Of all the patient objections, this seems to be the toughest one. Here are some specific verbal skills worth committing to memory for immediate use the next time you hear a patient say “I want to think about it.”
You: “That’s a good idea Mrs. T. A decision this important deserves the proper consideration. In fact, many of our patients tell us that when they think about treatment like this, they think about one or more of three things:
- Do I really need it?
- Can I afford it? Or
- Is it going to hurt?
“Which one of those three things are you going to think about the most?”
Then shut up! Let the patient tell you which of those three issues they are going to think about the most. Most patients will start to tell you what is on their mind and that will provide an opening to further discussion and possible resolution/acceptance.
A word of warning: Most patients are not going to think about much of anything once they leave the office. With the immediate urgency gone, they will be off to other things in their mind until they see you again and the urgency rises again. The best time to get the thinking done is right now!
The reality of “I want to think about it” is that the patient is telling you that there is nothing he or she has found in the treatment proposition that is compelling enough to move forward. Either you have done nothing to move him or her emotionally, or there has not been a connection made with what the patient perceives to need and what you have proposed. If you have done the proper “priming” on the front end using your other ToPS (Total Patient Service) skills*, the number of times the “I want to think about it” objection will come up will be minimized. But in the cases when it does come up, now you have the best solution we have found to address the objection.
It’s something for you to think about!
*To learn more about ToPS skills and tips, and acheive better case acceptance results, visit www.TotalPatientService.com/Services to learn more about CE courses and Practice Support Program.