For almost a decade I held true to the “conventional wisdom” that we should not discuss how much orthodontic treatment costs over the phone. Consultant after consultant after consultant told us that we should never give a price and, if forced, we should offer a price range. My friends, peers and competitors all agreed that talking price to new patients over the phone was dumb (but that didn’t stop us from keeping new patients on the phone forever)!
The fact that a bunch of orthodontic consultants, older and wiser orthodontists and my peers all agreed on a non-clinical aspect of how to run SALES in a BUSINESS should have tipped me off – refusing to answer a direct question from a potential new patient IS DUMB. But as I often am, I was slow to learn! 
Think about it from a patient point of view. Shopping is a way of life these days and people are busy. Parents, usually moms, want to take shortcuts so they will Google your name and your practice, ask their friends and call around to potential orthodontists to inquire about price. This is perfectly reasonable and logical. Being intentional, informative, friendly and actively selling your practice on the new patient phone call is essential! Refusing to answer questions about price is illogical and does three things, none of them good:
- It eliminates you from the pool of potential orthodontic providers.
- It makes mom mad.
- Insures mom will talk badly about you to her friends!
When potential patients or their parents call to ask how much you charge for braces or clear aligners, I strongly suggest that you and your team are ready, willing and able to give satisfactory answers! Everyone on the team needs to know how much you charge, believe that your services are well worth the fee and be able to discuss any financing you offer while selling the potential customer on why they would be wise to CHOOSE YOU!
Argue all you want but refusing to answer logical questions from a potential customer is folly.
Interested in more ways to improve your business? Want to do things logically instead of the “way they’ve always been done”? Get your free subscription to The Progressive Orthodontist Magazine at TheProOrtho.com and learn more about the business of orthodontics– it’s yours for the asking!
 I’ve trained myself to notice whenever there is universal agreement among orthodontists on non-clinical issues – especially business, sales and personal finance – and to be very cautious about going along with “conventional wisdom” in those instances.