How To Train Your Front Office Staff To Get Results – Part 2

October 9, 2019

Trent Wehrhahn


In my post last week I discussed the importance of answering the phone and how many offices can’t even get the basics right. You can read that post here.

We discussed the greeting and how to take control of the call by asking for the caller’s name and number. What we didn’t cover is how to proceed from there and avoid the issues they were experiencing on many calls.

Things like:

  1. What to do when someone asks for the price of any procedure or service.
  2. How to notice buying signals and close the patient into an appointment or consult.
  3. What questions to answer and what is best left for later.

When a prospective patient calls asking the price of a service they are doing that because they don’t know what else to ask. In their minds, all dental offices are pretty much the same so the only thing they can compare you with is price.

Typical calls are usually handled with the receptionist fumbling around and quoting ranges of prices depending on what they need etc., etc. Here is what we know for sure; these people are looking for a new dentist. Remember from last time, asking questions keeps you in control of the call. So why not ask a question you know the answer to? Something like, “Sounds like you’re looking for a new dentist? Is that correct?”

Of course they are. People don’t phone dental offices and ask prices just for fun. And their answer will be yes. This is your opportunity to build value for your office. Respond with something like, “Great, let me tell you why so many people just love our office and our dentists…” What do you go through? Anything that builds value for your office so when they do get the price they already feel as though they want to come regardless if you are a bit more expensive.

Do you have or do something innovative that you know your competition doesn’t have? This is the time to talk about it. Don’t hold back and do it with enthusiasm! Be sincere. People can see right through someone who is forcing their excitement.

Once you have given them the spiel then and only then do you give them the starting price for whatever they have asked about. Notice I didn’t say price range. I am not saying be deceptive but here is what happens when you give a range. They only hear the top number. If your competitor down the street says $250 and you say $200 to $300, you lose, because in the prospective patient’s mind you are $50 more for the same service.

Make sure they know it can be more, but you won’t know for sure until they come in for a consultation or whatever your offer is.
Once the caller has what they asked for then you need to try to close them into an appointment. “Our exam and cleaning start at $225 and may go up depending on the condition of your mouth. We have a couple of openings this week. Which is better morning or afternoon?”

If the caller asks another question, answer it, but only what they asked. You don’t have to go into details about how each unit of cleaning is 15 minutes and blah blah blah. Short answers respect the caller’s time and your time so you can get off the phone quicker and on to the next call.

After you answer a question then you have another opportunity to close. A transition can look something like this for the question “How long does a cleaning take?” You can answer: “A typical cleaning can take around an hour. We’ll know for sure once we get a chance to take a look, so was morning or afternoon better for you? We also have a few evening spots left this week if that works better?”

Don’t give them a chance to say no. This person needs a new dentist, you believe you are the best choice for them (you should) so do what you can to get them in the door. You’ll both be glad you did!

Trent Wehrhahn


Trent Wehrhahn is the founder and President of Dental Growth Strategies. With his years of multinational sales and marketing experience with dental offices, he has focused his strengths on marketing solutions for local dental offices just like yours.

At DGS we help you assess where you are at and implement a custom marketing plan that gets results.