“This is going to be a rough flight,” my wife said as we took our seats on a recent trip to Tampa. She was nodding across the aisle where a grandmother was placing seat belts on her terrible two-ish grandchildren. The two little boys looked back across at me, and for a second I thought they were winking at each other..making their evil plan.
Visions of Chuckie.
Just then the grandmother got everyone’s attention by announcing…”Let me apologize in advance, this is my grandchildren’s first flight to Florida. I don’t know what to expect, so here is a little goodie bag as a token of my appreciation.”
She then handed out plastic bags filled with snacks, puzzles and ear plugs. Everyone was disarmed and we all started to smile…what a change in the atmosphere.
The pilot announced that we would be taking off momentarily by warning us that there would be some turbulence. I began to think that he and the grandmom had a morning huddle to practice what great salesmen call, “state the objection.”
That is a technique that prepares the “buyer” for the worst by raising the objections even before the buyer brings it up.
As an example, let’s say that the buyer is worried about price. The salesman will bring up price in order to get that objection out on the table. So many times the objection becomes the elephant in the room and so much time is spent worried about it without ever discussing the money.
How many times during a consultation does the dentist not discuss the primary objection…just sweeping it under the rug as if it doesn’t exist?
Well, stating the objection could go a long way to improving case presentations.
And it’s not only about money. Fear is another major objection to dental treatment.
I have a patient who always reminds me to check in with her to let her know how far into treatment we are…as if we were on a plane going from New York to Los Angeles. It calms her down if she knows how much longer the trip will be….sort of like the pilot telling us to expect turbulence.
Well…back to my trip to Tampa…I am happy to report that there was no incidence of turbulence or screaming kids.
Just like most dental treatment, it all goes well.
On my way off of the plane I approached the grandmom and told her that her gesture reminded me of one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes:
Ninety-Eight percent of the things I worried about never happened.
I guess the lesson for dentists is to get those objections out of the way—bring them up—talk about them…because they really matter, and you’ll be surprised how easy the trip will be.