So you have a sound marketing strategy in place and you’re starting to generate leads. Great! Now you need to have the right strategy and system in place to convert these leads into consultations and these consultations into patients. In this article I’ll focus more on converting the leads into consultations.
It goes without saying that a professional, qualified staff is crucial to your practice’s success. This couldn’t be more true for the process of converting leads into consultations. Here are some tips for improving this conversion rate:
1) The receptionist is the most pivotal person in the practice when it comes to converting leads: This person needs to be the “voice” of your practice. They need to not only be friendly and polite, but also have excellent organizational skills. Furthermore, they need to have some sales skills. They don’t necessarily need sales experience, as they can always…
2) Use a script: There are certain phrases and questions that need to be asked during an intial call, regardless if your receptionist follows a script verbatim or not. Here are a few:
- In response to a caller’s interest in a service or procedure: “I can help you with that“
- “By the way sir, how did you hear of our practice?“
- Make sure you give price ranges and make them as big as possible
- For an invasive surgical procedure break the total up into the cost for the doctor, anesthesia and time
- Mention payment plans are available
5) Sell the doctor: If you’ve invested in internet marketing and a website then you’re on your way to having a solid presence online. Obviously you want to be aware of both the practice’s, and the doctor’s, online reputation. On the phone, encourage people to visit the practice website or any review sites. Talk about the physician’s credentials and experience.
6) Handle Objections: Not every lead is going to convert on the first call. However, if you follow a script and handle objections then you will increase your conversion rate significantly. Callers need to be sold the value of the consultation and if they don’t they likely won’t schedule an appointment. Therefore, you need to make sure that you understand what their concerns are, explain to the caller that you understand where they’re coming from (sympathize with them) and address their concerns with a pre-scripted response. One popular statement to make is, “I understand how you feel, and other people have felt that way before, but what they’ve found is by coming to the consultation ____”
7) CLOSE: You have to ask, and sometimes continue to ask, if the caller is ready to schedule an appointment. If they’re not then you need to go back to #6. Here are some good closes:
- “I appreciate the call Mrs. Smith. The doctor will be available next Monday at 10am and Thursday at 4pm. Do wither of those work for you?
- “So Mr. Jones, do you have a specific day in mind that you can come in for a visit?”
- “We have quite a few patients booked this week for consultations, but let me see where I can fit you in.”
- “Have I answered all your questions? Good, well the best way decide whether or not we’re a good fit for you is to come and check out our practice in person. Dr. Johnson can go into a little more details about your questions. Let’s schedule a date and time for you to come in. Do you prefer mornings or afternoons?”
Keep in mind that this article simply discussed leads that call in. Leads generated online need to be followed up with within 1 business day, preferably by phone. If you cannot get a hold of the lead then leave a message, send an email and try to reach them again within the next week. Then put them on your email marketing list. Once you get a hold of the lead you should follow the same steps listed above.