The answer is “NO!” Now what is the question?
A short time ago we were at lunch with a coaching client at a Chinese restaurant near their office. (Some of the best ideas are generated during lunch meetings!) They were excited to take us there because they were a “regular” and knew we would get great treatment.
“The lunch special comes with an egg roll. Is it possible to get a spring roll instead?”
“Can the Szechuan green beans be made with no sauce?”
“Can brown rice be substituted for white rice?”
(Care to guess the answer?)
“NO!” (At least they could have said the classic “One dollar extra!!”)
No exaggeration here – this really did take place. And then it got worse.
Someone came in and asked, “Do you sell gift cards here?”
What if that customer bought five $50 gift cards for his co-workers? That would have meant a $250 sale. Then what if one of the recipients had never been there before, and loved it so much they became a regular customer, bringing in their family ten times a year for an $80 dinner? And then what if….you get the picture!
So, every time someone in your practice says “no” – you could be missing a similar opportunity.
Even if the answer is technically no, at least try to turn it into an opportunity. Here’s an example:
“Does Dr. Garvey have appointments on Wednesday evening?”
And he doesn’t. But instead of saying “NO!” – how about something like this.
“Oh – sounds like daytime appointments are tough for you, is that right? Well we start at 7:00 AM on Mondays and Thursdays, and our new doctor, Dr. Grant, sees patients on Saturdays. Which works best for you?”
A little creativity and positivity go a long way!!
One of the most typical examples is “Do you take my insurance? It’s a PPO and I don’t see you on the list.” The typical response to this is “NO.” Then the conversation ends.
How about trying this instead?
“While we are not a member of that plan, we are an unrestricted provider with all insurance plans. That means you can still come see us, and we will give you the best dental care possible. You can pay us directly and we will help you maximize your insurance benefits with that company.
Would you like to come in for a no-charge consultation? That way you can meet the doctor, she can answer any questions you have, and we can explain exactly how we can make financial arrangements comfortable for you! Is tomorrow at 11:30 AM convenient?”
Granted – most people on a ‘list’ will say no to this, but nothing is lost. And sometimes someone will say yes, become a great patient, refer lots of others, and well – you can figure out the rest!
Sometimes it’s the simple, easy things that can help your practice grow. And to that we say “YES!!!”