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Ep.96: 5 Most Common Mistakes Made By Plastic Surgeons

Beauty and the Biz – 5 Most Common Mistakes Made By Plastic Surgeons

Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of running your practice. Catherine guides you through how to succeed with:

  • Staff
  • Current Patients
  • Referrals
  • Systems & Processes
  • Marketing and More

Don’t leave things to chance! Take your business by the reins, easily and effectively.


📖 Get a Copy of Catherine’s FREE Book
​📲 Schedule a FREE 30-Minute Strategy Call with Catherine


​➡️ Robert Singer, MD FACS – Former President, The Aesthetic Society
​➡️ Grant Stevens, MD FACS – Former President, ASAPS
➡️ E. Gaylon McCollough, MD FACS – Former President, AAFPRS, ABFPRS, AACS

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Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery on 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. So, this week we’re talking about the five most common mistakes made by plastic surgeons because let’s face it. Mistakes cost us little mistakes, cost us a little grief or embarrassment, but they’re not really that big of a deal.

It’s the bigger mistakes that cost so much more. Wasted time, wasted money, lost opportunity, your financial future. So, in this episode, I’ll talk about the five most common mistakes made by plastic surgeons that cost them now and later in terms of time, money, and hassle. So, if you’re making any of these mistakes, You can address them now, before they grow into a bigger issue and please listen in and then I’ll be back at the end.

The mistakes plastic surgeons make caused confusion, chaos, and frustration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When running your plastic surgery practice. Oftentimes the simplest things are the most overlooked. However, those simple things can make a big impact on your bottom line. Now you’re so busy running your practice, attracting new patients and doing surgery that it’s easy to miss.

What’s not. Now, see if you’re making any of these common mistakes that can derail you and your revenues. Mistake. Number one, not knowing who’s really on your team. The team you surround yourself with can make or break your cosmetic practice period. Getting the right team players on board. It’s difficult and it’s ever changing, but it’s vital to your success.

So, do you have the right team in place? Are they helping or hurting your practice? In my travels as a business and marketing consultant to cosmetic practices, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen staff is charming to the doctor and witchy to everyone else. I’ve seen patient care coordinators refer the patient to the competitor because she thought they did a better job with that procedure.

I’ve even seen the receptionist or heard the recessive. Send the patients to the internet to buy products since they’re cheaper than those sold in their office. And it goes on and on. So, I ask again, are you sure you have the right team in place? If you’re not sure? Here’s one thing you can do to find out, ask your team to complete the daily duties form for one.

They’re just to write down every task they perform and the time it takes them to do it, they started on a Monday morning and they must have it back to you by Friday close of day, easy enough. Right. You’re going to learn so much from this exercise. Some staff will do a great job and there’ll be thorough while others hurry through it.

And miss many tasks. Well, others will actually not do it at all until you there. Now, you know, who takes their job seriously and cares about you and the practice and who does mistake, number two, ignoring your current patients. Do you think? No. The number one reason patients never returned to your practice.

It’s not that they didn’t like you. It’s not that they didn’t get a great result. It’s you’re a difference since you didn’t stay in touch, they most likely just wandered off to your competitor who did nurture it. Consistent communication keeps your name in front of your patients. So, when they’re ready, they call you rather than your competitors.

And here’s mistake. Number three, assuming your patients will refer let’s consider the value of just one of your patients. Every one of your patients has on average, around 200 people in their circle of influence. Now that would include their family members, their friends, their colleagues, their neighbors, hairstylist, gym buddies.

Can you imagine if each of them referred only one new patient to you that would absolutely double your patient database and revenues super-fast. So how do you get referrals? You set up systems that happen automatically as part of your processes. For example, give your patients their photos. That means you have a process in place where you’re actually taking photos every time and making them available to you.

I guarantee they want them because I asked them in my book, your steady practice, what your patients are saying. It was one of the questions I asked, and this is what I learned. 82% of the customer or the cosmetic patients wanted their before and after photos. And 76% would have shown them to others if only they were made available.

But it’s all in the presentation after post-op appointment, when they are happiest with you and the most excited about their result, you hand them a handwritten note card with their photos and close that says thank you for your time. And then be sure to include your name, telephone number and website so they can easily see it every time they open it up.

By the way, this is not just for surgical procedures. I recommend using this process for all of your services and procedures and offer gift certificates and make a big deal out of them. So many of you offer them, but it’s a secret in your practice and they’re hidden away in a drawer. So, how do you change that simple using your own customized gift bags and tissue set up a gorgeous display at checkout with an eye-catching sign that says need a quick gift.

It’s the timing that’s so important because they’re standing there at checkout with their wallet, open credit card in hand, and yes, they may need a quick gift. Not only does that increase their order size for the day, it introduces a new patient to your practice. And here’s mistake, number four, only working in your practice and not on your practice in today’s crazy competitive world is more important than ever to get the fundamentals, right.

That means setting up predictable systems to attract the right patients to your plans. Convert the callers to appointments, convert the consultations to pay procedures, collect more testimonials and increase word of mouth referrals. Just like in sports. It’s getting good at the fundamentals that wins the game, not the one fancy moot, or however they say that isn’t that right?

So please meet with your staff regularly to hone their skills and your process. For that constant never-ending improvement in each area of your practice. This is what builds your credibility, your reputation and your revenues. And lastly, mistake number five, no marketing plan in place. As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, it’s a cliche because it’s true.

It costs you too much to acquire a new cosmetic patient to be sloppy about. And here’s what I mean, the top cosmetic practices realized it’s not just one email. It’s not one Google ad. It’s not one social media post. The secret is to regularly keep your name in front of your current patients as well as new cosmetic prospective patients.

So, they choose you over all the others when they’re ready for cosmetic enhancement, because circumstances change. Life changes. People change. That means those who said no before, we’re really just saying not yet or not now. So, when they are ready, they’re going to the surgeon they’re most likely familiar with, and hopefully that’s you please put an annual marketing plan in place with an action date, as well as the staff person who is accountable for seeing that the gets done.

So, here’s an example, January, your theme can be new year new. You are trying to come up with something more current. You can email to your entire patient list with January specials that Karen’s in charge of, that you can do social media posts. Sandy’s in charge of that. Add more before and after photos to the website.

Ken’s in charge of that send VIP cards to your best patients. Sophia’s charged of that. Do a pool sculpting demo on Facebook live Karen’s in charge of that. Now each practice team member owns their part of the practice promotion. So, they’re focused on practice building and not just their own day to day.

Once you fix the mistakes, the common mistakes that plastic surgeons make. You’ll see your practice run more smoothly. And isn’t that what you want. If you could use some help, fine tuning your practice to run on all cylinders, let’s talk. I can show you how other successful practices handled the roadblocks in their own way and how we got rid of those.

And they were off two seconds. Let’s do a free 30-minute strategy call. You can schedule straight from my website at What do you think? How many of these mistakes are you making? Please address them now before you lose any more time, money or pieces. And of course, I’d love to help you. So, let’s just do a 30-minute complimentary strategy call, just go to my website, and book a daytime that works for you and let’s figure it out.

Okay. So that wraps it up for this week. Thanks for listening. And we’ll talk again soon.

Picture of Catherine Maley

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.


Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.



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