In the end, a patient’s decision to schedule proposed treatment is all about trust. This trust relationship begins well before the patient ever enters your office door. It begins with the initial exposure a patient has to your practice, whether in the form of a postcard mailer or by way of referral from a friend or family member. It continues to develop through the new patient phone call and expands via the guest mentality your staff extends upon arrival. The relationship grows with the gentleness and concern afforded by your hygienist and progresses further by means of displaying your own honesty and integrity. This bond matures over time through the consistent care and attention imparted by your staff and the painless, quality dentistry you reliably provide.
You can employ the best treatment plan coordinator in the world, but it is ultimately the doctor who is responsible for convincing the patient of the necessity for treatment. The dentist is the office staff member most trained and knowledgeable in the importance of oral health care procedures. This is not to overlook that many practices successfully schedule dentistry based solely upon the salesmanship of the treatment plan coordinator. It is to say, however, that these practices will never be as productive as they could be with a doctor who educates, inspires and elicits the trust of the clientele.
One way to cultivate this trust is to be wary of handing the new patient an overzealous treatment plan on the initial visit. While we are obligated to diagnose and present all oral health needs to any patient seeking our expertise by way of a comprehensive exam, certain procedures can obviously be prioritized over others. Nurturing a trusting relationship over time seems to result in the greatest cosmetic dentistry and comprehensive treatment plans being accepted. Most people take some time to develop trust, and they quite often require multiple six-month recall appointments before they are ready to sign up for those beautiful veneers you have awaiting them. Do not oversell them. The fact that they are in your chair is evidence that they want to trust you. Give them every reason to do so. With time, they will be requesting the treatment from you, their new friend.
This principle of establishing trust eclipses every other form of internal marketing you can extend your patients. This is the real internal marketing. The attractiveness of this form of marketing is that its effects are consistent no matter what type of practice you have chosen to operate. The real beauty, of course, is that the fiscal cost of this manner of marketing is zero.