Some patients are quite “detail oriented” and they would like you to tell them what you are going to do, tell them what you are doing, and then tell them what you have done.
Then there are the “big picture” people (the vast majority of our patients) who only want to know how long. how much, and the end result. We can get to know who they are by learning body language and verbal cues… or even asking our patient. They will tell us. In all cases it is helpful to find some subject to talk about (a one-way conversation, of course) to keep the patient distracted and thinking positive about the treatment, their comfort, and the outcome. The chairside assistant can play an important role in this.
Still interested? Please read my article on case presentation: http://wp.me/p1OXM3-5R
You can kill a good presentation by trying to explain too much. You know what the patient needs and he/she probably knows too.
Most of your patients will be “big picture” processors. They will want to know the BASICS- how long, how much, and the result. They may even tell you that. You can determine that from their metaphors and body language. The few “detail oriented” patients will be the accountants, engineers,… and other dentists. If you give too many details in your presentation, you will open Pandora’s Box for even the “Big Picture” patients to start a litany of questions. Avoid such statements as, “…then the Hygienist will scale, root plane and irrigate….”, or “… after I prepare your teeth, I’ll take some impressions, and….”
[ The Hygienist “removes disease” and you are “creating a great new smile”. It’s that simple! ]
There’s a time and a place for those detail explanations, but it is not during the case presentation. For now just concentrate on the value and the benefits. KISS. “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle
Make your presentations well planned-out and concise. Utilize visual aids and social confirmations.
Picture your desired OUTCOME, then trim away the excess like a Michelangelo:
A 15th Century admirer looked in awe at one of Michelangelo’s sculptures and asked the maestro how he could create such a magnificent sculpture from a block of marble. Michelangelo said, “I saw the angel in the marble and I carved away the excess until I set him free.”
Here’s a humorous example:
The young doctor had just completed his first Treatment Plan Presentation for a big cosmetic makeover. He followed all the rules given by his coach. He demonstrated with study models, radiographs and photographs, and clearly detailed to his patient every situation requiring treatment. His presentation was planned, orchestrated and smoothly presented.
When someone thinks enough of you to refer one of their family or trusted friends, ignoring their kindness would be taken as an insult, while acknowledging their referral will encourage more referrals. It seems simple, but many dentists, surprisingly, just can’t figure out what to do.
What do you think of this idea?
A printed card is sent to the referring friend with a lottery ticket inside. The outside of the card says, “You’re worth a million to us.” On the inside where the ticket is attached, it is inscribed, “We hope you win.”
On the other inside flap there’s a personal note from the doctor, “Thank you for referring (patient) to us.”
Small cost, great value. I hope you can send 5 of these every day.
Your rich uncle wouldn’t want it any other way.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 –1564) considered himself a sculptor, not a painter. Two of his best-known works, the Pieta and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, he was persuaded by Pope Julius II, against his will, to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512). The maestro Michelangelo created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling, and The Last Judgement on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
But don’t you agree you have to do some things different?
Are you in control (“at cause”) of your conditions, or believe that you have little or no control (“at effect”). Do you believe that “the economy” has control over your success? Do the “Insurance Companies” determine your patients’ treatment acceptance?
Do you know people who continually place themselves at effect and feel they are a victim of circumstances? The idea that other people are responsible for how they feel and act : “That patient made me angry.”, or “My lab is costing me money.”, or “People don’t want to spend money on dentistry today.” Those who live their lives at effect often see themselves as victims with no choices whatsoever. The irony is that they do have choice and they have chosen not to choose but to be responsive to whatever is given to them.
People who think they are at effect use words like “can’t” and “I tried.” When you say “I can’t,” the computer in your brain steps right up and supplies you with lots of reasons why you can’t, and it also blocks the creative part of your mind from figuring our how you can. Thus, the fact that you can’t comes true, further reinforcing your belief that you really can’t. Instead of saying “I can’t”, begin to ask “How can I?” and keep asking until your brain supplies you with the answer you want. I once heard a “motivational speaker” say, “After you think you tried every possible method, and still haven’t succeeded, try another method.” You could have asked Thomas Edison about that.
“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
“I tried” is another favorite of people who feel they are at effect. The entire presupposition behind “I tried” is failure. No one who succeeds ever says “I tried.” They say “I will do it.” Trying begins with the belief in failure. To try, you must make pictures in your head of failing. My suggestion is to make pictures in your head of accomplishing whatever it is you want to accomplish. When you do this, you give your brain a signal to figure out how to do it. When you “try,” you give your brain a signal to figure out a way to fail.
Why would someone focus on what they don’t want, and see themselves as being at effect of causes over which they have no control? Fear. Scientology and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming are controversially at odds with each other on this issue but it remains that you can take control of your responses to whatever situation you find yourself in. And you can consciously control the choices you have in any situation. Choose to be successful.
For further reading:
Psycho Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz, MD
Introducing NLP, O’Connor and Seymour
Sending your patients an End of Year Benefit Reminder now will give you time to send any PreTreatment Estimates needed and still have time to seat any crowns before the end of the year.
With just a few months left in the year, it’s time to remind patients of their unused benefits…to use or lose. Your patients may have also forgotten about those unused insurance benefits that have been deducted from their salary all year and they will be lost if not used!
Don’t let your patients throw their money down the drain!
Remember to Tweet and post on Facebook. New prospects looking for a dentist have unused insurance benefits, too, and you just let them know where they can use them…in your office!
Here is a sample notice:
Subject: You Could be Losing Benefits You’ve Already Earned.
Another year is winding down! We wanted to remind you to make sure you take advantage of any unused dental insurance benefits you may have remaining since most companies do not allow you to carry these over to the next year.
Not sure if you have benefits remaining? No problem! Call us at (office telephone number) or email (office email address) to schedule your appointment, or if we can be of assistance in any way. We’re here for you!
Look forward to seeing you soon!
Sample Tweet or Facebook post – Reminder: Take advantage of any unused Insurance benefits before the end of the year. They don’t carry over. Call us. (phone) (124 characters)