Dental Practice Marketing : Wendy Briggs on Financial Arrangements With the Patients

Wendy Briggs, president of Hygiene Diamonds and Brilliance Inner Circle (and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and one of the most trained people in improving your hygiene profitability and getting your hygienists and assistants to work in unison), gives us this tip in making financial arrangements with the patients in dental practice marketing after all the case presentation is done. Now, in dental practice marketing, if this is done successfully, you will be able to get more case acceptance. And this is something we focus specifically at our dental practice marketing website!

Here’s her tip:

In dental practice marketing, after the case presentation is all done and we’re finishing after a patient we’ve gone over with the treatment they need (in mandatory, elective and cosmetic categories), there’s still a very important step that needs to take place before we can actually begin the treatment. And this step is the financial arrangements. The reality is that in financials, this is where we hit a “roadblock”! Patients might feel that they can’t afford this treatment. Patients might feel like they only want to do what their insurance covers. They may be very insurance-focused and usually, sad enough, it’s because we trained them to be that way in dentistry! So how do we overcome these financial objections? What I find is that there are few things we can do that help us become more successful in this are. We need to have one financial adviser or one financial coordinator in our practice that can go over the financial estimates with our patients. It is important that our patients begin to establish a relationship with someone. We’ve got a lot of options, a lot of great solutions for our patients that we didn’t even have 10 years ago outside financing companies such as CareCredit, Capital One, Unicorn, and a lot of great companies that provide a really good service for our patients who are looking for more comfortable payment options. What I found often with patients is not “How much does it cost?”, but often it’s “How can I pay you?;What are my options?; Do you have terms that I can afford?”. And so the tip here is when you’re going over with your estimate for your patients, instead of saying they have $5000 worth of treatment, talk to them in terms of monthly payment amount: “If this sounds like the kind of dentistry that you’re looking for we can probably get it done for as little as around $150 a month!” And what we found is that patients base their buying decisions based on the monthly payment amount, and not the entire total of what the treatment’s going to cost. So if you start talking to the patient in terms of the monthly payment amount what happens is that you have a lot of patients go “I can afford that!” rather than they go “Oh, $5000… That’s too much money for me!”.

So having good financial options being placed to your patients and being able to review these options with them the day they receive the treatment plan is important in dental practice marketing. We can’t send them out the door and say “We’ll call you and let you know what your options are..” anymore; it really needs to get handled before the patients leave. And ideally were talking about their treatment in mandatory, elective and cosmetic categories which does another really powerful thing with our patients especially when it gets to the estimate because instead of the $5000 treatment plan, we can break it down to more comfortable “bite-size” pieces, and there may be only 1500 that’s mandatory, 2500 that’s elective and another 1000 for cosmetic. So breaking it down and using those terms is really important. And again having flexible finance options in place will help us significantly do more dentistry!

Ed O’Keefe

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