Giving In or Giving Up?

Last week, we talked about creating urgency (or maybe better said “time sensitivity”), as one of the reasons why patients should make decisions now instead of delaying and putting things off.

We aren’t talking about procrastinating insignificant chores like cleaning out the closet or washing the car.  We are talking about health of all kinds (physical, mental, emotional); not to mention whatever goes unaddressed now will have long term implications down the line.

So, there should be real motivation to expedite most any type of oral health or dental care, period.

Of course, this is all so much easier if you believe strongly in what you are doing for your patients and you can passionately advocate for their health.

It’s human nature that over time we all get desensitized to things and become too familiar with them.  We tend to fall into habits of going through the motions or even letting patients take make bad decisions for reasons we know they shouldn’t.  We actually resist helping for fear of hurting their feelings or having them hurt ours.

Instead, remember what the purpose and point was in the first place.  You are there to be a guide, an advocate, and a leader in your patients’ health.

I hear from Doctors who are not yet in our fold (ones who haven’t embraced or become believers in their ability to create and control their own Dental Success Today), say things to patients like, “it’s just my job to tell you and then you get to decide, since it’s your mouth.”

Yet, that’s not so true.  If you really think about it, once you allow them to become your patient and they entrust you to be their doctor, then it is actually as much your responsibility as it is theirs.

Yes, it is their responsibility to own their health and to make a smart decision – you can’t force them to do anything.  However, it goes beyond just giving in to their preferences.

They will give up on themselves too fast if you give up on them first.

I know you will immediately bring money and insurance, but those are just excuses – for both you and the patient.  The patient avoids making a commitment but defaulting to money.  As consumers, they know that’s the easiest way out of any buying discussion; but this is not a buying decision – it’s a health decision.

So, today I’m asking you…

What can you be doing better to help more patients get healthy?

Where are you giving up and letting the patient move on without any real explanation?

I gave you some sentences and concepts last week but it ultimately comes down to your own belief and conviction that what is best for your patients is best today not tomorrow.

Whether you excelled at the role-playing last week or not (or didn’t even do it), won’t make any difference to me but it will make a difference to your contribution to your patients’ health.

And it really just takes a little extra initiative… one more question, a couple more sentences, looking them in the eye, letting them know they deserve this, and being enthusiastic for them.

If you didn’t do the role-playing about today instead of tomorrow and the “why not now,” then I strongly encourage you to do this.

It would be very helpful to have a question up on the board daily or at least once a week where everyone practices overcoming the objection for the benefit of the patients every time.

It’s hard to encourage other people to not procrastinate if you yourself often do it.  It carries with it a sort of intrinsic guilt whether you want to admit it or not.  

I’d encourage you and your team, as individuals and as a professional cohesive unit, to get in the habit of focusing on progress not procrastination and encouraging your patients to do the same.

It is a mentality, a commitment, a way of life to find ways to win and achieve more today than yesterday.  It starts with never giving up on yourself or your patients.

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