Lesson #6: CORE Lesson # 6 – Locking Down the Commitment
About This Lesson
Instructions coming soon..
- Get comfortable asking “Would there be ANY reason why you would change your mind about making the decision?” Want to test commitment level here even if they said this is something they would like to do.
Hey, what's up everybody? This is Dr. Steve Schluentz. I want to welcome you back to another video. Today, what we're going to do is continue on talking about the commitment stage, module number seven of this program, and now we're talking about a concept that, to me, is very, very important, not talked about in dentistry. I really want you thinking about this because this is one of the things that separates dentists that are hoping that people move forward with therapy, and dentists that are going forward with therapy, and that is locking down the commitment. Now, I know that this is something where when dentists talk about these concepts, they say, “I present plans to my patients and if they want to move forward, and they can move forward.”
Listen, that's the attitude you have to have when you are thinking about letting patients choose health and wellness, and they're making some fundamental choices about who they want to be, where they want to go. But I truly believe that locking down a commitment is one of the things that you, as a dentist, are morally obligated to do. If they're ready to move forward, you need to be there to support them. To me, it's your moral obligation that if you truly believe in what it is you're doing and you're helping your patients, if they are on the fence or they might back off, what our tendency is when we hit a big decision is to want to back off. You, as a dentist, need to have some skills to be able to get them over the line. Because truly, you can't help them until they make a financial commitment to be healthy. You really can't.
I mean, you can talk to them about being healthy. You can say, “You know, you want to do this, you want to do that. You want to do this, you want to do that.” But until money is exchanged and that patient is getting treatment from you, you really haven't helped them at the highest level. Now, you can help them from the preventative side of things. You can teach them how to go ahead and do XY and Z, and brush this way and floss this way. Yes, you can help them and you can help them change diets, things like that. But let's say you're a major restorative dentist and you're doing a full mouth rehabilitation. Until that patient pays you, and until they're getting treatment from you, you're not able to help them at the highest level if they came in for a full mouth rehabilitation.
So locking down the commitment is vital and this step truly separates, in my opinion, the professional from the amateur. This is where you're no longer hoping and wishing that the patient moves forward, but instead, locking down the commitment. Okay? A great example of this is when you're getting somebody to fully commit, if you know the spouse of the decision maker, it would be best to have that spouse available during the time when you propose treatment. This is one of the most common problems that I see in my own practice and a lot of dentists that I work with struggle with.
Listen, if you know the spouse is going to be an integral part of the decision, you've got to get the spouse in the room, especially when treatment is presented because this is what's going to happen. If the person that you're talking to is going to talk to their spouse, and most do. I mean, this is a legitimate thing here, this isn't some smokescreen. Somebody is going to be investing $30,000 in their health, they're probably going to talk to their spouse about it. I want that spouse in the room while I'm presenting because I want what I'm talking about to be heard by the spouse. I don't want to play down the line game where I talk to wife, or I talked to husband, then husband goes and talks to wife, and they get convoluted in terms of what I actually talked about or what I said. All of a sudden, I think we're going to move forward and then they say, “Yeah, you know what? My husband thinks this is ridiculous. I'm not moving forward.” That's not what you want. You want to be able to control the discussion you also have with husband or wife, if the spouse is the one going through the therapy. Okay?
But here's the thing that I would recommend you guys really get comfortable saying. You will get this all the time, so patients say, “Yeah, I'm ready to go. I'm ready to go.” Now, they might actually be ready to go, or they might be saying that to try to appease you. But the second they come home, this is something that I talk a lot to my personal clients and clients that I take through my mindset work, is the second they go back home, or the second they start to think about the decision they're about to make, they're going to get a little bit of buyer's remorse in that that is hitting a paradigm, that's hitting a wall. It's called the terror barrier where basically, they go, “Holy smokes, what am I doing? Why am I doing this?” Right?
Now, you know that it's probably in their best interest to move forward. And I've had patients that I didn't think it was in their best interest to move forward. I said, “Listen, I would love to do this for you. This is just not going to be a fit. I don't want you to sell everything under the sun for you to get this done.” Right? But I've also had people that hit this imaginary terror barrier and I have to help them get past that point. So if they say, “Yes, I'm committed. I'm ready, let's do this,” and I know the second they walk out, if they didn't make a financial commitment, they're going to be probably calling a week later and saying, “Oh, you know what? I don't know. Something came up.”
How many times has this happened, guys? Something comes up and all of a sudden, my roof got a hole in it. My car has problems, I'm going to have to pay for that. The longer it goes between the second they make a decision and the second they put a down payment up, something will happen. So you got to start getting really comfortable with, “Would there be any reason you would change your mind about this decision?” Okay, great. We're going to go through this, it's a commitment, I understand that. Would there be any reason why you would call me back one week from now and say, “Hey, you know what doc? I just can't move forward with this.” Any reason. And then shut up. Let them say something, right?
So would there be any reason you would change your mind about this decision if they said they're going to move forward? Just ask them. It locks them down. They've now made a verbal commitment to you. “No, there'd be no reason why I would do that.” Is this foolproof? No, but it does help tremendously because now, they feel like, hey, that's my word. Right? So I am sure you've had countless times where someone has committed but backed out last minute. There's nothing worse than that. There's nothing worse than that. You think you have a deal, you think you are going to go forward and really help this patient at the highest level in terms of their health, and they say, “I just can't do it. I just can't do it.”
We're going to try to eliminate that as much as possible with the simple phrase, “Would there be any reason you would change your mind about this decision?” Okay, so you got to get comfortable asking that question. Would there be any reason why you would change your mind about making this decision? Just keep saying that over and over to yourself. Would there be any reason why you would change your mind about making this decision? Would there be any reason why you would change your mind about making this decision? And you want to test the level of commitment here. Even if they said there's something that they would like to do, you're really testing their commitment. You're really getting them to verbally and mentally, and probably emotionally, commit to this decision. No, I'm ready to go. Awesome.
At that point, I'm going to be talking about the next thing, getting financial arrangements in place. If they said, “Nope, there's no reason,” well then, let's move forward. Let's figure out how to make the money work so we can get started on this. Okay? You need to be able to lock them down when they're ready to go. Now, some dentists misinterpret what I'm talking about. They go, “Well, you're pushing them.” No, I'm not pushing them. I am helping them make a good decision for themselves. Now, if I was pushing treatment that I didn't believe they needed, then I would be manipulating them. But if I'm completely sold on what it is I'm doing, this is a question I have to ask because I need to make sure. I see this patient really needs it, they really want it, I want to give it to them. Let's lock this down. Let's get this done. Let's move forward. Let's start to talk about the money and get the money out of the way so we can really help this patient get as healthy as they wanted to be.