12 Objections That You May Hear From Your Dental Team
Team members are the heart and soul of the practice, when you have the right ones in place. For those who do not, there are often statements made cause the owner to question how the doctor proceeds with their practice decisions. Anyone working in the dental office can point out problems; the harder part is that they do not always have the best solutions. Their solutions are based more on “feeling” rather than “factual” information. If you have heard any of these 12 myths see if you can pinpoint where they came from and the context in which they were said. It your job as a business owner to make decisions for your business based on facts that support your vision and business strategy. Do not let twenty-five dollar per hour team members decide what is best for your business based on how they feel. You are in the business of providing dental care, and it is a business.
Objection 1 “That is never going to work in our office.”
Everyone gets uncomfortable and often has objections when changes are on the rise for business, and we all know that if your dental practice is not changing it is not growing. This is a natural part of any business. The next time one of your team members tell you“it’s not going to work in our practice” then have them right down all of the reasons that it will not work and then provide them with your action plan or system for making it work.
Objection 2: “We will lose patients if you increase our fees, so it is a big mistake to raise them.”
Fee increases are part of the business. We have to absorb the cost of our suppliers in order to continue to be profitable. If a supplier increases their fees, we have to absorb that fee, or we start losing money. If your team makes a big deal out of fee increases then your patients will in return do the same. Often a simple role-play would help to ease the anxiety of the team when a change such as this occurs.
Objection 3: “Our patients cannot afford our fees now.”
People value what they want to value. When a patient comes to your practice usually they are in need of something. …. Dental care, perhaps? It is your responsibility to diagnosis the dentistry, your team’s responsibility to create the value for it and your patient’s responsibility to decide how they choose to proceed. Don’t allow your team to dictate your fees and trap you into reducing them because they feel like they are too high.
Objection 4: “Team meetings and morning huddles are a waste of time.”
The truth is, successful team meetings and morning huddles are hard work and getting a good result takes an effort. They are worth the time and effort. A good tool is to have a structured written agenda to follow for your morning huddles and your team meetings.
Objection 5: “Asking for referrals doesn’t work, and it is embarrassing to beg for business.”
Patient referrals are still the top source of new clients in most practices. The average patient still believes that many dentists are not accepting new patients. It is key to remind our patients that we are accepting new patients and ask them to send their friends and family to us.
Objection 6: “Employees at other offices make more than we do.”
It is fairly easy to find out what the average wages are in your area. Many doctors are in study clubs and tend to ask colleagues what they are paying for experienced employee vs. a new hire. Other ways are to call the local staffing company and get their pay rate, then a corporate practice could provide you with a pay scale and even direct competition down the street or across town would potentially supply an owner with that information. (If asked directly and in a professional manner… not calling the front desk) This would provide you with accurate pay ranges in all areas of the dental field. From the fill in to corporate to across town. It’s always good to stay on the competitive edge but never good to over pay for under performers. Don’t fall into the trap or your staff cost will become uncontrollable.
Objection 7: “We have too much work for us we have, and we need to hire another employee to help take some of the load.”
A dental practice cannot afford to have even one extra staff person, nor can they afford the luxury of working inefficiently. This may be a good time for the doctor and the team to review the way they do things and streamline operations with reliable systems that make things more efficient.
Objection 8: “I didn’t realize that was part of my job.”
This one may have the greatest truth in it. We tend to see many offices that do not have written job descriptions and the ones that do seem to forget to update them as the job changes. When new technology is added then the job description must change and be provided to the employee that it directly effects. Often dental practice owners fail to see their practice as a business and, therefore, do not run it as a business. Rules of business do apply to a dental practice regardless of what we think or how we act.
Objection 9: “I can’t believe that you are you are over or under treating patients. The doctor that I used to work for didn’t do it like that.”
All dentists practice a bit differently diagnose differently and often provide different solutions for the diagnosis. However, this comment brings home the importance of the doctor always sharing with the team your philosophy, how you came to develop it and why it makes sense. If your team doesn’t believe in your dentistry then they will not be strong advocates of it and sale it to the patients.
Objection 10: “I need 70 minutes for every prophy.”
A well-trained dental hygienist can make good use of 60 minutes in an adult prophy, exam, x-rays, digital photos periodontal charting and oral cancer screening. They should still have time remaining for education, assisting the doctor with the diagnosis and rapport building. However, if the patient has few teeth, is a child or has excellent dental hygiene, a full 60 minutes may not be necessary. Don’t be fooled by “I need more time.” Talking less and listening to the patient more always saves time. Another great time saver is to do the exam after all screenings are done and before the hygienist performs the prophy. This allows the hygienist to support your diagnosis throughout the prophy and answer any questions that the patient may have about the treatment prescribed. (*note- You will also see an increase in your case acceptance this way.)
Objection 11: “That patient is rude, and we need to dismiss them immediately.”
I have not seen many people who love going to the dentist. It’s not at the top of everyone’s list and truthfully not even on some people’s lists at all. When comments are made such as this, it’s always wise to investigate the situation before making any swift reactive decisions. This is the only way that you can truly support your team members is to look into it and allow them to feel valued.
Objection 12: “The practice management consultant you hired is rude, doesn’t know what they are doing, and is killing the practice and besides we can accomplish this on our own.”
It is relatively common for the team to resent any outside help and make an effort to get a doctor to end the process. A good consultant, like a good golf coach, will make you uncomfortable because they force change and none of us like change. Getting past that discomfort is essential to moving your dental practice forward.
These common myths creep in the doors of many dental practices. If you know what they are, you can combat them early and save yourself from many business mistakes. If you have questions or comments please leave them in the comment section or feel free to contact us.