The main objective of every new patient consultation is to develop a treatment plan that works specifically for them. Generally, new patient consultations begin with greetings and with intake forms. Next, they move on to discussing the patient’s concerns, then assessing all that information and proposing the best course of action to address those concerns.
Consultations should leave patients feeling confident and happy to sign on with you. To seal the deal and ensure a long-term relationship with your new aesthetic patient, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips on how to convert potential patients into paying ones by crafting and presenting the right treatment plan.
Thanks to the breadth of the Internet and the resources available at our fingertips, consumers tend to be very well-informed about aesthetic procedures, and may come seeking a specific procedure or therapy.
While short-term and symptom-focused treatments do provide immediate results—meaning you won’t want to skip them completely—your practice and your patients will be served best if you can form a strategy for improving their concerns holistically. For example, if they are concerned that they look tired, you may be able to provide a plan to lift or contour the eye area, while also offering skin rejuvenation treatments to revive a dull complexion. A holistic, long-term strategy will achieve a more natural and even result, and it prompts patients to embrace regular touch-ups, tweaks, and interventions to maintain their youthful appearance.
More consumers in their 20s are looking to aesthetic practitioners to help delay signs of aging. These are the ideal patients to educate about the holistic approach. This kind of treatment plan will usually entail combining different modalities and multiple visits. Prevention-based treatment plans benefit the patient by providing more significant, longer-lasting results. They can also help to strengthen patients’ trust with you, the provider, or your clinic. At the same time, you gain opportunities for offering more expensive services and creating a pipeline of repeat visits.
Diagrams, drawings, and photo tools can help you detail recommendations and ensure the patient knows what is realistically possible at the end of their treatment plan. It’s helpful to have a sheet for the patient to take home that summarizes your recommendations, a proposed timeline, and the overall cost, as well as any financing options to ensure they have all the details at their disposal. Additionally, for long-term procedures, ensure you take a Before image (with the patient’s consent) to be able to show the progression of their treatment over time and showcase the benefits of a long-term treatment plan.
Providing patients with options is another strategy to help empower them to better match their treatments with their personal sense of readiness. Inform your patients by outlining the different courses of action available to them. One option can be a minimal recommendation (i.e. a single treatment), and the other option can be the ideal plan (i.e. a holistic strategy with repeat treatments) that fully addresses their concerns. You can also divide the recommended treatments into phases. This gives the patient the opportunity to see the program as an evolving relationship with a step-by-step commitment, rather than feeling pressured to make a larger commitment to an extended timeline right away.
As you lay out the options, be honest and forthcoming about negatives, such as any pain and recovery time involved. Also, give the patient a range of potential outcomes, including those less successful than anticipated. Discuss how frequently these occur and what you can do to remediate or mitigate them. Make sure the patient understands the options and risks. Not only is this ethical and necessary for informed consent, but it also reinforces your trustworthiness.
Once you have covered the material fully, give the patient an opportunity to agree to the plan and commit to an appointment. Depending on the expense and complexity involved, this point in the consultation may also be an appropriate moment to mention financing options if this might be a concern to your patient. If you sense they may be wavering, consider offering an incentive, such as a bonus treatment or free product, to commit before they leave.
To discover more tips on how to effectively boost conversions during the consultation process, download our invaluable eBook, “Mastering the Art of the Aesthetic Consult.”