Want to know the #1 surprise discovery I made in 2001 as it related to advertising and sales of the full arch implant case (this was before AOX)?
The surprise was how easily everything amazing that I was up to with getting a solid implant message to the public via advertising could be easily destroyed by some of the nicest, caring, friendly, most personable staff you can imagine. Yes, my staff were killing my advertising and cases!
My full arch implant ads would generate dozens and dozens of implant patient phone calls every week but these nice caring staff didn’t have the tools or training (or OKRs!). They were terrible at closing consult appointments coming to them. You see, these callers were completely different from a patient calling because we were a Delta or Cigna provider or who happened to live locally in the area or who was being referred. [If you advertise now or are thinking about such, it’s important to understand that these groups of patients are very very different in their decision making.]
Why This Was The Case
Well, firstly because I, as the doc wearing the business owner hat, was personally ignorant of the role of the phone in my practice, the importance of a repeatable phone sales PROCESS for closing appointments, and, was clueless that I needed to give these folks the appropriate tools to do the necessary job!! [We also didn’t benefit from some technologies now that make all of this so much easier with training and monitoring of the phone.]. I was their leader and it was up to me to get them what they need to perform. If only I had had a Big Case Marketing team back then helping me out!
It’s worth pointing out that most dental consultants then and now focus on managing insurance related phone calls and selling insurance appointments over the phone which does not work when one focuses on larger fee, niche services like dental implants (and in today’s world AOX cases). [If you “don’t take insurance, there is also some very serious phone training that needs to occur around what happens to those callers as well!]
More is at risk for these patients to spend their $ and as such what happens on the phone requires different tools, a different level of confidence, a different mindset, different physical tools, and, a different way of communicating versus those insurance patients who are generally far healthier and have less costly needs. In today’s world, it even means leveraging technologies in ways we couldn’t imagine 20 years ago which has made this complex job easier but also makes failures/learning opportunities more glaringly obvious.
It also requires more structure and repeatable steps that document each caller since a percentage of these calls will need short and even long term follow-up.
Trust the Process
Out of the specialty advertising agencies sending calls to practices, no one else out there gives the same attention to phone process (or face to face sales process) as we do.
Why are we are we sp focused on this as part of being an advertising agency? Well, because I LIVED this reality both when it worked great and when it was crap and I’ve seen the impact this makes on advertising returns and practice (and personal) financials. When things were booming, it was from sales. When things were sputtering along, it was due to lack of sales. The phone played a major role both with my success and failures.
It took months of me investing $6K-7.5K/month in advertising (and that was in the 2000s!) and watching very high call volumes not connecting with consult numbers before my frustration turned into answer seeking.
Fortunately, once the “light” went off and I quickly moved to fix the issue, within 45 days of committing to elevate my team’s phone game, the consult and cases flowed predictably out of the calls coming from the advertising.
Ever since this hard personal lesson, I’ve made sure we provide phone sales training and appointment closing skills to all member clients on a monthly basis. I’d love to simply say we only do advertising and don’t insert ourselves into these processes but I know the truth on what success takes and it is NOT just the advertising.
In fact, no one also has the long term expert on this subject on board with them Our Chris Mullins (the Phone Sales Doctor) is literally the #1 phone sales trainer for high performing implant practices in North America and she ONLY works with us!
This has further evolved to creating commission structure around the closing of consults and of the selling of cases/getting checks written. The fees for these cases allow more financial reward for you and for your team but you need to know how to structure the rewards so they have positive impacts.
Other Lessons Learned
Other super positive changes from 20+ years ago is now we can easily track and listen to every call from the advertising and have the ability to do real time online call log audits so we don’t miss calls from advertising. Furthermore, digital tools to manage hundreds and thousands of prospects via CRM systems. These systems were built for those of us realizing it’s not just the patient who calls today that we close to a consult and treatment but a patient who calls today that we follow-up on for months or even years. Long term follow-up means cases years later from the original ad. We also have new technologies that allow us to easily reach 90% or more of our callers even if we miss the first call. All these tools mean even more returns from ad dollars – man do I wish I had the same things we have now back then!
If you are trained in full arch implant treatment such as AOX/AO4 and want to add more cases to your practice each month (and can agree to at least 3 full arches per month), let’s talk.
To have a one-on-one discussion about all of this with Dr. McAnally, click here to schedule a meeting.
Full-Arch Program Testimonials
“James, I’ve realized that after adopting your sales process for the implant cases in my practice that we have been leaving 25-50% of our fees on the table. I wish I had discovered you and your training 20 years ago!”
– Dr. Greg Sawyer, Los Gatos, CA
“The Full Arch Program with Medicare Option has given me the implant practice of my dreams.”
– Dr. F. A. Charlotte, NC