A person considered the “gatekeeper” in a practice can sometimes turn out to be the one keeping the doctor from having as much success as he or she might have. Not intentionally in most circumstances but often because they don’t know what they don’t know. In some instances, they don’t know WHO they don’t know. Let me assure you that this is not to throw anyone under the bus. It is to suggest that if you have no system in place, one is being created that you don’t know about.
1. What does your system for the telephone look like? A gatekeeper who answers questions with yes, no or dollar amounts before connecting could be keeping you from your next large case.
The doctor won’t get to use those great clinical skills if the gatekeepers don’t understand the value of “Open Armed” communication. I say almost every time I’m at the podium, the telephone is the #1 and most misunderstood marketing tool in the practice. It’s the reason our “Open Armed” communication system for the Telephone Handshake™ is so well received.
2. What is the protocol for someone who is reaching out to you based on YOUR interest in their product or service? A gatekeeper who doesn’t understand that they may be speaking to someone you asked to call could cause you to miss an opportunity.
It could happen with a phone call, piece of mail or even emails when a team member is in charge of culling with no clear direction. Learning how to correctly ask and acknowledge those who work to get in front of the doctor or decision maker is not something I see in many SOP’s but perhaps it should be.
3. What system is in place when someone randomly walks in to the practice? A gatekeeper who doesn’t understand that potentially anyone who walks through that door could become your next new patient or referral source based on how they are treated will only cost you.
If the system doesn’t make it easy for the team member to do the right thing, perhaps you should take a look at the system. We share our “Open Armed” communication system because it works and creates the culture that is representative of our Practice WHY.
When a team member who answers your phone or greets those who walk in your office does not have a system for how you expect your guests or callers to be treated, it is left to chance. The expectation can’t be met if it is not communicated and measured. What systems do you have in place? Is your gatekeeper keeping you from success? We’re here to help. Making it easy for people to do what you want them to do, is what we do.
See you on the road,