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    Why don't my patients say yes?

    Leveraging case presentations can make a big difference in increasing patient retention.

    Case presentation in dentistry can be defined simply as being a process of sales strategies and techniques.

    When you think of sales you probably picture a pushy salesman in a cheap suit, making you feel pressured and annoyed as he tries to sell you the “latest and greatest” new gizmo. However, selling should not be avoided or viewed negatively. It’s a professional activity with techniques that have been studied, researched, and taught for many years. It’s not about tricks or gimmicks, but about building an honest and open relationship with each patient. When handled effectively, it leaves the buyer feeling satisfied, wonderful, and wanting to say “yes.” 

    Three-stage case presentation

    Case presentation has three stages that every dentist or treatment coordinator should understand. 

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    STAGE 1: Understanding the patient

    In order to accomplish this, ask yourself important questions such as: 

    • Why did the patient come to our office?
    • What are the patient's past dental experiences?
    • What is the condition of the patient's mouth and is he or she aware they he or she has dental issues?
    • Does this patient seem open to improving his or her oral health?
    • Is this a new patient, current patient or emergency patient?

    As you get to know a patient, you’ll begin to understand who they are, why they’re in your chair, and what might be of interest to them. Understanding a patient goes a long way towards crafting a treatment and presentation that’s specific to each individual and does not merely outline a standardized approach that’s used for every patient.

    STAGE 2: The presentation

    Whether the patient is in a dental chair or consult room, your presentation should take place in a quiet calm area and the doctor or presenter should be relaxed and on time. The presentation should be highly organized and presented in stages so that the information can be easily digested. Share patient success stories; ask questions that engage the patient; and be open, honest, and receptive to anything they want to discuss. You can’t go wrong with people when you have their trust and this is how you build it.

    STAGE 3: The close

    When you hear about closing a sale, it often makes your "antenna" go up. Again, you picture that pushy salesperson trying to persuade you to buy that gizmo you don’t need. And again, that’s not what this is about. Closing a case presentation and achieving case acceptance is about coming to an agreement. You recommend what you believe is in the best interest of the patient and the patient analyzes how it will best fit into their life. They have to consider everything involved. Can the treatment be broken up into phases? Can it be done on a Friday for a more convenient weekend recovery? Are there payment options? All of these considerations should be carefully laid out for the patient so that they understand their options and can become comfortable with accepting the dentistry they really want into the lifestyle they already have.

    Summary

    Making the case for treatment should not be an activity that makes you or your patient feel pressured, annoyed, or uncomfortable. It’s a crucial part of dentistry that’s mutually beneficial to your practice and your patients. Follow these three stages of case presentation to help effectively move your patients through the process.

    Dr. Roger P. Levin
    Roger P. Levin, DDS, is Executive Founder of Dental Business Study Clubs – Dentistry’s only All-Business Study Clubs, the next ...

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