Give your receptionist the tools they need to convert more cosmetic patients.
You lose more cosmetic patients and profits every day and don’t even know it because it’s so subtle.
What I mean is your staff may not be doing anything overtly wrong; however, what they are doing is not getting you closer to a YES.
There is a saying that goes, “small hinges swing big doors” and that is as true in the aesthetic industry as anywhere else.
In this case, the small hinges are the words your staff is NOT saying to help you get to the next step in the patient process.
Strategic scripts said at the right time with the right voice inflection make the difference between “I gotta think about it” to “Yes, I’m ready to move forward!”
Let’s break this down so you see where the right scripts would make a big difference.
Convert the Caller to an Appointment
It doesn’t matter how high-tech and gorgeous your Website is if your receptionist can’t convert a caller to an appointment. What does matter is them asking for the appointment in a strategic way that encourages the caller to book a consultation.
It’s quite common for the receptionist to be polite but allow the caller to control the call and that’s never a good idea. The way to control a call is with your own questions so a good mantra for your staff to remember is “Ask a question with a question” so when the caller asks, “Do you do X?” and you don’t because you use Y technology, your receptionist says,
“Yes Karen, Dr. Smith did a lot of research on the various fat reduction technologies and while he found X to be good, he found Y to be even better. He can explain the differences to you and show you the results during your consultation. I see we have an opening this Thursday at 4pm or would a morning appointment be more convenient for you?”
Answer the Price Question Strategically for More Cosmetic Patients
Or what happens when the caller asks the dreaded question, “How much is it? It’s not a good idea to withhold that information from a caller because they will hang up and call your competitors to get a straight answer so be prepared with a strategic answer.
Have your receptionist first pre-frame you as the best choice with logical reasons and then answer the pricing question strategically like this,
“Well Connie, Dr. Smith would have to see you to determine exactly what needs to be done and quote you an exact fee. But here’s an idea of what you can expect. The fee would include his surgical fees, the operating room costs, the anesthesiologist’s fees, the necessary lab work, and the post-operative garments. That could range from $5,500 – $8,000 or start at $120 per month if you use our easy pay plan option. How does that sound?”
“I can tell you we are price competitive with the “other” board-certified plastic surgeons in the area.”
Or, at least have your staff pre-frame you as the best choice BEFORE the price is given:
“Sara, just to give you a little more background about Dr. Smith, he’s performed more than 3,500 of these procedures and he’s even trained other surgeons so you’ll be in excellent hands. The fees start at $4,500 and vary depending on many factors. Let’s go ahead and schedule some time for you to meet with Dr. Smith so he can give you more details. I’ve got one opening left this week on Thursday at 2pm or would next week be better for you?”
The biggest reason you experience no-shows is that the new prospective patient doesn’t know you so they don’t feel any personal obligation to show up for their appointment.
Charging a consultation fee helps a lot. However, the approach taken in presenting it results in very different responses. There can be no confusion about money at any point during the patient process so here’s a sample script to make it clear:
“Karen, let me explain our process. The consultation includes an initial consultation with Peggy, our patient care coordinator. She will learn about your concerns and tell you more about the procedure and Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith will then examine you and talk with you personally about your concerns as well as solutions….you will then return to Peggy to go over any other questions you may have and, at that time, she will discuss financing options with you as well as possible procedure/treatment dates….
Now the entire consultation process takes from 45-60 minutes and costs $150. By the way, the $150 goes towards the procedure when you book within 30 days. Shall I look for a certain day and time for you or just give you our next available appointment?”
However, if you are hesitant to charge a consultation fee because your competitors don’t, you can present a hybrid script like this:
“Ok Karen, you are all set for Tuesday at 3pm and I will need to get a credit card from you to reserve your time with Dr. Smith. We don’t charge your card as long as you give us 48-hours notice should you need to change your appointment. Would you like to use your VISA, Master Card or AMX?
Convert More Cosmetic Patients Into Consultations
After working with patient coordinators for more than 20 years, here is the #1 reason they don’t convert more cosmetic patients. They don’t ASK FOR A DECISION!! They very politely present the facts and then wrap it up by saying something like, “Ok, I’m sure you need time to think this over so please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions that come up”.
NO!!! The coordinator must have the confidence to ask for a decision right now, face-to-face because that could be just the nudge the cosmetic patient needed to make a decision. A lot of patients don’t have the confidence in their own decision-making skills so they turn to the coordinator as their aesthetic advisor to help them decide. And it doesn’t need to be pushy. Here are strategic ways to move the prospective patient to a decision:
”Connie, since you want to look fantastic for the Holidays, we need to get you on the calendar so do you have a date in mind or should I just tell you our next available?”
“Sara, did you want to move forward with the 0% Interest-Free Easy Pay Plan I showed you or just use your own credit card?”
The easiest way to implement the converting tips above is to have your staff write them out on index cards and review them every day until they become second nature because it’s not just WHAT you say but HOW you say it.
The more conversational and caring you sound using the scripts, the more consult conversions you will enjoy!
Need help with staff training? Schedule a Free 30-Minute Strategy Call with me to discuss the best plan for your practice!