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What happened?

What happened?

So you’ve done all you can to educate the patient, you’ve used models, x-rays, analogies, drawings, etc. The patient is now fully educated and understands what will happen if he or she ignores the problem.

You’ve even received a statement from the patient that he or she is ready to move ahead and you merrily send the patient up to your front desk and…it all falls apart.

So what happened with that patient?

I commonly find two things that may have been the cause for this: First, your front desk person has money problems of their own so when the patient makes a statement about how expensive it is, the front desk goes into immediate agreement with how much it costs and abbreviates the treatment plan.

More commonly your treatment coordinator person just doesn’t listen to the patient and so doesn’t handle the patient’s objection correctly.

Example: Patient says, “Gee that’s a lot of money.” But what the front desk person hears is, “I can’t afford it.”

Ahh, but that’s not what the patient said! So your front desk person (especially one with their own financial issuess) gets emotionally caught up in that objection and doesn’t handle it appropriately.

Another example: Patient says, “I have to think about it.” A front desk person who isn’t really listening won’t handle this objection and so tries to schedule the patient anyway. What your front desk person should have said is, “What is it that you want to think about?”

And guess what? The patient won’t know. All they know is that they “need to think about it”. And now we’re back to case presentation. You see sometimes patients simply nod their head all the way through your treatment presentation so you’re fooled into thinking they understand the importance of the treatment. But more than often they don’t. So they nod their heads as they don’t want to ask a “stupid” question, appear rude or whatever.

So before you ask a patient if they’re committed to doing the treatment you might ask them first to explain back to you, in their own words, what you’ve gone over with them. If they can’t, then roll up your sleeves and start over.

Once you have the skill to educate a patient so the patient can explain back the treatment to you, your case acceptance will skyrocket provided your front desk knows how to recognize the all too common objections, all of which are easily handled by a well trained front desk person.

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