Dental Sales and Marketing By A Potato Head?
Well whilst I was playing with my daughter on Sunday, we couldn't find Mrs Potato head's ear, so we had to improvise. This got me thinking...that any good salesperson should speak really to ask questions and listen for 2/3rds of the time they are engaged in a conversation.
"But my receptionist isn't in sales" well I think we slightly differ in our opinion on this one, anyone who is in contact with the patient is in sales, the dentist, the hygienist, the nurses, receptionist and especially your patient coordinator and the practice manager if you have them.
"But I am a Dentist not a Salesperson!” Yes we understand how you feel about this, sales reps are not your favourite people, usually talking over you and not asking you any revealing questions about your wants, desires and needs, they outline the product benefits without listening to your problems and providing a solution.
As part of essential dental receptionist training, and dental sales training, it is necessary to ask probing questions to get to the buying motivations, this is important when answering patient enquiries. Otherwise you do not understand what your potential new patient wants. If your team are uncomfortable asking probing questions then just pass the patient onto another member of your team who will ask them the right questions.
We made a number of mystery shopper telephone calls to practices and dental supply businesses. When listening to the recordings it was evident that the majority of people answering the call did not ask any questions to find out why we were calling. Why did we need a dental implant or want to have straight teeth? One supplier was rather rude to us and did not ask us any revealing questions either!
Answering without getting to the real needs is one of the big mistakes made, as this does not let the potential patient or customer feel the pain enough for them to take action by booking an appointment at your practice. Especially if you keep them holding on the phone and then get a price from the back office quoting them three and a half thousand pounds without mentioning monthly payment options; that could lose you the sale.
Some of the people we spoke to were actually rude speaking over us and not listening. To conclude, in most cases you should not behave like Mrs Potato head. You have one mouth and two ears for a reason.
On the rare occasion the potential patient attempts to control the situation I would recommend that you do your best to answer their questions and try to put your point across without upsetting the power balance. This kind of person likes to control the conversation and is gathering information to make an informed decision so may still book up an appointment after their fact finding mission.
If you found this blog post helpful and are serious about growing your dental practice checkout our incredible free dental marketing gift by clicking on the box below.
By Nathaniel Schooler, GetWise Marketing