- They have not been to the dentist for some time and are comparing today’s fees to outdated fees?
- They have never had a lot of dental work done, so they don’t know what it costs?
- They are having some financial stress so everything sounds expensive?
- They are surprised because they thought they were just going to have to pay for a routine cleaning and then discovered that there is more work to be done?
- They have never placed that much value on their mouth or their health and have not considered what it was really going to cost to stay in good shape?
- It is the first time someone has had a conversation with them from a “comprehensive care” point of view instead of just trying to maintain the status quo?
- They just say that about everything to try and get a better deal!
The list could go on. The point is that you have no more idea of how to answer that question without additional information than you would know how to treat a patient who calls up and says her tooth hurts until you did an exam personally to see the real condition.
Every patient has a unique situation…a story. Until you really understand her story, or his reason for asking, there’s no quick fix verbal skill that will answer the question. It’s about the relationship first, not the case or your fees.
So the next time a patient says, “That’s way too expensive!” just stop. Take a deep breath. And listen as you ask…”Tell me more about that.” You might be surprised to hear what comes next. The reason behind the question will most likely be something you had not considered.