How Big is The Gap

Uncategorized May 17, 2019

As dentists, you and I are in the business of “gap analysis”.

Think about it.

Do you ever feel like a "problem detective"?

Your job, somewhat like a police inspector searching for suspects, is to find problems for which your product or service is the ideal solution.

Think of your product or service as a key.

You make calls looking for locks that your key will open.

In general business, a salesperson might refer to the following 3 stages:

  • Prospecting phase
  • Presenting phase
  • Closing phase

Let’s consider these 3 phases with a locked door example.

In the Prospecting phase, you insert the key and find that it fits.

In the Presenting phase, you twist the key and open the lock.

In the Closing phase, you turn the handle and push the door open.


Use Questions As Tools…

Like a verbal detective, the tools of our profession as dentists are questions.

You use them to get appointments, uncover problems, and discover gaps between where a patient is now and where they could be by using your product or service.

You then show your patient how much better their situation could be by owning and enjoying what you are offering/providing/selling.


Clarify the Need

Before you begin any treatment plan discussion, it must be clear to the patient that there is a distance between where they are and where they could be.

The patient must recognize that they have a need that is unsatisfied or a problem that is unsolved.

The patient must also feel that the gap between the real and the ideal is large enough to warrant taking action.


Build Desire

Buying desire is directly proportional to two things:

  1. The intensity of the patient’s need on the one hand
  2. The clarity of the solution represented by your product or service on the other.

This process of taking your patient from cold to warm to hot is accomplished by the skilful use of questions that uncover the gap and then expand it to the point where your patient is ready to take action.


Putting these Ideas into Action

Now, here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, ask good questions aimed at uncovering the real need or problem the patient has. Listen attentively to the answers. Never assume that you know already.

Second, the larger the gap the patient sees between where they are today and where he could be by using your product or service, the greater is their desire to buy.

Show them continually the size of this gap.


To Increasing the Gap,


Dr Leonard J Maguire BDS LL.M MBA

General Dental Surgeon

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