PRESENTING PAYMENT SOLUTIONS
When presenting treatment fees, provide the patients with the total cost of care and then hand them a copy of your financial policy and review each option with them. It is often helpful to be prepared to show patients what their monthly payments would be if they chose a monthly payment plan. This helps them see how easily care can fit into their lifestyle needs.
“Your oral health is important to us and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to move forward with care. That’s why we have several payment options for you to choose from. Which of these options do you find most appealing for your financial situation?”
Once the investment is reviewed, it is now time to use the most effective way to ask for a decision – “the magic question:”
“Mrs. Jones, what reasons or problems may exist that would prevent you from proceeding with your desired treatment today?”
If the patient has no other objections and is ready to proceed with all or some of the treatment, use a patient payment agreement form to ensure clarity of the payment responsibilities they have selected.
If the patient is still hesitant or chooses to delay or decline care, make sure they understand you are committed to their care and will wait with them until there is a more appropriate time in their life for the dentistry.
“Mrs. Jones, I understand there are times when saying “Yes” is just not possible. If anything changes in your life before we see you again, please don’t hesitate to call. We are happy to wait with you until the time for care is right.”
HANDLE OBJECTIONS. For most people, objections are a natural part of the buying process and dentistry, if anything, invites even more objections due to the invasive nature of the work itself. The ability to handle objections gracefully and effectively is a key skill for all members of the dental team. An objection is not a “No!” It is the patient’s way of asking for more information.
Objections diminish in magnitude when a person is allowed and encouraged to talk about them. The objection formula will help standardize the conversation, leading to a more predictable outcome.
RECEIVE the statement of objection without judgement and as an opportunity to provide a solution. “It’s too expensive.”
RECOGNIZE and validate the patient’s objection and use words that encourage discussion. “So, you’re concerned with the cost. Please share a little bit more with me about your specific concerns?”
RESTATE by repeating what you believe to be the patient’s concern to make sure you have clarity. “So, if I understand you correctly, you’re concerned about coming up with payment all at once. You don’t want to use your credit cards or your savings.”
REINFORCE the importance of the WIFM (what’s in it for them) and confirm that their objection is the real objection. “You told us that keeping your teeth for life is important to you. The treatment the doctor has recommended will help you do that. Mrs. Jones, if together we can find a solution to your concerns about cost, would you want to move forward with the dentistry?”
RESOLVE the objection by finding a solution that fits the patient’s specific concerns. “If you prefer not to use cash or your credit cards, we have several other payment options that may work for you. First, we have a monthly payment plan option. There are no upfront costs and you can comfortably pay for your care over time. Would you like to see what your monthly payment might look like?”
There are many objections patients may have that cannot be overcome because you have no control over their situation. At this point, reassure the patient.
“Mrs. Jones, I understand that you are just not able to move forward with the dentistry right now. I just want you to know, we will wait with you. If anything changes in your life between now and your next visit, please don’t hesitate to call us.”
Without excellent verbal skills and experience at handling concerns or objections, dental team members can find themselves struggling through situations that should pose little challenge. Patient concerns and objections can happen anytime, allowing us little or no preparation. Under pressure from the patient, it is all too easy to become defensive, argumentative or simply to cave into the patient’s demands. Trying to prove ourselves right or correcting a patient’s “faulty thinking” likely won’t help matters.