One of the key skills we help our clients acquire is the ability to communicate well and confidently to patients, by training them to clearly present all the pathology in a patient’s mouth, prioritise treatment needs and offer the patient long-term solutions.
As you might expect, once they put this into place their patient value and daily gross goes up and they often have to zone their diaries and hire a great associate to cope with all the new work. Often, the next hurdle they identify is how to get their team to help increase sales. So, we get their associates, hygienists and support teams involved to establish a sales culture within the practice.
Introducing a sales culture
There are eight things the principal and the team can do to help introduce a sales culture:
- There is no ‘sales prevention’ going on such as: unanswered calls and emails, patients not knowing the cost of the planned treatment, treatment plans posted (!) weeks after the consultation, faded blue-tacked messages throughout the practice telling patients off
- The team has great teeth because everyone has had their periodontal, restorative and cosmetic needs fixed for free by the practice clinicians. The team wears badges such as, ‘I’m wearing invisible braces, ask me about them!’
- The leader takes responsibility for maintaining the energy and positive vibe in the practice
- The leader sets out the practice values. These might include always doing the right thing for patients and always running on time
- The team shares clear sales targets and understands the value of follow-through and follow-up
- There is a structure in place that rewards the whole team for the practice’s success
- There is a data stream that allows everyone to understand how well the practice is doing in real time
- The customer service is exemplary. Team members have permission to go above and beyond process and offer remarkable service.
Big gains in individual treatments
With a sales culture in place, there are further big gains to be made from improving the sales process for individual treatments. We came across this simple but effective technique for improving the teeth whitening sales process through one of our clients, Martina Collins Dental & Skin Clinic in Belfast, and we have their permission to share it.
At the start of the day give each clinician their appointment list with patient names highlighted in different colours. Highlight the names that are opportunities to sell teeth whitening in one colour, and highlight the following categories of patient – not yet a practice member, not yet whitened and referral – in other colours.
This kind of simple colour coding works because it puts the patient’s circumstances front of mind for the clinician, making it much less likely that they’ll miss opportunities to provide patients with treatments they actually want.