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Ep.43: Catherine Guest Speaks on COVID-19 Crisis and Virtual Consults on “The Top Cosmetic Gynecologists” Podcast

Catherine Guest Speaks on COVID-19 Crisis and Virtual Consults on “The Top Cosmetic Gynecologists” Podcast

Join Catherine as she guest speaks on “The Top Cosmetic Gynecologists” podcast, hosted by Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD, FACOG, FACS.

Learn how virtual consults can keep your practice afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s easy!

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD, FACOG, FACS

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Beauty and the Biz

Ep.43: Catherine Guest Speaks on COVID-19 Crisis and Virtual Consults on “The Top Cosmetic Gynecologists” Podcast


Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: It’s madness out there. And this is the top cosmetic gynecologist’s podcast. Hey, it’s Marco Pelosi the third and I welcome you to our first episode to take place during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of you are locked down at home right now, as am I watching a seemingly normal looking world that is anything but normal. But rather than treating this as an unplanned vacation with a healthy dose of danger, or worrying about what you can’t do, you need to shift gears, adapt, evolve, and focus on what you can do. You have to realize that the flip side of disaster is opportunity. You need to realize that everybody is sitting home right now. And you’ve got something quite rare in our busy world. You’ve got a captive audience. And if you give that audience something positive to focus on, you’re going to have their undivided attention. So, as I was contemplating the best possible topic for this week’s podcast, I received an email that nailed it. We’re going to talk about virtual consultations, virtual consultations for aesthetic surgeons, which many of you are and for people considering aesthetic procedures, which many of you have been considering. And if we’re going to talk about virtual consultations, there’s no one better qualified to speak on this than the author of the email that nail did. The amazing Catherine Maley. Catherine Maley MBA is a consultant, a speaker, a trainer, a writer, a blogger and most recently podcaster in the plastic surgery industry. Her popular book, your aesthetic practice, what your patients are saying is read and studied by plastic surgeons and aesthetic surgeons and their staff all over the world. Catherine is an international speaker and a regular contributor to the top medical publications in the industry, and has been interviewed by the New York Times and NBC News among many others. She founded Cosmetic Image Marketing in the year 2000 and specializes in growing plastic surgery practices, using creative patient attraction, conversion, follow ups and retention strategies as well as staff training to turn your team members into rock stars. I’ve worked with Catherine with my own staff and she’s worked with many people that I have trained you can visit her at Maley is spelled M A L E Y and Catherine is spelled with a C. You can also catch her on Instagram at catherinemaleymba. Thanks for coming on the show, Catherine.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Hey, appreciate it, Dr. Pelosi.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: So, tell me where are you locked down right now exactly? And what’s the

COVID-19 update right now from where you are?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I happen to be located in Sausalito, California. And for those of you who are not familiar with the West Coast, you just go over the Golden Gate Bridge, you go through a tunnel, and you come down and there are a whole bunch of little sailboats. So that’s where I live. It’s a very small community right outside of San Francisco. And you can see, you know, Angel Island, and what what’s another thing called? Angel angels, the big one. Anyway, so we got noticed on March 17, we got this big emergency alert. And we all got it in our emails from the governor, I think of California Oh, somebody, somebody from government. And they said, starting now you are. It’s not mandatory, but it was legal. It was very legal. It said, it’s legal order. And it’s directing us to shelter at home for three weeks, beginning on March 17. And that meant no travel, no business functions only leave the house for your most essential needs. And that was amazing. You know, I had never, I had been through an awful lot. I was here for the San Francisco earthquake back in I can’t remember when but that was pretty major. But it was only major to San Francisco and literally in my neighborhood. I mean, the you know, a whole bunch of buildings went down very quickly. And that was shocking. And I’ve been here for the tech, the tech boom, and then the bust and the recessions I mean, I’ve been hanging around the plastic surgeons for 20 years. So, I’ve been through a lot. However, this is the most incredibly insane situation we will ever see. I think in my lifetime because it’s so global and it’s affecting every Everybody, but you know what, we don’t even know why it’s affecting us. We’re not even exactly sure what’s going on. However, that uncertainty is a tough one. So. So right now everybody I know is standpoint, I watched the traffic from my office window, and I’m watching it get lower, you know, less and less and less every day. And then I did Safeway used to deliver my food, and now they don’t, because there’s they said, I have to come pick it up. The irony is you told me to stay home, and I have to go pick it up. And then I find out that I did, I did go there, and I couldn’t even get in the parking lot. So, I think a lot of people are hoarding. And I don’t know if that’s happening all over the country. But San Francisco is a funny place there. It’s very dramatic here, everybody, it feels very dramatic. As a matter of fact, you know, how they closed all the bars and the door and the stores and all the health clubs? Well, apparently, in San Francisco, there was such an uproar, that they kept the marijuana stores open. So that tells you where I live.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Strange Times.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: So, you got into podcasting recently, didn’t you?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yes, I have a podcast called “Beauty and the Biz”, which of course, I’ve got to get you on. And I’ve been doing it for almost a year now and it’s fantastic. I really like podcasting because it’s more casual. And I don’t have to be so stuffy. And you can actually say what you mean and mean what you say. So, I like the more non authenticity of it.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Do you find it difficult to come up with a topic every week? Or it just comes into your mind.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You know what’s funny about that? I used to believe that because I’m also a blogger. And I’ve been blogging for many, many years. And I have to come up with content every single week for my blog, my email series and my podcast and my Saturday video series. And I’ve said that to myself every single week, are not going to run out of topics. And literally, I haven’t yet I think it’s infinite, I really do if you just follow what’s going on in the world, it keeps changing. So, I just keep changing the content with it.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: True, true, true. And you get to meet a lot of interesting people, I’m sure because they get an opportunity to really expand on their views.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I love it. Because every single surgery practice is different. Everyone is different, because you guys are the surgeons who make it different. So, it’s your personality, it’s your vision, it’s your goals. It’s how you run a team. So, it’s all different. And it depends on where you live. Are you like an Empire Builder? Or, or a lifestyle kind of guy? Like, are you trying to get home for dinner at five o’clock? Are you trying to crush the competitors? You know, I’ve worked with, I worked with every kind of personality. And that’s what’s so interesting about this, there’s no one way to grow a cosmetic practice that is for sure. And I’ve seen the best of the best. I’ve seen the worst of the worst and everything in between. And there’s no one way. And that’s what I find so fascinating about this.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Now, in this in this crisis, I’ve been getting a lot of calls from aesthetic doctors and practices.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yes, we have, we’ve been talking a lot. And it’s pretty, it’s pretty intense. Because of the uncertainty. If everybody knew that we were going to go back to normal lives and three weeks, like let’s say, we knew that we could we could plan for that. But because we don’t know anything, the doctors are saying, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? Well, they’ve had, I don’t even think I can stay open anymore. You know, a lot of them were doing, they were okay, because they still had a lot of surgery scheduled. So, a lot of them were personally calling each of the patients to make sure and reassure them that everything’s fine, you’re taking extra precautions, and they were trying to keep the surgeries on the books and you know, get the patient through it. quite a few of the patients still wanted to do it. Some didn’t, because they were afraid, but others had planned for it. And they really wanted to do it. So, the doctors are trying to accommodate those patients. But I’ll tell you what was hurting. It’s the new surgical consults coming up. Everyone got scared. And now those are way down. And if the consults are down, there’s going to be that delayed reaction where, you know, now there’s not enough surgery. And that’s when the doctors start panicking. So yes, it’s pretty intense right now, just because we don’t know what is going to happen and how long it’s going to happen. Because you surgeons still have to pay overhead. You’ve got an awful lot of staff that back you up, which is fantastic. But now what do you do? I mean, do you send them home and pay them while they’re there for how long? You know, there’s so much that is happening right now that I realize I got to do something to help you know, I have to do something and that’s why I wrote you guys. Let’s look at virtual consultations. I think that is the answer this week. I don’t think you can talk about anything else this week other than the Coronavirus. You know what I mean? I tell surgeons, the surgeons call me and say, Hey, why don’t I have a special on surgery and I say to your mind, you’re going to look like a, like a capitalistic pig, you know, right now is not the right time to talk about that. Right now, you’ve got to address the issues of, there’s a problem. I’m taking care of it. I care about you as a patient. And here’s what the plan is. So far, you know, until we know more.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Right, right, right. Well, yeah, I too, I’ve been doing virtual consults actually, in the meeting that we just had, which was just the you know, right before this, the wave hit. We had Dr. Miami speaking on virtual consults, because he’s down in Bar Harbor, and his town is locked down, and he can’t basically go anywhere. So, they’ve been doing virtual consults as a routine for years, just because they’re so busy. But now, it’s really out of necessity that they’re using this to fill the pipeline. So, let’s talk about Virtual consults. So, what do you think we should talk about first?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Probably, why you want to do them, a lot of the surgeons that I know, are really shy about it, they don’t number one, they just don’t understand it. And that’s how we are when we don’t understand something, we are uncomfortable with. And they just don’t have enough experience with it. And they haven’t actually looked at the pros of doing it, you know. So, there’s a few that have been on board, like how long have you been doing virtual consultations?

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: I would say for about four or five years, but it was really just by default, if I had a patient from Europe or from Asia, it was basically a Skype conversation and just exchanging pictures, and I would do a little drawing on the picture and send it back. But nothing, you know, nothing routine, it was really like maybe 112 percent of the consultation interactions that I did.

Catherine Maley, MBA: But that’s fantastic. So, you were way ahead of your time, because most we’re not doing that. Many years ago, I did an article for the industry magazine on virtual consultations many years. And I interviewed some of the big guys. Like Randy Waldman, he’s a plastic surgeon in Kentucky, get a gallon macula. He’s an Alabama he’s like a huge facial plastic surgeon. And then Dr. Gunther, he was huge rhinoplasty guy. And they are the ones who market who used to market globally, they’re the first ones on board, obviously, because they needed to be, you know, they were going after patients from all over the globe. So, they needed to figure it out. But most surgeons, you know, most everyday surgeons who work in a community like a suburb, they’re not going after the world or they used to not be they you know, it was much more local. So, they never really had a need to. That’s why I thought I better write this email now and tell you how to do it. Because it’s never been a better time. Like you said, you’ve got so many prospective cosmetic patients sitting at home, looking in the mirror, because that’s what we women do. And they’re bored, and they’re online. And you’ve never had their attention as much as you’re going to have it right now for the next, let’s just say one month, let’s just say this happens for one month. This is the perfect time to grab attention and grab somebody. It’s their attention you’re looking for, you may not be able to do something with it at the moment. But now’s the time to build that list of interested cosmetic patients. Because I’ll tell you, it’s still true vanity knows no bounds. People will always find a way to look the way they want, especially women, I think it’s in our DNA where we just are primed to want to look our best. And it’ll slow us down all of these incidences will slow us down. But we’ll be back, you know, so why not prepare for it now get that list going of people who want to know you, as soon as this all settles down.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: So, let’s take it to the least tech savvy doctor that could be out there. Let’s go with Virtual Console 101. What would be the most basic virtual consultation that someone could engage in?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, that’s funny because it depends on who you’re talking to. So, a lot of the doctors that I know they’ll just do iPhone, so they’ll say, okay, email us your photos, and then we’ll do a FaceTime. We’ll do a face-to-face console. The issue there is you have to know your audience. And you have to know the technical skills of not only you and your staff, but that of the patient. So, if you’re a facial plastic surgeon and you’re working with a more mature crowd, just make sure you’re not making them look stupid, because they don’t understand technology, because that’s going to hurt your new relationship with them. You’ve got to keep it as simple as humanly possible. So, I do think the easiest way to do it though, is if you’ve got everybody knows how to do selfies. So, if you’ve got an iPhone and you can do a selfie and then text it to the practices cell. Now you’ve got the pictures, they’ve got the pictures. However, if you do FaceTime it’s still the screens really small. I don’t love that. And not everyone has an iPhone so the only way it works FaceTime works is if you both Have one. So, then some of the doctors say, Oh, we could just use Google Hangouts and or we could use Skype. And I get that. But if you think about it, the patient’s going to have to download something, they have to download an app, or they have to set up their own Skype account. And that’s an extra step. And that’s going to confuse them. So, you’re trying to figure out how to make this as simple as possible. So, I would say your best bet for the photos is to let them text them to you, for the online consult consultation itself, I would somehow get it more on a bigger screen and use Skype. Or I’m recommending zoom, I use zoom all the time. I’ve built my information business with plastic surgeons on online. And I have coaching clubs for the surgeon, and I have training clubs for the receptionist, and the coordinators, you know how to convert consults. And all of that is done online. And I’ve done it with It’s just an easier platform. It’s video conferencing, you know, so I think I think video conferencing, it’s just, it’s here, now it’s, we’re ready to go. I think it’s important that you figure it out. But you have to figure out a process that works for all of you, you, your staff, and patients. Well, how do you do it?

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Well, I do it primarily with Skype. And so, I’ll tell the patient, you know it First off, I’ll get her in an email, because it’s usually coming from far away. Not recently, though, but it’s coming in from far away via email. So, I tell them, Listen, we can talk about your procedure, and we can look at what you know what you want to do, you can show me what you look like, we can do this via Skype. Or if you want to send me some pictures, and we can talk about it on Skype. And I could just indicate with my finger exactly what the you know what areas we’re going to do here. And we’re going to go there. And then if they have a bad connection, where the you know, the data is, is you know, is a lot of loss, a lot of buffering going on, you can just turn it off so that it’s a zoom, or Skype phone call. And then the data process is faster. So, if you’re having a laggy connection, where it’s, you know, a little stutter to the speech, and you have the video on if you turn it off, you’ll have an uninterrupted phone call.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Definitely I like to have the photos ahead of time in case for technical difficulties. Because you don’t want the patient to be frustrated, you know, while you’re trying to have an open discussion and, and get them to trust you. So, I like to get the photos ahead of time. And then you can still use video conferencing, to blow up the photos right on them. And then if something does go wrong, at least you can still talk just like you’re doing, you can still talk without seeing each other. So, you know, whatever works, you know, if you’ve got it down, and you’ve got a lot, the technology is getting a lot easier. But you do have to account for the other side, if they’re calling you from around the world. That’s still an issue sometimes.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Right? You know, what I’ve noticed most recently, and this was really something that Dr. Miami just put into my head is that even if the patient is in your town, some of these people, especially the younger ones, the millennials are so into this instant gratification and short attention span, that even if they’re you know, a mile away, just the fact that they don’t have to wait in the in the office or just, you know, do anything more than just get an answer to their inquiry. If you can engage them right away in a virtual consultation. You’re screening to make sure that the right kind of person and their screening to make sure they’re comfortable. They’re saving themselves a lot of time, but they’re also saving you a ton of time.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right. I used to consult on this. And I used to say, you know what, put some barriers up and have a, I used to have a rule you had to live 25 miles away from the practice in order to partake in our Virtual Console. But just like you said, everyone’s got like a nanosecond of attention nowadays. And do you want to cater to it or not. So, if you want to cater to his kind of crowd, he likes the younger girls with the you know, it’s a different demographic. He’s down in Miami, everything’s over the top. But if you want to cater to that demographic, yes, you do have to cater to their needs, and they want it now. And they they’re very tech savvy. I’ll tell you what, though, I would love to know the console conversion rate. Because a lot of times this is becoming a game of a whole bunch of leads. Because I’m at the meetings all the time. And these guys are always bragging about the Oh, they get 1000 leads a week, but I want to know of those leads, how many became paid procedures, not they liked them, not they came in but who actually gave them money because if you You’re you can play that game. And I think you, you know, in today’s world, you might have to just for your own sanity, because you doctors are much happier when you’re busy, when the phone’s ringing when the reception area is full, but your staff will burn out with that, if they’re not getting a good result from it. So, you can get 1000 leads, but if you’re only closing eight of them, there was a lot of effort, you know, a lot of effort. So, I don’t know, I, there’s no one way to do it, for sure. But I still wouldn’t forget that the whole world is not 20 there’s still a lot of older, more mature people who have a whole lot more money and a whole lot more interest, you know, a lot more is going on with their aging process than a young girl who doesn’t love, love, love, love, you know, their one cup size off, you know, it’s a different demographic. So actually, what I say nowadays is, I do a lot of generational marketing, I would I would diversify, you know, because who’s the first one that’s going to go down when the economy goes to feed those young people, because their parents aren’t going to have any money that they’re going to give them. So, I would just I would just remember where the money is, you know, a lot of the money is and how hard is it to get it from somebody who flits around versus somebody who cares more about your skill and expertise. Just saying.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: That’s what I love about you, Catherine, you know, the whole market, we were focused on what works for Dr. Miami works for Dr. Miami. But not everybody is Dr. Miami. Not everybody is down in southern Florida. In fact, there’s only one southern Florida and a huge United States. So, all right, so let’s drift away from the tech savvy youngster to the you know, people that aren’t as tech savvy. How do we approach them about the technology? Do we just say, hey, you want to have a virtual console? Or how do you recommend engaging these people making them feel safe, that their information isn’t gonna be floating around?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right? Oh, isn’t that interesting? Did you hear that? The HIPAA rules have been waived during this crazy time? No, I did. Yeah, Isn’t that crazy? Ugly? You have to because what are they going to do now? Because there’s so much telemedicine going on all the sudden. But anyway, here’s what I would do. I would make it part of your marketing plan, I would have it on your website, I would do social posts about it. That’s what we’re doing for our clients. Right now, we are spreading the word that we offer virtual consult. I would keep it as simple as you humanly possibly can. Some of my clients, I’ve gone online to look at what they’re doing. They put you know, you have new patient intake forms, and they’re like five forms. All they did was have their IT guy put all of those questions in their landing page. So, this poor patient has to answer everything before they can even give their name like they have to give their medical history, everything right from the get go. And as a marketer, I say, are you out of your mind, you’re going to lose that patient before they even get anywhere get to step two, because you want to make it easy right at the beginning. All you’re saying is hey, we offer virtual consults, are you interested? And then asked just the usual stuff, their contact information, just the usual. Now you want to add some personal touch to it, you all you obviously want to have like an autoresponder that says, hey, Sue, thanks so much for requesting a Virtual Console, we’re going to be calling you in a couple minutes or something like that, you know, like, tell them what you’re going to do next. And then actually have a video from the doctor right on that autoresponder email that says, Welcome to my practice. Thanks so much for you know, contacting us, I’m going to have my coordinator set us up so we can, you know, do an online virtual consultation, that kind of thing. So, they feel more reassured and then get your coordinator involved and she’s got to do the pre console call, you know, some of these are going to be goofy as heck, you know, if they don’t have any skin in the game, or you know, they they’re just pushing buttons which a lot of them do late at night on you want to make sure to qualify them a bit before the surgeon gets involved. So, I would have your coordinator or some staff person do their preliminary Okay, thanks so much. What now I need to know a little bit more like your BMI Are you on any meds, you know, that kind of thing that the typical objections you get for them not being able to have surgery, find that out now, then when you then you can send them some more forms if you like, like a little more form about maybe some more information about the details. And then when you want to do your console, you already have a really good feel for this. You already know their history; you know where the objections could be. It’ll be a better conversation for you because you’ll be more prepared, like where this patient that so I would let your staff do a lot more of the heavy lifting at the beginning. And then again at the end when it’s time to convert.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Now do you think it’s legal, I don’t know if it’s legal to record the consultation because you want to remind yourself or you simply just take notes?

Catherine Maley, MBA: I personally would– I would record them. And that’s why I like to use zoom us because I can record everything. You know what? A quite frankly, I do not know what the legalities are of that. But as a surgeon, I would think you want to know who said what, in case things go south because I think that that’d be a good tool for you to have for yourself.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: I would think if we just asked, you know, you know, would it be alright to record this as a record of what we discussed? It’s the same as videotaping a surgery. I see it differently.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right? I guess if you, if you tell them at a time, you know, like we do on the phone, you know, this call will be recorded. I don’t see why you couldn’t say that, by the way, we’re gonna be recording this call. Are you okay with that? I don’t see why you couldn’t do that.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: As far as charging for the consult, what do you think about charging for the consult?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay, so that’s been coming up a lot as well. Now, during this time, this crazy time, this COVID-19 business, I would make it a free virtual consultation. Right now. The objective of a cosmetic practice is to grab attention there, they’re not normally going to get when everyone’s back to normal. So, if you look at it, that way, you’re not trying to close anybody on anything, you’re trying to develop a waiting list of prospective patients who want cosmetic surgery period. So personally, I would go with free. And even if even if 20, 30% of them are flaky, you still have their name, email cell. What else do you need name, email cell. And you can always develop a relationship with them down the road, because quite frankly, somebody who’s flaky now, they could be a really good prospect. And another year, when the stuff hits the fan, the aging process kicks in their boyfriend leaves them and all of that stuff that happens to us to leggy push us towards cosmetic rejuvenation, it’s going to happen forever. So, I always say a cosmetic patient is leggy a yes, sometime, you know, if not now later. So, hang on to that list. So, build a list right now, that’s your best bet during this during this particular time. Otherwise, it’s going to get more popular, because right now, actually, you’ll have the market leading advantage because a lot of surgeons don’t even bother with this. So, another good reason to do it now. And then when you’ve got your list and things are settled down, now I would start charging, because you’ll have the same problem with no shows with virtual as you will with live, you know, if you’re, you know, people need to skin in the game to actually, you know, do what they say they’re going to do, which is show up at a certain time. So, I would actually charge but I would probably charge less for this than the live, and then give them the choice. So, Sarah, and it’s a good thing for the staff to use. So, Sarah, you wanted a consultation? Just so you know, live consultation with the doctor would be $150. And we also offer a virtual consultation for 75. Should you decide to go that way. So, then you have a choice. So now they can say yes or yes, instead of yes or no. So, you might want to try that.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: So how would that look, the client calls the office and then the office staff schedules the consultation. And then they get called or contacted with whatever technology is planned?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, it depends if they if they found you online, and they ended up on your virtual console page and they filled out your opt-in-form with their contact information, then then the coordinator, the staff has got to call them back right away to set it up. Or if they dm you on Instagram and said oh, I want to do a console on you’ve got to have somebody in place to answer anybody who’s trying to interact with you on this. So, an opt in form is always a good one. Or if you have a form online, you can do that. All I’m saying is keep it very simple for the first step. And then once you have their attention now, you’re trying to build that relationship and that rapport with them. Frankly, I would get their cell phone and I would text them right away like they get the autoresponder they get your welcome video, and then I would have your coordinator to text them and say because you are allowed to text to somebody reached out to you first. And I would have the staff say Hi, Sarah, thanks so much for reaching out to us. You ready to and then like but you need not you’re ready to scheduled not that. Can you talk? Can you talk now? Right, you know, like I would go right for it feel that relationship immediately.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: In the world of sales, they say typically it takes seven touches to make a sale and I guess it’s a way of saying that it’s important to follow up on prospects after initial contact is made. What’s your take on that and how it plays out in an aesthetic practice in this particular first contact situation?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I feel so strongly about it. I actually have a platform called fixture follow up. I was in sales. A million years ago, before I was a consultant for plastic surgeons, I used to work in fortune 500 businesses. And I was toe to toe sales, I had to do cold calling for 15 years to try doing that kind of sale Holy cow. On that’s a, that’s a really good foundation for how you create or how you talk to people, how you create a relationship with them, how you get them from, I don’t know, you and I don’t want to know you too, you’re my best friend kind of thing. There’s a lot to that. But when it comes to trying to develop a relationship, you have about two seconds in today’s world, we’re so skeptical, we really are I and I’m, I’m skeptical because I’m actually afraid because I’m a salesperson, so it’s easy to sell me anything, if you have a good story, I’m all over it, because I appreciate that. But if you’re going to play this game of getting new patients through the internet, you better have your processes on game, if you are going to put the messages out there, and you’re going to email your current patients and blog and put them on Instagram and put them on Facebook, you better have a system set up to back that up. And it’s probably even more than seven times. We personally have a platform that that combines email, phone calls and texts. And it equals 27 times. So, it’s nine of each. Because I’m trust me on this one. I’ve been around a long time and I know cosmetic patients because I am one circumstances change. People change. times change. It’s never it’s fluid. It’s always fluid. You give up way before you should. And staff says to me all the time, but they’re not answering my phone calls. They’re not opening my emails. You don’t know that? Do you know how many times? And you’ve probably done this yourself? Oh my god, you doctors do it to me all the time. You won’t talk to me, but you’re opening my emails, you’re listening to my blog, you’re listening to your reading my I’m reading my blog, you’re listening to my podcast, you will reach out when you’re ready. You know, like you can’t, you can’t push somebody to do something, but you can be there for them when they’re ready. As long as you’re being interesting and compelling. Always, always follow up with a cosmetic patient. Yeah, never know.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: That’s great. It’s great advice. So, you know, I have heard you know, an unanswered phone call is just an unanswered phone call. And unanswered text and non-answer email is just unanswered. Don’t read into it. Don’t assume that the other person isn’t interested, just take it as a they didn’t, they didn’t pick it up that day. So, you need processes, you need to be persistent. Well, how often should you be re contacting people after an initial contact?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, we’re always going to be the hottest right afterwards. And it’s going to get colder and colder. And the biggest mistake made is you wait a week after the console. My god, I have a whole course on this. But I’ll give you the highlights. What you want to do is set yourself up for the follow up now. So, for example, when the patients in front of you as the coordinator, and she’s saying I’ve got to think about it, I have to talk to my husband, number one, that meant that you didn’t set this up correctly at the beginning. So, I can’t get into all of that. But let’s say you’re not going to get an answer today. Well, the best thing you could possibly do is say Sarah, no problem. It sounds like you’re not ready yet. Let’s go ahead and I’m going to circle back with you on Thursday. Like let’s say today’s Tuesday, I’m going to circle back with you on Thursday at the same time are you gonna be available, and now it’s on her calendar. So, she’s got to take your phone call, because she knows it’s a date. You know what I mean? Like, try to set that up now. So, you’re not chasing the patient. But if you are going to chase the patient, here’s my next segue. Please make it interesting and compelling. Do not call somebody and say So do you have any more questions? Don’t even call if you’re going to say that because you’re going to sound number one like everybody else in a true professional call with new compelling information that moves the needle for that patient who’s still on the fence.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: So, it’s not a matter of just cut and paste your previous follow up you have to really give it a twist of reason. Beyond that you calling for a follow up

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right, in today’s world we’re always trying to you know automate everything and I’m the first one to try to do that. But we are industry is all about relationships and emotions. Just what you guys love. We are walking emotional machines. And if the patients feel like you’ve automated them, and you don’t care about them, then don’t bother you know is so there has to be a personal touch. It just you have to decide I think in today’s world are you going to play the quantity game or the quality game because quite frankly, if you’re going to Do the quantity you can, but then you’ve got to automate. And now you’re just playing by numbers, you know, then you can you know, what you get through 1000 leads, and you book the eight, go for it, you know, but see, just watch what happens to the staff, they’re going to burn out trying to do it that way. But I understand, I understand you’re more comfortable with that, then trying to do it another way, which is quality. You just have to know your personality. And there’s no right or wrong way. I want to stress that it’s your way that works for you and that you’re comfortable with. But then make sure you have the right team in place who’s also comfortable with that kind of approach.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Now, it seems like you know that there’s a lot to learn about sales even for the for the average physician who never probably considers himself or herself self to be in sales, but everybody’s in sales. So, who do you recommend if they wanted to read or listen to an audio book on good sales knowledge?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I learned from Zig Ziglar, a million years ago, some of those guys were named like Zig Ziglar. There was another like this other guy who was really cheesy. Tony Robbins was on board then. So, he was good. In today’s world. There’s a really insane guy named grant Steven grant, Steven, sorry, that’s not grants dude. I’m sorry. No, no, no, Grant Cardone Grant Cardone he is a trip. He has a sales university that I have been through, I spent many 1000s of dollars to go through it because I’m a learner. I think, um, you know, what, if you would just learn from the best just learn from those who have proven themselves. And that’s why I consider myself an expert at cosmetic consultations, like selling to that patient, because it is different for us is our industry is different. It’s very emotionally Laden. And to get a patient from a, I don’t know you to I have 20 different choices here to Uh, yes, you better have some strategy and processes in place. So please, if anyone’s interested, go to I’ve got some stuff there, follow her. Or if you want free stuff, just go to my YouTube channel. I have lots of videos there for that as well. But to learn from anybody in sales, I think in today’s world, I’m kind of like, you know, Grant, Grant Cardone was kind of a big one, Frank Kern, I learned a lot from this guy named Dan Kennedy, like when you’re an internet marketer, you go to all these conferences, and you hang around with these other like Internet Marketers. You know, so those are the big guys that I have followed. And then I’ve read a ton. I buy a lot of courses. Gosh, Chet Holmes was a big one. Yeah, yeah, they’re, they’re everywhere. They’re everywhere. But I just wouldn’t follow just anybody go with the big guys. You know, who have been there, been there and done that.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: So, let’s shift gears and just focus on your services, you know, you were so kind to do come on the show today. So, what different tiers of services do you offer to aesthetic practices?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, here’s how I say it for 20 years, I listen to surgeons complain about what’s not working. So, my whole life has been you give me a problem. And I’ll give you a solution. So, if you really look at a cosmetic practice, just like any business, that you know what happens, I think, because plastic surgeons don’t think of themselves as business people, they think of themselves as surgeons, if you start, I used to run a surgeon’s coaching club for surgeons, and when they when you change your mindset, and you realize it’s a business just like any other business, it becomes very logical, and it becomes very mathematical. So, the goal is, you have patient attraction, then you need to convert them, then you need to follow up with them if you didn’t convert them, and then you need to retain them. Alright, if you look at it like that, you’ll change your mindset, because you’ll think, okay, it’s more than Do you notice I didn’t say anything about surgery? Like, it’s not about the surgery, right now, you’re all very good at what you do. It’s about the marketing and the business side of surgery, because quite frankly, as competitive as it’s gotten, those who will win are the ones who know how to set up a business and run it like a business that’s profitable. And that’s predictable. So, what I often do is, as a matter of fact, I’m going to be doing this during this crazy time. I’m going to offer some online consulting to help you guys like put together a growth plan because you surgeons are also going to be sitting still for a minute and so like I’m quarantine for heaven’s sakes. I don’t know what to do. So, on If you can get the business side down, then you’re going to get your marketing plan down, you’re going to have so much more peace of mind knowing that you’re set up for success. Because right now too many of you are winging it. And that’s what we, do we wing it, especially when you’re fat and happy.  You were around for the recession, right? In 2007 and 2008?

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Like, do you remember how great it was? And now and then it wasn’t like, wow, that was scary, right?

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: It was ridiculous. It was this wave. And all of a sudden, like what happened?

Catherine Maley, MBA: So where did everybody go? So, you don’t want to get caught like that again. So, what you try to do is put that plan in place. So, it can weather Some of the storms that are going to come and they are going to come in. We were in the middle of one right now.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Right now. So, I’ve been actually studying 2007 2008, recession, era sales and marketing techniques, because this is probably a repeat of that. And they have studied that whole era extensively.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s incredible. That’s great. I mean, I can’t say enough about keep reading, keep studying. Don’t look at the news right now. You know, everything you need to know at the moment, you know, there’s nothing else to know, right now is a good time to hunker down, learn new skills that you don’t have, you know, like leadership skills management, business marketing, learn that, so you can come back with guns blazing.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Right, right. Well, Catherine, I think we’ve, we’ve gone through a couple of very important things for the doctors. If you’re not doing Virtual Console, start doing Virtual Console, it can be as simple as email, and photograph exchange, it can be as simple as phone calls and Skype conversations. And you can involve your staff to do the scheduling, you can do the online screening, you can choose to charge or not charged, but in times of crises, you’re better off just making the connection. And to have a follow up process that doesn’t quit too soon. Do you think we’ve hit all these highlights?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Very good. Very good recap.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Thanks. Well, listen, stay safe and don’t run out of food and water. I can send you a drone with a care package if needed.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I appreciate that. Thank you so much and take care too. I hope everything’s okay where you’re at.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: Thanks. So once again, it’s Catherine Maley and it’s www.catherine with a C, Maley, M A L E Y .com. Thanks again.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Thank you so much. Take care.

Dr. Marco A. Pelosi III, MD: All right, bye now.

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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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