Episode 455

Is the way your Phone Answered the ‘Achilles’ Heel’ in your Practice?

Host: Gary Takacs | Published Date: September 30, 2020 | Listening Time: 01:01:26

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This week’s episode will provide you and your practice with an incredible amount of value. By the end of this podcast episode, you will be able to answer the question, is the way your phone answered the ‘Achilles’ Heel’ of your Practice?

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During this podcast episode, Gary will help you understand the importance of making sure the calls coming to your dental practice are handled in the right way. If it’s not done the right way, no matter how well your marketing does, it’s not going to be of any value as you won’t be able to convert potential new customer calls into actual customers.

A phone is the most vital piece of equipment in your dental practice as of 2020 because that’s how 99% of new customers come into a dental practice. However, most of the practices don’t pay much attention to it.

In this episode, Gary will be sharing tips on how a receptionist should talk to a potential new patient and discuss;

  • The importance of call recording in a dental practice. 
  • The mistakes Gary has noticed in many phone call conversations with potential patients.
  • The difference between the receptionist being an order taker and converting a caller to a patient.
  • The wrong methods of training provided to receptionists in some dental practices.
  • The difference between rapport and relationship, the importance of building a rapport with a caller, and how you can do it.

As a bonus, Gary will also be sharing a tip on how you could end a call with a patient who is making an appointment to make multiple appointments. Hope you enjoy this podcast episode!

Time Stamps

  • 00:00:23 – Introduction
  • 00:00:56 – Announcement
  • 00:05:20– A quick story about why Gary appreciates the value of telephone training.
  • 00:11:39 – How do doctors assume something is going well or not going well?
  • 00:13:10 – Why is the telephone the most important equipment in a dental practice?
  • 00:14:30 – What will happen if the compensation or incentive plan in the practice doesn’t align with its team members?
  • 00:15:23 – An example of a mistake made in dental practice during a telephone conversation with a potential new patient.
  • 00:18:25 – What is the difference between being an order taker and converting a caller to a patient.
  • 00:19:25 – The wrong method of telephone conversations most people are taught by practices.
  • 00:21:06 – Example of an ideal phone conversation with a potential new patient.
  • 00:22:43 – Example of a fundamental mistake with an older caller.
  • 00:24:17 – What is the term Mirror and Match and how it can be used in phone conversations?
  • 00:26:05 – Difference between building a rapport and relationship
  • 00:28:34 – A bonus tip on how you can end a phone conversation.
  • 00:29:43 – Recap of what you can do to improve phone conversation with potential new patients in your practice.


  • 00:31:02 – Question 1 – Gary, your comment about the value of recording incoming calls really resonates with me. I have done some training on these calls and I was taught an approach to make the call as short as possible and just make an appointment. In your experience, is this approach effective?
  • 00:38:05 – Question 2 – I have talked with my team about recording calls and they have strongly objected to the concept. How can I get them on board with call recording?
  • 00:43:47 – Question 3 – I have some younger team members who answer the phones and one critique I have is that they take too fast, especially for an older caller. Any suggestions?
  • 00:45:42 – Question 4 – Can you suggest ways that my team members can develop rapport with callers?
  • 00:52:31 – Question 5 – I learned recently that I am missing many calls during business hours because they are going to voicemail. How can I correct this?


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Gary Takacs

Gary Takacs Gary became a successful practice owner by purchasing a fixer-upper practice and developing it into a world-class dental practice. He is passionate about sharing his hard-earned insights and experiences with dental practices across the globe.

As a dental practice coach, Gary provides guidance for dental professionals on how to create a healthier practice style that lets them deliver excellent patient care while reducing depending on insurance.

More importantly, Gary’s insights are not just based on theory – as a co-owner of a dental practice, he has first-hand experience in making this transformation from a high-volume and low-fee insurance model to a fee-for-service approach that is more sustainable and promotes a patient-centric and financially healthy dental practice, and he is dedicated to sharing this knowledge with other dental practitioners via the popular Thriving Dentist Show!
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Podcast Assistance by Jodey Smith, Rodecaster Expert