I’ve noticed in my practice that people don’t always ask the right questions, or even ask a question at all.
People who are curious have lots of questions. Why? Why does it work this way? I wonder why they made it this way? Could it be made in a better way?
To engage someone in a conversation, especially a stranger, ask a question about them, which cannot be answered with, “Yes,” or, “No.” An open-ended question usually will lead to the most interesting answers and more questioning. “You appear to be really busy. What exactly are you doing?”
We think we need to know something to become acquainted with people we do not know, but what you have to ask will engage anyone into making them feel good about themselves and what they are wanting and willing to accomplish.
A question is by far more superior to the answer. In our sales conversations, asking a question is the key to patients discovering their own dreams and desires. We are trying to figure out what is important to the patient, so we ask questions.
If you think you know the answer for me without asking, you are wrong. Ask a question that cannot be answered with, “Yes,” or, “No.” Start with, “why do you feel that is important for you?” “What makes you feel that way?”
If you don’t ask your patients questions, you really don’t have a clue what they want or what they want to achieve from the dental appointment. By asking questions, you are gaining insight while developing solutions to help you arrive at the best decision for the patient.
A good question provokes, stimulates, inspires, and informs. Questions help you learn and can change the way you first perceived the task at hand.
When you ask your patients a question you can gain insight into what they expect from you, your team and your dental practice. When asking a direct question you are more likely to discover more about your patient, who they are and why they are sitting in your chair. Bite your tongue if you feel a yes or no question coming up and ask your patient why they are at your practice. Ask them what dental procedures they think would be best for their smile and what they hope to achieve with a new grin.
Often, patients feel unqualified or even rude when they ask a doctor a question.
Asking questions can help your patient ask questions. Not everyone has the courage to ask the doctor. When you open up with questions, you are helping the patient become more comfortable allowing he or she to ask you about the treatment, and what to expect.
You do not need to be a factual expert to be a conversationalist. Just ask questions. Be curious about people and the world. “Why, what, how?” People accuse me of never knowing a stranger. If you have a curiosity about the world, you can engage anyone in a conversation about themselves. The minute you start to speak of yourself, your activities, you have lost the conversation. Questions are about them.
“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question, remains a fool forever.” This old Chinese proverb remains true today, especially when it comes to your dental practice. You learn by asking questions, it really is that simple.
If you would like more information regarding dental practice management or dental coaching, Blatchford Solutions can help with tried and true dental practice management tools that will help you run a successful practice.