The Feel, Felt, Found Method
The feel, felt, found method is an excellent way to deal with patient objections. It works equally well with concerns about fees, excessive fears, or concerns about being able to schedule appointments. The good part about this method is that it acknowledges your patients’ concerns and then handles them.
Let’s take an example of a patient who is fearful of treatment. After your review of findings and treatment recommendations, the patient might say, “I understand what you are saying, but I’m so nervous, I just don’t know if I can get through the treatment.” You’d reply, “Mrs. Jones, I know exactly how you feel. Many of our other patients have felt the same way. But after they did the treatment I’m recommending for you, here is what they found. Despite their fears, they all found the treatment to be almost pain free and much easier than they expected. As a matter of fact, people often tell me that if they knew it would be so easy, they would have had the work done years ago.”
You are acknowledging their feelings as legitimate. Then you tell them that they are not alone in their concerns. Other people are also concerned. But despite those concerns, many other people did the treatment and got great results. And you can get those great results, too.
How about a situation where the patient feels that your fees are too high? Cover the page and try it yourself before you look at the reply. When a patient expresses a concern that the fee is high, I might say, “Mr. Jones, I know how you feel. That is a lot of money. Many of our other patients have felt that way when they first heard the fees. But here is what they found after they did the treatment. They found that…..” I’d list the benefits that I think they would respond positively to, such as gentle treatment, personal attention, quality care, efficient, good results and so on.
One of the major reasons people hesitate to make a decision to go ahead with treatment is that they are fearful of making a mistake. What if they do the work and the results are poor. Then they will suffer twice. Once by having the treatment and again by getting poor results. What if it is really too expensive? What if it is really very painful?
The idea of this method is to let you accept the patient’s feelings as legitimate, then you can let them know other people also felt that way and then tell them that despite their concerns, those people went ahead with the recommended treatment and were glad that they did because they found that they did get good results.