My mother always told me to introduce myself when I pick up the phone. I never did it because I always thought that the caller should at least know who s/he’s calling. “Whaddya mean who am I? You called me! Who are you?”
Well, I figured out finally that my mother does know best when it comes to answering the phone at busy dental offices. Why? Because when you tell the caller your name, you have permission to ask them their name. And once you have that and the caller ID they called in on (if you still don’t have caller ID just get it by calling your carrier today) you effectively have what we call in the marketing business “a lead”!
If you don’t have the name, you have a phone number and nothing else. What are you going to say when you call back next week after a particularly informative 5 minute Dental Veneer call with your nameless interlocutor? “Hi, erm, someone there called last week about veneers.” You’ll hear back a variety of retorts; “This is a company of 60 people, can you tell me who you spoke to?” or “My wife was talking to you about veneers? Way too expensive. Don’t ever call back!” Not ideal follow-up.
In the hundreds of calls we listen to each week coming into dental offices we’re always surprised to hear how many people never introduce themselves or seek more information about the person they’re talking with – probably 95% of the calls conform to that impersonal pattern. Not only is personalization key for generating the all important lead that can then be followed up on properly but it actually leads to a more personalized conversation that is much more likely to lead to an appointment in the first place.
More about personalizing your office’s conversations with incoming callers later. In the meantime, just start saying your name so you can start doing your follow-up.