Maybe you know this riddle…maybe you don’t. But it changed how I schedule patients, how I sell and even how I function in relationships.
- Pick a number between 1 and 10.
- Multiply that number by 9.
- If that number is two digits, add the digits together.
- Subtract 5 from that number.
- With the number you have now, correspond it to a letter in the alphabet (A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.)
- Think of a country that begins with your new letter.
- Using the second letter of the country, think of an animal that begins with that letter.
- What color is that animal?
There are no grey elephants in Denmark! …..
How does this relate to patient communication, sales and more?
This trick is all about presenting options to the human mind yet having the desired out come be determined.
Any patient care coordinator can apply this to scheduling and helping to close cosmetic cases for dentists or cosmetic surgeons.
Example of this used in patient scheduling
Phone time wasted is money wasted. One of my biggest pet peeves when running an office is when a patient coordinator lets the patient pick their date and time.
A great patient coordinator picks the time they know suits the doctor and office best and lets the patient think they chose their time
I’m going to use my own office script and potential patient for this example.
Front Desk: Hi, this is Tristan with Celebrating Women Center
Patient: Hi, I would like to make an appointment.
(Great! I know I have 11 Days out of the month I can use for New Patient appointments and my goal would either to fill next Wednesday’s All Day spaces in the am and pm or Saturdays AM which is looking a little light)
Front Desk: I can help you with that, but first are you an existing patient or new patient?
(This is the first step of presenting options but really this is a gateway to the next step. For the sake of this example, we’ll say the patient is NEW)
Patient: I’m a new patient.
This next step is crucial!!! It’s not “how did you hear about us?” it’s specifically stated:
Front Desk: Great! And whom can we thank for referring you to our practice?
You are setting the mind-virus that your practice accepts referrals and appreciates referrals! Training your patients from the first interaction is lot easier than training a broken-in patient.
Patient: I found you on Google.
Front Desk: Great! We’ll thank Google then! (Remembering our goals and options to fill). Do you prefer morning or afternoon?
Similar to the riddle above we presented two options to the patient allowing them to “think” they are choosing their date and time.
Patient: I prefer morning
Front Desk: (Knowing that I have two days Wed and Sat) “Great would a Wed or Sat appointment work?”
Patient: You have a Sat Appoinment ?
Front Desk: “Do you prefer 9am or 11 am?
This strategy makes the patient think they are making their choice but your are controlling it by presenting and removing options in a calcualted fashion.
This is a lot better than taking the potential 10 min route of going day by day, hour by hour. If you use this approach your average schedule should take 3-5 mins including data entry.