Not everyone seeking dental implants feels ready to move forward with your treatment plan. Deciding whether or not to commit is a huge life decision for most patients, which makes sense. A dental implant procedure will semi-permanently alter the way a patient’s face looks, after all. It’s also a large financial commitment, surrounded by fear and uncertainty.
The best dental implant practices will serve everyone who inquires, but also invest their limited time wisely. They want to make sure that their chair time goes to the patients ready to commit so that they can get the help they need.
There’s nothing wrong with a patient taking their time, making inquiries, and deciding whether or not they want to move forward. But you want to make sure that your service to them matches their level of commitment. This way, the people who are ready for a procedure don’t get lost in the shuffle. Here are a few ways to identify patients who are ready to move forward, so that you can adjust your intake accordingly.
They Match Your Ideal Patient
Everything you do to market your dental implant practice should revolve around attracting the ideal patient. Take the time to develop a persona of your practice’s ideal patient. What are they like? How old are they? What does their budget look like?
When you don’t understand your ideal patient, you run the risk of marginally attracting a few different kinds of people without truly appealing to any of them. This would be like going fishing and changing your rod and bait every two minutes.
This doesn’t mean every person who comes into your office should match your ideal patient persona to a T, but there should be a general trend.
When you understand who your ideal patient is, you’ll begin to understand what they talk like, and how it looks when they’re making an inquiry. When someone feels like an ideal patient, chances are high that they’re more ready to move forward than the next person.
They’ve Been Prescreened
The most successful dental implant practices have a system of pre-screening leads before they come into the office. Having someone in-house who can ensure patients are ready, willing, and able to move forward can save you a lot of chair time. You could also outsource this task to programs like Driven Dental’s Virtual Patient Advocate, or VPA program, which exists to make sure that serious patients connect with the care they need and are ready to move forward before they get in your chair. Our VPAs prequalify your dental implant leads and do the work of making sure they’re ready to move forward with care before they get on your schedule.
Serious patients get the help they need, and your chair time becomes more productive. So, one fantastic way to identify implant leads who are ready to move forward is to make sure that you have some form of prequalification in place.
If you’re curious about our VPA program or want to learn more about attracting warm dental implant leads, book a free strategy call with us today.
They Have a Plan to Pay
This goes back to the fact that dental implants can be an expensive procedure for most people. It requires a sober understanding of how much their care will cost and how they will fit their treatment into their budget.
If you’ve prescreened your patients well, they come in understanding how much their care will cost and have a plan to pay for it. They’ve examined their budget and feel ready to make an informed decision to move forward. When this is true, patients don’t bat an eye when you ask the dreaded “money question.”
Someone who isn’t quite ready for treatment may shy away from talking about finances, even when asked directly. Or they may offer you a wide range instead of a concrete figure. The lack of financial commitment shows a lack of overall commitment. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, but every hour they spend in your office is an hour that could go to someone who really wants help.
The money question is hard. You and your team must learn to lean into empathy and connect emotionally with your prospective patients, in order to make the process easier. However, it’s worth asking about budget sooner rather than later, because it will quickly show you how committed a prospective patient really is.
When someone who matches your ideal patient comes into your office prescreened and with a plan to pay for their care, you’ve identified someone who feels ready to move forward with the process. Make sure that the patients with these traits get the help and care they’re searching for.