The Key To Treatment Plan Acceptance Starts With “T”
Is the word “Tell?” Some people say “The more you tell, the more you sell!”
But the key to treatment plan acceptance is not telling your patients their dental needs in excruciating detail. Tell too much and you can confuse them and turn them off.
Others say it is to “Think big!” Never compromise your treatment and don’t attempt to diagnose a patient’s bank account. But that kind of thinking has its obstacles too, and if done incorrectly can scare people away.
And it is always good to “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” It’s always a good strategy, but not what we’re getting at here.
So what it the “Big T” in treatment plan acceptance? It’s simple. Trust.
If the patient doesn’t trust you, there is no way in hell they are going to let you provide dental care for them and pay you for the privilege. It’s just one of the many reasons that high-pressure take-it-or-leave it treatment plan presentations don’t work.
In Dr. Robert Cialdini’s fantastic bestseller Pre-Suasion, he concludes:
“Trust is one of those qualities that leads to compliance with requests, provided that it has been planted before the request is made.”
That’s important – before the request is made.
Cialdini tells the fascinating story of a salesman who sells high-end smoke detection systems through in-house demonstrations. The salesman, Jim, has numbers that totally clobber all of his colleagues, although their pitches are very similar. But Jim has added one strange twist to what he does.
The salespeople are required to show their prospects some literature about the product. But Jim intentionally leaves the literature in his car. Then, in the middle of the presentation when the homeowners are watching a video, Jim would slap his forehead and say,
“Oh, I left some really important information in my car, and I need to get it. I don’t want to interrupt you, so would you mind if I let myself out and back into your home?”
The answer is always some form of “Of course – go ahead!” Many times it would require giving Jim a door key. And then they would buy!
Jim’s theory is that you only let people you trust in and out of your home, and his method establishes that trust immediately! Is that ethical? Maybe not, and we are not suggesting you pull a similar prank in your dental practice. But always remember – you MUST establish trust before talking to a patient about treatment.
For immediate things like endo or a crown on a fractured tooth, that trust can be gained simply by looking the patient in the eye and sincerely and confidently saying “I know what the problem is and I can fix it!” For more sophisticated treatment plans, it can take several appointments and doing all the little things right. One thing is for sure – you gotta be sincere! You can’t fake people out! And the cold fish dentist who treats their patients like numbers instead of people is facing a huge uphill battle.
So if you want to get people to say “yes” to your treatment recommendations, everyone in the office needs to start right now – and do all of the things it takes to gain your patient’s trust. Trust us on this one.
Talk to you soon,
The Madow Brothers
P.S. If you have any questions, always feel free to call us at 1-800-258-0060.
P.S. #2: Want to learn more about growing your practice, increasing your income and enjoying dentistry more with Madow Success Coaching? Please go to:
to attend our upcoming Masterclass For Dentists!