When it comes to converting, here’s a typical scenario
in a plastic surgeons’ office….
The staff meets with the patient face-to-face. The patient
says they have to think about it. So the coordinator sends
them on their way with the quote and now the game of
- Staff can’t get the prospective patient on the phone
- The patient won’t return your staff’s phone call(s)
- The patient won’t respond to your staff’s emails
Ugh! This is so frustrating for staff because they take time
out to follow up (hopefully) but they give up quickly
because they feel discouraged wasting time with
“stranger patients” who they feel are lame and
weren’t a good lead to begin with anyway so why bother.
Maybe that’s true but maybe it’s not.
I hear over and over from staff they don’t want to appear
pushy and “salesy” so they give the prospective patient a
call or send an email several days after the consult, then maybe
they try again after a month.
The incoming lead grows colder and colder and is placed in the
“dead lead” file never to be seen or heard from again.
If you’ve experienced this in your own practice, it’s time to re-think
your follow up process to close up the gap of lost profits.
Did you know it takes at least 8 points of contact before you can
get the prospective patient’s attention? And you could need several
more before you actually get to a YES?
Here’s the reality:
You can continue to spend a fortune on PPC, SEO, directories,
social media and ninja marketing tactics to bring in more leads but
it doesn’t do you any good if your staff can’t convert them.
Wouldn’t you be better off spending less on advertising and investing
more in converting training to help ensure your staff is confident
when they have the skills needed to convert that patient?
For example, here are 3 strategies to help you follow up more successfully
on incoming leads:
Meet as a team and map out your new patient flow chart (like this example below)
so you have a protocol to follow for an incoming lead.
1.) Map out what happens and when so you don’t leave it to chance.
This becomes your step-by-step protocol that staff must follow; just like
you do for surgery.
That means you follow it no matter how busy you are or what kind of
mood you’re in. And that’s the point. You don’t want staff to think about
it or procrastinate and come up with other call reluctance excuses.
This is not something they do when they have time. This is now protocol,
mandatory and it’s how you run your practice.
- Incoming call
- Caller books consult
- Pre-consult call
- Thank you note
- Thank you email
- Follow up call #1
- Follow up email #1
- Follow up call #2
- Follow up email #2
- Follow up call #3
- Follow up email #3
Now as a team, or break up into smaller teams, get into the details of each step.
Let’s take the one most staff have the most trouble with and that is after you have met with
the patient for a consult and they are now thinking about it.
You need to make a follow up call that matters so try this instead to get a better response:
2) ALWAYS leave a phone message
It can be disheartening for staff when they can’t get the prospective patient on the phone
so they lose hope and have a tendency to give up quickly “assuming” it’s a lost cause.
Here’s my advice:
Change your mindset to change your results. Here’s what I mean…
Just because the patient is not responding does NOT mean they
are not listening to your messages.
It could mean they just haven’t heard something to make them respond or to make them
quit procrastinating and make a decision.
3) Use Compelling Scripts Rather Than “Wing It”
There are two approaches to following up:
In the first approach, you simply call a lot and ask them if they have decided yet. This actually
CAN work or at least it works better than NEVER following up at all but it’s not the most effective way.
The second way is to use pre-thought out and strategic scripts with thought-provoking messages
that compel the patient to respond. Build in urgency to your message so the patient feels
the need to make a decision.
For example, try a proven message like this one that gets a better response:
Urgency: Schedule Filling Up
“Hi Sara, it’s Connie from Dr. X’s office. Since you were anxious to look great in time for your
vacation, I wanted to let you know we are booking up quickly for the next 2 months; however,
I still have two surgical dates for [date] and [date]. Do either of those dates work for you?
Call me back right away so I can reserve it for you.
Want a shortcut to putting your follow-up on automatic so your staff is
happier and you get more surgeries?
Click Below to Watch This for a Solution
Catherine Maley, MBA is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on cash practice building and trains staff to be converting rock stars. | View Author Profile | Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying