In our coaching dental team members to convert first-time telephone callers into solid patient appointments or, as we like to say, master the art of first impressions, some of them will express discomfort about ‘using scripts.’   It’s easy to understand why.

We have all been subjected to the interminable telemarketer robotically reciting a script they’ve been told to share with anyone unfortunate enough to take their call.

When someone reads off a script, it is painfully obvious they are doing so.  The result is typically failure –  failure to establish rapport, convey empathy, exude enthusiasm, and guide the person toward making the decision, which is ultimately in his or her own best interest.

Getting off book is a phrase used by actors to describe the process of memorizing one’s lines so well one is able to read  them without reference to the printed script.  Far more important, it means one is in a position to concentrate instead on breathing life and meaning into them.

Think about the most memorable scene from a movie.  Whether it is Scarlett O’Hara, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Stanley Kowalski, Marlon Brando, or whoever, each of these performers began by memorizing words on a piece of paper.

It’s ironic, yet true, that honest and powerful communication often begins with a script.  With the foregoing in mind, I present to you our patented TAFI (short for The Art of First Impressions) Introduction.  Learn it, Practice It, Memorize It, and I promise you that your success with converting calls into appointments will skyrocket!

The —TAFI Introduction
Thank you for calling PRACTICE NAME where we TAGLINE.  This is YOUR NAME.  How may I help you?

—I can help you with that, my name is YOUR NAME. With whom am I speaking?

—Are you in any discomfort presently CALLER’S NAME?

—Who may we thank for referring you to us?

—Would you mind if I place you on hold for just a moment, so I can get to my desk, and give you my undivided attention?

Make these words your own, and you will be well on your way to Mastering The Art of First Impressions!

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