Last week we sent an interesting story about treatment plan acceptance based on a story from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s excellent book “Pre-Suasion.” The response was so great that this week we will go back to that book again with another cool story and lesson!
Have you ever been at a mall and been approached by someone with a clipboard, asking for “just a few minutes of your time to give your opinions for some market research?” Even when the pot is sweetened with a free gift or cash, the percentage of people who comply is very low.
In the control portion (just asking people to help with the survey) 29% said yes. But then the same steps were taken with one difference. Before asking people to take the survey, this question was asked:
“Do you consider yourself to be a helpful person?”
Following brief reflection, nearly every person said “yes.” (We all consider ourselves to be helpful!!) Then, once the public affirmation was made, the researchers asked for help with their survey. This time 77.3% of the people volunteered to help!!
We are not fans of the old car salesman technique of presenting a humongous treatment plan and then asking, “Is this the kind of dentistry you want?” That strategy just smells a bit funny.
But there is certainly nothing wrong with asking pre-emptive questions to have your patient affirm what they want.
If you are about to discuss periodontal disease, why not “pre-suade” the discussion with something like “You want to keep your teeth for the rest of your life, right?”
When a patient presents with a shattered molar, before explaining the core and crown, why not say – “Good news – we can repair this tooth and make it solid and strong again. Does that sound good to you?”
Getting someone to publicly affirm their belief can be a great way to lead to a commitment towards dental health. And you do want your patients to have excellent dental health, right?