Maybe it’s just me, but there aren’t very many things that get me stirred up like being told “no!” Maybe it is last child syndrome in me, but I just don’t like to be turned down. I’ll bet that most of your patients don’t like to be told “no” either.
Here in Dallas, we have a well-known, five-star hotel, The Mansion on Turtle Creek. It is known for its exceptional service. Business legend has it that there is only one person at The Mansion that can ever tell a guest “no!” Only one. Everyone else says “yes” or they have to refer the request to their supervisor. Only the manager of The Mansion can say “no.!”
So how do they do it? By always offering the guest a choice of what IS available so they can choose. For example, if a guest asks a service person to take a picture of their group in the dining room, the service person would most likely respond to the guest that he would be happy to take the picture and invite the guest out on the patio where the lighting is better. (It is against the rules at The Mansion to take pictures in the dining room.)
You may remember my favorite story about one of the best presentations I have observed about 6 years ago when Cheryl and I were looking to “upgrade” the “sorority house” for our 5 daughters (now 6!) The best presenter we encountered never told us we could not have what we wanted. He simply continued to offer us choices of what they did have available. When Cheryl asked if there was carpet available in a specific color he did not carry, he simply responded by offering her the colors he did have. He was great! When I asked him where he learned how to do that, he said, “teaching 6th grade!”
Back at the dental office, take a look at all of your presentation systems, especially financial arrangements. All of your financial options, for example, should be in writing so your patients can choose from what you do have available. If a patient ever asks for a financial option you don’t have, the financial coordinator can simply respond, “That is great question. Could I share with you the financial options that we have available?” If the patient persists, the response can take them back to the options you DO have, not what you don’t have.
Take a few minutes this week to discuss with your team what they do if the patient asks for something you don’t have or don’t do. Make sure they understand that you can still say “yes” to the patient by offering them options of what you do have available. Several “yes” alternatives are always better than a “no!”
So just say “yes”. You’ll be amazed at how many yeses you get back in return.