Converting Leads to Patients

By February 5, 2018 February 7th, 2018 Podcast
Converting Leads to Patients

Episode 001 – How to Handle Phone Calls and Turn Your Leads to Patients (with Scott Manning)

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S1 00:01On today's episode, we're joined by a very special guest to discuss a topic that we know each and every dental practice has, and that's converting a larger number of leads into actual patients that come into the practice. Our special guest today is Scott Manning, the founder of Dental Success Today. Scott has dedicated the last 10-plus years of his career to helping dentists across North America create successful businesses based around their values and goals, with a focus on transforming dental practices in order to maximize the degree to which dentists experience happiness, fulfillment, and, of course, profits.
S2 00:34And I'm very excited to have Scott on today. I've known him for quite some time now, being in the dental industry. And we're happy to have you join us, Scott.
S3 00:43Well, thank you both, Sean and Jackie. It's just really a privilege for me to be here and to be included in what you're doing. I really appreciate the nice compliments there and the praise you speak of. Of course, I'm amongst peers here with the two of you, and I'm really just excited to always see the impact that you have on the practices. And really, the shift you've made in the industry of helping people attract more qualified patients to their practice, and really teaching them that goes beyond just marketing, understanding that not all leads are created equal and that they do have to have relationships and retentions focused on their patients in order to create referrals. So listen, I'm just happy to be a part of the process and I appreciate you welcome me aboard.
S2 01:29Awesome, man. Yeah.
S1 01:30Of course, absolutely. So, I mean, here's the scenario. Right? A practice receives a lead, a phone call, maybe an appointment request from their website. Right? Lots of different efforts, obviously, drive new patients to the practice. And the practice gets a phone call typically, or a form lead, and kind of what happens after it is what really is key.
S2 01:50That's right. And at this point in the process, a new patient from the marketing efforts-- whatever those marketing efforts are, it doesn't matter if it's offline or online. They're calling and they're looking for more information or to request an appointment. And as you know, Scott, some practices-- not all, but most of them are not handling these questions very well. So, Scott, I want to ask you, you've worked in the industry long enough to know that not all practices handle these calls the same. Could you provide us insight into why handling these calls are so important?
S3 02:26Well, listen, I appreciate the question. It's the never ending thing. Right? It's kind of like dribbling a basketball. I mean, it's back to basics and it's the thing that has to be done every single day. The reality of it is, there ain't nobody going to end up in your office, unless they come through the phone call. Not a whole lot of people walking up and down the street, trying to knock on doors for the next dental practice they want to become a patient of. So you do such an amazing job of driving people through the digital medias to ready them for the practice. And then, of course, when they get to the front door. Now the front door is not the actual door. The front door is the phone, and these people come knocking on this door, and then sometimes they get no answer. Sometimes they get somebody peeking through the door just slightly open. Sometimes they open the door and try to grab them and pull them in. Sometimes, maybe once in a while, they're actually courtesy, and they do a good job by greeting somebody no different than if somebody came to the door of your house. Okay? So most of the time, we make people, make patients feel uninvited, unwelcome, like they're an inconvenience to us. Of course, this is not the intention. Most of the people, that's not what they would ever say they want to do. It's just that we come across in a rush, hasteful, another patient standing in front of us. You're in the middle of many other things. The phone's ringing on the other line. You're on with the insurance, waiting for the insurance to verify something. There's all these things happening.
S3 04:04So how are we supposed to give any attention to the phone? But that would be kind of like a chicken and the egg problem. Okay? In business, there is no issue about what comes first. It's always the initial communication with the patient. So no matter how many leads, and customers, and calls your getting, it is about what happens with this call. And I mean, look, why does it matter? Let me give you a few reasons. This is a business. Okay? Everything that happens in a business is designed to make a profit. In dentistry, the point of making the profit is you're helping the patients. And you're going to have a lot less people to help if you make a bad first impression to begin with. Now if you're working with these amazing people I had the great privilege of talking to today, and you have My Dental Agency bringing you the nice patients, well, then you know you're not getting a bunch of losers and price shoppers. Okay? Every single call coming into to you, this person may have a list of people they're calling. They may be looking at their little smartphone with all the little red bubbles from Google telling them who all the dentists within a few minutes of them are. So you have to set forth the proper first impression, and you've got to make this call wow them. And let me tell you something. The patient experience begins right now. Okay? If you wait to wow the patient when they're already inside, you're going to have a lot fewer people inside than what you should have.
S3 05:33The other thing that's so important about this call is to set the tone and expectations. This is the origin of all things. I always say, "Case acceptance, the battle is won before it's ever fought," and that battle begins right here. Okay? It's the most important thing. And by the way, referrals, they call through the phone. Existing patients call through the phone. All the patients who want to be your patient again, call through the phone. It's not just new patients. So it's about really taking responsibility and ownership over the quality of these calls and how you engage people. So listen, I can't emphasize enough how important it is. Every call matters, and it's much harder to get someone to call anyone these days. Let's just remember that. Okay? Most people, they want to send a text or the email. They want to do all this-- if they could stare at a computer and get their teeth fixed over the Internet, they would do that. So the fact that you have somebody dial-up and call the practice, okay, or for that matter, send an email inquiry, or do whatever else, okay, this is a big step already that the patient is taking. Hold every call, leave email, anything, very sacred.
S2 06:53So, Scott, I mean, obviously, you've made great points on how and why this is important. We'll talk about some tips on how to handle this, but I want to ask you a question. So you mentioned in the very beginning that the team members are busy, right, and they're kind of raddled, or maybe, they're answering these calls and maybe not making it a priority. Why should they make it a priority? I mean, at the end of the day, in my mind, I would think this is their livelihood. Right? I mean, they should take pride in the practice and growing it, because that's something that they should be passionate about. But, I mean, what's your insight there? I mean, this is really important and the team members are the first step. And although they may be inundated, and busy, and have a lot of balls juggling in the air, but at the end of the day, this something they should take a lot of pride in. Do you agree there?
S3 07:45Well, sure. I mean, look, every call, as I said, you don't know which calls. Okay? So if you had just throw away all of the stales calls, that you would dump all of the bad patient calls and all that, and only answer the phone for the good ones. The problem is you don't know which one of those are. Okay? So you have to keep all hands on deck. And it's a common strategy in successful practices that no phone call goes unanswered. And it doesn't matter if it's the janitor, or if it's the assistant has a break, or the hygienist is eating lunch, you've got to pick up the phone. So it's really a-- you said it beautifully. I mean, they should want to do it. They want to grow the practice. I believe team members want to do well. And so when I talk to team members, I say, "We have to identify what your highest priorities are here." Okay? So there's got to be somebody that the highest priority is the phone. Somebody else, maybe, it's the check-in and check-out of the patient. But somebody's got to really be the queen of the phone, and they've got-- now, if they're on the phone, there's got to be another person, and then another person, another person. There's got to be tiers of people. And at the end of the day, just simply know this. When the phone rings, okay-- or maybe I should say it differently. That if the phone rings, it means soon that the cash register may ring. Okay? So the only way for you to be able to make a paycheck is to first have these people come in through the phone. So it deserves your undivided attention. It is not an interruption. It is the source and the beginning of all other things.
S2 09:31Yeah. That's an awesome statement. It is not an interruption. Yeah.
S1 09:34Yeah, absolutely not. And so a lot of dental practices, they're making really large investments in marketing. They're making a large investment to get that phone to ring. And then, they get frustrated when the phone is ringing and those leads are coming in, but it's not turning into new patients that are actually coming and visiting the practice.
S2 09:53And this is clearly an issue, not only for us being a marketing agency, but mainly for the practice. Right? So, Scott, we're going to give you a couple scenarios of things we've heard in the past from the calls that are coming in from our marketing efforts, and get your take on how they were handled or how they could be handled differently. So here's my first scenario. Right? So a lead calls from a Google ad or a Facebook ad, and they're inquiring about a specific service. It doesn't matter, but they're inquiring about a specific service. And a lot of the practices we work with, they charge a consultation fee, which is awesome. Right? We know why that's in place, and we absolutely encourage our practices to do that and support them if they do. Once that consultation fee is presented-- and it doesn't matter, Scott, if this call was either 1 minute or 15 minutes, 15 minutes of great engagement. But once that consultation fee is quoted, I mean, you'd be surprised about how quickly they're ready to jump off that call. And it is as simple as they ask, "Is there a charge to come into the practice?" Whatever that consultation fee is-- let's say it's 250 bucks. Even if the consultation fee is $100, that next statement is, "Okay, thanks. I'll call you back if I'm interested," or, "I'll call you back after I think about it a little bit." How could that be handled differently? What are your thoughts there?
S3 11:18Well, it's a powerful question, and there's so many things to discuss about this question. Okay? So first of all, let me start by saying it's very, very important that you wouldn't even invite the person into the practice until you've already established rapport and you've already gained some kind of emotional connection. Okay? So in dentistry, in the operatory side, we say never present the treatment until the patient wants it. And in order to get them to want it, you first have to have created, or sold to them, or educated them about problems. Okay? Nobody wants to buy anything unless it's going to solve a problem in some way or benefit them a certain way. So if you rush to the punchline, and before you've given the problems in their mouth, they're not going to say yes to anything. The same thing goes on the phone. There is a lot of diagnostic approach, actually, on the phone. So if the call is handled properly, okay, the patient would've been asked several questions to be able to identify what their challenges are, what their motivation is, why they're choosing this time in their life to come into the practice, what their goals are, everything. If they have any pains, or concerns, or specific interest, which you said specific procedure as example, they should dive deeper into this so that the patient feels assuming that they're going to come in. The patient feels committed to, first, the conversation, then second, to the idea that the person answering the phone has conveyed to them about how they can help. Then, in an ideal world, I would walk the patient all the way through the scheduling of the appointment, and then I would say, "Now for the first visit, because it is consultation, we're going to be doing this, this, this, this, then this. We do have a certain consultation fee on top of the exam fee that you will be paying."
S3 13:17Now there's a couple of things about this. Okay? So you're not going to through conference exam for free. Obviously, everybody knows that. If you're screening the patients properly, if they're fully committed and they have a problem to solve, then they're going to pay the fee. Okay? If they are not fully committed, then you did a bad job on the phone and you need to make an assessment. Should we invite them in for just a sit-down discussion - maybe not even with the doctor - just to verify whether they're qualified or not. Of which, you would probably invite them in without any fee. Okay? And then you would, basically, use that as a double-screening process to help sell them into the conference exam. Now, once you present a conference exam, there's a couple different approaches. The approach that I wish more people would take is that you would assure them that, "Look, if there's no way that we can help you, okay, and take care of your mouth, and improve this problem you're discussing, then we'll fully refund the exam fee. We're here to help. If we cannot help, then we don't care about your money." Okay? The other thing is, "If we can't help, well, then we're going to apply this amount towards whatever treatments you'd need to do in order to get yourself healthy and accomplish your goals." So what I really prefer is using that as a fee. Many people think they're in the business of charging insurance or charging money for exams. Obviously, we're not. Okay? You should lose money on every exam you do. Okay? Only morons try to make money on exam. Okay? Your goal is to win over the patient, to create a relationship, to create treatment plans, and then get somebody to move forward with their health.
S3 14:59So if you get 250, 350, 500, 100, it doesn't matter, any amount of that, without some treatment on the back end, it's a loss anyhow. So more screening and mostly engagement, more discussions and questions on the phone leading a patient to be more committed first before they hear this fee. Then guiding them through what experience is going to be like and what's going to happen, and that gets the patient to feel excited about this and go, "Wow, this sounds really special." And then, if a person is bold enough and, certainly, if they're working with the best My Dental Agency, I would think that they would be bold and smart enough that they would use this initial fee as a way to provide trust and reassurance to the patient that we're here to help them. If we can't, who cares about their fee. If we can, we'll let them use it. Now if you're not willing to do that, then as soon as you go over to investments, okay, you go straight into scheduling the appointment, if you haven't really done so. Now, for me, I would probably schedule and then go to the fee, but you can certainly go over it and then ask about what they're going to coming in.
S3 16:15Here's the problem. Most people on the phone-- and doctors do this, too, diagnosing. It's like you're challenging the patient, "Well we just charge 250 for this visit. Okay? Is that something you're willing to do?" And even if we don't say it, that's the way it comes across. Okay? It's a matter of fact. They're using up the doctor's time to provide an educational experience for their mouth, in which they're going to benefit, learn something from. Okay? Only patients that who are not good quality or not totally interested yet are not going to be willing to make this investment. It's a doctor. There ain't no other doctor on the earth letting somebody come for free and learn everything about their mouth, or their body, or their heart, or their anything. So it's important that you have proper positioning. But if you just tell them the amount and then the patient, "Okay, think about it," well, you didn't do a good job on the beginning of the phone call. Secondly, I strongly encourage you to use the phone call and the appointment, okay, if you're going to charge this kind of fee, okay, as a way to use it to your advantage, not a disadvantage by setting up barriers. All right? So that's what I have to say about that. Maybe it answers your question.
S2 17:28Yeah. I mean, that's amazing and I think that would, obviously, get people over the hump. So if I'm understanding you correctly, just to kind of recap. I mean, really, it's an issue of that the team member is not doing a good enough job explaining why that consultation fee is even in place. And I think if I were the consumer, if I were the new patient and someone were to say, "Okay, you can come in. We can diagnose you for whatever that case is. Invisalign implants, whatever it is, but it's going to be a $250 charge," and that was it. It was left at that. I wouldn't feel very comfortable. So if I'm understanding you correctly, Scott, you're pretty much saying that they need to get that patient to feel comfortable, and then, also, explain to them the benefit of that. That, "If you move forward, that's going to be applied to your case. And if you don't feel comfortable, and if we can't help you at the end of the day, you're going to get that money back." Right? So it takes the guard down. It breaks down that barrier that I may have about that 250 or $100, whatever that is. Am I understanding that correctly?
S2 18:28Yeah, of course. That's what I would prefer people would do, because it provides a commitment, a litmus test, a ticket, a fee to come in for the patient, but it does not put up a barrier before you've had a chance to earn the trust. If a patient gives you a hard time about it, say, "Listen, you can come and visit us for free. We'll be happy to meet you, get to know you, ask you questions, find out what your goals are. But in order to take a doctor's time before the exam in your mouth and help you get healthy, which is what you're saying to me you want, obviously, there's going to be some kind of investment to the consultation. Now the good news is--" and then exactly what you said, "If we can't help you, which I seriously doubt based on what you told me today over the phone, okay, you're going to be so happy. We're going to be able to take great care of you, and it's going to be an amazing relationship. We understand it's a first visit. It's like any first visit for anybody in life. And when you first start a relationship, we need time to earn your trust, gain your respect, and we want to do that. Of course, we also need your commitment too. After all, it's your mouth, we're going to help you get healthy. You're going to pay for the doctor's time, and experience, and expertise." All right? And yeah, I mean, look, that's the best way to do it.
S3 19:41You can't get ahead of yourself. If you're having a hard time even filling the schedule and getting patients to commit to the appointments, you need to be more mindful about it. Okay? It's not putting up walls around your practice so that you keep the good people out. And we want to invite people into the practice, facilitate that relationship so you have a chance to build trust. You want them to make a decision about whether to become a patient or not based on a dysfunctional phone call or based on a $250 charge? And you miss out on 10s and 20s of thousands of dollars because you didn't get them in the door. So like I always say, it's only the patient's responsibility to show up. That's it. Everything else is our responsibility. If they knew what their role was in this relationship, they wouldn't need you because they already would've had a successful relationship with another dentist, and their mouths would be perfectly normal. Okay? So we have to do enough to get this person in, and that's what the entire call should be about.
S2 20:40I love that, and I love the fact that you take the approach of if they're hesitant, we get them in for even a quick consultation with a team member. I mean, I would say the majority of our practice is if these new patients knew the experience that they're about to have, if they could just come in there, step through the doors, they're going to be locked in. And like you said, why throw away a possible 10, 100,000 dollar case for 250 bucks. Get their butt in the practice--
S3 21:12Yeah. I got to say one other thing about that because, look, there's a hierarchy of visits. And everybody knows me, surely to goodness they have the books already. I mean, I practically own a bookstore. So surely they have the books but I want to say, if they know me, then they know that I'm not a fan of taking new patients through hygiene. I like taking them to the doctor. Okay? That implies a fee. However, there are different types of patients. The example Jackie gave is a patient who calls wanting something. If we know they want something-- they're not calling to shop. They're calling to buy. So we have to really screw it up to not get them in. Okay? So a person who knows they want something, of course they're going to be willing to pay exam fee, because they already know they want something. But a person who is not fully committed to this, well, then maybe you would invite them to come visit through the hygiene where there would be modest amount of investment where they're getting to clean-- maybe they're, heaven forbid, using dentures or whatever, and it gives us a chance to then warm up to them, and then move them into conference exam.
S3 22:19For practices that are very successful, you can't afford for the doctor to be spending conference exam time with a patient who doesn't need one, so you would move them down the tier. So we have prepaid, large fee for consultative, conference exam approach with the doctor, then we have just the regular conference exam. Okay? Come into the office, get it done, make the money. Then you have hygiene. Then you have a come and visit, and just sit down, and do a consultation. Okay? Then you could even do a double screen on the phone by having somebody call the patient back [inaudible]. There's many layers and types of business that can be done, so it's not a one size fits all. That's the whole point of this is getting to know the patient first and not rushing into some cookie-cutter speech of a checklist of things, giving the patient a challenge to pay the fee before they even know, like, and trust you. Really think differently about the phone call, please.
S1 23:18Yeah. That's really good advice. Yeah, I think that can help a lot of practices for sure. So another thing that's even more surprising to me is that a lot of new patients, when they know they need something, right, let's pretend it's dental implants or Invisalign. It doesn't matter what it is, really, but they know they need something. Right? And they're searching for that, and whether they're searching online or maybe they're getting postcards in the mail, it doesn't really matter, but they will call a practice and say, "Hey, I'd like to get some dental implants. How much does that cost?" It's amazing to me that people think of dentistry no different than buying a loaf of bread from the grocery store. But this still happens quite a bit.
S2 23:59Even with quality people. I mean, even someone that's ready to spend a $100,000. Right, Sean? I mean, they're still asking. It's like one of the first things that they'll ask for.
S1 24:08And I almost feel like certain practices are conditioning them to ask, because there are practices that market these types of things. Well, if you Google dental implants, you may find that you can get dental implants for $99 a month. At least, that's what an ad says. Right? So these patients call and they ask these types of questions. The first question they ask before they know anything about the practice is, "How much do the dental implants cost?" or "How much does ABC cost?" It doesn't matter the service. Right? But how do you suggest practices handle these types of calls better?
S3 24:37Well, I love that question, actually, because it gives us an opportunity to differentiate. Now you make many great points. The first point is, why do people ask that question? And you know, Jackie, even most people listening to this, I would bet that $10,000 is a big case for them. It would be a lucky day, like it's winning a lottery ticket, if they got a $10,000 case today. Okay? Many of them, they dream of having larger cases, or they think they get bigger cases because they're so used to get paid one tooth at the time by the insurance. And so a lot of this all comes back to commoditizing themselves. But the reason why people ask about the price, because what else is there to ask? And the average patient doesn't have a clue about dentistry, other than the fact their tooth hurts, or they're missing a tooth, or they haven't had a cleaning in a while, and they don't know much. So of course, everybody defaults to the price question. And we all do this. No matter what sphere of the society we are in, everybody's going to ask that question. So we are really screwing ourselves up here, and really missing the point if we start answering any questions the patient has in the beginning, because their questions are not really what they want to know. They just don't know anything else to ask.
S3 25:53So the first rule is the person that asks the questions is the winner. Okay? So if you want to win on this phone call, which means help somebody, then you got to be the one asking the questions not answering them. That's number one. Okay? So if any question is asked you always respond back with, "I'm so happy you called us today. May I ask who I'm speaking with?" Then you find out their names. "So, Mrs. Jones, glad you called. What motivated you to call today?" Now then most of them don't even remember the first question they asked. If they're really hard and adamant about the price, you're going to follow three simple steps. The first step is to say-- other than what I just said. Okay? That's step zero. That's first line of defense, automatic reflex, every single phone call. Then the person asks about price, say, "Well, I'm so happy you asked that question. May I ask you what type of implants you're interested in?" or, "What type of crown you wanting to have?" or, "What kind of cleaning that you were wanting to experience?" You just restate it with a question about what it is, because they don't know. They think it's the same for everybody. And so immediately, they're going to say, "Well, I don't know," or they're going to make something up. "The reason I ask you that is because for every patient, for every different circumstance, for every goal and objective that you have, okay, certainly, there's a different approach to your health. And we have found that the only thing--" and maybe you don't say only, by the way. But you say, "We have found is something much more important than the type and/or the mouth you're going to pay for implants is the doctor who's putting them in you. That's why we always like to start our patient experiences with, first, having a great relationship. Would that be all right with you?" Okay?
S3 27:49So you always move away from price back to things that are most important. So number one, you challenge them by asking what they're interested in. You can't give them a feel of something you don't know what it is. Okay? Secondly, you ask them, "Oh, you're curious about the implants. I'm so happy to hear about this. May I ask how long you've been considering these kind of things?" Okay? And then the patient answers. Say, "Well, tell me more about this. It sounds like you're really looking forward to being able to eat again," or something, something. And you dig deeper, and you ask layers of questions, layers of questions, and that will move the patient off the price concept. It will move them back into something where you can really get down to what matters, which is changing their perspective of you being the same as anybody else. Now the third line of defense is very simple. You say, "Well, Mrs. Jones, I'm so happy to talk to you about numbers and prices and all that stuff. Yeah, unfortunately, not all implants are created equal. So I don't know whether you're calling because you noticed some ad, or price, or you've been calling around. I can tell you this, that we're very happy to give you a good estimate for your care, based on the goals that you have, once we take a look inside your mouth. That's really the only way I could give you even a smart answer. Otherwise, I would just be making things up. And now, if you don't mind me asking, how long have you lived in the area?" Okay? Or whatever, you divert back to regain control. That's the simple way. No price agreements over the phone. There's no way to tell a person the price without seeing their mouth. Otherwise, you automatically just commoditize yourself. It's so important. Do not take the bait. Keep the high ground, stay in control, and do consultative phone discussions.
S2 29:37Yeah, that's amazing stuff. I think that every practice could benefit from this, but the practices that will actually implement this will really stand out in their communities. I guarantee it. You agree, Sean? I mean, if they--
S1 29:51Oh, absolutely.
S2 29:51If they just did these simple things, I mean, that would just make a world of difference. So, I mean, Scott, we all know that these team members, they're not salespeople, and they probably shouldn't be expected to be top-notch salespeople. There has to be some simple things they could implement that would turn these leads into new patients. Or at the very least, right, turn these leads into someone who comes in the practice with interest of becoming a new patient. Can you give me and our listeners a couple tips and things that these team members can easily implement. Right? Some things that would make it easier on them? All these things we've talked about today, even this very last thing of how they should respond to the price question, I mean, what are some simple tips that they could do to change how these calls go?
S3 30:38Well, listen, I appreciate you asking. And you make such a-- you said something so brilliant, because if you do not answer the phone like everybody else, they automatically cannot compare you, because you are different. And therefore, you will have the advantage. Now this is the important question. So let me start by saying the good news. You don't have to be salespeople. Okay? So you really, literally, should not be even trying to be, because if you are giving people something they want, you don't have to sell anything. In order to do that, you have to align with them, and you have to know what it is that's going to be of interest to these people. So this is all about-- I like to think of it like-- let's call it selling. Let's replace that word with, I don't know, five things. Building value, number one. Okay? Creating relationship, number two. Educating, influencing, nurturing. Those are all the things you want to do. Okay? Instead of even attempt to sell. Now--
S3 31:47I answered Jackie's question. Let me give you a few things, and I'll give you just very straight-up things to always do, and you'll be just fine. In order to make these calls a little better, number one, you should have some guideline. Okay? You have to have guidelines for every single call. For our people, we provide a nice screening system that they can utilize so that they stay on track. I'm not a fan of scripting people. Okay? The old joke is the patient doesn't have a script. So you can follow yours, but they don't know what that they're supposed to say. So the scripting like a robot doesn't work. But you are busy, as we discussed. You got a lot going on. You have to make this a priority, and that requires focus. And the best way to focus is to have a piece of paper, having it all on an interface, have something that can keep you on track to the questions that matter and that you do not lose your way with this call. Remember to stay engaged, genuinely interested, and are very authentic and personable with these people. How do you do that? Absolute, number-one way is just be a good listener. Okay? Now the second thing I already said, but I'm going to point it out again. You must practice asking questions. And this goes for every team member, every position in the practice. You have to practice asking questions with each other. Play a game, okay, just like we did here today. We had a great time. I think I'm having a blast on this call. I'm getting a question. I'm throwing back more questions. Okay? Be genuinely interested in and want to help this patient. Helping them is never going to happen if they stay on the other end of the phone. You got to get them in.
S3 33:31The point is to get a qualified patient to a practice for a committed appointment. You are beginning the experience right here and right now. So if you practice this with your team members, with yourself, going back and forth and always making sure you're seeding the next question. The third thing is you have to role play, and you have to have a standard approach that everyone in the practice can embrace and confidently execute. For things like discussions about cleanings, questions about insurance, questions about prices. And again, for anyone listening today, listen, I'd be happy to give you my famous insurance cure. Okay? It's a system to combat the worst and hardest question of them all. And I tell you what, I'm sure My Dental Agency happy to provide this for you. So it's very important that you can tackle the toughest question, but also the easiest ones. Now lastly, if you want to start today doing a better job, number one, don't rush. Number two, connect with the patient as if they're the only person that exists. Okay? Number three, do not ignore the things they say, because those are going to lead you down a path to be able to secure this patient's trust. Number four, instead of answering questions, ask questions and lead the patient down to the right decision for them, which is coming into the practice. So look, it's not rocket science. You just have to be you. You have to be yourself, and you have to pay attention. So take things very seriously. Have a guide for the call, practice asking questions, role play the responses to the things that you will, inevitably, have to deal with, and make sure everybody is on the same page. If you do this, I think you are going to be very happy, and you are going to turn these amazing leads that you are receiving from my experience here, and you are going to turn them into patients.
S2 35:25I love it. I know we're running out of time here, but I just want one more question for you, Scott. I know there's, obviously, going to be a lot of team members listening to this, but there's lot of doctors as well. How can the doctors hold their team accountable when it comes to these calls? What can they do on their end? So we gave the team members a lot, a lot of tips. How can the doctors hold them accountable?
S3 35:50Well [laughter], I love that question. First of all, the doctors got to hold themselves accountable. It starts there. Every doctor's worried about making sure everybody else is doing what they're supposed to do, and, most of the time, they're not doing what they should do. So first of all, you need to have a culture of accountability. Secondly, how do you hold anything accountable? You check up on it. Then you monitor, you pay attention to it. So at the end of the day, you look down and you see we had 12 calls today. Yeah, well, how many of those people scheduled appointments? Well, I got 2 appointments. Great. What happened to the other 10? Well, 3 are this, and 3 are that, and whatever. Okay. So now, what are we doing with the other 10, or the other 6 out of the 10 that we actually would want? Okay? How many calls did we miss today? You have to pay attention to what's going on. Now you can do the recordings and do all these other things, and that's fine if you want to do that. But what matters is you can record all the calls you want. If you never listen to them, or you never talk to the team about it, and if you never practice, then it doesn't make any difference.
S3 36:54So what I have found is that it doesn't matter how many-- you can stand over somebody's shoulder and babysit and watch them, and all that's going to do is drive fear and anxiety to make them do a worse job. If somebody is really curious and this is their strength, they're passionate about talking to people on the phone. They have a great personality. I always say, "Listen, here's how to tell whether you are going to do a good job or not." Okay? Are you ready? Well, if you would call your office and you'd want to have a conversation with the person on the phone, well, then it's probably a good person. If you call your office and you can't wait to get off the phone, or it's practically like not having a conversation, well, then it's the wrong person. So first level of accountability is pick the right person to answer the phone all the time, and free him up to do just that. Okay? Secondly, you got to have systems in place to provide follow-up checks and balances and to know what's going on. Finding out at the end of the month, okay, is too late. End of the week, still probably too late. You ought to have metrics probably every half a day, but you ought to have metrics at the end of every day to know what happened on the phone and have discussions about it. You're going to know how these calls are going by the number of calls that turn into qualified patients who actually show up into the practice. And then, if you want to take it to the next layer, you're going to find out about the case acceptance, because cases are built beginning on the phone. So hopefully, that gives them, at least, some ideas.
S2 38:25Yeah. This is amazing. I mean, I, honestly, cannot wait to share this with our listeners. I mean, Sean and I, and the rest of the MDA team, we do an amazing job at marketing and sending these leads to the practice, but you are just a genius when it comes to what to do from there, and how to get these leads and new patients that are calling the practice, how to get them to actually convert and become really, really good patients. So I, personally, just think you're a genius when it comes to this stuff, and I can't thank you enough for sharing all this amazing information.
S1 38:57Yeah. Thanks so much, Scott. We really appreciate you joining us today on the My Dental Agency podcast, and hope to have you on again for a future episode, for sure, and pick your brain a little bit more. We couldn't be more appreciative of you sharing your knowledge and experience with us and all of our listeners, and I know everyone's just going to get a ton of value out of today's episode. So thanks so much.
S3 39:15Well, thank you both. It's been my pleasure and, listen, keep up the great work changing the lives of the people in the practice and helping so many patients by getting them to find the right doctors. So I'm always happy to be of service.

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