Ep.58: Fastest Path to Patients and Profits
Don’t let the unexpected and recent U.S. patient surge blind you to the fact that we still don’t have a clear picture of where we’ll be at for the near future. Catherine discusses how smart marketing choices will better position you for whatever transpires.
Beauty and the Biz
Ep.58: Fastest Path to Patients and Profits
Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello 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, and consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits. So, today’s podcast is entitled Fastest Path to Patients and Profits. Now, during COVID, I had a chance to really stop and think about plastic surgery marketing, since our mission here is to execute creative strategies that get you more patients and more profits, as well as well trained staff, and just plain better run practice you enjoy going through every day. Now if you followed me for a while, you know I’ve always advocated growing your cosmetic practice from the inside out with patients returning, referring, reviewing and basically growing your practice organically. Now, I also believe in spending the time and money on external marketing, such as your website, SEO and digital marketing strategies. Here’s the secret, the best run practices focus on both internal and external. Now we’ve all seen the major changes going on in marketing to attract new patients. And it’s just getting increasingly more difficult to get good leads that convert. And that’s for all sorts of reasons. It’s a crowded marketplace with lots of competitors vying for the same patient. And then digital marketing and advertising constantly changing, especially as Google continually changes its rules. And then it’s overwhelming and confusing for prospective patients to make a decision. So, they continue to just click around. And then they get analysis paralysis, and don’t make any decision because they’re so darn confused. So that means you’ve got increasing costs for new leads, and you’ve got bad quality leads wasting your time. Or you’ve got low conversion rates, and then the relentless competition, and also the diminishing loyalty of patients who now run off to your competitors who discount their prices. So, the question becomes, what do you do? Now when I consult with practices, the first thing I do is follow the money. And I do that by looking at the revenue reports. So, the revenue reports tell us who is most likely to become your patients, and then where they can be found, and also where the fastest cash surges would be. So, if you listen to this podcast with an open mind, it’s going to help you adapt to the ever-changing marketplace. So, this all starts with your mindset doesn’t everything know, most surgeons are focusing on one thing, and that is new patient leads. Now instead, I’m asking you to shift your focus to more paid procedures instead, because more procedures are what brings in more revenues, regardless of where they came from is now right? So, this might surprise you. But rather than focus on the latest hot internet tactic, which there really aren’t many anymore, I’m going to be talking a lot about working with your existing patient base, and then other internal strategies. Because you’re literally sitting on a goldmine this very moment, right inside your patient file. The fastest and straightest path to developing massive practice growth is to consistently and constantly nurture your current and your past patients. The fact is, your patients trust you, they have faith in your abilities, and they like you, it makes a whole lot of sense to proactively market to your existing patients. And you’re going to quickly find this to be one of your easiest sources of new profits using the strategies I lay out. Now, this means we’re not talking about the fastest path to new leads from the internet. And why’s that because internet, stranger patients don’t know you. And the majority of them will never turn into revenues for you. They may never show up, they may never convert, because they were simply press shopping, or they were just looking around, or their phone call with your receptionist didn’t go well, or they didn’t connect with your coordinator and it goes on and on. I just want you to think about how much time and how much money you’ve spent building trust by servicing your current patients. I guarantee that’s in hundreds of 1000s of dollars in countless hours. However, you most likely put all your efforts and budget on new leads, rather than those who are most likely to say yes to you again, and give you money again and refer their friends and give you great reviews. And that’s what this is all about. By the way Those current patients who know like and trust you, as well as their referrals are already pre sold on you. They’re not as price sensitive, they’re also way more loyal to you. And they’re more likely to convert to a paid procedure. And that’s what leads to cheaper marketing and advertising costs. You just don’t have to spend as much if you already have an internal marketing channel going on. Now, your lowest hanging fruit has always been, and will always be those who know like, and trust you, I just can’t say that enough. And if you don’t believe me, look where your revenues are coming from, not leads, but actual cash paying patients, you just want to pull a report called revenues by referral sources and see for yourself. Now the most successful mature practices get at least 65% of their revenues from current patients coming back for more, as well, the word-of-mouth referrals of new patients. And that’s why these kinds of smart practices don’t have to spend 30% of their revenues on network marketing and advertising. They’ve already done the hard part, and now they’re coasting more or less. Now, even the internet leads oftentimes come from referrals. And here’s what I’ve learned the new callers to your practice, don’t they often say, Oh, yeah, I found him on the internet, the internet, whatever that means. However, when you get to know them better, and your staff starts talking with them, and bonding with them. And the real story often unfolds, oftentimes, they heard about you through a friend, and then they went to the internet to check you out. And so, you never really know, what was the path they got there to actually get you on their radar and get to know you better, and then actually come in, make that phone call and come in, that can often be a jagged road. So, with that said, here are three easier ways to increase your revenues and decrease your marketing costs. You’re going to number one, increase the number of times a patient visits you. Number two, increase the amount of money they spend with you Edy visits. And then number three, gain even more value from them through their reviews, and their word-of-mouth referrals, as well as their connections in the community. This is just so logical when you think about it, because you have female patients who love to share with other females. And this is a tough one, they have endless needs, such as small breasts, or then their large breasts, unwanted fat, damage wrinkles. And that list of needs grows as the relentless aging process continues. So just built in. So, you want to ask yourself, would I rather have a patient one time or for a lifetime? Obviously, the answer is a lifetime because it cost a fortune to attract that patient in the first place. And it costs next to nothing to keep them coming back again and again and bringing their friends. That’s where all your leverage is. So here are another three strategies to implement that are the fastest path to patient procedures and profits that grow your practice organically. Here’s number one, personalized signature packages. Don’t just sell a service, promote customized signature packages for each age group. Give them cute names, or put your name on it like Dr. Smith’s beauty packs for women in their 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s, and so on. The package includes a combination of injectables and fillers, lasers and skincare to address specific issues to each of those age groups. And it includes a special combination price. So, what happens now? Well, the patient gets a wow result. And you get a patient who returns refers and reviews. And hopefully she brags about you and takes pictures. And she allows her pictures to be taken by you. And you also avoid profit price shopping because the patient can’t pull this apart. Because it’s a customized signature package. So, there’s no comparing apples to apples because you mix things up. Now here’s number two, reconnect with loss patients. It’s much faster, easier and cheaper to encourage a previous patient to return to your practice than it is to attract a new stranger patient to you. Now the majority of these patients left your practice and for no other reason, then you were just ignoring them. So, they wandered off to your competitors. And now this is the time to offer some type of ethical bribe to welcome your previous patient back into your office. So, make up a heartfelt email or even better a direct mail letter because it really shows you care. And it tells the patient that and then you want to say to the patient you realize you haven’t seen them for a while and you hope all as well. You can even apologize for ignoring them, you can come right out and say that and then ask them for their feedback. So just in case they had a bad experience, and you want to make it better, then invite them back with a $75 Welcome back gift card to experience any of your services they had before. Or try new service use new services you’ve added since you last saw them. Now, here’s the caveat, you want to add a 30-day expiration date, so they act now, you don’t need them to procrastinate. And you can even have your staff call them one week before the welcome back gift card expires, to remind them to take advantage of this special offer.
And here’s the last strategy to the fastest path to patient. It’s called partner with your patient. Okay, and you’re really want to change your relationships with your patients. rather than it being transactional, where you give them a service and they give you back money, I think much longer term, honor their loyalty and treat them like good friends. Let them know how much you appreciate their loyalty as well as their help in growing your practice and make it easy fast and worth their while to help you with a loyalty slash rewards program. Like my own in total transparency. It’s called kiss rewards club. And it’s a done for you marketing system that covers all areas of growing your practice from the inside out. So rather than discounting your services, offer your patients the opportunity to collect kisses for free services, freeze even better than discounted by the way, and then give them extra kisses when they refer review, agree to use of their before and after photos. And even if they post or share you on their social media platforms. The results have been pretty remarkable with this kiss rewards club calm in just one month. One plastic surgery practice got 14 word of mouth referrals. And these are not just referrals, they are actually referrals who came in and spent money 28 new Google reviews 120 new patient signups for a total ROI of 2,947% about that. And you know why? Because it’s fun for your patients to collect kisses. And it turns them into your practice sales ambassadors and without breaking any fee splitting rules. Now the fastest path to new patients and profits has been is and will always be your patients bragging about you to their friends and family. coworkers, stylists, gym buddies, neighbors, and so on. You just want to make it happen a lot more often with a done for you system. So, it’s working behind the scenes day in and day out to keep your patients engaged in interacting. Now more details are at kiss reward club calm. And I don’t normally promote on the podcast. But I am pretty darn excited about this because I’ll tell you, these are the best results I’ve seen in a very long time. And I think it’s time has come because of all the craziness going on in our world. And please make your life easier to go inward first, then go outward. I really believe that to be a smart move. Okay, that’s it for this podcast in this edition. I hope you got much value from it. And please subscribe to beauty in the biz if you haven’t already. And I sure would appreciate a five-star review if you like what you hear. And then of course I’m always open to your feedback and questions though please feel free to leave me a message on my website at catherinemaley.com And then you can always catch me on Instagram, I’d love to hear from you and my Instagram is catherinemaleymba. Thanks so much and see you soon.