Be sure to check out Part 1 of Balancing the Personal Touch with Technology by clicking here. Carol discussed Benefits of Technology and Benefits of a Well-designed Website and Digital Images.
Benefits of Digital Technology
Provides immediate clinical tool for efficient treatment planning and streamlining multiple appointments in to one.
Clear images, gathered quickly and comfortably shared with the patient/parent in reviewing and reinforcing the treatment recommendations. (A picture is worth a thousand words.)
Digital images, X-rays, and models can be electronically stored and easily transmitted as well as merged in to a myriad of correspondence to patients, parents, and dental peers.
In his updated book on selling techniques, Integrity Selling for the 21st Century, Ron Willingham, challenges the mindset of traditional selling skills to focus more on relationshipselling. Here is the new suggested focus:
Discover your customer’s (patients/parents) needs, wants, and desires.
Build trust and get people to want to do business with you.
Listen rather than talk. Use the 80/20 rule.
Increase confidence and achievement drive.
Stand out above the crowd; customize who you are.
Develop motivational intelligence.
Dealing with rejection – responding to no.
Willingham defines selling as, “A process of identifying and filling people’s wants or needs that creates mutual value for customers, sales people, and their organization.” By combining newly-learned skills in building rapport and relationships with your patients/parents along with the use of available technology, a win-win situation is created for the patient, parent, referring doctor, and practice team.
An easy-to-follow sales formula tied in with the acronym of AID, Inc. from Ron Willingham’s book, can easily relate to the flow of the new patient process.
6-Step System of Selling: AID, Inc. System
1. Approach – first step toward a successful sale
Gain rapport; build relationship foundation.
Get on their emotional wavelength.
Make each “moment of contact” memorable (start at the new patient phone call, new patient forms with pertinent information gathered, Fun-Fact Sheet, website visit/practice introduction, NP confirmation/ welcome call, initial greeting, tour of office, TC/ Records person role pre-doctor time frame).
2. Interview – identify specific needs (new patient call, TC “pre-selling phase”)
Ask open-ended questions to begin this conversation.
Share pertinent information with the doctor.
Help people get what they want.
Questions leading the patient to satisfy their needs; probing for needs.
Determined Behavior Style (watch body language)
3. Demonstrate – explain features/benefits to satisfy needs with passion (website, reception room monitor, tour of office, TC education/visual tools)
Acknowledge dominant wants and needs; tailor it to their specific situation.
Don’t oversell or over talk about products and services.
4. Validate – to prove your claims (before and after cases, educational programs)
Acknowledge that you understand their wants/needs (connects you with the prospect, makes them feel understood and accepted, creates common ground).
Talk about price/investment once value outweighs cost.
5. Negotiate – to work out any challenges, limitations, barriers, or stalls (leading the patient/parent)
Ask open-ended questions.
Present scheduling opportunities.
Review financial comfort levels.
6. Close – to ask for a decision
Assume all patients want to get started now.
Continue your research on existing and new technologies available while gradually implementing these new practice tools. Take the time to invest in on-going training with your entire team on understanding human behaviors, enhanced communication, and exemplary customer service. These are the “tried and true” tools that will grow your practice.
Benefits of Balancing the Personal Touch
Building rapport and relationships; it is the main area that will differentiate your practice.
Customizing your communication to individual patients and parents.
Customer service is not outdated; it should be your #1 Priority!
Be the buzz that everyone is talking about…providing personal moments.
About the Author
Carol Eaton is best known for her expertise in training treatment coordinators and streamlining the new patient process, she also focuses on enhanced communications that support and encourage orthodontics, internal marketing, team building and presenting your practice message in a professional and fun format. Carol has been involved with the dental community for over 30 years. Eaton Consulting is located in Fresno, CA. E-mail Carol or phone (559) 779-9123.