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What can you tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I attended college, dental school, and my postgraduate endodontic residency at the University...
What can you tell us about your background?I grew up in southern Orange County and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at San Diego State University in 1983. There I met my future wife, Kim, at the...
Focus on family, patients, friends, growth, and community
What can you tell us about your background?
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to make people smile. I always loved getting the class laughing in grade school. Looking back, I am sure...
Dr. Robert Slosberg facilitates accurate mapping and obturation of the resportive defect with CBCT imaging
AbstractA patient presented with advanced internal root resorption of tooth No. 9. The prominent location of this tooth...
Drs. Brian Shaughnessy, Margaret Jones, Ricardo Caicedo, Joseph Morelli, Stephen Clark, and Ms. Jennifer Osborne review the occurrence of teeth presenting with condensing osteitis and their associated pulpal diagnosis over a 2-year period.
Dr. Andrei Zoryan dispels some of the common myths surrounding carrier-based obturation
Carrier-based gutta percha
Carrier-based obturation (such as Thermafil®, GT® obturator, ProTaper® obturator [Dentsply Tulsa Dental Specialties]) is one...
In part 2 of his series, Dr. Ace Goerig suggests ways to reduce stress in the practice
Almost all endodontists could be completely out of debt and on the way to financial freedom within 5 to 7 years if they only knew the secret. But the secret is...
Dr. Robert Fleisher ruminates on how to prepare for retirement
There are so many articles about everything that you become pretty much overwhelmed and can never expect to read them all. So you pick and choose. You like to learn about the latest and...
Dr. Roger Levin presents the 10 top ways to help create a perfect dental team
With the changes brought on by the economy, top companies are bringing in the best resources they can find to evaluate where their organizations stand. They want to know...
Ashley Latter shares a few strategies that reception can adopt when dealing with new leads
I often say that the receptionist is probably the most important person in your practice. They can decide whether patients even come into the practice or not when they deal with new inquiries. Therefore, they play a large part in your practice’s success. Here is a true story to back this up, and although it is related to a hotel, there is plenty to learn from the experience.
My parents were having a party on a Sunday afternoon a while ago. My brother called me and suggested that it would be a good idea if the two families stayed in a hotel the night before and had a family get together. I thought it was a great idea, and said that I would contact the hotel where we have both stayed on several occasions. It is a family hotel, with a swimming pool, play area, and great food. Here is how the conversation went, more or less word-for-word.
AL: Hello, can I please book two family rooms for a week from Saturday? Do you have availability? (By the way, I am holding my credit card in my hand.)
SPO: Yes we have availability, but I cannot offer you those rooms unless you stay Friday night as well.
AL: I’m sorry, but my brother works on a Saturday, and we can only stay on the Saturday night. Can you please accommodate
SPO: No, I am sorry; it is the policy of the hotel.
AL: We really like your hotel. Do you have any family rooms available?
SPO: Yes, they are all available.
AL: How much is it to stay then?
SPO: $264 a night, bed and breakfast.
AL: So, for 2 nights it would be $254 times two?
AL: Okay, so it looks like you cannot help me here?
SPO: No, I am afraid not, sorry.
AL: Bye, then.
First, let me please acknowledge that I respect their business model. If they ﬁll their rooms just for one night, then it is obviously going to affect their proﬁts, as they would be turning away weekend bookings. I understand; I am in business myself. However, the receptionist could have done several things differently:
I would have been delighted if they had offered us the last option, as our family likes the hotel and the brand.
The result was no sale and a lost opportunity. The hotel probably lost a sale of around $960; after all, we would have had dinner there, a few bottles of wine, etc. They have probably lost future sales from us as well.
I know a lot of practices that spend thousands of dollars on advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) for their websites, and other marketing strategies. The inquiries that they generate are worth thousands of dollars and should be treated like gold.
It is imperative that your receptionist’s end goal is to ensure that any new inquiries make an appointment with your practice and not another.
I would also urge you to get your receptionist to ask further questions and dig for more information. For example, if the patient saw your website and it prompted them to contact you, ask the patient what it was about your website that they liked. Again, it is useful information, especially if you are constantly updating your websites, and you can establish what your potential patients like about your current format.
If it is a referral, ﬁnd out who the introducer was, and you can then thank them in an appropriate way. This is vital information to your practice. If it is referral, it will be easy to build rapport with the new patient, and it will also demonstrate that you have a very keen client.
At a future team meeting, I urge you to ask this question and discuss it in detail: “What is the lifetime value of an average patient to your practice?”
I’m going to use an example to show why this is so important: Let’s say, for example, a patient is on a membership scheme with you and they pay $27 per month. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s say they stay with you for 20 years. That means without the patient even spending a penny on treatment with you, which I am sure they will, conservatively allowing for inﬂation and membership increases, this patient could possibly spend between $8,000 and $9,600 over a lifetime with you. Remember that this does not include any referrals they may give you, such as family members or friends, etc.
So why is this important? I want your receptionist and everyone in the practice to answer the telephone as if the patient is worth $11,000 to the practice.
If they did, would they possibly handle it differently than they do now? It is certainly worth a discussion.
Each new lead to your practice should be treated like gold. I know I do this in my business. Through my experience, I know that each client is worth thousands of dollars. I have clients who have taken several programs with me and have also introduced many new clients to my business.
I honestly believe that if people are calling your practice inquiring about your services, they are genuinely interested in buying. People do not create a list of people to call to annoy and waste time. We all know some people like shopping around, so please ensure that your practice stands out from the crowd and that they end up at your practice and on your appointment book.
Top tips for making your practice more productive:
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