It’s not uncommon for practice owners to hear this from their team when asking for a sales update.
Often “we can’t get hold of any of them” is an auto-response by the team that, for many reasons, may not have been following up on leads as efficiently as you would like.
There are many reasons for this so it would be unfair to judge performance without all the facts in place first. Maybe they cite that there are not enough hours in the day to be following up on the new patient enquiries as their time is spread thin carrying out many other tasks, even dental nursing duties.
If this sounds familiar, have you considered a dedicated sales manager or treatment coordinator?
Under resourcing at the very beginning of the sales cycle can be damaging to your brand and business. If people are contacting your practice to find out about treatments, book consultations, etc. and you’re unable to meet demand and follow up quickly enough, you are missing the opportunity and likely wasting valuable marketing budget.
Speed of follow up is crucial
What kind of shopper are you? Do you shop around online, weighing up your options, comparing service and price? Or are you more of a quick look around, buy it type of person?
Well there is one thing in common between these two shopping habits; If you can’t get through to your first choice, whether it’s on a detailed heavily researched list that you’ve made or just the first in the results in a Google search, what do you do? You go to the next on your list, you go elsewhere.
When you realise that people have chosen your practice above your competitors, that really says something, and if you don’t follow them up quickly enough then they could think that you don’t need their business and they will go elsewhere.
You could even be second or third on their list, but then that’s even more of a reason to respond quickly before their first choice responds to them. Making sure you have enough phone lines in the practice and enough people to answer the calls is crucial.
Social media advert leads especially require a quick follow up because of the nature of how the ads are shown. Unlike Google, where the individual is actively looking for a product or service, social ads are presented to a target audience matching the type of demographic that may be interested in such a service. For that reason it’s good practice to establish contact as soon as possible before their attention moves elsewhere.
Make time to follow up leads
It takes time to manage new enquiries and a dedicated resource will allow you to do this. New enquiry engagement is often a series of calls, texts and emails, often at times when your front of house team are busy dealing with existing patients, or outside of practice hours, so dedicated resource will really make a difference here.
Establish the TCO role
If you haven’t already got a dedicated Treatment Coordinator or Sales Manager, this should be your next move if you are unable to deal with the volume of new enquiries you are presently getting.
It will take the pressure off the front desk team and the TCO can be based in a back office away from the front desk, meaning less noise and disruption, and they can focus on converting enquiries to new patient consults.
Take the time to explain the marketing plan, how much you are investing and the cost of a lead to the business. Set your expectations for contact rates, conversion from enquiry to consult, and consult to treatment. Then measure performance to these metrics.
If you need advice on managing the sales process, or more quality leads, please get in touch for a chat.