Beauty and the Biz episode #122: Interview with Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD
Catherine Maley, MBA interviews Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD.
Welcome to “Beauty and the Biz”, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery.
I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your aesthetic practice – What your patients are saying”, and consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and profits.
Today’s guest is Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD.
He’s a board certified plastic & reconstructive surgeon running an uber successful private practice in Marietta, GA.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD is originally from Nigeria and he got his start by completing a 5-year surgical training program at Emory University in Atlanta. Then, he joined the U.S. Navy for 4 years where he achieved the rank of Commander and served as Chief of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at our “President’s Hospital” in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD a published author who’s received multiple awards, authored many topics in plastic surgery journals, is a popular speaker at plastic surgery conferences all over the world, and has been featured in national and international media outlets.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD is also a community leader and philanthropist. He serves as Medical Director of Georgia Plastic Foundation and he’s Executive Director of Imo Medical Mission providing medical & surgical services in Nigeria.
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Interview with Dr. Stanley Okoro
Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello, everyone. And welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your aesthetic practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits.
Now today’s special guest is Stanley Okoro, MD. He’s a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon running an uber successful practice in a private practice in Marietta, GA. Now Dr. Okoro is originally from Nigeria, and we’re going to talk more about that. And he got his start by completing a five-year surgical training program at Emory university in Atlanta.
And then he joined the U.S. Navy for four years where he achieved the rank of Commander and served as Chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at our “President’s Hospital” in Bethesda. Yeah, he’s a published author. Who’s received multiple awards, authored many topics in plastic surgery journals. He’s a popular speaker at plastic surgery conferences all over the world.
And that’s where I see him the most. And he’s been featured in national and international media outlets. Now, Dr. Okoro is also a community leader and a philanthropist. Now he serves as Medical Director of Georgia Plastic Foundation. And he’s executive director of Imo Medical Mission providing medical and surgical services in Nigeria.
Dr. Okoro welcome to Beauty and the Biz.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Thank you very much, Catherine. Thank you for everything you do for our industry.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. Now I have to ask, how did you get from Nigeria to Georgia?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: I didn’t Swim! but long story. I my, my parents wanted me to get an American education. So, I finished high school at age 16. So, I started college at age 16 in Washington, DC. My, my, my dad literally flew me over here and enrolled me in school in University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC. So, I started my life in the DC area, so that that’s like my first home.
And then. One thing led to another and ended up at Meharry medical college. That’s where I went to medical school in Nashville, Tennessee, and from Nashville. I did very well and I went to. University for my generous or your residency, where I did four years of five years of a brutal training, which was good for me at the end.
From there I was recruited by the U.S. Navy where to make a long story short, I served 12 years. We those 12 years, I did my plastic surgery training at UT Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, Texas. That’s why they, my plastic surgery training was both certified in both general surgery and plastic surgery.
And after do my services in the Navy, I came back to Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. So that’s how I came to Georgia.
Catherine Maley, MBA: And then did you leave the Navy and go straight into your own private practice?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Yes. So, I Le I left the Navy 2010. If you remember what something happened, 2008, 2009, 2010. So, I was right in the middle of the recession.
I was looking for a job in Georgia. Because I did my general residency here as I was, you know, we had friends and family here. I wanted to come back here, but nobody was hiring during the recession in oh 8 0 9, 2010. So, and I was forced to open my own practice. Didn’t want to run a practice. I knew it was a lot of work to on the business end of the medicine.
But we had to do it because I had to put food on the table. So that’s what we had to do.
Catherine Maley, MBA: And so, did the building you’re in now is gorgeous. Did you start out in that building or did you have to grow into that building? Well,
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: we did not have we had to grow into that beauty. So, we started it was humble beginning.
We started in an 1800 square foot office where I rented an office from my landlord who is a neurosurgeon, very nice guy. He actually, his building was empty for four years during the recession. So, when I came to him, I was like a blessing to him. So, he said I said can we use it? I don’t have any money, but I promise I will pay you as soon as I start making money.
He said, okay, you can take it for six months. So, he didn’t charge me any rent for six months. I said, I want to make it look good. And I did. We painted the whole thing. My wife, my wife, and I started the whole thing. And then after two years there, the practice grew from just taking care of people.
And that’s when we moved into the building where we are in 2012.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Nice building by the way. So, you mentioned your wife and she’s been a really intricate part of your success. What’s it like working with your wife and then on top of that, now some of your kids, you have four children actually, or I met one girl is, are, have the others joined suit and they’re in the practice as well.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: No. I’ve, I’ve been trying to get them to. Going to Madison, but they’re kind of around, I don’t know what I did, but maybe they’re in like how hard work, none of the, my medicine. But the one you met in my practice, my first Adobe’s where she’s still there. She’s having an Aggie again. Runs the practice.
I think I worked for that. Yeah. So, she, she she’s been at the beginning. She runs the whole. Can I just do surgery,
Catherine Maley, MBA: you know, and that’s every surgeon’s dream to be in the surgical suite and have the business run itself. And you have that luxury most don’t sometimes you have the wife in there, but she doesn’t know how to run a practice, or she doesn’t know how to manage staff.
You happen to have a wife who understands the business side of plastic surgery. So, consider yourself really lucky, cause that’s a tough one. And then sometimes it’s hard to work with staff, with family, you know? Yeah.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: It’s tough to walk with family. But I think like you said, we are definitely blessed.
She understands business and we; she keeps it very strictly business. So, I, you know, I overlooked. Then and Derek most of the stuff I was born to a business family, so that helped us well, I’m the first to be in medicine in my family. Everybody in my family is in the business. My father is a lawyer.
My brother is into business. So, my mom owned the supermarket when I was growing up. And so, business comes to, comes to me naturally. In the, in the, in the, in this practice has been definitely very helpful.
Catherine Maley, MBA: And you didn’t grow up with medicines. So how did you have some unique experience as a kid and said, oh my God, I want to do what he just did when he put my year back together.
It was it that kind of thing.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: I didn’t know. You’re going to talk about that, but yeah, my, my, my mom who passed last year was she, she lived a good life. We celebrate her life. She was sick at a, at an earlier age. So, I mean, she would see the LA good care in Nigeria and added really adored those doctors. I want to be like, they mean, they impressed me so much.
And then when, when, when I was young, I had my appendix removed and I knew going through that process as well, so that I think having my appendix removed, sealed the deal for me, that I want to be a surgeon that, so at an earlier age at B a. 8 15 16. I said, I want to be a surgeon to do those kinds of things.
There are awesome. So very impressive. So, I kept the dream alive.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Nice. Now, do you still do reconstructive surgery? Are you basically now 100% cosmetic?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Reconstructive surgery is what brought me into plastic surgery to start with. I was a journal sojourn and don’t math back to me and then refinement refine my patients to plastic surgeons to for construction.
That’s how I started my career. That’s what drove me into plastic surgery. However, as you you’ve been to my office and the practice cannot grow. The referral pattern in, in Georgia is kind of funny. I came back to Georgia squat do reconstruction. And I did, I did that, but it wasn’t enough to support my practice.
So, the aesthetic part of the practice has taken over the reconstruct reconstructed part of it. We still offer those, but for me it’s gotten to the point where. I basically do 99% if they practice now. I still take care of my reconstructed patients that I, I don’t abandon any patients and the best what I do.
So, it’s mostly aesthetics, but. I don’t feel bad because I still provide a lot of reconstructive surgery overseas when I travel. So, what I see by spending multiple medical missions, where I act as a general surgeon, plastic surgeon. So, I do tons of reconstructive surgery every year.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I know that you brought on another plastic surgeon and I believe you’re actually looking to grow more and bring on more.
You brought on a couple of extenders as well because a surgeon quickly learns that all arrows point to the surgeon, and that’s got to be exhausting when you are the revenue generator. And so, you were smart enough to bring somebody on any tips or tricks on how you bring someone on. And I know you’re looking for somebody else.
What are you looking for?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: So, we don’t just like you said, I mean, the practice has grown and it continues to grow today. As we speak right now, my next surgery date available date is next year, July and August of next year, close to year as creative aesthetic patients. One day services now. Okay, so we have a capacity problem.
So, we, I noticed this a few years ago, so we brought on a partner the Dr. Park, who is excellent. Do a good job, but he’s also getting booked up. People love the practice. So, we’re in the process of recruited another plastic surgeon to join us. It’s just a capacity problem and is a great place to work.
And when the patients come there, the love it, and they’re singing to the choir here. They, you know, refer award amount and all kinds of stuff and social media. So that’s where we are. We are growing. I’m not retiring anytime soon, but I can’t pick you up everywhere myself. Plus, we need the help. We have great peers and nurses, medical assistants, and patient care coordinators.
And to do I mean the, the success of the practice is a Testament to what they do. So, at the, I think the good or the practice is a team effort
Catherine Maley, MBA: when you bring another surgeon on, because I get asked this a lot, how do you introduce them to the practice? Are they first and associate or do they just eat what they kill or like, how do you do that?
And then when do they become a partner with actual equity in the practice?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: I said, very good question. So, for us, we keep it very open. We. So, it depends on where the servants coming from new graduates usually would like a salary guarantee for about two years, because you know, you just finished school.
You don’t have a whole lot of money and you want somebody to help you. We have we have that capacity to support the surgeon that way. So, they come on as an employee if they want. So, we have so many options. So, if you want to come and comment as an employee, you have a salary grantee for two years, within two years with one or ramp you up.
And so, you can grow your practice. Ultimately, I want everybody to be the determinant of their own destiny. That’s what I want. I want you to be able to eat what you kill, support, pull your weight. So, after four years, so two years as an employee, hopefully two years. Where if you want to stay as an employee, that’s fine as well.
If you want to eat what you kill, that’s fine. But after four years you are eligible for partnership and then you, you can buy into the practice. So that’s ours, but if you want to come on and eat what you kill, that’s going to be tough for a new grad, as you know, unless they have. Patients already, which is not going to happen the first year.
So, the practice has to solve, support the person, but we are, we are open to supporting PPP in different ways. That’s what we, that’s what we do.
Catherine Maley, MBA: No, that’s great. I have you had any mishaps have you know, any tips on. Whom you might’ve brought on that you shouldn’t have, or any, any strategies there for choosing the right people?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Yeah, that is a tough one. I’ve had some mishap in the, in the past. Yeah, that’s called experience. Right? You learn, you learn from your experience and your mistakes. We all make mistakes. So actually, your mistakes are what makes you strong? Yep. You know, that’s the saying? They say what? That does not kill you only makes you stronger.
It is true when it comes to practices too. So, I think the key in for me is honesty, transparency. And just being a nice person you for us, I look for people who are good people first. Okay. You can look for a good surgeon. It can’t Butte personality, but if you, even, if you have a good personality is to get the best surgeon.
So, you want good personality and a good surgeon. If you can get those mics, then you you’re good. If you get good surgeon and bad pesticides. You have a problem. And sometimes young people don’t know what it takes to run a business and they come out the one that makes so much X amount of dollars. I’m like, ah, how are you going to weigh?
Is that there’s no monetary at the bank at the, at the, at the back office, you have to actually do surgery to journey these funds and this revenue. So, some people don’t understand that it takes years to command that kind of revenue like there’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s hard work, but it’s not easy to bring a part where you gig bring somebody to your practice.
You really marrying the person. And that marriage is tough. Partnership is tough. So, you want somebody to have patient understanding and I’m being honest is that I think is the best solution to this.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Just a little tip on my side that I just, from my own experience, make sure the wife is on board as well.
Have the wife meet your wife and your practice and, and did they come from there because too often the wife is following. The doctor’s dream and he doesn’t mind moving across country. She minds a lot because she’s leaving her family behind. So, I would just say the life is very, very important in this equation because we can’t have the doctor happy and the wife one happy.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Yeah, all the husbands cause you again, a female plastic surgeon at the end that the, the husband. So, it’s a very good advice. The wife and the husband they have to be honest. It’s a team effort, actually. It’s really easy to tempt him for, but I think we, you know, you can say you figure it out cause you don’t know what’s coming next.
Right. But I think the formula that we have right now is working for. We hope to grow to the practice…Georgie Plastic is really beautiful, like for plastic surgeons, that’s, that’s, that’s the goal. So right now, we, as two of us were halfway there by, you know, hopefully by law and grace of God, we will get to the three next year or sooner.
And then we’ll see about number four and then there will be full to capacity. And then we may have to build additional locations for.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Right. So, you would, you would scale, you would go. Can you build out at all because you have a beautiful property there. Can you build out?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: We were actually talking about it the other day.
If they, the county where we are, has a limitation on how high you can go, but we will have to move. Imploded you then and build we can, but it’s going to cost a lot of money.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. And that is something you have plenty of. So, I know you’re very focused on surgical, but what are your feelings about nonsurgical and catching that patient where they are?
So, they stay. You know, they can either go up the ladder you know, to surgery from nonsurgical, or they can start with surgery and work their way down the ladder to nonsurgical. What’s you’re feeling about that patient for life kind of thing, and meeting the patients wherever they might be
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: To be successful in this industry, you really have to see the patient as a live patient. Okay. Non-surgical is where it’s at is surgeon that does not have a non-surgical practice is, has a practice. That’s gone out of business. I’m going to come out and link to say that. So non-surgical practice is if the future of plastic surgery, literally, and we do have a medical spa just for that purpose.
The reason is. You can have a patient that comes in, comes in for a mommy makeover, Tommy document, the breastfed pressing plant, right? This is she’s a 40, 50 years old right now. She still has. If somebody’s body wants their tummy to look good, believe me, they want their neck and their face to look good too.
And if you don’t offer that service, they’re going to go to somebody that does. You want to keep them in-house you want to? So, our, our strategy. At Julia plastics, a one stop shop. Would you put your way, get your neuro modulators, your fillers, your laser hair removal, your EMS calls, your smoosh shifts, all that stuff?
So, my spa, I should say ours. How does a great job meeting the needs of those patients and non-surgical services that they need until they’re ready for the next one? So, you do a breastplate on Thermatech. At age 48 50, given the history of this country, obesity is rampant. People are getting big look at what happened to COVID.
Right? Right. So, they look at their autonomy and that they see that Tyler didn’t because they are back. They want to come back, but it doesn’t happen overnight. So definitely if we’re stuck, we do have, so there’s this thing in a practice with we’ll call it the Georgia plastic ecosystem. It’s the ecosystem or the aesthetic ecosystem.
I’m going to be speaking about that next year when we start going to conferences again. So, I’m going to be talking about the aesthetic ecosystem with how to keep the patients come in and meeting all of their needs and your practice. So, if you don’t have those services, Somebody else, cause you don’t want your patient to think that all you do is a permit doc.
Cause I had this story. I had a patient many years ago when I in my earlier career as a, as a new brand-new surgeon, of course we’re doing breast reduction and insurance. When you first come on, that’s what you had to do. So, a patient comes back post-operatively after breast reduction and asked me. Do I know a plastic surgeon that does liposuction?
Catherine Maley, MBA: they don’t, they don’t see you as anything, but what they saw you as, when they started it’s, doesn’t even Dawn on them that you, wow.
You’re actually a plastic surgeon you can do cosmetic as well.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Yeah. So that was the key moment for me. I had to, I, I still remember that and I, I don’t remember who the patient will be at pancreas. Opening my eyes, she and I was like, wow. So, all she saw me was the breast reduction surgeon and she was looking for a plastic surgeon and that was, that was a few women.
So, I think nonsurgical is a. Medical spas services is definitely in, well, I know a lot of my colleagues may have been ignoring that, but there’s a lot of resources. This, you can literally generate a lot of revenue to run your practice from the non-surgical press.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I know most surgeons are not getting all the disposable income of a patient.
Most patients, they have their go-to for Botox because they can get in and out quickly, or they love this one injector. So, they put some money over there at another place, or they love their plastic surgeon for the bigger ticket items. But I guarantee you’re never getting all the, all the resources online.
You’re paying attention to it, you know, unless you’re really developing that relationship and they know that you are the one-stop shop, you’ve got to be the umbrella in today’s world. It’s just getting too expensive. Not to be, as a matter of fact, I’d love to talk about marketing now because you are an excellent marketer.
And one thing, I don’t know if everyone’s watching the video, but you have to go to YouTube later and watch the video. Dr. O Caro is very, very well-known as the Botox. Doctor and ever since, do you sleep in bow ties? Because, because I’ve never ever seen you without a bow tie, you must have a lot of them because I’ve never seen the same one twice and you even have one for surgery when you’re wearing your scrubs.
So, what a great differentiator. So, tell me the story about, did you, were you born with a bow tie or how did all that happen?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Well, it is a long story but I’m going to make you short I was do surgery at my hour center one time. And then a patient bought me a boat. If I were her favorite color and that changed everything and she thought I would look good on a bow guy.
So, I started wearing boots in surgery. I remember the first time I was Bota in surgery, people were whoa, what’s going on? So, I figured, Hey, give him something to talk about. As long as it’s not negative and peoples that are branded, branded me, the boat, our plastic surgeon and patients loved it. So, they will.
The reason why I have so many Bota is. Patients bring me both sides for their surgery, their favorite colors. I have every color I have different. I have both. Oh my God. I didn’t know you going to ask. So, I have a D a. I have both I ever have, but I’m a bad my car everywhere. That’s everywhere. So, I don’t sleep with my boat.
I love, and I can add time. I put that little in the back. I can close my eyes and tie a bow tie. That’s how good.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, they’re the real bow ties. I thought they would be clip on that. Wouldn’t be the only one I could deal with. And you’re a very dapper dresser. So, most of the time is very color coordinated with your handkerchief in the pocket.
On, I remember being at a meeting and it was just a sea of. You know, cause you guys are always dress up with suits. You stood out like a, not a sore thumb. You stood out like a guiding light because you had a bow tie on. I thought that’s genius, you know, because appreciate yourself.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Yeah. My dad always, he always says dreadful dress for the job that you want.
Not the one you have. So, he’s also told me that to dress well and people will treat you based on how you dress. I took that to heart. So, I always try to do my best. Thank you for noticing I appreciate it. Oh
Catherine Maley, MBA: yeah. No big time. You’ve also done a super good job on social media and it’s also your demographics.
It seems like you. To the younger girls, like the bodywork. And it’s just a different demographic, like versus let’s say the older, more mature woman who wants facial rejuvenation, would you do, but it’s just, you’ve done. I think you’ve got 59,000 followers on Instagram and you’re really good about doing Facebook live Instagram live.
So, I’m sure that didn’t come natural to you, but do you have any suggestions for how you get comfortable in front of the camera and how do you attract so many patients to you.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: So, we, we have a social practice. So, we’ve, we’ve defined our practice as a social practice where so this is the sacred, okay.
One, you get, you need to hire, if you can afford it, hire a public or social media coordinator, gadget job is to handle all your, all of your social media. So that’s what we did, and then make sure that your staff, your team are on the same page. Everyone must be comfortable with social media. All of our staff when they’re hired, have to sign a consent for social media.
So, at any given moment, the social media person can do a video. We don’t have to worry about that. The patients who are on social media, of course, we have to get a consent for social media, for the patients. So, the same consent for a patient, the same concept for employees upon hire. So, the success we don’t have millions of followers, but we do have real followers.
And we are done by our social media coordinator. I do my best. I’m not a social media wizard by any chance, but I do my best to keep it.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you know how I can tell they like you, when I go over your Instagram posts, you’ll stand in front of like, let’s say a video screen talking about why you don’t want to gain weight before liposomal.
I thought that was fascinating. And so did 8,000 other people, you know the doctors, the surgeons have a tendency to get in their own way and say, I’m not an actor. I’m not interesting. You’re fascinating to a patient who wants bodywork and you’re, if you’re explaining it to them, I thought that video was amazing.
I’m never going to forget that because I also thought, and I know better that you should gain weight because before, before light bulb, because you’ll get rid of it, you were like, no, you’re good. Anyway, that was excellent. Really, really good. Yes.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: I think the thing is when some people are shy on a, on a camera just think of it as if you’re talking to the pig.
One patient, not 10,000, you thought to the one person and you want that person to listen to you. I learned that scale when we’re doing some commercials in Atlanta, Georgia on the TV. Live TV. So, you just, just talk to the person who’s doing the video and don’t worry about it. Do your best, keep it natural.
That’s, that’s what we do for social media. We we’re, it’s all in-house we do it all in house. We have our own social media coordinator. She’s doing a great job and my staff contributes. Dr. Park does social media, or even our peers have their own videos. I have the own channel.
Catherine Maley, MBA: How did you get, Nini? Is that her name? The Housewives of Atlanta, I believe. I, I mean, she gave you some killer videos and just somebody like that. If you can get a housewife in your town, you’re golden. Did that make a huge difference or by then you were already big?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: It’s hard to tell because that’s a more recent relationship.
I don’t know what happened. All of the Housewives, all of a sudden started coming to Georgia plastic. So, we do have a lot of celebrities, but Atlanta is, is becoming popular in the movie industry. So, a lot of celebrities come to us. So, we’re used to that. We tank many came and wanted to be part of the movement, I guess.
And then we, we, we, we are happy for her have relationship. So that there’s more, more to come from that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That was golden. So, regarding marketing you, it sounds like you’ve tried all sorts of things. You, you, it sounds like you did some TV, you did some commercials, not, I’m sure you did print or, you know, all, whatever radio, all of that.
What, what used to work that no longer does and what’s working now that surprises.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: I know, I know yellow pages don’t work anymore.
So, we did yellow pages with we. We did a little bit of print magazine. It didn’t work that that doesn’t work. There’s no return on investment on magazine. Most of the time, if it works for you and continues to work for you, that’s great. But I think we did TV and we did radio. Does a hit or miss at the, at the end of the day, I think with all of that stuff, I would probably say social media is the most effective right now.
Social media is literally. Old fashioned new school, what amount? You know what I mean? So, the old word of mouth is not social media. That’s what that is. Okay. So that’s the most effective part of, of, of marketing that we use right now, but there is no marketing greater than their personal referral from another patient.
It can be that. So, every patient. That comes to the practice is all about the personal experience, because I know when they have a great experience, either they’re coming back or their friends and families coming to us. So, like yesterday I did the husband and wife together, you know, separate tablet the same day.
And a lot of times we do like sisters and friends, but that’s the best, best referral in terms of returning investments. Is the, what amount followed by social media. And of course, there, you know, influencers are fine for the, the people that follow them, you know? So, I think you have to have a good website as well for, because people end up looking at your website and see what’s going on.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, that’s a really good conduit to your website. I know. And this is very controversial to put your prices online and you’re very transparent and you literally have the price list right there for everyone to see. And the smart thing I think you did. Cause I’m also not sure. I don’t like when this whole industry gets down to price.
I don’t love that if we commoditize this. Then anybody can do anything and that’s not true. You know, your surgeons, you’re not, there’s a big difference between a surgeon and a nurse. So, I sometimes worry about that, but the way you did it, you did it in ranges. They’re very realistic ranges. So, when you say something, a body part, it’s like five to 9,000.
So, you give yourself lots of room there, but you also, and I love this part. You also say what’s included and you include everything, nothing pisses off a patient more than this add on stuff, you know, like they thought it was going to be 5,000. Now you went over in surgery now with the garments. Now the meds now the bumpa.
And it’s like, would you just give me a screen? So, when did you put prices on your website and how much did that change your lead generation?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: So, I want to talk about lead generation last, but the price then is so, you know, we go on vacation, you go on a hotel, you pay for internet, you pay for that stuff, or you go there, not a vacation on the Caribbean is an all-inclusive everything’s included.
I came back and said, why can’t we have been the all-inclusive plastic surgery? So, we made a sweet. And what happened was our prices. All of us looked higher than everybody else. So, we were worried about that for a while, but then people still understand, oh, you just paid price and you don’t have to bring your wallet.
When you come through a post-op, everything everything’s included and emitted. People will finally, they got it. Like it pay one, you come, you pay one price. So, we call it the all-inclusive plastic surgery service. You pay one price. It includes your, your surgery pre post post-op Intercare inter op post-op care and everything else.
So, you just come to the practice and then we made all limited. Bye on live there. Literally you can come to the practice and everyone, but we have scheduled appointment, but if you want more, you can come. There’s no charge for anything. So, it becomes actually is more profitable because people are more comfortable with you and they refer their patients.
You’re not going to lose money. You actually is peace of mind for the patient as well. And we also include a cosmetic show for them. To give him peace of mind. There’re any complications. So, is it total peace of mind? I think it’s in one of your. Make it easy for a patient to book Alison to your top a lot, you know, thank you.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. And do not charge them more than they’re expecting to pay. So many competitors of yours will charge extra when they go over in surgery. And I. But the patient doesn’t, they don’t under, they don’t care. If you go over you, they, you told them it was going to take four hours. They don’t care if it took five hours, that’s on you.
And I just think in today’s world, you have to be so careful with pricing and be transparent. I love, I love that. You said all in one, because it’s really important that you put those two together. You have the ranges, but then right under it, you say, and these are all inclusive. That was the important part because they’ll go on other consultations and that’s when they start asking, oh, so this does this include this and they’re oh, no, that would be extra.
And that’s where it’s like, I get it. I’m going to stay with Georgia plastic. They’re being a lot more forthright about it. Did you notice though, that you got more calls from it or that your conversion rates were better when you were more transplant?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: It’s the conversion rate when they’re coming into the office, because, you know, typically the average patient would have done two or three consults with before they come see us smarter.
If I want to call us and they haven’t been to other places, we encourage them to go to other person, come back to us. The reason is we know when the good other places they will notice the difference. First of all, the way we answer our phone is very unique. We have our office as, as a form, very unique. And when it comes to us, they feel more relaxed.
We saw, so we have a very transparent practice. So, they see everything that they paid for. Everything is itemized there’s no, you know, exactly the, not the final number, that’s it. There’s no more fee. And if you go over, over in surgery in our surgery center, which we, we are right. You know, after so many years of surgery, you know, At Tommy talk is going to take you either.
You go over a little bit, but it’s fine. Even if we go over, we don’t charge them extra. So, it’s peace of mind, plus, I mean, I like the fact that it just peace of mind. I think it’s the key there.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, it also came out in your reviews. If you read your reviews, they comment on it all the time. They say his prices are very reasonable and there were no surprises.
So, I’m going to listen to the patients. They, they liked that kind of thing. That’s what I think you’re doing differently. You’re actually listening to the patients and giving them what they want. But you know, the some of the patients, your demographic can be tough. Number one, you usually have, there could be a BMI issue.
What’s your, what’s your max.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Wow. You touched a sore subject there where I’m in Georgia and we love Georgia.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Fantastic. I couldn’t live there. Yeah. I, I need to be horny. I stay alive. Skinny.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: I know you guys a little skinny. We, we have. We’d love them that good grades, but we have to cut off at some point.
So, my BMI cross 40, 40 BMI. You got to be below 40 BMI. We try to keep it at 35, but sometimes, you know, 30 times six. Okay. Is that cutting corners? But it’s a hard core of at 40, if you get close to 40. We do work with some weight loss doctors around that practice to help them get down to a, we call it life plus surgery for life because we talk about fat a lot in Georgia and what we do try and make them.
It’s not just a liposuction. We want you to change your lifestyle. The average patient that comes up right now. That had liposuction or does something else, breast lift or tomato? We always talk about fab. We always talk to them about lifestyle changes and the average patient, and they end up losing weight after they meet us.
And we’ve documented that many times and they tell us that our audited.
Catherine Maley, MBA: You know what I would recommend. If you do need somebody to lose weight before you’ll do surgery on them, I would at least give them a page of resources to help them. Even if you gave them, you know, there’s a simple mobile app, something like lost it or lose it or something it’s like it’s, it really holds you accountable for what you’re eating.
Just something like that to help them because there’s nothing more. The frustrating and telling a patient, well, come back when you’ve lost
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: 30 pounds, that that doesn’t happen at all. No, we, we do have some colleagues who are practice practices around our practice. So, we actually refer them to a weight loss doctor.
Oh yeah. We have, they’re given a referral to go see the person. And they call me, we have both medical, weight loss and surgical weight loss, not in the practice, but people that we’ve known for years they’ll do a good job. A lot of our patients go there, they come back to us and sometimes those doctors refer patients.
So, it becomes a referral source as well. So, the patients have gone to them directly lose weight and they have loose skin. They refer. So, it is a win-win situation. That’s fantastic with them business. They give us business. So, it works.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Regarding marketing. You’re also a very good, I think you do such a good job with patient education.
I know you wrote a book on the Brazilian buttock lift. We all call it the BBL. Yeah. How has that helped you position yourself as especially.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: So as, as you know, that is in the water market and that’s called authoritative marketing. So that when a patient goes to Amazon, they, they find my book. I mean, I become the expert.
So, if you, if you can read a book that makes you the expert in that. Period. So, like that book is the only book on Amazon, on president Bartlett for patients. Not for that. I wrote it for patients, not for doctors and because I noticed that there was nothing in there for them. So, the book was basically written to educate them before surgery and answered all of the questions that we normally get in, in the practice.
So that book has really helped at is really helping. Position us as the UN’s Park, Alison at the Atlanta Metro area. When we travel overseas, people get the book and sometimes people show me the book during the consultation, you know, I give a lovely, a discount kind of get them going. So, it’s good.
Catherine Maley, MBA: The secret there is to write about one body, part, one procedure, one body part too many surgeons miss that. And they just talk about what they do and they become the Jack of all trades. And then we can do this and we can I, I would actually have a series and it’s not about having a 300-page book.
It’s about having FAA choose with really killer before and after photos, call it a day, get it on Amazon. It helps your SEO so much, especially, I don’t know if you’ve heard about all the privacy issues going on where apple and Google and Facebook are fighting about data. No, one’s going to share data anymore and I’m also being sued a lot for it from the government.
So, there’s a self-serving aspect to this, but also just for self-preservation, you know privacy is, is in. Yeah, data sharing is out. So, guess what they’re saying, SEO is back in again, because the other channels are getting strangled. So, you can’t target like you used to be able to. So now that now the ball went back over to SEO and now, they want organic.
So, you’ve done a great job with content. But I love that you just picked one body part. Good for you.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Well, one we’re working on the second one now. I wanted to talk about lead generation. This is something that I don’t know if you notice on the website is different for our website. We, I think the whole industry I’m going out on a limb here, but I think I can talk about it because I haven’t, I’ve had.
A year and half are parents watching this. So, we changed the whole lead gen from a pathway. We not on that collect leads in our practice. We do not, we do not. So, when you go to my website, they only lead that email convict is when we have a chat that if you want to chat, you can call it, lead that way.
But we don’t allow people to live lives in a website because we’ve gone to part like it was. So, with my, my team told me that they’re tired of chasing down leads. So, we, I thought about it, say, Which is what, what if the chase us turn the table? So, I did an experiment a year and a half ago. It was a bet because I knew I was fully booked, so I could have some room to play.
So, we remove the lead. They give us your name, your phone number, email, we’ll call you. My office was spending hours and hours calling people that not really interested. So, we changed it. I’m going to be talking about it in an upcoming session. I’m going to give you a hand. So, what we did was patients can put the information, they can send it.
If you come to us and you want to consult us, we give so much information on the website. By the time you finish that stuff, hopefully we’ll answered all your questions. We don’t want to chase you. If you’re serious, pay for consultation on. We only get the lead when they pay for consultation and then we’ll call them and give them a date and time.
So, we buy a year and a half to stop collecting the eggs and the ones that come through at once as. So now that has helped me manage our pay our staff time when none of them are chasing ghosts. So, I think our industry really, really need to rethink how we do. I know it’s been; I really don’t like the word lead generation is great, but if you talk to a lot of plastics or if they really have a problem chasing down, It’s really, it takes a lot of time.
You can have 10 leads. The only one answer the phone. So, my, my team was getting frustrated, so we had to do something. So, what are your thoughts about that? Something new. We’ve had it for a year and a half and it’s working for us.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I agree with you with the leads have gotten questionable with the quality because of just the way things are in today’s world.
The internet is fairly, it’s a flaky group of people. It’s the public. And you have no idea what stage they’re at. You’re following somebody who doesn’t even remember they called you or, or form. They don’t even know what you’re talking about. And then you’re chasing them. For sure. I would automate quite a bit of that.
Here’s where the problem. You surgeons want to be busy. You want that phone ringing, you want your reception area full, and that’s why quality and quantity get mixed up. You know you get this false sense of safety. When, when you have quantity, the, the issue in today’s world is what does that quantity costing you in terms of staff over time, staff frustration, staff turnover, because there’s nothing worse.
I used to be in outside sales forever. I used to knock on doors. Like 12 years and God, it’s exhausting. If you, if you’re not good with that and you don’t like rejection on most people don’t. So that’s where the problem comes in. So, I love automating a lot more of this, and I think you’re doing great with that.
Especially your conversion rate must be killer. If they’re plopping down the one 50 consults, be good for you. And what’s yours?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: What, so that’s a, that’s a great question. So, since it’s so funny, when we increased the consultation fee, my conversion rate went up as well.
Catherine Maley, MBA: It seems so paradoxical, but it’s crazy.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: It’s totally crazy because, so my, so we have. Almost, I don’t want to say zero no-show because if we have a no-show for consult is usually from something happened because they’ve already paid two 50.
Right? So, my no-show rate is less than, I want to say 3% of them that we, when somebody pays two 50 for a virtual consult, by the way, Yeah, majority of our consoles now are virtual. So, you know, we make a flip last year, but we were doing consults for our international, who are doing virtual consoles for our international patients, even before the pandemic.
So, when pandemic hit, it was easy for us to just go almost live virtual. So, two 50 and. There’s literally zero no-show conversion rate for me is between 60 and 75%. And the ones, the ones that don’t book now, what, so I do call them back when somebody call them out, why they’ve single, most reason that the dumb call, the dumb book is the can’t afford it because we are more expensive than the other plastic soda.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I love what you’re doing, but this is not for the faint of heart. And you do not want to do this until you have a very good name and reputation in your area, and you have a nice following and, and you’re out there because you have not been hiding. On Instagram and Facebook and you’re doing live and you’re doing so much content.
And so that’s why I think the patients are feeling comfortable enough. Like don’t, they feel like they know you already, when you meet this.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: The funny thing is sometimes I walk in the exam room; they think I’m a celebrity. So, I know I’m not a plastic, plastics, celebrities, but they feel like they’d be watching you on TV or.
Instagram or whatever they feel like they know you. So, I think we are using the social proof to our advantage. I agree with what you said. You have to also look at your, your environment. We’ve always charged consult fee and increasing the consult fee. We had room. I, I. I will say, so we did it because we felt comfortable.
We have enough food to make my adjustments wherever we do that. So, like when we did it, I was booked six months ahead of time. So even if no, the phone wasn’t ringing, we had rooms that make some adjustments. So, but my team. Very happy that don’t have to call people anymore and get done, you know, in higher is you said you’ve been doing those calls.
They were happy. They want Kim to work in the morning. There’s an email of patients who have already paid for consultation. All they have to do is call them to give them dates. The money is in the practice. And then we have. Less. So, we decrease the one TT, but we increase the quality of care of the patient.
So that, that was a game changer for us.
Catherine Maley, MBA: What, what made you do that? Like, are you reading something or you have mentors? I know you have, you had me as a consultant, so I gave you a few ideas. Where are you getting all of this? Because this is very unusual for a surgeon to think like you do a, where are you getting that gross minus.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Well, I mean, thanks to you. I watch a lot of your videos. You’re very intelligent. You’re very smart. You get this industry. I think you give a lot of information. I, you are my consultant and we’ve had in the past, so I’d love information from you and you can. To feed us with information, but I also travel a lot.
I speak with other consultants as well. Like I told you, I was born into. I was the only person in my family who went to medicine. So, and plus, I told you, I mean, I’m in school now for MBA, right?
So, I am getting my MBA next year from university of Georgia. So that helped a lot I think is a combination of everything and I’m just having the vision and we asked our internet provider, our website, people how to do it. They’ll walk the, walk us through that. Shallow shout out to crystal clear.
They did help us design that and it is worked out for us so far. And I love it. I don’t think I’m going to go back to the lead generation. I think for me, I think. I’m going to promote that a lot. We need to say. Cause I think it really changed. It was a game changer for us. I actually was a game changer.
There’s not in like BNI. Looking at your email and getting the emails com we use PayPal, no financial interest there, but getting the seeing that people are paying while you are at home and sleeping, or it’s just every, almost every hour. I get on a lot from email, from PayPal that somebody just paid.
I mean, you can be on a Friday night people on my website, a desk, nobody asked me. I mean, can you beat that?
Catherine Maley, MBA: No, that’s why their internet marketing is so interesting. That’s why I came into it because they said you could sit on the beach. I’m a red head, so I don’t sit on the beach, but they said, you can just have things on the web.
And then you just look at your email and you watch the money come in. And I thought really, is that true? I know. And it is. But a lot goes into that. That doesn’t just happen by magic, you know?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Yeah, so that’s, that’s what’s happening. So, when they come to work on Monday, they’ll call all the people who have paid for consultation the whole weekend.
And now I say this for those that, so those that don’t want to pay, you can see incomplete transactions, those the called your working hours. That’s where my, my, my team have to walk to convert those. But so, we, we don’t collect. If we don’t chase you, they chase us. That’s the key I was trying to get.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Congratulations. I know your website. If anyone wants to get to know you better, your website is GeorgiaPlastic.com, and do you have any tips or any last words of encouragement to the surgeons out there?
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: I think. So just like, like me, we need to get consultants. Like you we’ve been in the business for a long time. Get advice you can do by yourself. And having a website is more, it’s not enough. You need to work on it. I do. Right. The contents of my website. I add contents. So, if you’re new at this, I’ll add a content every week, every month, something will, what would your, your WhatsApp provider walk with a consultant?
Go to meetings, expose yourself to business. The business of plastic surgery is more, more than just being a good surgeon. You have to know how to market yourself. So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve learned as much. Now I dive into business school to take it to the next level.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you’ve done a great job of that.
And as you can see from the sign behind him, it says the best dad. So, he’s also the best dad to four kids. He has a lovely wife, a beautiful practice Dr. Okoro you are kicking it. Good for you.
Sure. And I hope to see you in a meeting someday, every time I’m planned, I’ve planned one, they go virtual. So, I’m hoping I I’m hoping to see you next year, I guess so.
Dr. Stanley Okoro, MD: Stay safe. I hope to see you soon.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. And that is it for us on this episode of Beauty and the Biz. If you haven’t already, please go to Beauty and the Biz and subscribe on iTunes or all the others. And if you’ve got any questions or feedback for myself or for Dr. Okoro, just leave them on my website at www.Catherinemaley.com or feel free to DM me @CatherineMaleyMBA on Instagram.
Take care and we’ll talk again soon.
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