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Perfecting the Patient Consult

Understanding what keeps prospective patients from booking can help increase your scheduling ratios.
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Perfecting the Patient Consult

The world’s most successful cosmetic practices have on-the-spot procedure scheduling ratios approaching 70%. For the average practice, however, just 15% to 20% of patients schedule their procedures immediately. To bridge this gap, one must understand why patients don’t schedule while in consultation. Typically it is one of two reasons: a lack of funds or fear of surgery.

Overcoming Money Issues

When patients provide monetary objections, they filter into two sub-objections: Either the patient does not have the money or she is not comfortable spending the money. To overcome an authentic lack of funds, we must first talk about psychology. Who, really, does not have the money? I believe that to truly lack the funds, a patient must be “TNT” (a Triple-Non-Threat). This means she has no money, no credit and no support. If a person is a true TNT, she should not be scheduled for consultation.
If, however, a prospective patient lacks only one or two of these—for example, an 18-year-old considering breast augmentation who has no money or credit, but has support from her parents—the busiest practices are able to schedule the procedure by ensuring that the patient is pre-approved before coming in for the consultation.
Many practices are uncomfortable discussing pricing and financing options over the phone prior to the in-office consult. I recommend they provide a price range for the desired procedure and begin the approval process for patients who may need credit extended. There are several ways to obtain this information in a friendly and unobtrusive way.
For example, “Barbara, thanks so much again for contacting us. What I’m going to do is gather some information, then give you some information, and then I can get you on the schedule. Does that sound alright? Great.” 

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