Five Common Responses Dental Staff Members Typically Use On The Phones That Actually Drive New Patients Away!

Every day in every Dental Office the phone rings with a New Patient Enquiry Call.

And our staff are driving those enquiries away….

The phone rings and it is someone wanting to book in with us, and our receptionist is turning the caller off, and turning them away.

Not on purpose.

Putting it simply, our receptionist is not thinking out the call.

In this day and age, in 2015 and into 2016, we have to realise that when that phone rings out there with a new patient enquiry call, the caller has already done their homework on us and our practice and has already decided that we are the Dental Office for them.

The reason for this is because with the internet, with Google and with Facebook and with YouTube, the caller has all the resources they need to make an educated decision already right at their fingertips.

And so the physical act of phoning our office is simply their way of confirming that decision, and it’s only up to us and our team to mess it up and prove to them that they have indeed made an incorrect decision.

And sometimes that’s what we do.

Sometimes, “sometimes” is putting it politely.

Statistics will tell you that only twenty percent of all New Patient Enquiry phone calls are converted to physical appointments.

Yes, you’ve read it here perfectly.

Four out of every five new patient enquiry calls to a Dental Office fail to result in an appointment.

And the reason for that is that simply our Dental Front Office person is failing to realise how easy it is for them to create the desired outcome.

With that in mind, here are Five Common Responses staff members typically use on the phones that actually drive new patients away!

1. They fail to smile


They fail to set the tone for the call, for answering the call, by not getting themselves into the ideal physical state to achieve the best result.

And we achieve the best results when we are wearing a smile on our face and not a frown.

2. They fail to think HAPPY THOUGHTS

When the phone rings they need to be mentally *with* the call. They need to be “in the zone” to best receive the call and the best way of doing that is by feeling connected with the phone and feeling connected to the end result that is desired.

And that result is that we need an appointment to be made.

And we can only achieve our best outcomes when we are happy to be doing what we are doing.

3. They fail to find out the caller’s name and use it regularly to create a friend

Everybody loves the sound of their own name, and hearing somebody regularly use our name draws us to that person.

Using somebody’s name creates a bridge.

Failing to use a person’s name creates an unnecessary distance between two people.

4. They answer the first question as if it is the real question

The real question is always:

I have a Dental Problem. Are you able to help me?

The question our poorly trained receptionist hears is:

“Do you take my insurance?” or,

“How much do you charge for [blank]?”

The reason our callers lead with either of these two questions is simply, that they do not know what else to start with.

Every time a caller calls and leads with “Do you take ABC insurance?” what they are really saying is “I have a Dental problem and I’m really hopeful that you are going to be able to help solve my problem…”

5. They fail to identify that the caller has a problem, and are truly looking for a solution

Nobody calls a Dental Office for fun.

This is not a pastime that women do on a Monday afternoon after tennis.

When the phone rings, with an insurance or price enquiry, it is not somebody doing market research.

It is indeed a person in need, with a Dental issue, seeking a solution to their problem.

And it is our job to be the solution to their problem.

This is a light bulb moment.

The day that our person answering the phone realises this watershed moment is the day that our New Patient numbers begin exploding.

6. They vomit information that is not asked for and begin lecturing the caller

Putting it simply, they fail to listen to what the caller is saying, both directly and indirectly.

They think that when the phone rings, it is an opportunity to show someone new that they are indeed a very knowledgeable person.

When in fact, what they really need to be doing is showing the caller that they are indeed a helpful person.

We always need to be listening more than we talk. This is why the good Lord gave us two ears and only one mouth.

It is only while we are listening that we can truly become a problem solver.

7. They fail to ask for the appointment

Remember, they haven’t called for a pizza, as Jayne Bandy would say.

The reason they have called is that they have a dental issue and they believe we are the best office in town to solve that issue for them.

If we fail to secure an appointment for them by failing to ask for the appointment we have let the caller down and we have let our Office down and our team down and our Doctor down.

“If you don’t ask you don’t get” is what I used to say in my dating days, and it is just as applicable here in this situation.

“The one you don’t ask for now is the one you miss out on later on”

You get the point?

8. They fail to ask feedback loop questions

By regularly asking feedback loop questions we are able to confirm that we are indeed helping our caller.

If we do not regularly check in with the caller we drift across into lecturing and away from our primary goal which is to help solve their problem by organizing a time for them to come to our office to see the Dentist.

Remember the person asking the questions in the conversation controls the conversation.

Feedback loop questions such as “Does that make sense?” and “Don’t you agree” also help to create a *YES Momentum* within the conversation that helps move the caller towards the desired end result.

And that result is an appointment at our Dental Office with our wonderful Dentist.

If we fail to secure an appointment time for the caller we have let that caller down.

Because frankly, we know it, that we are indeed the best Dental Office in town.

And now that caller will be going elsewhere. All because we failed to do what we were meant to do.


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