Fix Your Follow Up
Welcome to “Beauty and the Biz”, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and how to fix your follow up.
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.
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Fix Your Follow Up
You know How frustrating is it to spend a ton of money, staff time and resources on internet marketing for new cosmetic patient leads only to have those very leads come in as prospective patients and leave as prospective patients….STILL.
You can no longer afford to waste any more time or money on marketing if you are not converting these leads….
It’s too competitive, it’s too crowded and it’s too expensive NOT to do everything within your control to convert these Internet leads into paid procedures.
Here’s a typical consultation scenario…
You thought you had a great consultation with your prospective patient, Sara.
Sara had a good consultation with you and your staff and she asked lots of questions and you had a good connection…at least you thought you did.
But then you find out from your coordinator Sara ended up saying, “I gotta think about it” and walked out the door.
Now what? Maybe your staff emails or calls them and then they are dropped in the “dead leads” file.
You move onto the next consultation that you hope converts and the cycle of waste continues…
Why Don’t Patients Book?
Since cosmetic rejuvenation is a very personal as well as emotional decision, there are all sorts of reasons why prospective patients don’t book….
- Maybe they have other consultations lined up
- Maybe they don’t have a comfortable way to pay for it
- Maybe they’re confused about something you said so now they will research it more before deciding to move forward
- They received bad news that morning or
- They got flack from their family when they told them about meeting with you;
- Or a dozen other benign things could have happened that had nothing to do with you.
It could have had everything to do with the patient’s frame of mind at the time that prevented them from moving forward.
The point is people change, their moods change and their circumstances change so you can never assume anything.
What Do You Do When You Can’t Convert Consultations?
Let’s say you did everything right and now you are stuck because you don’t know how or even if you should follow up for fear of looking as if you are chasing the patient.
Here are 3 strategies to help you follow up professionally and close the procedure:
1 Collapse Time
Time is your enemy in the follow up process. The more time that goes by without the prospective patient hearing from you, the more distant you become.
The hottest they will ever be is when they are face-to-face with you. Once they leave your practice, you are out of sight – out of mind – unless YOU keep the conversation going.
So you want to collapse time by following up quickly, repeatedly and often. That’s how you differentiate yourself from your competitors who follow up weeks later (or never).
I’m always amazed when I learn a practice sends one standard follow up email days after the consult then wait another 30-60 days. The hot lead is very cold by then so no wonder they are never heard from again.
2 Add a Sense of Urgency to Your Follow Up
Since its human nature for prospective patients to put off making a big decision and procrastinate, you want to counter with a sense of urgency to get the patient off the fence.
Give them compelling reasons to stop procrastinating. For example:
- Your schedule is filling up quickly due to the demand for Dr. Smith, SO BOOK NOW OR YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT. This works well because most patients hate to wait.
- Or, If they can have surgery on a Wednesday next month, they get a $500 price reduction on the OR fee
Or, If they want it done before [wedding, summer, etc], they need to take into account the recovery time (IE., even though the downtime is less than 7 days, they are still a bit limited in activity like swimming and dancing), so they’ll want to get it done before this certain [date].
- Or Your prices are going up so you can grandfather them in at the current price as long as they put their deposit down now.
And #3 is Follow Up Protocol
Just like you follow strict protocol for surgery, develop a protocol to follow each and every time to follow-up on revenue-generating consultations that didn’t book….YET.
Otherwise, it’s too easy to NEVER get around to following up because there are a million other things to do.
Protocol takes the emotion out of it and it becomes what you do automatically…no matter how busy you are.
Here is an example of the steps to follow:
Immediately text the patient thanking them for their time
Mail a thank you note that day.
Day 2 – Send email thanking them and include a response to one of their objections.
Day 3 – Call them to see if they are now ready to move forward since you addressed their objection.
Day 5 – Email them social proof including patient reviews, photos, testimonials of other patients just like them who had the procedure they want so they see others have moved forward and are happy and they will be too.
Day 7 – Call with urgency update. For example, they want to look good for an event so they must complete SX by a certain date and you only have 2 slots left.
If none of that is working, continue to text or email them to keep in touch with announcements such as a special event or promotion you are having.
Then add them to your email list to stay in touch indefinitely so they remember you when they are ready to move forward.
You need to customize these to your own practice and use them in your standard protocol so you get comfortable telling the prospective patient WHY they need to make a decision now rather than later.
The most successful cosmetic practices have systems in place to follow up quickly, strategically and consistently.
They spent a lot of time, money and effort attracting prospective patients so they do all they can to see it through to a YES.
These fix your follow up strategies “pave the way” for your staff to do all they can to confidently convert these valuable consultations.
If your staff needs help setting up their own protocol, check out my website `where they can get the “Fix Your Follow Up” module full of strategies, phone scripts and examples of emails and text to get the patient to a yes.
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Thanks so listening and we’ll talk again soon.
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👁 DON’T MISS THESE INTERVIEWS 👁
➡️ Robert Singer, MD FACS – Former President of The Aesthetic Society: https://www.catherinemaley.com/podcast/ep-86-robert-singer-md-former-president-of-the-aesthetic-society
➡️ Grant Stevens, MD FACS – Former ASAPS President: https://www.catherinemaley.com/blog/ep-44-covid-19-update-with-asaps-past-president-dr-grant-stevens
➡️ E. Gaylon McCollough, MD FACS – Former President of AAFPRS, ABFPRS, AACS: https://www.catherinemaley.com/podcast/ep-88-e-gaylon-mccollough-md-facs-past-president-abfprs-aacs
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