Can your website qualify inquiries within 5 minutes?

First, let me explain to you what the five-minute rule is, and why it matters. The five-minute rule is that you have to respond to a lead. Not within a day, not within a few hours, but within five minutes in order to maximize your opportunity to get the greatest conversion rates for your practice. So MIT did a study where they identified how quickly people responded to leads. And what we found is that there was a huge discrepancy in terms of how long it took different industries to respond to leads. Healthcare was well over two hours. Now, they’re actually one of the worst offenders in the speed to lead race.

The 5-Minute Rule: What is it and why it matters

What we want to do for our customers is to respond within five minutes.

Why? Because that same study from MIT demonstrated, without a shadow of a doubt, that if you respond to leads within five minutes of their inquiry, you have a chance of increasing your conversion rate by 80%. Do you know what that means? Is that all the last 20 years that I’ve been spending training people how to ask better questions, how to respond to objections, how to be friendlier on the phone, all of that was really not as important.

It is actually getting back to leads within five minutes.

The value of instant gratification

So why does the five-minute rule matter? Well, number one, it’s instant gratification. So what’s the psychology behind instant gratification? Essentially, most people don’t really like to delay gratification, right? You put a bunch of donuts in front of somebody, most people are going to say, ‘I’m going to grab that donut and I’m going to eat it,’ as opposed to waiting for later until the good food arrives. That’s what people do. They basically go for instant gratification wherever they can. They don’t want to expend effort, they don’t want to sacrifice, right?

So responding to leads within five minutes caters to that need for instant gratification, and it increases the chances of a successful sales interaction, number one. Not only are you responding to that instant gratification need, number two, you are actually getting that person on the line in a conversation before they’ve had a chance to go somewhere else to fulfill that need for instant gratification.

Staying ahead of the competition

Now what’s really valuable about this is the fact that you can stay further ahead of the competition, which can make up for a lot of deficiencies in any of the other aspects of your service. For example, you might have a higher price. Well, it really doesn’t matter because you’ve actually been able to contact that lead within five minutes while all the other competition is waiting for hours and hours, potentially days, to respond to that lead. Whether your price is higher or not, chances are that whoever has that interaction with that lead first is going to get them off the bus into their practice and have that conversation that will eventually lead to a patient conversion. Now many different companies have different response times. I would suggest that in refractive surgery, the response time is actually crazily slow, right?

When I have a conversation with a refractive surgeon and ask them, ‘How soon can you get back to leads?’, they will typically say ‘probably one or two’, and I’m like ‘one or two minutes?’ ‘No, like one or two days’.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

Building trust and credibility

This is an amazing source of competitive advantage for your business. If you can just get back to leads within five minutes, you’ve really won the race before it’s even got started. And that’s also involved in building trust and credibility too, right? When you respond to your lead very quickly. Let’s talk about that section next.

Okay, now one of the things that responding to a lead really quickly does is it creates instant trust and credibility in how oriented your practice is towards customer service. It simply demonstrates that you care to be responsive. Now in my view, if a salesperson is unresponsive, I only wonder how their customer fulfillment team is going to be when they don’t need my money anymore.

Let me give you an example that everyone can understand: The other day I went to a restaurant. We stood in front of the restaurant, looked at the menu, and we were looking around to see if somebody would help us. There were several different servers walking by, not a hostess in sight. We waited roughly about three minutes, and after three minutes, we just looked at each other and said, you know, if this is how long it takes us to actually welcome us into their business and sit us down even before we ordered, imagine how long it’s going to take to get our food, right? So immediately we decided, next, let’s move on to the next restaurant down the street. Turns out…

We went to the next restaurant down the street, and we actually got sat down pretty much instantly and laid down 200 pounds for dinner at that restaurant, sure the restaurant that we went to initially might have looked a lot nicer, and we might have wanted to go there in the first instance, but they missed out on. It’s the same thing with your practice.

Increasing sales and revenue

Now just imagine if you responded to every lead within five minutes. Just imagine what it would do to your conversion rate. Just imagine, for example, you had 80% more conversions than you currently do. So if you had 10 conversions this month, you’d end up with 18 conversions. Now let’s say out of those 10 conversions, typically you get five surgeries on the other end. So that might equal, say, five times 5,000. You’ve made 25,000 pounds. That’s nice. But let’s say you go to 18, and out of 18, you get nine.

9 times 5 is 45,000 pounds. So that’s a significant difference. Everything else is equal to how much money you’ve generated, most of it going to the top line and then definitely going down to the bottom line once you pass a breakeven point, just by responding within five minutes. So really, if you think about it, responding within five minutes to every single lead is worth thousands and thousands of pounds for your practice. In fact, the bigger you are, the more volume you do, the more important and valuable it is to your business.

Tips for implementing the 5-Minute Rule

So many practices ask me, how can I go about implementing that five-minute rule? I mean, it sounds great, but my team is just too busy dealing with customers, dealing with patients. Many times they’re not even in. Sometimes they’re on the phone. How do I actually go about responding to leads within five minutes, as you suggest, in order to get this incredible value on the other side?

Well, I’ll tell you how. With Hattie, you can respond to leads within five minutes. If they fill in a form, Hattie will respond on your behalf using automation to respond to that lead within five minutes. If they complete a self-test, Hattie will respond on your behalf with automation informed by the self-test results within five minutes.

If they call you and you’re busy on the line, Hattie will respond via text, even though you missed the call, within five minutes. So really the rule here is not just a five-minute window, but the underlying outcome is that no lead gets left behind.

You must get back to leads within five minutes. If you don’t, you’re missing out on a potential 80% of your conversions. That is the first thing you have to do before any sales training, before improving your service, and before anything else. Really, just make sure that you’re responding to leads within five minutes. That alone is going to get you in the game, again, before all the other competitors have even woken up and realized that this is a game on.

Right, so get back to your leads within five minutes and use systems that enable you to do that. And again, the best way to do that is using a system like Hattie that will respond to those leads within five minutes, not only when your team is busy, not only when your team is distracted by doing the services to other patients, but 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on evenings and even on weekends, so that no lead gets left behind and you’re always responding within that five-minute rule.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor for its customers. Rod mentors and coaches eye surgery business CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to double their sales, triple their profits, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK