You only get one chance to make a first impression, so you have to make sure to get it right when a new patient calls.
I have two general rules for talking to patients on the phone.
The first rule is be positive.
And, of course, this means answering the phone with all the proper etiquette, like having a smile on your face and using the caller's name. But I mean that you should literally be positive. There is almost always a way to give an affirmative answer to a question without compromising your policies.