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50 Percent Down

Hi, this is Dave Kats, with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.

You know I believe you I have a way that will make your new patients that schedule with you show up with great regularity. That is by asking them for 50% down to hold the appointment. Now that might sound like a bold thing but the first time I taught it, I had an audience of about 50 people and I said, “Is there is anybody in here that asks for 50% down?” Two middle aged ladies that were therapists raised their hand and they said, “We practice together,” and I said, “Do you ask for 50% down?” They said, “No, we just ask for it all down in advance.” So if you think 50% is a lot try all. When we schedule patients, after we schedule them for the time and the day then we say, “In order to hold that appointment, I ask you to put 50% down which will be $75. Which credit card would you like to put that on?”

Let me go over the script, it goes like this, I’ll just take the end of the scheduling. You say, “Now I have appointments available tomorrow, in the afternoon or on Thursday, which do you prefer?” “I think I prefer Thursday, what time do you have?” “Well, we have a three o’clock appointment.” “Yes, that will work fine for us, put us down for three o’clock.” “Okay, I’ll put you down for Thursday at three o’clock. However, to hold that appointment I ask that you put 50% down which would be $75. So which credit card would you like to put that on?” “Well, I guess we’ll put it on a regular credit card.” And they give you the credit and there you have established, not only an appointment but a good chance that that appointment will show up.

Now, let me take you through the idiosyncrasies of this. We don’t always, in fact we rarely run that credit card. We wait to see if they show up the next day and if they do then we just run one credit card for the whole $150. So you don’t have to do anything other than that. Now you say, “What if they don’t show up?” Then we run the credit card for $75. “Well you didn’t do any counseling for them.” The $75 wasn’t to do counseling. We said, “In order to hold this appointment we ask you to put $75 down.” And we held the appointment for them, so we collect the $75 on their credit card. You just try and see. I had a therapist from Dallas area say, “I did that and for four months I never had one new patient no show me.”

And it’s a very good way to get people to commit to care and to commit to coming in. And once they come in and see you I think they’ll stay with you. They’ll probably like what they see.

This is Dave Kats, thanks for listening.

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