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Convert More Consults with Risk Reversal

Here is a proven strategy that makes it impossible for patients to say no. 

This might sound radical but hear me out before you tune me out. 

Make it impossible for patients to say no to you by using Nordstrom’s risk reversal strategy. 

If you buy anything at Nordstrom, you know that if anything goes wrong with it or you are unhappy in any way, they will take it back…no questions asked. 

In fact, Nordstrom’s guarantee is what built their iconic business. The confidence of knowing that they will take back anything is what sets consumers’ minds at ease buying from Nordstrom. 

And they are not the cheapest game in town, and they are not offering discounts at every turn. 

What consumers/cosmetic patients really want is to make a smart buying decision they are happy with. 

We all have “stuff” we bought and wished we hadn’t, or we felt pressured into and now we’re stuck with it and live with regret. 

That makes consumers wary of doing it again and wasting money. This fear is huge in cosmetic rejuvenation. 

It’s a much bigger deal when your body is at stake so cosmetic prospective patients are afraid to make a bad decision. 

They’re scared they will not get what they want and then regret it. So, they’re on the fence for years deciding if they should or shouldn’t move forward with plastic surgery and then once they decide they should, now they must decide WHO to choose to perform the procedure. 

That’s why they are going on multiple consults and procrastinating. 

So, knowing that about consumers, it would behoove you to figure out how to calm their fears, so they choose you. 

The more you remove the risk (called risk reversal), the more consultations you will convert because you are lowering the hurdle of entry, which is fear, for the cosmetic patient. 

The best companies and marketers out there use risk reversal to make it easy for the consumer to buy. 

But transferring the risk from the patient’s shoulders to yours is a very touchy subject for plastic surgeons. 

Most surgeons think they will go broke if they offer some sort of guarantee so hear me out. 

Think about what you currently do when a patient comes back to you after a procedure and is livid and upset by the results they got. 

You, too, can see it’s not the optimal result and this patient isn’t crazy so don’t you do a touch up? 

Or even go back in to perform a revision at no charge? Or, if it escalates, don’t you even refund them their money after they sign an agreement not to disparage you? 

So, if you would do it anyway, why not get credit for it and use that risk reversal to convert more consultations, especially when the patient is deciding which of you or your competitors to go with? 

Most plastic surgeons are scared to give guarantees because they think their patients will take advantage of them. 

Well, it will happen occasionally, but I guarantee you will close so many more consults that more than makes up for the 1 or 2 issues you may have. 

But most cosmetic patients are honest and ethical if you choose wisely. And those patients that take advantage of you, would have done the same thing even if you didn’t have a guarantee. 

By the way, you are not broadcasting this out to the world. You are only using it in the consultation with the patient who is on the fence and close to making a decision, but the fear factor is preventing them from saying yes. 


1. Be definite. Don’t just say “our services are guaranteed.” 

Take time to show your patients results they should expect. Walk them through it and carefully explain and educate them on the emotional and physical benefits you offer. 

Here is a sample script for your coordinator to say to the prospective patient: 

“Karen, Dr. Smith says you are a perfect candidate for this procedure. So, if you don’t look at yourself in the mirror and feel more confident and secure within 6 months after the procedure, just let me know so we can make it right and make you happy, even if Dr. Smith has to do a touchup on the house. That’s how strongly we believe in the results you’ll get.” 

2. Make your guarantee for the longest time period possible. 

Since cosmetic results can take months and even up to one year for the final results, make sure the patient is aware of the time frame. 

Interestingly, the longer amount of time you make your guarantee, the lower the amount of refunds. 

The majority of patients get used to their look and move on with their life to focus on something else more pressing. 

3. Watch Your Numbers After Instituting Risk Reversal 

When a practice begins assuming the risk for the patient it is not uncommon for them to see double or triple the number of scheduled surgeries. 

With those kinds of numbers, it makes the handful of people who take you up on your guarantee well worth it. You will have a whole lot more cosmetic patients use your services because of this unique feature. 

Look, if you are confident in your abilities like I know you are, and you are selecting patients that make sense, then they should be getting the results and outcomes they want so state your guarantee in the strongest possible, legally permissible terms. 

As prospective patients are weighing their options and comparing surgeons, think about the difference your guarantee will make in their minds. 

If you want to help propel uncertain patients “off the fence” this will do it. 

When you use this risk reversal strategy, the revenues you gain in booked surgeries will far surpass the revenues you will lose. I guarantee it.


Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.


A Complete Guide to Understanding Your Aesthetic Patient and Growing Your Aesthetic Practice. Catherine Maley, MBA went straight to the aesthetic patient to get the answers you need to succeed with your patients.


Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.

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