The Shopper Call: The Final Three Questions You Need To Ask To Secure The Appointment

Today I’m going to share with you the final three questions that you need too ask a caller who begins with a price enquiry to ensure they schedule an appointment with your Dental Office.

Over the last two weeks I’ve shared with you some simple facts that I’ve gathered over the years about callers with price enquiries and how best to answer those questions they have, and ask.



It’s been interesting sharing these processes with you.

Because we have to remember, when looking at these questions, that the number one reason why callers lead with a price enquiry is simply that they have no other point of reference with which to begin their call.

So in their mind that’s how they think they must start their call.

What we know is that when a caller begins with, say, “How much do you charge for a crown?” what we know really is that this caller is actually in need of some dental treatment, and is looking for a dental office to perform that dental treatment.

And yes, I’ve received feedback from colleagues over the past few weeks who’ve told me that there’s no way, if they were a caller to my office that they’d tolerate this twenty question approach to them from my Front Office person.

But that’s because those colleagues are thinking this out and watching on like Dentists.

And not like patients.

Or should I say not like the general public out there.

These dentists are reading these pages with the same scrutiny as a professional magician would view a David Copperfield show.

And that’s the problem.

Dan Kennedy says that the greatest problem that ad writers, or copy writers need to address is to think like the purchaser of the product being marketed, and not think like the seller, or manufacturer of that same product.

And there in lies the *magic*.

In fielding one of these calls to your Office that leads with a price enquiry, the aim of your Front Office Person is to build a trust in her for the caller.

Your Front Office Person should always be trying to, as quickly as possible, get trust to override cost.

By asking the caller a series of well planned questions you can easily build trust.

As you do, the caller feels the trust, and at the same time, your Front Office person builds process.

And I’ve explained that process over the past two weeks.

So as we reach this point in the call, we know that we’ve been spending the time with the caller building a relationship of trust with them by asking a well structured series of questions that have given us the ability to gather vital information while at the same time allowing the caller to feel that they too have acquired more knowledge about what treatment they need as well as what our Office can actually offer to them.

Because you see, in most cases, we forget to establish the fact that often the caller has some fear of the dentist and also the caller is probably scared of parting with their money over a procedure they really have little knowledge about.

So at the appropriate time in the call, and your Front Office person will know when that is, the next question needs to be:

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, Mary, [gentle pause], how many other dentists have you actually called about this?”


“And were they able to give you the information you were looking for? [Pause]. Were they able to help you?”

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, how many other dentists have you actually called about this, and were they able to give you the information you were looking for? Were they able to help you?”

We already know the answer to the second portion of this question is No, because if any other Office had been able to help Mary then Mary would already have an appointment elsewhere and she’d be off the phone and doing something far more entertaining than ringing around to dental offices.

That’s a given.

And the usual answer that Mary gives at this point in the call to us is “No”, followed by:

“You’ve spent more time with me on the phone and answered my questions more than anyone else I’ve rung”.


The key thought to remember and always keep front of mind when handling these types of calls is to always try and ask questions that will result in a “Yes” answer.

And when you do provide information, or a statement of fact, always continue on from that fact immediately with another yes momentum question.

By always asking questions that require the caller to answer with “Yes”, we are establishing *Yes Momentum*, a well documented process that aids in helping our caller more easily make a decision to have their treatment done with us.

Your Front Office Person will know when it’s the right time to ask for the appointment.

And the best way for her to do that is to simply state, at the appropriate time, that she knows is right:

“Sounds to me Mary, like you’re ready to make an appointment?”

And Mary will either say, “Yes I am”, or “No I’m not”.

And most of the time we’ll be right, and Mary will schedule a time there and then.

Because we’ve established trust, and established a *significant* point of difference between our Dental Office and every other Office that Mary has already previously contacted.

And we’ve done that just by spending time with Mary.

Taking time.

Taking the time to show Mary that we indeed do care.

And that we’re different at our Office.

Different from any other Dental Office she’s ever contacted before.

Because we’ve simply taken the time to show her that we care.

And really, that’s all that any caller really wants to know….


In closing, I know there’ll be readers who still want to know what to say to the caller who won’t be deflected from their original question:

“How much is a crown?”

[Read/substitute the word filling/root canal etc. for crown depending on enquiry question]

Here’s how we answer that at my office.

So the caller says something like:

“I really need to know, how much do you charge for a crown?”

We’d say:

“That’s a very important question and everybody does need to know that information. [Controlled short pause]. What sort of crown are you after?”

And most times the caller won’t know there are different types of crowns.

And so, no matter how they respond, we say:

“Let me tell you this. [Pause]. Dr Moffet’s not the cheapest Dentist in the Parramatta area but the reason why patients seek out and choose Dr Moffet is that they want to make sure that they’re given the correct treatment rather than something that’s not right for them. [Pause].”

And then you ask immediately:

“Are you looking for a crown that lasts a long time or a short time?”

And of course they answer “a long time”, and then we say:

“Dr Moffet spends a lot of time fixing crowns where people have thought that a less expensive option was the way to go..[Pause]”

And then the caller will pause, or hesitate…

And we’ll say:

“Sounds to me like you don’t want that then, Mary.”

And follow that immediately with:

“Why don’t we do this? [Pause]. Why don’t we make a time for you to come down and see Dr Moffet so he can look at this tooth and let you know exactly what you need? Does that make sense?”


Remember, as Jayne Bandy says, they haven’t rung for a Pizza.

Our role, in answering the phone, is to help Mary make the decision that our Dental Office is the *ONLY* place for her to go for the treatment she needs.

Nowhere else.

And for her to go anywhere else, she knows that she won’t be treated better.



And that’s what it’s all about…..



Answering the phone correctly, including how to handle the price enquiry is one of the many detailed components of The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system that I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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