Smashing sales

barrierPrice objections from patients can be hard for any practice to overcome. Here, Ashley Latter explains how you can break through sales barriers

Have you ever received a price objection from one of your patients? It will usually occur when the person presenting the treatment has failed to sell it well enough and not communicated the benefits or its true value.
My definition of an objection is a barrier to a sale, as a result of a failure to give it a more positive slant. The objection is, in effect, a request for more information.
A typical objection from a patient might be about the price of your treatment. They may say something like: ‘That’s a lot of money, why does it cost that much?’
When you hear a statement like this, many dentists feel that the patient does not want to proceed. However, as I have stated before, it is a request for more information. Without overcoming a price objection, a sale will not proceed.
In this article I will explain the best ways in which to discuss the price of your treatment with patients. I will make you feel much more comfortable about talking money and how you can prevent price objections from happening with greater self-confidence.

Get comfy

It does seem that when it comes to money, dentists and their teams are distinctly uncomfortable. In some extreme cases, there appears to be a reluctance to even quote the fees to their patients.
A simple tip that could assist you when you’re discussing an extensive treatment plan in the future is to use the word ‘investment’ rather than ‘cost’.
The definition of the word cost is ‘an amount that has to be paid or spent to buy or obtain something.’
By contrast, the definition of the word investment is ‘something that is worth buying, because it may be profitable or useful in the future.’ There is a significant difference in these two terms. One implies money leaving your pocket for good, while the other suggests a return on it in the future. I would, therefore, encourage you to use the word ‘investment’ rather than ‘cost’ wherever possible.  From past experience, I know there is sometimes a reluctance to try this, as it feels unnatural to do so but I assure you that in time it will soon become second nature and feel like a much more appropriate word to use.

Value for money

Now that you are using the word investment, it’s time to discuss what’s included in that price. Many patients won’t know exactly what’s involved and it is essential to make them aware of what they’re actually getting for their money.
Let’s look at a quick example. Often when a patient is considering a crown, they have an assumption that it will simply come out of a nearby drawer and be slotted straight into their mouth. Consequently, the price tag can seem excessive. However, if you clarify the details of their investment, they will have a greater understanding of how much work is actually involved. Let them know about the temporary crown and the bespoke nature of the one that is to be fitted. Explain how a skilled dental technician will be making it specifically for the unique shape of the patient’s mouth and the tooth it is set to replace. Now would also be a good time to mention any 12-month guarantees that back up the product.  Think of the difference this detail would make.

New phrase book

There are some useful words and phrases that will help you discuss price, including manufactured, bespoke, hand-crafted, and skilled technicians – all of which will give the patient a feeling of how much work is being done specifically on their behalf. You might even want to suggest that they can go to the technician’s laboratory if they so choose, where they can have a shade analysis, to match the colour of the crown exactly with the other teeth.
I highly recommend this, as many dental technicians enjoy this kind of interest in their work. Patients who’ve done this have found it very interesting too, as they seldom see what goes on behind the scenes. It creates a new experience for them and, of course, they can see the significant value and work that goes into their treatment. It also serves as another insight as to why the price is set much higher than a simple filling.

Make it count

It is imperative that you don’t take anything for granted when communicating treatments to patients and the fees that you charge. Remember, most patients are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes, and even though you are presenting this information several times a day, for that particular patient it is the first time.


Ashley Latter is renowned for helping dentists and their teams improve their communication and ethical sales skills. In addition to his training courses, Ashley has authored two books: Don’t Wait for the Tooth Fairy and You are worth it – feel comfortable communicating your fees & achieve the income your services deserve.

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