The “gatekeeper” in your practice has the power to keep your gate open or keep it closed. This person sometimes prevents the doctor from having as much success as he or she might have. This is not intentional in most circumstances, but it often occurs 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 place blame on anyone. However, 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 responses such as “Yes,” “No” or dollar amounts before connecting with the patient 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. It’s super simple and makes sense to the team as well as the doctor.
2. Doctor, what is the system for your gatekeeper when someone reaches 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 SOPs, but I firmly believe it should be.
3. What system is in place when someone randomly walks into 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. For example, do you have an SOP that says your gatekeeper may not look at his or her cell phone while at their desk? Or possibly a rule stating that if they do have a cell phone out that it is put away immediately when someone enters the office? This should be a clear rule in your practice because each person who enters your door has potential value to you and deserves an immediate greeting and attention from your gatekeeper.
If your system doesn’t make it easy for the team member to do the right thing, perhaps you should take a look at our 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 you equip your gatekeeper with the system they need to have success in their role.
ACTION ITEM: For more information on the importance of training your gatekeeper to connect with patients or others reaching out to your practice, watch the video below.
Making it easy for people to do what you want them to do is what we do.
Are you ready for systems to support an “Open Armed” environment? Would you like a fact-finding call to learn more about our systems and execution? To schedule your call now, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the road,