Why Can’t Everyone Say Yes?
The Law of Averages vs. The Law of Leverage
What is reasonable to expect for a case acceptance ratio? A recent inquiry through the Crown Council e-mail network elicited my following comments:
Before you decide what is a good case acceptance ratio, consider two natural laws: the Law of Averages and the Law of Leverage.
The Law of Averages: The more people you present to, the more people will accept. It is like baseball. The more times you get up to bat, the more chances you have to get a hit. That is marketing for your practice. The more you tweak your marketing, the more you can influence the number and the type of people who respond. If you want your "case acceptance" to be really good, just dump more and more money and time into your marketing to eliminate the people you don't want and have more of the people you do want. It costs a lot of money, but if the whole goal is just to have great case acceptance, then you are going to have to really get your marketing very refined to bring in exactly the kind of patient you want who is ready to accept today.
The Law of Leverage: With the right systems and verbal skills in place, you can increase the amount of dentistry that people accept. Archimedes once said that if you gave him a lever and allowed him to place the fulcrum, he could move the world. Your case acceptance system and verbal skills is that fulcrum. Let me emphasize the SYSTEM part. You have heard me say many times, 94% of success is in the system. You have to have a case acceptance system that works and works for you. That is one of our biggest areas of focus at the Total Patient Service Institute; a case acceptance system that meets the patient where he or she is today and helps them move forward toward life-time care. Once you have that system in place, the next job is to get the team to follow in your footsteps in that system. How do you get them to do it? Training, measurement, and accountability. It takes all three.
Here’s a summary. Averages: You’ll get more hits the more times you get up to bat. Leverage: The more skill and the better system you have, the better chance you’ll get a hit each time you do get up to bat. So what is more important? The Law of Averages or the Law of Leverage? Both laws are important and they work hand-in-hand. Just remember: it is a lot easier to persuade people who have never really considered comprehensive dentistry than it is to find the few who have!
Here’s another natural law that will bring us to the final answer: The Law of Continual Improvement. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the grand daddy of quality was never a big fan of "bench marking." He was an advocate of continual and never-ending improvement. If you have an "acceptable percentage" then it is easy to stop improving. For example, I used to think that 100% conversion of prospective patient calls to scheduled appointments was "acceptable" until I discovered that much better that 100% is possible. But if we had never been trying to improve, we would have never discovered better than 100%. So keep pushing the envelope. You never know what is possible.
So what is a good case acceptance percentage? If you finally decide on an average that is good enough, then you are probably headed for trouble. Continually engage the Law of Averages combined with the Law of Leverage and if you stick with the Law of Continual Improvement, your results will just keep getting better and better and better.