By Roger P. Levin, DDS
As the orthodontist, you play the most important role presentation—deciding what treatment to in caserecommend, offering the doctor’s opinion to parents and adult patients, answering questions, and projecting a strong professional image. But all of this can and should occur within 10–15 minutes. Your treatment coordinator (TC) should be properly trained to take responsibility for the rest of the time in the presentation. Such training should include:
- Thorough Grounding in the Basics of Orthodontics. Although you have authority on all clinical matters, your TC must be able to speak intelligently and intelligibly about the ortho treatment under consideration. She will explain the proposed treatment in layman’s terms, anticipating and addressing any questions or concerns, and smoothing the way for your part of the presentation.
- Intensive Training in Buyer Psychology and Sales Techniques. No longer can ortho practices get by with technically oriented “take it or leave it” consults. Today’s market requires active selling—constantly emphasizing the benefits of ortho treatment at your practice, knowing and responding to the all-important unasked questions, setting the stage for your entrance and closing effectively. From quickly establishing rapport to reading body language to recognizing buying signals, the skills of the best TCs can be acquired only through specialized training.
- Scripting to Ensure Thoroughness and Consistency. Your TC will need to think on her feet, altering her presentation based on the particulars of each case and the mindset of the parents and patients in the room. However, the basic framework of the presentation should be established and carried forward in the form of scripts for the TC. This will make it easy to include all the major selling points and move the process toward a successful conclusion. Scripts are not meant to be memorized and delivered word-for-word. They are guidelines that combine consistent, effective messaging with the flexibility needed to close cases.
- Learning How to Follow Up When Treatment is Not Accepted. Unfortunately, financial conditions and increased competition have made it more difficult than ever to close in one consult. Anticipating this, your TC should develop protocols for following up with parents and patients – continuing to build value and trust in the practice, overcoming objections, and providing another opportunity to say “yes” to treatment.
A well-trained TC will minimize your involvement in new patient consults while improving your practice’s close rate. By shifting your time from presenting to actually performing treatment, this TC strategy can dramatically increase production.