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How to Increase Your Case Acceptance Rate

by | Apr 11, 2021 | Articles, Tips and Tricks

How to Increase Your Case Acceptance Rate

Tips of a Successful Salesman on How to Increase Your Case Acceptance Rate

Take a look at your dental schedule and the next 10 people listed. Of these 10 people, how many will accept the treatment options offered to them? You might think that you’re doing well if your schedule is booked far in advance – and you probably are. But did you know that only 55-60% of patients will actually go through with the dental procedures suggested to them? (source: Dental Economics). This is known as your case acceptance rate. 


What is your Case Acceptance Rate?

Case acceptance can mean slightly different things to different people, but in general, it’s the number of people who sit in your chair and follow through with all of the advice you give them. In other words, it’s the percentage of patients who come in for their checkup, say  “yes” to treatment, and follow through with payment for their treatment. 

You could also determine your case acceptance rate based on the cost of procedures that are accepted. It’s great that you’re booked well into next month, but if you’re only booking in clients that are looking for a quick cleaning, you aren’t going to be making as much profit as you’d hope. In this case, you could measure your case acceptance rate based on the number of cases you book that are worth over $1000. 

Either way, understanding and calculating your case acceptance rate is important. Why?


The Importance of your Case Acceptance Rate:

There’s a lot of different reasons that your case acceptance rate is so important. First and foremost, it relates to your profit. The reality is a lot of people don’t return for dental surgery. There’s a lot of different reasons for this, fear and cost being at the forefront. But if you aren’t booking for surgeries, then you aren’t maximizing your profits. 

But that’s not the only reason it’s important to understand your case acceptance rate. Your acceptance rate can also tell you a variety of other things. It can indicate how well you are connecting with your patients, or how well your staff is communicating with them. It can also indicate how well you are or are not handling your patients’ anxieties and fears. 

If your case acceptance is low, it’s probably for a reason. And as the owner of your practice, it’s your job to figure out what that reason may be and how to increase your rate. 


Tips from a Successful Salesman on how to Increase your Acceptance Rate

To be a successful salesman, you must know the importance of your acceptance rate to your business. But how can you increase this rate if it’s low? Remember, your acceptance rate is up to your patients, so it’s all about tending to their needs. So as dentists, we need to ask ourselves what our patients need to feel comfortable in order to return for their procedures. Here’s what a successful salesman has discovered over the years:


  • Comfort, care, understanding, and patience

All dental offices will offer similar procedures, but it’s how you treat your patients that will keep them coming back to you.

Start off by being attentive to your patients. Address them by name and listen to what they tell you. Make notes if you need to so that during your next appointment, you can “wow” them by remembering. 

And most importantly, be attentive to how they are feeling. Your goal should be to make your patient feel comfortable during their dental procedure. Explain the procedure to them and let them know what to expect ahead of time. Give them control by letting them know that they can break or stop whenever they need to. Check in with them regularly to make sure they are comfortable and at ease.

If you can create a personal connection with your client, they’ll be much more likely to return, thereby increasing your case acceptance rate. 


  • Avoid Dental Lingo

Dentists have their own lingo but to the average layman, this lingo can be terrifying. And if you’re patients don’t understand what the problem is, it’s very unlikely that they are going to see the urgency in addressing it. So ditch the dental terminology and stick to terms that the average layman can understand when explaining treatments and procedures. 


  • Make Your Practice a Comfortable Place to be

So many times we walk into a dental office and it’s cold and uninviting. People are already anxious enough when they enter your office and a cold environment can make that anxiety worse. Stick with soft colors, comfortable furniture, and warm, inviting staff. 


  • Educate your patients

People don’t like to be sold. So if someone feels like you’re trying to sell them a procedure, they’re unlikely to return. Stop selling!

Instead, look at your practice as an opportunity to educate people. Don’t try to sell people things they won’t be interested in or don’t need. Rather, give them the facts. “This is what’s wrong” and “these are the options you have for treatment”. Don’t overwhelm your patients. Keep it simple and keep them informed. That’s all.


  • Don’t Downplay Severity

While we want to keep things simple for our patients, we also don’t want to downplay the severity of their oral hygiene. Sure, when you tell your patients bad news, you risk scaring them off, but there’s a higher likelihood that you will scare them into moving forward with the necessary procedure. 

Don’t be afraid to tell your patients exactly what’s wrong and what consequences they may face if they ignore the problem. Make it apparent when the situation is severe. 

If you want your dental practice to excel, it’s imperative that you keep track of your case acceptance rate. How you define your acceptance rate is up to you, but the steps needed to improve it remain the same for all dental practices. Start by focusing on the tips discussed above and you’ll be on your way to a healthy practice!


B. Vo, DDS
Author: B. Vo, DDS