Perhaps the biggest challenge with case presentation success is a mindset change.
It’s about compelling, not “selling.”
First, “sell” is not a so-called four-letter word. What’s potentially offensive or off-putting is how you approach the process.
Presenting dental treatment to patients requires a sales mindset with a deep respect for the process – and especially the patient.
Patients are consumers too
People “buy” (or agree to treatment) for different reasons these days. They’re much more discerning.
The same applies to dental patients.
Consumers have become much more savvy and cautious, and today’s dental patients are behaving more and more like everyday retail consumers. Before choosing a dental home, they evaluate practices regarding convenience, services, reputation, insurance participation, and even whether or not a practice will negotiate in some way.
The choice might be the keyword here. A patient has already evaluated you and your practice against a variety of criteria.
And when a treatment plan is presented you can expect the same level of discernment. Patients are much more mindful today – and that’s not likely to change.
Tell or compel?
Getting buy-in on a treatment plan has less to do with telling them they need it and more to do with compelling them to see the benefits (more on that process in a moment).
It was once common to merely present a procedure, tell them it’s necessary, and gladly welcome their acceptance. But, again, your patient base is likely content to evaluate their treatment decision based on how you present the case and compel their response.
- Have you built a relationship?
- Is the need for dentistry established in their mind?
- What educates or motivates them?
- Are you asking for a commitment?
- Do they have options for payment and scheduling their treatment appointment?
All factor into a compelling case presentation. Much of it has to do with your grasp of available patient data as well.
It comes down to knowing your patient and having a productive (and compelling) conversation around their treatment.
How to have successful case presentation conversations that compel patients to accept treatment
Know your patient
Imagine talking to an adult as you would a child. There’s a major gap in age, experience, available resources, etc.
The same applies to the patient in front of you at the moment when presenting their case.
A successful case presentation is a “tailored” conversation.
This is where patient data is valuable to the process. Applying generic/templated case presentation techniques could prove ineffective.
Follow your patient data.
- Their family history with your practice
- Their age demographic
- Their insurance and financial status
Curating your treatment plan for your patient demographic will help you have an effective treatment plan presentation.
- Curate as much patient info as possible going into the case presentation.
- Apply demographic data to shape the conversation around their treatment plan.
- Gather and have all essential insurance and financial data on-hand to avoid surprises.
Communicate “with” your patient (instead of “to” them)
The term “presentation” might skew the conversation somewhat. It’s a useful word but be careful not to allow it to create a barrier to a productive dialogue about their case.
Communication is core to the case presentation process.
Successful case presentation focuses on 3 elements: listening carefully, communicating clearly, and, specifically, addressing patients’ questions in language they can understand. Presenting treatment from the patient’s perspective adds value and can be a motivating factor that leads to acceptance of the proposed treatment.
That statement is packed with key communication principles.
Listen to your patient. This communicates that you understand their emotional (not just physical) connection to the treatment you’re presenting.
- What emotion is being stirred in them by your diagnosis?
- How are they interacting with images and diagnostic data about their case?
Clarify your diagnosis. Clear communication will often require repeated details.
- Reframe their case details until it’s clear they understand your diagnosis and recommended treatment.
- Allow them to share the details they understand and value relative to treatment outcomes.
Welcome their questions and provide useful answers. Useful as in no “dental-speak.”
- Create a presentation environment that no question is off-limits or perceived irrelevant.
- Package their case details in the language they can relate to and understand.
- Answer with benefits (not just diagnostic facts).
Leverage your patient’s available time and resources
Some case presentations (not all but some) will require more time than is typically allowed for them. A rushed or assembly-line like presentation can miss the mark.
Communication takes time. Financial commitments relative to treatment require thoughtful solutions. And case acceptance involves an un-rushed agenda.
Consider this helpful perspective on a case that, for example, would require $11,000 of treatment. Following the standard case presentation timeline you might be tempted to invest less time than such an investment deserves.
When was the last time you decided to spend over $11,000 in five minutes? Maybe you have—but I can assure you it’s not the norm.
What new-norm could best help you leverage your patient’s time and resources during a case presentation?
- Allow adequate time for essential communication around their treatment plan.
- Be open to scheduling another time so paced communication can occur towards case acceptance. Confirm a day/time that’s sooner rather than later and that maintains their energy for the treatment outcomes.
- Provide more than one financial solution including their insurance and acceptable payment options.
And also essential to consider how technology can support your case presentations.
Use data to your advantage as you refine your case presentations
Gather available data, analyze it, and improve case presentation communication around your discoveries. That requires a platform built for data analytics.
The following resources will provide you useful insight into how data analytics gives you an advantage:
Refine your case presentation process with an all-in-one dental dashboard
The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on-track with your goals as your dental practice and/or DSO grows and expands.
- Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
- Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups, and DSOs
Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!
Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability (and better case presentations).