Here’s what I mean. You most likely ask yourself often what is the best way to grow your cosmetic practice? Is it SEO? PPC? Directories? Social Media?
There are pros and cons to each of these and they are not for the faint-hearted. They can drain your bank account, waste a ton of your time and leave you and your staff feeling overwhelmed.
Then you need to determine if what you are spending on these patient-attraction strategies are giving you the results you want.
All of this leads to ONE of the two following outcomes:
- You don’t do anything (because you’re confused about the “best” way to grow your practice and that means you remain stagnant but we all know if you’re not growing, you’re dying OR….
- You do everything and chase every shiny object – buying into the hype and false promises of slick marketers who sell you the latest gimmick but does it really help you get cosmetic patients who pay, stay and refer?
Looking at these options it seems that you can’t win… or can you?
Of course you can – with the right strategies!
The first step is to get off the hamster wheel, take a deep breath and take a look at your practice from the outside.
It’s about identifying the gaps.
Here’s an analogy, as a plastic surgeon…
Do you recommend a breast augmentation to every patient who calls?
Of course not.
You meet with the patient for a thorough consultation and recommend what’s right, but when have you done that for your practice?
If your bucket has holes (e.g. converting issues), then pouring in more leads is a waste of time and money.
But that is what most surgeons want: more leads… more leads…. more leads.
If you don’t know the holes in the bucket, you can’t fix them and that’s costing you dearly in new patients, new referrals and a lot of lost revenues.
Because once you start looking at your practice marketing efforts from a 10,000-foot view, you will discover that in fact there are only 5 ways to grow your cosmetic practice and here they are:
Number of Leads
Obviously, this is one of the most important ways to grow your practice. If your phone doesn’t ring, you won’t get any appointments, consultations and procedures. But as you will see, busy phone lines are not necessarily a guarantee for profits.
Number of Appointments
How well does your receptionist convert callers into appointments? It’s great if your phone is ringing off the hook, but if your receptionist doesn’t convert these callers into appointments, it doesn’t really matter. Your receptionist’s conversion rate will have a dramatic impact on your bottom line. So its vital to your success to keep an eye on this part of your practice.
Number of Consultations
How many of the prospective patients who booked an appointment are actually showing up? You and your patient coordinator block time for a consultation, and if your prospective patients are not showing up for their appointments, your valuable time is wasted not to mention the wasted time your staff is now standing around getting paid for unproductive time.
Number of Paid Procedures
You don’t get paid for consultations. You only get paid if you can successfully convert a consultation into a paid procedure. Therefore, this step has the biggest impact on your bottom line. The better you convert consultations into procedures, the more revenues you’ll make for your practice.
Number of Patients Returning
If your patients are NOT returning, they most likely are still getting aesthetic rejuvenation. They are just not getting it from you. Ouch!
You might have heard that its up to 16x cheaper and easier to sell to an existing cosmetic patient than to attract a new patient. And the best part is that it costs only a fraction to convince an existing patient to come back for another procedure. So having “patient retention systems” in place will dramatically reduce your marketing cost and therefore increase your profits.
So, as you can see, making the phone ring and focusing on more leads is only one part of running a profitable aesthetic practice. But that’s the wrong approach if you don’t have the other processes in place to convert.
Because if you have holes in your processes and don’t convert callers into appointments, or consultations into procedures, then all the calls you receive are worthless.
Small Improvements Make a Big Difference
A more rational approach to the right fix is to increase some of the variables above by only 10% because small tweaks can make a huge difference to your bottom line. Here are easy ways to make 10% increases:
- Give your receptionist scripts to credential you to help convert more callers;
- Make a pre-call to the cosmetic patient to help ensure they show up for their consultation;
- Present a lot more social proof during the consultation so the new patient is more likely to choose you; and
- Institute a loyalty program for your current patients to return.
But first, you must know your numbers so you know which area(s) you need to focus on to take your practice to the next level.
The point is to start thinking more about quality than quantity.