Like I said this is another question I frequently get asked on my courses.
Firstly, if a patient says that to you, how does it make you feel? Often clients tell me they get offended, or defensive. The first thing you need to do is to show empathy and not get defensive. You must walk in their shoes here.
You may think to yourself ‘well why aren’t you in Turkey getting the treatment?”
Now you can think this, but please don’t say it to the patient. The bottom line is that most patients probably don’t want to go to Turkey, but they just want re-assurance that they should stay and have the treatment in the UK.
What can we say to the patient, so it gives them more confidence.
Here is a list of what you could say and these might help you if you get the same question asked. For this example, let’s say it is Implant Treatment that they are considering.
1. If something goes wrong
You must explain that this is medical treatment and that sometimes treatment can go wrong, you need to say that if this is the case, then they might have to go back to Turkey to have further treatment. You might mention, if this is true, that you have first-hand witnessed work that has failed in Turkey and that it is difficult to fix the issue.
This is a good time to mention that dentists in the UK are regulated, mention the GDC, CQC etc and that dentists might not have the same regulation in Turkey.
3. The Implant system itself (materials)
The materials that you use can often be a difference. For example, I am not sure of the number of different Implant systems there are out there, some one once told me there are over 500. This Practice uses a brand that was consistently in the top 5 for quality and longevity, this is a difference. You might mention here that for the fees that dentists are charging in Turkey they might not be a top brand.
4. Re-assure the patient with your aftercare policy
Here you simply explain to the patient that if anything does go wrong, you are here for them, that you will put it right. Possibly mention that you will give them your business card, or the card of your nurse/TCO. This is a big factor
5. The qualifications of the dentist
The qualifications of a dentist can be a big factor. The dentist who asked me the question had extra qualifications. He also took referrals from other dentists, from other Practices which meant that he was very highly regarded in the area and amongst his colleagues and ran study clubs. You can also mention the number of implants that the Practice/dentist has placed. This is a massive factor.
6. The number of procedures
Again, this dentist had done over 5000 procedures and had a very high success rate, higher than the average dentist, another significant benefit to the patient.
7. Possible Guarantee
Do you offer a guarantee? This again re-assures the patient.
So, as you can see seven good differences, which will give the patient confidence and re-assurance that they should stay and have the treatment done with you in the UK.
If this is something that you are hearing a lot in your dental practice then it is important that you discuss this with your whole team and have ongoing discussions. They might get asked this question at the reception desk or on new telephone enquiries. It is important they know how to answer them.
Final thoughts on this subject, as I have already stated, a small percentage of patients will always buy on price, but the vast majority don’t, they just want re-assurance that they are doing the right thing staying in the UK, otherwise they would already be in Turkey. So, getting this objection might be a good thing.
Training your team on world class ethical sales skills and customer training has never been more important, especially if the economy does take a dip in the coming months.