There are just two reasons dollars move from one pocketbook to another:
- Emotion-based Wants
In general, money does not leave yours or my pocket for any other reason unless it gets lost like Hillary’s emails (Or, it’s extorted by a third party, right?).
So, when you have a patient in your chair, they are there for only one of these two reasons: They either need to have a tooth (or teeth) pulled, filled, cleaned or crowned; Or, they want the tooth (or teeth) pulled, cleaned, filled or crowned.
In the simplest of terms, they want a solution. It’s up to you to first offer the solution, create enough desire for that need or want (solution) and then get agreement (closing the sale) to complete the transaction. In exchange, you get paid. They get their emotion-based need satisfied. (All dentistry is an emotion-based want or it’s perceived as a need – it’s not necessary, right?)
In effect, during this dance of sorts, you are giving your patients the opportunity to feel better about themselves.
The more often you get a chance to make your patients (and staff) feel better about themselves and the choices they make, the more often you’ll get paid and the more you’ll get paid.
This is particularly true and of enormous value to really understand for those of us selling solutions to problems or perceived problems that our patients want solved.
This is a “high concept.” It’s one that if you both get “it” and practice doing those things that deliver that emotional payoff, you’ll see your income skyrocket.
If you ignore this simple fact, the struggle many dentists face with lack of personal net income, continues.
If they want it…They’ll buy it
Having a prospect in your chair, in your office, wanting what you have, makes getting production on the books really easy. Doesn’t it?
Having no prospect in your chair, or, a bad one, that doesn’t want what you have to offer, makes it darn-near impossible to get production on the books.
Sounds simple, I know. But, how many times have you tried selling something to someone that doesn’t want what you have? Too many. Just like me. As I’ve aged and wised up, I’ve come to realize how important it is to ONLY invest time and other resources (i.e. money, staff time, etc.) into those who have raised their hands indicating they want what you have. (LESSON #1: Sell only to those who want what you have.)
There are signs. Lotsa signs that patients give off that tells you and your team if they want what you have or what you might present. There are also not-so subtle signs given off when someone is repelled and wants nothing to do with what you’re trying to present to them. Frustration builds when you or your team has a non-compliant, uninterested prospect in the chair.
Two suggestions: One, get your rear-end out of the room as fast as possible and invest your time and energy into a different pt that IS READY to accept your proposal. Two, don’t give up on them à (LESSON #2) Giving up or believing they’ll never buy is a HUGE mistake most make. In fact, I’d gather 9.9 out of 10 dentists make the mistake of not understanding where the pt is at the moment and that at any time in the future (1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 2 months, 2 years, heck, even FIVE years), that patient, if treated right, with dignity and respect, will return to get started on some line of treatment.
To follow-up those two suggestions, here are two ways to keep that pt who’s not quite ready to start, engaged with you and your practice: constant follow-up. 1.) Via email. 2.) Via regular US Mail (pt newsletter). Perhaps even adding text messaging through someone like ReviewWave.com. It cannot hurt. Another great way: direct mail via a service that’s turn-key like our patient newsletter mailings – you can easily send them to those who’ve put off or not yet been able to pull the trigger for treatment. There’s nothing like keeping your name in front of them so when they are ready, they call you! That’s preemptive marketing right there…
If just one pt a month re-considered your treatment plan proposal and came back, from the efforts you put into follow-up, how much would you invest into that patient to get them back? How much should you invest? What do you think your ROI would be? Would it be worthwhile?
CONSIDER WHAT YOU ARE MISSING: If you close 70% of your pts, 7 of 10, and you followed up with the 3 non-starters, every month for a year, with a free email and a patient newsletter that cost you $2.00 a month, you’re into each non-starter a whopping $24. Now, here’s the thing: You might’ve invested up to $500 OR MORE to get them into your practice to begin with. So, really, what’s $24 spread out over a year?
Do you see the leverage follow-up can give you on your original investment? What if only 20% of those non-starters came back? I think that number is low – you’ll probably be in the 30% to 40% range over time. But, let’s say it’s 20% for fun. If 100 pts present, 70 accept treatment, 30 do not, in a month’s time, and of those 30, 20%, or 6, later come back and each invest $750 into their treatment plan, that’s $4,500.00. If you invested $2/month over a year on each of the 30, you’ll have invested a total of $720.00. How many times, if you were to institute a simple email and direct mail follow-up program, would you trade $720 for $4,500.00? Remember, this is virtually found money. Subtract your expense of $720 from $4,500 = $3,780, less your overhead of 50% on this additional production and you just pocketed $1,890.00 extra that month just because you decided to follow-up and not give up on patients who are not quite ready.
And, these numbers are VERY conservative. VERY. Some Members have case averages of $1,890 in the first month. Some, higher still. So, make adjustments and you’ll see the kind of money you’re leaving on the table.
Multiply that $1,890 by 12 months = $22,680.00 in your first year in add’l PROFIT!
5 years = $113,400 in Add’l Profit
20 years = $453,600 in Add’l Profit
Nearly a half a million dollars left on the table by the lazy or those not in the know…And, think of how many more pts you’d get to help and turn into referring parties – practice ambassadors – if you didn’t give up and instead followed-up?