7 Dental Practice Case Acceptance Killers – Hurdles 5, 6 & 7

This is the final article in a 4 part series on failed dental practices.  

Hurdle #5: Value

Key Patient Question: "Is this a fair price for what I'm getting?"

"Wow, that's expensive!" .... Heard that one before?

This is a statement about value. When we look at a price tag, we subconsciously begin tallying up “benefits” against the cost.


This is why Disney World can charge $10 for a hotdog. You aren’t just buying the hotdog, you’re buying the only hotdog available for miles, the picture of Mickey on the wrapper, the atmosphere of the park, and most importantly, the family memories. Disney has created a “reality-distortion field” that mixes up all of your normal “what I get for what I pay” math.

So “wow, that’s expensive” can be translated to mean “I don’t fully understand the valuable present and future benefits of this procedure yet. Benefits like:

  • How many years you’ll be able to use the restoration

  • How doing treatment now is less expensive than waiting for things to get worse and needing more care later

  • Putting your fee in context with the range of what it could be

  • Reminding them how this will deliver the result they want 

ACTION: What are common signs that patients are having trouble seeing value vs. price? How can you demonstrate high value? 

Hurdle #6: Timing

Key Patient Question: "Why should I act now?"

The need is there, the solution is clear, the price is right... but why should I move ahead now?

If you have issues with cancelled treatment, no-shows, postponed treatment, and reluctance to move forward with big cases, your patients are stuck on this hurdle.

Maybe they don’t have the funds? Make sure you have adequate patient financing options.

Maybe they don’t see the immediate need? Make sure they understand the cost of “not acting”. No decision is a decision.

When all is said and done, people buy with emotion and then justify their decision with logic. In general, the emotions that move us to act can be boiled down to these two:

1. Fear of Pain (suffering, unpleasantness, loss)

2. Desire for Gain (emotional, physical, financial, comfort)

If the sting of pain or the allure of gain isn’t strong enough, we don’t move forward.


Marketing expert Dean Jackson uses the analogy of a mouse with only two goals. Find cheese and avoid cats!

So how will you make the cheese tastier and the cats bigger to inspire some movement? 

ACTION: Why are your patients delaying when it’s time to move forward? What can you do to communicate pains and gains clearly? 

Hurdle #7: Risk & Reassurance

Key Patient Question: "What if something goes wrong or I don't get what I expected?"

Every decision we make has an element of risk. The bigger the cost, the more we require reassurance that we’ll be taken care of if something goes wrong.


Have you ever walked on a tight rope 50 feet in the air?

Would you like to try it?

Here’s the catch: I forgot the safety net below. So if you fall, make sure to grab onto the rope because it’s a long way down, and that ground looks mighty hard from up here...

Your patients need to know,
first of all, what the risks are (if
any), and how they’ll be taken care of if something were to go wrong.

Lack of clarity is your enemy at this last hurdle. Fear of the unknown is enough to stop anyone in their tracks.

Make sure your patient understands what the experience of receiving treatment will be like. Show them if you can.

And make sure they understand how you stand behind your work in case something goes wrong. I’ll cover this in greater detail later, but at Dental Warranty we spend all day every day helping dentists take the way they stand behind their work to the next level. 

ACTION: What are your systems for figuring out what's most important to each patient?  How will you demonstrate that you are the best option to deliver what they need and won?


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