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Dental case acceptance: The growing importance of follow-up

Dec. 5, 2013
Levin Group calls their new dental patient case acceptance program system 3-3-3.

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

In the post-recession era, consumer psychology has changed dramatically. People no longer make buying decisions the way they once did. Before the Great Recession, consumers were less cautious in their spending habits. If consumers wanted something, they were likely to make the purchase right away.

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Now, Americans are asking themselves three questions they didn’t ask consistently before the recession — Do I really want it? Do I want it now? Do I want to purchase it here?

Previously, dental practices could generate some level of patient interest and then expect a significant majority of patients to agree to treatment. Now, a record number of patients are rejecting cases, postponing treatment, or only accepting partial treatment plans.

Many patients who are on the fence about accepting treatment need a second chance to say “yes.” That’s why it’s so important to have a structured follow-up system in place.

Scripting greater success
Value Creation Scripting addresses the new consumer psychology brought on by a difficult economy. Based on the science of influence, this technique can greatly increase post-recession close rates when combined with patient follow-up.

Here are some specific follow-up tips from Levin Group’s consulting program:
Patients who receive a treatment plan and do not schedule should receive a phone call the next morning. Always call a cell phone if possible.
2. If patients need to discuss the plan with spouses, the doctor should offer to meet with both patient and spouse, or the doctor should call their home in the evening.
3. Patients who are not reached the next day should receive one call per week for three weeks.
4. Next, send one email per week for three weeks.
5. Then, if need be, send one hard-copy letter per week for three weeks.

These last three steps are the new Levin Group post-recession technique called the 3-3-3. If this is done correctly, patients will usually be grateful for the care you’re showing by following up.

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With a well-scripted consult and systematic follow-up, more patients — when asking themselves the post-recession questions, “Do I really want it? Do I want it now? Do I want to purchase it here?” — will come up with the right answers: “I really want it. I want it now. And I want to purchase it here.”

By overcoming consumer hesitancy, the practice’s case acceptance, production, and profitability will all begin to climb.

To learn how to run a more profitable, efficient, and satisfying practice, visit the Levin Group Resource Center at — a free online resource with tips, videos, and other valuable information. You can also connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (Levin_Group) to learn strategies and share ideas.