by Lisa Philp, RDH, President of Transitions Group North America

Lisa Philp

Lisa Philp, RDH, President of Transitions Group North America

The effectiveness of your case presentation comes from customizing the case to the individual patient interview answers, listening and what was documented as a result of interview.

Most patients want a less is more approach, little detail on the features and must be able to connect the solutions to themselves.  They want to know …

1.     How will I look and feel when it is done?
2.     Will it hurt?
3.     How much will it cost?
4.     How long will it take?

Key points during the presentation to remember are:

Use layman’s terms. Keep it simple, understandable and compelling. Don’t try to be interesting or impressive.

Be focused.  The attention span of the average adult during a presentation is maximum 17 minutes, and that’s only if the presenter is excellent. That means you don’t have much time to capture their attention, make your presentation, overcome objections and get closure. If you lose a patient’s attention at all during your presentation, you may not be able to recapture it. Don’t go into too much detail, don’t get too technical, and don’t do much talking. The more questions and listening you do, the more success you are likely to have.

Use examples – including your own team. Utilize the Law of Social Proof – when people need to make a decision they look to see what others are doing. Show an example of someone else having gone through a similar treatment successfully. Even better is to involve a team member who has had the work done. This will provide an “Instant Second Opinion”.  “Hi Mrs. Smith, I’m Mary. Dr. Jones told me you’re considering veneers. I had eight of them placed and they are amazing. I’m so happy I got it done! You’ll love it!”

Don’t belittle their problems! We so habitually comfort people with our wishy-washy, soft, dental-speak language, especially while trying to minimize our patient’s treatment experiences (e.g. you might feel a little pinch…). It’s easy to make the mistake of using that same approach and minimizing their treatment needs (e.g. you have a little bleeding from your gums). Many people in the dental field are reluctant to give information that hasn’t been sugarcoated; they want to be liked. Our Approval Addiction in dental offices is a significant barrier that prevents patients from wanting and receiving excellent dental care.

Avoid the case killer. The worst enemy of a case presentation is a patient who brings up a cost question before you want to discuss it. “How much will this cost?” Answering that question prematurely, before any value can be created, will completely derail your presentation. Some patients will make a decision right then not to proceed and will cut you right off – case closed before you even had a chance. “That’s an important question Mrs. Smith and I’ve got all that information for you. I would like to show you a few more things before we get to that. Then, I will be happy to answer all your questions regarding fees. Is that OK with you?”

Paint a vision of a “Happy Ending”. It’s much easier for a patient to choose “yes” when they can visualize the end result. Engage their senses; engage their emotions; the more vivid and compelling you portray this end vision, the more likely a patient will accept treatment.

Have all decision makers present. Don’t let the real decisions happen at home where and when you have no say at all. Spouses or significant others, when present, will often be more eager for the treatment. People are often reluctant to spend on themselves, even with health issues.

For more information on Transitions:

email:   website: