When visiting Dental Practices these days, part of the conversation is inevitably taken up discussing how the Practice gross can be increased and with the limitations imposed by the new Dental Contract the conversation soon turns to selling Private Dentistry.
Geoff Long Dental Accountant gives some timely advice on selling.
Learning to list plan and communicate is one of the hardest tasks for the young Dentist. The approach to selling is usually along the following lines:
The Wrong Way
Listen? Get the radio on, that drowns out any Patient conversation and allows you to work faster.
- Plan? If I diagnose anything I might have to do something about it! I might hurt the patient. That would blow my popularity.
- Communicate? If I keep the radio going I can get the patient in and out quickly. If I can see 40 a day everyone is happy and it is pretty easy money.
The Right Way
Turn the radio off.
- Arrange the seating so that it allows you to maintain comfortable eye contact with your Patient.
- Have your questions ready so that by asking questions you can get the information you want from the Patient. Your questionnaire should include questions to ascertain the:
- Needs of Patients
- Attitude and Patient knowledge.
In the NHS the Patient has a simple choice. This is my treatment plan, take it or leave it!
In any alternative the Dentist has to come to terms with the tricky issue of selling and a realisation that Patients will always pay for the best quality they can afford as long as a choice is given and quality perceived–just think of the type of car you drive!
If Dental care has to be sold in the current climate then sales training would be sensible. Good selling is based upon total honesty; bad selling will rarely allow the Dentist a second chance. Most Dentists decide that their Patients cannot afford what they have to sell and will not offer the best clinical solution or say what it costs. A growing overdraft is the symptom of this malaise. You just have to ask a simple question:
“Would you like to buy my solution to your Dental problem?”
They came to you to be asked this question so the answer is likely to be “Yes!”
The next question they will ask is cost. Practice answering this in front of the mirror. “I am too frightened to tell you”. “Have it for free” and “Don’t worry about the cost, I will pay you!” Once you have got this out of your system try reading from your price list then sit down. The Patient might just say “Yes!”
Geoff Long Dental Accountant is a specialist based in Hertfordshire. He advises on a wide range of dental tax issues and regularly writes for the dental press. Geoff has over 20 years’ experience with dentists accounts and is recognised for his proactive approach to dental taxation and business problems.
You can contact Geoff on 01438 722224 or email email@example.com