Training Notes

Michelle Lee and Crystal

Michelle Lee and Crystal

Greeting Our Patients

All patients must be greeted when they come into our office, especially new patients.  Mary is the designed greeter, but if she is unavailable, another team member must take it upon herself to greet.

Most of the time, new patients will be coming in for a FREE consult, unless they have signed up on the website and paid $50.  This first consult visit is when the visitor is taken on an office tour.  Remember to brag about other team members and tell about what makes them special (to build authority of team members and doctor),  and mention any of our unusual services  such as,  our blanket wall, the NuCalm, the sterilization, the ozone, the microscope, Zoom, the lab, the hand waxing, cookies and coffee in the kitchen, etc.

When the tour is finished, before Mary even sits down with them, they should already be thinking, “This practice is better than any dental practice I have ever visited!”

When a new patient comes in for their EXAM visit, Mary will present them with a nicely wrapped gift with a printed 'welcome' card attached, which has been signed by Dr. Coker. (See gift ideas here.)

Amazon Book.jpg

Phone Training

Often, the first impression a prospective patient gets of the office is when they call.  Most people would not be calling if they did not want to make an appointment. They are just hoping you will give them the chance.

Michelle talked about the importance of using the right words.  In fact, it is so important that she emphasized practice and role playing so that the correct phrases come out automatically.

There are three rules to remember: gratitude, education, ease of business. For more on this, see The Perfect Plan.

How to answer our phone: "Thank you for calling Dr. Rick Coker's Smile Studio. This is ____(your name)_____________. How may I help you?"

"When was the last time you were in our practice?"

"New to Tyler?! Let me be the first to welcome you!"

Use the words "absolutely" and "my pleasure."  If a caller asks if you can do something, your answer is usually, "absolutely."

"Absolutely. I would be more than happy to help you. May I ask whom I have the pleasure of speaking with and the last time you had an appointment in our office?"

"Thank you __(patient's name)_____________ for that information. May I please also get a good email address for you in case we need to send you new patient information?"

"How did you hear about our office?"

(Always give them two choices.) "Would you prefer a morning or an afternoon?" "Would 10 or 11 work better for you?"

End the call with, "I'd like to go ahead and schedule you for a complimentary consult. Would you prefer morning or afternoon?"

Downloads from Michelle

Order at least two white noise machines to block sound of phone and checking out patients in reception area and to block conversations from treatment rooms in hygiene...

Order at least two white noise machines to block sound of phone and checking out patients in reception area and to block conversations from treatment rooms in hygiene...


Closing the Sale

This book was recommended by a portrait photographer which she said really helped her understand how to close a sale.  Sometimes, we want to help people get what they want, but then we let them dangle rather than going ahead and signing them up. Don't make your clients and customers have to 'beg' you for the product/service that you are selling. There may be some 'high pressure' tactics in this book, but you can skip the ideas that might make you uncomfortable.


June 21, 2018

We had Michelle Lee, from Tower Leadership in Atlanta, in the office for team training on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

She began by talking about creating "EPIC" experiences for our customers - translated as, Exceptional Patient In-Office Care.

Whenever patients suggest that something has gone wrong with their experience, we must stop and listen to them.  We make them feel heard by listening to their entire story and showing that we understand how they are feeling. Then we must take ownership of the problem and ask them how we can make things right.  After this, we must create an in-office process so that a problem like this will be unlikely to happen again.

80% of people say they will pay more for a good experience. Since we charge more than most offices, we must provide a better patient experience than most other offices.


The Psychology of Persuasion

Michelle highly suggested we all read Robert Cialdini's book to understand how we "influence" other people.

From a review on Amazon, here are the six principles of persuasion. Of course, by reading the book, you will get explanations as to why the principles work and some examples to make them more understandable.

1. Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. 

2. Commitment and consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image.

3. Social proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing. 

4. Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. 

5. Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. 

6. Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. 


Are you accepting new patients? "Absolutely we are and we are more than happy to help you."

Do you cater to nervous/anxious patients? "Absolutely! I understand how you FEEL.  We have had many patients who FELT nervous before treatments. They FOUND that Dr. Coker made them feel very comfortable. We offer Nu Calm, a relaxation system that includes headphones and aromatherapy to  help you relax. And if you would like even more relaxation we also provide Nitrous oxide.We have found that our NuCalm relaxation system dramatically improves a patient's well-being." 

How much does ___________ cost? "Thank you for asking. We don’t typically give our prices out over the phone. All our patients needs are different and we pride ourselves on exceptional patient care. I would love the opportunity to bring you into our office for a complimentary consultation where we can better determine how we can serve your dental needs. Would you prefer a morning or afternoon appointment?"

Do you make payment arrangements? "Absolutely. We take credit cards and we have an arrangement with Care Credit."

What are your hours? Answer their question, but stay positive!! For example, instead of, “We are open Monday through Thursday, but are closed on Friday.”. say, “We are open Monday through Thursday.” Then redirect the conversation, “Would you prefer the beginning of the week or the end of the week?”

Do you offer whitening? "Absolutely. We offer customized whitening based on your needs. We offer Zoom - an in-office procedure which will leave your teeth several shades lighter - all while you relax with headphones and aromatherapy - just like a spa.  The cost of Zoom is $600."

Are you in network? "We are considered out-of-network with __(their insurance plan)___________. Because we are a fee-for-service practice, we are considered out of network with all plans. Although many of our patients do have dental insurance, they choose to come to our office because of the quality of care and the expertise of Dr. Coker and our team. As a courtesy, we will submit your insurance so that they can reimburse you directly. Would you prefer a morning or afternoon appointment?"

Social Media

Will have a referral contest after our social media gets more active.  We need a sign printed and put in reception room encouraging people to check in on FB or Instagram when they come in for appointment.

Crystal volunteered to be in charge of social media posts. She has the enthusiasm and creativity for this. It’s great!

A link to our office Facebook page.

I don't think we have an office Instagram page.

Closing the Sale.jpg