Maximising New Patient Opportunities

I was having a good chat with my Personal trainer (PT) on what made me choose him.

My first complimentary consultation training session was the key to me becoming a client.  I had so many fears and questions on choosing a PT just like dental patients’ do about choosing a dental practice. There were 10 key thoughts I had before embarking on my decision and they were:

I have numerous injuries from dancing which are ongoing which has always held me back in sport in recent years ( giving up running and tennis after knee op).

I don’t like gyms as I feel self conscious and I don’t know how any of the equipment works.

Will I be able to say no to certain exercises, will there be fitness options.

  1. Can I trust this person to support me in weeks where I am not on it.
  2. Can we build a sustainable plan around my travel lifestyle and theatre commitments.
  3. I have never had a gym body and never lifted a weight in my life.
  4. Is the gym the PT works out of, have a nice environment with a good atmosphere.
  5. Is the gym in a good location so it minimises interruption in my day.
  6. I don’t want to go on a diet but I do want to loose a stone.
  7. I need to be able to laugh with my PT and feel comfortable to be me.
  8. Is the gym in a good location so it minimises interruption in my day.
  9. I don’t want to go on a diet but I do want to loose a stone.
  10. I need to be able to laugh with my PT and feel comfortable to be me. 

This is an extensive list and one I realise from being a treatment coordinator and receptionist in dental practice is very similar to what patients used to communicate with me and my team. Here are 10 key thoughts that came from patients:

  1. I have neglected my dental health for some time and I am now worried that there is going to be so much to do.
  2. I am self conscious about my teeth and smile and want to make a change but I don’t know where to start.
  3. Will I be able to say no to suggestions made to me, are there different dental options, how will I choose?
  4. Can I trust the dentist and the team to support me.
  5. Can I get a sustainable plan to support my lifestyle and work life.
  6. I have never liked my teeth and worried that I never will.
  7. Is the dental practice a nice clean environment with a good atmosphere.
  8. Is the dental practice in a good location with hours that fit around my lifestyle.
  9. I don’t want to stop eating foods with sugar in, but I do want a healthy mouth.
  10. I need to be able to laugh with my dentist and feel comfortable to be me.

I know you will come up with so many more!

Here are my top tips on how to handle the above questions / thoughts, so that you make it really easy for patients to choose you:

  1. Make sure your website and all social media platforms reflect the dentistry you do, pictures are up to date and clear. It reflects you and your standards of care.
  2. Introduce yourselves in social media so that patients can get to know you, it should not be all dentistry it is about connecting with you. You need to show that your are personable, trustworthy and positive person.
  3. Do team training on the way patients are feeling when making that first contact with the practice, teams tend to forget how patients feel as they are comfortable in the dental environment.
  4. Make sure the team are able to handle new patient enquiries and are trained to welcome a patient, build a rapport, understand the patient’s goals, give USP’s and confirm the next steps.
  5. Reflect on where your new patients come from and make sure the team are conversant in communicating on brand in all forms including email, telephone and walk in patients.
  6. Offer patient complimentary consultations with treatment coordinators, if patients need more time to make sure that you are the right dental practice for them.
  7. Reception team to offer meet and greets, if you don’t have treatment coordinators so that can show new patients around the practice, introduce themselves and build rapport.
  8. Make sure that your practice outside and inside is on brand and always reflects the standards of care you offer.
  9. New patient appointments are your showcase appointment, so do not cut corners, the investment at the start nurtures the patient relationship forever, gaining the trust you need in order to deliver the dentistry that you offer.
  10. You only have a small amount of time to make a first impression and every team member is responsible for getting it right.

Going back to understanding where a patient is coming from is vital in successful conversion. I did that when choosing Rob as my PT as he took the time to understand all of my concerns, he took time to understand what had happened, and the goals I had in mind. He has taken all my list of fears and questions and due to his hard work he has a sustainable client. If you do this to then I know first hand you will be able to maximise all your new patient opportunities.

Michael

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