As a practice management consultant in the aesthetics space, I see so many medical aesthetics practices leave thousands of dollars in revenue on the table due to ONE critical element that is often overlooked – expert phone skills.
For most patients, the very first impression of your practice comes from the person answering the phone, yet I find the majority of practices spend very little time or training to help develop and perfect their phone skills.
Having a successful phone call with a potential client is critical in making sure that call converts to a consultation and eventually, a client. That’s why I’ve put together this brief quiz to evaluate how you rate in the phone skills department.
So, grab a pen, jot down your answers (no cheating) and see how you rate:
1. 95% of patients make initial contact with a practice, but only _____ convert and book an appointment.
2. Phone calls should be answered within _____ rings.
3. What is the first thing you should ask a caller before you continue to engage in the conversation?
a) What service are they looking for?
b) How much money do they have to spend?
c) If they have ever had procedures done before?
d) Their name and phone number in case the call gets disconnected.
4. If you need to put a caller on hold, you should always ask for permission first, and then check back with them every 2-3 minutes.
5. You should use the caller’s name throughout the phone call for a personal touch.
6. What type of information should you gather from the caller?
a) Their name and number
b) How they found your practice (referral source)
c) What type of service they are interested in and what part of the body they wish to improve
d) An email address to send follow up information
e)All of the above
7. When engaging a caller in conversation, it is important to:
a) Listen, ask open-ended questions, and reflect back what they say.
b) Give them only the specific information they are asking for as briefly as possible to save time.
c) Answer their questions with a yes or a no only.
d) Suggest products and services you are promoting that month.
8. It is important to know and use powerful credentialing statements to answer the question, “Why Choose our Practice?”
9. After you answer all the prospect’s questions you should:
a) Wait to see if they ask to schedule a consultation.
b) Offer a consultation and ask them what day/time they are available.
c) Offer a consultation and give them a specific date and time to see if it works with their schedule, along with a backup option.
d) None of the above
10. How often do you enter the prospect’s information into your database and ask if you can send some follow up information, even if they did not book an appointment.
Each correct answer is worth 10 points. Add up your score with your total points: __________
1. It may surprise you, but 95% of clients make initial contact and only 25% of those calls convert to a consultation appointment. That equates to thousands and thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Your phone conversion rate should be at 70% or higher and that’s possible if you train your team to effectively engage prospects and develop their phone skills.
2. The phone should always be answered between 2-3 rings. People just hang up if the phone just keeps ringing and ringing and just move down the list to the next practice. Again, that’s lost revenue.
3. After your initial greeting, the first thing you should ask for is their name and call back number in case you get disconnected. If you don’t and you get disconnected, you’ve lost that prospect and are at the mercy of them calling you back.
4. If multiple calls are coming in and you have to put a caller on hold, always ask for permission first. Then, check back with them every 20-30 seconds not every 2-3 minutes. People’s attention spans are short and will likely just hang up. If it’s going to be longer than a minute, ask them if they would like to continue holding or would they prefer to have you call them back? (Since you already have their name and number you don’t have to waste more time asking for it while others are on hold).
5. It’s important to use the caller’s name several times throughout the conversation. It is such a personal touch and people love to hear their name. It makes them feel seen and heard and special—like they are a person not just a nameless, faceless number. It’s such a simple thing, but barely anyone does this.
6. I already mentioned gathering their name and contact information. It’s also very important to gather information on how they found your practice so you can track it. If it was a referral from a friend, ask the friend’s name so you can thank them. If it was from an advertisement or a google search or from your website or a social media post, you want to know this information so you can see where to allocate your future marketing dollars.
If they ask if you have specific products or perform a specific service by name that you don’t use, it is important to ask engaging questions, rather than just saying yes or no. For example, if it is a skin tightening product, you will want to dig in deeper to what area of the body they are looking to improve and how long it has been a problem for them. That way, you can introduce the product/service that you DO have and the benefits.
PLEASE NOTE: If your staff answering the phone is not well versed in the products and services you offer and what each of them are for, you are losing out on clients and revenue. This is a major issue and you need to take the time to educate them.
Finally, you always want to get an email address for several reasons. First, so you can follow up and send them more information about a procedure, show them before and after pictures, etc. Second, so that you can add them to your database and be able to send them future newsletters or promotions. They may not be ready to buy now, but they may be ready in a few months.
7. Listen, engage by asking open-ended questions, and reflect back what they have said to acknowledge and validate are key communication skills that help convert callers into consultations and then into clients. If you answer with a yes or no, only answer the one question they ask, or start trying to sell them on something right away, you are likely to lose that caller. Think of the caller as a new friend you are speaking with and getting to know.
8. Credentialing and communicating your Unique Value Proposition are other critical phone skills. You must be able to communicate information such as:
Why your practice is different
Specifics on how many years of experience individually or collectively your providers have in total
Any specialties offered
How many providers you have on staff and what their board certifications are in
Special hours that might accommodate various schedules
Total number of similar procedures that have been performed
9. One mistake I see so many medical aesthetics practices making is NOT ASKING to schedule an appointment. I recommend giving them a specific date and time rather than asking them when they would like to come in. Have an alternative option ready as a backup. This strategy improves your acceptance rate.
10. Finally, before hanging up, ask if you have answered all of their questions. Even if the prospect doesn’t book an appointment before the call ends, you should ALWAYS enter their information into your database for future follow up.
Expert phone skills are just one component of my comprehensive sales training course: PFE Practice Foundational Elements: The Road Map to a 7+ Figure Practice and is included in all of my new launch and grow programs.
To learn more about how our proven programs have helped others and can help you, please visit www.terrirossconsulting.com and request to speak with one of our sales executives who will identify the best program for you.
Terri Ross can take your business to new levels, whether you’re looking for exclusive private strategy sessions, corporate sales training, or a keynote speaker for the next major aesthetic event. Book Terri Ross today to take the first steps in giving your business the tools it needs to succeed in this incredibly competitive landscape.