End the Search Quickly.

End the Search Quickly.

In training over 1,500 orthodontists and their treatment coordinators how to ethically help more new patients say “yes” to treatment, I’ve discovered several sacred-cow biases or status-quo biases that need to be killed. At the top of the list, is the excuse, “I have to go talk to mom or dad.”

When consumers tell you they have to “talk to their spouse before making a decision,” they are really saying, “You haven’t convinced me yet.”

Consumer research has shown over and over again that only 15% of consumers must buy based on price alone. The other 85% will spend more than they anticipated for a long list of reasons, including a strong emotional desire, trust through removal of risk, convenience, status, quality, etc. Over 90% of consumers spend more than their budget on a vacation to Disney World. 72% spend double their budget. They all leave happy. Lee Cockerell, our keynote speaker at The Burleson Seminars Customer Service Summit, jokes about his time as the Executive Vice President of Disney World that the goal was to “take all your money and still make everyone happy.” It’s not that far from the truth.

So, why do we spend money with the brands, companies, products and services that we love and trust? And, what do trust and authority afford us in terms of time required to make a decision?

A consumer who is knowledgeable and well-informed about a potential purchase is less likely to search for additional information and more likely to end the search process quickly. Consider Southwest Airlines. Many consumers “know” they are the cheapest so they don’t even search for prices on other airlines. Or, think about the Ritz-Carlton. Many consumers “know” they are the best hotel in town, so they don’t even search for alternatives. I’m one of those consumers. If there is a Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons in town, I stay there and I don’t even ask how close the hotel is to my meeting or activity. They’ve got my mind “hijacked” to know without a doubt that they are the best. You and I both know there might be a private boutique hotel, St. Regis, Waldorf Astoria or other luxury brand that I might enjoy more than my pre-conditioned preference, but that doesn’t matter. What matters to the brand and to me is that I made a decision.

How are you helping consumers feel good about the decision they make to hire you as their orthodontist? What information, trust and authority have you built to end the search process quickly?

Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.