No, I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about increasing case acceptance through the way in which you communicate with a patient. What you say is not as important as HOW you say it. Are you confident? Charming? Chivalrous? Are you looking and smelling your best? These things are all part of the equation, but there’s more to convincing a patient to accept the treatment plan you’ve laid out for them. It’s about leading a patient down a funnel to acceptance… And here are some tips:
Listen to the Patients
Patients have similar, but also different concerns. Are you listening to their specific concerns and addressing them (thereby having a meaningful two-way communication) or are you simply dictating to them what they need? Pay attention to what the patient is NOT saying and ask questions about those things as well.
Show That You Care
Laurie Slater and Fred Joyal often say: “Patients don’t care how much you know until you show them how much you care”. Patients care about themselves, the benefits they derive, how much a procedure may cost them. They are less concerned with the degrees hanging behind the dentist. Put your interests ahead of theirs.
Patients have the potential to be patients for life. They also are your best sales team. If you recognize this, you won’t be trying to get them in and out.
Take Your Time
As supported by this blog post, dentists who spend more time explaining/talking with their patient are less likely to be involved in acrimonious litigation. But taking your time also shows that you care and that you’re thinking long-term. So slow down and bring the patient down that funnel, one step at a time, and on their time.
Get Your Patient Comfortable
The physical layout of the office, the way it smells, the chair they are sitting, the decor all help put a nervous patient at ease. So always be thinking: how can I make this experience more comfortable for the patient?