We have all been there. You have called on your training, delivered amazing patient care in your state of the art office and given a brilliant treatment plan that will produce a beautiful solution to your patient’s problem. After all, you are a trained dentist and your ultimate goal is to help this person look and feel better. All that remains is for the patient to say yes to your advice. Sounds easy right? And yet, you are getting more “I’ll think about it” than “Yes, doctor. Sign me up!”
No one has 100% case acceptance and that is ok. You must realize that you cannot win them all. There are people who will choose to do nothing, some will price shop and go with the cheapest fix in town and there are folks that are just not ready to move forward right now. You must recognize this and adjust what you can influence—your delivery.
Know your patient
Listen to your patient’s reasons for the visit. Is it utility? Cosmetic concerns? Something else? It is easy to project your own thoughts into the conversation—and they may be irrelevant to your patient. When you understand your patient’s motivations, you can address them specifically in your treatment plan.
Be the authority your patient thinks you are
Whatever the reason— an advertisement, a referral or your fancy website, this patient chose you because you are an authority. Do not make them question their decision to find a dental solution by being wishy-washy. Even if the ink is not yet dry on your dental school diploma, BE THE AUTHORITY! Deliver your plan with confidence. You are a doctor giving your best recommendation for treatment. Whether cosmetic or restorative, the patient is seeking a resolution—show them the way!
No one wants a data dump. In our dental practice, we limit plans to three options—good, better, best. This provides clear direction for the patient to make a decision and helps to avoid analysis paralysis. Use the “Just the facts ma’am” approach. Very few patients care about the science behind the solution—get to the point.
Do not “sell”, be FABulous!
In the same way no one wants an information overload, no one appreciates being “sold” on something. When purchasing real estate, the buyer wants a lifestyle; they do not want to be sold brick and mortar. Patients want to know the end result and how it will benefit them, not necessarily how you will achieve these results. Instead of “selling”, focus on:
Feature: Fully Guided Dental Implants
Advantage: Predictable, tooth replacement that can last for a lifetime
Benefit: It looks, feels and functions like natural teeth.
Buying decisions are made with emotion and justified with logic
People buy based on emotion and dentists are the only ones that get excited about dental technology. When presenting treatment, you want your patient to imagine a happier life free of dental pain, missing teeth or a displeasing smile. Paint that picture vividly for them. Use your words, visual aids such as patient portraits displayed around your dental clinic and a smiling, well-groomed team to underscore the value of the smile you can deliver.
Many people are uncomfortable with silence but you must stop speaking so the patient can digest the information you have just given. It does not matter how concise your presentation, most patients will need a minute to think about your discussion and form an opinion.
It seems illogical to embrace objections but that is exactly what you must do. When someone objects or raises a question, you are on your way to acceptance. You read that right—objections represent interest. When a patient objects:
Validate the concern.
Overcome the obstacle.
You are not alone. Many new dentists and seasoned clinicians find it difficult to discuss expensive dentistry with patients. Adopting these simple tips can help you confidently deliver treatment plans that accomplish your ultimate goal—helping people live pain-free, happy lives.