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Episode #542: Without Value There is Only Price, with Miranda Beeson

Dentistry is sales that’s done with your ears. You need to listen more, talk less, and still build value. It sounds challenging, but anyone can do it with a few simple steps. To help you get started, Kirk Behrendt brings back Miranda Beeson, one of ACT’s amazing coaches, with advice for creating value with your words and actions. Price isn’t always the problem! To learn the system for communicating value, listen to Episode 542 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain by Dr. Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen:

Beat the Heart Attack Gene by Dr. Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen:

Main Takeaways:

Help your team understand the value of what you do.

Standardize your messaging among your team.

Objections are a gift and an opportunity.

Always apply the “so that” concept.

Utilize the power of the pause.

Listen more and talk less.


“When you take the price off the table and you look at, ‘Did we build the value we needed to build from the phone call, in the back, throughout the whole process?’ then price isn’t really the problem anymore. So, then we can look at, ‘Is there still an objection? And if so, how can we take care of that?’ because it’s not price if we’ve built value.” (3:59—4:16) -Miranda

“Dentistry is sales. Whether we want to call it sales or not, it is sales in its own way. And so, there’s a buying cycle. It starts with that awareness that the patient has at home. And then, that first transition into consideration is when they call us. So, the first opportunity we have to start building value with a patient is when we say hello on the phone. And then, where do we take it from there? So, it’s probably the most important piece of where we start building value. Are we affirming the patient calling us, and are we validating that we’re the right fit, and having a really relational conversation with that patient on the phone versus just your transactional, ‘What’s your insurance? Give me your phone number. When can you come in?’” (5:09—5:51) -Miranda

“It’s all about the way that [value is] shared through the words. You have to be really intentional with that in building that value. We talk all the time about right person, right seat. You have to make sure that the person that’s answering the phone can deliver this level of value to your team. I want someone to walk in the door, and when they walk in, if I’m that person who answered the phone, I want them to feel like they’re greeting a friend. They were looking forward to coming in to seeing me. And if they share with me something on the phone that’s important to them or valuable to them, I need to hear that. I need to bank it. And then, I need to turn that back around and let them know, ‘You have chosen the right place. This is how other patients with similar experiences have benefited here.’ Give them a testimonial. Do that social proofing. Let them know, ‘You’re not the only one, and we’re here for you.’ It is all about the words.” (7:46—8:37) -Miranda

“Money spent on dentistry is one of the best investments a human being can make. I think you’ve got to start there. So, when you’re working the front desk, or you’re working chairside, or you’re working hygiene, or you’re a dentist, you’ve got to believe that what you do is crazy valuable. That’s the first place to start. If you think you’re overcharging people, nobody wants dentistry, then nothing we’re going to say in this podcast is going to help you.” (9:52—10:12) -Kirk

“Another great thing that I think works really well to help team members, especially if they’re new to your team, maybe they worked at another office, or maybe they came from veterinary world or something of that nature, help them to understand the value of what you do. Share patient experiences. Maybe present a case to your team at a team meeting, all the way from how that patient felt, what their confidence level was before they came in, what were they looking to achieve, and then what did they get to through the dentistry. Because the dentistry and the quality of that is incredibly important, but how did you impact that person’s life with that dentistry, their health, their family, their appearance, their confidence, whatever it may have been, because that’s where the value really comes from.” (10:51—11:34) -Miranda

“It’s hard for team members who look at a large treatment case and they say, ‘Gosh, it would be hard for me to approach that treatment case and take care of that investment,’ and they start to relate to the patient, and they start to pass some of that bias on when they’re delivering or talking about the care. But if they can truly see and understand, they’re not in that hopeless place that the patient is in. If they can see that case study, if you can share with them, ‘This is how we’re able to help people here,’ the value is going to build within your team members, and it will exude from them naturally once they fully understand what you’re capable of doing in the office.” (11:35—12:11) -Miranda

“So many patients walk through the door obviously nervous. That’s probably one of the biggest things. People have a fear or nervousness, or they may have a conditioned bias, ‘I know they’re just going to try to sell me X-rays. I know they’re just going to try to sell me that fluoride.’ So, if you can lead with why, and that’s really what “so that” provides you. If your mind is conditioned to lead with “so that” every single time, ‘So that we can see the areas of your mouth that we can’t see just by looking with our eyes to make sure they’re healthy, we’d like to update your radiographs today so that we can protect those exposed root surfaces. And I know you shared with me you have some sensitivity. We’d love to help you with that. We’d like to apply fluoride varnish for you.’ That can apply in any aspect. It can apply with a crown. It can apply with their treatment plan itself, ‘So that we can make sure we don’t have any unexpected surprises throughout this process, I’d like to really look at this plan with you and make sure you understand where your investment is going.’ So, it takes that, and it flips everything around to where the patient’s brain is moving forward with you. And then, you can put out the information versus them objecting as soon as they hear you say, ‘You’re due for X-rays today.’” (12:58—14:05) -Miranda

“You would be in the hygiene chair and working with a patient, and you feel like they’re on board. And then, they leave, and you’d see they didn’t schedule. And then, you’d go talk to your business team coordinator, your treatment coordinator, and they’d say, ‘Oh, they were a little overwhelmed with how much it was. They weren’t ready to invest.’ And you’re like, ‘What? They were so ready in the back.’ So, part of it is developing the value in the back using — co-discovery is a word that gets used a lot in dentistry now, but it’s very helpful.” (15:00—15:25) -Miranda

“The biggest thing is creating the space when you’re in the clinical world for the patient to share with you what they’re thinking and feeling about what you’re seeing, for them to drive that conversation and let you know, are they motivated, do they have questions. I love, as a hygienist, to have a photo up, ‘Oh, I need to get myself ready over here. I’m going to grab some things,’ and you leave it in front of the patient. It’s that large molar with the cracked, old amalgam and all the things going on that you know is really best served with a crown. But they’re going to hear crown, and they’re going to think dollar signs. So, if you could have that image up, allow the space for them to say, ‘Is that my tooth?’ and if you can say, ‘Actually, it is. What are your thoughts on that?’ and then open the door for them to start telling you what they see and how they feel, you’ll be surprised how you can extend that conversation.” (15:29—16:25) -Miranda

“You have to not just share what we need to do next when you get up front, but why. ‘Why does it matter? What’s in it for me?’ is all the patient wants to know. So, it’s just as important to say what we did today, what we’re doing next time, why are we doing that next time, and how is it going to benefit Mrs. Jones.” (16:48—17:07) -Miranda

“I heard one of my mentors say you’re going to sell more dentistry with your ears than your mouth.” (17:13—17:17) -Kirk

“Talk less and listen more. If you’re doing most of the talking during your OHI, during your co-discovery, you’re doing it wrong. It really should be, ask a question, open the space for the patient, and then have them talk as much as possible because they’re going to give you their motivators. They’re going to give you their values. And then, they’ll let you know if they have a desire for this, if they feel like they have a need for this.” (17:51—18:16) -Miranda

“It’s not about us just dumping our agenda and information on our patients. And some of that is time. We get a little crunched in and we kind of revert to that. But it’s more about opening that communication and letting the patient out there know, ‘Yes, I’m with you.’ For us to say you should, you need, you would, some patients will resist even more because, ‘You’re not going to tell me what to do.’ So, you have to be really careful and work with the person. It’s a person in the chair. It’s not just a set of teeth.” (18:51—19:22) -Miranda

“There are extremes on both sides, if you look at the worst of it. The worst of it could be that they are too agenda-driven, too price-driven. They’re just trying to build profit and not really looking at the bigger picture. And I think you can have the worst-case scenario be on the exact opposite end of that too where they’re too empathetic and biased and they’re not putting enough value on their work. They’re doing a lot of “gimmes” or, ‘We’re just going to patch that up for now because I know it’s going to be expensive.’ And they’re trying to be nice. But nice isn’t always being nice because it may not be what’s most appropriate, or at least even giving the patient the option to decide.” (19:46—20:27) -Miranda

“The best-case scenario is when a dentist really values and has confidence in what they’re doing. They’ve invested in their education and their skills and their equipment and their team, and they also care very deeply, not only about that person but about the outcome that they’re delivering.” (20:33—20:51) -Miranda

“In a dental office, it’s always a team thing. There are no individual players. Every single person and every single department works together like a cog in a wheel. It’s the inner workings of a watch. There’s that center spoke, but every piece that revolves around it is important. So, if you’re a dentist who’s 32 and trying to figure all this out, and the main objection that keeps coming up of why people aren’t accepting is it’s just too expensive, I think the whole team needs to work together on, ‘How do we orchestrate and collaborate our conversations so that we’re speaking the same message, so that we’re standardized in how we care about people? What is our philosophy? What are our core values? Are we implementing those and living them every single day?’ working together departmentally and as a whole to make sure that if Jane, our hygienist, is going to build value in a certain way, then when Joey up front helps take care of that, they’re good to go.” (21:21—22:25) -Miranda

“One thing I hear dentists say often when we work in coaching, you’ll hear every now and then, ‘I have someone that when I overhear what they’re saying, I’m kind of like, oh, I probably wouldn’t have said it like that.’ It’s like, ‘Have you shared that with your team? Have you shared how you would like information to be communicated with patients in the office?’ It’s something that you have to create a system around.” (25:02—25:26) -Miranda

“If you’re in the front office and you’re getting stuck on price with a patient, more than likely, the value wasn’t there. So, a quick, easy question is, ‘I can hear where you’re coming from. Most of our patients who still want to think about it share with us that maybe there’s more clinical information you’d like to know about this procedure before moving forward. Would you like to have an opportunity to speak with your hygienist about this a little bit further, or speak with the doctor about this a little bit further?’ because they may be afraid to open up to you that they really just didn’t understand what or why they need it. So, give them that. Give them that opening to share that true objection. And a lot of times, it’s not actually the cost. There’s something else around it. So, open that up. Is it something clinical, or is it truly financial? Because I can help you with both while you’re here. You don’t have to go home to think about it.” (27:28—28:18) -Miranda

“Lean into photography, whether it be extraoral or intraoral. And then, create that space [for patients to share their thoughts], the power of the pause. Actually, count in your head. Give it five seconds after you pull it up and ask them, ‘Tell me what you think about this picture,’ and then stop. Don’t close that silence. It’s going to feel a little awkward, but just live in it for a minute. Count in your mind, and they will fill that silence with some very valuable information that’s going to help you help them.” (28:24—28:54) -Miranda

“Objections are a gift. They’re a gift and an opportunity for you to build that value and figure out, where is that little missing piece of value, and how can we help this patient to get there?” (31:11—31:21) -Miranda


0:00 Introduction.

2:14 Miranda’s background.

3:13 Where this idea originated.

4:20 It starts at “Hello.”

5:51 Show patients value through your words.

9:41 Believe that what you do is valuable.

10:47 Help your team value what you do.

12:19 Apply the “so that” concept when you communicate.

14:40 Create space for patients to think and share their thoughts.

17:07 Sell dentistry with your ears.

19:22 Without value, there is only price.

20:52 Collaborate on conversations with patients.

23:06 Standardize your messaging.

26:59 Give patients an opening to share their objections.

29:08 Objections are a gift.

31:33 Last thoughts.

Miranda Beeson, MS, BSDH Bio:

Miranda Beeson, MS, BSDH, has over 25 years of clinical dental hygiene, front office, practice administration, and speaking experience. She is enthusiastic about communication and loves helping others find the power that words can bring to their patient interactions and practice dynamics. As a Lead Practice Coach, she is driven to create opportunities to find value in experiences and cultivate new approaches.

Miranda graduated from Old Dominion University, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Chuck, and her children, Trent, Mallory, and Cassidy. Family time is the best time, and is often spent on a golf course, a volleyball court, or spending the day boating at the beach.


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