A dental spin on sales tips

July 17, 2012

Scanning the headlines of my newsfeed, I was tempted to read an article on Inc.com that touted “3 ways to break the rules” of selling techniques. And even though the dentist’s primary role is as a health care provider, there is an undeniable element of salesmanship that can be critical to helping a patient say yes to optimal treatment.

Scanning the headlines of my newsfeed, I was tempted to read an article on Inc.com that touted “3 ways to break the rules” of selling techniques. And even though the dentist’s primary role is as a health care provider, there is an undeniable element of salesmanship that can be critical to helping a patient say yes to optimal treatment. Based on the idea that “the map is not the territory,” (meaning that what is normal in theory, isn’t always the reality), the advice proffered by author Barry Farber certainly has applications for dental professionals.

Make some calls
The assumption that someone might say no is, often, a bigger hurdle than the actual no. Farber’s  point: Pick up the phone and ask the right people.

Don’t make the decision for your patients. Let them make it for themselves. If there is a course of treatment you feel is the right call, make your case. And, rather than trying to figure out who the “right” people to speak with might be, you can help the men and women in your practice become the type of patients who value a co-diagnostic approach and who want to be proactive in their care. Whether those patients say yes or not, you create value for your practice by taking the time to educate and inform.

Take a tour
You can’t tour every patient’s home. What you can do is get involved. Imagine block parties, high school football games and similar events as casual focus groups. You can get a read on patient habits, ask questions and be seen as a dentist who cares about what makes patients smile.

Look for hidden opportunities
Farber recounts how, in pitching a “crazy” idea that his client didn’t use, the resulting dialogue produced actual strategies for success. A commitment to radical brainstorming with your team may, at face value, seem like a waste of time. In the end, an environment where ideas are heard can distinguish you as a leader and open the door to great ideas.

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