Selling – The Art of Profitable Dental Practice

In my previous blog “Selling In Dentistry” I talked about shifting your attitude away from selling and towards helping when it comes to telling your patients honestly what dentistry they need to have a healthy mouth.

In this blog I will share my tips to improve your case acceptance and feel more comfortable and less salesy or pushy when it comes to presenting treatment.

Helping Our Patients Not Selling Our Treatment

Remember it is our job is to help our patients understand what is happening in their mouths, what is needed to fix it, how urgent it is and what will happen if they delay or do not go ahead with treatment. It is then our patient’s job with the support of our financial and treatment coordinators to work out a way to pay for and schedule the treatment.

Offering your services and expecting patients to pay for them is a basic business principle.

If you are having the right conversations there shouldn’t be a struggle when it’s time for patients to say “yes.” They will want the treatment you are offering them.

The challenges in a dental office are getting consistent sales in a way that is genuine and authentic to a patient…not being pushy or “sales-y”.

Tips To Improve “Sales” for a Profitable Dental Practice

Here are my tips to support you to be more confident and at ease with your sales process.

Tip 1. Remember you are helping people.

You are helping them have a healthy smile, functional bite and be pain free and confident that their teeth are in the best condition and will last them into old age. Knowing you are doing what is right and best for them and having your team believe in this too will go a long way to helping you have the candid, open and honest conversations that you need when it comes to telling your patients as it is and providing the best care for their needs.

Tip 2. Get your patients interested

Get your patients interested in what you have to offer and the benefits that each service provides. You can use patient education videos, brochures, testimonials, service menus, email newsletters and social media etc to inform your patients about what you do, why you do it and how it will help them.

Tip 3. Use simple honest direct language

You are here to tell them what they need and why, not to teach them dentistry 101. Your patients want to know what will happen next, when it needs to happen and why. They do not need to know every tiny detail about how you do a procedure.

For example here’s how you explain a root canal to your patient ‘your tooth is infected and that is why it is painful, you need to have a root canal on that tooth. That means we can clean the infection out from inside the tooth so you will be out of pain, the infection will not come back and get to keep/save your tooth.’

Tip 4. Talk less listen more, ask questions

Ask questions like how does that sound, what would you like to do.

And be directive – let’s get that time scheduled for you.

They do not need a 30-40 minute case presentation – this leaves them overwhelmed, confused and lost.

If they need a complex plan then tell them something along the lines of ‘you have had some extensive dentistry over the years and even though this has been done well unfortunately that dentistry is starting to fail and several teeth need attention. This will mean that to strengthen and protect your teeth and stop them breaking again and again until they reach a point where we can’t fix them I am recommending crowns to cover and protect the teeth. This means they will be stronger and easier to look after, they will not keep breaking and you can chew confidently knowing you are not going to end up with more teeth falling apart.’

Tip 5. Invest in training

Invest time, energy and money in training so your team understands the sales process, what that looks like, what we say, what the benefits are, how to overcome objections and resistance to treatment and cost. Role-play it, systemise it and rehearse it until you are all comfortable and natural with it.

Tip 6. Make sure you are speaking the same language

Make sure you are speaking the same language as your patients, drop the dental jargon and use words they understand, use analogies they can relate to, to help them make better decisions and say yes to treatment.

Tip 7 Measure you conversion rates

Measure your treatment plans presented vs the number of cases booked. Note what you are selling and how much that is. Also review the patients who say no, is there a pattern, why did they say no and what can you and your team do better next time. Look at what works and what doesn’t work for you and make changes.

Its about shifting your mindset from selling to knowing that you are helping your patients be healthy, have a disease free and pain free mouth as well as transforming their smiles into what they’ve dreamed of. It’s your job to help them realise their hopes, aspirations, and make a meaningful impact in their lives.

Anyone can sense a sleazy sales person and will leave as quickly as possible, however if you are being genuine and sincere not pushy or worse desperate then people will feel cared for and will more likely say yes to your treatment.

So spend 2-3 minutes building rapport with your patients. Ask 3 open-ended questions to see if you can figure out their motivation and reason for being in your office and what is important to them. Look at their appearance and fully examine their mouth, tell them what you see and what your concerns are.

Be truthful it is your job to inform them what is happening in their mouths you are the expert.

Make the information you give them simple, concise and direct, and be directive and lets get them scheduled in your book.

Of course not everyone is going to say an immediate yes, you and your team will need to effectively overcome objections. However, if the conversation is done correctly…there are no objections.

I would suggest monitoring how many treatment plans are offered and how many patients schedule and reviewing your systems, processes and how you present needed care to see where you can improve.