The first consultation with a new patient is key to making the best impression and converting prospective patients into paying ones. As medical aesthetic professionals, patient comfort should be a main focus; some vulnerability during consults on the part of patients is to be expected. For the most successful consultation, avoid these three common mistakes medical aesthetic doctors make that could cost your clinic a new patient.
Prospective patients typically research a lot of clinics and doctors. Booking their first consultation is often a result of them placing trust in you and your clinic’s online reputation. Depending on the size and type of practice, the practical method may be to have the aesthetics consult conducted by a treatment coordinator or aesthetician.
While it might be necessary to have another staff member take on the majority of the consult, not offering the patient the opportunity to directly meet their treatment provider is a big mistake. Patients get a lot out of these face-to-face meetings—it’s reassuring to actually connect with the person that they’re putting trust in during their treatment, and it can go a long way towards enhancing the overall patient experience. Always make time to include a little one-on-one time meeting between the prospective patient and their treatment provider.
In this consultation, the patient will reveal what they personally dislike about their appearance. They will feel exposed, vulnerable, nervous, or anxious. They may stress about being ridiculed or made to feel worse about their self-perceptions; they may stress that the provider’s skills and expertise may be inadequate, or that they face the potential for a bad outcome.
This isn’t the time to impose any views regarding perceived beauty standards. Your attitude and understanding will have a huge impact on the patient’s ultimate decision, so listen well and ensure patients feel they can be open, comfortable, and honest without being judged or misunderstood. View the consultation from the patient’s perspective, and calm their concerns first and foremost.
Everything said and done during the initial consultation contributes to the conversion process. Improvisation is a big mistake here. A clear and defined procedure for aesthetic consultations is required to ensure the best outcomes.
While there is no “right” way to structure a consultation, consider how your clinic and treatment providers are marketed, and sculpt the consultation structure around your patient persona. Be intentional and professional. Define how these interactions will proceed, ensure all staff are aware of the standard procedure, and follow your established process for each consultation. If the process seems to be failing to meet your conversion goals, tweak the process and test new ideas, always keeping the patient’s comfort and best interests in mind. An hour-long consultation may be expected, depending on the treatments offered and the patient’s concerns. For this reason, some clinics will charge a consultation fee to ensure they are reimbursed for their time, and that the consultation isn’t rushed.
Integrating these essential practice enhancement techniques will help you avoid common missteps and maximize your patient conversion rate.
To discover more tips on how to build patient trust and boost conversions, download our invaluable eBook, “Mastering the Art of the Aesthetic Consult.”