Just like a car or a precision Swiss watch, it takes many variables working together to keep it running successfully. No matter how great the outside looks, when one inside variable falters, the car stops running and the clock stops ticking.
Your practice is the same. It has many moving parts, each of which needs to work well together for the whole to function properly. The quality of your practice depends on how well these parts work together and how well you keep them lubricated, just like a well-oiled machine.
But here’s the problem… surgeons tend to focus on the more clinical aspects of their practice. They know surgery because they have trained for years to know surgery, so that’s their focus and that makes sense. However, they often fall into some of the most common plastic surgery practice mistakes. So, it’s essential to evaluate, improve and fine-tune the non-clinical aspects such as office management, leadership, and marketing.
The routine work of your practices hides many errors. So, it’s crucial to identify and fix areas in your own practice so it keeps churning out revenues for you.
Here are three of the most common plastic surgery practice mistakes I see holding you back…
Error #1: A poorly functioning team
Your staff is a huge part of the image and success of your practice. They are part of your brand identity as well as the face of your practice.
Frankly, you can’t have a successful practice without a good team.
You can’t do it all so the trick is to surround yourself with the best support team available so you can do what you do well and leave the rest to others.
If you want to be successful, it’s important to not just hire people who can do the job well. But people who fit into your vision, as well as culture, and contribute to it.
When done right, your staff brings out the best in you, and they help you achieve your goals. They motivate and inspire you to make positive changes in yourself as a leader. And in your practice as a money generating machine.
So how do you build an effective team?
Hire Personality Over Skills
When looking for new hires, please consider their personality as much as their skillset.
It is easy to fall into hiring people who are good at what they do but who may not fit with the rest of your team or with the culture of your practice.
It’s so easy then to ignore bad behavior when they are producers. However, that drama will hurt you in the short run and cause considerable harm in the long run.
So hire people with good communication skills but also great people skills. Since they are working with your patients and other staff members.
You want someone who can keep up with what’s going on around them while also being able to read people and respond accordingly.
They are friendly and bring great energy to the practice and get along with all.
I know it’s not easy to build an awe-inspiring staff, but it’s worth it. Your staff must be helping, NOT hurting your practice so it can grow.
Error #2: Having no clear plan for attracting patients.
A steady stream of cash-paying cosmetic patients doesn’t show up by luck or magic. The surgeons who are the busiest are working hard behind the scenes to make that happen.
One of the huge plastic surgery practice mistakes is not having a plan to acquire new patients is a good way to fail to acquire new ones.
To attract and get new patients requires consistent effort and a detailed plan that keeps your name in the minds of your prospective patients as they search for cosmetic solutions to their appearance problems.
So, what are you doing to get new patients?
Do you have a website that is updated and loaded with consumer content? Are you listed with local directories such as Google’s online business directory? And other directories who can get you in front of consumers interested in cosmetic rejuvenation? Do you advertise online and offline? How’s your social media presence?
You need lots of fishing poles in today’s pond of marketing to attract new patients. One marketing channel is no longer enough because your new patients are everywhere, and you need to spread out to find them.
And that’s why it’s important to have a specific, measurable goal for each marketing strategy you use so you don’t go broke trying to be everywhere and anywhere.
For example, focus on the number of calls generated and the number of booked procedures from each marketing channel.
Because oftentimes, one marketing channel is getting you lots of leads but they aren’t converting, while another channel gives you less leads but booked procedures.
This kind of tracking and planning lets you know what is working and not working and allows you to focus on effective strategies and weed out the rest.
The point is that having no plan at all is not a good way to attract and get new patients!
Error #3: Inadequate use of your existing patients and resources
I watch practices throw money at internet marketing, hoping their receptionist books their appointments and their coordinator converts them to paid procedures.
A lot of time and effort goes into taking a stranger to a paying patient. Even if you are able to convert half of them, you still have another half of wasted time, money and effort so …
Another avenue that is easier, cheaper and faster is to nurture your current patients who already know, like and trust you. Then give them a reason to return, refer, review and share you on social media.
Look at it this way… each of your patients have around 200 people in their sphere of influence. That includes all the people they interact with – like their family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, gym buddies and acquaintances.
Maintaining a good relationship with your existing patients grows your practice organically and keeps you top of mind when they are talking to others about cosmetic rejuvenation. This also prevents them from being lured away by your competitors.
The secret is to make your patients feel as important AFTER they have become a paying patient as they did BEFORE they gave you money.
That’s easy to do when you make it part of your marketing plan via email marketing, text marketing, patient rewards program and patient events.
You can also provide an online survey that allows patients to rate their experience with you and give you feedback for how you can make their experience even better.
When you fix these 3 common errors made by plastic surgeons, I guarantee you will attract more patients, convert them more often and enjoy a practice with staff you enjoy working with.