Patient acquisition is a pertinent but difficult step for any successful medical aesthetics clinic. Acquiring patients from scratch can be a costly and time-consuming process, suggesting that converting those patients who may be toeing the line between optimism and skepticism is even more important. Save on acquisition costs and make the most of these connections with our top four tips for converting medical aesthetics skeptics and those entirely new to the industry and process.
While it might be ideal to always speak to prospective patients one-on-one in a consultation for your first meeting, skeptic patients or those who have never sought out a medical aesthetics treatment before might need a little more convincing to get to that first appointment. Promotions offering discounted rates for consultations or treatment plans booked during a specific promotional period can be enough to pique interest, especially for those concerned about investing their hard-earned money into a treatment they’re unsure of. A promotion might nudge them enough to at least book that first appointment to learn more.
Alternatively, hosting an open house or VIP night for email subscribers or online followers might be a creative way to attract prospective patients and their friends or families. The light, social atmosphere may encourage patients to ask questions regarding the concerns that may be holding them back from committing to a consultation. It also affords your clinic the opportunity to offer tours and treatment demonstrations that give these patients a taste of your expertise and help to earn their trust.
While it might seem like a lot of work for one night, these events may also be the easiest way to focus in on patient acquisition and draw more people into the clinic, with one night of marketing efforts potentially covering your customer acquisition targets for the year. Either way, promotions can create an easy entry point for unsure patients, through which your clinic may be able to better address the concerns of new and skeptical patients while beginning the conversion process.
While conversion rates will be top of mind during a consultation with a prospective patient, it’s important to always keep the patient’s best interests in mind, not only to ensure your clinic is staying on the up-and-up and not applying any undue pressure, but also to ensure a strong track record of patient satisfaction. If a patient appears hesitant, ask them what might be holding them back. Be sure to actively listen to their concerns. After the patient is done explaining their concerns, repeat them back to the patient in your own words to confirm your understanding, then provide a detailed but accessible answer or solution. For example, if a patient is hesitant to sign onto a long-term treatment plan due to costs, this might be a good opportunity to offer them a brochure for any potential payment plans your clinic may offer or suggest alternative financial resources that can help them meet their aesthetic goals while sticking to a manageable payment schedule. Check out our post on the top reasons patients hesitate and how you can counter their concerns for more details on other situations that may arise and some potential resolutions you may consider to successfully convert new and skeptical aesthetics patients.
Medical aesthetics newbies or skeptics are likely to be a little skittish when pressured. These patients are unsure if they’re ready to commit to a treatment plan with you and while you may fully believe that you can deliver the results they want, it’s important to exercise patience and respect for their need to take a little time to say “yes.” Some patients know what they want and can easily make a decision; others may need to ruminate on their options before coming to an emphatic yes.
While you should inquire about hesitations and can offer resolutions, it’s also important to allow anxious patients time to make a choice. For these patients, avoid stressing promotional deals like a discount on their treatment plan if they sign up that day, which may increase their anxiousness. Likewise, don’t follow up too soon after the initial consultation. Allow them at least 24 to 48 hours to consider their options before gently reaching out with an offer for a follow-up phone call or appointment if they have any further questions or concerns. Finally, appreciate that sometimes, the answer may be “no” at that time, but that’s OK; they may reconsider their options at a later date and if you’re supportive and respectful during this first appointment, you’re much more likely to come to mind when they are ready to commit. For those concerned about time costs in these situations, consider charging a fee for a consultation.
Beware of any red flags that might suggest this prospective new patient may not be the best fit for your practice. While it’s always the goal to bring on new patients, patient acquisition can mean little if it results in unhappy patients and negative online reviews. Some relationships may just not be right from the get-go; it’s important to learn the signs and how to handle them for the benefit of both your clinic and the patient.
For patients who raise a red flag, respectfully discuss how you may better meet their aesthetic goals or what realistic outcomes may be possible. If they aren’t on board with your suggestions or raise another red flag, recommend a referral to an alternative provider you feel may be a better match for them. For the most part, as a medical aesthetics professional, we always want to put the patient’s best interests first but in some cases, it’s also important to consider yours and what is best for your aesthetics business. Know that it’s better to respectfully refer a patient to someone who may be better able to meet their needs than take a risk that could result in a lose-lose situation for both your clinic and your patient.
All in all, the best way to convert a medical aesthetics newbie or skeptic is to simply offer a comfortable space, a thoughtful ear, and high-quality treatments utilizing safe, effective, and advanced technology for optimal patient satisfaction.
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