The Fastest Way to Kill your Dental Marketing

Answering phone calls at your dental practice and having a well-trained receptionist could make or break your dental marketing. In this week’s video, Angus will give you actionable steps on how to effectively build rapport with your patients.

Hi there, Angus Pryor from Dental Profit System bringing you this week’s Marketing Monday, the weekly video show with actionable tips to boost the dental marketing at your practice. This week, the number one way to kill the marketing at your practice.

Now, of course, you don’t want to know how to do that, but you do want to know how to avoid that. I like to think of this as giving away the keys to the city. You know, in a modern era, the marketing that’s required has changed quite a bit. Once upon a time, marketing could be very simple for dentists. You basically set up shop, you might put out a sign, advertise on Yellow Pages, done, very simple. These days, you need a strong presence online, social media, and a range of other ways to get people to contact the practice.

But whatever marketing you do, that can be completely undone by one thing in particular, and that thing is the way that your staff answer the phone. Now, some data that I’ve seen recently suggests that on average, around every 10 callers, only six of them will be converted to appointments. So think about that: 40% of potential new patients calling your dental practice don’t get turned into an appointment. Now, if I was looking for bang for my buck in terms of boosting a return, well, if you could get that number from 6 out of 10 to 8 out of 10, that would be a 33% increase in the value of new patients that you could bring into your practice.

Now, to give you an idea, I’ve done some research with a number of dentists right across Australia, and in the first year, the median spend by a new patient is in the order of $500 to $1,000 per patient. In other words, if there are four patients every week … Let’s say you get 10 new patients calling every week. If there’s four of those every week that get turned away, then that’s anything like $2,000 — you know, four times $500 median spend — to even $4,000 of lost business every week. So obviously, answering the phone and being able to convert that inquiry into an appointment is critical.

Two observations here before we get into the action steps. The first observation is, in unsophisticated dental practice, one of the first places that a new staff member will be put is onto the reception desk or onto the phones. Well, based on that data that I’ve just told you, you’d want your most experienced person answering the phone, because literally, you could be losing thousands of dollars a week in missed business.

The second thing is that getting that 6 out of 10 up to 8 out of 10, there’s a skill involved there, and it’s about building rapport with patients, finding out what their needs are, and leading them through a process. So the second aspect there is that the need for training is really important.

All right, well, with that in mind, the action steps are pretty simple. As a dentist, you’re going to be spending a lot of your time in the consult room, and so, therefore, you may have no idea what’s going on with the phones, but one of the things that you can do quite ethically is to record the calls. The reality is, 1-300 numbers are quite cheap these days, and virtually all of them come with the capacity to record calls, and indeed, when a client’s calling you, you’ve heard that message yourself which says, “This call may be recorded for training purposes,” or whatever, and you can tell the person if you don’t want it recorded. That’s a really simple thing to do, to actually record those calls, and actually start to measure how many calls, new patients you’re actually converting, because if the number’s at six, the potential upside is so high. If you’re 10 out of 10, frankly, I don’t believe you, but if you are, that’s fantastic, because the data certainly doesn’t show that.

So, two things. One is get your calls recorded, and secondly, actually measure, get … You know, a little data sheet at the calendar where people can measure how they’re converting those calls can make a massive difference Because what you don’t want is to do all of this fantastic marketing to bring people into your practice, and then hand over the keys to the city by undermining it all and having it killed in one fell swoop by how people answer the phone.

Now, if you’re looking for other ways to boost your dental practice in 2017, we recently put together a report, Five Guaranteed Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2017 and Beyond. You can get the report for free, and that’ll give you our best strategies of what’s actually working now. This is no strings attached, just giving you the details to get the growth that you want in 2017 for your dental practice. That’s it from me, Angus Pryor, signing off for Marketing Monday until next week. See you later.