Specializing in Practice Growth
We have proven periodontal services that are effective in helping you to achieve your goals. However, each periodontist’s situation and goals are different. Prior to doing a program together, it is important for you and I to get to know each other and for us to customize your program. This is done on a no charge Feasibility Study which lasts for two or three calls. At the end of the Study, we will provide you with a practice analysis, program outline and references to check. Then you can make an informed decision. The following are some of our major services.
In most periodontal practices, the major health of the practice rests in the hands of a small number of referral sources. These are your “A” and “B” doctors. Each of these doctors is different and refers to you for different reasons. On our Referral Relationship Program, we will write up individual plans for each doctor to maintain and increase their referrals.
In addition, there are other doctors who have potential and we target these to improve their referrals. These specific referral enhancement plans ensure success.
These plans are implemented over months utilizing a professional multi-pronged approach. As we learn more about each doctor and his/her office, these plans are constantly updatedMany periodontists are understandably reluctant to do multiple lunches with referral sources. Much of this is due to not having a worthwhile agenda for the meeting. On the training you will learn communication skills, introductory statements and questions to give value to these meetings. Each major interaction with a referring source will have an individual doctor plan giving you how it should be done. Both you and the referral source will feel the meeting was worthwhile and the referral relationship strengthened.
Our program does not stress having large numbers of lunches, but it is good to know that you will feel more comfortable on the lunches that you do.Of course, the main reason doctors refer to you is your clinical skills and patient satisfaction. Our program enhances the referring doctor’s perception of your skills and patient quality of care. There are 12 internal reasons why referral sources stop or slow their referrals. We include staff training to ensure that the entire staff does what is needed to increase referrals. A few things this section addresses are:
- What to do if a patient needs more than what is prescribed.
- Handling an unhappy referral source.
- Handling an upset patient.
- Getting and using testimonials and before-after pictures.
- Handling patients wanting to do all their maintenance in your office.
- Enhancing the marketing value of clinical reports, calls, etc.One of the main reasons marketing tends to drop out is that the periodontist doesn’t have time to do it. In actual fact,. marketing is a whole practice activity. Also, here is an interesting statistic. At the 2010 Hawaii AAP meeting it was mentioned that 72-74% of general dental referrals were initially generated by hygienists. The doctor may have made the referral, but it was the hygienist who brought it to his/her attention. So marketing done to the staffs of general dental offices should not be overlooked. This includes:
- A marketing assistant who visits doctors’ offices (delivering professional items).
- An implant Coordinator
- In-Services for Staff
- Events for Staff
- Your hygienists interacting (via paperwork, meetings, etc.) with GD hygienists.
- Your staff interacting correctly with the staffs of GD offices.Of course you can deliver edibles to doctors offices. That is fine and we support this. But we believe that delivery or mailing of professional items should be the main focus of your outreach program. These professional items help build your reputation as a periodontist and many are useful to the general dentist. This includes such things as:
- Perio-Medical Research Laminate
- Dental Implant Advantages
- Latest Research Findings
- Press Releases
- Things to Help the GD’s in His Practcie.While 90-95% of all patients continue to come from professional referral sources, we do believe that other forms of media should be explored. While these currently methods do not currently have a high return, they do pay for themselves and can be part of an overall campaign. These include:
- Periodontal Website
- Periodontal Directories
- Limited Advertising & Yellow-Pages
- Social Media & Internet Rating Websites
- Scripts to Effectively Handle Media Response Call-InsHaving worked with periodontists for 15 years, we know the strategies that work in almost every different referral situation. On the Feasibility Study, we will look at your general dentists, your competition, and your reputation. We will also look at what you have done in the past that was successful and what didn’t work.
Referrals develop with repeated interactions and visibility. We will work up a marketing plan that gets results. Some aspects of this plan can be:
- Doctor Visiting
- Marketing Assistance Visiting
- Hospitality Drop-Offs
- Professional Drop-Offs
- Professional Mailings / Newsletter
- Study Club
- Lunch & Learns (InServices)
- Open House
- Revamping Your Paperwork, Brochure, etc.
- Utilization of Reps
- New Equipment, Techniques, etc.Every patient that does not go ahead with full treatment is income lost. It is also damaging to your referrals as the patient will probably go back to the referring dentist and say something like, “it was too expensive”. This lowers the dentist’s willingness to refer more patients.
Getting patients to accept treatment is a matter of motivating the patient enough to overcome the barriers he/she has to, to get treatment. These barriers can be things like fear of pain, financial concerns, time problems or an angry spouse. It is a matter of “motivation” not “education” as periodontists were taught in school. This area includes:
- Case Presentation Scripts
- Discovering & Handling the Most Common Objections
- Utilization of Motivational Materials (We provide these.)
- Communication Training
- Training Your Assistant to Enhance AcceptanceSome Treatment Coordinators feel their role is only to present the treatment plan and fees. Then they ask the patient what he/she would like to do. Some even offer to check pre-determination before scheduling the patient. This is not the Treatment Coordinator’s main role. Their main role is to help you to get the patient to go ahead with full treatment and schedule.
Like the doctor and assistant, her role is motivation of the patient and making it easy for him/her to find the resources to get treatment. Ideally, the patient should not leave the office without an appointment. Our program trains the Treatment Coordinator to do this. This area includes:
- Treatment Coordinator Scripts
- Communication Training
- Utilization of Motivational Materials
- Utilization of Other Staff for Acceptance
- Case Acceptance Log
- Handling Unscheduled Post-Consult PatientsThe front desk has a key role in keeping the practice productive. If handled incorrectly, patients will be more likely to cancel and be harder to reschedule. In addition, the front desk needs to know the ideal way to ensure new patient arrival, optimum scheduling, and how to prevent cancellations. She also needs to know how to retrieve unscheduled patients and get them into schedule. This part of our program includes:
- Scheduling Scripts
- Patient Retention Program
- Patient Retrieval Program
- Causative SchedulingStaff are your most valuable resource. Evaluating your staff and ensuring they perform their jobs well is a major part of practice success. This part of the program deals with:
- Staff Evaluation
- Periodontal Job Descriptions
- Staff Hiring & Replacement (As needed)
- Staff Training
- Office Manuals & Policies
- Staff Incentives (As needed)
With clear goals and a good practice plan, morale improves, as does production. Once these are clear, objective measures and benchmarks can be assigned. All of this leads to progress and a practice changed for the better. This area includes:
- Practice Plan
- Projects Assigned to Staff
- Clear Achievement Points & Performance Measures
- Statistical Measures & Graphing
- Progress SuccessHaving consulted for 25 years with the last 15 being periodontists only, we have a broad understanding of the field and almost every periodontal consulting situation that can come up. We have a number of clients who have been with us over 5 years because of this and the fact that we are always coming up with new marketing and consulting materials. Some other areas we advise on are:
In addition, the clients themselves are constantly coming up with opportunities that we, with their permission, share with the entire group. I hope this gives you an idea of the scope of our consulting. We look forward to speaking with you in the future.
- Fees & Insurances
- Equipment, Computer & Dental Programs
- Practice Transitions
- New Associates/Partners
- Websites and Internet Usage
- New Office/Satellite
- Strategic Partnerships