What makes a reluctant patient willing to try something new — even when their doctor of 20 years hasn’t suggested it as an option?
The key to patient activation is answering that question personally for each potential patient that we speak to. It’s knowing that the answer won’t be the same for each person and crafting a conversation that zeros in on the potential patient’s frustration. By truly listening and connecting on a human level, we create the personal value that motivates our leads to become patients. Here’s how:
Our scripts are carefully constructed to find out why a potential patient might be ready to try something new and then lead the person from information gathering to setting an appointment — and keeping it.
- This process has been carefully refined and optimized after years of careful analysis. We monitor potential patients’ objections, not only in terms of what is said, but we identify the exact points in the conversations where the objection arise. We can then provide our nurses with answers and talking points that allow them to personalize their responses and push past the hesitation. It takes some extra time, but it’s worth it. It starts right from the beginning of the call.
- Introductions that stress the medical nature of the call and ask how we can help are two to three times more likely to result in a conversation than introductions that jump right into a description of the treatment or an offer of an appointment. How do we know? We know by looking at how many people ask for a call back later instead of taking a moment to talk to us with each type of introduction. People will take the time to talk, if they believe that we are listening and we have a solution for them specifically.
- Once we’ve moved past the introduction, the real work begins. It’s here that we use questions and personalized talking points to get to the heart of the potential patient’s frustration. We need to know their “why”. Most of the people we speak to have been living with their condition for years and working with the same doctor for even longer. Our job is to find out why they are looking for alternatives now. What changed that motivated them not only to fill out our survey, but also to take our call?
- Our scripts need to be flexible enough to allow us to ask about that motivation and then respond appropriately. It’s not enough to say “X treatment has helped thousands of people like you.” Acknowledging that a potential patient is frustrated and then validating what they’ve tried is an important first step before discussing why that probably didn’t work in their situation. Only then will they be open to hearing how a new solution makes sense. This approach breaks down the lead’s natural defensiveness and it gives us the authority to propose a credible solution that is worth trying. How do we know? Conversations that skip this step show both a significantly lower booking rate and a significantly lower show rate for leads that do book – 100% of the time.
Patient activation is about truly connecting with patients and providing a solution that makes sense for their particular situation. It takes listening, targeted questions and a flexible script full of personalizable talking points. We ensure that our nurses are armed with everything they need to turn “I was just curious” into “that sounds great! Sign me up.”