This Week’s Question: How Can We Convert More Surgical Consultations?
I have been in practice for more than 20 years and have watched it get more difficult and expensive to attract new cosmetic patients.
As a matter of fact, I’ve been paying $25,000 per month on Internet Marketing and that is AFTER I paid an additional $20K to make my Website mobile-friendly.
We are getting leads but the biggest problem is in getting our new patient consultations to say yes to surgery.
I’m spending up to an hour with the prospective patient and then my coordinator spends time with them and they still don’t book.
More and more, I will have a full day of consultations, back-to-back, and NOT book surgeries or other big-ticket procedures. What a waste of time and energy.
My consult conversion rate used to be in the high 70’s for years and now it’s fallen to 25-35%.
Is it me? Is it my coordinator? Is it the patient?
What can I do to convert more of these cosmetic surgical consultations?
Hello Dr. A,
That’ a great question and maybe it helps to know you are not alone. Lower conversion rates are affecting more and more cosmetic practices for all sorts of reasons.
Stiff competition and complicated Internet Marketing strategies are two big ones.
It can also be costly when they DON’T book….
The difference between a 25% conversion rate and a 65% conversion rate is the difference between a 6- or 7-figure cosmetic practice so you’re smart to focus on improving your consultation conversion rate.
Because the reality is your efforts don’t count until the patient says YES and PAYS for your surgical services, right?
So, how can you get more prospective patients to say YES rather than, “I need to speak to my husband about this”? or “Let me think about it”.
Here are strategies to help you convert more of these cosmetic patient consultations:
Pre-Frame YOU As the BEST Choice
When a prospective patient tells you they need to talk to their husband or think about it, that usually means they are NOT convinced you are the BEST CHOICE for them…..yet.
This is where strategic marketing comes in. There’s a saying in the business world that goes, “Good marketing makes selling superfluous”.
That means the more you do on the front end to position yourself as the best, the more the prospective patient will be prepared and opened to saying yes to you.
What are you doing now to educate the prospective patient on YOU and your excellent skills, expertise and reputation? It’s time to turn that up and do more of it so you stand out from the crowd.
For example, social proof never gets old so include it in all of your messaging online and offline.
Show off your work on your Website, have photos blown up and framed for your office, encourage patients to show them off on social media (some will and some won’t) but it never hurts to ask.
Train Your Patient Coordinator to Confidently Ask for a Decision.
You may have the nicest, friendliest patient coordinator on the planet but if she has no idea how to ASK FOR A DECISION in a comfortable way for the prospective patient to say yes – all your efforts are wasted.
This one skill makes the difference between 25% conversions and 75% conversions.
But like anything else in life, it’s a learned skill. It takes proven strategies and practice.
For example, a trained and skilled patient coordinator is never pushy or aggressive. They have the words and scripts and processes they follow to “lead” the patient to a decision that is comfortable for the patient.
“Sara, Dr. Smith’s surgery schedule is filling up next month but I see the 8th and 22nd are still available. Would either of these dates work for you?”
Now Sara has most likely moved from IF she is going to book to WHEN she is going to book. It’s a small nuance with a big effect. Have your patient coordinator practice it and watch what happens.
Discover even more proven and effective strategies for your patient coordinator to use to convert more cosmetic patient consultations on my next online training course….
Join me on my next Online Training
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Have your own surgical consultation conversion rates changed throughout the years?
What do you do to improve your conversions?
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