Benefit Language


You are struggling to get your patient to want the treatment that they need.  The patient puts off or makes excuses about beginning treatment.

Desired Result:

The patient to go ahead with your treatment recommendations. To willingly schedule and make a financial commitment to proceed with treatment.

How To:

So that your patients want the treatment that they need, train yourself to use benefit language. Benefit language is a learned skill. It requires the ability to create benefit/feature statements that link the patient wants to their needs. Benefit/feature statements let another person know the advantage(s) of taking action. It helps people be open to concepts or ideas they may be otherwise closed to.

The formula for a benefit / feature statement is:

They are used:

  • To motivate others to see value in a request or guideline
  • To help someone be open to listening to information
  • To personalize advantages the patient will receive

It is critical that the benefit be stated first, prior to the procedure or the logical features of your recommendation. This feels awkward initially, as we are accustomed to stating our request and then justifying it with facts. Try using the “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me) technique. Visually tattoo WIIFM on your patient’s forehead as you present treatment. Using benefit/feature statements and answering the What’s In It For Me question for your patients, allows them to understand why this treatment solves their problem.

  1. Listen for the patient “want” (benefit). Common benefits are to save money, save time, improve their appearance, and to avoid pain.
  2. Match it with the recommended dental procedure.
  3. Now, state the logic or features that support your choice of dental procedure. Answer the question “Why / How does this treatment achieve the benefit the patient wants?”
    Example: So that we can help you maintain the youthful appearance that is important to you, I would recommend whitening your smile.  Whitening would be perfect for you since it will give you the brighter, younger looking smile you want
  4. Many people also find that stories of other patients or your own personal experiences help increase understanding and give the patient time to process the information you are providing. In this case it might be something like; “We had a patient, Mary, who told us that after she had whitened her teeth she was out to lunch with her sister who commented she looked much more vibrant. Her sister was certain she had tried some kind of procedure at her dermatologist and could not believe it was whitening that made such an immediate difference!”