3 Tips to Help Dental Receptionists Schedule More Patients

By Beth Gaddis, Patient Prism

Your dental marketing is working and you can see the number of phone calls it’s driving into your dental practice.

So why is your schedule not full?

There are many reasons why potential patients take the time to call you, but may hang up without scheduling. Here are three of the most common reasons and what your team can say to convert those calls.

Build Rapport and Empathy

People choose to do business with people that they know and like. One of the easiest ways to win over a new patient caller is by creating a connection with them. Answer calls with a simple greeting such as “Thank you for calling 1-2-3 Smiles. My name is Beth. May I have your name please?” 

Then use the person’s name frequently throughout the call. “Hi Julie. How can I help you today?” 

This makes the person feel like an individual, and not just a number. 

Another tip: use reassuring language, such as, “I understand, Julie. We help a lot of patients with that same problem and I know Dr. Jones will be able to help you too.”

It helps people feel at ease, and more likely to schedule an appointment.

Overcome Concerns About Cost

Let’s face it: Price is the biggest reason why many people delay getting the dental care they need. The good news is that callers already recognize they have a need to see the dentist; that’s why they called you. 

When callers ask how much it will cost, what they really want to know is whether they will be able to afford it. Reassure them by saying, “Every person’s smile is unique so I can’t give you an exact price. But what I can tell you is that we help people like you every day get high-quality care at an affordable cost. We have a lot of ways to help you fit the dental care you called us about today into your family budget. We’d love to have you come in, meet Dr. Jones, and then we can prioritize your treatment and create a plan that will work for you. Would mornings or afternoons work better for your schedule?”

Always Give Two Choices for Appointments

When people are given a choice, they tend to choose one of the two options. The trick is to make sure that either option will work for you.

If you say, “Would you like to schedule an appointment,” the answers are yes or no. 

But if you say, “I’d love to have you come in and meet Dr. Jones. Would mornings or afternoons work better for your schedule,” then you’re giving the caller a choice that will benefit you either way.

What you say and how you say it can make a huge difference in whether callers choose to schedule with you or with a competitor. If you’re paying for marketing to bring you new patients, then you want to convert as many of those calls as possible. 

Here’s a checklist from Patient Prism that you can keep by your phones. 


This guest blog post is from Patient Prism, an award-winning call-tracking and call-coaching service designed exclusively for dental practices. It analyzes new patient phone calls, identifies the ones that didn’t end in a booked appointment, and emails an alert back to the dental practice with coaching tips on what to say to call back and win back those missed opportunities. For more information, visit www.PatientPrism.com/Overview.

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Dental Marketing | The Social 7

  1. Post consistently, at least once per week.
  2. Include strategic hashtags & visually appealing graphics.
  3. Interact with our viewers by replying and liking comments.
  4. Publish multiple social media platforms.
  5. Encourage interaction by posting questions or polls.
  6. Avoid posting controversial content.
  7. Most importantly – be true to you!

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Why You Shouldn’t Ask For Loyalty From Your Employees

Recently I made a post asking the dentists who make up the Facebook group “Dental Marketing with Grace” if they could list only one main core value. The post generated excellent engagement and many members listed values that I easily agreed with and understood.

When someone mentioned “loyalty”, my thoughts quickly oscillated between “that’s a good one! It’d be amazing to know my team is loyal to the business!” To “wait, no. That really shouldn’t be the core value of any organization.”

Let me dive into this concept in a way that will hopefully challenge thinking.

According to Webster Merriam Dictionary, loyalty is defined as: ‘unswerving in allegiance’.
This is where I’m challenged. See, loyalty is a big word. It’s what you promise when getting married. There’s an infinite timeline on loyalty. Can a person truly give full loyalty to a business? Perhaps. Should they? No. One’s loyalty to a business shouldn’t come before their loyalty to their own personal needs and the needs of their family.

Should a person stay with a company or employer even if the position no longer serves their family’s needs? Absolutely not. Employees can serve a business with the intention to be a long term part of the team, but should a person commit to a lifetime of loyalty to a business? Yes, but with the contingency that it continues to serve their needs.

I’m not implying that when the going gets tough, people should leave without first attempting to overcome a challenging situation. I’m also not implying that people should job hop or be in a state of constantly seeking the next best thing. That won’t serve them well in the long term of their career. A career should serve you, as much as you serve it. Work should be fulfilling and should be something to look forward to. It should allow you to grow professionally and personally. It should allow you to be surrounded by caring and honest people. It should contribute to your life. If it stops serving you, take the next steps to a better future.

You have one life.

Instead of calling this core value ‘loyalty’, it should be referenced as ‘dedication’. You can be dedicated to your team without committing to loyalty, which is unwavering. If you see a practice or methodology that doesn’t seem ethical, you should question it. You should challenge the leadership in your life. You should openly and directly challenge things that don’t feel right. This is where growth occurs.

I challenge you to create an environment that produces dedication. Support each employee individually while recruiting for ethics such as integrity, a strong work ethic, and a dedication to excellent communication. The result will be a dedicated team.

In this life, it’s more important that we live with love and compassion, than it is that we demand loyalty. Instead, serve your team and loyalty will follow.

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7 Ways Your Business Can Comeback from Covid Crisis

dental marketing covid

Even though I consider myself an optimist, this situation has proven to challenge even those with extreme mental fortitude. I’m sure you’ve also experienced moments of deep concern for our country and the world, and our physical and financial health now and in the future.

60% of my daily responsibilities typically include facilitating strategy sessions with dentists. During these sessions we evaluate the current health of the business, as well as what can be done to meet and exceed business goals. It’s always my mission to only give the advice that is in the best interest of the person I’m talking with to the best of my ability.

This situation is no different. I hope you find the following strategies helpful. I hope they help you to stay positive and focused on your business comeback plan during this difficult time.

  1. Create a game plan for how your team can strengthen themselves and their ability to serve your community upon returning to work. Whether you host a quarantine book club ( I recommend anything by Patrick Lencioni or Gino Wickman) or you each take online CE in your respective areas of expertise, give your team a goal and a skill that they can improve upon in this downtime.
  2. Contribute to a quick rebound by keeping your team employed (if you can) and keeping your relationship with critical business advisors that will become key resources for you when opening back up.  Terminating your team and key advisors could actually put you back significantly in the progress you’ve worked to build when it comes time to reopen. Many programs, including: team training programs, consultants, marketing initiatives will be necessary when business operations resume. There will likely be employee turnover, patient loss to a degree due to financial difficulty in some, and a shift in the needs of your community (more on this next).
  3. Stay in contact with your patients. Call and check in on them. See how they’re doing and how they’re feeling. Talk to them about your infection control policies and your response to COVID-19. Make sure they are safe and feel safe in your care when the time comes to open the doors. Join our Facebook Group Dental Marketing with Grace and receive daily social media content that’s appropriate for your dental practice currently.
  4. Consider changing the tone of your marketing to reflect the current needs of your community. You should include your infection control measures, as well as shifting focus to emergency care, if you are open for those services. Once life returns to our new normal, you’ll also benefit from communicating the importance of oral health to have strong overall health. We will have a very health conscious community. Contact us to set up a marketing planning session. 
  5. Consider expanding your hours to have more convenient appointment times when you reopen. You’ll have many patients seeking care and may experience a large workload when it comes time to get back to work.
  6. Reconsider your brand, website and online presence now. Many Americans are unable to leave their homes for much besides grocery shopping and other essential errands. Your online presence NOW is going to build your brand, establish recognition and strengthen your business when it’s time to open again. This kind of event is unprecedented. Digital ads only utilize spend with views, clicks or impressions. If you’re in a financial situation to be able to invest, your dollars can go far in terms of exposure.
  7. STAY POSITIVE! Your patients, team and community will look to you for a smile. Be the person to spread hope and positivity.

Grace@identitydental.com

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The Secret to Eliminating Failure From Your Life

I have a friend who’s been thinking, and dreaming, and planning on launching her own business for years. Unfortunately, she hasn’t done much “doing”. She’s the kind of person who has no lack of experience or knowledge, and she’s been growing and learning in her chosen industry for years. She has had all the tools she’s needed to be successful for a very long time. So what’s been holding her back?

Recently, she made the first real steps to get her business off the ground and I couldn’t be more proud. I asked her why she thought it had taken so long for her to finally get started and she gave me the response that I was expecting, but still didn’t understand.

“I can’t believe I haven’t done it sooner. I think I was just too afraid to get started.”

It’s not only in business that this fear rears its ugly head. What about when you want to start dedicating yourself to the gym, or when you want to finally read that book you’ve been putting off? What things have been nagging at you, begging for you to accomplish them before the end of your life? What’s been holding you back from doing so? Fear of failure? What is that?

Maybe your original plan doesn’t pan out exactly how you thought it would. Is that failure? No.

Maybe you didn’t reach the specific goal you had set for yourself. Is that failure? No.

These imagined failures are arbitrary and created solely by you- don’t allow them to prevent you from moving forward when achieving your goals becomes challenging.

When I first started my business, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would have labeled me a “failure”. In my first year, I produced less than $13,000 before expenses. In 2009 (the year I first started Identity), the median household income in the United States was nearly $60,000. Ouch. Could I have thrown in the towel right then and there, living the rest of my life as a failure? Absolutely. Perhaps other people even would have.

Instead, I chose to look at each of those 13,000 dollars and feel pride for what I had accomplished. I understood that it meant I had made a real step towards my goal of owning a successful business. Not only had I made money for myself, but I had truly helped a few clients grow their own businesses along the way.

From that experience, I learned something critical to my success. When you learn to appreciate your journey towards success, you eliminate the possibility of failure. By focusing on what’s going right, you prevent the worry over things that have gone wrong to slow you down. Very few people are successful overnight, or in this case over a year. But that willingness to appreciate the journey, to love every step you take, including the highs and the lows, means that you’ll be incapable of allowing the fear of failure to hold you back. In fact, failure won’t even be an option as long as you’re alive.

This isn’t to stay that you should always stick with your original goals in the hope that someday they’ll pan out. Rather, continually learn from the successes and mistakes you make and apply that knowledge to the adaptation of your goals. Eventually, you will find success.

As someone who’s been where you are, and who continues to love being on her journey towards success, allow me to offer one more piece of advice. If you’re sitting in place at work, or in your life, fearing that things may not turn out exactly the way you want them too, know that it’s better to go and make an effort than to stay stuck in a place you’ll regret when you go on to the next life.

If you’re in need of a little extra guidance or a push, I’m always here for you. Schedule a call today at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.

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