles. Case acceptance in these situations is going to be much lower than for a precipitating event. With precipitating events, since something must be done, case acceptance should be 90% or greater. With cosmetics, you would be a super star with acceptance of 25-30%. And that is because cosmetic treatment is elective.
The practice identifies which existing or new patient will be invited back for the consult based on the results of a cosmetic survey. You can copy this for your use – just add the name of your practice in order to personalize it. Target the daily Hygiene patients. Someone at your front desk hands out the survey on a clipboard or it could also be downloaded into a tablet. Once completed, a copy is made and put in a bin at the front desk and the original goes with the patient to their Hygiene room.
Anyone who shows interest is thanked for filling out the survey. No potential treatment is discussed at this visit. But acknowledgment is made by the doctor at the exam. “Thanks for taking the time to fill out the survey. We will get back to you to schedule a complimentary visit where I will discuss your needs and concerns and give you some ideas of possible treatment.”
This second visit will take about 15-20 minutes of doctor time. Digital photographs are taken of the patient’s smile. The photos are sent out to be enhanced based on the patient’s expectations with your prescription regarding color, shape, and alignment. I like a company called SmilePix. They provide an excellent service. They email you a pdf enhanced image. You can then use a high quality color printer to make two prints – one for your records and one to give to the patient. The total cost to you for this is about $80. Contact Sam Laundon at 781-577-7700.
The patient will then be appointed one more time with the doctor for another 15-20 minute visit. They see with their own eyes what can be possible. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. You will have priced out various treatment options that are now presented to the patient. If one or two patients out of ten accepts treatment, the ROI for your time and materials is huge. I base this entire approach on the old saying that “if you throw enough spaghetti sauce against the wall, some of it will stick.”
If you have any doubts about even beginning this project, do yourself a favor. Look at and evaluate the responses of the first 100-200 surveys that have been accumulated in that bin at the front desk. I will bet you anything that 25-30% of your patients will have indicated some level of interest. These – and only these – are the patients that we are asking to return for the photos and then follow that up with treatment presentation. It is like playing cards with a loaded deck. These are people willing to listen to how you can change their lives. Based on my experience, your efforts will be well worth your time.
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