#19 – Motivates first time clients to accept New client exams

In level one we discussed the value of a thorough exam.  Next, you had a thorough exam on yourself.  Now, you know how important it is for the doctors to begin with a thorough exam to learn as much as possible about a client. Its equally important for the client to have the opportunity to discuss these findings and the treatment choices they have.

At this level of your skill development, at least 1/3 of all new adult clients should begin with a thorough exam.  This is the standard for completion of this task.

Besides thorough exams, another major productivity enhancer is  long appointments.  Long well planned appointments can improve a dentist’s productivity by almost 200%.  The benefit to our clients is a saving in time and less hassle.  We gain several major benefits.

  1. Only 1 confirmation call.
  2. Only 1 room sterilization.
  3. Dentist can concentrate on 1 client rather than bouncing around among several clients.

Be positive, try “Most of our patients prefer long well planned appointments rather than several appointments.  Is this how you would like your dentistry done?”

Your single most important task is to make the new client feel welcome and smooth out hassles for a trouble free first impression.  Customer service experts believe those successful organizations in the 21st century will focus on

  1. Customized, personalized services
  2. Know the client as a person
  3. Building relationship


The Perfect Beginning ‑ Learn to Focus the Patient      

  Pt. “Do you take “XY” dental insurance?”

Sec. “ We work with many insurance plans, but I’m not sure about that one ( if true- otherwise, let them know either way).” Remember, you want to make a positive impression on the caller. You want to be helpful, competent, and caring.

“Does your insurance company allow you to chose any dentist or is it cheaper for you to choose from their list? Now you will get one of the three answers:

  1. “No list”    – Sec. “I’m sure we can help you. Can you tell  me more about your company so we can analyze your benefits and call you back?”
  2. “ I don’t know” Sec.- same as above
  3. “yes” sec. “ Many of these forced plans have very limited benefits. Would you like for me to run a benefits analysis of your plan at no cost to you?”

Pt.  ‑ Okay ‑ (At this time indicate on the yellow sheet patient’s disposition and fill out upper part of sheet)

Sec. “good. Let me ask you some questions.”

  1. “ Where do you work?”
  2. “ What is the name of your insurance company?”
  3. “ What’s most important to you in choosing a new dental office?

Client answers

Sec. “ Good. Now if I can have some personal information.”

  1. Name
  2. address
  3. telephone number
  4. e-mail address

Sec. “ Thank you for giving me your information. I’ll have our insurance secretary start on it today. Usually she’ll  have all your answers by tomorrow. I want you to know that we reserve time for new patients so you won’t have a long wait for an appointment. You’ll be hearing from us soon. Thanks for your call.”

Rec. – We’re smiling at ___________ _______________ (your first name) speaking.  I can help you!

Pt.  ‑ I would like to make an appointment to have my teeth cleaned

Rec. ‑ We can do that for you.  How long has it been since we have seen you?

Pt.  ‑ Never, or as an emergency.  Fill out yellow np/form.


Now is the time to interest our new client in a thorough exam.  The objectives of this exam are:

  1. Build a strong relationship
  2. Earn our client’s trust
  3. Gain information and insight
  4. Demonstrate the high quality of our services (you are the example)
  5.  Show how much you value this new client



“Most who visit us for the first time prefer a thorough exam rather than a cleaning appointment. The Doctor will spend about ½ hour with you – getting to know you and what you expect from your dentist. Then he will provide you with a very thorough exam and review his findings with you, so you can decide what your treatment priorities are. Can I schedule this appointment for you today?”

Pt.  ‑ Okay ‑ (At this time indicate the patient’s disposition and fill out upper part of sheet)

Is your first name?  What do you prefer to be called?  Your Address? Your telephone number? (Repeat to make sure it is correct) Your employee’s insurance carrier?  Would it be possible for me to request any X-rays or treatment history from your previous dentist? Employer? Insurance Carrier?  (Get name and address or city ‑ locate by state in ADA directory, and CALL the dentist’s office to request above items, so we have them by patient’s appt.) Who may be thanked for referring you to us?  (If a regular pt ‑ put referred name on outside of folder of pt. who referred him and generate a  thank you letter.  (On the computer to this patient) Don’t forget to write this name on the inside front lower right corner of the folder‑ and the date so the doctor can thank the referring client when he/she is in.  Fine, Mrs. Patient, then we’ll look forward to meeting you on Monday at 8:30.  I’ll call you two days before to confirm this.  Thank you for calling.  (If pt. asks fee ‑ the fee can be different, but for the oral exam, necessary x‑rays, and conference, it is usually $96.00.  Never mention the word dollar when quoting a fee, just say 96, not 96 dollars.)

Put together a packet to send to our new client.  Send it off no later than the day after the phone call.  This packet should include.

  1. The health questionnaire with a personal note from you written at the top. Be creative, but you could say “I enjoyed talking with you today,  ___(name)________.  Here’s the information I said I’d send you.  I’ll look forward to meeting you, Thursday Feb. 2nd at 9:00.  ___signed____.
  2. Practice brochure
  3. Welcome letter

Structures Successful New Client Experience

By now you realize how valuable our new clients are.  You’ve been with us long enough to see how powerful a good first impression can be on developing a good relationship with a client and how a poor relationship will drive a client away.

From now on you should look beyond just yourself in learning to structure these initial contacts.  Any routine, staff member, or equipment that reduces the success of this first impression should be challenged.

Mentally walk through this first experience. Put yourself in the client’s shoes. Next, ask a new client if you can accompany him/her through the office as they experience us for the first time. Accompany a child, an adult who only wants a cleaning, and an adult who wants a thorough exam. Take notes. Share these notes with Dr. _____ at your review. How can we demonstrate the level of quality and caring we generate in our practice? How can we make this a “Best Ever” experience rather than a ___________’s?

Here again are the areas to focus on:

  1. First telephone contact
  2. How many rings before answered
  3. Smiling greeting
  4. Takes notes
  5. Fills out appropriate forms
  6. Never puts client on hold without getting permission and never for longer than 30 seconds
  7. Questionnaire new client brochure and a written greeting sent out that day

B. First office contact

  1. Exterior of building
  2. Entry reception room
  3. Greeted by secretary by name
  4. Appearance of staff
  5. Smell of office
  6. General cleanliness
  7. Magazines, bulletin boards
  8. Lighting, music
  9. On time appointment
  10. Preliminary paperwork filled out

11. Make sure there are fresh flowers in the reception room every Monday

C. First interview with doctor

  1. Not in operatory ‑ best in private office
  2. Determine what client prefers to be called
  3. Emphasis on the client’s wants ‑ focus on chief complaint
  4. Friendly atmosphere
  5. Thorough exam
  6. Complete records

Here are thoughts to keep in mind

1,  How do we keep our clients from leaving us

  1. How do we improve the quality of our relationships with the clients
  2. What unique factors make us special?
  3. How can we clearly understand the clients’ wants?
  4. How can we involve the client in this discussion?

How to get a client to want fine dentistry

This is a round about way to say “Let’s sell dentistry.”  Selling has three parts

  1. Stimulate interest
  2. Show the benefits
  3. Exchange dentistry for satisfaction.

How to focus the staff on the clients

  1. Stress ‑ “Without the client we won’t be here.”
  2. Smile, laugh, be happy, and think positive
  3. Give sincere compliments (How to Win Friends?)
  4. Ask a question that shows interest in the client personally
  5. Be on time
  6. Make sure the client knows what’s happening and appreciates the treatment
  7. Thank the client
  8. Use their names often
  9. Set goals that emphasizes the positive
  10. Establish a high level of trust                                                                                                     ***
  11. Become aware of client’s anxieties

12.  Determine the client’s dental IQ



**Now it’s your turn to show us what you have learned. For the next month keep track by name of how many new adults that you schedule. What percentage of first visits did you schedule as new patient exams?” Share this information with your team leader. 

____________________________________    _______________

Team leader                                                                             date

___________________________________    ________________

Hygiene Team Leader                                                        date