Strategy #1 – Create an Invisalign Culture in Your Office
I talk to many doctors who are excited and ready to take Invisalign to the next level in their practice especially after having attended one of my courses. When I see them again 3 to 6 months later, and I ask them how the practice is doing with Invisalign and what level they have achieved, the majority tell me they could not get the momentum and commitment to achieve their initial goals for Invisalign.
So what happened?
More often than not, it was due to a lack of employee engagement, doctor fear and overall poor culture of the practice. The big word…CHANGE…is scary to team members and doctors alike. When a new type of system or appliance is being added, rather than being excited about the new offering to their patients, they dig in their heels and resist doing what it takes.
This includes both the administrative support staff as well as the clinical team.
However, the worst offender is the doctor him or herself, who is unwillingly to do what it takes to get the team onboard and generate excitement, provide training and education and overall make the huge commitment of both time and money to implement a new system of orthodontic delivery.
So strategy number #1 must be the very first goal towards your successful and profitable Invisalign Practice. You must be focused and determined and create that excitement in your staff. They will be the ones ultimately helping to lead this exciting change in your practice.
Strategy #2 – Make a Plan
This sounds so simple and it can be. However, it is important that you have a plan in place with clear goals you want to achieve with dates in place.
One of our initial goals was simply to start 1 Invisalign case a day and reach Elite within the year.
Put this is writing and make sure your team knows your goals. What gets measured, gets results.
The good news is that most likely you have an Invisalign Territory Manager already who would welcome the opportunity to help you get a plan on paper and set realistic goals for your practice.
They will help with the training and coaching of your team. They can inform you of upcoming Continuing Education events that would be best for you and your team. They can hold you accountable to your goals and find ways to get those cases started and completed in the right time frames to achieve those top tier statuses with Invisalign.
Their main goal is to help you succeed and they will provide a lot of the training and support for your team that will help you with Strategy #1.
I know that over a decade ago when we decided to pursue more Invisalign and make it a huge part of our practice, the support from Invisalign was very helpful in getting our staff trained as well as keeping me up on the latest courses and seminars that were being offered.
Strategy #3 – Announce to Your Current Patients that You Are Now Offering Invisalign
Again, a very simple strategy and one that many of you would say..”duh!”
However, I do know many offices jump right in offering Invisalign and spend loads of money on Adwords campaigns, postcard mailings and even billboards, without looking in their own backyard first.
If you have a traditional orthodontic practice, it is primarily kids and teens.
What about those parents? Especially the moms of all your patients and even the grandmas?
Many of these parents are either sitting chairside with their children or in your reception room. Make sure your reception area reflects the fact that you offer Invisalign for adults.
Have brochures, posters and a video playing—all about Invisalign, of course. You can obtain all this marketing material for free from Invisalign under your account.
Send out a letter or email to the parents and grandparents that you are having an Invisalign promotion for the month. Let them know that adult orthodontic insurance coverage will cover Invisalign and talk about their Flex Spending accounts and how they can be used for treatment.
These are simple, cost effective and extremely powerful in getting Invisalign patients started in your practice without a huge marketing spend.
Our initial focus was on these patients and we were surprised how many started when given the opportunity. They definitely were not interested in braces, but Invisalign was a totally acceptable and welcome treatment for them.
Strategy #4 – Open Your Office During Consumer Friendly Hours
With more Invisalign, come more adult patients. These patients want the convenience of Invisalign, but also do not want to miss work for orthodontic appointments. Many moms are so busy running kids to practice and other events after school that even those after school appointment can be hard for them.
You will see a tremendous growth in your Invisalign and in your practice in general by offering after work and dare I say..Saturday appointments.
While staff and even the doctor may not want to work on a Saturday, it is important to your successful practice that you offer these consumer hours.
Banks figured it out a long time ago that 9-5 hours did not help the consumer who also worked 9-5. Many banks are now open Saturdays, till 6 p.m. at night and some are in grocery stores with staff available even on Sundays!
Now I am not suggesting that you schedule every evening or every Saturday. Start out with 1 Saturday a month and maybe 1 evening a week. See what happens and the response from your patients.
Because you will be doing more invisalign , you can tailor the schedule to those aligner checks and maybe some activations of your fixed appliance cases. Those routine appointments can be the ones to fill those time slots and keep your practice growing and your patients happy.
Strategy #5 – Get Comfortable with Teen Invisalign
Most doctors tell me they are afraid of offering Invisalign to teen patients.
“They will lose them!”
“ They won’t wear them!”
These are two of the most common things I hear from doctors and even team members. The truth is that you will have a few patients that will not wear them, will lose them or will break them, but the vast majority of teens do a great job of wearing their aligners as prescribed.
A huge study done by Invisalign and Kelton Research Group in 2013 found that close to 50% of teens felt a boost in self confidence when they started their Invisalign. A similar group of teens with braces only had a 22% boost in their self-confidence when their braces were applied.
So clearly, teens want Invisalign and when given the chance to have Invisalign they will wear
them and do very well.
You should never make a decision about what not to do just because there is not 100% participation. I can tell you from experience, that our practice continues to grow because these teens and their parents are looking for a doctor who will treat their orthodontic case with Invisalign. Unless you are offering to teens with confidence, they will leave and get a second opinion.
Furthermore, make sure your Treatment Coordinators are able to discuss Teen Invisalign with enthusiasm and conviction and can handle the objections that invariably will occur from parents. You will need a clear communication strategy to help parents understand the pros and cons of braces versus Invisalign. This information is an important part of your overall success with Invisalign and the growth of your practice.
Strategy #6 – Price Invisalign the Same or Close to Braces
Doctors tell me all the time, “I offer Invisalign all the time to my patients, but they still choose braces.”
At first I was shocked by this because, in our experience, this is just not true.
However, some digging exposed the real truth….these doctors were charging anywhere from $1000 to $2000 more for Invisalign! No wonder patients and parents were choosing braces instead.
When we first started to get focused and achieve some big goals (1 Invisalign case a day), we offered it for $500 extra (the same price as ceramic braces).
This generally was not a problem and case acceptance was still quite high. However, we still had a few teen patients whose parents opted to save the $500 and go with metal braces.
Once we got to a certain advantage level with Invisalign, we started to offer Invisalign at the same price as braces and the rest is history.
Parents and patients readily accepted treatment and were actually more open to learning about Invisalign as they had assumed it would cost more money.
Strategy #7 – Have “Pig-Headed Determination”
This last strategy I think applies to anything you want to achieve in life.
I remember that a great marketer, Chet Holmes, once said, “You need pig-headed determination to succeed.”
I agree that this is so true whether you are transitioning your practice to do more Invisalign or you are training for the Ironman Triathlon. You need “pig-headed” determination and focus to succeed.
Learning a new technique is never easy.
Implementing new systems in your office is always met with some challenges and fine-tuning.
Changing your scheduling template and offering new and different hours may cause some stress among your team members.
All great things take effort, focus and discipline. In order to succeed, stay relevant and truly offer what patients want, you need to get efficient, confident and profitable with Invisalign.
Follow these 7 Strategies and you will be on your way to success and will achieve your goals.