Today, we dive into what I would consider the most challenging places of all to continue the Trust Building with your patients.
I will preface this by saying: IF you dedicate yourself to doing everything else we have talked about you will have to do this one a whole lot less. Every Team Member and Doctor who really dedicates themselves to the ‘dental success’ way knows this to be true.
Patients will say yes, pay, be happy and thankful – if you follow the system and psychological structure in our Patient Experience Protocols.
If you are getting a lot of the topic for today – you are doing things very wrong and trying to win a battle you shouldn’t even be having to fight.
GOOD NEWS: there is an easy way. Actually, you will think it’s too easy and obvious, which is why it works so brilliantly and reliably.
I’m talking about dealing with Patient Excuses.
That’s right. All the reasons why (excuses) patients make up and use for not moving forward with treatment…
Insurance (same as money)
Time (really it’s money)
Spouse (because of money)
So many others (usually again money)
In all seriousness, you also have fear and their own level of deserve and feeling of worthiness.
There is nothing else and no other reason a patient wouldn’t move forward with treatment. Anything can be overcome by one word: VALUE. The value they perceive about what you are recommending and offering for them to do.
If they value it as much as you do, then they will find a way. They will overcome their fears, they will find the time, they will care less about insurance, they will influence their spouses and they will come up with the cash.
No questions about it, period, end of story.
The only thing left is them feeling they deserve to have it done. And all you have to do is let them know they are worth it. Throughout their lives, most people have always been told “you don’t need that” or “you can’t do that” to everything they have ever wanted.
That is what everyone is told by parents, teachers, friends, family, spouses. So, their gut instinct is to initially say no to everything.
As long as they value it and deserve it (sincerely in their minds and hearts), they will proceed.
Therefore, we are often focusing on the wrong issues that are beneath the surface of what they say.
How does trust fit into dealing with patient excuses (also known as objections)? It fits in because the strength of your trust up to this point would have built up value and deserve every step of the way. If you did a great job, then you will have little work left to do.
However, if the patient gives you their human reflex of delay or deny and they justify it with an excuse of some sort (sometimes even blaming you for it)…
You have to do only one set of incredibly powerful gestures. It will still be difficult and challenging because our nature is to fight excuses with justifications. Instead, you build trust with my two favorite words…
Truth and Transparency.
And guess what? If you are transparent the patient will be; if you are truthful the patient will be.
Example: If the patient says to you well I just didn’t think it was going to be so much money. If you say anything about it being “expensive” or even refer back to the treatment investment amount, you are reverting back to justifying.
Instead, you simply say that “many patients don’t realize the state their oral health is in; the good news is we are catching it early and therefore you are really saving money by being proactive; the investment of course is reflection of the benefit you are going to receive by the problems we are addressing in order to make you healthy, which is why you are here and what you deserve.”
So you are telling the truth and not talking about the money, but instead talking about their health.
If done sincerely and correctly, the patient will say, “Well I really want to do it but…”
Then on this second time around you have shifted the focus of the conversation. They were making the primary issue the money and it being your fault. Now, they will give you the answer to what is truly holding them back. Once you receive their truth and transparency back, you can know continue to help the patient.
This is the most powerful trust factor of all because you do not need to let the patient off the hook. This is sometimes referred to as tough-love, which builds the greatest trust of all because if your concern for me is so strong that you are willing to be tough, you must believe in it that much.
Since truth and transparency leads to trust, all excuses and objections should be addressed head on just like this. The more genuine and confident you are, the greater your case acceptance and patient follow-through will be.
You will earn the trust and respect of your patients by always adhering to the principles of truth and transparency.