TELLING YOUR PATIENT A QUESTION
Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful in motivating others to do what they want them to do, buy what they are selling or successfully move their listener in the direction that is favorable? It really isn’t as complicated as you would think. Much like everything that we do in life, there are a couple of key factors that are important to be successful.
1. Include the other person (patient in our case) in the decision making process. Very few people like to be told what to do; they would much prefer to be involved in the process and be part of the outcome.
2. Discuss the benefit of the matter that you are discussing with the patient.
3. Suggest the probable and favorable outcome if the patient was to make the decision that you are suggesting before they even have the opportunity to make a different decision.
4. Share with them the negative outcome if they should choose the opposite alternative to the suggested and desired results.
5. Make the negative outcome be more painful than they could even imagine if they were to choose the outcome that was not the suggested or desired result.
6. Allow the person to understand that there are other people in similar situations who are considering or have made the same decision that they are considering making.
7. Don’t ask a patient what their decision is. Lead them to the solution that you want them to come up with.
8. Congratulate your patient on making a good decision in accepting treatment.
So how does this look in the practical application of our dental office? How can we get patients to subscribe to treatment, appointment times that we have available, financial arrangements that are beneficial for the Dr. and team, reserve time for recare appointments and share our office with friends and family to increase the patient? Easy~
1. Rather than telling a patient, “You have to get this root canal done,” you may try a different method that includes the patient sharing their thoughts.
“I know that you are very concerned about this tooth being very painful now that you know there is infection involved. I understand that you want to get this taken care of immediately so that you don’t have to deal with pain in the evening or on the weekend when the Dr. is not available. I think your decision is very smart to begin treatment now or reserve time within the next two days.”
Let’s dissect this conversation:
“I know”—I really don’t know but I want you to think that I, as the dental professional
DO know and I want you to follow my lead.
“you are very concerned”—you did not tell me that you are very concerned but if I can
convince you that you are concerned, half of my battle is already won.
“very painful”—although root canals can be painful, there is no guarantee that it will be
“infection involved”—infection is a red flag no matter where it is in a person’s body but
many dental team members choose words that have less impact and the results
are less substantial than they could be.
“you want to get this taken care of immediately”—the patient never said that. You are essentially telling them how to feel.
“your decision is very smart”—a decision has not yet been rendered to go forward with
the procedure, but giving credit to the patient for making a good decision
validates the patient’s decision and gives then credibility
2. “Most of our patients are happy to get their fillings done as soon as possible. Dental conditions never get any better; the longer you wait, the more involved they become and the more expensive they may be. By getting several fillings done at the same visit we can save you several trips back to the office.”
“most of our patients”—we all like to be like other people. If the patient feels that
others are “doing it”, they feel it is the right or best thing to do.
“we can save you several trips to the office”—We would like to do quadrant dentistry
for all of our patients because we only have to do one confirmation, one set-up,
one clean-up, one
About Professional Practice Consulting:
Professional Practice Consultants, Inc.is a specialized accounting and consulting firm dedicated to serving the unique needs of the dental community. We utilize the latest technologies, combined with face-to-face meetings, to provide our clients with unparalleled personal service.PPC was established to provide dentists with a combination of accounting service, tax planning, along with operational management and practice transitional services. To learn more about PPC, visit http://www.e-ppc.com.