Hi, this is Dave Kats, at Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to schedule patients as far as scripting is concerned. I'd like to go over the right type of script to use when scheduling a patient. Let's assume you're in a counseling session and your phone rings, and somebody leaves a voicemail that says we may need to come in as new patients. As soon as you have the opportunity, you call them back and you'll say, "Hi, this is Judy Lewis, the therapist that you called about getting in for some care. I have just a few minutes before my next patient. Can you tell me briefly what your situation is?" "Well, yes. My wife and I have been married for 26 years, but four years ago we lost our adult son. It’s made our marriage fall apart. We decided that we either have to call it quits or that we have to get some marriage counseling. So we were thinking about possibly getting marriage counseling.
Now, when they pause or if you break in, you say, "Well, you know that does sound like the type of thing that would respond well to therapy. It also sounds like the type of case that I would work with. So let me tell you how I work. My fee is $150 a session, and my sessions are 45 minutes long. I have an opening tomorrow at 3:30, or I have an opening next Thursday. Which do you prefer?" Now, if they say, "Tomorrow at 3:30," or if they say, "Next Thursday," or if they say, "Neither, can we come in on Friday?", they've already agreed to a 45 minute session and a $150 charge.
Let’s go over that once more time and see how you would schedule this patient. You say, "Hi, this is Judy Lewis, the therapist that you called. I understand that you may need to come in as a new patient. I have just a few minutes for my next patient, I thought I'd call you and see what the situation is. Can you tell me briefly about your situation?" "Yes," and they go on to tell you, and say, "Well, you know, that does sound like a problem for therapy, and it does sound like the type of thing that I work with. So let me tell you what I do. My fee is $150 and my sessions are 45 minutes long. I have availability tomorrow at 3:30 or on Thursday, which do you prefer?" Then whatever decision they make, they've agreed to be with you for $150 a session, and for a 45 minute session. You try that script next time you have new patients calling and you'll find that it's a very easy way to establish a link to your session, and the price of your care, and I think your practice will grow as a result of it.
This is Dave Kats. Thanks for listening.
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