I had a patient recently that came in for their initial evaluation and they were already complaining about the cost of hearing aids before I even tested their hearing. I dreaded having to explain the hearing loss because I already knew the outcome. It’s never easy to tell a patient that they have lost a valuable function that they will never regain naturally, but it’s even harder when you think you know their response to your recommendation to pursue amplification is going to be a big “No”!
Most patients don’t jump up and down and say, “That’s awesome news” or “Oh boy, I can’t wait to spend thousands of dollars for the help you suggest that I need.” Unfortunately, it’s a fact that many of the patients we see won’t actually want the help we recommend. Hearing aids aren’t something people usually want but since 90+% of patients with hearing loss have sensory loss, the only way to actually Help them is to convince them to get hearing aids.
Unfortunately, the most common response from patients that can benefit from hearing aids is that the solution costs too much money. The fact is that the average “Help Rate” of a hearing
healthcare professional is less than 50%. If someone takes the step to make an appointment to confirm what they already feel is a problem, wouldn’t you think they wouldn’t be surprised when they learn they have a hearing loss? I myself don’t make an appointment with a health professional unless I feel there is a problem and I know I need help.
So if industry numbers hold true and less than 50% of patients that visit a hearing healthcare professional are convinced to get the Help they need, then perhaps we need to work harder at overcoming the objections and improving our ability to convince a patient that better hearing is worth the investment. It’s not the price they have to pay but it’s the value they will derive from the benefits of being able to understand their loved ones and every day conversations.
It shouldn’t be a surprise when someone says, “Hearing aids are too expensive.” The real question is does the patient not have the money, not want to spend the money or are they not convinced that the aids are worth the money. The more questions we ask, the better the chance of getting to the core of the objection. Most of all, we can’t be intimidated or surprised by the objection. We need to be prepared to respond in a way that convinces the patient to take action to get the Help they need. Developing better ways to respond will take time and practice. It can be beneficial to record what you actually say to a patient and then review it to see how you can present information in a way that is more convincing. It’s also important not to run and hide at a patient’s first “No”.
The satisfaction of giving more patients a better quality of life should be reason enough to improve the way we share the information and make our recommendations. Beginning today, track your Help Rate and then set a goal to improve it. Stay tuned to DrGyl.com for more on this important topic and if you would like to have access to many resources for building your practice including scripts for objections like “Hearing aids are too expensive” then join my DrGyl Sapphire Society for only $99 a year!