Organize your systems

June 21, 2010

By Dr. Nate Booth

In past Tips & Tricks, I’ve talked about how you should hire for attitude and train for skill. In this edition, I’ll discuss a third piece of the pie — organize your systems.

Here’s an example. After you present a comprehensive case, what percent of the time do patients say something like, “I need to think about it,” or “I need to talk with my spouse,” or “I need to check our finances?” I bet it’s a fairly high percentage, isn’t it?

The $64,000 question is, “Do you have a system to handle these “maybe” people? If not, both you and your patients are losing out. There should be one or two people in your office responsible for a specific follow-up system for the “maybe” folks. Here are three ways you can respond to “maybe:”

1. Have them back for a final consultation. Say, “I understand completely. Let’s have you back for a final consultation with your spouse. That way we answer all your questions so you can make an informed decision.”

2. Set a decision date. Say, “I understand. When do you think you will make a decision?” They give you a date, then you say, “If we haven’t heard from you by that day, is it okay if I give you a call? I want to make sure we get started soon with your perio therapy/broken tooth/root canal” or other procedure.

3. Get started with something. If they continue to put off making a decision on comprehensive care, get them appointed for their most urgent care. Don’t let the “maybe” people just float away. Get started with something. After you do and they experience your level of care, they may want to proceed with comprehensive care.

Check out Dr. Booth’s in-office, DVD-based comprehensive case acceptance system at

Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. Dr. Booth teaches at the South Beach Dental Institute and is a practice management advisor for ChaseHealthAdvance. Dr. Booth is the creator of the in-office, DVD-based program, The "Yes" System: How to Make It Easy for People to Accept Comprehensive Dentistry. For more information, go to, or call (800) 917-0008.