female dental professional talking on phone and working on laptop

No matter the marketing and dental advertising strategy and budget size, you are limited by the available pool of prospective patients and the frequency with which you run your ads. If you’re still feeling pinched for patients, you might take a step back and see if you could change your processes to get more patients from your efforts.

Improve Intake Systems

Smile Virtual and other virtual consultation approaches are very popular right now. Take a hard look at those systems and ensure that they aren’t leading to busy work for you and your team. Audit the new patients in the system with your production. It might be that qualifying them is easier and that you can get patients scheduled at a higher rate by getting them on the phone.

Busy work doesn’t sell dentistry. There is a balance between improving your team’s efficiency and getting leads to turn into new patients. If your team is so busy that they can’t answer the phone, then there’s a problem. People still call dental offices.

Don’t rely on a phone tree system to do the vital work of a human being. People are stressed and isolated. The kind and friendly voice of a human being can make a huge difference in new patient scheduling. Some offices struggle to train the team and maintain talent who can correctly field a call. Replacing them with a recording and answering machine will not solve the problem. You’ll just trade one problem for another as patients will call but hang up when they get a recording.

Don’t Overqualify Dental Patients

If you try to avoid talking to prospective patients until you are absolutely sure they are looking for what you offer and have the money ready to pay for your services, you’ll be left wanting. You’ll see other dentists reeling in the patients you want, and you’ll wonder, “Now why don’t I get patients like that?!”

I have heard consultants talk about how a patient could call one office and turn into a full mouth case, and at another office, the same patient would likely turn into a quadrant dentistry case at best. The difference is in the team’s approach to sales and communication. Of course, you can’t get blood from a stone, but assumptions can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in production.

Remove all the obstacles between the patient and your front door. During a new patient consult, the patient has the opportunity to understand the quality dentistry that you provide. They see that your office is not a dingy, crowded, would-you-like-fries-with-that dental office.

Yes, the patient may take up team time and still say no, but if your website presents a quality brand, your team is good at showcasing the amazing results that you get for patients, and your office makes the patient feel welcome, you’ll have many more yeses that make the noes worthwhile. Over time, even the noes are likely to say, “I wish I would have just gone with you guys in the first place,” but not if they don’t get the opportunity to speak with you and see what you have to offer.

In times of high demand, we can be very picky about who we allow onto the schedule, but we have to adapt when the new patient flow is a concern.

Hire a Sales Dynamo

Who is talking to patients? Are they trained to find the pain and values of the patient? Many offices have people doing consults who know a ton about the dentistry you offer but are not skilled in sales. How much training are you giving them?

How well do they handle financial concerns? The availability of financing isn’t a cure-all and can even be off-putting if it’s presented as the reason to move forward. Instead, present financing as the means for achieving the life-changing results that the patient has wanted for years and now realizes is possible. We can assume that the patient knows this, but we will lose the patient if we don’t walk through it with them.

A sales dynamo understands this process and will guide the patient toward a decision that makes them the hero in overcoming their challenges. The money becomes just one more hurdle to a larger, exciting transformation journey.

When practices don’t have a sales dynamo, they sometimes point to lead quality as the reason why they can’t close the sale on big case dentistry. They let the patient see the price tag without properly building the need and value of the patient. They point the finger at the patient, saying that the patient doesn’t value them. Take the time to establish the true potential value of the patient. They’ll notice, and the value they place on your services will go up.

Are you dismissing patients as uninterested or incapable of affording your services before your sales powerhouse talks to them? If you don’t have a sales dynamo, you either need to hire one or train an appropriate team member to become one. The latter solution is more challenging but not impossible. If your team needs sales training, let your account manager know. We can connect you with a trainer who knows how to walk the fine line between patient qualification and streamlining intact for maximum production.