Lesson #1: CORE Lesson #1 – The Length of the Interview
About This Lesson
Instructions coming soon..
- If you are doing interviews already, record length of average interview.
- Videotape your interview and write down EVERY question, and then quantify how many questions were asked and then break them into 2 categories (Impactful vs Non-Impact). Be honest in your assessment of impact vs non-impact questions.
What is up everybody? I want to welcome you back and we are on to section number four, module number four, whatever you want to call it, and this is all about the interview. So we've covered some amazing things so far. We've covered all about getting vision and clarity in terms of what you want. We talked about selling yourself, selling your team on the services that you can provide. We talked about getting the right new patient phone call, how do you funnel patients into this process and now we're in the meat and potatoes. I'm going to tell you the interview process is the most important process that you can have in your practice when you are building a comprehensive style office, wellness, holistic, whatever you want to call it, cosmetic, high-end, TMJ, implants. The interview to me is the most important thing you do to truly differentiate you and your practice.
So this is going to be a pretty heavy content-based process. There's going to be a lot of high level concepts and then there's going to be some really fundamental pieces that you need to put in place in your own practice from day one to make you successful. You may have an interview already, you may not have an interview, and if you don't have an interview, you're going to have to make a decision. How do I do this? How do I stay profitable? How do I put this in and have it be consistent with who we are as a practice? These are some big level concepts and it takes some time. So when you put this in, it's not going to be perfect. There's going to be times where you go, "Why am I doing this?" Patients like it or not like it. I've seen it work very well. I've also seen it work not well at all, right?
So you have to understand that this is a dynamic and fluid situation that every patient's different and you're going to have to tailor the essentials of the interview based on the patients that you have. Some are going to like it and some aren't. I would argue though that every patient should like this process if you tailor it to the patient, okay? If you have a patient say, "I absolutely can't stand when we did the interview." Either that patient has no value for dental health whatsoever or you did a terrible job with it. One of the two, okay? So when we are talking about that, there's basically eight tenants to this interview and what we're going to cover right now is the length of the interview. So it's a very simple concept, but I've seen a lot of dentists that have high level training even in sales, and we talk about the preclinical interview and all these things, but their interviews are forever.
You have to understand, I've worked with one on one clients now for the last year and a half, and the most consistent theme when I'm watching their video is literally, it's too long. They have no point of emphasis. They're not moving their patients in this particular path and it just goes on and on and on and on and on. So you have to remember that the length of the interview is important because it's all about quality, not quantity, okay? We in a very short attention span world and this interview is no different, right? You literally have 10 to 15 minutes to make an impact enough to that patient so that they are willing to go and trust you beyond anybody else for their dental care.
If you have seen the trends, you will know that with YouTube and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, it's bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, right? We have to adapt to that as a dentist. We can't be in a position where we say, "That's not important. I'm going to sit with a patient for an hour and a half or two hours and expect them to suddenly value that," right? Now, don't get me wrong, I believe that you have to go through this process of a complete interview, complete co-diagnosis, complete discovery with a review of findings. But we can do it in a much more cohesive fashion than what I've seen. So I just want you to be aware of that, understand that and understand it's not the length of the interview that counts but the impact of the interview. You are trying to create in this interview an identity crisis for the patient, if you will, you want the patient to start to understand that most likely the patterns of behavior they've had with regards to dental health and their overall health in the past may not serve them in the future, okay?
This interview process is phenomenal for middle-aged patients, older patients that have maybe not too old, but like that 40 to 65 range. This is an amazing process because you can challenge their beliefs about dentistry. You have to challenge their beliefs about dentistry. You have to say, "Hey, what vehicle you're currently in in your dental vehicle is probably not working. That's why you need crowns. You need root canals. You need all these different procedures. How about you hop in my boat and I'll take you in into a process that will lead to no dental disease in the future." Right? That's what you're trying to do with this interview. You're trying to understand where they're at, where they've been, where they want to go, and how you help them, okay?
So what I want you to do is follow the steps outlined in the next few videos on this section. So there's all these tenants and some are high level, some are practical. I want you to just think about how do I use these steps to create an impactful interview, not necessarily a long interview? I laugh, some doctors are like, "My new patient process is two hours long." I'm like, "That's longer than a movie. What the heck are you doing?" Right? So in six appointments. Okay, well then I get it, but you got to make some impact pretty quick. Or think of it this way with an ad or a YouTube video or something, if you're not aware of what is actually going on in the first minute, first 10 seconds, first five seconds, you're turning it off. So patients might not turn you off by just walking out of the room, but they might already be tuning you out. So you have to make sure this is impactful.
What you have to understand this unnecessary questions are usually a sign of lack of clarity and purpose during that interview process. I've seen so many questions being asked that have no relevance at all to what it is that you're trying to accomplish, that it just becomes filler and noise and it actually leads to more sidetracked conversations than anything else. Remember, you're trying to get patients to understand how your practice is going to help them get some of the wants that they have, which we're going to cover in future videos, but just be aware that rapport, for example, is essential, but it's ... Don't overkill it. Don't sit there for 30 minutes talking about background for Mrs. Jones, right?
When I'm building rapport, I say, "Hey, Mrs. Jones, thank you so much for coming in. Who sent you our way? I want to be sure to thank them." She'll tell me and I say, "Well, tell me a little bit about you, born and raised here. What do you do for a living? Are you retired? What did you do?" Right? Things like that, kids. Find some pieces that you can use later on during the interview, right? Find some things that interest them. I always talk about occupations because when I'm using analogies later, I want to use analogies that are consistent with the person and their occupation, right? Let's be honest, if I'm talking to a software engineer, they're probably going to function a little bit different than a CEO of a company, right? So I want to be thinking about what does this person do for a living and how do I use that to create stories and create epiphanies for this patient during my process, okay?
For your action steps when you are done with this video is, if you're doing interviews already, I want you to record the average, the length of the average interview, okay? So if you're not doing interviews, you're not going to be able to do this. But if you are doing interviews, say, "How long does that typically take? Am I doing interviews in a consult room?" That's something that I didn't mention about because everybody's different. But I do my interviews in a consult room. There is a specific room designed for me to talk to patients. It's not in a treatment room, okay. You have to get them, in my opinion, you have to get them out of the treatment room. You have to get them out of the process. I'm doing this interview before they ever see a hygienist. I'm doing this interview before they see anyone else, maybe the concierge, the first person, the person that answered the phone for them.
But after that, I'm the first one that talks to them, right? So if you are doing those interviews, I want you to record the average length of the interviews, 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes. I know everyone's different, but the average, right? Then I want you to videotape your interviews if you are doing them and write down every question that you asked during that interview, right? Every question. What's your name? Who are you? Every question, write them all down and then I want you to quantify how many questions were asked. Was it 30 questions, 40 questions, 50 questions? Then break them into two categories, impactful and non-impactful. I want you to be honest. That's a little bit subjective, but think, if I'm trying to move this patient towards a path to health, was that an impactful question to get them thinking about where they're currently at or was it a filler question that had no bearing on whether or not they'll move forward?
Just take that assessment, figure out impactful, non-impactful, right. You will be amazed at how many non-impactful questions you ask. If you eliminate those non impactful questions, your interview will get much more consolidated, much more tight and much more refined and you'll be able to move a lot faster with this patient towards a path of agreement.