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This Week’s Question: What’s a good conversion rate?
I had the same patient consultant for many years and she did a great job.
We made a really good team. I performed several procedures on her through the years so she was a great testimonial and she knew how to credential me as the best. She was also very good with my patients and really good at closing consultations.
I never realized how good she was until her husband was promoted and she moved away.
My current coordinator has been on the job for the past year and we are getting mixed results.
She’s nice enough but we don’t get the same results I used to get.
My consult conversion rate used to be in the high 70’s for years and it’s dropped significantly. My coordinator says that’s because the patients are price shopping our competitors and our prices are too high.
I’m not sure that’s true. I don’t know if it’s the patients or the coordinator or something else.
Can you tell me what is a good conversion rate?
Dear Dr. W,
Thank you reaching out and asking such a loaded question.
You are not alone. Lots of plastic surgeons are experiencing sporadic conversion rates. Or “feast or famine” months and they’re not sure why.
This inconsistency can wreak havoc on your day, your attitude and your pocketbook.
You start questioning yourself and doubting your staff and that’s a path to even more frustration. So what’s really happening?
Well, the bad news is, there’s no one easy answer. So many variables go into your success (or lack thereof) when converting consults.
- Your SEO isn’t working like before because google changed the rules; i.e., is your Website “responsive” so it’s mobile-friendly? If not, you’re being penalized in your search results;
- A new competitor came to town and is out-marketing you;
- You changed up your marketing strategy and while you’re getting more Internet leads, they are poor quality leads;
- Your coordinator has never had work done so she’s not a great walking/talking testimonial for you;
- Your coordinator needs more converting skills to get to a YES, etc.
Because the reality is your efforts don’t count until the patient says YES and PAYS for your services, right?
That’s where your patient coordinator comes in. Granted, consults are more difficult to close when they are “Internet Stranger Patients” versus word-of-mouth referrals patients. It can be the difference between a 15-20% to 70-80% closing rate.
Which is why your coordinator must be on her game to convert these consults to the best of her ability.
Here are some suggestions to help you get your conversion rates up:
#1: Your coordinator must professionally position you as the BEST CHOICE above your competitors.
First, your coordinator must believe in YOU, your skills as a surgeon and truly believe you are the best choice so she can present you as such to your prospective patients.
The easiest way for your coordinator to close more consults is to show off her own results from your skills and expertise. That turns her into a personal story teller about her own journey and immediately builds trust and credibility with the prospective patient who can see for themselves, results they, too, can expect.
#2: She must have powerful rapport-building skills to quickly bond with your prospective patients so they connect.
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.
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.
#3) Your Patient Coordinator MUST “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 is a practice game changer when you have a skilled professional representing you.
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 using an “assumptive” statement to help the patient make a decision. So, after your coordinator presents the quote, she confidently goes back to the computer and says,
“Sara, since Dr. Smith is pretty booked out, let me give you some dates we still have available to give you an idea of when you can have this done.”
If Sara doesn’t object, she is moving closer to a decision and you are that much closer to a yes so keep going.
Get your copy of “How to Convert More Consultations” here
and watch your conversion rate increase within the week.
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