Are You All Speaking The Same Language?

In 2017, I was invited to speak at the Danish Dental Association Annual Convention. Coincidentally, the week after I spoke in Copenhagen, the rock band KISS were touring Scandinavia and performing in Helsinki, so it made sense to stay on after my speaking engagement and spend a few days in Sweden before travelling to Finland to see KISS.

One of the difficulties I had at the time was that when I needed to buy the concert tickets, I needed to purchase them online from Ticketmaster Finland. As a result of that purchase, I somehow ended up with an email subscription arriving into my computer inbox quite regularly from Ticketmaster Finland… the only problem was that the emails were written in Finnish, and I couldn’t read Finnish or speak Finnish.

No big deal.

Except that because I couldn’t read Finnish, I had no idea where to click to Unsubscribe, and if I did find the Unsubscribe link, it took me to another page online that was [yes, you guessed correctly] written totally and entirely in Finnish.

I was skewered!

However, I finally figured out a solution….

When Jayne and I attended this KISS concert in Finland, we did become friends with a Finnish couple who we have kept in touch with via Facebook.

So I finally decided that the best thing for me to do was to reach out to one of my Finnish friends and send her the Ticketmaster Finland email and see if she could unsubscribe me.

In the space of a few short minutes my friend had clicked on the relevant link [in Finnish] and PRESTO! …. I was finally unsubscribed and freed from these emails.

And the solution was that simple… all I needed to do was to find someone who could help me in this instance to speak the same language that I was needing to speak…. I just needed someone who could communicate for me in Finnish, the fact that I needed to unsubscribe.


Interestingly, when Jayne and I listen to dental practice phone call recordings, we often hear two people on the phone call [the caller and the receptionist] communicating in totally different languages.

By that I mean that we listen to calls where the caller is asking or saying one thing, yet the dental receptionist is answering or replying on a completely different wavelength… its as if the receptionist has failed to hear or to listen to or to understand what the caller is asking about and what the caller is wanting to achieve.

This usually happens because the receptionist has a certain perspective [or lack of perspective] as to what they are hearing and what the outcome to the phone call needs to be.

This often happens because the receptionist hears one word in the caller’s initial comment or question, and then latches on to that word, and dismisses or ignores other key words or comments which actually are the true reason for the caller phoning that dentist.

I’m not sure whether this happens because the receptionist is busy doing other things when the phone rings, but there is often an “air of inconvenience” purveyed by the receptionist that tends to shorten the phone call and create a result that is less than desirable for the caller or for the practice.

You see….

You see, every caller who phones in to a dental practice does so because they have a genuine problem and they are looking for a solution to that problem.

Callers to dental practices are not window-shopping or browsing just to pass some time.

They all have a genuine dental need that they are looking to solve.

The dental receptionist…

The dental receptionist answering the phone needs to ask the caller some clarifying questions that get the caller telling more about what their issues are and what they are wanting to do.

If the caller says it, they own it.

If the receptionist says it, the caller is not as invested in the outcome.

When the caller is answering the clarifying questions, they take ownership of their situation and they take ownership of the things that need to happen for their situation to be fixed and to get better.

This is why a receptionist who lectures a caller with a tidal wave of product or procedural knowledge will have a higher instance of fail to attend appointments than a receptionist who helps give the caller some hope and assurance that their condition can and will be fixed, and that they have called the right dentist, and that they are in the best place to get the outcome that will solve their problem.

To maximise your NP phone enquiry bookings…

To maximise your NP phone enquiry bookings, your dental office receptionist and your new patient caller need to be speaking the same language.

And that’s the language of love.

So many times I listen to phone recordings where the dental practice is not in tune with the emotions of the caller, and because of that emotional disconnect, the call often ends with no booking or appointment being made, despite the fact that the caller definitely has an urgent dental issue that requires fixing.

It’s as if the caller is speaking English and the receptionist is trying to translate into Finnish.

And it’s a very bad translation…

The solution is simple…

Time needs to be taken to fully understand what the caller is hoping to achieve, and to create a solution that gives the caller true hope that the appointment they have made will move them closer to their desired dental outcome.

And to do that successfully, we need to make sure that for every phone call to our dental practice, whoever answers that call has the ability to help the caller into the appointment they need that creates genuine hope for the caller that everything will be just fine, and that they will be in safe hands…

The big problem is…

The big problem is that most dental practices don’t have a culture, and they don’t have a mission as to what they are trying to achieve with each and every communication in their dental practice.

And that means face-to-face communications as well as electronic communications, along with phone communications.

These communications can be between dental practice team members as well as communications between team members and patients.

And these communications must also include those that are overheard, and observed by people nearby.

If your office doesn’t have clearly defined guidelines for all of these types of communications, then your dental office has a problem.

And that problem is a major problem.

Everybody in your dental practice needs to be speaking the same language…. at all times.

It’s a non-negotiable….


Need your phones monitored?

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For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

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Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email  for more details.


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