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Coaching dentists to become confident leaders of a profitable practice

It Isn't Time, Money or Fear


Why do patients, who obviously need dental treatment, say they “can’t afford it” when they hear the fee? And why do these same patients simultaneously also tell you they are planning a vacation?

We’ll explore what is really happening when the patient has an objection. We’ll learn why patients say “no” and how to use psychology and marketing principles to respond to them without being pushy.

Most often patient’s objections come down to these categories:


  • I can’t afford that
  • How much will my insurance cover?
  • I have to ask my spouse.
  • Can you give me a discount?


  • I’m too busy.
  • I don’t know my schedule.
  • I can only come in on Mondays at 6:30am


  • Do I really need this?
  • What would happen if we waited?
  • Could you just patch this up today?

Why People Buy Despite Money, Time and Fear

But people do buy items and services despite these objections. So, what is going on?

Let’s take a moment to think of something you bought that you couldn’t really afford, but had to have. Maybe it was your house or a remodel or a vehicle or piece of equipment.  Now think about what you were willing to do to make that purchase. And even more specifically, think about what you told yourself so that you did indeed buy.

I bet your thoughts went something like:

  • I need this because it will really help me.
  • I deserve this because I’ve been working so hard.
  • It will be a great investment.
  • It won’t get any cheaper and might get even more expensive.
  • I can make this work financially if I think creatively.

The truth is that you convinced yourself to make this purchase because, in the end, you valued the item and what you imagined it would do for you. You overcame your own money, fear and time concerns.

Read over the list of internal statements again. Can you imagine your patients saying the same things to themselves about getting dental treatment?

That’s the profound truth about selling. If you believe an item/service is going to improve your life in some compelling way – you will do anything you can to buy it.

At the heart of most patients’ objections is that they don’t perceive a compelling reason to either get the treatment at all, or get the treatment done now or get the treatment done by you.

If any of those things are true then you do not need to expand your office hours, you do not need to reduce your fees, you do not need to continually call patients to remind them they have uncompleted treatment.

You do, however, have to present treatment in such a way that the patient wants the treatment so much that they say to themselves:

  • I need this because it will really help me.
  • I deserve this because I’ve been working so hard.
  • It will be a great investment.
  • It won’t get any cheaper and might get even more expensive.
  • I can make this work financially if I think creatively.

In my upcoming articles, you will learn how to get patients to convince themselves they want and need your recommended treatment. In the meantime, at your next huddle or team meeting, recreate this exercise with your team so they see how potent this technique is.

Team Meeting Activity

Ask your team members to think of something they want to buy or recently bought that was seemingly out of their price range or comfort zone. Direct them to write down their exact thoughts when they considered making this purchase.  Then ask your team to imagine what patients say to themselves when they hear their treatment plan.  Now, compare and contrast these two sets of internal statements.  Brainstorm the answer to this question:

What do we need to do and say differently so that patients believe the proposed treatment will be so crucial to their emotional and physical well-being that they would do anything to get it?

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

You’ll learn how to