Let’s get a few things out of the way. Yes, I am a salesman. I believe that knowing how to sell and effectively communicate are the most valuable skills a person can have. You can be the best doctor in the world, but if you don’t know how to communicate that skill to people then you essentially have no value in the marketplace. And therefore you may not know how to build an effective admissions department.
With that, I think we can all agree that “sales” in a treatment roll has a different context than in the traditional sense. When we are selling treatment services, it’s not as though we are selling a new sofa or a better life insurance plan. This is a serious matter, so I write this article with that in mind.
However, I fully believe there are a few techniques and key points that can be touched upon. Especially when dealing with a potential treatment client that can drastically increase your conversion rates on the phone.
Let’s get started.
Be a Helpful Admissions Department
I get it. I’ve been a call center rep in many different industries. It can be a natural inclination to want to get right to the point. Phone reps are trained to be always moving on to the next one. That is their job.
When it comes to treatment, I have learned through years of experience that being helpful and being patient with people matters a great deal. We all know that many times, the inbound call is a family member that is doing research for their son or daughter or loved one.
Putting yourself in the position of the person on the other side of the phone paints a different picture, one that would benefit you greatly to be mindful of.
Be helpful. Be patient. Be courteous and be of service. People will always remember the way you made them feel and building that trust is paramount in turning phone calls into actual admits.
Control the Conversation
Understand what it means to control a conversation.
Most times, if you are doing this right, you will spend more time listening that talking. Controlling a conversation does not mean speaking every chance you get. Rather knowing what to say and when to say it.
If someone is calling a treatment center, they aren’t doing so because they want to have an enjoyable conversation. They are doing it because they need help. The person on the other end of the phone wants you to guide them, they want you to make them feel better and put their mind at ease.
So as an admissions department rep, you need to practice politely cutting people off when the conversation is meandering. You need to practice listening to the prospect to understand what it is that he or she is really searching for and you need to learn how to tap into that pain point.
Again, this person is calling because he or she is in pain. Find out the root cause of the pain and direct the conversation towards a solution to that problem.
Ask The Right Questions in Your Admissions Department
If there is one commonality between treatment admissions and traditional sales, it is in this concept.
I’ve seen dozens of reps do a great job at educating a prospect, answering all their questions and being of great service. But when the moment came to truly get the process started they danced around the question.
At the end of the day, an admissions department rep is being paid money to bring new clients into a treatment center. If you are an admissions rep and you aren’t hitting your numbers, you will be out of the job.
Understand, these conversations are filled with emotion. Many times, the person on the other end of the phone is waiting for you to tell them what to do. They want to be guided. They are waiting for the comforting feeling of knowing that everything will be okay.
You need to learn how to “go for the close.” The worst that can happen is that they say no.
If you are still nervous about blatantly asking for someone’s insurance information or how they will pay for treatment, then I suggest using the phrase…
“are you ready to get started?”
When they say yes, great! You can polity ask for the information required.
If they say no, you say “I’m confused. We just agreed that our services provide everything you (or your son or your friend or whomever) needs to get sober and build a life for yourself. What’s the issue?”
After that you can work through your rebuttals one at a time. Your call center manager should go over these rebuttals with you and you can practice them on your own time or practice them with team building experiences.
Keep at it
Even in a traditional sales sense, I don’t like to think of selling as a skill within itself. I prefer to think of it as having a conversation. That’s all sales is. You’re having a conversation with someone.
In a treatment admissions department, you should always be practicing your conversation skills. Treatment can provide a career and a learning opportunity for many people. So take this seriously because without the personal touch of a voice on the other end of the phone, it is very difficult to keep clients coming in to a treatment facility.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to contact us at any time for any reason.