Listen, respond, and keep your patients

May 1, 2010
Developing the cosmetic aspect of your practice and keeping your patients for the long run in today’s economy is possible.

by John Jameson, DDS, and Cathy Jameson

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: preparation, teamwork, communication, Dr. John Jameson, Cathy Jameson.

Developing the cosmetic aspect of your practice and keeping your patients for the long run in today’s economy is possible. It simply requires preparation, teamwork, and communication.

Consider these 3 steps to successful whitening promotion:

1. Develop excellent verbal skills. Find products the dentists and team feel good about. If you and your team aren’t thoroughly committed to the product, it may be put on a shelf unused, wasted, and resented. Work together to believe in the product and what it offers and to build systems that allow you to communicate that belief to patients. Open the door for your teams to talk about tooth whitening, even if that means tracking and rewarding team members who are responsible for patients proceeding with whitening. Practice ways to bring up tooth whitening up with your patients and/or ways to revisit conversations that have taken place at previous appointments. Work through strong verbal skills. Commit, as a team, to when and how you’ll use patient education programs and show patients possibilities. Opportunities for tooth whitening are available within your existing patient family.

Beyond that, if patients ask a question, give a straight answer. If they ask what kind of toothpaste to use, refer a brand or two and explain the reasons why. They ask because they want an answer and you are their expert.

2. Continue marketing and patient education consistently. Through e-mail blasts, newsletters, special mailings, social media, and other promotions, remind patients of your whitening opportunities. Pull on timely heartstrings by bringing up reasons tooth whitening will be beneficial. (Slogans can include: This could help you get or keep that desired job in trying economic times. Experiencing changes in your life? Feel better about yourself and be more memorable to those around you.)

3. Consider special seasons. Invite patients to come in and receive tooth whitening for a fee reduction “as our way of saying thanks.” Motivate them to give whitening as a gift and offer professional-looking gift certificates to make this simple.

Also, consider going larger scale and promoting whitening through mainstream media — newspaper, television, radio, the Internet. Be consistent and strategic as you motivate and educate your existing patient family, as well as potential new patients.

Collect testimonials and track results. That which isn’t monitored can’t be measured. Create a system for checking in on patients following the whitening program. Get feedback about the results and request documented permission to use their words, as well as before-and-after photos.

Then use these testimonials throughout the practice in frames, photo books, digital albums, screen savers, and more. Patients need to see strong testimonials and compelling before-and-after photography in the reception area and even on monitors in the treatment area. Report at morning huddles any constructive new idea about the system that needs attention or modification, as well as any positive feedback that is reported.

Also, consider what kind of testimonial you and the rest of your team can be for your services. What does your smile look like? Do you and your team members need tooth whitening so you can speak about its benefits firsthand and/or respond to natural compliments? If all of you have beautiful, bright smiles that your patients notice, the energy spills over into a patient’s desire to look his or her best. You can be your own “walking-talking” before-and-after photography.

Be in the business of seeing to it that your patients’ needs are met with care. Listen to them. Be prepared with products you believe in. Respond to everything they say in a meaningful way that validates your position as their expert health-care provider.

For more information, call (877) 369-5558 and visit www.JamesonManagement.com.

Reclaim your share of the over-the-counter whitening market

For years TV, print, and radio commercials have siphoned cosmetic patients — who have the potential to be lifelong patients — away from practices. Even in a challenged economy, patients want whiter, younger-looking teeth, and they want it for less money. Are you ready to welcome a product that adds to your revenue stream and helps give patients a beautiful, healthy smile?

Heraeus may have the answer via an extension of its Venus White line of high-performance whitening products. Its new offering, Venus White Ultra, gives patients highly effective, prefilled, disposable, take-home whitening trays, and allows dentists to gain a greater percentage of the bleaching business in a market that has been dominated by large consumer product companies.

Unlike existing professionally available whitening options, which may utilize an enhancing light and/or customized trays, Venus White Ultra prefilled bleaching trays do not require a light or special equipment. The ready-made disposable tray means no impressions and minimal chair time, which translates into less cost for the patient (and more sales for the dentist).

To assist dentists, Heraeus provides patient brochures to explain the benefits of whitening and using Venus White Ultra, as well as an animation for the office that explains how the bleaching process works. Heraeus also donates a portion of Venus White sales to support breast cancer research.

For more information on Venus White, contact your dental dealer, call Heraeus directly at (800) 431-1785, or visit www.smilebyvenus.com.

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