You and your staff spend up to an hour with a prospective patient talking with
them and showing them your social proof.
You explain the procedure and then go over the quote and then what happens?
The majority of the time you get the dreaded, “I gotta think about it.” Ugh!
It makes you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and wasting your time,
To help you understand the inner workings of the aesthetic patient’s mind,
I personally interviewed cosmetic patients to figure out why they said yes to
one surgeon and no to the others.
The majority of those interviewed were female with the
medium age being 44 years old and they were scattered
throughout the US.
My objective was to determine trends and commonalities
so here are some of my key findings:
- 90% of the time, the confidence in the surgeon’s ability and positive
staff interaction were more important than price;
- 75% went on multiple consultations before deciding (the majority of
those who went on one consultation did so after a glowing recommendation
from their friend, family member or colleague;
- Long waiting times and feeling hurried were a reoccurring complaint
that hurt the relationship; and
- The better the staff, the less time the surgeon had to spend with the
patient during the consultation.
While the above responses were interesting, it was apparent I needed to probe
further to see if I could come up with some generalities that could define what
made up a good practice that prospective patients said YES to.
But, this is what I learned instead. The aesthetic patients’ preferences varied
These aesthetic patients are consumers who think very differently.
And, their perceptions were so varied such as:
- While some thought an aesthetically gorgeous office indicated
pride and success; others thought it was over the top, intimidating
and made them feel uncomfortable;
- While some thought the surgeons did not spend enough time with
them and felt rushed; other patients thought too much time with
them made them wonder why the surgeon wasn’t busier; and
- While some thought the surgeon was so thorough explaining the
various procedures available, others felt overwhelmed and confused
with so many options.
So when I probed further and asked, bottom line, why they chose that particular
surgeon over the others, there was a consistent answer that came up again and
The #1 reason the aesthetic patient chose you was that the patient felt a
“connection” with you, your staff and the overall vibe of the practice
It was the FEELING they got when interacting with everyone at the
practice. Their “intuition” was telling them this was the right surgeon, staff
and practice for them.
They had developed rapport with people in the practice and trusted that
that particular surgeon understood them and would give them the best
So What is Rapport?
If rapport is so vital, it’s important to understand it. It’s difficult to define
and you either have it with your patient or you don’t.
Rapport is that bond you build with your prospective patient. It’s the single
most important personality skill cosmetic surgeons and staff need to be
You build rapport through words, tone and gestures as well as commonalities
- 7% of what is communicated is through your words
- 38% through your tone of voice
- 55% through your body language
How Do You Create Rapport?
The aesthetic patient wants to feel special – period. When a patient is spending
their own money and time on elective cosmetic enhancement, they want to be
treated respectfully, professionally and kindly by every person they encounter
in the practice.
They also want to be heard and understood. There is an old saying that says
“Before you can be understood, you must work to understand” and that is
truly the case here.
You build rapport by giving a cosmetic patient your undivided
They have to feel like you are interested in them and what they have to say.
That starts with a smile and good eye contact. The key is to look at the patient
more than at the computer or your paperwork.
The point is to show interest in the prospective patient as a person
first; patient second.
Find something on the patient intake form you have in common that helps
break the ice. Perhaps it’s the referring patient you both know or maybe your
kids go to the same school.
There’s a study that says surgeons interrupt patients within16 seconds and
that cannot happen if you are trying to connect with a cosmetic patient who’s
trying to determine if you are “the one”.
Let them talk. Not only will the patient give you vital information you need
to know to decipher if they are a good fit for you, the patients will feel like you
That’s when you have developed rapport and bonded with the patient who now
sees you as the best choice.
The point is to look at the consultation as a 2-way dialogue rather than as a 1-way
presentation so you build rapport with the prospective patient who says YES to you!
If you want to learn more about what cosmetic patients want from you, for a limited
time, you can get a FREE COPY of my book called, Your Aesthetic Practice/What
Your Patients Are Saying.
She 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.