Using Influence to Convert More Consultations: You don’t “sell” anyone on plastic surgery, and you can’t force consumers to choose you. You can only offer your services to consumers who want to look and feel better. However, if you believe in yourself, it’s your duty to do all you can to ethically help prospective patients make a good decision. That way, they get a good result and NOT regret going elsewhere for a cheaper price, only to get a “less than stellar” result that makes them feel worse about themselves.
Look at it this way, prospective patients are already interested in your services because they searched online, found you, called you and are now visiting you. You didn’t pull them in off the street, right? However, the more you understand human behavior, the more consultations you will convert, so here are ways to use the principles of influence to address patient concerns to help them choose you over your competitors:
Patients love status and authority. You can create that by pre-framing you as the best choice by using PR, videos and social media to create celebrity status for yourself. Start with an excellent high-end website using professional photos and videos of you, your celebrity patients, and any media coverage you have gotten from TV or magazines you were seen in. Get involved in charity organizations and your medical societies who have PR staff who can get you exposure as a philanthropist, speaker, trainer, committee member and so on.
What others say about you is infinitely more important than what you say about you. That’s why reviews, testimonials and before/after photos are so popular. Patients feel more comfortable choosing you after they have seen real proof of how happy your other patients are, so this is a priority.
The point is to NOT be like everyone else. You want to rise above the normal and one way to do that is to offer signature procedures. You can use your name, initials or come up with a creative consumer name that grabs interest. Then protect it with a trademark. Examples already taken are LifeStyle Lift® and ModelLift.®
The Law of Reciprocity states that when people receive something, they feel compelled to return the favor in kind. For example, someone has surgery with you and you want them to experience your non-surgical treatments. A solution would be to offer them a post-surgical gift card towards a procedure in your med spa. The patient, in turn, now feels compelled to use the gift card and that’s a win-win for both of you.
Patients want what they can’t have. So, creating a limiting constraint makes patients want it more than if it were abundantly available. For example, have your coordinator call all pending quotes to notify the prospective patients that you’ll be going out of town and if they want surgery sooner rather than later, they need to complete it by a certain date. That could be just what the patient needed to take action.
Procrastination is the biggest enemy for a cosmetic patient to pull the trigger. They have most likely been thinking about this for years, so it’s just plain easier for them to continue to think about it than it is to actually do something about it.
To help get them off the fence and take action, your patient coordinator can present the quote and add, “Karen, just so you know, Dr. Smith is booked out for the next 3 months; however, if you wanted in sooner, I do have one spot left on Day/Date, does that work for you or would you prefer to wait?”
Using the word “wait” is strategic since most patients don’t want to wait so they are more likely to take that one date left now, rather than wait for months.
Fear is a huge barrier to someone who is deciding to have cosmetic surgery. They have doubt they will get a good result and be happy with their new look. Or, worse, they dread feeling the regret if things don’t go well, so they stay stuck in indecision.
Offer the patient peace of mind with an “I want you happy” guarantee that your coordinator presents at the consultation. Professionally design a certificate with the rules outlined such as you will make a revision free of charge in your office if needed.
When you take the risk away, patients will say yes more often because you are handling their emotional fears and catering to their human behavior needs. You probably do this anyway so now you build it in to convert more consultations. It’s something to consider.
Incorporating some or all of these strategies will help your patients get to a yes more easily. I guarantee it 😉
Catherine Maley, MBA is a cosmetic practice consultant, speaker, trainer, blogger and podcaster. Her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients Are Saying is read and studied by plastic surgeons and their staff all over the world.
She and her team specialize in growing plastic surgery practices using creative patient attraction, conversion, follow up and retention strategies as well as staff training to turn team members into converting rock stars.
Click below to read “Using Influence to Convert More Consultations” in its original format in Aesthetic Society News, Summer 2022, volume 26, number 3.