It used to be a lot easier to convert plastic surgery calls and consults but times have changed.
Converting new plastic surgery leads IS getting more difficult for all sorts of reasons.
You pay hefty monthly fees to your SEO/hosting company, your digital marketing agency, your directories and others to help you get found on the Internet using content creation marketing strategies.
They, in turn, send you leads of prospective plastic surgery patients wanting your services.
Are They Poor Quality Leads?
Your staff complains the leads are awful. They say these prospective patients are not serious about moving forward and they’re price shoppers. They don’t want to waste their time on these poor quality leads and they don’t want to bother with them.
Sometimes it’s true.
Some of the leads are a waste of time.
When you put your message out there into the Universe to millions of people, it’s a crap shoot what comes back to you.
However, if you are marketing on the Internet you have to take the good with the bad.
By the way, if you aren’t happy with the leads coming your way, take a look at the bait you are using to attract them.
The quality of the leads is dependent on your branding, marketing message and media used to attract new patient leads since the goal of marketing is to attract serious plastic surgery candidates to you and repel those who are not serious.
But let’s say you know you’re doing a good job marketing YOU. You make videos explaining procedures, post on Instagram, answer questions online, and you pay to advertise.
Why aren’t these expensive leads converting?
One huge reason is because of the sheer volume of marketing messages coming at prospective cosmetic patients.
It can be overwhelming to research cosmetic procedures. There is so much confusing and conflicting information about the downtime, results, pricing, etc.
And once prospective patients determine which procedure they want, they now have to select a surgeon. That opens up another huge amount of choice.
This puts fickle consumer patients in the driver’s seat and that’s what is leading to a waste of your valuable time and holes in your surgery schedule.
But there’s more to it than that.
When it comes to lead conversion, there are 2 deadly sins that you have full control over but oftentimes neglect….bad phones and weak consultations.
I’m sorry to point the finger at your staff but the good news is, it’s easy to fix so let’s break it down:
Bad Phones Don’t Convert Callers
A big mistake that’s ruining your marketing efforts is having front desk staff not able to convert callers to consultations.
Here’s the scenario….
You have spent a fortune re-designing your website (again) to ensure Google and their rules don’t ban you from the Internet.
And, you work with a company to get your organic search engine optimization (SEO) in shape so prospective patients can find you online.
You are also spending advertising dollars on expensive directories like RealSelf, as well as google adwords.
Next, you may have spent a small fortune redesigning your office to cater to cosmetic patients who have the disposable income for your services so you give them a nice atmosphere when they visit…Then, you conquer the world of social media.
You hired a team to blog for you, write content, and update your facebook page regularly.
You even assigned an internal staff person to be your “social media ambassador”.
This is costing you time and money but you’re sure it’s helping.
So, the stage is set and you are ready for new cosmetic patients.
And all your efforts are working!!
Prospective cosmetic patients found you online, they learned enough about you and they are confident you are a great choice to help them with their needs.
They eagerly call your office with anticipation knowing you are a first-class practice ONLY TO HEAR….
“Doctor’s office. Please hold”…. Click and now on hold?
A disinterested receptionist with no enthusiasm?
A friendly receptionist who doesn’t know anything?
This WAS NOT the image or experience your callers expected.
That “incongruence” between your image portrayed online is lost when that image is not carried through to your receptionist’s phone skills.
What a waste to lose that cash-paying patient before you even got to meet them!
5 Phone Fixes Script
Front desk staff needs proper scripting to keep the call short and focused so they collect the caller’s information and book the appointment.
Print out and give these 5 Phone Fixes to your front desk staff to help them book more callers to appointments:
By the way, do you monitor your calls for consistency to be sure what you think is being said is actually being said?
Working with practices and call centers for years, I learned you can’t take anything for granted.
Just when you think you have trained your staff, you find they went right back to their old ways.
So, it takes constant never-ending improvement and accountability to ensure they stay professional and on script.
Weak Consultations Don’t Convert to Paid Procedures
Let’s say you have great front desk staff and they are excellent at booking callers to appointments.
The patient comes in and is greeted by that same friendly front desk person.
The visiting patient now goes through your consultation process. They complete paperwork, have photos taken and meet with you, the surgeon.
Now your patient coordinator takes over. Her job is to present the numbers, answer additional questions and book surgery.
But what actually happens?
Can Your Coordinator Convert Consults?
How often does your coordinator tell you the would-be patients walked out the door without booking, never to be heard from again?
When asked, your coordinator tells you your competitor is cheaper or the patients can’t afford it or they felt oversold.
But, is that really true?
I guarantee at least 15% of those consults were lost due to your coordinator NOT being skilled and/or experienced enough to convert them.
Your patient coordinator can be a game-changer for your bottom line so please choose carefully who is representing you.
The art of converting consultations is a big topic:
So here are 3 tips to get your coordinator converting more than ever:
- Bond early with a pre-consult call to pre-bond and pre-qualify so they are more likely to say YES than “I have to think about it.”
- Answer objections with other patient stories. Rather than get defensive, let your other patients answer the objections for you. Show off their before/after photos and tell their stories so the prospective patient is more comfortable knowing others were just like her and had a great experience so she will too.
- Transition from presenting to closing. This is subtle but vital to your coordinator’s success. There comes a point in the process where you need to stop presenting and ask for a decision.
Most coordinator’s say, “Do you have any other questions?” and leave it up to the patient to wrap things up.
A professional coordinator has planned out bridges she uses to transition from presenting to closing to make it a smooth transition and easier for the patient to say yes
For example, she presents the quote and then turns to her computer and says, “So, Karen, let’s see what the surgery schedule looks like so you can see when you can have this done.” If the patient doesn’t object, she is moving forward so keep going.
Or, your coordinator can transition by saying, “Karen, did you want to go with our affordable play plan or use your own credit cards?” If the patient picks one of the choices, they are moving forward.
That’s how you close without being pushy.
This one closing skill, executed professionally, makes the difference between a 25% conversion rate and a 75% conversion rate.But like anything else in life, it’s a learned and practiced skill.
If your receptionist and/or coordinator could use professional converting training, check out www.ConvertingClub.com for the strategies, practice and accountability they need to help you grow.
By the way, it’s a whole lot faster, easier and cheaper to train your staff to convert plastic surgery calls and consults than it is to throw more money at advertising that doesn’t result in paid procedures.
If you want to hear more, check out my podcast episode 68: Easy Ways to Convert 30% More Callers.
Click here for all the strategies for Plastic Surgery Marketing: What’s Working Now.