Takeaways from the Top 5 Podcasts of 2021
Welcome to “Beauty and the Biz”, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and the takeaways from the top 5 podcasts of 2021.
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.
LEARN MORE ➡️ https://bit.ly/3ykNLEa
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Takeaways from the Top 5 Podcasts of 2021
This episode is called Takeaways from the Top 5 Podcasts of 2021
Another year is coming to an end and so is the Beauty and the Biz podcast.
Since I do a weekly podcast, I reviewed the list of this year’s podcasts (top 5 podcasts of 2021) and recapped strategies from the 5 most popular topics that you may want to consider for 2022.
And here they are…drumroll please…
1. How to grow a selleable practice
The objective is to set up your cosmetic surgical practice as a business so it’s more predictable and profitable.
That way, it’s more enjoyable to go to every day, and it’s more attractive to other surgeons to buy when you’re ready to exit.
But, you have a challenge that keeps you from winning in the long run.
As a surgeon, you were programmed to think in a certain fixed way.
You had to think that way to become a great surgeon.
However, that thinking is the opposite of how a businessperson thinks.
In a cosmetic practice, you, the surgeon, are the technician of the surgery, so you focus on that because you’re good at it and that’s what you know.
However, does that make for a sellable asset when you’re ready to retire?
Probably not, so you either have to work until you’re ready to close the doors and get nothing back for your efforts, or you can set your practice up to make a profitable exit and enjoy your retirement by using these strategies:
The first one is Mindset:
Shift your thinking from a surgeon to a businessperson and “Operate your practice like it’s for sale”.
Then regularly ask yourself, “If I wanted to sell my practice tomorrow, what would I need to improve to get the most value for it?”
When I interview surgeons on this Podcast (and the top 5 podcasts of 2021) and we talk about them buying another surgeon’s practice, the #1 value component they are looking for is a ready-made income stream.
Because Buyers are looking for a practice’s ability to generate cash with a degree of predictability and certainty.
That’s why it’s difficult to value the surgical side of your practice.
If you have been practicing with a “one and done” mindset, you’re not developing much of a bond with your patients because it’s such a short-term relationship.
And, to keep your surgical side busy, you have to market and advertise to attract new surgical patients and that increases your overhead costs so other surgeons have to look at not just your revenues but also your overhead to make those revenues happen.
Other surgeons know there’s no certainty that those surgical patients will come back for more surgery or come back soon enough or often enough.
However, if you can show a prospective buyer:
- Predictable revenues they can count on month after month that don’t include YOU
- an increase in the lifetime value of your current cosmetic patients
- And how you generate more referrals and reviews organically
- while differentiating your practice from all the others,
That’s interesting AND valuable.
Because now you have a predictable, systematic cosmetic revenue stream profit center that works without you and could easily be handed off to another surgeon.
You do that by building up the non-surgical aspect of your practice.
2. Hiring the Right Patient Coordinator
The difference between a 25% and 65% conversion rate is many, many thousands of dollars. It can also be the difference between a 6- or 7- or even 8-figure cosmetic practice.
It’s a game changer when you have a patient coordinator who knows how to convert so this position cannot be taken lightly.
Converting consultations is an art and trained skill. It takes the right strategies, knowledge and then lots of practice to get good at confidently taking a “stranger prospect” to a paying cosmetic patient.
So here are the traits a great patient coordinator must possess to ensure you have the right person representing you:
For starters, the most successful patient coordinator looks, acts, and feels the part.
So, Let’s start with looks.
This does not mean your coordinator needs to be gorgeous.
This means they need to be likeable, presentable and congruent with the high standards you set for the practice because they have to connect with the public
who will look to your coordinator as a role model for looking good and feeling confidant.
The most successful patient coordinator has the right mindset. They believe in plastic surgery. They see how much it enhances the lives of your patients.
They genuinely like working with prospective patients. They care about a prospective patient as a person and truly want to help them solve a problem they believe they have.
They are not “selling”. They are serving your patients. They believe they are providing a valuable service to prospective patients who need guidance.
They believe in the surgeon(s) they are representing, and they also believe in cosmetic rejuvenation as a gateway to personal self-fulfillment and happiness.
A great patient coordinator does all they can to help the prospective patient get to a yes and they persevere in the face of resistance, because they don’t see resistance as rejection. They see it as an opportunity to clear up the confusion on the patient’s side, so they get to a yes and reach their ultimate goal which is to be happy and confident with their appearance.
The most successful patient coordinator believes in themselves.
They have an inner drive to do their best. They like a challenge and they like to succeed.
They have a competitive edge so they hold themselves to a higher standard than most.
They have the confidence it takes to win in this position because they believe in you, the surgeon and the results the patient will get when they say YES.
That means they’re not afraid to ask the patient tough questions for fear of being viewed as “pushy” and then they professionally ask for a decision when the time is right because they want to give the patients what they want and they also want to win.
The most successful patient coordinator puts anxious prospective patients at ease so they open up and articulate what they want, why they want it and what it will take for the prospective patient to say YES.
They reassure the patient they are in the right place and will be happy with their result once they decide to move forward with you.
They have the people skills to make a prospective patient comfortable and trusting enough to make a decision to have their cosmetic procedure with you.
They know how to stay focused on the patient’s wants, fears, objections so they can artfully address the issues in the patient’s mind that are stopping them from moving forward.
This is the difference between an okay coordinator and a converting rock star.
This takes confidence, courage and well thought out strategies to convert a prospective patient to a paid surgical procedure.
3. Attract affluent patients
A common complaint amongst my top 5 podcasts of 2021 that I hear from plastic surgeons and their staff is their plastic surgery patients are so price-focused and ask them one thing:
“How much is it …?”
Or, during their consultation, they attempt to negotiate by telling you they can get the same thing cheaper from your competitors.
So how do you respond to that?
You DECIDE you no longer want cheap cosmetic patients so you no longer cater to them.
You decide to attract a better quality patient by stepping up your game so you attract the patients who care more about your skill, expertise and reputation than they do about saving money.
Here’s the secret:
Be, act and market as a higher-end practice does to attract affluent patients.
Details count since the patient is looking for clues to justify spending more with you than your discounting competitors. That includes the quality of:
- Your standards for how your practice is run
- Your well-orchestrated & consistent processes
- Your updated Website
- Your excellent results shown in your photo gallery
- Your social media platforms showing off your skills as a surgeon, leader, speaker, chef, etc.
- Your PR efforts and pro-bono activities
- Your receptionist’s friendly phone voice
- Your office location and furnishings
- Your positive online reviews
- Your videos on YouTube
- Your 5-star service mentality so the patient feels special throughout their experience with you and so on.
This is how to Attract Affluent Cosmetic Patients because the further up the food chain you go – the less “needs driven” these patients are.
It’s all about what they WANT to do – not what they NEED to do.
So they think differently than the cheap patients.
They are are not buying by price and value.
It’s more about the intangibles and what this procedure means to them that is driving their decision.
Affluent patients pay more because doing so makes them feel more like the person they either wish they were or envision themselves to be.
At this level, you are hardly talking about the surgery.
It’s the intangibles of the surgery that attracts the affluent patients to you.
The affluent patients are looking for superior service providers….even if it’s based on perception.
They believe they deserve the best, so they want the best because this group will pay a lot more to buy certainty.
So, knowing this, what makes price disappear from the equation and YOU the only choice for affluent patients?
The answer is YOU.
You stand out from the crowd by doing what others won’t do or can’t do.
For example, Be The Expert.
The affluent patient wants to go to the BEST so specialize in one procedure.
Write a book about it.
Make YouTube videos about it.
Be interviewed explaining your unique approach to this procedure.
Do 10x more of this procedure than the average surgeon does.
Show off tons of transformational before/after photos of this procedure and encourage your patients to show off their own results on social media.
The point is after enough communication, familiarity, reinforcement and social proof, the affluent patients now have sufficient trust in you to choose you as their go-to plastic surgeon.
4. Prevent problem patients
As a cosmetic surgeon, you get all the risk when dealing with the cosmetic patient. You hope the prospective patient is hearing you when you say:
“I can’t make it perfect, but I can make it a lot better.”
The good news I’ve found in my top 5 podcasts of 2021 is most of your patients are friendly, reasonable, and realistic.
But the few patients who aren’t, can wreak havoc with your reputation and mental health.
What can trip you up are your own emotions during the consultation process. The two major ones being ego and greed.
It can be difficult to say no to prospective patients who want to give you money. That’s completely understandable.
Same thing with your ego. It’s so much easier during the consultation process to ignore your gut telling you to beware than to say no.
When interviewing surgeons about problem patients, they repeatedly say, “I knew there were red flags, but I thought I could manage them.”
I suggest you and your staff come up with a Red Flags Checklist that becomes protocol so if you can check any of the boxes, you DO NOT move forward. This helps take the emotion out of it.
However, you can still end up with a post-op patient who is not happy. It happens so I suggest the following steps:
First, listen without interrupting. Sometimes it’s just a complaint the patient wants to share with you, get off their chest and move on.
Acknowledge without getting defensive. Offer a sincere apology for how they feel. Not for any wrongdoing on your part, but you are sorry they are not happy.
Ask Questions to figure out how serious the situation is.
You are looking for WHY they feel the way they do and what it is they want from you.
They may surprise you and have a simple request that would satisfy them.
And lastly, Do Something!
Make it right! Don’t just promise to make it right, actually take a proactive step in the right direction.
Offer solutions I’ve recommended throughout my top 5 podcasts of 2021, such as cortisone shots, lymphatic massage, a touch up in the office, comp your fees or discount OR fees to go back into surgery.
Then thank them for being reasonable and working with you to rectify the situation.
And lastly, #5 of the top 5 posts this year is
5. What google said about attracting plastic surgery patients
Organic reach and advertising results have decreased significantly and that’s making it a whole lot more difficult and expensive for you to attract new patients.
And I’m thinking, if plastic surgeons can’t market and advertise to consumers, how the heck are you supposed to grow your practice?
To find the answer for you, I did what I always do… I googled it and here are the 6 ways google says you should grow your practice:
1. Get more google reviews but google wants the reviews to provide useful, constructive feedback that is detailed, specific and honest.
2. Enhance your online image
Update your website, be sure it’s mobile friendly and Include social media buttons so patients get to know you better and you can show off your skill with lots of before/after photos and videos of FAQs for each procedure.
Also, add fresh, updated content to as many different platforms as possible to increase your footprint on the Internet.
3. Don’t Miss Out on the Social Media Platforms
You may not understand or care about social media or you don’t want to put in the time, but it’s become a must-have patient attraction channel.
I recommend you, as I’ve said in my top 5 podcasts of 2021, is to assign a staff person or hire someone specifically to follow you around with an iphone or ipad and record you doing “the day in the life of a plastic surgeon”.
Your staff can then turn the footage into interesting content on different platforms.
4. Positive or negative…..respond to reviews
You are bound to get some bad reviews. It’s just the cost of doing business with consumers.
Your best approach is to respond quickly, stay professional and apologize for the situation
(not for your work) and offer to talk it over since your overall goal is patient satisfaction.
5. Train your staff
Your staff will make or break your practice so please get the right people on the bus, get them in the right seats, give them the training they need to succeed and then hold them accountable.
For example, Your receptionist must have the skills to
- Present YOU as the BEST choice for the caller who has many options;
- To Answer the question, “How much is it?” so the caller can move forward to
booking the appointment; as well as to
- Convert the caller to a booked appointment!
And Your coordinator must have the skills to:
Understand the patient’s true wants and needs and
How to handle a patient who wants to negotiate and
How to professionally convert a consultation to a paid procedure
These 2 pivotal points in the patient experience make up HALF of your revenues. Please be sure your staff is professionally trained to convert callers and consults.
And the 6th way to get more patients per google is to ….
6. Build strong relations with existing patients and Referrals will follow.
It changes everything when you have a “patients for life” mindset. When you see your patients as friends and family and treat them with respect, they grow your practice for you.
As Maya Angelo says,
“They won’t remember what you told them.
They won’t remember what you showed them.
But they WILL remember how you made them feel!”
Please make your patients feel important, wanted and appreciated.
These happy patients will be your patients for decades and return for more as the aging process continues.
As I’ve mentioned before in my top 5 podcasts of 2021, is that they will refer their family members and friends who will then refer their family members and friends and so on and so on so your practice grows organically with preferred patients you want.
If you want to talk more about your specific situation, just leave me a message at:
…Or DM me on Instagram at:
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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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