As a healthcare professional, you're right to avoid any kind of behavior that would undermine your credibility or call your motivation into question. But if you hesitate to urge patients to accept treatment that you honestly believe is in their best interest, you may be confusing selling with service. Motivating patients to "do the right thing" for the sake of having a healthy smile is NOT selling. It's good dentistry, even though it also results in increased production.
Focus on patient benefits. When you present treatment, the last thing on your mind is the money you'll make. The clinical rationale is probably foremost in your thinking. Translating that professional opinion into terms patients will appreciate -- i.e., patient benefits -- does not constitute selling. Motivation, yes. But you're not crossing the ethical line by persuading patients to accept your professional advice. You're providing a valuable service.
Don't presume to know what patients will want. Even dental services that are want-based rather than need-based can be presented enthusiastically without lapsing into what you might think of as "selling." It's important for patients to be aware of cosmetic and other options your practice can provide -- and how they'll benefit from them. There's nothing wrong with giving them the information needed to make a decision.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.
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