Dealing with Patient Objections

Carla Rieger

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Do patient objections create discomfort in you or your staff? Ironically, if you welcome objections, they can inspire you to grow and thrive. In other words, patient objections can actually be the turnkey to creating excellent service and satisfied patients! The trick is to get to the heart of the matter and meet your patient’s true needs. Every objection can be managed, even though not all of them can be overcome.

The good news is that you don’t have to argue with patients or pressure them. Once a patient raises an objection, the key is to ask questions to identify the objection. Don’t assume you know their concern right away, even if you’ve heard that objection many times before.

Invite Patients to Look at Your Eyewear

Here is a sample way to invite a patient to consider buying from you:

“Hi Linda, I know there are lots of other choices for eyewear in this town, and shopping around is a valid thing to do. And, goodness knows I love to shop! I also want you to know that we have the kind of styles and quality you can’t get anywhere else in town. So, I’d love you to take a few minutes to try a few pair on and see how they look and feel. You might be really amazed. ”


The patient might say, “I can’t afford to get my glasses here. " Instead of saying, “that’s fine” and letting them go - say,

"I appreciate your concern for the costs, Linda. Before I worked here, I suddenly needed reading glasses – so, I got my first pair from the dollar store! They weren’t bad, but they definitely caused me problems. They looked very wonky, among other things. I looked like Dr. Ruth on a bad day.

I just want to make sure you are as educated as you can be, because you are our patient and I want you to feel taken care of. – whether you get your eyewear here or somewhere else. ”

It is important to empathize with the patient without necessarily agreeing to the validity of the objection. Be sure they are aware that you're concerned with what the patient needs and that you respect his or her opinion.

Determine Real Objection

Next determine if it is a true objection or is there is something deeper.

Ask open questions that require more than a YES or NO answer, such as:

“What gives you the impression that our eyewear is too expensive?”
“What is important to you in a pair of glasses?”
“Is there anything else that is in the way?”
“What kind of budget are you working with?”
“What prompted you to get an eye exam?”
“Who is your favorite glasses-wearing celebrity?” (just for fun)


Once you have empathized and determined the real objection - it’s important to summarize and make sure you got it right. Do not refer to it again as an objection, use language that is positive. For example, “It sounds like your previous glasses were uncomfortable and that you are concerned about losing new ones. I also understand that you don’t like the way your older pair looked and that your prescription is different now. And most of all it sounds like your arms are just not long enough anymore. Is that correct?”

Neutralize Objections

Now that you have a deeper understanding of their needs, you can more easily neutralize their concerns. Take this opportunity to show benefits or clear up misunderstandings. Reply with:

"If I can address your concerns to your satisfaction, would you consider taking a look at what we offer? You may be surprised about what’s available now. Many people get amazed when they try a few pairs on. In fact, this may be the best trip to an Optometrist’s trip you’ve ever had! (tongue-in-cheek, of course)"

If you get a “Yes”, proceed to build value in the patient’s mind. List the pros and cons of buying here versus elsewhere. This helps establish trust and that you are mainly concerned for what is best for the patient. Include pros and cons on both sides. True objections fall into one of two categories. They are either a misunderstanding or they are a disadvantage. If the objection results from a misunderstanding, do clear it up by giving accurate facts and benefits. For example,

“We offer certain guarantees and replacement insurance that you can’t find elsewhere, and our opticians are very well trained to ensure you get the kind of frames that are most comfortable and best suited to your face shape. In addition, we offer a 20% discount if you buy your glasses the same day you receive an eye exam. At that discount, and when you factor in all the extras, a typical pair of reading glasses is about the same price as what you’d find at _. Plus, we have some new styles in from Europe that you won’t find anywhere else in town – that even look flattering on me! Does that answer your concerns?"


“It will only take a few minutes. If, after you’ve tried a few pairs on, you still aren’t sure, then go home and think about it or shop around. No problem. ”

Patient objections are challenging. When you use this method you can manage the objection so you are in control. You can step up to the challenge and grow through it to more satisfied patients.

Carla Rieger is an expert on creative people skills at work. If you want a motivational speaker, trainer, or leadership coach to help you stay on the creative edge, contact Carla Rieger.

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Tel: 1-866-294-2988


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