How to Turn Patients Into John Hancock

How to Turn Patients Into John Hancock

There is a story that founding father John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence so large so that “the fat old King could read it without his spectacles.” There’s a lesson dentists can learn from that.

Though the story may not be true, the fact is that Hancock and all the signers of the Declaration of Independence could have been executed for treason based solely on signing the document. But first it would have to be proven that it was their hand that signed.

Hancock left no question of whether he had signed it should the revolution fail. 

He was committed to the cause and staked his life on it, as evidenced by his enlarged, elegant signature.

Dr. Robert Cialdini tells us in his book”Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” that people have a need to follow through on their commitments. He calls this consistency.

Dr. Cialdini found that when people make a commitment verbally or especially in writing, they feel pressure externally and internally to do what they have said.

During a recent webinar, Dr. Cialdini told the story of a medical practice that struggled to get patients to return for follow-up appointments. It seems the receptionist would write the appointment date on the reminder card and hand it to the patient.

To change the patients’ behavior, the receptionist began having having the patients write the appointment on the card. The practice saw a marked increase in kept appointments and a large decrease in no-call/no-shows.

How does this affect you?

The principle of consistency applies to dentists in a way that works synergistically with another of the six principles of influence: reciprocity (which I covered in this earlier blog in this series).

You see, if you can offer potential patients something like a free report in exchange for their contact information, you have not only gotten them to be in your debt (for the free offer) but to sign their name to hear from you.

If you want to attract more and better patients, this one trick that harnesses the latest in neuropsychology is your ticket to more freedom and a better lifestyle.

Get on the right frequency

So what should you do? Give them regular, frequent contact. Keep them engaged until they are ready to sign up for an appointment.

You should make it easy for prospective patients to sign up for an appointment. There should be multiple opportunities throughout your website to go to the appointments page and mentions everywhere of your office phone number. Every email you send prospective patients also should contain a link to the appointments page and the office phone number.

Do whatever you can to get that appointment set!

We’ll look at the last of the six keys to persuasion, scarcity, next week.

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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.