The Bottom Liine Ep. 2

Converting More Patient Leads Into Consults

How can healthcare practices convert more leads into booked appointments? In this episode we talk to Liine’s co-founder Charlie Winn, who has analyzed over 100,000 new lead interactions and is an expert in both lead conversion and call staff training.



Ken: All right, So let’s recap real quick. So we are in episode two officially. Unless you count our primer. We are talking about the revenue hourglass. Now, Charlie. Stage two of the Revenue Hourglass. We’ve already got leads coming in. Where are we now? 

Charlie: You’re revenue’s like an hourglass. I got John Mayer in my head. We are at the stage of. It’s the initial…. it’s the bridge and conversion rate of leads to appointments. People reach out. Are they scheduling a time to come in?

Ken: Absolutely. So we’ve already spent money on marketing or word of mouth or whatever kind of time investment to get the leads. And now we’ve got to make sure they actually book a consult or book an appointment. Right? So what are the kind of missing steps here? What are we missing? I mean, do we just answer the phone and answer web leads and we’re done. Or how do we make sure we’re doing this right?

Charlie: No way. No way. So here’s what I usually see is if you’re a practice owner, typically you’ve got an agency or maybe even someone internal if you’re larger that’s handling the marketing strategy. And so you’re investing in marketing, right? Let’s say, you know, okay, last month I spent 20 grand in Google ads or something.

And then you’re doing everything you can to get information out of your EHR or practice management system to say “exactly how many dollars did I get from that? Because I gotta get my ROI. I got know how much I spent, how much I got out of that channel”. You should know that, by the way. But most practice owners only have that.

Okay. And so if they’re trying to grow the only lever they can pull is spending more money on marketing. Well, what they’re forgetting is these are two points in a process and in a journey. Two points and in between there’s other performance metrics, conversion rates, things they could change in influence that are going to get more dollars downstream out of the investment.

And so this is an example of one, where people are calling your practice. People are filling out web forms or getting on chat, there’s interactions happening and there’s things that if you measure related to that bridge between leads in appointments, you could make adjustments to, increase this conversion rate and get more revenue out of this same amount of investment you have in marketing.

So instead of just looking at these two endpoints, we need to start looking at the other steps in between. This one being the first one.

Ken: Absolutely. And this is, you know, standard practice for most businesses outside of healthcare, too. Right. So we have systems like CRMs, like Salesforce or whatnot, because this is this is a big money maker to understand where are my leads coming from, which ones convert, where should I spend my time and money. You know, I’m the marketer over here, so that’s kind of my language, but I need to know what my money is getting me in return.

Right. So that’s kind of the idea, right?

Charlie: I would say so.

Ken: Awesome. So what are those data points that they need to know? We want to know how many phone calls are new patients? How many web leads we’re getting? How many online bookings? Marketing channels for each of those campaigns? I assume, like, what are we forgetting? What do we need to know?

Charlie: Yeah, I mean, you kind of nailed it. It’s just think about if someone’s a new patient lead, how could they contact you? So if obviously they’re going to able to call probably do forms if you have online booking, that’s another one. If you have chat, that’s another one. And so you need to figure out a way to understand how many people not just calls, right.

Because one person could call you seven times and fill out a form before they end up booking. So you got to find a way to reconcile that, to know the leads or the souls is the way I’ve been describing it. And then you need to automatically understand the marketing channel. Don’t rely on your staff saying, Well, how did you hear about us?

Because trust me, most staff just don’t do that. And even if you have that information in your EHR, some of it’s B.S.. I’m sorry. It is. And so you don’t want to be making decisions with on the marketing side with with that self-reported data. So figure out what all the ways are that people could reach out, look at it on a leads basis, and then automatically track.

There’s a lot of ways to do this, the marketing channel that they came from.

Ken: Yeah, I’m sure a lot of people will just say, “Oh, I saw you on the web”. Righ?. But which one of our 500 places on the web?

Charlie: Yeah. Thank God. Now I can go and invest more in the web. Oh, hell, yeah. The web’s working you guys. Insane? So that’s. That’s that side of it. And then you also need to know that conversion rate. So I mean, you’re going to know how many people booked, that’s in your scheduling system. But the people that did not book.

Massive amounts of value in that insight. And you’ve got to know who they are.

Ken: Yeah, you’re spending a lot of money for anything that’s like a pay per click, like a Google search or a Facebook ad. I mean, you spend money on these people . You need to know. Awesome. All right. Let’s let’s move on to another topic. And that would be how well your staff perform on these phone calls? 

So we have some we have a lot of analyzed data over here.I personally in the marketing side did a benchmark report where I went through like hundreds of thousands of new patient leads. And we saw the reasons that patients are not booking appointments. And the top two reasons were caller procrastination, which basically means they, you know, wishy washy, their response and just didn’t end up booking. Right? And the second one, what was the second one?

Oh yeah, left a message. So basically the staff member instead of saying, Oh, here’s what I can do for you, let’s book an appointment, they’re just saying, Oh, let me take a message and we’ll call you back later, or I don’t know the answer to that. Right. So those both of those, you might not be able to help every one of them, but it seems like there’s a huge staff training component to that, wouldn’t you say?

Charlie: Enormous. It’s one of the biggest challenges of this whole this whole process here, because the other like there’s no other industry that I know of outside of healthcare specialty where you’re getting inbound leads, like people interested reaching out, and then the people that handle those conversations like literally don’t have any sales training. That is a sales conversation.

That is. You’re trying to help someone convert to the next step, schedule an initial appointment, and the people that are in that job function are not equipped, not their fault, but like they don’t even realize half the time what their responsibility is. And so you don’t have to go to your front desk and say, “You guys are salespeople”.

I’m not saying that, but the training, the training has to be around simplifying and providing clarity of like, what is this job function? And what it is, is helping new patient leads schedule. That’s it. And so that the misconception I see is most practice owners think that all their front staff need to be experts in all of the procedures and the treatments that they offer.

I’m not saying that they should know anything about it, but of course they should. Right. But they don’t need to know all of the detailed information to answer questions, because if they do, that’s all they’re going to focus on is just answering questions. And that’s why what you said, Ken, top reason not booked is caller procrastination. People call in with questions.

All the time. What does this cost? Tell me more about the surgeon or their provider. Give me more information on the treatment and the people that know the most ironically have the lower conversion rate because they get stuck in this information gathering conversation. So training is a huge problem and the training needs to be focused on helping people book.

How do you keep the call focused on getting that person scheduled and momentum towards booking instead of just giving lots and lots of information on the treatment on that first call? That’s what the consult’s for.

Ken: Absolutely. And in this analysis that I did do, of a few hundred thousand patient leads, we also saw the worst staff were converting like 16% of phone calls to a consults. And the best were like 87 or 88%. And obviously this is a wide range of different specialties and verticals. So there’s some some variance in there, but that’s quite a huge range, you know what I mean?

Charlie: It’s it’s massive. I mean, that’s literally 71%.

Ken: Yeah.

Charlie: That’s insane, right? So so A -there’s two takeaways I get from that data. A – there is a problem, right? I mean, the fact that people doing the same job could have that much of a difference in performance is crazy. And then 2 – the answer has got to be training. Sure, there’s some people that are just naturally better at stuff.

I buy that. But not 71% better. That’s ridiculous. So it’s you have to think about if you were to go ask your friend. Staff Hey, what is when you answered the phone and then it’s a new patient, What’s your job? It would be really interesting to hear what people say and they should always say to help them schedule, to help them schedule.

And I bet they probably wouldn’t.

Ken: Yeah. Awesome. Okay, well, let’s move on to another topic, which is digital digitally is is calling web forms, right? So someone comes to a website, fills out a form, sends an email, whatever it is. A lot of times we know these just go to some inbox, right? They go to info@ or wherever else. Charlie, tell us why that’s wrong.

Charlie: It personally offends me, Ken. No, that is the most common thing, right? So if your web leads are going to info@ or any email inbox, let me be really clear here. You are losing money, period. Losing money leads or falling through the cracks, meaning your team isn’t calling a lot of them back and you got to change it.

You have to. So if you don’t do anything else after this episode, stop, stop having them go to the inbox. So what do you do? You need to get a system where the web leads automatically go into into a nice, organized, clean list that needs to be updated so that you know what the outcomes were with those leads.

Now, does your team have time to manually update lead status? Maybe not. I’m not going to sell Liine, but you should call us if you’re worried about that. But you’ve got to have some type of organization and an email inbox is – you can’t do that, stop doing it. So that’s the first issue. The second issue, the old 80-20 rule right? 80% of results come from 20% of the activities and the effort.

And that’s the same with Web leads. And how how does that specifically apply? Most people get really focused on sexy things like drip and nurture and automated email and oh yeah, we put them into the campaign. I’m not saying that’s something you shouldn’t do, you should do that. But that is an example of the 80% of activity that gets you the 20% of the result.

What gets you the biggest result? Speed and speed, meaning, calling people. There is nothing more important or more impactful that your team could do to lead than call the web lead immediately. And we just looked at this I think recently, Ken, the average web lead converts 19% of the time. But when staff are calling web leads within 5 minutes, that goes up to 55%.

So that’s a 36% swing and conversion rate just just by calling someone really quickly. And the reason is you get him on the phone, Right. It’s so difficult to get people on the phone if you wait longer. So here’s the summary. If you’re, you know, looking for and buying technology that can do all the drip stuff and the cadences and so forth, and your team isn’t calling leads within 5 minutes, you’re losing money.

Ken: Yep. This is a pretty famous sales methodology, right? Calling within 5 minutes. There’s tons of data. You should Google this. Don’t take our word for it. Google it. Just Google speed-to-lead or lead response times and you will see tons of data and research on this.

Charlie: There is a research paper from Harvard Business Review. I’ve heard of them.

Ken: I’ve heard of them.

Charlie: Mark Zuckerberg went in there, bro.

Ken: Yeah, it’s interesting that we saw literally like three times as many bookings just from that one change. Awesome. Cool. So we’ve kind of covered three topics. Let’s let’s just do a recap, I suppose. We’ve talked about better front end data, better systems set in place to get that marketing data. The actual new lead counts, you know, that whole data set that can help you make better decisions both in marketing and operations.

Charlie: Conversion rate, too. Conversion rate to appointment.

Ken: Yes, Yes. This whole thing is about conversion rate. Yes. So second piece would be staff training. Right. It also helps your conversion rate. Third piece will be speed to lead and how you manage those, especially web form leads. Right. Anything we’re missing? 

Charlie: No.

Ken: I love it. Cool. So I think that about does it, then. What do you say? Any final thoughts?

Charlie: I think so. I, I don’t know if I told you this, but I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo for years, so I have to get a tattoo at some point. I don’t know why, but I do. And I think I think I’ve decided it’s going to be speed to lead, but I don’t know where. So if anyone listening has any ideas about where I should get speed to lead tattooed on my body, I’d love to hear about that.

Ken: All right. Definitely let us know where Charlie should get his future tattoo that we will show in the next episode, right?

Charlie: Sure. 

Ken: Just kidding. All right. Yeah. So our next episode will be the next stage and the revenue hourglass. Find out what that is next time. But for now, I’ll make sure you’re giving us a like, a follow up, a comment. All that stuff’s helpful, but we look forward to seeing you next time.

Charlie: Peace out.

Ken: Bye.