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a blog by Chris Barrow

The 100% Growth System – Part 10

The Smile Check A simple and well established system for engaging the interest of potential new patients as well as existing patients at their dental health review. It is over 15 years since I first worked with a practice who implemented The Smile Check. Here are some tips on the use of The Smile Check for The 100% Growth System. 1. Keep The Smile Check separate from your Medical History Questionnaire I have often seen them combined into one form for the sake of simplicity – bad idea. The issue here is the difference between facts (the MHQ) and feelings (the SC). The objective of The Smile Check is to enquire as to how the patient FEELS about their existing dental health or appearance and what they would like to change. Separating these two lines of enquiry is important to allow the patient to pause, think and express their feelings. 2. Use The Smile Check with EVERY new patient (except those who are visiting to alleviate pain) It is all too easy to pre-judge people and assume that they either will or will not want to complete the form. Appearances are almost always deceptive – so let the patient make the decision. 3. Manage your expectations It may well be that up to two-thirds of new people who are given The Smile Check will decline or fail to complete any section that initiates a conversation. That is absolutely fine. We are simply attempting to identify those who may have “triggered” due to a change in personal circumstances. 4. Use The Smile Check at every dental health review This catches many practices out – they assume that patients will become irritated by continuous use or, as with referrals, they simply forget because they are “busy”. The first potential obstacle is cured by the use of simple introductory language: “Chris, as you know, we ask our patients to take a look at The Smile Check before each dental health review. That is to ascertain whether there has been any change in your personal circumstances that would warrant a conversation about your dental health or appearance.” That is all there is to it – and an 80% nil return on Smile Checks at review is fine – we are fishing for the 20%. The second obstacle is cured by measurement and accountability. Make it part of your daily huddle to register how many Smile Checks were collected by TCO’s, dentists, therapists and hygienists. 5. Learn to respond correctly to a positive enquiry “So Chris, I notice that you have ticked the box regarding wanting your teeth to be straighter.” DO NOT LAUNCH DIRECTLY INTO TELLING THE PATIENT HOW MUCH YOU KNOW ABOUT STRAIGHTENING TEETH. “Could you tell me a little bit more about that please? What exactly is it about having straighter teeth that is important to you at this time in your life?” You are searching for that “trigger” event – the wedding, anniversary, graduation, inheritance or other event in the patient’s life that has them making the enquiry. It will be much easier for you to make an appropriate sale if you invest that time now in digging a little deeper. Dental teams who CONSISTENTLY use The Smile Check expose themselves to the risk of doing more business which, after all, is what The 100% Growth System is all about. Tactic #12 – use The Smile Check Summary so far of The 100% Growth System Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question. Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations Tactic #3 – The Lifecycle Marketing Workflow Tactic #4- create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast Tactic #5 – embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters Tactic #6 – complete internal web forms for all new patient enquiries and up-sales to existing patients Tactic #7 – create reactivation sequences for dormant treatment plans. Tactic #8 – create a CRM software-based recall system that encourages up-sales and referrals Tactic #9 – get trained and adept with Digital Treatment Planning Tactic #10 – implement The 12-Point Recommendation Checklist Tactic #11 – demonstrate Passion and Leadership on a daily basis Tactic #12 – use The Smile Check

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