Has this ever happened to your practice?

Mrs Jones and her teenage daughter Julie arrive for their consultation. They seem like a perfect fit for the practice. They were referred by Dr Wilson, who is one of your practice’s top referrers. Julie is in seventh grade at a nearby school. Many of her classmates are your patients.

Yet something doesn’t go well, and Mrs Jones leaves without agreeing to treatment. In fact, more and more parents have been turning down treatment.

Case presentation is a delicate dance between the practice and parents and prospective patients. Make one misstep and you could end up sabotaging the entire consultation.

Here are three killer mistakes that we find many orthodontic practices make during their consults:

1. Not Enough Preparation

You need to know as much information about prospective patients and their parents as possible. You and your TC can’t just walk in cold to the consult room. First impressions matter. The consult is your opportunity to WOW parents and prospects. If they feel like they’re being treated as “just another patient and family,” they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Solution: Gather as much patient information as possible prior to the consultation. Send parents an in-depth questionnaire via mail or email. One key question to include is what the patient prefers to be called. You don’t want to address the young lady as “Julianna,” if she goes by “Julie.” Review the gathered information the day before and the day of the consultation.

2. Bad Body Language

You could be saying all the right things, but if you’re not looking parents in the eye, they will view you as untrustworthy. Other bad habits include poor posture, nervous tics, rushing through the presentation, and interrupting parents.

Solution: Film several mock presentations with team members playing the roles of parents and patients. Review your performance, including verbal and nonverbal skills. Note any bad habits and work to eliminate them.

3. Not Finishing Strong

Too many times, the consultation just ends and the TC or doctor is waiting for parents to say “yes” to treatment. It’s your job to ask them if they want to move forward with treatment for their child or for themselves (if it’s an adult patient).

Solution: You are the one offering the service, so it’s up to you to ask. It’s really that simple.

Parents and prospective patients have more options than ever before when it comes to orthodontic treatment. You and your team have to do everything possible to make sure your consultations are powerful and effective. Purge these three consult killers from your practice, and you’ll be on your way to greater success! OP


Need help with case presentation and other key systems? Visit levingroup.com for training and consulting options that lead to increased starts and practice income.