As dental implant practices adjust their workflows to attract and close more full arch implant cases, they need to understand the final piece of the puzzle, the full arch consult and case presentation.
One of the worst feelings comes from investing in a marketing plan for full arch cases, gaining new leads, and spending chair time with them… only to have them withdraw at the last moment. It’s difficult to get so close to a high-value case like that and then lose it. Additionally, the time and budget spent to attract that patient has to be written off. Furthermore, the dentist wonders if they could have done anything differently.
Thankfully, they can. There is a way to master the art of the consultation in order to improve your closing rate. You can make sure your chair time is used to the fullest, in a way that makes your patients most likely to move forward with treatment.
The problem is that few dentists take the time to step back and consider all the factors leading to a winning consultation. Worse yet, many dentists treat all consults the same, whether the patient needs a single implant or a full arch.
This guide will walk you through the setup, process, and close of a full arch consult with tips to ensure each phase brings the patient closer to saying, “Yes!” to treatment.
“Creating a mini version of your records exam makes it easy for patients to say YES and to seamlessly proceed to the next step in the process on the same day of the consultation. It’s all about being patient-centric while changing lives all at the same time.”
CEO, R.E.A.L Talk Sales Consulting LLC.
1. Plan your full arch consultation for success.
The perfect consultation starts long before the patient comes through your doors. Here are a few initial steps to take during the planning phase to boost your success:
- Make sure the patient’s spouse or significant other comes. Ask them, “Is there anyone who will be helping you make this decision?” and book a time that works for both of them. Many patients drop out when they go to talk the decision over with their significant other. This ensures that the patient and all key decision-makers get information and excitement about the procedure.
- Allow for up to 90 minutes of consultation time. Many dentists (and patients) expect something akin to 45 or 60 minutes, but allowing more time makes the patient feel more relaxed and comfortable, taking all the time they need to consider treatment. Plus, it allows you time to handle some necessary clerical work for their procedure on the same day of their consultation. Speaking of which:
- If at all possible, plan a same-day miniature records exam. Have a team member on hand and ready to take before/after photos, guide the patient through initial paperwork, or even take imprints or X-rays at the end of your conversation. Beginning this process on the day of the consult instead of the subsequent week will improve your closing rate like none other. Make sure the same-day mini records exam is on everyone’s schedule. This is also why we recommend allowing 90 minutes for the consult… even if it means adjusting your office hours for these high-value patients.
2. Conduct your winning full arch consult.
When the patient comes in, make sure someone in your office is immediately available to greet them and make them feel welcome. Never show up late. Begin the consultation by explaining how glad you are to see them. Offer a handshake or a fist or elbow bump.
If possible, sit down with them. Ask them open-ended questions about their work, story, and reasons for seeking treatment. Listen with empathy and compassion. Give them the time of day.
If you have to leave in the middle of the consult (as many busy dentists do), then ensure the meeting begins with your financial or treatment coordinator in the room with you. Then, ensure the patient that they’re in good hands as you leave the room. Tell them you hope to see them a bit later when you or a team member conduct the mini records exam.
3. Close your full arch consult successfully.
When it comes to closing the case at the end of the consultation, there are two main mistakes on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Some doctors are afraid to directly ask their patients whether they want to move forward with treatment. They may be afraid of being too overbearing or of taking away the patient’s autonomy about their decision. This leads them to avoid making a direct ask about treatment, even if the dentist (or team member) believes it’s the best option for the patient.
Give the opportunity for your patient to decide about treatment by leading them to make a decision at the end of your consultation. Again, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to take time to make up their mind, but the dentist or team member should discover whether they are ready to move forward with treatment.
On the other end of the spectrum, other doctors can come across as too demanding and “salesy” when it comes to making the ask. They could make it seem like the patient will lose their chance at treatment if they don’t commit, or attempt to squeeze a direct answer out of the patient while they’re still deliberating. Don’t do this, either.
Instead, politely and directly ask the patient whether they’re ready to move forward and if they want to put the rest of their records examination on the calendar. If they indicate that they need more time, then give it to them.
You’ve got this.
With a bit of planning on the front end and the right practices, you can make consultations one of your favorite things to do. Follow these tips to boost your case acceptance rate and connect your patients with the life-changing transformation of a full arch dental implant.
To kick-start your full arch marketing plan, or get more tips about your consultations, schedule a FREE strategy call with us. We have specific scripts for you and your team to use during the setup and execution of a consultation to ensure your patient feels empowered to move forward with treatment.