In our coaching team members on how to effectively connect with first-time telephone callers (in other words, the ones who are considering joining your practice but need first to be sold a bit), we’ve found the simplest trick in the bag is to get and use the caller’s name.
This may seem obvious, but listen to your team (or yourself, if you are a team member) and observe if you do this when someone you do not know calls the office. If the answer is no, here’s your chance to increase your appointment conversion rate quickly and easily.
For the skeptic among you, ask yourself how you feel when you call a company for the first time and the person never bothers to give their name and ask you for yours. If you do not immediately have a particularly strong reaction to this question, it may be because it’s not so much that you lost something in the conversation. The point is, rather, that you never gained something. The call never progressed from a simple exchange of information to an exchange of emotion. What was never realized was an emotional connection with the person at the other end of the call. It’s this exchange of emotion and enthusiasm that studies have shown is an essential precondition to the exchange of value i.e. money. Why is this so? In a phrase, it’s because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. They’re also less likely to trust you. And people rarely give their money to someone they do not trust.
How it’s done
Here’s a simple script for you and your team to use. If you bristle at the word ‘script’ because it suggests inauthenticity, consider that the best performances on stage and screen are scripts (and imagine how unmoved you would be to watch Jack Nicholson order a hot dog if he was not ‘acting’)!
Call Handler: Thanks for calling YOUR DENTAL OFFICE, where we
YOUR TAGLINE. This is YOUR NAME. How may I assist
Caller: Hi I’d like to IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THEY SAY (except
perhaps “I am in extreme pain”)
Call Handler: I can help you with that. My name is YOUR NAME. With
who am I speaking?
Then, confirm the spelling and pronunciation and naturally use the caller’s name when appropriate. You’ll find you naturally become connected with the caller. And you’ll also find that makes everything that follows a lot easier and more pleasurable.
Try it: IT WORKS!
So, the next time you get a call from someone who wants to know about your dentistry, gently ‘insist’ that you first know something about them. And the best way to get that ball rolling is by getting the caller’s name and using it!