Training Your Staff to Say Yes
You’ll recall that I classified advertising as expensive and risky. To provide additional productive capacity you are going to have to spend some money. You are going to have to add staff and equipment and then when you have to add space, that’s when the price goes up.
That brings up back to risk. Which is riskier? Advertising or generating inspired referrals through hyper convenience. The answer is it is still cheaper to attract referrals. If you don’t have the additional capacity to attract referrals you won’t be able to get the advertising patients very far in your practice either. Before you begin that tragic thing we call new patient displacement. Advertising just looks cheaper. If you add productive peak time capacity advertising will pay bigger and faster.
Staff are born knowing referral patients are going to be easier when they get there, so they unconsciously give them priority when they call in. You have to consciously reach for a new patient unless they have been referred. All the receptionist has to do to screen out a walk in or an advertising patient instead of a referral, is simply not reach out to them.
When patients call the office, if you can’t say yes to what they ask, then you have a capacity blockage. Every time you say no you are saying no to a whole class of patients that have that question. You need to be able to say yes to all of their requests when it comes to insurance, appointment requests, you can use the coupon too, yes to everything. When a Dr. or staff member tells me there is no way to always say yes, I see this as a problem.
It is no wonder to me when so many Drs. default to an advertising fix when they burn out from prolonged stagnation. Advertising is a quicker cheaper way to fix a practice then overhauling the major aspects like cost and convenience. But the good news is other Dr.’s aren’t thinking the way you are being taught. They are trying to fill up the non-peak times with new patients that is never going to happen. You on the other hand are going to take the financial risk of adding more peak time capacity in the form of additional staff, space, equipment and Dr. speed and you are going to do it even though you have 2 hours that you have so few patients in the clinic that you are standing around with nothing to do.
You have to get your staff on board with saying yes to everything. When the staff gets on board with the idea that they have to start saying yes, you are going to see an immediate and significant increase in the number of new patient referrals coming through the door. You have to get them on an effective incentive plan. When you have motivated staff working towards consumerism all you have to do is follow their lead. They know what the patients need and want. The downside of failing to rise to patients expectations is fewer patients and 1000's of dollars spent on advertising.
This is what we focus on at every Chirolaunch Regional Mastermind, helping staff to get the big picture of consumerism. The ability to say yes! A staff member has to decide if the upside of a Bonus is worth the downside of the energy required to deliver a high degree of consumerism. You either get complaints from patients or from the staff. If staff aren’t on board with this "yes program" it will manifest in the amount of referrals you get every month.