Answering and Calling Web Leads
The internet is a convenient and fantastic medium for generating new business, but a majority of sales leads that are generated mainly through online marketing are often closed offline in a more conventional sales process. The growth of the internet and digital marketing technologies in the last two decades has been a great boon to marketers everywhere and in all industries and healthcare is no different. The sad news is that despite the billions of dollars that have been spent in various marketing platforms, there is still a big hole in the toolkits of most marketers. And it can cost them their most reliable and valuable leads. So what’s the gap? The traditional inbound phone call!
Ninety-two percent of all customer interactions tend to happen over the phone, which makes it an excellent way to speak with potential medical leads–particularly considering that only 24 percent of sales emails are actually opened.
For a majority of businesses, including medical practices, inbound calls are usually among the best leads. It is worth mentioning that the conversion rate of sales calls is between 30 percent and 50 percent. Calls from potential patients are likely to represent informed and high-intent customers that are ready to make a purchase or ask the relevant questions that would lead to a conversion.
However, most businesses are not prepared and equipped to take full advantage of these calls. Some are not even prepared to consider these calls from a digital marketing perspective. Although their most valuable and reliable leads are calling, many medical practices have no idea where these prospects are coming from or who they are.
You have set up call tracking for your medical leads. But how can you ensure that your sales team can convert as many leads to patients as possible? Here are a few golden rules for handling phone calls at a medical practice:
When answering the phone, the most important thing that all call handlers should think about is the tone of their voice. There is a simple reason for it. We generally like people who like us. This is why if you answer the phone with a negative, mundane, or bored tone, the caller will be turned off by feeling like they’re being a bother to the call receiver. It does not matter whether the call handler has not had their coffee yet, is tired, bored, distracted, or thinking about lunch or is simply in a bad mood-they have to be “on” when they answer the phone to talk to a potential customer. Otherwise, they are likely to lose the call.
Ensure that everyone in your medical practice answers the phone in the same way after a specific number of rings. If the name of your medical practice comes through concisely and clearly and you sound warm, welcoming, and approachable every time, patients will feel comfortable and at ease, and more likely to convert as a result.
Once you have answered the phone with a confident tone, it’s important to make your caller feel as if they’re a person, and not merely another individual ringing through. In addition to providing their own name, your call handlers should also ask for the caller’s name in a genuine way. They should not give the impression that they are just ticking off a box and completing a formality.
Equip your Staff Well
The people calling your office are often feeling anxious, nervous, or worried. So, to handle these calls, you should equip your phone staff with best practices training and frequent refreshers on adequate phone etiquette.
While in medical practice, everyone intends to be courteous, helpful and friendly, long and busy days can usually wreck best intentions when your staff is not afforded adequate training on inbound call management, especially in a high call volume environment.
A sales script can be defined as a well-organized piece of content that helps sales reps make a smooth and error-free sales call. It’s an invaluable step-by-step guide that directs your sales reps so that they do not make any mistakes or simply go blank when speaking with a potential sales prospect on the telephone. Cold calling scripts are a necessity for your sales team.
Although many teams tend to view their sales script as a general outline more than a set script they have to stick to, it provides a basic structure for most salespeople to study and use as an aid when they first join the team.
You can also dedicate a special, portable telephone number to your incoming web leads. It is a relatively cost-effective way to direct calls from prospects to the most suitable person for the job.
There is no denying that call tracking metrics give you data that you can use for analyzing the impact of your various web marketing efforts and initiatives, but the most vital thing of all is knowing when a prospect is calling. You should answer these valuable calls fast, without transferring or holding. They should be answered by a person qualified to convert the lead.
Be Prepared for Objections
You’re bound to face some objections when you market your services over the phone. Prospects will likely counter your ideas, and you will have to explain your point without getting irritated. Sales reps often hesitate in putting their argument forward out of the fear of inviting the mockery of prospective customers. However, when you are marketing a service, it involves convincing skills along with the best outbound calling techniques, so you should take some time to explain to your prospects how your brand stands apart from other names.
Keep the Timing in Mind
Similar to your email and SMS campaigns, it’s vital to keep the timing of your outbound calls in mind. Not all prospects will be able to attend your phone calls at the same time. For example, a good practice that you should follow is avoiding peak hours.
The reason is simple. When your prospects are likely to be busy, they are less likely to pick up your calls. Hence, target these people when they are comparatively free during the day.
Scripts in Outbound Calls
Scripts can help call agents retain information, remain consistent across calls, and avoid mistakes. However, keep in mind that people can smell stilted call scripts from a mile away. So, if you decide to write sales scripts for your outbound call strategy, the trick is to craft them in a way that helps agents without actually tying their hands.
It is worth mentioning that a great script will give your call agents something on which they can lean on if they are struggling without actually making their speech sound unnatural or contrived. A great way to provide this type of sales script is to give your agents input, to let both their voice and concerns be adequately represented.
You can also implement A/B testing in order to refine the raw material while finding the most effective and persuasive wording to convince and engage your prospects. You should also anticipate common queries and objections in order to forestall them. By making script creation a collaborative, engaging, and flexible process, you can make the resulting scripts an integral and highly useful part of the sales training process that is convenient for your call agents, and welcome for your customers.
Roleplay has long been a very common and useful training method among emergency response groups, military branches, and companies where swift decision-making is highly valued. And over the last couple of years, it seems that role-play has been included more often in business and sales training curricula.
For instance, sales teams that regularly engage in role-playing calls are more likely to easily outperform their non-role-playing counterparts. When your sales team role-plays, you may throw any number of different situations at them.
Role-playing is a great exercise that provides a safe and suitable environment to encounter various challenging scenarios for the very first time, which helps build confidence and resilience in team members.
Moving from a Call to an Engaging Conversation
Call intelligence provides you with the deeper data layer, giving you valuable new insights into real conversations with your prospects. It is worth mentioning that conversation intelligence also allows you to easily listen, at scale, to the various things that are said on your inbound calls. For example, what are the common phrases that are turning people off (or on)? Who are the competing practices that are top of mind for your prospects? We think that gaining valuable insight from call intelligence is similar to using Google Analytics for your site. You are trying to figure out how people are engaging—however, in this case, your channel is inbound telephone calls.
Keep in mind that conversation intelligence makes the most of a gold mine that does not exist in other communication channels. You can thoroughly analyze human interactions, determine what your best call agents are saying and strategize about the way you can scale it. Also, you can better know and understand who your competing practices are, how prospects are reacting to your medical practice, and what key features your customers want.
To learn more about how MDprospects can help you follow-up with web leads, schedule a demo today, or contact us using the form below.