Mastering the Art of the Cosmetic/Aesthetic Consultation
Numerous sophisticated marketing strategies can help bring patients to your practice, but retaining the patients and converting the potential patient into a returning one depends on your art of consultation.
Many factors set a favorable climate before the actual consultation. It all starts with the initial call the patient makes for an appointment. The first encounter with a receptionist is of utmost importance. Your potential patient will decide whether or not to make an appointment. Your receptionist needs to be well informed about all aspects of your practice and should be able to answer any questions.
The Reception Room and Waiting Area
When your potential patient enters your practice, privacy is a must. Make sure to design your receptionist’s location to where other patients in the waiting room cannot hear the conversation taking place. Your receptionists need to be well-trained and courteous in their interactions with potential patients. Make sure your reception area is decorated tastefully without the look of extravagance.
Ensure that your patients do not wait for extended periods of time so as not to get irritated and start off the consultation on the wrong foot. Make sure not to expose new patients to ones who have just had surgery, because patients just out of surgery may be bruised and swollen. That may be a put-off for patients coming in for consultations regarding surgical procedures.
Display Your Diplomas and Testimonials
Most patients need reassurance that their physicians are well trained, so make sure to exhibit any diplomas, awards or medals. If you have testimonials from patients or write-ups in newspapers, make sure to display those as well. Certificates of participation in conferences show your patients that you are up to date with recent advances and that you are well informed.
Before and After Pictures
Make sure to have before and after pictures readily available in albums in case your new patient asks to see them. Seeing pictures of patients with successful outcomes helps ease any fears your patient may have.
Building Communication, Trust, and Rapport
You must master the art of communication to gain your patients’ trust. Developing a rapport with your patients will make your interactions more positive, and will build more confidence. When your patients trust you, they believe you and will engage in more treatments at your office.
Make sure to establish clear communication with your patients. A questionnaire filled before the consultation can begin that process. If your patients have unrealistic expectations for cosmetic procedures, be honest and realistic about what they should expect. Develop a treatment plan for each patient, including their priorities, and tips for preventative anti-aging measures. Make sure to never over-promise and under-deliver.
Watch out for red flag patients, such as those who have had many procedures and complain about their providers or those who are rude to your staff. Also, watch out for patients with body dysmorphic disorder or narcissistic personality disorder.
Being masterful in the art of cosmetic/aesthetic procedures is important, but how we present ourselves defines our excellence and success. Through practice, we can all continue to grow our art of consultation, attracting potential patients, and retaining our current ones.