One of the most important events in a medical aesthetic practice is the patient consultation that takes place after an initial inquiry and prior to scheduling a treatment. On average, a practice will schedule procedures only 15% to 20% of the time after a consult, while those practices that excel at the patient consult will schedule close to 70%. It is important to understand why this percentage is normally so low.
In general, most potential patients resist scheduling a procedure due to concerns over money and the procedure itself. If the issue has to do with costs, then the patient either doesn’t have the money to afford the procedure or is not comfortable spending this amount. If the patient truly has no means to afford your services, then they should not be scheduled for a consultation in the first place. While it can be uncomfortable to discuss money over the phone, it is important to discuss a range of costs to begin discussions about finances and credit needs.
There also may be a fear of the procedure itself, which can be overcome with some basic strategies:
- build a rapport with the patient during the consult by taking some time to talk, be sure to make eye contact and show concern.
- share your expertise, training and accomplishments in the field. This establishes instant credibility with the patient.
- show before and afters, present previous patient testimonials, and discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure.
- leave time to answer any additional questions.
These are just a few simple strategies that will help the patient in their decision process regarding a procedure with your practice, and lead to much higher ratios of consults becoming scheduled procedures.