Handling Patient Stops: Why Patients Say No To Treatment and How You Can Get a Yes!
First and foremost, what is a patient stop? A patient stop is simply all the reasons patients give you for saying no. Examples are costs, not understanding purposed treatment, what family members/friends have told them, or they do not like/trust you.
Have you ever talked to a patient or reviewed their treatment, and you could literally see their eyes gloss over?
You know they are not listening, put you continue to try educating them into submission. This doesn’t work! There is a whole different lesson about how to know what personality types you are dealing with and how you should communicate with each (which we will save for another day).
I once had a patient who came to my office for veneers. My team and I had trained on communication with different personality types. This particular patient had researched extensively. She didn’t want or require lengthy details about treatment or even associated costs, as she had wanted them for a lifetime. She communicated to us that she was very subconscious about her smile. She prepaid for her veneers and set up her appointment for a couple of days later. Side note: It is always important to have availability for patients who want to get in right away. She went home ecstatic about her new smile to be.
I remember thinking, wow, you gotta love patients who do their research and know what they want.
Low and behold, the patient called back shortly, requesting a refund. Ayeyaya, what?
Her husband had told her that veneers were a waste of money. No one spends that kind of money on teeth. Ladies and Gentlemen, this was a stop!
We immediately issued the refund and didn’t mention the veneers at her future recare appointments. We knew she really wanted them but didn’t want her to feel pressured.
Fast forward to a couple of years later. Patient called the office and decided for sure that she wanted to have the treatment done. In addition she only wanted me to do them, as she had “researched my skills too.” But, I was in the process of getting married, relocating and selling the practice. She was a day late and a dollar short. Missed opportunity.
It was a missed opportunity for the patient and also for the office (to help someone achieve her goals). In retrospect, our team communicated to the patient in her style. We were cautious not to over educate. However, we didn’t handle her stop.
One way to handle this scenario would have been to have the patient bring her husband in with her for another consultation. This would afford him an opportunity to see just how much his wife’s teeth and smile were affecting her confidence level. In addition, this joint consultation would have helped him to understand the procedure and the expected results. The outcome may have been totally different by simply including the husband. He was such an integral factor in the patient’s decision for herself.
This was a cosmetic case, but this scenario plays itself out with an array of treatment from preventive to restorative, etc.
Moral of the story…handle patient stops and get more to say yes to treatment!
Click below for my guide: