There is an inverse relationship between the amount of time the doctor spends in the new patient consult and conversion rate.

Let that sink in a minute and listen to all the voices in your head telling you why that is not true. It is true. For a lot of reasons. Despite your belief that patients come to your office primarily because of you. Despite your firm belief that patients and parents want to talk to you and enjoy talking to you. Despite everything you’ve been told and despite the fact that all your friends agree with you.

If you have more starts than you can handle and you’re totally satisfied with your results then stop reading now. If, however, your results are lacking and you cannot understand why your practice is not growing as you believe it should, then perhaps you should read on and consider a different reality.

Year in and year out, Public Speaking ranks among the top fears, but it’s not really public speaking that people fear. The fears of being singled out, laughed at, made fun of and embarrassed are at the root of the “fear of public speaking”. Basically most people just don’t like to be made to look dumb or be embarrassed. Your patients are no different but that doesn’t stop us from going in a little room where they are confined, examined and talked at using words they don’t understand by a person they are intimidated by. White Coat Syndrome is real but you don’t need a white coat to evoke the responses described. Doctor, you are intimidating to most patients. You are a very smart person who went to school for a long time and you use big words and no one wants to ask stupid questions or waste your time. Of course there are exceptions but by and large patients are not comfortable in your presence (it’s not personal, it’s just the way it is).  Patients are generally happier when you are not in the room – so oblige them and make them comfortable and do you your thing and get the heck out!

Still don’t believe me? Ask your TC. Ask your team. Ask your team to ask the patients when you aren’t around. You will find what I say is true in the vast majority of cases!

So what can you do about it? Lots of things! For starters, you can get a great records person (not the latest rookie to join the team) to get a set of records while making the patient feel comfortable and answering mom’s questions before the new patient exam. Then the records person can give the TC a printed copy of the records for the doctor to review before going in the NP evaluation. In this way the doctor can tell the TC the DX and TX plan before entering the room. Once in the NP room the doctor can make small talk with the patient, establish a relationship, ask permission then examine the patient to make sure the DX and TX from the printed records is accurate – all while being careful to avoid using the technical language that makes patients feel uncomfortable. Doctor, once you’ve delivered the information and performed the duties that only a doctor can do, shut up and get out! The TC will thank you. Patients will thank you. You will sell more of the treatment you prescribe! You will make more people smile.

How long does this process take? Less than what you are doing now. And less is more when it comes to conversion rate!

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