Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
One of the best ways you can explain to patients how you operate is to have set scripts. I have a certain script that I like when a patient calls on the phone or maybe when you call them back. Perhaps they called and you weren't available, you were with a patient and you call them back. When you call them back, here's the typical script that I like to use. "Hi, this is Terry, the therapist you called, you said that you were having some marital problems and that you may want to get in as a new patient. I have just a few minutes before my next session. Can you tell me a little bit about your situation?"
Then you let them talk for maybe 20 seconds, maybe a minute, minute and a half till they're about talked out or if they don't stop talking you can interrupt them because they'll never be offended if you interrupt them to ask them a question about themselves. Let them talk for about a minute or so and then you say, "Well, you know what? From what you told me, this does sound like something that would respond well to therapy and it does sound like the type of case that I'd take. Let me tell you how I work. My sessions are 45 minutes long and I charge $150 a session. Now I have an opening yet this afternoon because I've had a cancellation or then I can't get you until this Friday. Which would work for you best, this afternoon or this coming Friday?"
Whether they say this afternoon or Friday or neither one, "Do you have Saturday hours?" They've already agreed to the 45 minutes session and the $150. If let's say they say, "I'll come in Friday afternoon." You say, "Okay. My opening is at 3:30. I'll put you down for Friday at 3:30 PM. I'll put you down for Friday at 3:30 PM and however to hold that appointment I ask you if you put 50% down. You need to put $75 down at this time to hold that appointment spot. "Which credit card shall I put that on?"
Then they'll give you the credit card. Now, I don't care if you run the credit card at that time or not, or wait till they came in and then run it for the whole amount. It doesn't make any difference. But I'll tell you what, if you ask for 50% or all the way up to 100% down, and if you can schedule your appointments the way I just suggested there, I'll tell you that you'll schedule a lot of patients and you'll have very few no-shows.
This is Dave Kats. Thanks for listening.
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