Ashley Latter, one of the most sought-after speakers and coaches on the UK dental scene, shares the reasons behind why his hairdresser visited six dental practices…
Yesterday, I was having my haircut and I noticed my hairdresser wore some invisible braces. She was having her teeth straightened. As I work in the dental industry, I was obviously interested to learn why she was having this treatment and I got into a long, detailed conversation with her.
A little bit of background: my hairdresser is 28, had never been happy with her top teeth and has been thinking about having this treatment done for a while. It was only because she noticed that a few of her own clients were having the treatment – in other words, it was becoming more fashionable – that she decided to have the treatment.
However, what surprised me (although after 18 years of coaching dentists I should not have been surprised!) was that she went to six different dentists before she chose the final dentist. When I asked why, she went into all the reasons why she never took up treatment in the practices that she visited.
Here are some of the reasons:
- Three of them tried to sell her veneers; she definitely did not want this solution
- Two of them built very little rapport with her; she felt like a number
- They talked too technical; she did not understand some of the terminology
- On most occasions, she was told to go away and think about their solutions which, as I have already stated, were not what she wanted in the first place
Only the last dentist took his time, listened to what she was looking for and gave her exactly what she wanted. He also told her that he could fit her in more or less straight away and he was also very enthusiastic and excited about the results he could achieve for her.
Communication skills account for over 85% of a dentist’s success in a consultation. You can have brilliant technical skills and have all the kit, but if you keep making these communication mistakes then you will never deliver the dentistry that your patients WANT and that you love to do.
Now that would be a real shame, wouldn’t it?
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