Make the Most of Your Dental Leads
We want to share something with you that our most profitable practices do. It’s not the next newest technology or tactic in their online dental marketing. They use many things but are highly profitable because they maximize the dental leads they already get. Want to know how? It’s straightforward.
You can tweak, tweak, and tweak your dental marketing mix trying to find the right strategy, but the real problem may be your lead intake tactics.
Answer the Phone
Above all else, executing well on lead intake means answering the phone. Answer it every time it rings. Brad Durham advocates answering on the second ring so as not to seem like you have nothing better to do. That’s a fine idea, but your office has to answer the phone on the second ring.
Do you want to beat the competition? If you have a competitor who would answer the phone when a call comes in, your office has to answer the phone. More than that, your office has to answer the phone when the competition won’t answer their phone. This means there can’t be a lunch hour when you don’t have people taking calls. Stagger your lunch periods so someone is always available, or hire another team member. We guarantee you’ll get more from a human with a pulse than from your voicemail.
What about Fridays? Do you have competitors who are open on Fridays? If so, you funnel business to them every Friday that your office is closed and not answering calls. People who can afford dentistry have jobs and busy lives. They can’t always call when it’s convenient for your office. Unfortunately, because your prospective patients are busy and driven to find a solution to their problem, they’ll listen to your voicemail, hang up, and move to the next office on the list. This negates the investment that you’ve made in generating that phone call because it went unanswered.
Solving this piece of the puzzle will boost your marketing ROI. Our highest performing offices have invested in training and consulting on an ongoing basis to solve these problems. Some do Niche Practice Seminars (We are big believers and help them with their marketing), others do LVI training, and others use various consultants who come to their offices. Many of you have done these things in the past, but you may still struggle if you have had a lot of turnover. When those people leave, they leave your office with the training you gave them. It happens, and it sucks, but it means that you have to spend time regularly for additional, ongoing training of new team members.
After answering the phone, what’s next? Schedule new patient appointments while you are on the phone with them. Don’t wait until their new patient paperwork is filled out. We understand that you may want to qualify the leads and speed up your in-office process, but savvy dentists who get the most new patients put on their sales hat for this part. We know you don’t like to think of “selling” your dental services, but you are. And the best way to sell your service is to get patients to schedule appointments. That’s why Pro Impressions writes patient-centric content and designs websites that lead patients to the main goal: Schedule an appointment, give us a call, etc.
If you’re concerned about your patients not filling out their paperwork before their appointment and setting you behind, give them a call, email, or text a day or two before as a reminder. In the end, you’ll have more new patients, even with the extra step of reminding them about paperwork.
Nurture Your Relationships
So your patient has found you, called and talked to a person, had an appointment scheduled right away, and had their service in your comfortable and clean office. Now it’s time to nurture the relationship to generate 5-star reviews and referrals so you can start over again with another new patient.
Ask your new patients for reviews and give them something physical with your review code on it or send them a text 10-15 minutes after they leave your office. An excellent online reputation goes a long way in telling Google that you’re reputable and convincing new patients to schedule an appointment.
In addition to asking for a review, give your patient a call a few days after their service to ask how they’re feeling—especially if they had a significant service! The future value of each new patient goes up each time they leave a review or refer friends and family to you.