This question comes up often, including on a training call last week. You need to know how to deal with it.
It’s typically from someone on the phone team, usually a newer team member who is still learning the ins and outs of your practice and your treatments.
“What do I do if a caller asks me a question and I have no idea what the answer is?”
Common advice you’ve heard – Tell the person, “That’s a great question, and I’m not sure the answer. Do you mind if I put you on a brief hold and get an answer for you?”
Honesty is a great policy. And this is a much better solution than what I hear phone people do from time to time, which is trying to wing it. Practicing medicine on the phone. Telling patients incorrect information because they don’t want to look ignorant. (awful)
And certainly there are cases when this type of response is appropriate.
But the mindset around “answering questions” is faulty.
Meaning ironically, “What if someone asks a question I don’t know the answer to?” … is the wrong question to ask in the first place.
It’s not the job of your phone team to be human encyclopedias. Nor is it their job to answer every question asked of them.
Quick story –
I went through a call recording with a phone team member. The caller wanted to play 20 questions, and the phone person answered them all flawlessly. Then the person got off the phone, saying they would call back if they want to book.
I asked how she thought the call went. “I think it was good. I was able to answer all their questions.”
And therein lies the problem.
Whether you can answer all the questions or not… is irrelevant. Because the goal of the call is not to answer questions.
The goal of the call is to help the caller take the action that’s right for them.
In 98% of cases, that action is to come in for a consultation.
Your phone team cannot diagnose patients’ conditions over the phone. They can’t recommend a surgery.
But they can book consults. Which is exactly what they should be doing.
And as long as you’re leading the call with the proper language and specific authority framing, the prospect will not be in the position to ask a bunch of questions in the first place.
Once we install this new mindset into your phone team, and they understand it’s not their job to answer every single question, they immediately feel a sense of relief.
That nagging anxiety of “Their next question may be something I don’t know” goes away. The pressure is off.
The result – Calls get shorter. Your phone team gets more efficient. They gain more confidence.
Which all results in more prospects ending up on your consultation schedule.
Your phone team is the doorway into the practice. Without them, you have no consults, you have no surgeries, you have no business.
So make sure they are fully equipped with weapons-grade mindset and tactics to turn as many leads into consults as possible.
The E3 Phone Team Intensive, which is a module in our 12-week sales and positioning workshop, breaks this “human encyclopedia” limiting belief. It also destroys and replaces 2 dozen other bad habits and faulty thought patterns that stand in your phone team’s way of growing your practice.
If you’re ready to have a pro-level phone team and start filling those empty consultation slots, apply for a strategy session now.
Troy “Encyclopedia-less” Cole