Interested in what’s next? What’s new? Want to know how to get more new patients? We’ve worked hard together to generate the best results we can, and you trust us to be proactive in pursuing all avenues of growth for online marketing. I appreciate that. I want to share something with you that all of my most profitable practices do. It’s not the next, newest technology or tactic in their online marketing. They use a lot of those things, but they are highly profitable because they maximize the leads that are already generating. Want to know how? It’s actually very simple.


You can tweak, tweak, and tweak your marketing mix trying to find the right strategy but the real problem may be your lead intake tactics. 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.

Want to beat the competition? If you have a competitor who would answer the phone when a call comes in, then 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 if you really want to beat the competition.

This means that there can’t be a lunch hour when you don’t answer. 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 your calls. People who can afford dentistry have jobs and busy lives. They can’t always call when it’s convenient for your office.

The graphic to the right is from one of our offices who tries to take a short break at 2 o’clock. This is shifted from when most patients are takingtheir lunches, which is a good idea, but look at the percentage of calls that hang up without leaving a message. 19% of their calls lead to hang-ups, and 20% of those have gone unanswered because they came in at the 2 o’clock hour. In 2018, that meant that 39 calls went unanswered during their 2pm break. Existing patients will almost certainly call back, but what do you think prospective new patients will do?

You and your team need a break. You work intensely all morning, and you plan on working late in the day. Unfortunately, because your prospective patients are busy and driven to find a solution to their problem, so they will listen to your voicemail, hang up, and move to the next office on the list. This completely negates the investment that you’ve made in generating that phone call if it goes unanswered.

Your team must commit to answering the phone whenever it rings. If need be, hire another team member, or have an answering service answer the phone when you can’t. We can even ring cell phones of properly motivated team members if you can work out a system with them to take calls an hour before and after the office closes. You may be concerned about how the calls are answered, but I guarantee you’ll get more from a human with a pulse than from your voicemail.

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 (I’m a big believer and help them with their marketing), others do LVI training, 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 turn over. When those people leave, they leave your office with the training that you gave them. It happens and it sucks, but it means that you have to spend time on a regular basis for additional, on-going training of new team members. Let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to see all of our offices make more progress in this area.