The new year is upon us, so what is your practice going to focus on? In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, we explain three easy, proven, FREE commitments that your office can make to convert more new patients.
Asking the right questions when patients are in the chair
Having a team that supports this strategy
Commit to listening to phone calls
Listening to all calls brought in by marketing… yourself
Understanding what your patients are asking and what your staff is saying
Taking corrective actions
Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.
Howie: Well, hello, once again, this is a this is our first podcast in the new year and we’re very glad to have you all out there. This is Howie Horrocks and I got my good buddy and partner Mark Diltaush on the line. How you doing Mark?
Mark: Hey, Howie Happy New Year.
Howie: Hey, same to you.
Mark: Was Las Vegas. Its usual. tomorrow.
Howie: Oh Yes.
Mark: During the New Year festivities? Happy?
Howie: Yeah. 250,000 extra people in shoulder to shoulder Of course. I didn’t go down there. But
Mark: Right now.
Mark: I heard about it. It was awesome. There you go. Just like Halloween, just like Halloween on the strip, I would imagine.
Mark: Um, okay. So what this is our first well, first I want to before we start into 2017. I think 2016 was a little weird for a lot of dentists. You know a lot of our clients and a lot of dentists who aren’t our clients because they still reach out to us and talk about their practices. And I think a lot of that had to do with a presidential election cycle. I think everybody who had a slow September in October, normally your October’s aren’t that slow. Normally,
Mark: I was a really good October. I think if you go back a few years, maybe for four years to be exact, you might find that the same exact thing happened during a presidential election here. I think it happens to dentistry every presidential election year and 2017 is not one. So yeah, so by default, you should look upon 2017 with a little more light at the end of whatever tunnel you’re going down, then then the darkness. So
Howie: It’s the unpredictability, oh, no matter how you wanted the election to come out, the fact that it’s now over and you know, we can sort of deal with what we’ve got.
Howie: It’s kind of calms things down? I think so
Mark: Exactly. It comes down for you, and it calms it down for your consumers and calms down for your patients and comes it down for everybody. So yeah. Anyway, so 2017 What do we got for 2017? How we what are we doing today?
Howie: You know, the obvious thing is, at first the year is what are you going to resolve to do in your in your dental practice for this upcoming year? So I don’t like to talk about resolutions more like intentions about that good intentions for 2017.
Mark: Okay, that sounds good. All right. 2017 good intentions. Um, yeah, far be it for us to have our audience, take our resolutions and commit to them. So we’ll call them intentions. Um, the first one goes way back, I mean, way back. This goes all the way back to when I was consulting really, um, and so difficult to get dentists to commit to this, but it’s almost 100% acceptance once they commit to it and do it.
Howie: Oh, yeah.
Mark: And, and that is, we would ask you to commit to calling your new patients the day, your new patients call to make their first appointment.
Mark: The process is very simple. Someone at your front desk is likely writing down a list of patients that you need to call at the end of your day on your ride home, who may have had a you know, kind of a procedure that may have been painful, they may have some post op, discomfort, what have you just to check in on them and see how they’re doing. And what your front desk person would do is simply add the new patients that called that data, make their appointment, their first appointment in your practice, or the patients who scheduled online and made their first appointment in your practice.
Add those people to the list with their phone numbers, call them. The conversation is very easy. Hi, this is Dr. Diltaush. You made your appointment at my practice. Your first appointment my practice today. Howie How are you? Are you currently experiencing any dental pain?
Howie: Yeah, yeah. Little bit, little bit.
Mark: No, you’re not because I would have known that could have been an emergency. Okay,
Howie: I know.
Mark: You’re not playing along how I
Howie: know I’m doing great doctor.
Mark: Yeah. Okay. There you go. No, yeah, I’m doing great doctors. Okay, I, I didn’t know, Mary hadn’t noted whether or not you’re experiencing any pain. I’m glad you’re not in pain. Do you have any questions about your appointment at three o’clock on Thursday? Do you need directions? Or, do you know where we are? Do you know where the parking is? Do you have any questions for me?
Howie: No, I google. Yeah, I know where you’re at.
Mark: Okay, well, I’m looking really looking forward to meeting you Howie had a Thursday at three o’clock.
Howie: Wonderful. Thanks for calling. I I’ve never gotten a call from a dentist before.
Mark: I’m a pretty amazing dentist. I’ll see you Thursday.
Mark: See how that goes. guys and gals out there dental? It’s really simple.
Mark: Are you currently experiencing any pain? I don’t have that note here. The person is going to say no, because if they were in pain, they’d be an emergency. And they’d be in your schedule, right? Or your staff would have noted it on your list to take home.
Mark: these calls take maybe one minute, minute and a half.
Howie: And you know, what else? Is the benefits of this? are not lost? Even if you have to leave voicemail? which you probably will. Right?
Mark: Yeah, many times, many times you will. And you just ask the same question. I don’t have a note here. I understand you made your first appointment at my practice today. And, I don’t have a note here to tell me if you’re currently experiencing dental pain. If you are please give me a call. Or if you just like to chat, give me a call. My number is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, da.
Howie: Right. It makes it makes you more accessible and makes you friendly. I mean, just like in our example, I mean, how many? How many dental patients get a call from their dentist on the day they make the appointment? Not enough,
Mark: Right? Not enough is the right answer. Okay, now, here’s a couple of other things here that are may be hidden, maybe subliminal. If you want to jack up your marketing and 2017 deal, start doing these little things. Because it’s a pile of these little things that makes everything successful. trust, trust us, it’s not just us.
Our best clients are partners with us, they do these little things, okay, our work gets the phone, the ring their work gets, gets the patient committed, gets the patient the treatment they deserve, or they need and gets it done and gets it done well. And we’re every we’re all partners in this whole process, right? These little things that were just throwing into this podcast today are not they’re not difficult. They’re things you can change Monday. Really, you can change every one of these on Monday on, and it will absolutely help you get more out of whatever marketing dollar you’re spending, even if you’re not spending your marketing dollars through us. That’s okay, no big deal.
Mark: Implement these things. And you will. So hidden within this, though is, is we have we have clients now who are getting new patients, obviously calling the practice, but they’re also getting new patients who are scheduling their first visit online. Those notifications immediately go out to the staff, and those people should be put on this list as well. Some people who think dentist online scheduling replaces the need for those conversations, those people are wrong.
Online dental appointment scheduling simply allows those conversations to happen during a time where people can focus on the country conversation and not what else is going on in the practice. So dentist online scheduling does not replace these conversations, it accentuates it. So you, you call all those patients as well on your way home. And again, if it sounds onerous, it’s not unless if you’re in a single doctor practice, and you have, what, 20 new patients a month, that’s one a day, even if you have a great day, and there’s three or four new patients who call and made their first appointment today. What’s that 10 minutes on the phone on the way home, it’s not a big deal.
It really isn’t a big deal. dividends, your no show rate will go down to almost zero. And your new patient will walk in a different kind of person because they would have already met you.
Mark: Okay, you’re creating that relationship. And you’re minimizing the chances of the person going elsewhere. Let’s say they have a scheduling conflict, they’re going to feel a little weird having met you about canceling the appointment or moving the up appointment, they’re going to keep that appointment. Right. So anyway, that’s one, what’s number two? Howie
Howie: Well just put it succinctly. You want to be able to say yes a lot. And you want to be able to do treatment on your patients today if possible.
Mark: Right. And this is gonna this may involve technology, it may not involve technology. I know our CAD CAM Dentists, we, we promote. We promote we probably promote same day dentistry more than anyone on the planet. Okay.
Mark: Even Sironi. So, um, so but you don’t have to have you don’t have to have a CAD CAM in order to here’s the sentence that we want you to practice. It’s a question. It’s not even a statement, it’s a question. patient. Would you like us to take care of that today? While you’re here? That sounds like a pretty easy question. doesn’t it Howie. Yeah, yeah. From the patient’s perspective. Let’s see. I’m here. Okay.
Mark: We got this stuff in my mouth anyway, they’re sucking my spit out. I have a bib on reclined in a chair. Yes, I want you to do it today. I don’t want to take another half a day off from work. Right. I don’t have to make all these arrangements get coverage from my kids or whatever the issues are. Yeah, please finish it today. Okay.
Howie: Just so we don’t get accused of keeping the obvious to ourselves. It’s really convenient for them.
Mark: Yes. Yes. Yes. So but it’s so incredibly difficult for some of our clients included, right,
Mark: Some of our practices to actually alter their schedule. It’s like somebody with a hammer and a chisel made their schedule, and it’s locked in stone never to be ever altered. Right? In other words, you can’t deviate from the path you’re on at all right. So no, that’s not that’s not right. So how do you do that? How do some practices say, “Would you like to us to take care of that today? While you’re here?”
How, how come some practices asked that question, and some practices don’t. And you look at really two main things, the schedule, and the human beings in the office. Those are the two things. Because what the dentists, most dentists, not all, there’s some dentists to want to be structured. They want to look at their schedule, and if anything changes on that schedule, they go, I’m for the lack of a better word freak out. Right? Because something changed.
Mark: Oh, right. Now, I’m currently not talking to those dentists. Okay. If you’re not in that category, and you know, emotionally, it’s okay. if things change, and financially, you want to give you and your team the best odds at hitting your daily production goals. Man, the best way to do that is to ask that question. If you have somebody in hygiene, and it comes out, you take a period, but go for the first time in a year and you see an abscess, and you say, well, this tooth is definitely going to need a root canal, you know, we can start it today, or we can get it finished today. Would you like us to handle this while you’re here, if you can actually do that, you’re going to add production to every day in your schedule.
Now, I understand that you need room you need opportunities. And you need a team. Who’s with you, a team that buys into the process, a team that is willing to shift around their lunch ours for the betterment of the whole practice. A team that’s not going to freak out if they have to go get a root canal try. Okay. A team that is part of the process and not part of the problem.
Howie: Right? A
Mark: Alright. Bob, I’m telling you, it’s amazing. Not same marketing, no different guy. same number of calls, same call volume, same call lengths, same everything. Okay? Same expense, same expense, it’s, I mean, it’s amazing to see the difference in ROI pool, with the practice ROI generation with the practices that will ask that question versus the ones who won’t have to live through a structured schedule every day. Right? So we’re just sharing with you if and we’re not asking for your commitment.
Here’s the one commitment I am, I’m asking you to think about it 2017. That’s probably going to be I mean, calling your new patients at the end of the day, you can do that you can start doing that Monday. And thinking about doing same day treatment, you should start thinking about on Monday may take you a little while to plan it, work with your staff on it, talk about the scheduling, look at the opportunities, you know, figure out how this is all going to work operationally. But start thinking about that on Monday. How can I be the dentist in my area that says, would you like us to take care of that today while you’re here?
Mark: With every patient, that that needs treatment that’s coming out a new or got coming out of your hygiene chair. Why not? Yeah,
Mark: So that’s number.
Howie: That’s number two.
Mark: Number two.
Howie: Before we get to number three, we’re going to take a short break. We’ll be right back.
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Howie: Alright, we are back. Thank you. We’ve got one more thing one more. What do we call these intentions for the New Year Mark?
Mark: Yeah, we call them intentions. I’m calling them commitments.
Howie: Okay, let’s do that. Sorry. And what might the third and final one for today anyway?
Mark: Oh, gosh, please, please, if you’re our client, and you’re listening to this, please commit to listening phone calls. Okay, please don’t commit someone else on your staff to do it. Really, I mean, at least listen to your marketing, the phone calls on referencing our phone calls that our other their calls that are coming in off of your marketing, these are mostly new patient phone calls, out of the total call volume 40 45% of the calls will be new patients, the other 55% will be repeats and probably a couple sales people in there somewhere.
But here’s why I’m asking you to commit to this and 2017. Um, the best way for the doctor to truly understand what patients are asking the staff how the staff is reacting to those patients, how many calls they’re missing because they don’t allow their scheduling to be done online. How many calls are going to voicemail how many new patients they’re losing? Oh my goodness, the pyramid of information that you can derive from listening to your own inbound new patient calls. It’s voluminous. So when my new favorite word Howie.
Howie: Oh okay?
Mark: I know you love that word. Okay? It’s yours is regulatory minds. Alright, so
Mark: Revelatory. Sorry, what it was. Yeah, it was close. So, and I’m it. Here’s what bugs me about those who won’t commit to doing this for at least 60 to 90 days. And, and until they get their, their, their house in order, right. Because almost none of you have your house in order, yet you won’t commit to clicking on. It’s almost like the three monkeys that See No Evil, Hear No Evil speak no evil monkeys. Right? It’s like you don’t want to hear it. But I’m asking you to commit to listening.
Okay, commit to listening so that you can take corrective action that Howie and I know is there that needs to take place in order for you to get more out of your marketing dollar. Again, whether or not new patients and puts that on the street for you or some Bob’s marketing company does is it is irrelevant. Either way, you’re going to get more from whatever marketing spend you’re doing right now, if you will all just commit to listening to those, the interaction between your newest patients and your staff.
Howie: Right. And, you know, by actual tracking result, we know that you know, 19.8% are going on answered. That’s a certainly the probably the first corrective measure you take but also in the way that your whoever’s answering the phone is dealing with the new patients. You want to you want to hear that you want to know what that conversation is like, because it’s the most important conversation in your practice.
Howie: Because there’s nothing that happens in a dental practice of a revenue consequence until and unless the phone rings. And then what happens after that is the most critical time. So you would do yourself enormous amounts of good if you knew what was going on during that phone call?
Mark: Yeah, and none of these commitments or resolutions for 2017 cost any money. Now, right? We purposely wanted to start your 2017 out costing you no more money. We’re not going to hold to that throughout the whole year. Okay. But you know,
Howie: That will prevent you from sending us any checks.
Mark: We want you to, you know, just start out with just those three items, calling your new patients the day they call them make their first appointment, or they schedule online their first appointment, saying to your existing patients, would you like us to take care of that today while you’re here?
Just say that when they need some work, rather than rescheduling them, see if you and your staff can rework the schedule work like a team, add that production to your daily schedule. And please commit to listening to the call tracking calls. Don’t delegate that to the person who’s likely making the most mistakes, which is the person at your front desk. Okay?
Listen to them yourself, judge for yourself. Look at the data yourself if you don’t, if you’re one of our clients, and you have a question about how to do that, or what, you know, ask us would you listen to this call? Let me know if you think is this good or bad will do with you? That’s fine. Okay. But none of this happens unless you take action unless you’re willing to listen yourself. And you know, what, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You listen to them, your staffs doing a great job, you’re not missing 20% of your new patient phone calls. The worst case scenario is you feel awesome about you and your team and your performance. And you move on.
Mark: The worst case scenario. Okay. So even that’s good, right? That’s so anyway, those are our three our big three resolutions for 2017. We chose them because of their profound impact. Statistically, between our client offices, if you line up our client offices that do those three things, and you line up our other client offices that don’t. And then you line up the number of calls and the length of the calls for call quality. And you see the production on the left versus the right. It’s amazing.
Howie: Yeah, it’s like maximum reward with minimal effort and no cost.
Mark: You got it. You got it. Give us a give us a snappy close, Howie.
Howie: Well, thank you for listening. We certainly enjoyed the audience that we’ve attracted here. We love all you guys and gals out there. And we hope you have a marvelous New Year and we’ll see you again soon.