Training Your Team On Dental Membership Plans

Training the team at your practice about your in-house dental membership plan is critical for success. In this guide, we describe how your practice can maximize team performance.

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Billy Grokenberger
Practice Success
7 min read
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Training the team at your practice about your in-house dental membership plan is critical for success.

Subscription-based dentistry is the future and the economic benefits to your dental practice are transformative, but patients need to be made aware of your membership offering.

It starts and ends with your team.

As we discovered in our national Patient Preferences Study, 2 out of 3 uninsured patients are not sure if their dentist offers a membership plan. Don’t let this happen to your practice.

Every person in your office, from the front desk to the doctor, needs to be an expert on your membership plan and have the confidence to communicate the benefits to every patient who enters your waiting room.

Here are a few tips:


Keep It Simple

The in-house dental membership plans your practice promotes needs to be simple. If you, or your staff, is unable to describe the plans to patients in one sentence, then it’s too complex.

Put yourself in your patients’ shoes – what do they care about when deciding whether or not to become a member of your practice?

Value.

That’s it. Very simple.


Patients want to know how your practice’s in-office membership plan benefits their oral health and their pocketbook.


Fortunately, in-house membership plans are a win-win for both your patients and your practice. Your team, however, needs to be able to communicate this in simple and succinct terms. If your plans are too complicated, they will confuse your staff and the patient.

The new streaming service from Disney is an example of a simple subscription service value proposition. “The best stories in the world, all in one place, for $6.99 per month.” Their website then highlights the logos of their key brands including Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Disney could have decided to offer 8 tiers based on viewer usage or segment pricing by movie type, for example, but they opted to keep it simple to great success.

While every practice is different, there is usually never a reason to have more than 6 plan types and most practices offer three (Child, Adult, Perio). The treatments included and the additional discounts provided need to be easy for all stakeholders to understand and communicate.


Buy-In

No one enjoys having initiatives and instructions shoved down on them. Your office staff is no different. When you decide to launch a membership program, make sure to communicate the “why” to your team.

For example: “we are launching an in-house membership program so our practice can reduce reliance on insurance (we all hate those annoying forms), increase patient loyalty, increase revenue, and provide benefits to our uninsured patient base.” Open the floor to questions and don’t be afraid to accept constructive criticism.

If you are using a best-in-class membership plan platform like Pearly, your team can rest easy in terms of implementation or additional work – we make it easy and automated.

The best initiatives succeed when the full team understands the “why” and is all-in on making it successful. The extra time you spend upfront to get the team on board will pay huge dividends as you launch and grow your membership program.


Practice Makes Perfect

If your practice is offering easy-to-understand membership plans and you have buy-in from team members, ensuring your team can successfully communicate the value to every patient becomes much easier.

Practice makes it perfect.

After your staff has reviewed your plans, the treatments included, the price (and associated patient savings), and additional procedure discounts, ask them to give you a brief pitch.

Yes, this may be awkward, but the best sales-trainers in the world strongly believe in role playing.

This is an opportunity to be a coach, correct mistakes, and encourage them to personalize how they describe the benefits. For example, every time an uninsured patient comes in for a professional cleaning, your front desk should point out the specific dollar amount they could be saving if they were on your in-office membership plan.

Practices using Pearly receive specific scripts and expert training to make this process turn-key. You can request a demo to learn more about how we help practices launch and grow membership programs here.


Ask for the Sale

Not directly asking a patient to enroll in your in-house dental membership program is a common mistake we see many practices make.

If you’ve followed the promotion steps outlined in our article, the Rule of 7 for Promoting In-House Membership Plans, and your full team is trained on communicating the program benefits, the patient is primed for purchase. As stated earlier, it’s a win-win that benefits both the patient’s oral health and your practice’s bottom line.

Your team needs to be comfortable asking each patient if they would like to sign-up for your membership plan…today.

For example, after a team member at your front desk has handed a patient a flyer about the benefits of an in-house membership plan, they should follow-up by saying: “I can enroll you right now in 90-seconds before you head out the door.”

If the patient is not ready to enroll at your front desk, that is completely understandable, but there should always be a follow-up. For example: “no worries, I understand that it is an important decision. Can I send you a text message or email with a link that provides more details on the benefits? This way, you can sign-up online at your convenience.”

While asking for the sale may seem uncomfortable at first, it will soon become second nature to your team and is valuable for the patient.

Important Note: This does not mean you need to “hard sell.” There does, however, need to be a clear call-to-action for every patient to enroll at the desk or at home, in a frictionless, easy way if they are interested.


Accountability

One of the most challenging aspects of being a leader, especially in the dental office, is holding your team accountable. Training is great, but results are reflected on the scoreboard.

For most practices with in-house membership plans, there are three "scores" to watch: monthly new member enrollments, monthly recurring revenue from membership fees, and renewal rate. However, there are also important individual team member statistics that can demonstrate how your team is helping to promote your membership program.

We recommend a 30-day check-in on membership plan growth and staff performance.

In the vast majority of cases, this is easy. Practice team members are following the prescribed playbook to communicate plan value and are asking for enrollments. If there are team members who are not performing, however, this a great opportunity to be a coach and help the individual improve.

At Pearly, we are hard at work on a new feature we’re calling Leaderboard. We’ve received feedback from practices that they would like a way to praise the staff members who are enrolling the most members and sending out the most text and email invites to patients.

While new member enrollments and renewals provide the macro-view, the Leaderboard provides individual metrics on sign-ups and invites. If you want a sneak-peak on the new Leaderboard feature – shoot me an email at billy@pearlyplan.com to learn more.

For example, your overall subscription revenue may be growing dramatically, and patients love the program so are renewing at high rates. However, you may have a team member, I’ll call her Tina, who is amazing at communicating the value and hands every patient a flyer - Tina sells membership. A different staff member, I’ll call him Tim, rarely mentions your dental practice's in-office membership plans to patients. As a leader, it is your responsibility to not only praise Tina, but hold Tim accountable for his under-performance and coach him up to perform at Tina's level.

Accountability ensures that all of your team members are in alignment with your practice’s goals and understand their individual expectations.


Conclusion

If your dental office keeps your in-house membership plans simple, ensures your team is bought-in, practices communicating the value, and asks each patient if they would like to enroll, you will see your membership program expand dramatically.

Continuous Learning is one of our core values here at Pearly. When you make the commitment to help your team members in your dental practice continuously improve their membership plan skill-set, you will see the profitable, recurring membership fee revenue roll in.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with a Pearly membership plan consultant about our training scripts, please click here to schedule a live walk-through of our platform and services.

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