Listen as our hosts share you with you their secret to knowing when to say “no” to patients, which is guaranteed to bring you increased financial success and a happier life.
The show notes go even deeper and are located here:
We spend so much effort getting patients through our doors. Right?! The more patients, the better. That’s why it seems almost counterintuitive to talk about turning patients away.
But we should not treat certain “difficult” patients. Did you know that studies show that most difficult patients end up as unhappy patients? In fact, studies even show that we, as providers, make more errors when we’re dealing with difficult patients.
If you’ve ever had to deal with an unhappy patient you know what we’re talking about. It ruins your day and in most cases, it costs you too.
How do we identify these difficult patients and determine their degree of difficulty?
How do we decide who we treat and who we send packing?
And finally, how do we say NO when we need to?
We’ll answer all of those questions for you in this episode as we show you how to use the study of human behavior in your decisions ‘to treat’ or ‘not to treat’ and how doing so will lead to more success and a happier life.
Behavioral characteristics that may be clues to a problem patient; and then we’ll
Take a deep dive into several personality types you may or may not want to treat.
Followed, of course, by how to say NO when you decide it’s best for your practice.
First, let’s look at some Behavioral Characteristics that may indicate potential problems.
When the patient is critical of care provided by other providers
When the patient already “knows-it-all”
When the patient has a history of moving around from provider to provider
When the patient tells you she’s had other treatments that “didn’t work”
These are all certainly warning signs and pretty big red flags, but in our opinion, none of these characteristics alone should completely eliminate a person as a potential patient. What you should do is take a closer examination, using effective communication techniques to elicit more information.
Let’s move on to Personality Types.
We’ve divided potential problem personality types into two categories. Category I & II. The personality types that fall into Category I call for close evaluation while Category II personality types should have a presumption of “do not treat.”
Personality Type Category I – Evaluate Carefully
Pay special attention to these patients. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of treating, then make your decision to treat or not to treat.
We touched on these types already
These patients choose providers based solely on price, not value or quality
They follow the “deals” and have no loyalty
Caution: Be careful not to put this label on a patient who is on a budget and wanting to get a good value
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
We don’t see much in body contouring
Be alert if there is no fat to reduce or curves to enhance and do not treat
If fat is present, okay to consider treatment
High Anxiety or Ultra Nervous and Insecure
These patients require an excessive amount of reassurance and explanations
Can really drain your time and your team’s time
Best to make a “special” plan for this patient, i.e. more follow up appointments, etc.
Their status as a VIP can be imagined
Prone to expect special treatment due to their status
They talk about all the friends and fans they’ll send to you if they “get good results”
Now let’s look at those personality types that have a presumption of “do not treat.”
Personality Type Category II – Lean toward saying NO to these patients
Patients with Unrealistic Expectations
May be difficult to detect
May be clear from the patient
Either way, you must make a determination on every patient
You may not discover the problem until after you’ve treated
These patients will most likely be dissatisfied with results
Negative or Angry Patients
Displays a negative mental outlook
May not be able to satisfy this patient due to the negative outlook
If you choose to treat, this patient will require special handling
Hagglers or Negotiators
Want or demand a “deal”
Compare competitor pricing
May proclaim dissatisfaction with results to get some kind of freebie
So it happens. You identify a patient you do not want to treat. How do you say no?
HOW TO SAY NO
This way. You use the same process to say NO to any patient, regardless of the personality type, behavior or reason.
Never place blame on the patient
Accept the blame for yourself. Say something like, “I just don’t think we’d be able to make you happy.”
Action Step: Will you have an ironclad rule for who not to treat or a process to make that determination? Consider which behaviors and personality types on which your practice will place extra scrutiny and/or those you will say NO to. Develop your process for evaluating these patients and make sure to delegate the responsibility for making decisions to treat or not to treat.
What if you developed a great process and followed it to the tee, but you failed to detect a potential problem. How do you resolve that patient’s complaints?
Stay tuned because we’re diving in and answering that question in our next episode.
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Bye for now from Shannon and Kay at the Body Contouring Academy’s Proven Profits Podcast.