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Ep.05: Fix Your Follow Up

Fix Your Follow Up

Catherine presents several strategies to keep your prospective patients from going with your competitors, how to address consult objections, and how to assume the sale. These simple techniques can lead to thousands of dollars in increased revenue.

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Hello and welcome to “Beauty and the Biz”, where we talk about the business and marketing side of the cosmetic practice. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your Aesthetic Practice – What Your Patients are Saying”, as well as consultant to cosmetic practices to get them more, patients and more profits.

And I thought I would just give you a quick update on what’s happening in Sausalito, California this time of year. It’s gorgeous because the tourists aren’t here yet which we like since the traffic’s already pretty bad and the skies are clear. The helicopters are going…I highly recommend a helicopter ride by the way if you ever, visit California, I mean Sausalito. It’s a really great way to see a whole bunch of it within like, 30 minutes, and the real estate is crazy. You can see the huge villas by the water and it’s just lovely.

However, this time of year, this has been awful for my allergies. As I get older, as if I didn’t, have enough to worry about with my vanity issues, I now have allergies, and I went to three different doctors who kept telling me they were allergies and I said how can that be true. I mean, I’m dying here…I can’t breathe…My eyes are popping out of my head…They’re so easy and scratchy…I can’t wear makeup…I’m I’m, they’re red and swollen and they hurt then they’re itchy then they hurt when they’re itchy. It’s been awful and all three keep saying allergies and then they just give me ridiculous prescriptions for eyedrops that are two hundred and eighty dollars and then some ointment that’s another eighty dollars and nothing’s helping enough so I’m I actually I talked to one of my surgeon friends and he told me about pure unfiltered honey. Eat a teaspoon of that a day for two weeks and it’ll be gone, so I’m trying that next but this is out of control. Anyway, I hope things are okay with you on your end.

So, today’s episode is called, “How to Fix Your Follow Up and do more procedures”, and this one is near and dear to my heart because so many of you are playing the internet marketing game. Would you have to but so this podcast is, for you. If most of your leads are coming from the internet, and if you want better conversion rates, you’ve got to figure out a way to make that happen because you’ve got to be tired of wasting time on consultations that don’t book and then if you’re not sure if your staff is following up on leads that’s always a big one too. When I say to the surgeons, “So, you know, tell me about your lead generation process”, they’re like, “Well, I think, I think the people are calling and following up I’m not sure” and then, if you’re just looking for a rock-solid plan to follow up, this is what this podcast is for, and it’s gonna be following up for these two specific, areas that lose the most money and that is the prospective patients who call you but then don’t book an appointment, or who complete a consultation but then they don’t convert and you’re like, “What happened?”, but…

So, let’s back up: You have spent a fortune redesigning your website. I mean, these websites are what, ten, to fifty thousand dollars? And there, it’s really important to do that. It’s part of, your branding. It’s, it’s a good investment to make, but it’s not just that it’s the hosting, which is another, what, one or two thousand dollars? It’s the SEO which is another, I don’t know. Two to five thousand dollars? It’s all that content marketing you have to do nowadays which can be anywhere from you know, one to ten thousand plus your social media efforts and the staff you might have to bring onboard that could be another one to three thousand I mean, a lot goes into this and I’m not even talking about the pay-to-play you know Google AdWords process geez if you’re playing that game you’re throwing an awful lot of money at advertising you know with the banner ads and and what I ask is okay so you’re spending all of, this money on advertising.

So what’s happening you know what what happens and the surgeon usually looks at me like I, am not exactly sure but I just know I just know who I see but I don’t know anything else going on behind the scenes so let’s all remember leads are still only one part of it you can get Ally, but that lead has to somehow get through your host system so they have to get past your receptionist they have to show up they have to have a great consult with you they have to meet with your consultant and then they’ve got to say yes if they don’t all of that is just wasted effort and time and money.

So, here are some stats that I think you might find very interesting a 48% of practices never follow up 40% the average first, follow up is 72 hours later 72 hours, later in the internet world that that’s, like you know 72 years only 25% of, practices make two contact attempts and, then 64% of practices don’t have an, organized way to follow up on a lead so, how crazy is that to spend all of that, money on all of this marketing and, advertising to get that lead yet not, spend any time money or effort trying to, convert that lead because here’s here’s, the reality it doesn’t matter if you’re, ranked on the first page of Google if, you can’t convert the leads to cash, paying procedures that everything I do, nowadays I call it patient attraction, and conversion like with the and being, capitals you can’t just contract attract, you’ve got to attract and convert I just, I can’t be any more clear about that so, then when I talk to the practices, especially when I’m consulting I say to, them okay so what’s the problem, why why are you having so much trouble, with lead gen of follow up and so I, often hear things like we get too many, leads we they they’re just they’re poor, quality they’re just price shoppers, there’s they’re not asking anything, important they’re just it’s just crappy, leads or the staff doesn’t know what to, say or they don’t have a concise plan or, they’ve also said it’s not a big deal, here it’s not required really they also, don’t want to appear salesy and I can, understand that and that’s because, they’re not doing it correctly they’re, also afraid of rejection and that’s, probably the big one nobody wants to be, rejected and nobody wants to feel like, they’re making phone calls and they’re, like pushing and and they feel like, they’re having to sell you sell harder, than they should have to but in today’s, world you have to do everything possible, that you can to make this happen for you, and another one is there’s just no, commitment to excellence and that’s the, bigger one because the leader is you, you’re you know you run your practice, you own the practice and I’ll go into, leadership modules down the road for, sure because I definitely want to talk a, lot about leadership but if you don’t, demand excellence from your staff and, give them precise how to’s they are, going to do the minimal amount of effort, needed to keep their job and that’s just, the way how human beings are.

So, here’s what I’m thinking, this is absolutely your opportunity to, dominate your marketplace in your area, because most practices are not good at  follow-up. They don’t have any system, they don’t have a process they’re not, set up for it it’s not a priority, because they’re not thinking of that, they’re only thinking of the lead, generation part of it and so you could, really kick some butt if you get good at, all of the fundamentals because here’s, what actually ends up happening there, are the easy leads and everybody loves, the easy leads because they’re so easy, they’re like you’re you’re what I call, low-hanging fruit, they’re your laydowns they’re the ones, who call who don’t even need to know, anything they already think you’re, fantastic they already probably came, referred from a girlfriend those are the, easy leads the tougher leads are the, ones who don’t know you from Adam they, only found you on the internet they only, know you about your website there they, don’t know anything about you those are, much tougher and frankly those are the, majority of them if you’re throwing, money at the Internet I call them, Internet stranger patience you’ve got to, try a lot harder to convert them because, you’re not the only game in town when, they’re on the internet, that they saw you and they saw every one, of your competitors so they’re clicking, like crazy all over the place trying to, figure out who to go to what they want, done so they’re already a confused, patient so that is the majority though, that’s why you’ve got to help them get, to the end with you rather than somebody, else, so is it really a dead lead you have to, really look at that is it a dead lead or, is there something else we could have, done about it because here’s the reality, of life and we can all vouch for this, people change, moods change circumstances change, you just never know by the way.

In my, book I asked them how long had you been, thinking about cosmetic rejuvenation, before you actually acted on it and when, it’s surgical it was years when it was, minimally invasive it was more about, months but even then that could have, taken years to when somebody finally is, ready to do something and they literally, show you a sign bye-bye, they waved at you or at least they, raised their hand by asking you a, question on your on the Internet filling, out one of your opt-in forms on your, website they picked up the phone and, called you or they DM you in social, media that is about as good of an, internet lead as you can get they, literally raised their hand and said I’m, interested in talking to you maybe a, little maybe a lot I don’t know yet but, I am definitely you know throwing my hat, in the ring that’s when you have to do, everything humanly possible to get them, on your side and through your process, because here’s a big belief Buster, you’re quitting way too soon on these, leads I hear it constantly all these are, crappy leads well it could actually be, your crappy process honestly I mean, without cutting anyone down it could be, that more than what it is if every if, your staff thinks all these leads are, crappy guess what they are crappy, if your staff, really ups their game and realizes I see, their only crappy leads because we, haven’t done enough for them to become, warm leads right now they are really, kind of coldish warm leads our goal is, to get them to be warm and hot leads so, please don’t believe dead leads are dead, dead leads there’s plenty of money to be, made in dead leads you just need some, strategies and here’s something you’re, gonna be surprised at it really does, take up to eight or more follow up, attempts to get someone’s attention in, order for them to actually interact with, you and that you it’s not for the faint, of heart because that takes some courage, to stick with it when somebody’s not, interacting back for example your staff, is calling them and they’re not calling, back your staff is DMing them back and, then they’re not responding anymore your, staff is emailing them back and they’re, just they’re ignoring it trust me on, this one, there’s a chance they might be ignoring, you for a reason because the timings off, now something went wrong the money ran, away but now it’s gonna come back pretty, soon so they’ll be back soon you never, know because just because they’re not, interacting doesn’t mean they’re not, listening and watching and hearing the, calls listen watching the DMS there’s a, really good chance they’re still with, you they’re just not overtly interacting, with you at the moment so never never, give up just keep at it but you need a, system to do that because this is so, interesting the probability of you, making more contacts as you go there’s a, much better let me put it this way the, more calls you make the more probability, you have of interacting with them, because at first they might be just you, know holding off then they might be a, little aggravated then they will respect, you because you’re still at it when, everyone else quit

It’s just a weird, human thing that we have if we can get, past our own selves we can often make a, really good, this person by our persistence but the, chances of you constantly making those, calls or staying in touch dramatically, decreases just when they were ready to, interact you stop is what ends up, happening so that’s you know why that, happens because you’re letting emotions, get into it so if you want to talk, emotional let’s let’s talk about how, you’re gonna feel emotionally when you, lose all of these profits that you are, losing because you’re not following up.

Now, I’m gonna throw in some numbers here, and I hope this works without a visual, but think about it this way you get a, hundred leads a month and therefore some, practices that’s nothing for us for some, practices they’re getting hundreds and, hundreds of leads but let’s just keep, the math easy you’re getting 100 leads a, month and you’re able to convert your, receptionist converts 45 of them which, is terrific but you still have 55 that, didn’t convert from a call to a booked, consultation well if you multiply that, out and and and I come up with some, ideas to convert 15% more of those well, 15 percent of 55 once they’re followed, up with is an extra eight booked, consultations do you realize when you, multiply that out that’s 96 more, consults a year just because you, followed up not bad.

So, now, let’s talk, about those who booked but they didn’t, I’m sorry they booked a consultation but, they didn’t booked surgery so let’s say, you had 100 consultations per month and, your your coordinators able to convert, 40 of them and you know what it depends, it’s good that’s bad that’s another, discussion it depends on what was the, procedure and the demographic but let’s, say they were able to convert 40 and you, think that’s fantastic forty actually, converted to surgery but that’s not true, because 60 did not convert 60 is a much, bigger number than 40 and again if we, use some strategies and were able to, increase the 60 by 15%, that’s an extra nine surgeries that now, converted so if you’d want to do the, math on that one let’s, say it’s $8,000 is your average surgical, price I don’t know what it is but let’s, just go with 8,000 that’s an extra, 72,000 a month times 12 do you realize, we are talking about 864 thousand, dollars in gained revenues when you, actually get good at following up.

So, let me give you a couple of ideas and I, can’t go into a whole thing actually I, have a whole training on this but I also, have a whole platform on this so if, you’re interested I’m happy to talk to, you about it so let me just give you a, few pointers on this episode use, different communication channels do you, know in today’s world we’ve got the, Millennials who would never think of, picking up a phone to make a phone call, to save their lives so we’ve got that, group we’ve got the people who are, really old-school and they love email, and and they they like email they keep, up with it they check it all the time, quite frankly the stats show that email, is still working better than anything, else it just feels like it’s old school, but we all still use it constantly and, then a lot of people are texting now or, DMing so you have to be where everybody, is and that means get good at the, technology and using different, communication channels.

Now, another strategy is to collapse time time is, never good in the follow up process the, more time that goes by without you, interacting the holder that lead gets, and that’s when it just kind of floats, away because it’s long forgotten so you, want to collapse time using technology, quite frankly in today’s world I would, have a practice cell phone and I would, have that they notifying you dinging you, and pinging you and letting you know, immediately whenever something’s, happening whenever somebody deemed you, text you emailed you checked out your, website and sent you an inquiry, any of that you should be notified, immediately within boundaries in some, practices they do have the phone go home, at night with different staff people and, then they have boundaries like they only, answer up until 1, and they start again at 8:00 in the, morning because it is the public and, some of them are up all night and God, knows what they’re all doing so you do, want to have some parameters so you, still have a life but nothing’s more, important in today’s world because you, know the first one to follow up usually, wins so use the technology as you can.

Now, here’s another strategy you know how, you set up protocols in surgery where, you always do the same thing every, single time no matter what and that’s, good for patient safety well same thing, here this is good for your profits set, up a protocol for following up and I, mean is an explicit protocol for example, the prospect calls you the next step is, the caller and the receptionist booked, the consultation the next step is a pre, consultation call is made that’s for, another episode three days later you, send them an email or text reminder one, day before their consult you email or, text them then they come for their, consult or they don’t if they don’t what, else do you gonna you know how you’re, gonna fix that if they do come for their, consult and they don’t book you have a, protocol for that immediately a, thank-you note goes out immediately an, email goes out the next day something, else happens day six something else, happens day eight do you know what I, mean, now you’re definitely have a protocol, and it includes calling texting emailing, and it’s not two times it’s more like, double digit times.

Now, another strategy, is to get creative with your scripts the, last thing you want to do is sound like, everybody else everybody you lose the, words follow up I’m just calling and, lose the word just I’m just calling, because I had nothing better to do so, I’m just calling to see if if you’re, ready to move forward or I just wanted, to follow up to see how you’re doing if, you have any more questions the problem, with that is it’s so vanilla and it’s so, expected that it’s not going to make any, impact at all, all here’s a better way to do it when, somebody has called you but then they, didn’t book you give them a minute, like or I’m sorry they opt-in on your, website asked you a question, you call back but here’s what you do, your staff person sits up straight uses, their voice has confidence and literally, says something like hello this is sue, with dr. grates office I’m calling you, back about your recent inquiry and, wanted to thank you for choosing us now, are you ready to book your consultation, with us or did you have a question now, isn’t that nice its forceful it’s a, little assuming and that’s the point, you’re assuming of course they want a, book with you you’re the best and you go, right for it, you’re not gonna mill around with, letting them control the call you’re, gonna control the call and and how do, you do that you do it with questions are, you ready to book your consult with us, or did you have a question you one or, the other by the way I always say or did, you have a question and I’ll tell you, why that’s psychological you don’t want, them to have 20 questions that’s for the, consultation you want to have answer one, question which is the most important one, they have and then the next question is, yours which is when can we see you just, saying um now when somebody the tougher, ones are when they came in for a consult, and then what happens they say I gotta, think about this or I need to speak with, my husband tough one right because now, you’re thinking oh no what am I going to, do well here’s it here’s a thought the, coordinator has to listen carefully and, watch carefully when something goes, wrong during the consultation you can, typically feel the energy drop or you, can see it in their face when something, has gone awry with something you have, told them like for example let’s say, they said well how long am I gonna need, to be down for a tummy tuck and you say, well you’re pretty much gonna be you, know off your feet for two weeks and you, can see them like Oh God two weeks what, the heck what am I gonna do I don’t have, anybody to watch me for two weeks, everyone I know works you know and they, start thinking like that, your best bet is for the coordinator to, catch that and then when they say I, don’t know I’ve got to think about all, this it’s a big deal your coordinator, says no problem let me give you a call, back in a couple days at the same time, and get it on the schedule by the way, I’m gonna go ahead and call you back on, Thursday at 2 o’clock same time and I, can check in with you then all right so, here’s what they’re gonna do when they, check in hello Sarah its Karen with dr., Smith’s office now I did speak with our, aftercare nursing service and they’re, definitely available to care for you, next month if you wanted to go ahead, with the surgery I just need to let them, know as soon as possible how does that, sound so do you see what you did instead, of saying I’m just calling to follow up, you said I remember there was an issue, you know oh you don’t say it to her I, remember there was an issue that you, don’t have anybody you say I wanted to, let you know something important that, will help you move forward that’s the, whole secret to following up is you’re, not following up you are giving them, feed you’re looking for their feedback, but you’re also giving them some, important information that will help, them go to the next step right.

I hope, I’m making that clear, so follow up on, incoming leads is super serious business, and there’s a ton of money to be made in, dead leads there really is if you just, do a couple those things I showed you, and somebody has to follow up if it’s, not you it could be my team it’s called, “Fix Your Follow Up. Now, come check it out, but seriously it is too competitive in, today’s world and lead conversion just, is going to continue to decrease because, of all the competition so rise above, your competitors and get good at these, fundamentals and this is a big one, following up is a big one so fix your, follow up now calm.

I hope you enjoyed this. Please subscribe and share this with your teammates or with your colleagues, and I really look forward to your comments and questions. Tell me how have you managed to follow up and how do you do it successfully and what tips do you have, and then you can always follow, me on Instagram: It’s CatherineMalayMBA. Okay, that’s it for now. Talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

Picture of 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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