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I was recently asked by a Dental Office Team Member:

“How long should I spend on the phone with a patient or New Patient enquiry?”

I thought about this question for a while thinking I needed to give an actual amount of time or there must be some sort of equation to work this out.

Then I answered.

“As long as it takes.”

As long as it takes to do what?

As long as it takes to help the caller make an appointment.

This is really the best way to help the caller.

As long as it takes means:

1. Have clear, precise questions for the type of call you are on

2. Stay in control of the conversation by asking those questions

3. Listen more than you speak

4. Ensure you stay on track during the conversation

5. End the call by making an appointment.

If you don’t have these steps in place when answering the phone you will end up with an extremely long call. This will not work well for your busy Dental Office Schedule or the caller’s day.


Keep in mind my previous blog Handling The Shopper Call: “How Much Does It Cost?” where I mentioned being careful which questions you do and do not answer straight away.

Some questions will immediately cause the caller to say thank you and hang up.

Yes you know the dreaded question often asked:

“How much does it cost?”

Keep your questions to the point. And that point is to stay focused on helping the caller make an appointment.

This is how long it takes!


This blog will feature simple practical ideas that are easy to implement tomorrow in your Dental Office, impacting immediately on your Patients’ Dental  Phone Experiences, and ultimately, improving your practice profitability.

At present I have availability for two new private clients. For more information on how I can improve your Dental Office’s Phone Numbers contact me, Jayne Bandy at  jayne@theDPE.com

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