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On top of the holidays being stressful on their own, running a dental practice during the last few months of the year can have you pulling your hair out!  

While I can’t address all the stressors a Dentist feels during these last 2 months of the year, this post addresses production concerns with tips and tricks to overcome patient objections and keep your schedule full. 

Let us start with Handling Patient Objections

Does your treatment coordinator keeps hearing “I’ll have to wait till after the holidays.” OR “I can’t take any more time off of work.”

The holidays bring on all sorts of reasons why patients can’t complete their treatment before the end of the year.  Making sure your staff is prepared to handle and, more importantly, overcome those objections, helps to ensure your patients get the care they need.  

While every patient is different and has various reasons for not scheduling treatment, a quick poll would conclude that the majority:

  1. Don’t want to spend the money because the Holidays are expensive.
  2. Don’t want to take time off of work because the Holidays suck up their PTO. 

 Overcome the Money Objection

 Build Urgency:

“Yes, you could wait till after the new year to get this crown, but I have seen it happen way too much, where Thanksgiving morning comes and you wake up with a toothache or the tooth breaks and your entire holiday is ruined.  And once the tooth gets to that point, you are paying even more money because you need a root canal or post and core. If it were me, I would take care of it so it is over and done with. We can even do it right now so you don’t have to worry about coming back.” 

 If they have insurance, remind them they need to use those benefits before the end of the year: 

“Don’t forget, you still have $x amount of money left with your insurance.  If you don’t use that before Dec 31st, the insurance company keeps it and gives it to one of their executives as a holiday bonus.  You paid for it, make sure you don’t lose it.    

 If they are out of benefits and just really don’t want to come in before the end of the year, make sure to at least get them on the schedule for January.  You are going to need that production then too!

Overcome Time Objections:

You can use both the Build Urgency and Dental Insurance scripts here as well.  

But also, make time for them:

“I get it, I don’t want to use my time off for a dental visit either, but you are here now, I’ll push back my next appointment so we can take care of this now.”

Give them more appointment options:

“I get it, I don’t want to use my time off for a dental visit either, we will be open Saturday, November 9th and 30th.  Which day works best for you?”*   

*You can open up 1 or 2 Saturdays a month until the end of the year.  Your employees might not be too happy, but some might want the extra cash.  And there are plenty of Dental Assistants and Hygienists on DirectDental that are looking to temp on Saturdays who could help you out. 

If scheduled properly, each Saturday could be an extra $7k to $10k (or more) in production that you would have lost. 

 Let’s make sure to hit production goals:

 Hopefully overcoming your patient objections will help with hitting production but here are a few more tips. 

Make sure ALL your patients are aware of the “Use it or Lose it” dental insurance.  

Post a cute sign on your social media, send out an email or text blast to your patients and print and post in your reception area.  

 It might seem annoying, but most of your patients will be happy you helped them save some cash for their treatment.  

Have your treatment coordinator and hygiene coordinator hit the phones. 

This should be something that is done whenever you are having low production or a slow hygiene schedule.  

 Your treatment coordinator can pull a report on patients with pending treatment.  Have her call them and say:

“Dr. Jones asked me to give you a call.  She wanted me to remind you that you have that crown on #19 that needs to be done and we haven’t seen you back for treatment yet.  If you remember the treatment plan I put together for you, your insurance is going to cover $1000 of that. But that expires at the end of the year.  Would you like me to get you scheduled so you don’t lose that $1000? Doctor can see you tomorrow at 1PM or Thursday at 9AM, which works better for you?”

Your hygiene coordinator can do the same for patients that haven’t come in for their 2nd annual cleaning.

 “Debbie our hygienist asked me to give you a call.  She said she hasn’t seen you back yet for your 2nd cleaning and wants to make sure you get in to see her.  I wanted to remind you that your insurance contributes to 2 cleaning a year, Debbie can see you tomorrow at 3PM or Wednesday at 10AM, which works better?”  

 These simple scripts should definitely keep your production and hygiene columns full!

 Offer an end of year promotion.  

 This should be used for elective type procedures like Invisalign, teeth whitening or night guards. 

 Promotions could be:

 Start your New Year’s Resolution to a healthier smile today with 5% off of Invisalign and free in office whitening once treatment is completed. A $650 value. 

 OR 

Teeth as White as Snow: FREE in-office whitening if you complete all pending treatment before Dec. 20th!

 OR

 Free home whitening treatment or a night guard for completing any treatment by Dec 20th.

 You could also offer a raffle for something really cool if they complete all their treatment by Dec. 20th. 

 There you have it!  I hope this post give you some great tools to implement to keep your production schedule full!