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You’ve designed a killer postcard, found the perfect target demographic, and your mailing just reached homes. Now what?

Ideally, your phones will be ringing off the hook and you’ll be flooded with new patients. But there’s a step in between—converting your phone leads into new patients. Here are some tips for how to take your incoming calls and turn them into new patient opportunities.

Plan Ahead

Before your phones start ringing, create a plan of action with your front-desk staff.

First, be sure to inform your staff of any special offers advertised on your postcard. For example, if you’re offering x-rays for any new patient, your staff needs to be aware of the offer, be prepared to sell it as a value point, and plan to field any questions about the details.

In addition to special offers, staff should be prepared to sell potential patients on the advantages of choosing your practice. Prepare three to four value statements that staff can use to express the unique benefits your practice has to offer. Similarly, discuss common objections that discourage leads from booking an appointment (typically cost related) and brainstorm a list of answers for your staff to use in response.

Preparing your staff with the information they need will empower them to confidently convert your leads and book more appointments.

Answer the Phone

Once your staff is prepared for your influx of calls, the next step is to answer the phone. While this may seem obvious, our call analytics data has shown that 37% of your incoming calls occur when no one is around to pick up the phone. Most of these callers won’t leave a voicemail or call back at a later time. When you consider that a new patient can bring your practice over $1,000 a year, you can begin to see why it’s so important to answer as many calls as possible.

These missed calls typically occur during lunch, after hours, or on the weekend. While answering lunch-hour calls is easy (simply stagger lunch breaks for your office staff), what do you do after your office is closed? Consider forwarding your practice’s calls to your cell phone after hours and on weekends, or offer an incentive to your office staff to do the same.

Make a Good First Impression

While they may not realize it, your front-desk staff are a crucial part of your practice. When a potential patient calls, your staff becomes the voice of your brand. It’s important that they give callers a good impression.

Staff should do everything they can to make new patients feel welcome and comfortable. There are many people who have serious anxiety about going to the dentist, and they may have had some nerves even making the call.

To exhibit your practice’s professionalism, staff should be ready to provide accurate information and make it as simple as possible for patient’s to book an appointment. If possible, avoid collecting excessive amounts of personal information over the phone and focus instead on booking an appointment.

Invest in Training

Each and every one of our clients at is offered free call training and coaching. All you need to invest is the time. Our program includes a 45-minute initial staff training, ongoing call scoring and feedback, and customized staff coaching videos. Offer regular and meaningful feedback to staff on their performance, and be sure to acknowledge accomplishments and improvements.

By empowering employees to convert leads into patients, your practice will maximize its marketing ROI, and ultimately, find newfound levels of success.