Converting Phone Calls to Appointments

appointments converting marketing Oct 25, 2021

One of the most challenging parts of building a private practice is learning to turn a referral into a client. In the beginning, you may have potential clients call you only to end up having them be a no-show for their first appointment or not make an appointment at all. Learning to convert a phone call into an appointment is an art form. I cover this process in more depth in my online course. However, here are just a few of the basics every therapist should know. 

STEP ONE: IF A CLIENT CALLS YOU AND LEAVES A VOICE MESSAGE, SEND THEM EITHER A TEXT OR VOICE MEMO SAYING SOMETHING LIKE: 

Hi _____. Thank you for reaching out. Let’s set up a time to chat over the phone and discuss whether I am a good fit for you (your child, your family etc). I have availability at ____, _____, and _____. Would any of these times work for you to hop on a 15-20 minute call?” 

***A note about voice memos. I love sending clients voice memos for this first message. It feels more personal and cozy and few people take the time to do it. I find that my rate of conversion goes up more quickly with a voice memo instead of a plain text. 

STEP 2: PREPARE NOTES OR A SCRIPT OF WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SAY ON THE FIRST PHONE CALL. HERE IS THE SCRIPT I GENERALLY USE: 

  • YOU SAY THIS:Hi _______. I’m so glad we connected. You mentioned on the phone that you are looking for a therapist for ________. When I do these calls I find that it works well if you tell me a bit more about what brings you to therapy and what you are hoping to get out of therapy. Then, I’ll tell you a bit about my practice and answer any questions you have. If for some reason, I’m not the right fit or you are looking for something different than what I provide I’m happy to help you work through the process of finding someone who is the perfect fit for you.”

  • THEN THE CLIENT tells you about what they are facing and looking for in a therapist. Practice active listening during this part. 

  • AFTER THEY RESPOND, do a LITTLE BIT of reflection and clarify what is going on for them. 

  • Then say something along the lines of, “Awesome. Would you like me to tell you a bit about my practice?”

  •  If they say yes, then do the following

    • Tell them how long you’ve been in practice and the types of clients you see

    • Tell them a bit about how you work with their presenting issue

    • Tell them your fees and insurance policy

  • Once you have covered all of that make sure to follow up with:

    • “I think we would work well together but it’s also important that you feel I’m a good fit. I encourage all my clients to call a few therapists and have conversations like this one so that they really get a sense of each clinician.” 

    • “That being said, scheduling is always difficult over text. So would you like to go ahead and schedule a first session for sometime next week and then you can always text me to cancel if you find someone who is a better fit for you!”

       


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