Know, like, and trust. Know. Like. Trust.
A-Player salespeople will tell you – If you want to close the deal, your prospect needs to know you, like you and trust you. And that means you have to build rapport with your prospects.
But how do you do it in the short 60-90 minutes it takes to complete your consultation?
These 7 tips are designed to help you build rapport in short order. None of these are particularly time-consuming or energy-draining, yet they all signal to your prospects and patients, “I see you. I hear you. I’m here for you.” Get ready to fast-track rapport with your prospects.
1. Use the patient’s name.
This is the easiest and fastest way to make your interaction with a prospect (or anyone in life, for that matter) to feel more personal.
Don’t do it every sentence so that it feels fake and forced. Simply use a person’s name periodically throughout a call or consultation.
2. Keep it upbeat.
When prospects all or come in for a consultation, they are uncertain. This is a new situation to them. And this means their energy level and excitement will likely be low.
It’s your job to set the tone of upbeat excitement. This is called “setting the frame” of the visit. Show them what to care about. What to be excited about. How to react to the different parts of the appointment.
For example, when they find out they are a candidate, celebrate it. Show them how they should feel, and they will follow your lead.
When you control the frame of the consultation, your prospect will feel more secure and more excited. Not only that, but this creates a feeling of ‘togetherness’ that naturally feels more personalized. You and the prospect are on this adventure together, and you are the guide.
And always remember: you are responsible for the level of energy and excitement, not the prospect. You aren’t always going to be in the most exciting moods. That’s fine – Fake it.
3. Use “Yes, Sir/Ma’am” and “No, Sir/Ma’am.”
Yes, I’m from Texas. And I love some good ol fashioned southern manners. But these phrases go beyond the Emily Post Etiquette Guidebooks.
Saying “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am” signals respect and helps to build the trust, which is exactly what you need if you want to turn a prospect into a patient.
These phrases are endearing to young and old. If you have the random person who says, “Don’t ‘ma’am’ me!” then make an exception for her. Otherwise, let the sirs and ma’ams flow!
4. Tell them what’s going to happen next.
Your process is foreign to 99% of the people walking through your door. Yes, you know how a consultation works – you’ve done 7,000 of them. But your prospect has not.
So from the call to the consult to the treatment or procedure, tell your prospect what is going to happen next in the process – where we’re going, what we’re doing, who they are going to meet next.
For example, “This is the Pentacam, and it’s going to tell us how thick your cornea is. That’s important so we can determine which procedures might be an option for you.”
This will settle their anxiety, and it creates a more personal connection. You aren’t just an employee at a doctor’s office. You are their personal guide through this journey.
5. Find out their “why.”
Yes, your prospects are coming in to have vision correction. But their goals aren’t surgery. No one is coming in because they think it would be cool to have their cornea reshaped. It’s about so much more than the actual procedure itself.
They want to see their kids in the morning, read their phones without an embarrassing size 20 font, finally ride that 100k bike race without sweat dripping off their glasses.
So find out their “why” and talk about it. This is a powerful way to personalize the entire experience – now everything you’re doing is to help them toward that specific goal, and you’re in a partnership, working together.
6. Chart everything so no question has to be asked twice.
You want prospects to feel known and cared for. One of the fastest way to break that feeling? Make a prospect answer the same question 2-3 times. It’s annoying, and it signals a lack of concern on your part.
We’ve all been there – you call the cell phone company with a question about your service. The automated attendant asks you for your account number and half a dozen other things. You finally get on the line with a human, and what is the first thing they ask?
”What is your account number please?”
Incredibly frustrating, and a waste of time to boot.
Make sure from the phone call through each step of the appointment, you are updating the prospect’s notes and don’t have to revisit information he or she has already shared. This isn’t just their name, email and phone number, but their goals, concerns, fears, what they know, what they don’t know, their questions. EVERYTHING. It’s ammunition if and when you need to use it to close the deal.
7. Hand-off in front of the prospect.
We like to hear someone singing our praises to us. “You did such a great job!”
But you know what’s even more powerful? When we hear someone telling another person how amazing we are.
When your team does a patient hand-off in front of the prospect, you are able to talk about their “why” (#4), and discuss important aspects of the prospect’s desires and needs (#5), as well as brag on the prospect using some of the information you have gleaned.
“Dr. Jones, this is John, he listens to the Jimmy in the Morning show and heard Jimmy talking about his procedure with us. John is a ROCKSTAR mountain biker, and he’s super-excited to be able to hit the trails without his frustrating contacts!”
This subtly signals that “Wow, they remember these things I’ve said, and I’m important to them.”
An added bonus here is that you introduce the doctor and build that authority. “John, this is Dr. Jones. He did Jimmy’s procedure along with thousands of other happy patients, including many outdoor enthusiasts like yourself!”
Rapport-Building isn’t so hard, is it?
Now you have a few new tricks up your sleeve, simple ways to convey your concern, build a relationship and guide the prospect toward booking a procedure.
All you have to do now is use them. Share these with your team. Review them at your next team meeting. Deploy and reap the rewards.