Most dentists hate the idea of selling.
I hear it all the time: “I don’t want to have to sell;” “I didn’t get into this profession to sell;” “I didn’t go to dental school to become some kind of carnival barker.” Believe me, I understand.
But today I’d like to challenge you to put aside the negative connotations you associate with selling. Selling is merely communication with a purpose — and we all do it all the time. We’re selling when we’re convincing our spouse we should go to Scotland instead of Gettysburg for vacation (because we want to try golfing where it was invented). And is there anyone who sells harder than a teenage boy trying to get the car keys? He’s going to wash it, fill the gas tank, run your errands. Sell, sell, sell. And is it not a sell job to convince that same teenager that he needs to go to college instead of taking that construction job? He wants to jump into the workforce, but you know that he needs college if he’s going to realize his dreams. So you sell. Is that a bad thing? Not at all.
The truth is, selling bad things is bad. Selling something good is…well, good. And I think we can all agree that dentistry is a good thing.
I’ve had sales jobs all my life, and the times when I was the least happy — the times when I’ve invariably quit — were when I didn’t believe in what I had to offer. In a dental practice, you don’t have that problem. You have something great to sell.
Now if you just can’t stand the word selling, call it something else. Call it facilitating treatment acceptance. It’s a nice way of saying the same thing — and when you think about it, that’s what you’re really doing. You’re helping a patient who has no understanding of the value of dentistry to accept the treatment that you know is the best care for them.
In fact, what you do so significantly benefits your patients, I’m going to suggest that selling is not just something you need to do to succeed; it’s your professional responsibility.
Think about it: most patients have not been properly educated about the value of dental care. Not in school, not at home, not at work. You have the chance to help them understand how to get to their optimum oral health and make the decision to do so. You can guide them from where they are in their minds (wanting as little dentistry as possible at the cheapest possible price) to accepting your ideal standard of care.
Dentistry involves selling. Plain and simple and unavoidable.There’s nothing wrong or evil or deceptive about it. And at the end of the day, the better you and your team are at selling, the more your practice can grow, and the happier and healthier your patients will be.