By Roger P. Levin, DDS
In general, consumers have become more deliberate about how they spend their money – especially on something that costs as much as ortho treatment. Taking a more cautious approach, many prospective adult patients and parents of young ortho candidates won’t accept treatment after one consult. They plan to check out multiple orthodontists (ortho shopping), and may very well need more than a single consult with you and your treatment coordinator before choosing your practice. In other words, you should develop follow-up strategies to turn “maybe” into “yes.”
There are many different ways to do this. Unless you hear a definite “no,” these techniques should help you follow up effectively:
- Get permission to contact parents or adult patients within a few days. If they plan to think it over, visit other practices, check their insurance or financial accounts, etc., they are leaving the door open, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. You or your TC may be able to answer questions that didn’t come up during the consult. If they previously mentioned any issues they needed to resolve, ask what they’ve concluded. Handled properly (scripting can help with this), such communication will be perceived as good service rather than sales pressure.
- Be prepared to do a second or even third presentation. If you presented to a candidate’s mother, for example, offer to speak with the father as well, either at your office or over the phone. Some people, after visiting a number of practices, may want to get a better picture of what you’re offering. Although these follow-up measures will consume more time, they’re worth it.
- Continue building relationships. From a prospects’ first call to your practice, to the welcome to your office, to the initial consult, you and your team (especially the TC) should be quickly making personal connections. Good follow-up includes activities that not only maintain relationships but actually make them stronger… all before treatment is accepted.
- If the eventual answer is “no,” find out why. No matter what the reason, understanding why treatment wasn’t accepted at your practice represents a valuable lesson. Some of the feedback you hear will help you do a better job next time.
By creating an excellent case presentation system, you’ll be able to close many cases with one consult. But to reach the target acceptance rate Levin Group teaches our clients to achieve (90%) you’ll also need a well-designed subsystem for following up.
Attend Dr. Levin’s ortho seminar The Business of Orthodontics… Simplified, on October 28 in Orlando, tuition-free. Ask your Ortho2 Systems Consultant how to receive an Educational Grant. Go to www.levingroup.com/orthoseminars to see other dates and locations for 2016.