Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Financial Arrangements Secret

For years, we have talked about the “15 System” which says, after the 15th impression or request, 90% of patients or prospects will say “yes.”

Here’s the statistics:

After you have ASKed...

4 times – 20% will say “yes”

8 times – 50% will say “yes”

12 times – 70% will say “yes”

15 times – 90% will say “yes”

That is a lot of ASKing. The tragedy is that 80% of the people QUIT asking after the first request. In other words, we ASK far too little and not often enough.

Here is a direct example and application in the dental office.

One of the most challenging tasks in the office is doing financial arrangements. In fact, more treatment is lost during financial arrangements than any other place in the office because there are not enough opportunities in the financial arrangements system in most offices to keep ASKing the patient to say “yes.” The more options you have in your financial arrangements “tool box” the more opportunities you will have to ASK.

How many financial options to do you have to offer your patients? The most effective financial coordinators we work with are masters at continually finding creative ways to help people pay for treatment without compromising the financial stability of the practice. Here are some examples of the kinds of financial options we are talking about:

  • A courtesy for paying in advance of the start of treatment.
  • Accepting all major credit cards.
  • 3 or more forms of third party financing available in the practice.
  • Monthly payment plans for whitening or Invisalign.
  • 90 days same as cash with post-dated checks processed by a third party.*
  • Co-signers for 3rd party financing.
  • Relatives that might help.
  • Other assets or investments they might cash in.
  • “Lay-away” plans where they can “save up” to have the treatment done.

The more options you have to offer, the more successful you will be at helping your patients accept treatment. Today, it is more than just cash, credit or third party financing. If all you have to offer are 3 or 4 financial options, you maybe losing 80% of the opportunities to help your patients say “yes.”

The challenge is to fill your financial arrangements “tool box” with at least 15 financial options. That’s right…15!

To help you achieve that goal, make sure to participate in our Crown Council webinar entitled, “I Can’t Afford It – Secrets to helping your patients accept and pay for treatment TODAY!” on Tuesday, November 9 at noon Central time.

During this webinar, we will present the most up-to-date information including research on every third party patient financing option available today along with the best verbal skills and financial arrangement systems to help you increase your case acceptance TODAY.

For enrollment information, just e-mail: and request information on the “I Can’t Afford It” webinar.

In today’s environment, you have to be better - a lot better at helping your patients say “yes.” In fact, it may take 15 request or options. Just remember, the more you ASK and the more options you present, the more patients will accept.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How referrable are you?

In the never-ending quest for continual improvement and search for great ideas, I am constantly reaching out into every possible corner of the world. That journey led me this week to speak to 300 of the leading home remodelers in the country that were holed up in a 4 day retreat in a remote part of Wisconsin to reinvent their businesses.

As an industry, this group has had it rough for the last two years. They got hit HARD by all the financial turmoil in the country so it was interesting to hear them talk about what they had done to adapt, stay nimble, survive, and in many cases THRIVE while the competition has been going under.

I worked the room thoroughly before and after my presentation to ASK and find out what they had done that was working. I got quite a list so I thought I would share one that was common sense and very revealing.

One home remodeler said to me, "Steve, the change in the economy has been the best thing that has ever happened to our business. The first change that we made was to get jobs done NOW! We used to string our jobs out as we juggled multiple deadlines. Now, we get in, get the job done quickly in a quality way, and get out. As a result of our improved timing and service:
  • Our customer satisfaction has sky rocketed,
  • We now have raving fans,
  • And we are getting more referrals today than we have ever received from our customers in the history of our business."

He then confessed, "It was never a problem with our quality. We always did great work. It was our personal service that needed a serious upgrade. The change in the economy forced us to do that and it has been a HUGE benefit to our business."

Nothing new I suppose, but the reinforcement of the lesson is invaluable. Rarely is it the quality of the work that is the problem. It is the way we go about the work and the personal service that is attached to it that makes or breaks the deal.

His comment reminded me of a statement by Crown Council ( member Dr. Trevor Murray ( at our recent ToPS Total Immersion course ( in Chicago when he said that if your practice is not getting a healthy flow of referrals from your patients, there is something wrong with what you are doing. Patients naturally want to refer when the product is sound and the service is spectacular. If they don't refer it is probably because you are terrible instead of referrable!

So, if you want more referrals, be more referrable! A powerful reminder of a lesson for any business.