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Making The Right Appointment


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Lesson #3: CORE lesson #3 – Building a Practice Within a Practice Through The Phone

About This Lesson

Instructions coming soon..


Action Items

  1. Continue to track phone call conversions.
  2. Determine if it’s a call volume issue or call conversion issue.
  3. Further training if needed through various other training programs.

Full Video Transcript / MP3

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Hello and welcome back. We are on to video number three of module number three, The Core Lessons. Again, this module's all about making the right appointment, a very critical piece of the dental sales success cycle, and so let's dig into this. It's going to be a continuation of the last video, which is all about building a practice within a practice through the phone.

Now, we talked in depth about phone screening as a pivotal tool while building a blue ocean and how to properly set up some systems to start that phone screening process. What I want to do is take a step back on why this is important. The key that you're trying to remember here is that you're building a practice within a practice. The vast majority that are listening to this are either in the startup phases, or they've had an existing practice and they're moving in a more comprehensive direction.

That's the point of Dental Sales Secrets. Sure, you can learn various tools and tips for any practice, but that is the specific nature that I approach the phone screening process, which is how do I get more of the right patients into the right environment in our practice? That's what we have to remember with this phone screening. The screening call from that previous video is absolutely pivotal while building your ideal practice.

What I wanted to do on this video is talk a little bit about something that I see a lot of, which is delegation of phone calls to a third party answering service. I wanted to break down the pros and cons of that. There's a lot of great companies that do that. I'm thinking of a few that my clients have used. The reality is some of these third party services are amazing because they are trained at how to convert a call into an appointment. Now, you may be thinking, that is phenomenal. They'll take X percentage or a dollar amount of every new patient that's scheduled.

The one problem that I have with all of that is, as you're developing this process, if you can do this in-house, you have a much better ability to keep the schedule intact. Now, I don't know any third party service that's really going to be able to listen to patients' needs and understand the context of what they need in relation to what it is you do and how you do it. That is the problem with all of third party answering services. Now, I'm not saying you should or shouldn't do them. If you have a busier practice, you're getting 20, 30, new patients, and you can't actually handle the calls, or you're way missing on conversions, everybody's calling you and nobody's making an appointment, you may want to start to look at having a third party answering service so that your marketing dollars aren't wasted. To me, as soon as you can get these phone calls answered in your own office again, especially during working hours, it's absolutely critical you can do that, so that you can have some level of control over the schedule.

Now, every company's different. I'm sure some companies are going to be much more willing to work with you in how you have the template set up. Remember, that these third party services get paid when an appointment is made and they show up in your practice. They're going to find anything that they possibly can to make sure that that patient gets into your office. That may be a good or a bad thing. You have to remember that. That may be a great thing. It might be a terrible thing.

If you have a third party answering service and you have some means of doing that, let's say it's after hours and you don't want to have all your marketing dollars get wasted by no one picking up the phone, then go ahead and get that third party service. To me, the more you can answer your own phones, the more success you're going to have. Would you want any other business handling your phones? It doesn't make any sense.

The better you guys get internally with answering your own phones and getting the right appointments, the more success you're going to have at building a blue ocean. I can almost guarantee it. The trick to all this is role play, role play, role play. You have to understand that, when you are going through this process, the more you can practice, drill, and rehearse, what patients are potentially going to say, and how you respond to this, this will mean everything when it comes to the success of you getting these screening calls actually converted to an appointment.

If you can record, there's third party services that record all calls. I'm sure there's probably some software and apps that will allow you to record calls. You can say, "Hey, we record all these calls for quality assurance purposes." Every other company on planet earth does it. Why wouldn't you do it? That way, you can go back and listen to the way that the calls are being answered, what is being said, and how can you improve. The only way you can improve is getting active feedback. One of the ways to do that is to role play, listen to calls, understand what needs to be improved, and then go work on improving those specific situations.

Another thing is just getting further education. This program is not designed to allow you to handle phone calls at a level that is like super human status. Dental Sales Secrets was never designed to do that, but there are a ton of continuing education programs that are built around how to answer the phone effectively.

The key with all of these is to make sure that how the phones are being answered are consistent with the message of the office that you're trying to convey. I cannot stress that highly enough. Make sure your scripts are consistent with your message and practice. Now, I don't necessarily have scripts. I have structured messages. I have points that I'm trying to convey to the patient in our practice, what it is we do, why we're unique, why we're different, and how those specific things that those patients presented with, we're going to be able to help them.

They need to be consistent with your message as a practice. You can't say that you're a total body wellness based practice, when you handle phones like a PPO practice. Does that make sense? And, vice versa. So, you need to make sure that your scripts are consistent with your message as a practice. If you don't have scripts, that would be the first step is literally go through and start to say, what are we actually saying to these patients? What are the structured messages that we have? Again, some of those structures, messages, that I have in my own practice are found at Dental Sales Secrets as a guide for you.

Patience is a virtue with all of this. This takes time. This is one of the hardest things to successfully implement in any practice, because you are not the one specifically doing it. It's your team. You need training, you need support, you need patience. You need to understand that patience is the key to patients. Does that make sense? The CE with the TS. Patience is the key to patients.

You need to constantly be following up role-playing, encourage your team members, make sure that they can answer the phone, make sure that you give them the support they need, find out what they need and help them there. This is not something that in three days somebody's going to master this call. It takes years of practice and hard work. Once you do understand how to move these patients in a different direction, not only is the patient going to be more likely to schedule a comprehensive exam, they're going to be coming at that exam with a totally different framework mentally about what your practice is all about.

The action steps here are continue to track the phone call and conversions, what we talked about in the last video. Now, what I want you to do is, when you start to look at these numbers, determine if it's a call volume or a call conversion issue. If you have five new patients potentially calling in a month, you have an issue. You're not marketing. You're not generating enough internal referrals. Something is not happening where not enough people are calling your practice. Now, if a hundred new patients potentially have called in your practice, but only 10% of them were converted, you may have a call conversion issue. All I want you to do is just figure out is it a call volume issue, or call conversion issue, or is it both? Because, those two things are going to take totally different additional trainings for you.

Then, further training is needed through the various other training programs, depending on if it's a volume issue or a conversion issue. It's a volume issue. You need to start to work on your marketing. You understand now. You know who your ideal patient is. You understand your ideal offering. You understand what you are as a practice. Now, you can go start to actually spend marketing dollars. We're going to talk a lot about that in module number nine, but that is now the thinking. If it's a conversion issue, you're going to get an entirely different type of training program. You need to make sure that you identify what is the problem before you try to fix it.

It's like our patients. Patients don't buy solutions to problems they don't know they have. You aren't going to be able to fix the problem, if you don't know what the problem truly is. Make sure that you're doing these action steps. Make sure you're watching these videos. Make sure you're taking it methodically. You're not going through all these videos all once and not implementing any of it. This is all that knowing, doing, [inaudible 00:08:58]. You have to understand that, in order for you to get where you want to go, you have to take some of these action steps, and implement them in your practice, and make sure that they're successful before you move on. With that being said, go through, do all these action steps, and then I'll see you at the next video.