The most successful plastic surgeons work on continual improvement of their processes to provide the attention, results, and follow-up that patients are looking for. Experts like these understand that the basics of person-to-person care and outstanding bedside manner never change.
The following is a list of secrets that they used to turn their practices into a multi-million dollar aesthetic practice machine:
1. Target existing “cream of the crop” patients. Identify your patients who have come in for higher-cost procedures and then look at where they live.
This will give you an idea of which of your patients are most affluent as well as giving you a “warm market” to work with. Put in 3/4ths of your marketing efforts into this patient demographic.
2. What are their buying habits? Patients can be one of several types of buyers; those who are just shopping around, those who consult with loved ones and respond best to referrals, and those who have done their homework and know what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it.
According to marketing consultant Catherine Maley, MBA, 80% of your profits will come from the types of patients who are “brand loyalists”, or those who pick one brand for each of their needs and will remain loyal to that brand.
3. Sometimes patients can experience “information overload”. Patients have the Internet available to them for doing research on procedures, healing times, before and after results, and costs.
This can leave them with fatigue and confusion. The best way to help them overcome this obstacle is to explain what to expect in concise terms and sharing your own portfolio of pictures and testimonials.
4. Help them not to feel like they are “just a number”. As part of the buying process for the plastic surgery patient, feeling like they are special and will be treated as such are key elements to them taking the plunge and booking a procedure with you.
Take the time to really listen to them, empathize with their current concerns, and provide them with relevant solutions to their concerns.
5. Don’t shy away from up-selling to existing patients. According to Ms. Maley, “80% of your aesthetic profits will come from 20% of your patients. And 20% of your patients would buy more from you if give the chance”.
Reach out to them with procedures that compliment what they have already had done as well as age-appropriate procedures that target the most common concerns of patients in that age group.
6. Stay in touch with your patients. Patients, just like everyone else, do not respond well to being ignored. If you commit to scheduling regular communications with them (think emails, cards, and phone calls), they will know that you and your staff care about them and want to provide for all of their aesthetic concerns and needs.
7. Plan your communications by season. There are certain times of the year when your practice books more tummy tucks, veneers, Fraxel laser treatment, or other type of procedure.
Do a quick run-through of what and when so that you can better focus your promotions to the right patients AND at the times when they are most likely to buy. Then, use retargeting ads on social media and the web to get their attention again.
8. Don’t forget about lost patients. You have, right now, a database of gold just waiting to be harvested. That goldmine is your list of patients who have said no to you at one time, never returned for their consultation, or backed out of a procedure after it was booked.
These are the very same patients you want to target! They may have said no for a number of reasons that are now resolved. Plus, targeting these types of patients who have already shown an interest in you will be much more likely to buy from you than a new client who walks in the door sight unseen.
9. You need patient referral programs. Don’t take lightly the influence that word-of-mouth marketing has on the growth of your practice. Existing patients who are happy will naturally tell others about you. However, that’s not enough to really make an impact on growing your business.
Implementing a system of rewarding your existing patients for recommending you will nudge them forward to refer many more people than they would have otherwise. Don’t forget to send out thank you cards to every single patient who refers someone to you!
10. Attract new patients through social media. The quickest way to build your database with prospective patients is to connect with existing patients, level yourself as their cosmetic surgeon expert, and then reach out to your new social media friends. Personally thank them for liking you and offer your time to answer any of their questions.
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