Affordability is a Mindset
It’s easy to say that the national economy is suffering and that people simply aren’t able to accept as much dental care as they used to. That’s true in some cases, but let’s also remember that in any economy there are a good number of people who are thriving and have money to spend—just look at the number of people who list gambling as their favorite form of entertainment.
Yet these same people turn down dental care because they “can’t afford it,” or because they have come to believe that insurance should cover everything. Nobody plans for dental care in his or her budget, and case acceptance will always depend to some degree on affordability. But when it comes to what we truly value in life, affordability is a mindset.
Think of the patients who have come in and asked for a particular procedure. I’m not talking about emergency patients but rather patients who have been inspired by a smile they have seen on a movie star, or a procedure they saw on a makeover show, or in a magazine. These patients don’t need convincing, they’re motivated and mind-ready.
Your goal with every patient is to create this kind of energy for all the treatment you present. Start by having a frank discussion about the lifelong value of the mouth. Make them see that if they’ll spend 25 years paying for a house, or five years paying for a car, certainly their personal health is worth the same kind of commitment.
This is a case you should be able to make from the heart with genuine passion. After all, this is the foundation of what you truly believe. And if you do it with sincerity, many people will pick up on that passion and become convinced. They will see the undeniable truth behind your words. They will begin to appreciate the value of what you do and what it can mean for them.
Believe me, these breakthroughs do happen. A patient may have come in just expecting a routine hygiene appointment, but just as people can go into the mall to pick up batteries and end up coming out with a widescreen TV, people can be persuaded to do the right thing for their oral health, even if it wasn’t on their economic agenda.
In the end, people will always pay willingly for something they truly value. Your mission is to get them to value dentistry at least as much as they value a trip to Vegas or a new iPhone.