How to “Sell Ice to an Alaskan”

By: Michele Pennington,  New Client Information Specialist

I was born with the gift of persuasion. As long as I believe that whatever service, product, or company I represent offers the best to the consumer, I have never had much difficulty in getting people to see things from my perspective. Along with that, I am an extremely passionate individual, which generally excites people to join whatever idea I am sharing willingly.

 I believe that the ice I sell is superior to any other ice they have access to. They need my ice and just need to learn the reasons why the ice I sell is superior to any other ice they can find.

When I worked in dental practices, I believed wholeheartedly that “my” dentist was the best choice the patient could make and I told them so. “You’ve made the right choice”, :You’ve called the right place”, and “Dr. __ is the best dentist in the area.” was often heard when I was speaking with a new patient. Please note, I did not say potential new patient. They called the office, so it then became my job to help them make the best possible choice for them – coming to see us! Putting the patient at ease and making them feel comfortable is imperative when people are shopping. Oftentimes, they are concerned with fees. If you feel confident that the fees in the practice are fair for the services rendered, that comes across in a call. You see how hard everyone works, so this should be enough incentive to embrace the fees. You know that your hygienist(s) and doctor(s) work as a team to help the patient make the best choices for their dental health care. This enables you to present the treatment plan and find creative funding for the procedures necessary to bring them to their optimal dental health.

I have never felt that I was “selling dentistry”. When the dentist gave me a treatment plan to present, I knew that everything on that plan was in the best interest of the patient to have taken care of for their health. It seems that the short walk from the chair in the operatory to the private treatment planning presentation room, a patient often forgets most of what s/he heard as they begin to worry about cost and how they can afford it or if they even really need it. Your confidence in representing the treatment plan is reflected in the number of patients who schedule for treatment right away.

When speaking there are places where you must pause and allow the other person to speak, because whomever speaks at that point, buys the sale. Either the person with whom you are speaking buys it, or you buy it back. This is probably the most common reason a sale is not made. It can be difficult not to speak and fill the silent space.  You could try to explain further, better, more in depth; however, when you get to the pause, you are done selling and it is imperative to allow the other person to speak first.  Many people “oversell” because they literally talk the person out of the sale.  

Selling anything requires confidence in what you are selling.  If you can sell “Ice to an Alaskan” it means that you have conquered the fear of selling and have replaced it with the confidence of persuasion.

eAssist Helpful News and Billing Tips; Edition #120


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