In my last post, Creating Value: Becoming a True Provider Part 1, I talked about looking into your practice to see where value already exists. Now, I want you to go into your patient’s mind and consider how they might assess the price and associated value of a product, material, or service.
Reframing The Value Question for Your Patients
Some of the practices I work with continue to offer Giomer fillings for free because they don’t feel justified charging extra for a new technology that costs essentially the same price as the old one.
Other practices are reframing the question of value for patients and turning this treatment option into a profit center.
They’re saying, “Hey, our practice is on the forefront of what’s going on in our world and we want to offer you the latest in dental technology for an extra $25.”
The patient, after being informed/educated on the added value of this technology, realizes this is a beneficial service and chooses the upgrade. And since the fixed costs are already similar, the practice becomes more profitable.
They’re Already In the Chair
The best time to offer your patients an upgrade is when they’re sitting right in front of you. If you’ve just pulled a tooth, the patient usually has two options: they can replace the tooth immediately or wait a bit.
Regardless of their choice, the dentist can offer to fill the now empty socket space with synthetic bone, which will keep the teeth around it from shifting, preserve the periodontal integrity of the adjacent teeth, and preserve the boney ridge.
However, often times the doctor feels the patient will not accept such an expensive treatment, especially if they lack insurance, or realize their PPO plan will not cover most of the needed service. Ask yourself this question: how often do you offer your extraction patients ridge augmentation with their tooth removal? Are you giving away the synthetic bone at no charge? Are you giving away your time and expertise for free?
This is where it pays to know your own value. As I wrote in my previous post, Treatment Presentation: Knowing Your Value is Key to Providing Excellent Care , you can’t be afraid to have hard conversations with your patients.
If the patient opts to leave that empty space unfilled, and they don’t deal with it at the time of extraction, other problems will develop in short order as bone atrophy develops.
With this valuable knowledge transferred from you to your patient, they can avoid a potentially major problem down the line. This is a perfect opportunity to teach and build trust with your patient, create added value for them and a new source of revenue for your practice.
The Math Is Simple
Left to their own devices, most struggling practices will just try to keep getting more and more new patients through the door. But creating added value is a much simpler way of turning things around.
One of my clients, who was already operating a million dollar practice, added over $200K in upgrades this last year. He was already doing a great job at keeping his overhead low. Now he’s making an additional $200K of pure profit. Simply because he understands the value that a $25 filling adds to his patient’s overall experience by giving them “choice” where there is a differential in cost of goods, and turning that added value choice into a newly found profit center.
I’ve met doctors who are running practices with overhead close to 90%. Guess what? They’re making no money. Are you one of these doctors? If so, give us a call and I’ll show you how to communicate, provide value and create your own profitable, million-dollar practice.
A special "thank you" to Dr. Rob Thorup for sharing his clinical expertise and business acumen to this post.
Leave a comment below with some ideas for where value might already be hiding in your practice.
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Wes Jankowski Is the Founder/President of CEODentist As a Business Strategist and Executive Coach, Wes provides Dentists and their teams with the Leadership, Marketing, Business and Financial Management training needed to take their practice from good to great!
Wes is a speaker / lecturer on the topics of Dental Practice Marketing and demystifying the Business of Dentistry. He writes a successful weekly blog and is the author of numerous articles on Dental Practice Management.
Wes Jankowski can be reached at email@example.com or www.ceodentist.com