The Myth of “My Patients Have No Money”
Here is an important thing to understand about your patients who say they “just don’t have the money” for the dental work they need…
Most of your patients really do have enough money to cover their dental health needs. They just choose to spend it on other things.
We have to recognize that our patients have money and are choosing what to spend it on. Think about these scenarios:
- How much is a Venti Frappuccino at Starbucks? $5 or $6, maybe up $7 if you add in additional flavorings and extra toppings? Did you know that you can get a similar drink at Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds for under $2? If your patients truly did not have money, would they be spending $7 for a coffee that they can get across the street at 1/3 of the price?
- Have you seen how busy it is at the Apple Store? What they sell is iPods, iPhones, iPads, iPad minis… they sell the same products within 6 inches of each other and people stand in line when the new one comes out. In fact, have you noticed at the Apple store that they don’t have cash registers anymore? Apple figured out that they had to learn how to sell faster. They determined that if people saw they had to stand in a long line to buy something, they would put the product back on the shelf. That is why, at the Apple store now, you can just go up to one of their employees and wave a credit card in front of one of their machines and walk out with your new purchase. Apple realized that they were losing sales because they were not selling fast enough…. How many of your patients do you think have Apple devices, probably multiple Apple products in their home?
Please don’t think your patients don’t have the money for dental work. Yes, there are a few that truly don’t, but the majority of your patients do have money to do their dentistry. They are walking into your office with their new iPhone 7s, the keys to their new car, and their $7 coffee. When you tell these patients that they need dentistry and it is going to cost a certain amount of money, their default response is “But doctor, I don’t have that kind of money.”
Well, think about what you would choose yourself. Which would you rather spend money on, a new iPhone or a new crown? I would pick a new iPhone any day. We have to recognize that our patients have money and are choosing what to spend it on, which is usually something that they want (a new iPhone), not something they need (dental work). It is important to recognize that when patients say they don’t have money, there is a good chance that they actually do. You just have to be a little bit more persistent to help them see the long-term benefits of spending the money on their own dental health… instead of spending it on short-term wants, like yet another expensive coffee drink.
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