Over the years of practicing you may have heard many different reactions from your patients or clients about your quoted fees for service. While some may have been favourably surprised, it is probable that some were on the negative side, e.g. “Whose vacation am I paying for?” or “Don’t be ridiculous, I would never agree to that!” or (bluntly) “Why do you charge so much?” etc. etc.
To avoid or reduce the number of negative reactions, here are some steps that might help.
1. Prepare the Salesman
Like a triathlon athlete, one has to train to get in shape for the job ahead and be mentally prepared. Our Canadian company spends many hours with our clients training them on all aspects of their presentations so that a higher percentage of their clientele choose optimum care, pay the fee guide or more, and the presenter doesn’t sound like a “salesman.” This is VERY important because you may otherwise turn people off. Here are some other pointers to help:
2. Don’t Prejudge
Most healthcare professionals do a certain amount of prejudging as to what they think a person will “go for” treatment-wise. You can probably recall a few times when you presented a treatment and didn’t think the person would go ahead, yet they surprised you and did. Therefore the rule is: Always present Ideal Care and see where it goes.
3. Be Comfortable With Your Fees
You are a highly trained professional and your expertise is valuable. Your fee guides have been carefully researched to establish fair dollar values for your services which will also allow you to earn a comfortable income if you stick to them. Ask yourself: Do I really care about my patients? Do I use high quality materials and equipment? Do I provide excellent quality treatment? Do I provide good follow-up service and care? Are the services I produce worth my fee?
If the answers are “yes” to the above, then charge at least as much as the fee guide recommends. If any of the answers were “no”, work out how to bring it up to standard.
4. Be Positive
After you have completed a full examination of the patient, make your diagnosis. Present to the patient from this viewpoint: If you were the patient or client, what would YOU want, treatment-wise? This viewpoint should help you maintain your personal and professional integrity. You want what’s best for your patient, so tell them what they NEED. Always present the best first. You can always present the second best option afterwards if they have totally rejected the first.
5. State Your Fee
When you get to the point of telling the person your fees, just state the fee in a matter-of-fact way. Don’t start off by saying, “I know it’s expensive, but …”
Many professionals back off from mentioning their fees and delegate it to someone else, and in that case, the other person needs to follow this protocol. However, you must realize in that case that you do not have the person “closed” on going ahead with the treatment plan you presented because they can’t seriously say “yes” until they know the fee they are agreeing to.
6. What are the Consequences
If there is not immediate agreement from the patient or client, you could go into discussing the consequences of NOT getting the work done. While you may be fully aware of the consequences, the person is probably not as they are not trained in your profession and don’t know the possible outcomes. You are not trying to scare them at all (that would be VERY wrong), but just let them know the other side of the coin from going ahead. This often helps them to make a positive decision.
Your care and service are a very necessary and valuable commodity. As patients or clients, we are in your hands as to whether we go ahead with the treatment you are proposing or not, and we need your help to get through the barriers we put up and onto the service you provide. Take care of us!
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