“Shopper” Handling

When someone contacts your office to ask about the price or cost of your services, realize that they are not “shoppers” most of the time. They are not sitting at home dialing practitioners to harass them or their staff. Usually, you have a potential new patient at the other end of the line and it is important that you take care of this person in such way that they arrive in your practice.

Note that every “shopper” lost is a loss of $1,500 to $3,500 to the practice as that is what the average patient spends in a practice over the period of time they stay with you. So it is important to know how best to turn them into a patient or client.

TWO RULES:

(1) Avoid quoting the price or fees if at all possible.
(2) Never ask if they would like an appointment.

(1) If the prospect is asking about your fees in any way, tell the person that you need to get more information from them first in order to answer that. First of all, tell the prospect your name and ask them for theirs. Then quickly jump into asking some of the following questions:

What symptoms are present? Are they affecting you? How long has this been going on? Has another practitioner treated or diagnosed this before? Do you live or work in the area? Are you new to the area? (If you hear a dog barking in the background or a child talking or crying, etc, ask the name and if it is theirs, and so on.) The bottom line is: show that you are interested in them and build as much relationship and rapport as you can.

(2) Now that you know what the problem is and how urgent it is, you are going to ASSUME from the data that they need an appointment and offer the prospect two different appointment times. For example, “Sounds like we should get you in here soon and I have an appointment time available tomorrow at 10 a.m. and another at 3:30 p.m. Which works best for you?” The point here is that you are offering them two choices. DO NOT ASK, “Would you like an appointment?” to which they could answer, “Not right now, let me think about it and get back to you.”

Use this information well and you will see an increase of 2-5 new patients per week.

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