Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

31 Oct 2022 | Australasian Dental Practice

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6 rules for dealing with phone shoppers...

By Michael Sernik

Welcome to Happy Smiles Dental Spa where gentle service is our priority. My name is Nikki. How may I help you today?”
  1. Don’t use any script that has any potential to annoy the caller. This script is long. Some people might roll their eyes and be annoyed at having to wait while you rattle it off. As long as you use your name, speak clearly, are not rushed and sound very friendly, you won’t offend anyone. Something like: “Hello, this is Happy Smiles Dental, Nikki speaking” is inoffensive.
  2. Avoid saying anything negative like “Sorry, we can’t quote unless we see you”. If they ask something like “How much for an implant”, your first response is to say something positive, like “Sure, I can definitely help you with that”.
  3. Try and avoid firm quotes. If your fee is not lower than the last price they heard, they might just say thanks and ring someone else. It’s better to respond with “Sometimes there isn’t enough bone or the bone density is unsuitable. Do you know if there is an ideal amount of bone support? There are several types of implants. I’d love to quote you accurately, because I know our fees are very competitive. Do you have a copy of a recent Xray of the area?”.
  4. After answering a question, always add your own question. Never be silent after answering a question. For example, if you just quoted a fee and then said nothing, the patient will often not commit. They aren’t sure what to do so they say “Thanks. I’ll let you know”. You can control the conversation with questions like this:
    • Which tooth is it?
    • Is it bothering you at the moment?
    • Is this for you or for someone else?
    • Is this something that you’d like done soon or are you just curious and not in any rush?
    • Do you have health insurance?
    • May I ask if we were recommended by one of our patients?
    • Do you know if your mouth has any chronic gum condition, because if an implant is placed in any area with chronic infection, it has a chance of failing. Have you had the bacteria checked? (Only say things like with prior approval from your clinician).
  5. Guide them to an appointment. “I’m just wondering (pause)... If I reserve a complimentary time for you so you can get a fixed quote... would that be of any help for you... do you think?
  6. If they didn’t offer their name, get it.

Dealing with phone shoppers is a game of wits. Scripts are not ideal because they can block you from being “in the moment”. You always want to try and start a relationship, so wherever possible, try and engage the patient into a deeper conversation and guide them to share more details.


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