How to Deal with Price Shoppers

How to Deal with Price Shoppers

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Over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing how to convert new patients on the telephone. (if you’d like to catch up, read this:  Today, let’s continue along those same lines and talk about how to deal with price shoppers when they call your practice.

The most common advice from professionals is “Don’t ever quote prices over the telephone”.  While I agree with the premise of this statement, my philosophy about price shoppers is a bit different.  I say, “Don’t ever quote prices over the telephone before providing value.” 

What are Price Shoppers?

A price shopper is a potential new patient.  They are still going to choose a dentist based on an emotional feeling, not logic.  There are many reasons someone may be asking about price:  they are on a strict budget, a friend mentioned that he paid “way too much for his crown”, or they just don’t know what else to ask for and they price shop every major decision in their life.  Whatever the reason, treat them as you would any potential new patient.  Develop a connection to elicit trust and safety. 

How do we do this?  The first step is to listen to the price shoppers.  If they say, “I went to a dentist about a year ago and they told me I need a crown.  I didn’t do it because it was so expensive and the tooth stopped hurting.  Now it hurts again and I would like to know how much your crowns cost?”  You say, “I understand and I’m really sorry that you are in pain.  We can definitely take care of you this afternoon.  However, you asked about cost so let’s talk about that first.  May I ask a few questions?”  Now, you’ve empathized and shown that you listened and respect him/her enough to be direct and recognize they asked about cost.  Continue by asking three questions such as: “How long have you been in pain?”, “Have you had any dental work done on this tooth in the past?”, etc…  The point of these questions is to build a connection.  It gives you the opportunity to elicit trust with the caller. 

Once you the connection is built you can say, “Based on what I’ve heard you say, I would recommend that you come in this afternoon and allow Dr. Field to take a look at that tooth. We can schedule you for a limited exam.  This will include an x-ray of that tooth and Dr. Field’s exam and diagnosis.  From there, we will be able to put together an exact price for what it would take to fix the tooth and introduce you to several financing options available in our office.  The cost for the x-ray and exam is $89; however, it will go towards your treatment should you decide to allow us to help you today. We have a 1:00 or 3:00, which works best with you?”  If the caller still insists on knowing the exact cost of a crown, give him/her a range.  Say, “There are several factors that go into pricing out a crown.  Honestly, it could range anywhere from $800 to $1700.” 

At this point you’ve been able to make a connection and let the caller know that you care about his/her pain and listened to their questions.  Chances are that you aren’t the cheapest in town but you are definitely the most caring, patient-centered practice in town.

To learn more about how to deal with price shoppers or would like learn more about how our training can help your practice, contact us today at or 214-755-0955

About the Author…

Tracy Civick is a nationally recognized speaker, coach, and author who focuses on motivating dental front office teams to grow practice revenue and get a better handle on the daily dental practice front office tasks.  Her memberships include The Academy of Dental Management Consultants and AADOM, Academy of Dental Office Managers.

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