Explaining the complete treatment plan three times

Persist in explaining the complete treatment plan three times before thinking about giving up.

It could be that some dentists reading this newsletter might object to the term “selling” I use. They might feel uncomfortable with any activity they carry out as a professional dentist if it is linked to “selling,” I get that. However, let me be clear. I am a marketing person trying to help my clients to achieve better results.

And even in dentistry and especially in today’s environment, that cannot be accomplished without a little bit of “selling.” as long the “selling” does not compromise clinically. Why not tell me your opinion? I am always willing to learn.

What is my definition of selling?
Selling is any transaction in which money is exchanged for goods or services. During a sales negotiation or presentation, the seller attempts to convince or “sell” the buyer on the benefits of their offer. If the buyer wishes to accept the solution offered by the seller, they will give the seller an agreed-upon amount of money in exchange for the seller’s products/services/solutions. Put simply, selling is the act of persuading.

The reality is that we have to be repetitive before our message “gets eventually through.” Anyone who advertises or does any other form of marketing is well aware of that concept. And it’s a simple communication tactic.

You have encountered many patients who don’t want needles and drills. What, then, do you do? I am sure you have asked questions and tried to find the reasons. Sometimes the patient’s objections are valid, and other times, they’re not. Now, what is the next step? You must explain the treatment plan, at least in a short version. After that, you must tell the patient again how much it costs. Never be surprised if you now hear a different faulty reason (false objection) from the patient.

The basic rule is:
Make sure to repeat the complete treatment plan and the cost three times at least before you start reducing the treatment plan. You must get some results from your treatment plan presentation.

We all have to live on planet Earth, not in Fantasy Land.
You will not and cannot convince all patients all the time. You also cannot get their agreement on the first attempt or consultation. It’s just a fact of Life.

That brings me to the following rule.  
You have to “sell” something.
At this point, you have run through the treatment plan three times and made no progress. What are you doing now? Let me say this. I know many dentists will give up at this point. They may have given up a lot earlier, never explaining the treatment plan multiple times. Anyone who gave up will now never have the chance of the patent ever accepting even a partially reduced treatment plan.

You have to convince the patient to agree to something, ensuring at the same time that what you offer does not compromise clinically. What you now present is a phased program.

The patient could start with one crown instead of three, providing there is no clinical disadvantage. When they agree to one crown, still explain why they need the other two crowns. The next time you see the patient, explain it three more times when they return. You have to ask them again if they want to retain their teeth. You do that in between you explaining the treatment plan again.

Patients will eventually commit to the entire treatment plan. They do that because you persisted and did that in their best interest, and they know they need the treatment. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you talk to patients openly and in a heartfelt manner. They need to hear your conviction and passion coming from a human being that happens to be a dentist. — don’t make it sound robotic.

Do not believe that by being “repetitive,” the patients will look for another dentist. Some patients will not return; that is true, but it is a tiny number of 1%-2%.

At the end of the day, you have to look at things this way. In your heart, you know that you have their best interest in mind. If the patients leave your practice, I believe that they were not being honest when they told you they are interested in keeping their teeth. Never let 1 % or 2% stop you from providing excellent service to the remaining 98% of patients. Welcome to Reality.

This is the final part of our Newsletter Series on “how to improve treatment case acceptance rates” I will see you all next week with more marketing tips. In case you have missed some of the Newsletters, you can find them all on our Dental Marketing Institute Company page or use this link to get you there in just one click.

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We have worked with different marketing agencies over the years. We have not met anyone who could rival the level of marketing and SEO expertise Max and his team have brought to my dental practices for the last ten years. They have increased our results year after year.

Shankar Iyer DDS, MDS,FDSRCPS (Glasgow)