The world of orthodontics is quickly changing and improving, and you can no longer solely rely on being the best clinician in your area. In order to win potential patients over, your practice has to provide a better experience than your competition. For your patients, a large part of their experience is based on finances. From your office’s financial presentation, to the patient’s financial investment, the monetary piece of orthodontics is one of the largest determining factors for a patient agreeing to or declining treatment.
Our team at New Patient Group has three payment plan strategies that are sure to attract more patients and help you unlock more clear aligner cases in this fast-paced and competitive market. These three strategies are designed to help you attract more patients while simultaneously increasing your share-to-chair percentages.
1. Flexibility in Down Payments
Most new car companies need a down payment from their customers before they will agree to finance a loan to them. But you will be hard pressed to find a car salesman with a strict down payment requirement. When a customer comes into your practice, or when they walk into a car dealership, they are ready to do business with you. Car dealerships take several factors into consideration before agreeing to a down payment amount, but they don’t set a hard rule for every customer that walks into their dealership and says, “Any customer that enters our door has to have $5,000 down or they can’t purchase a vehicle from us.” That would seem so ridiculous to most of us, but yet so many orthodontic practices require a set down payment amount for patients ready to start Invisalign treatment. It just doesn’t make sense.
If you want to lock in a new clear aligner case, you need to have flexibility in your down payment options. Most practices think they need to set the down payment amount to cover their lab fees, but that’s just not necessary. Think about it like this, let’s say your lab fees are $1,800 for each new patient. If you have a new patient come in for clear aligners and pay in full, let’s just say their case is $6,000, then you have the funds to cover their lab fees and you have the funds to cover three other patients’ lab fees. This allows you the opportunity to sign on three other patients with little to no money down, rather than missing out on those three patients because they lacked the $1,800 down payment.
The reality of our economy is that most individuals only have $600 in their bank accounts at any given time, so many of them cannot afford to give up $1,800 for a down payment, but they can afford to make their monthly payments in exchange for orthodontic treatment. If you allow flexible down payment options for your potential patients, you actually increase your overall profit. If, for example, you have four cases come into your office and the first one pays their $6,000 in full, but the next three can’t put any money down. If you lose the other three patients because you have a strict down payment rule, then you will revenue $6,000. If you allow the other three patients to start without a down payment, then you will revenue $24,000 in total. Think about similar cases over the span of the entire year. What would your revenue increase look like over the course of a whole year if you eliminated the strict down payment rule and allowed flexibility in down payments? If you lack flexible down payment options, you will lose your potential payment to your competition. People want flexibility, they want a choice.
2. Extending Monthly Payments
Another factor that can significantly increase your clear aligner cases is extending monthly payments beyond the end of treatment time frame. Similarly to our first strategy, extending the monthly payments beyond a patient’s total treatment time provides patients with convenience and the ability to spread their financial commitment over a longer period of time. This gives more potential patients the opportunity to embark on an orthodontic treatment journey.
We encourage our NPG partners to utilize prestige pricing, which is defined as a pricing strategy that uses higher prices to suggest quality and exclusivity. We teach our practice owners to be the most expensive while still being the most affordable. Do not confuse affordable with cheap here. For example, if your competitor charges $5,000 for a clear aligner case and they extend that out over the 14 months treatment will last, then the patient will have to pay $357 each month. Now let’s say you use prestige pricing at your practice and you allow extended monthly payments, so if you charge $7,000 for the same case but allow your patient to extend the payments out to 20 months, then their monthly payment is $350 a month, saving them money each month and allowing them to cut their monthly expenses down.
When you offer extended payment plans, you are making your services more accessible to patients with financial constraints. Flexibility is a key factor in attracting more clients from diverse economic situations, allowing them to choose the practice based on a more manageable monthly payment rather than the immediate financial burden.
3. Pricing Clear Aligners Competitively
One of the most crucial payment strategies you should utilize for your practice is to price clear aligners at a lower or at least an equal total cost to traditional braces. Raise the price of braces, because the reality is, they take more work. You have to recognize the comprehensive toll braces have on your practice.
Every braces case your practice has means more appointments, more headaches, more emergencies, more phone calls, more schedule alterations, truly just more work. Because they cause much more chaos for every person on your team, it only makes logical sense for them to be more expensive than your practice’s clear aligner option.
Our NPG team knows that several individuals out there automatically assume clear aligners are more expensive than traditional braces. This means that your potential customers already have it made up in their minds that they can’t afford treatment before they ever step foot inside your office. But the great news is, if you implement these three payment plan strategies, your practice can win all of the potential patients that were burned from other orthodontists. You can allow them freedom in down payment flexibility, you can extend monthly payments, and you can show them that clear aligners are the better financial choice as well.
Our NPG team is ready and willing to dive deeper into these three payment plan strategies with you as soon as you’re ready. We are committed to developing business solutions tailored to your practice and your team’s needs. Reach out to New Patient Group today! Our goal is to help practices increase your share-to-chair percentage and to help you grow your success rate. We are here to coach and guide you in this ever changing economy so your business can continue to thrive.
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