Dentistry is stressful, and if you don't enjoy the routine drill and fill, but would much rather be providing more long-lasting and beautiful results for your patients, then this is for you!
The problem is that the more comprehensive the treatment, the more expensive it becomes, so these kinds of treatment solutions may not be a good fit for SOME of your existing patient base.
Here are 6 great tips that will help you to communicate what is possible so your patient can quickly understand and move forward with a comprehensive treatment plan.
1. Learn to speak the language of cosmetics.
When we go to university to learn dentistry, we learn a new language. The problem is that our patients do not learn this language.
When we are talking about details, like differences between crowns, veneers, EMax or Felspathic, Zirconia or a combination - this means nothing to our patients.
Instead, let's talk about the smile from an aesthetic point of view.
If you have a photo of your patient's smile, you are able to explain principles of smile design, like incisal length, golden proportion and all the tiny details, in a language that they can understand. Aesthetics.
What we do is: if a patient sees us and is looking for a cosmetic improvement, then we try to understand what they dislike, and then explain (in drawings) what their ideal smile could look like.
We do not talk about what materials we are going to use or all the bad stuff that could happen if a tooth is over-prepared - this is important, but not at the initial consultation.
Also, no one should be over-preparing a tooth.
If your patient can understand what the end result will look like, they will then be more interested in the process on how you can achieve that result for them, and therefore likely to move forward with the treatmetn plan.
2 Take lots of photographs
Every new patient that we see will have a full series of photographs taken.
At almost every appointment, we will take more and more photographs.
We manage these photographs within Dental Notebox, which displays them in chronological order.
These photos will ultimately tell a story of a transformation.
When it comes to marketing, the story of a transformation is far more powerful than a straightforward before and after.
Taking lots of photographs will also help your communications with your dental lab - and this communication is critical in getting excellent aesthetic results.
3. Revamp your website to attract what you are looking for
If your website is just a general dental website it's probably not going to be emotionally engaging for people who are looking for comprehensive cosmetic dental care.
If you focus your website to be much more focussed on cosmetic care, then you will probably put some "general" patients off - BUT you will be infinitely more attractive to those people who are looking for someone to treat them with a "big problem".
Your website can be visually engaging on the home page, but as the visitor drills down into the specifics of the treatments that you provide, you should provide more detail.
This will build far more trust even before prospective patients have entered your surgery!
Another tip here is to include articles and pages that focus on the problems that potential patients have, like dark teeth, crooked smiles, overlapping teeth etc.
Rather than "we sell Invisalign or Veneers".
When someone is going to search for smile improvements, they are likely to initially search for these problems, rather than the solutions that are out there.
4 Build a Supportive Team
You cannot do this alone.
As a dentist, you are a part of a team. Your team will create an experience for any new patient.
Patients will judge your practice on their experience.
So having a neat, tidy and well-lit practice is important.
So is service with a smile, offering a drink, asking the patient to fill out a medical history in a kind way - rather than throwing a form on a clipboard at them.
This kind of stuff will not cause your patient to spend loads of money with you - that's not the goal.
It will make going to the dentist a nicer experience, and if your patient is open to more comprehensive treatment, it will make case acceptance far more likely.
It also creates a nice team environment, and a happy team is a more productive team.
Team building takes time, you need a clear vision of where you want to be in the future and you need to inspire your team regularly.
If you are an accociate, you should think of your main nurse as part of your team.
It does not matter if you are not their employer, you would be surprised at what a small team of two can achieve.
5 Invest in your relationship with your patients.
Many people will find this weird.
The truth is that you can only have what you want in life, if you let enough people have what they want.
When we do an initial consultation, it usually takes 2 hours.
This is becuase we want to REALLY understand our patient. We want the time to hear them out, and explore all the options that are open to them, look at cost of treatment, look at the time scales, and anything else that may be important to them.
Any shorter, and the conversation is rushed.
We only charge £150 for this consultation, so quick maths will quickly show that the business is not sustainable at this hourly rate.
In fact, this charge is only there to reduce no-shows.
This appointment is an investment in the relationship from our side.
And guess what, sometimes we need more than one consultation.
Our goal is to build trust with our patients, so that they feel confident that we are the right people to help them with the significant dental problems that are effecting their life.
Most patients will spend £15,000+, so this investment is a critical part of the process.
6 Learn the psychology of sales
Right, we dont mean learn mind games and hard closes so you can uncomfortably ask your patient for large sums of money.
We mean: understand why people spend money.
This is a massive subject in itself, but try to think of everything as a patient who is in a difficult dental position.
What can you do to build up trust online?
Over the last 10 years, marketing has changed and is mainly online now... But online is where all the scams are!
So how can you differentiate yourself online?
We have found that education is the best way to build trust. From this you can a build a following... It happens slowly at first, but if you have a strategy, you will be surprised at the results.
Lets take this blog for example, we want to build trust as a company that can help you manage your digital information (like photos) for your patients.
We also have a mentoring program that dramatically imporoves the income and enjoyment that our students get from clinical dentistry.
Now, if we just put out an advert saying:
"We can help you earn loads more money and you can do more cosmetic dentistry" - chances are most people would think its a scam, and we would waste out money.
So, we just tell people how its done, and eventually some people will trust us enough to buy the mentoring programs or sign up with the digital management program.
The same strategy can be used with cosmetic dentistry, you can create content so your local audience, who has shown an interest in cosmetic dentistry, sees it regularly.
This repetition will build trust and some people will reach out to have a conversation.
When it comes to pricing, psycology can also play a part. Higher prices often signify better quality.
Although this is not strictly true in every case, most people (including myself) will often buy a more expensive product thinking that it is a little bit better.
Buy once, cry once.
There is a lot of psycology that goes into the "sale", in fact we have a full online course on this, detailing the whole consultation process in detail - just get in touch if you would like more information on this (or click the links below this article).
Watch a high value consultation for only £9
I record many of my consultation (with permission of course!). If you would like to hear what happens in a 2 hour consultation, I have edited this on demand webinar to show you the key structure of it all.
It is just over an hour long, and I will explain all the key elements of what I am saying and what why.
There is a deep dive into the psychology of the consultation, and structure that will let you get the same results.