I recently spoke at an event in New Orleans (read about it here: How Not to Lose a Sale in the Front Office). After the event, I had at least 20% of the attendees seek me out and request a phone consultation or a marketing proposal. Unfortunately, I was going to miss my flight, so I wasn’t able to spend time with each and every person who wanted to talk.
I ended up only speaking with a few of the people who initially wanted my help. Why? I let them “walk out of the office” without an agreement or proposal in place.
The same thing happens in your practice every day. Guaranteed!
When a patient is sitting in your chair and you’re showing her the problems in her mouth, discussing options, expressing concern and care for her well-being, that patient is excited and BUYS IN on her plan for care. And then she walks out the front door and you never hear back.
Why? How does someone go from so excited to non-responsive so quickly?
It’s quite simple, really: psychology.
Check out this article from Psychology Today on impulse buying. When someone is in a store or a dental practice or a car dealership they are excited about the possibilities. They believe that the purchase will make them happy, make their life better, etc. They really FEEL that way, too. But what happens once they walk out the door? They no longer feel the NEED to make the purchase. Regret and second-guessing creeps in. People tell them they don’t need said item or service. And they avoid the topic altogether (which is why you keep calling and they don’t respond).
I knew this lesson long before my time in New Orleans. And the fact is, I wasn’t trying to make a ton of sales. Would I have preferred to get a couple of new clients while I was there? Absolutely! But I had time restrictions, as did many of the attendees, and it didn’t work out that way.
In retrospect, I should have had proposals and agreements all ready before I went to the event, discussed each dentist’s options, then taken care of everything on the spot.
How does that lesson apply in your practice? It means you need to have everything ready to go and a plan in place before the patient walks out the door. Have same-day discounts. Be ready for objections. Encourage patients to act while it matters most to them. If you can successfully do those things, you’ll increase collections and production in your office consistently and reliably.