Wednesday, April 01, 2020

(continued from this PERIO page)


Let’s discuss the first step. I have been in customer service with some of the top Fortune 500 companies in the country. I've been in extensive training dealing with customers and how to handle objections and while I won't get into everything, there are some main points to consider and choice of wording to use that helps transition objections back into your control. Here are a few recommendations.

Wrong response: "Okay, but can I just tell you something first? I think its best because..."

Why it's wrong: First, never start with the word "okay". Saying "okay" is what is called a positive negative. It reinforces their objection and makes it seem that you are agreeing with them and are on their side of the field. It's basically saying, yes you're right. Next, you shouldn't ask questions that leave time for a response. By asking "can I just tell you something first?" This is an open ended question and puts control of the situation back into their hands, especially if you leave a pause after asking your question for them to respond. You want to be assertive enough in the situation to be the one in control. That doesn't mean you shouldn't breathe in between sentences, but that does mean you should not breathe long enough to let them object again. Also, there are several words you should never use under any circumstance. The word "think" sounds unsure. You are an educated professional. At this point you shouldn't be "thinking", you should be "knowing". Substitute it by saying "I know its best." You should also avoid saying "because". Because was never a good answer for your momma when you were a child, and it's still not a good answer now. Because also implies that you are an authority. It reminds me of my mom telling me "Because I'm your mother and that's why". You should also never use the words; but, because, okay, since, can't, won't in your transitions. What helps the most is what is called an "I transition". It is a statement starting with "I" followed by a sympathetic word that acknowledged you heard them, understood them and didn't ignore what they said. Including the patients name also is a great attention grabber and draws attention to what you are saying from that point forward. It's similar to falling asleep in your community dental health class. If the teacher yells out "Jill!” you are more prone to waking up, paying more attention, etc.

Here are some examples,

"I understand where you are coming from Mrs. Smith and let me..."

"I appreciate that Mrs. Jones, and ...."

"I can understand that Mrs. Smith, and my last patient said the same thing, however they didn't realize that..."

Correct Response: I understand, Mrs. Smith, and let me remind you that treating your periodontal disease really is the correct thing to do. We need to...."

Let's analyze what we just said. First we related our self to our patient and acknowledged that we did hear them by saying "I understand". Next we used the patient’s name. That signals them to listen right before we started explaining what "needs" to be done and why we are correct without making them feel wrong. Remember, in my opinion one of the main things to accomplish when overcoming and objection is to not make the patient feel as if they are not being listened to, yet at the same time assertively showing why you are correct in your response. Don't make the patient feel wrong, but rather misinformed. It's our goal to present the facts to the patient and hope they chose the right decision.

Also, avoid what I call are "filler" words. Filler words are "uh, um, you know, like, eh, hmm, etc." These are all words that people generally use when they don't have anything better to say, or are fishing for words to use. They all show insecurity and unprofessionalism, not to mention people who use them a lot sound very uneducated.


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