Today’s episode of The Personal Report is all about those green light messages to bring more patients into your office. To see the video now on YouTube, click here.
I haven’t done a scientific survey but let me give you an example of my unscientific survey in going to many practices and talking to patients. You know what I’ve learned? About a third of the patients think you are accepting new patients. Great, that’s the green light. About a third, they’re not sure, we call those the yellow light patients and well, the other third, they’re convinced because it’s hard to get an appointment sometimes, that you’re not taking new patients.
Really only about a third of your patients are absolutely sure it’s okay to refer. We’ve got to do better than that because those patients have record of such a good source of patients for you. The very first thing I want to tell you is put good signage out. When somebody walks into your office, we don’t want them to see all these signs that say don’t do this, don’t do that, take out your credit card, take your insurance card, or check your guns at the door. We don’t want all these negative signs. We want a sign that says “New Patients Welcome.” It sounds simple but you’d be amazed at how many practices don’t do it and how many practices start doing it after I suggest it and then say “Wow, this really works!”
The next one is we have to use the best verbal skills in as few words as possible. So walking somebody up to the front desk and saying something like, “You’re a great patient. We could use more patients like you.” Or, “Mrs. Higgenlooper when do we get to meet your husband?” Or, “Thank you so much for coming to us for all these years. Our practice is growing because of patients like you.” Those are all green light messages.
There are a lot of ways to say it, but really an economy of words is ideal. My suggestion is to get the green light message out in response to a compliment. So when somebody says to you, “You’re fantastic, thanks so much,” or “this was so much easier than I expected,” they’ve given you a compliment. What do you do? Get your green light message out at that time: “Thanks so much for the compliment. “We really enjoy having you as a patient and we’re accepting new patients.” Or, “do you know how we get most of our new patients? It’s not from the radio, it’s not from TV, it’s really not from the Internet. The way we get most of our new patients is from patients like you.”
You’re just making sure that people know you are accepting new patients. If you say nothing other than, “we are accepting new patients,” you’ve done a pretty good job.
My suggestion is to find your comfort level. There are all kinds of ways to say it and I’ve given you a bunch of them. But I want you to find the words that you like, that you feel most comfortable with, and then those are the words you’re going to use. The goal is to take that roughly 33% who know that you’re accepting new patients and make that go higher. Wouldn’t you love to get patients, not from 33% of your patients, but from 90% or 95% or 98%? That’s really our goal and if we can get that message out all the time, through signage and through verbal skills, we’re giving the green light message and that will really help your practice.
If you’d like more information, if you’d like me to send you our free report, “The Three Common Mistakes Dental Practices Must Avoid,” then just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be glad to send it to you. You’re also welcome to find me on the web at davidschwab.com.