It’s not you, doc! In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, we discuss how to increase dental case acceptance, what the underlying problems with low dental case acceptance may be, and how to fix it.


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Podcast Highlights:

  • The assistant, front desk, and hygienist
  • Why is case acceptance not where it needs to be?
  • Purchasing a practice – how long does it take existing patients to accept you?
  • Cancelled appointments
  • Is it you, or patient quality?
  • Attracting the right patients
  • “Do you take my insurance?” vs real dental questions
  • Do you want patients who choose you because you are cheap or because of your dentistry?
  • Promoting to the right half of the dental market

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Well welcome everybody to another edition or podcast. How you doing? Mark?

Mark: I’m doing fine. My hockey team is no longer in the playoffs.

Howie: Thanks for that. That’s very good. Yes.

Mark: called Howie that’s called a Segway.

Howie: Yes, it’s a Segway away. We have that. Yeah, I you know, I’m being a new hockey fan. Isn’t it kind of unusual to score 10 goals in a game? I mean, combined. That’s a lot of goals. Well, last night, the first game the Stanley Cup Finals, the you know, the total was 10. Goals, six for the Vegas Golden Knights and four for the other guys. So we’re happy here in Vegas?

Mark: Yes. You’re happy that that is actually quite common when you’re playing the caps.

Howie: Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Mark: Yeah, it’s a score and four or five. That’s pretty much what it takes to beat them because they’re going to score four or five on you and night.

Howie: Yeah. Oh, there you go. There. They were all rose to the occasion. But

Mark: Yeah.

Howie: So we’ll see what happens anyway. What we, what we thought we talked about is, you know, there’s times in a dentist’s career where he or she might just go, What the heck’s wrong with me?

Mark: All right,

Howie: what am I doing wrong? And it can be quite a vexing a vexing thing for a practice.

Mark: Actually, if you subscribe to any dental Facebook group, or dental town. About 50% of the content, or the questions being asked by the original posters. You can lead back to the question, is there something wrong with me? Which, which is fine, I’m not going to get into the psychology of any of it. But we’re going to take on the subject of: Is there something wrong with me? And we’re going to expand upon it, and we’re going to add the marketing side of it. Because from a marketing perspective, you know, there could certainly be points in your career where you look at yourself and go, man, I took all the CE I think I did pretty good.

You know, I feel confident doing this service or procedure. And I think Mary at my front desk is a nice person. You know, I don’t think, Judy, that hygienist is heavy handed. I know, Megan, my assistant is. Now she seems really nice. I’m not in the chair every minute, you know, when the patients are there. And you get to this point, as the owner of the practice, you’re like, what the heck is going on? There’s got, I gotta be missing something. There’s, there’s got to be something wrong with me.

Howie: Right. And another might be, you know, dental case acceptance, they’re just, you know, I think I’m presenting the case, I’m not really overselling, I’m not really cramming it down anybody’s throat. But the dental case acceptance just isn’t there isn’t where it needs to be.

Mark: Yeah, you see that a lot to as a side note, this is definitely a side note. But you’ll see that a lot. When you buy a practice, the existing patients take a year or so to warm up to you and then trust you enough to go forward with treatment. But anyway, yeah, so yeah, that was I mean, there’s Well, actually, it’s kind of a side note, but that is another scenario where if you bought a practice, you bought existing patient charts. You may think, I don’t know, you may think you smell or something. Right. Right. Nobody’s believing you. Even though you showed him that fuzzy X ray that nobody can read.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Or maybe you do have an you know, internal camera, its greatest hits in focus, and you print it out, you give it to him to take home. And obviously there’s a crack in a tooth because you know, you have it on 9000 X. I’m setting on your camera and it looks like the Grand Canyon. Exactly. And they still don’t believe you and you go home perplexed, you’re like, what the heck is wrong with me? And then sometimes, you know, you’ll have this what you thought was a great patient interaction. You know, us thank, know, every indication was the patient liked it there and liked working with you and the team. And they were cordial and they’re nice and they were just genuine human beings. And then they leave you like this. So, so review?

Howie: Oh, yeah,

Mark: online.

Howie: Right.

Mark: Right. So there’s another way that you can sit there and look yourself in the mirror and go to hell is wrong with me? What the hell? What’s wrong with these people? Right. You know, and sometimes, you know, you can find yourself saying that, but a lot of times you take it personally, and you say, Man, what the heck is going on? And after a while your kind of, you know, you and I have to do the same thing. Howie, I mean, we have we’ve had clients over the last 15-20 years, where we just kind of looked at each other. You know, what, um, you can’t fix that, you know, I mean, like, like, we tried, we, you know, we’re backward and we are perplexed ourselves. Right?

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: So, you know, it’s not, it’s not just dentists who feel this way. But specific, the dentists? I mean, even recalls like you do you go and you say, Okay, well, you know, it’s time for your six month, you know, let’s get your let now. And here’s the way we work. You know, if you’re compliant to your require appointments, we allow you to schedule them six months out, so you can get the day in time you like, and we help you keep it so that way, we can continue with that courtesy. And you make their appointment and they’re like, yep, yep, Tuesday afternoon. 330 is perfect for my schedule fits perfectly and work perfectly with my kids. Perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect. And then,

you know, they get the text and they don’t respond, they don’t come in and you never see him again. Okay. And yeah, yourself. What did I do wrong? Like, everything comes back to what did I do wrong? Right.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: You know, what, Howie, we should probably take a break?

Howie: Let’s do and when we come back, we’ll delve into this and Oh, boy, it’s gonna be fun. Don’t go away.

Hey, Mark, how would our audience find out about getting more good reviews? Well, first step is to understand it. There are minefields in the dental business right now. So let me give you the four keys, one has to be simple for your staff, they can actually call in sick, and it’ll still work to it has to be ridiculously simple for your patients to leave Google reviews. Three, it has to be able to separate out the not so good reviews from the great reviews and only send the great reviewers over to your Google Facebook or Yelp. And four, and this is probably the most important only send the reviews to platforms where your reviews cannot be taken away. If anybody has any questions about this. It’s called NPI Crusader.

You can just send Howie and I and email or actually you can log on to new patient sync calm and you can schedule your very own appointment to see it in an online meeting. That usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. So, most people do it over a lunchtime.

Howie: Okay, we are back. And we were talking about the extreme case of introversion that happens when patients don’t respond to treatment plan, to free care to all that stuff. And throwing your hands up, you’re going to what the heck’s going on?

Mark: By so at some point in your career, all of you listening to this. When we do these podcasts, we try to do these and talk about things that apply to every dentist and believe me, at some point in your career, you’re going to feel like you’re going to say to yourself, I think I’m doing everything I can I I just don’t know how I can get a better outcome. Right?

Howie: Yeah, yeah.

Mark: Well, rather than depress you all, okay, and, and keep taking you down this path of distorted reality. Many times, not all times, but many, many, many, many times emphasis on the word many. The secret behind all these things that you’re feeling is the quality of the patients, you’re attracting.

Howie: Bingo.

Mark: Okay,

Howie: yes.

Mark: It happens all the time. These same dentists who can’t quite put their finger on why people don’t really trust them enough to move forward with their treatment, or can’t really figure out what why they’re not as compliant to require, and can’t really figure out why they left. I mean, they appeared to be, you know, just nice people when they were in the office, and they left and left us a not so hot Google review, right. Like, like, and, and, you know, it makes sense that a dentist would say, my treatment plan, I’m compliance percentage is going down, it must be me.

Or they say my treatment plan, compliance is going down, it must be my assistant, or my treatment coordinator, or it must be the person at the front desk. Or let’s say I have lots of broken and missed appointments, it must be the person who’s answering the phones or if my compliance to my week hair is going down my Hi, Janice, must be heavy handed. So there’s lots of things that immediately enter your brain. That makes perfect, logical sense. That takes up your energy. Okay.

And what we’re saying is, excuse me, in many cases, for many, many view, the main solution is to attract the right people to your practice. I can’t tell you how, how many times I’ve seen the numbers from dental practices 30, 40, 50 new patients a month, and the dentist is running around on roller skates. And when you run around on roller skates, you have less control rather than more control.

I don’t think anybody would argue that point. Hmm. So you don’t get to see you don’t get to see the nuances or details of the day to day interaction between your staff and your patients that things start to fade away. And then at the end of the day, you look at your numbers and you say my dental case acceptance is down by compliance to repairs down. We have to have a team meeting. We have to have a consultant.

Howie: Yeah, which oftentimes results in even more introversion.

Mark: Right, right. Well, we’re big proponents of good. Good consultants. So that’s don’t take that the wrong way.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: I actually was one at one point in my life. So I’m so you’re, so now we’re, we’re, we’re not, we’re not mixing dental consulting at all. But a lot of these problems or these things that you can’t quite put your finger on will be solved if you attract the right type of new patients to your dental practice. Okay. The bottom half of the dental market are moms who will choose a healthcare provider primarily based on a price and setup and the top 48% wall. And we see it there’s nothing that there’s nothing in marketing that’s that you can say every time. But I’m going to say confidently almost every time. All of a sudden, like a light switch. The doctors perceived problems that they were having are changed when they begin attracting the right patients to the practice.

Howie: Yes, yeah, that’s exactly right. Okay, all

Mark: right. All of a sudden, instead of the phone call question, do you take my insurance and or how much is my first visit? Or can I get taken this $39 exam special thing? All of a sudden, they’re asking you questions about dentistry? Oh, my god, there’s a there’s a change right there.

Howie: Yeah. They’ll ask you. What’s this stuff about veneers or implants and whatnot.

Mark: Right. Right, right.

Howie: Now they have a reason to ask you questions other than, you know, based on on pricing and insurance criteria.

Mark: Right. So now, how much better does that make the job of your front desk? How much? How much easier? So right there, we just improved the job performance of Mary. Okay. We’re effective. It took one day, one day, literally one day, the change from choose me because I’m cheap to choose me because I offer these life changing things is literally like lightened day. Next. Okay. All of a sudden, Mary’s getting the right phone calls, all of a sudden, the patients are going in the schedule and you know what? Pay stay in the schedule. Okay.

They stay in the schedule. And then you see them as a new patient, whether you could bring them through hygiene or your chairs totally up to you. You see them, you greet them, there is a warm welcome. They’re valuing you for what you do. They’re not valuing you because you’re $39.

Howie: Right

Mark: reason they’re in your chair, other than your $39. almost an LA there’s that word, almost every time in almost every dental market in almost every one of our client offices. Okay.

Howie: So it’s amazing. How wonderful Mary and the rest of them have become at their jobs. I mean, they’re geniuses now. It’s kind of like when your kids you know, and your mom says he better hang out with that crowd over there. Because you know, bad things will happen,

Mark: right

Howie: Bad things happen. Chain ends and you get better friends and all of a sudden, hey, you’re a good boy now.

Mark: Yeah, all of a sudden, all of a sudden, you’re a good boy. Well, all of a sudden, your hygienist isn’t heavy handed either.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: we call compliance goes up. Because these people aren’t looking for the next deal. The next time. They’re looking for the they were looking to have a dentist, they keep further. Their whole life really is what they’re looking for. All of a sudden, you’re a magician, because your treatment plan acceptance goes up. Yeah, you’re right, you didn’t do anything. Okay, you didn’t spend more money, you spent the same amount of money, you didn’t do a thing other than just market differently.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: And all of a sudden, you know, you’re Tomlin, Molly, you can go out on and do seminars, okay. Right, all of a sudden, you need less new patients. Let’s take a couple seconds and let that’s sinking. All of a sudden, you need fewer new patients every month. Now more, you need less.

Howie: And you don’t have to spend as much on

Mark: Right, right. All of a sudden, those things that member we started this podcast out with you go into a CE course and thinking you did pretty good, you know, you, you passed, right. And now you just want to try this new service on your own patients and on new patients. And all of a sudden, you’re actually seeing patients who are wanting, or maybe they’ve been diagnosed previously by a different dental office. They’re just looking around at who they want to complete this work. And maybe they chose you because you communicated that you do this work, right? Instead of I’m $39. Right

Howie: right

Mark: So anyway, here’s, here’s the bottom line. We get I don’t know how many but we get into probably eight to 10 really good meaty conversations with dentists and sometimes their team about what’s going on, like what’s really going on, you know, beyond the numbers. We want the numbers, obviously, we do the analysis on the market area, we determine what we’re up against. And then we ask questions, you know, China determine what’s really going on in his dental practice. And there’s lots of dentists out there promoting dentistry based primarily on a price incentive, you know, that I know that you see it every day, probably in the mail, probably online, you see it everywhere.

When you Google anything dental in your market, I’m sure you see it. So nobody’s hiding it. Um, the end of the day, though, the impact it can have, or at the end of the day, these practices, they all during these interviews before we finalize a marketing plan for them. There’s a similarity between what they said, because a doctor will get off the phone on a speakerphone get on a private call with us and say, yeah, I’m not really sure about Mary. Judy, I don’t know. You know, we got a little busier and her work kind of slacked off. And I don’t know, maybe my hygienist is a little heavy handed. Because, you know, we used to have better recall. I know, I agree. I don’t need 50 new patients a month, but it just seems like I’m not getting any bigger at that number.

And we hear this all the time constantly, right? Let’s say it was like three or four times a year, we wouldn’t have a podcast. Okay. This is like 95% the people who are calling us saying, you know, I don’t? Is it my marketing? I don’t know if it? Okay, here’s the bottom line? It is your marketing? Okay, that’s what’s causing all this? uncertainty? Right? Is it me? Is it my front desk? And, is it my coordinators and my hygienists? Isn’t my assistant. Okay, is it the way we’re handling the phones or not handling the phones? You know? Is it the weather? Is it the solar eclipse?

No, it’s none of that. It’s your marketing. Okay, if you’re marketing to the bottom half of the market, it will always create these outcomes, you will not be the first person to avoid them. Okay, so that’s the purpose of this podcast was to take this subject of the top half and the bottom half of the dental market and inverted and, and put it in a context that hopefully you would understand because you have the same feelings on a day to day basis, and you can’t quite put your finger on the solution. You don’t even know really what the causes, but you’re looking for a solution.

Well, that happens all the time happens to have some things happen to our business, and we don’t, can’t put our finger on it right away. So we’re not passing judgment, these things happen to every business owner everywhere in the world. But specific to dentistry and specific to marketing, a dental practice, promoting your practice to the wrong half of the dental market. One, almost 100% of the time, will generate these feelings of uncertainty that you have in yourself and your whole staff, and maybe even your office in general, your location. And it’s, it’s I’m not going to say it’s needless. In other words, you don’t have to deal with it, you can just and you don’t have to spend money to change it. Just the same money that you’re spending now just in a different place.

Howie: Yeah. And also that comes with the probable change in the marketing message, you know, you have to drop away from the price incentive side of things and promote the benefits of modern dentist Absolutely. And, and, and the miracles that you and your team can actually perform on people that they don’t know about.

Mark: So I think what you’re probably missing is the confidence that that will work.

Howie: Yes.

Mark: And we wouldn’t be here if it didn’t, we wouldn’t have hundreds of clients, we, you know, we went to hundreds of clients for 15 years, just mindless drone dentist throwing money at us every month for 13 years. It doesn’t happen.

Howie: okay

Mark: So, so anyway, so when you get to that point, where your kind of feeling like something’s not right, right? And you can’t figure it out. Look at your marketing. Look who you’re trying to attract to your practice. It might just be your patient pool.

Howie: Yep.

Mark: All right.

Howie: Very good. Well, thank you for joining us once again. And we’re very happy to have you out there in the audience. And if you have questions or something, email us, what’s our email address again, info.

Mark: Now let’s get to know it’s Josh. [email protected]

Howie: Yeah, and we’ll do a mailbag segment again, one of these days. But thank you today for joining us, and we’ll look forward to talking with you next time. Bye. Now.

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