When’s the last time you called your own office? Not identifying yourself as the boss that is, and not calling on the special “back office” phone number that only you know. When’s the last time you called and listened to the reception that a prospective new patient gets when they call your office?

Assuming you could disguise your voice, what did you hear? Was the team member who answered the phone friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful? Did she ask your name and how you heard about the office? Did he ask questions specifically designed to track the effectiveness of your main marketing sources? Or did you immediately hear, “can you hold, please”?

A good front office is important for any dental office. It’s imperative for a sedation practice. This high fear patient may have been finding excuses for years to avoid going to the dentist. Should we put a “flight risk” like this on hold? Probably not. Generating patients is an expensive process, and we can’t afford to let any of them slip away. If you’re not prepared to treat these sedation prospects with a little TLC, then don’t waste you money on advertising.

The practices we work with at RAMP are some of the best in the world of sedation dentistry. One of the qualities that separate the good from the great is an outstanding front office. When you call one of these practices you hear a friendly voice on the phone who treats you as if they have been waiting all day for your call. They ask questions, and sound genuinely interested in you and your stories about why you’re afraid of the dentist.

Of course, no office can devote this kind of attention to callers 24 hours a day. If a patient absolutely has to be on hold, make sure that they’re listening to something informative about the services you provide, including sedation. When a patient calls off-hours, leave a message that welcomes first time sedation prospects to leave their name and number, and assures them that they’ve called the right place.

Your greatest sedation marketing results will be achieved when your front office makes connections and starts relationships with a high-fear callers. Teams that can’t make this connection lose patients that other offices would consider to be “slam-dunks”. They report that the patient “didn’t have any money” or “just wanted information” or “they live too far away”. All of these responses reflect situations that actually occur and are sometimes unavoidable. But the strong teams usually find a way. I could give the same ten callers to two different offices I know. One front office team would make two appointments, and the other would make nine.

Are you getting the most out of your advertising dollars?