It is only when patients feel that they can freely express themselves, and ask you anything, that they will open up and allow you to remove all their misgivings prior to accepting the treatment plan. Whatever they say, treat it as a serious and thoughtful observation on your treatment or service. The more relaxed your patients become with you, the more likely that they will eventually buy.
The very best Dentists are those who have thought through the reasons their patients don’t buy and who have then prepared. They are prepared to deal effectively with the most knowledgeable patient using the most difficult objections.
There is a little poem that goes:
For every problem under the sun, there is a solution or there is none.
If there is a solution go and find it, if there isn’t, never mind it.
This should be your attitude toward objections. Always begin your treatment presentation by assuming that there is a logical, workable answer for any reasonable objection that the prospect may have.
If for any reason the objection is truly insurmountable, you should accept the situation gracefully and get on to the next patient.
In any case, you should remain calm, positive, relaxed, and friendly throughout the conversation, no matter what the patient says.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR OWN PERSONAL POWER
Dentistry is hard work. Patients vote with their feet. As a dentist, you face continual rejection, potential failure, persistent disappointment, setbacks, obstacles, and difficulties not experienced by most people.
Selling, and dentistry is selling, (remember: nothing happens until the patient says yes) is not easy and it has never been easy. To be successful in dentistry you must be tough enough to deal with this hardship.
SECRETS OF OBJECTIONS
- Understand that objections are essential to the selling process
- Know that successful dentists get twice as many objections as less successful dentists
- Look at objections as a sign you have aroused a customer’s interest
- Create an environment where patients feel comfortable expressing their reservations
It’s part of the bonding process that insures treatment follow through, few cancellations, and future referrals. Objections are good. They are essential to the selling process. There are few treatment plans closed without them.
No matter how thorough your presentation, your patient will normally have unanswered questions and concerns that you will have to deal with before proceeding with your treatment.
TWICE AS MANY OBJECTIONS
Successful dentists seem to have twice as many objections as unsuccessful dentists. Sometimes people express their objections in a critical or dismissive way, as though the shortcomings in your service are so obvious that no one could seriously consider buying it.
If you are not careful when you hear an objection, you will feel disappointed, angry or defensive. You will feel that your treatment plan or service is being attacked by the customer and your natural instinct will be to counter-attack. But this is exactly the wrong approach.
When your patient begins to take issue with your treatment plan, you should give thanks silently that you have finally aroused some interest, that you have triggered an emotional response and the sales process is under way. You now have an opportunity to begin moving the sale forward.
REVEALING HIDDEN MOTIVES
Objections also tell you how well you are doing in the sales process. They are a form of feedback from the patient to you about your presentation and your treatment plan.
They are signposts from the patient that guide you toward the issues you must resolve and the assurances that you must give if you are eventually to make the sale. Objections reveal the hidden motives that underlie buyer behavior.
Additionally, the patient often objects to parts of your presentation to test the quality of the relationship that has developed between you.
MAKE IT EASY TO OBJECT
But just as customers ordinarily avoid complaining because they dislike the confrontation that complaining involves, patients usually dislike objections because they don’t want to antagonize your staff and get into an argument.
It is important that you create the kind of psychological environment where patients feel comfortable expressing any of their reservations to you about your treatment or service.
- Be prepared to deal effectively with customers using difficult objections.
- Assume there is a logical, workable answer for any reasonable objection.
- Develop your resistance to the rejection and obstacles in sales.
Michael Abernathy, DDS