An essential distinction in dentistry that many dentists and team members miss is the distinction between a sales versus leadership approach to case acceptance.

I remember listening to a dentist present a treatment plan to his nervous patient.

After he completed his exam he placed the mouth mirror on the bracket table. With his patient still in a reclining position, he pulled his mask out over his chin, pointed to the radiographs on the monitor, and said to her, “You need seven crowns and root canals.” He spoke for another few minutes describing the procedures accessing the pulp chambers, instrumenting the canals… you get the picture.

Following this, he emphasized the urgency in starting treatment today, warning her if she didn’t, she’d probably lose her teeth.

Now this dentist knew his patient’s clinical needs. What he didn’t know is when he left the operatory, his patient broke down in tears. During the 20 plus years, I’ve coached case acceptance,  this was the worst example I’ve ever seen. However, I’ve also witnessed the best examples.

The differences between the best and worst examples are rarely a matter of a dentist’s clinical skill.

Instead, it’s a matter of their point of view and their language skills. Dentists who are the least successful with case acceptance solely see it as a sales process. The most successful dentist see it as a leadership process. Increasing transactions is the focus of the sales process; the more transactions, the better. This usher in a sales-like experience for new patients. These include discounted fees to attract as many new patients as possible, overemphasis on same-day dentistry, overcoming objections, closing the sale, and creating urgency where none may exist.

The soul marker of a successful day in a sales-oriented dental office is collections. Building quality relationships with patients and providing Standard of Caring experiences are the focus of a leadership process. This intention leads to more strategic marketing attracting manageable numbers of new patients. It establishes personal connections, it discovers benefits patients are seeking from care, and it seeks to understand how dentistry must fit into their lives.

There are multiple markers of a successful day in a leadership-oriented office,  minimal stress, a sense of fulfillment, and you ready for this…robust collections. 

The irony here is that although a leadership approach doesn’t focus on closing the sale, it results in greater collections. The best dentists…the best practices… get it! Better relationships lead to increased collections.

 If improving your new patient experience and treatment acceptance is important to you, consider visiting Treatment Acceptance Mastery.