How to Answer “The Big Question” Prospective Patients Ask
“What is your fee for ____?” This is one of the toughest questions to deal with over the phone. Some people are asking because they are simply price shopping. To them, one dentist is pretty much the same as any other, so in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the lowest bid wins. (This is another reason why invitations that set you up with the right value are so important.)
Some others are asking because they know they have a specific need and they are simply preparing themselves to know what they’re in for, financially.
Either way, I have found that practices deal with this request in one of two ways. They either go ahead and quote the basic fee (with the disclaimer that the price is open to change depending on what the dentist finds during the exam), or they advise callers that the doctor must see them first before making any determination on fees.
But language skills are important here. If you just say something like “we never quote fees over the phone” you are inviting a lot of people to just hang up and try somewhere else.
Here are some samples of how to have your front desk people approach the question. It’s based on language some of the best dentists have their people use, and it’s worth internalizing and adapting for your practice if your policy is to examine first and talk fees later:
“I can’t tell without having the doctor examine you because there are many factors that may affect the treatment and therefore can affect the fee.”
“I can tell you that if you are looking for the absolute lowest fee, there are other practices that may charge less for some procedures.”
“However, I can tell you our doctor is very thorough. After you have been examined, we will tell you the exact fees for all your treatment options so you can decide.”
“So if you’re looking for excellent results, I think you will be very happy with our practice. We will take care of you the right way.”