New Year Intentions. New Possibilities…But Are They Probable?

Turn new year intentions into a possibility.

There is something special about a new year with its new beginnings, new intentions, new possibilities, new calendars, and new planners. All seems fresh and the possibilities are endless.

But if it is possible, does it necessarily mean is it probable?

Our family enjoys going to CiCi’s Pizza. “Welcome to CiCi’s!”

On one particular instance, prominently displayed at the front door was a sign offering a $250 prize for anyone who could meet “The Challenge”. The rules included eating a 28-inch pizza and drinking a large soda, without ice, in 60 minutes. No standing, no throwing up.

Now is this possible? Yes—according to the sign, one person had succeeded.

Is this probable? No—so far only one had succeeded while over 40 people had accepted the challenge.

Possible vs Probable

So what is the difference between possible and probable?

The dictionary says that possible means, “capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances—capable of occurring or being done”. Common words—”it could happen”.

The dictionary says that probable means, “likely to happen or to be true”. Common words—more than likely, “it will happen”

New Year Intentions

This is the time of the year when we make resolutions or add things to our “bucket list”. Each of these things falls into the category of possible or probable. Some things that determine where they fall include your expectations and effort.

When we walked into CiCi’s, we saw the challenge and determined that it was something we could possibly do, (we like pizza and how hard could it be?) — but probably would not do because we did not expect to win and were not willing to make the effort to win, and so far, only one had succeeded.

Your List – Your Choice

Think about the resolutions you have made for yourself and your team. Then categorize them into Possible and Probable. Finally, see how many you can transition from Possible (it could happen) to Probable (it will happen) by providing the correct expectation, effort, or resources.

Remember, it’s your list—it’s your choice. You can turn “possibility” into “probability” with the plan and effort it takes to meet your expectations.

And what would that look like? Success!

Set Yourself Up for Probable Success

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Confirmation Call – “I’m confirming [beeeep]”

Bored woman listening to confirmation call

We have all experienced it, right? Thanks to Caller ID, we let the answering machine or our voicemail answer the call. It’s only a confirmation call. It serves to remind us to show up to an appointment or obligation. But the usual result is a quick [DELETE]…beeeeeeep.

The Ritualistic Confirmation Call

We have a love-hate relationship with such calls. On one side we appreciate a reminder of our upcoming appointment in case we did not write it down correctly. On the other hand, once we begin hearing the details, we hit “delete.” The usual confirmation call barely hovers above a level of mediocrity.

So why do we think we are doing something different by simply having a live voice instead of an automated voice do the same thing?

Change the Purpose – Connection Call

We want to be different than the usual confirmation call; let’s set out a plan.

Change the purpose from merely confirming and reminding to connecting and drawing upon the authority of our doctors. We can let the future patient know we are anticipating and preparing for their visit. This goal is easy to accomplish by referencing the status of their new patient forms.

Notice that by using this as an opportunity to thank or remind the caller about the forms we demonstrate we have taken an early initiative in preparing for their visit. It is not saying, “if” they haven’t filled it out to do so. It is actually knowing and personalizing it to them.

Thank or Remind Them

First, review the patient details to see if they have filled out their forms. If so, thank them. Conversely, if the items are not yet submitted, remind them. Either way, employ one of Cialdini’s principles of influence and draw upon the authority of the doctor.

Here are some examples:

(First, for completed forms)

“Good evening, this is Mary from Dr. Smile’s office. As Dr. Smile was reviewing your records he/she said you had completed your new patient forms and asked me to personally thank you for having completed them. Dr. Smile is looking forward to meeting everyone involved so he/she can answer everyone’s questions about his/her recommendations.

Again, this is Mary, and I will be at the front desk to meet you when you come in for your consultation tomorrow at 8 am. Should you have any questions before then, please call or text me at 555.555.5555. Again, that number is 555.555.5555. Have a great day.”

(Secondly, for incomplete forms)

“Good evening, this is Mary from Dr. Smile’s office. As Dr. Smile was reviewing your records, he/she noticed that the new patient forms were still not in our system and asked me to ensure you still had the appropriate link/email to those forms. After this call, I will email you the link. Additionally, the online forms are located on our website at www.communicateexcellence.com.

If you are unable to submit those tonight, Dr. Smile requests you arrive 15 minutes early, so you have time to complete those forms and ensure all the details are prepared in advance of your one-on-one time with the doctor. Dr. Smile is looking forward to meeting everyone involved so he/she can answer everyone’s questions about his/her recommendations.

Again, this is Mary, and I will be at the front desk to meet you when you come in for your consultation tomorrow at 8 am. Should you have any questions before then, please call or text me at 555.555.5555. Again, that number is 555.555.5555. Have a great day.”

Either example demonstrates you have taken the time to prepare and anticipate their visit. We want to sustain the great experience of the first call to validate we are unique. Be different…be excellent!

Try it out and watch how the small details add up to a better prepared new patient visit ready to say “yes” to your recommendations.