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Five Common Mistakes Made by Plastic Surgeons

Many common mistakes made by plastic surgeons cause confusion, chaos, and frustration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

When running your plastic surgery practice, oftentimes the simplest things are the most overlooked. 

However, those simple things can make a BIG impact on your bottom line. 

common mistakes plastic surgeons make

You are so busy running your practice, attracting new patients and doing surgery, that it’s easy to miss what’s NOT working. 

See if you are making any of these common mistakes that can derail you and your revenues: 

MISTAKE #1: NOT KNOWING WHO’S REALLY ON YOUR TEAM 

The team you surround yourself with can make or break your cosmetic practice – period. 

Getting the right team players on board is difficult and ever-changing but vital to your success. 

So, do you have the right team in place? Are they helping or hurting your practice? Read more about the most common mistakes below. 

common mistakes plastic surgeons make

In my travels as a business and marketing consultant to cosmetic practices, I’ve seen a lot…. 

  • Staff is charming to the doctor and witchy to everyone else; 
  • Patient care coordinators refer the patient to the competitor because she thought they did a better job with that procedure;
  • The receptionist sends the patients to the internet to buy products since they’re cheaper than those sold in their office, and it goes on and on.

So, I ask again, are you sure you have the right team in place? 

If you’re not sure, here’s one thing you can do to find out… 

common mistakes plastic surgeons make

Ask them to complete the “Daily Duties” form for one week. 

They just need to write down every task they perform and the time it takes them to do it. 

Start it Monday morning and they must have it back to you by Friday close of day. 

You will learn so much from this exercise. Some staff will do a great job and be thorough, while others will hurry through it and miss many tasks, while others will actually not do it at all and tell you they were too busy. 

Now you know who takes their job seriously and cares about you and the practice and who doesn’t. 

MISTAKE #2: IGNORING YOUR CURRENT PATIENTS 

Do you know the #1 reason patients never return to your practice? 

It’s not that they didn’t like you. And it’s not that they didn’t get a good result. 

common mistakes plastic surgeons make

It’s your indifference! Since you didn’t stay in touch, they most likely wandered off to your competitor who did nurture them. This is one of the biggest common mistakes I see.

Consistent communication keeps your name in front of your patients so when they’re ready, they call you rather than your competitors! 

MISTAKE #3: ASSUMING YOUR PATIENTS WILL REFER 

Let’s consider the value of just one of your patients.

common mistakes plastic surgeons make

Every one of your patients has, on average, around 200 people in their circle of influence. 

That includes family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, hair stylists, gym buddies, etc. 

Can you imagine if each of them referred only one new patient to you? That would double your patient database and revenues very quickly! 

So how do you get referrals? You set up systems that happen automatically as part of your processes. 

For example…. Give your patients their photos!

 before and after

That means you have a process in place where you are actually taking photos every time and making them available to your patients. 

I guarantee they want them because I asked them in my book, “Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients Are Saying”, and I learned that: 

  • 82% wanted their before/after photos 
  • 76% would have shown them to others, if only they were made available to them.

But, it’s all in the presentation. At their post-op appointment when they are the happiest with you and the most excited about their result, hand them a handwritten note card with their photos enclosed that says, Thank you for your trust” and be sure your name, telephone number and website address are clearly visible. 

By the way, this is not just for surgical procedures. I recommend using this same process for your non-surgical procedures as well.

patient gift

And, offer gift certificates and make a big deal of it. So many of you offer them, but it’s a big secret in your practice. How do you change that? 

Simple. Using your own customized gift bags and tissue, set up a gorgeous display at checkout with an eye-catching sign that says “NEED A QUICK GIFT?” 

It’s the timing that’s so important because they are standing there at check-out with their wallet out, credit card in hand and yes, they may need a quick gift. 

Not only does that increase their order size for the day, it introduces a new patient to your practice. 

MISTAKE #4: ONLY WORKING IN YOUR PRACTICE AND NOT ON YOUR PRACTICE 

In today’s crazy competitive world, it’s more important than ever to get the fundamentals right. 

growth funnel

That means setting up predictable systems to attract the right patients to your practice, convert the callers to appointments, convert the consultations to paid procedures, collect more testimonials and increase word-of-mouth referrals. 

Just like in sports, it’s getting good at the fundamentals that wins the game – not the one fancy move – isn’t that right? 

So please meet with your staff regularly to hone their skills and your processes for that constant, never-ending improvement in each area of your practice. 

This is what builds your credibility, your reputation and your revenues. 

LASTLY, MISTAKE #5: NO MARKETING PLAN IN PLACE

As they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” 

It costs you too much to acquire a new cosmetic patient to be sloppy about this. Here’s what I mean… 

The top cosmetic practices realize it’s not one email. It’s not one google ad. It’s not one social media post. 

social media content

The secret is to regularly keep your name in front of your current patients as well as new cosmetic patients so they choose you over all the others when they are ready for cosmetic enhancement. 

Because circumstances change, life changes and people change, that means those who said NO before were really just saying NOT YET OR NOT NOW, so when they are ready, they’re going to the surgeon they are most likely familiar with and hopefully that’s you. 

Please put an Annual Marketing Plan in place with an action date and a staff person who is accountable for seeing to it that it gets done. 

Here’s an example:

January Theme – New Year – New You 

  • Email to Entire Patient List with January non-surgical specials (Karen) 
  • Social Media Posts – 3x per week (Sandy) 
  • Add B/A Photos and Testimonials to Website (Ken) 
  • Send VIP Cards to your Best Patients to Use This Year (Sophia) 
  • Do a CoolSculpting demo on FB live (Karen) 

Now each practice team member owns their part of the practice promotion so they are focused on practice-building and not just their day-to-day tasks. 

Once you fix the mistakes plastic surgeons make, you will see your practice run more smoothly and isn’t that what you want? 

If you could use some help fine tuning your practice to run on all cylinders, let’s talk. 

I can show you how other successful practices handled the road blocks in their way and are now set up to succeed. 

Let’s do a Free 30-minute strategy call.

Schedule Strategy Call with Catherine Maley

BEAUTY AND THE BIZ

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.

ORDER MY BOOK

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.

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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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