The following scenario occurs far too often in dental practices. You diagnose treatment and spend an appropriate amount of time explaining your recommendations, and you leave the operatory certain the patient will soon show up in your schedule. But then you learn the patient left without scheduling. How could that happen?
One of the biggest reasons why patients do not schedule is they do not understand the importance of treatment relative to other products and services that compete for their discretionary funds. Consider an advertisement for a vacation getaway. Does the advertisement encourage you to take a vacation sometime in the next twenty years? Of course not, the ad encourages you to go on a retreat right away. The same sense of urgency appears in commercial after commercial.
Even though it’s unfair to compare the appeal of a dental visit to an island getaway, you can still learn a lot from your “competition.” Your chief competition clearly creates value and a sense of urgency for their products and services. You can do the same.
Create value by using language that patients understand. For example, you need a crown because you have a big cavity, or since you have gum disease you need to come in for more comprehensive care. Remind patients that you can resolve their issues and help them maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. That is a fantastic service.
You also create value by giving patients a timeline for treatment. For example, I recommend that you have the crown done in the next few weeks. When you give patients a timeline, you create a sense of importance for the treatment. When patients do not hear a timeline, they often fail to understand the importance of what you recommended.
If you want to guide more patients to recommended treatment, make sure you use easy-to-understand language that builds value and provide a timeline for getting treatment scheduled.