You know what I think is the biggest thing that gets in your way of helping more patients?
I’m going to tell you whether you do or not. Of course, you wouldn’t be here if you really didn’t want to do well and to help your patients in a complete way.
Think about it – in your mind, patients’ decisions are obvious, don’t you think? I mean you have proof, pictures, education and there are real tangible benefits the patient is going to be able to see, feel and experience.
What holds someone back from doing what’s best for them?
I think one thing, above all others.
And it’s NOT money.
And it’s NOT insurance.
And it’s NOT time or spouses or fear or anything else.
Those are of course factors but not the leading cause for indecision, delay or lack of case acceptance.
It is… You.
Yep. You’re a softy. You take it too easy on your patients. Plain and simple, you have fallen into a routine of letting the patients be the boss. As if this were some type of customer service battle for pandering to people who don’t know what ‘quality care’ even is.
I’m only partly joking. I’m serious about the fact that most practices are run by their patients.
When they come in, how they pay, and even if they decide to follow-through with treatment.
It doesn’t have to be this way. And it might not be blatantly obvious to you. You are doing great or you wouldn’t be interested in doing better. Only successful people want to continue to improve and be even more successful.
The thing is: if you really look at it, there is way too much casual ‘acceptance’ of the wrong kind.
Acceptance of patients breaking down treatment.
Acceptance of patients delay, delay, delay.
Acceptance of patients being the boss.
Yes, we are here to serve the patient but in what way are you there to serve?
I say it’s the way that aligns with and supports the realization of your clinical philosophy of care and what is the optimal outcome for your patients.
Of course, you aren’t going to get everyone every time to do your idea of optimal dentistry. It is going to always be what the patient’s ideal of optimal dentistry is, and that’s fine but that is a very big variable placed on your BUSINESS… the giant discrepancy of what you say or what someone else wants.
Therefore, every part of your practice should be designed to bring the patient up from where their idea of dentistry is when they walk in to where you must have it for them to make a great decision for their health.
Today’s huddle isn’t about forcing patients to do things they don’t want to or don’t need. It is about giving patients a little tough love, positive encouragement, support, guidance and confidence to move forward with something they know they want but are hesitating at accepting (and you let them).
Think about all the places, points of contact, times in a day when the patient does something you would rather them not – and without any rebuttal from you or even a ‘reason why’ it should be different.
If you just developed a habit of not accepting the first objection and standing strong for the long-term benefit of your patients, you would be amazed at what would happen. Not only how much more treatment you would secure but more importantly how many more patients you would help.
That’s the key to everything. The patient will always be grateful after the treatment is done and the benefits are realized but to get them to that point you often have to push them over the edge of whatever stands in their way.
Above all else, don’t you stand in their way by doing the opposite of what you know is best for them.
Don’t’ be a push over with your patients. Believe in what you do. Being tough and confident doesn’t mean being rude.
Really caring about someone and genuinely wanting them to benefit requires you to go out of your comfort zone to find ways to compel your patients to a yes.