I have a new treatment coordinator who needs some training on how to “close” patients. I have overheard her and she seems uncomfortable when patients say they can’t afford to do the treatment. If they decline Care Credit, there just doesn’t seem to be any more conversation. I don’t know how to train her because I’m uncomfortable with this too.
My article in this month’s Dental Economics focuses on this issue. (https://www.dentaleconomics.com/money/article/14282046/talking-fees-with-your-dental-patients-why-its-your-job-or-should-be) Frankly, I believe dentists are in the best position to “close” patients and discuss the patient’s investment. Here is why. While, you may think you are having a conversation about money, you are really having a conversation about value. Patients balk at fees because they haven’t bought into the value of treatment. When people really, really want something – they move mountains to get it. So how do you (or your treatment coordinator) have a conversation that highlights the value in context with the fees?
Here are a series of conversation starters you could have with patients:
- The fee for this ranges from X-Y. How does this match your expectations?
- I can imagine how it must feel for you to hear this amount. Let’s set aside the money issue for a moment, what do you see as the benefits of this treatment?
- How important are those benefits to you?
- What do you see as the next best step so that you can get this treatment? What would you like to accomplish first?