Practitioners should understand the value of what they do and get patients to understand it as well. Practitioners who are confident that what they do is valuable truly believe their case presentations are not designed to “sell,” but to solve problems, change lives, and improve the patient’s quality of life. Clinicians should consider the positives that go into and come out of treatment, and should start framing their treatment plans to patients that way.
2. Customize the Presentation
Dentists need to be aware that “just talking”—or providing a verbal download of data—may be ineffective. Everyone receives and responds to information in different ways. Dentists typically like to talk about all the facts, because they themselves like to receive all the facts. But the truth is, most patients are not like their dentists in that way. Therefore, it is important to understand the concept of modifying the presentation to the individual patient.
Most dentists give the same case presentation, regardless of the circumstances, individual patient, the signs and symptoms, the context, and other factors. In general, case presentations tend to be far too information-laden. Providing all the details can sound like clinical jibber jabber to many patients and may be confusing. Results are what patients really want and are willing to buy. For this reason, dentists should tailor their words for each individual patient.
3. Follow the 4-Minute Rule
To effectively communicate with anyone, anywhere, dentists should be aware of the 4-minute rule. To use this technique, talk with patients for 4 minutes to begin to get a sense of what each patient is like. Use open-ended questions and statements such as, “Tell me about yourself. Tell me about where you live/work, what your family is like.” By talking with patients this way for those 4 minutes, dentists are being attentive and taking mental notes, allowing them to form a picture of the patient. A thriving practice built by dentists who cater to their patients’ needs and desires improves the quality of life of everyone—practitioners, their staff, and their patients. Providing all the details can sound like clinical jibber-jabber to many patients and may be confusing. Results are what patients really want and are willing to buy. For this reason, dentists should tailor their words for each individual patient.