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Without confidence and assertiveness your ability to convert new patient enquiries into appointments over the phone is greatly reduced. Most dentists when they are looking for a star team member to answer their phones, tend to FOCUS only on the friendly, polite and cheerful person. Who wants someone answering the phone that is unfriendly, rude and grumpy?

The friendly, polite and cheerful person is definitely the person I want to talk to on the phone at any business!!

What can happen is the person you hire to answer the phone can be so friendly, polite and cheerful that their friendliness may start to get in the way of them helping the person calling the office.

How can being nice get in the way on the phone?

Sounds silly?

This is what happens.

The person answering your Phone does not want to offend the caller or appear pushy, so they actually start to pull back and use a “softening language”.


Everything they say is the soft approach. You may have even heard some of the following phrases from the people answering your Phones:

“Would you like to make an appointment?”

“When would you like to come in?”

“That’s ok.”

“Do you want to make another appointment?”

“What time can you come in?”

“What suits you?”

“Can you afford that?”

“Is it too soon?”

This language is definitely polite and will not offend anyone but unfortunately it is probably not going to make many appointments, which means you have not really helped your patient at all!

It can also be a shame because this softening language can actually undo all the great treatment acceptance and readiness to go ahead that took place in the Dental Chair with you, the Dentist!

To best help your patients you need to be confident, assertive, friendly, polite and cheerful.

Instead of using softening language you need to use language that is more direct and helpful but still not pushy.

You want to hear:

“I can make you an appointment.”

“Would you like morning or afternoon?”

“Is there a reason you need to cancel your appointment?”

“It sounds like you are ready to get started.”

“ I have 3:00pm available on Tuesday.”

“Is there something stopping you from getting started?”

“Would you like me to go over the fees?”

“Dr Brown would like you to start straight away.”

Talking on the phone using more assertive and direct language will increase the confidence of the person answering the phones and help them make more Appointments.


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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