As we enter this holiday season filled with many events, trips, family gatherings, gifts, and extravagant meals, inflation is still top of mind for many. Inflation affects decisions about flights and hotel stays, selections in the grocery store, and gifting choices while perusing Amazon wish lists. But is it affecting your dental practice? There is an easy way to tell.
Case acceptance is at the bottom of your marketing funnel and often overlooked as part of it. All the new leads in the world will not change your annual production if the leads are not converted once those patients are within the four walls of your practice. And now, more than ever, deciding to do dentistry is cutting into a budget people did prepare.
There are three quick barometer tests for case acceptance you can use:
- What is a new patient worth in your practice?
- What was a new patient worth in your practice last year?
- What is an existing patient worth in comparison?
Your results will fall into one of three categories:
1. Your average production per new patient (APNP) has gone up – Keep doing what you are doing!*
2. Your APEP (average production per existing patient) is worth more than your APNP – Are you converting the “ones that got away”?
3. Your APNP has declined. Is there a need to increase new patient flow? Is there a path to get more of those patients worth more than the average? There is a solution for every condition that the data presents – but first, you must look at the data!
Also, don’t forget one of the cardinal rules – Compare your data to your data – not anyone else’s. Both of the graphs below represent successful practices. However, you’ll immediately notice a significant difference in their APNP and APEP. Comparing them to each other isn’t fair. Fees, location, overhead, patient demographic, treatment planning philosophy, patient flow, etc. are all factors.
So, look at YOUR data!
Inflation may not be affecting your practice the way it is affecting other areas of life; don’t put unnecessary panic where it doesn’t need to be. Consistent execution of a well-designed marketing strategy can keep your new patient value increasing alongside those prices on the grocery store shelves.
*Don’t forget to account for a fee increase, if applicable.