Visit our website at www.mckenziemgmt.com
11.18.05 Issue #193  
   
Listen Your Way to Higher Case Acceptance


Dr. Nancy Haller
Executive Coach
McKenzie Management
coach@ mckenziemgmt.com

Printer Friendly Version

How do you react when patients object to treatment recommendations?

It’s tempting to assume they need convincing, then ‘talk up’ the hi-tech ‘proof’. Or try to motivate them with warnings about how bad things will get if they don’t follow through with their dental plan. But until you really listen, you won’t understand their objections, or how to gain compliance.

Listening enables you to find out about your patients’ reality…what’s important to them, what motivates them, what issues prevent them from moving forward. Once you understand that, you are in a better position to educate, clarify, and gain trust with your patients. In turn, they are more likely to choose to have more dentistry done with you. Even as a psychologist with 25 years of practice, I am still amazed by the power of listening to change and influence decisions. Yet listening is the hardest thing for a human to do.

  1. Listening is more than just being quiet. To listen means putting aside your own endless internal monologue. Suspending your own opinions and constant critiques. Unlike ‘hearing’, ‘listening’ requires full attention to imagine the person’s point of view. Help yourself to be more focused by reducing environmental distractions. Turn off your cell phone. Eliminate interruptions as much as possible. Talk in a quiet area or room. And as you schedule patients, build in time so you won’t feel rushed and impatient to listen.
  1. Refrain from interrupting. Let the other person finish speaking before asserting your own view. Even if you think you know the issue, curb your tendency to interrupt. If this is a problem for you, pay attention to when interruptions occur most often. Notice whether there is a pattern and identify what you will do to improve your patience.
  1. Look interested. You can say a lot without words. Show attentiveness. Maintain eye contact without staring. Relax your face and jaw, drop your shoulders. Let the patient know you follow their thinking with an occasional nod. Smile when appropriate. Sit (rather than stand) at the same height as the patient. Lean forward slightly.
  1. Listen for main thoughts. Effective listening goes beyond the words and facts the speaker communicates, especially if there are emotions involved. Create rapport by using reflective statements such as, ‘I can tell you’re worried’ or ‘This feels overwhelming to you’.
  1. Encourage the patient to keep talking. Before you respond to objections, make sure your understanding is accurate. Ask open-ended, clarifying questions. Paraphrase or summarize the main points then ask for verification. 

Listening to patients lets them know you care. It builds trust and strengthens your relationship. Set a goal to listen twice as much as you talk. Then keep track of the amount of treatment recommended and compare it to the amount of treatment accepted. I guarantee that you will listen your way to higher case acceptance.

Dr. Haller can be reached at coach@mckenziemgmt.com.  Dr. Haller provides Executive Coaching for McKenzie Management and conducts one-on-one leadership training.

Forward this article to a friend .

 
McKenzie Management's Seminar Schedule
2005 Location Sponsor Information Topic Speaker
Nov. 18-19 Griffin, GA Endo Magic Root Camp 877-478-9748 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Dec. 1 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Dental Society 513-984-3443 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Jan. 26-28 Dallas, TX Dallas County Dental Society* 877-777-6151 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Feb. 9-10 Santa Barbara, CA The Art of Endodontics 800-528-1590 Max. Prod. Sally McKenzie
Mar. 9 Vancouver, BC Pacific Dental Conference 604-736-3781 Overhead Sally McKenzie
Mar. 16-17 Santa Barbara, CA The Art of Endodontics 800-528-1590 Max. Prod. Sally McKenzie
* The McKenzie Company will be exhibiting at this location
 

McKenzie Management
A Division of The McKenzie Company, Inc.

3252 Holiday Court, Suite 110

La Jolla, CA 92037

For more information, email info@mckenziemgmt.com
or call 1-877-777-6151


The McKenzie Company Newsletter Information:
To unsubscribe:
To discontinue receiving the Sally McKenzie eManagment newsletter,
click on the link at the very bottom of this page for instant removal,
To report technical problems with this newsletter or to request technical help,
please send a descriptive email to: webmaster@mckenziemgmt.com
To request services, products or general inquires about The McKenzie Company activities
please send a descriptive email to: info@mckenziemgmt.com
If you would like to have any of your dental practice concerns answered personally by Sally McKenzie,
please send a descriptive email to her at: sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
Copyrights 1980-Present The McKenzie Company - All Rights Reserved.