Monthly Archives: September 2013

Conversations: How to connect with your potential new patients

The right words delivered by the right people. It’s the difference between a lasting connection and a bad impression, a life-long customer and a one-time sale, or no sale at all.

Read the opening statement again and think, “In my office, which employees have these conversations every day?  In most clinics, the answer is “Your front office staff.”  They are the people in the office having conversations everyday.  They are your point of first contact for your potential new patients.  Are you sure they know the words and conversations they need to have to make that customer an actual scheduled new patient?  If you want the opportunity to deliver on the outcomes you know you can produce, then that patient has to be scheduled first.

I was recently speaking to a Physical Therapist who manages an outpatient clinic in North Carolina.  We were talking about the need to have the front office dialed in on the value that the practice brings to the patients.  He followed back up with me a week later to share an experience.  A potential new patient had walked in to inquire about Physical Therapy.  The PT by coincidence happened to catch this potential patient (who had not scheduled) as she was heading out.  He engaged her in a conversation, he shared the fact that his clinic sees patients one on one with no double booking.  The women went back to the front desk and scheduled appointments.

Why was the new patient headed out the door?  The PT took full responsibility on our call and stated that his front office was not aware of the clinic’s Value Proposition.  The front office did not know what conversation needed to happen with potential new patients; therefore they did not give the potential new patient any reason to schedule her appointment in this office.  My follow up question to him,  “How many times a day does this happen?..on the phone?… or when you’re not catching them at the front door?”  How many times can your practice afford to have that happen?

To ensure that this conversation occurs successfully, First, you need to have your front office fully prepared to share your Value Proposition. Not quite sure what I’m talking about?  It’s all right here →  Next, you have to check and recheck that the conversation is happening.  For example, sit at the front desk for an hour or two and listen to the conversations.  Take my word, you will know exactly what’s going on just by listening to one side.  You say you don’t have the time to sit at the front desk?  Well how many patients are you willing to lose on the phone?  Make the time.

Let me know your thoughts, comments and ideas.