I used to bring tools. I used apps and apparatus. I used gimmicks, gadgets and whatchamacallits. Then one day, I had to screen someone over the phone. And I thought, “what the….?” (scratching my head in confusion). It got me to thinking. The ramifications of this are farther reaching than you might think. Isn’t this what patients go through when they want to refer someone? They have no screening tools. They have no scripts. They have their experience and MAYBE some communication skills. But in many cases little of those as well!.
That’s when I finally said “forget the power tools” and left the scripts at home. I am going commando! (so to speak). And my results have been infinitely better since! But why did this happen? Why does it work out better?
Scripts imply talking – Screenings require listening
One of the things I discovered in my travels is that, even when scripts assist in a line of questioning, the screener’s attention continues to be on self and not the “screenee” if you will. Further, thinking about the screening process and “what comes next” after the current question, not a lot of listening, understanding and calculating is going on, despite the fact that these are the things that need to be done.
I think of my screenings as interviews and I collect as much information as I can, even the stuff that doesn’t seem relevant. I get a person talking and wait for clues to jump up as to what interests or motivates them. Scripting was holding me back from this.
Screening tests are fine, except when they show results!
You may think I’m joking but, this is total fact drawn from experience. Test results at screenings are the enemy of the screening process (this is the fact on which my True Screening Process was founded).
Screening tools only get in the way. They lead to explanation, interpretation and conversation (mostly with you doing the talking). But, the trick of any screening is to get the screenee talking, and to keep you listening for those clues. The close is never far behind. While screening tests do work, you will find that, if you crunch the numbers, far more prospects didn’t close than did, considering also those who chose not to participate (i.e. you screened 30 and closed 12). I find I have a shot at everybody if I don’t purvey testing and concentrate on the interview. All I do is start, continue and close conversations. And it works!
Screening tests take time
When you are playing a numbers game, the highest numbers of closes occur with the shortest time spent with each prospect. Though it seem necessary to spend a good deal of time with someone to make them a “quality” lead, it is not. For what is required to put someone into the state of mind where they want to show up in your office – and DO – requires far less work. In fact, a conversation is all it takes. I know this because I have done this on commuter rail, on the phone and on the street.
Think of the ramifications if this is true. Your staff and your patients could potentially refer everyone they meet! And so can you!
Lose the power tools and get a power boost
Want to get way more closes and arrivals? Want people to want to come see you? It is, after all, everything you need, right? You are a decent closer if you can just get people to show for that Day 1. It’s not even the screening skill itself that matters. It’s getting them through the door that’s the missing link.
Lose the power tools and have more conversations. See what you can find out, be patient and find out everything you can about the person. Something always turns up. Of course, what questions to ask, what clues to look for and how to use them is another story for another day. But this advice can take you far toward boosting those close and arrival rates. Try it and see.
If you would like help or assistance in these areas, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask. I am happy to lend a hand.