Better Business Language – How Using the Right Words Profits Your Business

It’s amazing how we can invite unwanted and unnecessary complications in our business with some poor choices of verbiage we may sometimes use carelessly.

Years ago, when I refereed Rugby League, it was drummed into me at the beginning of my career that the referee officials that monitored the sidelines were called “touch judges” and not “linesmen”.

Linesmen, we were told, were contractors who installed telephone and power cables. Or at worse, were soccer officials. But not in Rugby League.

The choice of terminology was all about respect for your position, or your product.

The same thing sometimes happens in the dental office.

Recently I noticed a well-respected colleague and friend writing about the importance of issuing and giving written quotes.

I wrote and told him, that I agreed 100% with the thoughts and sentiments he expressed in the article. I agreed with him that dental fees need to be explained and written down. No discussion.

However, I took issue with his use of the word  “quote”.  I suggested, politely, that the use of the word “quote” was in fact, unacceptable and incongruous in the fine and noble profession of dentistry.

I went on to say, “I encourage you and all dentists to discontinue the use of the word “quote”.”

You see, plumbers quote. Electricians quote. Smash repairers quote.

“Quote”, is wrong.

The act of quoting, and the use of the word “quote” to me implies a flexibility in our fee, and also implies a permission to shop around for other “quotes”.

I suggest that the profession uses the words “our fee”, or “your fee”.

“Would you like an estimation of our fees?”

 “Our fee for this treatment is X dollars”

 ” Here is a list of our fees for this treatment”

 “Would you like me to explain our fees for this treatment?”

I’m happy when patients ask for a quote.

But I always tell them “Our fee for this crown/extraction/implant will be X dollars.” Full stop.

So never quote. Ever.

Just let them know your fee.


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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