Tracy Stuart gives a candid view of how important it is to master verbal skills that will resonate with your clients from the outset, to ethically and effectively increase your conversion rate and your case acceptance without turning into a sales machine
The power of words continues to remain a mystery to most. Clinical knowledge is important but may not be on the immediate radar of your clients. So you need to find out quickly what is on their radar and why? What are their drivers? What are their perceived benefits from having this particular treatment? What makes it so important to them?
Converting more new enquiries and treatment plans is what every practice I have ever met would like to do! So what mystery and magic lies behind making this happen?
Surprisingly, the same magic formula that made my friends four-year-old daughter sit still in the restaurant when I met with her. That very same formula is true for your clients. Let me explain.
How to get attention
The word ‘cake’ is like an emotional alarm bell to four-year-old Lara that her brain is always quietly listening out for. If you want to get her attention, you have to call it cake which is exactly what her Mum did when she ordered her daughter ice cream. To Lara it was yummy cake in a glass!
I am not suggesting you mislead your clients but it demonstrates just how important it is to use their language and not yours when taking that initial call. When you do this you immediately unlock a new level of understanding and confidence with them. They will be drawn to you, as we are all drawn to the people we like as friends or do business with – we recognise something of ourselves in those people that makes us feel comfortable.
Knowing how to achieve this will be your verbal spring board in the conversion process. It works regardless of age or gender!
The strength of the tag team
The success of your practice is very much controlled at the entry point or gateway which is of course the first point of contact – your reception team. Their role and how it is verbally played out is pivotal to your success and when done badly your demise.
Your clients will react according to how they were made to feel about you at this entry point so it’s vital to be able to use the right language from the outset. New consults are lost and won from this experience alone and those are your potential clients of tomorrow who you will now never see in your chair. These clients are also often mistakenly referred to as price buyers and shoppers by the less experienced gatekeeper.
Let’s assume for the moment your reception team have already mastered the dark art of using your clients’ language and not theirs which means you are well on the way to securing those appointments. From this first point of contact your new clients’ expectation of that first experience of you has been set so now it’s up to your team to make sure its fulfilled.
So how can you safeguard against them feeling short changed and disappointed as your reception team hands them over into the safe hands of your TCO?
I liken it to running in a relay where you know all your team mates but have never practiced the handover – chances are there will be a lot of baton dropping.
Any savvy client will spot this at a 1000 paces. The confidence that had been instilled by your Gatekeeper will be undermined in an instant. You may not lose this client but I guarantee you are destined to have a very hard time convincing them to buy from you.
When you all know how to speak the clients’ language they will immediately believe you are on their wave length and that you totally understand the problem they have and the issues they have with it. Before you know it you have become their preferred treatment provider.
From that initial point of contact with reception to the consultation and beyond, using their language has never been more important. Address their concerns first and not yours if you are to become their ‘go-to’ dental provider. After all you wouldn’t go to the nearest restaurant just because they serve food. Choosing your dentist is no different.
Tracy Stuart is a well-known, well respected and seasoned team trainer and practice development specialist across the UK and Ireland and wants to help dental practices get the most out of any training that they undertake. Tracy has been successfully delivering training programmes for the last seven years, with over 20 years’ experience in developing and managing dental practices.
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