Before becoming hailed as the “million dollar customer service genius” by dental industry insiders, I got my humble beginnings as a retail sales specialist, working for various large volume luxury companies like Bloomindale’s, Express, Kate Spade and others.

My first year working as a Theory Specialist for Bloomingdale’s in South Florida, I managed to break the million dollar sales mark, ranking me as one of the most successful sales associates in my division.  This million dollar clientele didn’t just happen overnight and began with a great deal of frustration and hard work.

I worked in a specialty department in Contemporary, for a brand known as Theory.  Some of you may be familiar with Theory, but if you aren’t, my first experience with the clothing label was that they sold tons of styles of the perfect fitting black pants – all with different names and cuts (Max C, Emory, etc.), and all with one thing in common.  A hefty price tag to say the least!  Those black pants would set you back around $195-315 per pair.

I had the looming task of not only having to memorize all of the black pant styles (which seemed at the time like hundreds); I also had to convince my customers that didn’t know me from Adam, to buy these from me and hand me their credit card with a smile.

When someone would come to me and say, “I’m looking for a pair of basic black pants.” How would I say to the customer, here you go…these are perfect, and for the bargain price of $300 bucks!?”  What I learned is that it doesn’t work like that.  They would look at me like I was nuts and then say “$300 for a pair of pants…are you crazy?  I can get a nice pair of black pants from somewhere else for half the price or less.”

It’s the same when a new patient calls a dental office asking about prices for your services.  If you just blurt out a price, you have nothing to back it up.  Once they hear that magic number, they have completely stopped listening to anything and everything you will say after it.  The most many of you will hear is a, “I’ll call you back if I’m interested,” or sometimes even just a dial tone.

To win over your patient you have to be prepared to discuss the price, but you first have to learn to Romance the Phone.  What is Romancing the Phone?  Well, I am glad you asked J

Romancing the Phone  is something that I came up with that I learned to do back when I was selling those pricey black pants.  Now obviously, I wasn’t always selling the pants over the phone, but the same “Theory” applies.  Here are the top 3 steps to learn how to Romance the Phone:

1) You have to know your product.  In your case, you have to know your dentist, your dental office and what makes you stand out above the competition.  If someone were asking you on the fly, why should I choose your office, what would you say?  How would you respond?  Are your answers specific or very vague in nature?  This is also part of what I teach called Sharing the Sizzle .

2) You have to be passionate about your product.  In your case, really own your convictions about your dentist and office.  You have to be a cheerleader and show your enthusiasm for your team.  If you aren’t excited then why should the patient be excited to come to you?  I mean, how many patients want to come to your office if you sound like a zombie on the phone?

3) You have to wine and dine the patient.  Not whine; wine.  Romance them.  If your office does veneers procedures, what makes you special?  What makes your veneers top notch?  Before you share the price with them you are going to use the Show and Tell Method .  That means, you show the value of your services (top quality labs, specific skill and training of the dentist, and VIP treatment).  Then you tell the price.  You don’t have to give exact prices because you don’t know exactly what they need at this point, but you can give them a general broad range.  Make sure you give a caveat that lets them know the best way to get an accurate treatment plan specific to them is for them to come into the office and meet with the dentist.

So now back to those pesky black pants.  I wouldn’t just say, “hey, these pants are $300.”  I would say, we have so many amazing black pants over here that we are sure to have a fit that’s perfect for you.  These pants are made in the fabrication called Tailor fabric, which is lightweight tropical wool (96%) that is comfortable whether you live in NYC or South Florida.  It’s made with 4% stretch Lycra so it really flatters the legs.  The other awesome thing about these pants is that there is a cut that fits every body type so we can surely find one that you will like.”  So then they glance at the price tag.  “Wow, $300 for a pair of black pants…that’s expensive!”  My reply is, “it’s definitely not expensive for the quality and durability you are going to be getting, and that’s the difference with this brand.  Most pants you will spend around $100 for them but they don’t hold up and then you find yourself buying another pair again each year.  I can tell you from experience that these pants will last you many years (even decades) as long as you remain the same size.  They only get more and more comfortable as you wear them in, and you won’t need to buy anymore black pants as long as you have these.  They are a classic staple in your wardrobe, and you are making a smart investment in yourself.”

I think you see a bit of what I mean.  Now you can use the same techniques with your dental new patients.  Once you learn to romance them on the phone, this will inevitably earn your dental office a superior customer service reputation that will help you bring in more new high value patients much more effortlessly.  These phone verbiage skills improve confidence with your staff and give them training they will not only benefit from over the phone, but also will carry over into more effective in-office patient interactions.

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"The five-star reviews are rolling in and the phones are ringing off the hook!" - Dr. Jennifer Wayer

1. Get QUALITY patients without selling

2. Banish broken appointments

3. Reduce turnover by 25%

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