I have a nice office, great staff and we like our cosmetic patients. The problem is in getting our new patient consults 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 25-40%.
Is it me? Is it my coordinator? Is it the patient?
What can I do to convert more of these surgical consultations?
Dear Dr. A,
Thanks for a great question. You are not alone. Lower conversion rates are affecting more and more cosmetic practices for all sorts of reasons.
Stiff competition and advancements in non-surgical technology are two
It can be so frustrating to put so much effort into the aesthetic patient consultation and get nothing back in return.
It can also be costly when they DON’T book….
The difference between a 25% conversion rate and a 65% conversion rate can be many, many thousands of dollars and the difference between a 6- or 7-figure practice.
The reality is your efforts don’t count until the patient says YES and PAYS for your services, right?
So, how can you get more prospective patients to say YES rather than, “I need to think about it” or “I need to talk to my husband”?
HINT: 95% of the time, when a prospective patient tells you they need to talk to their husband, that really means they are NOT convinced you are the BEST CHOICE for them.
That’s where your patient coordinator comes in. She should be scripted to professionally position you as the BEST CHOICE above your competitors.
Here’s what you do to get your conversion rates up:
#1) Get the right Patient Coordinator in the position of “Consultation Closer”
Your patient coordinator can be a game-changer for your bottom line so choose carefully.
For example, your coordinator must believe in YOU, your skills and be open to aesthetic rejuvenation. If your patient coordinator would never succumb to this world of vanity, how in the heck are they supposed to praise and promote you and your cosmetic services?
But they also need powerful people skills so they can quickly bond with your patients.
Just be sure you have the right coordinator representing you who looks, acts and feels the part.
#2) Give your Patient Coordinator the tools needed to qualify the patient
Consider what a difficult conversation this is to have with a complete stranger. The cosmetic patient is uncomfortable with their appearance so they are feeling vulnerable and anxious.
The coordinator’s job is to put them at ease and reassure them they are in the right place and will be happy with their result when they decide to move forward.
Your coordinator must have a process set up and powerful questions to ask, as well as tools, to help the patient articulate what they want, why they want it and what it will take for them to say YES.
One helpful tool is the initial Cosmetic Questionnaire that helps get the conversation started. It’s a check-off list of “concerns” the patient has rather than your menu of services.
TIP: Patients are much more driven to a solution to their problem vs. the solution you have to fix their problem. Think: Problem First – Then Solution.
#3) Script your Patient Coordinator so they know how to “Comfortably and Confidently” close by asking for a decision.
So many practices have patient coordinators who are nice and look the part but have no idea how to ASK FOR A DECISION.
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.
For example, a simple closing strategy is the “Choice Close”. That means rather than the patient deciding a YES/NO question, they choose EITHER/OR and YES is assumed…
“Sara, Dr. Smith’s surgery days are Wednesdays and Fridays.
Which of those days works better 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. Try it.
Discover many more strategies for your patient coordinator to use to “confidently” convert more consultations….
Join me on my next Online Training
How To Convert More Consultations
Wednesday, February 3rd
9 am PST /12 pm EST or 12 pm PST /3 pm EST
Have your own 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