There are elements of a cosmetic practice that have to be actively managed in order to insure success. The marketing process to drive leads and the sales process to take those leads and convert them to patients are two of the most important.
I’d like to touch on the sales process. I speak regularly with physicians that believe they need to personally conduct each sales consultation; I believe that this is not true. I actually believe, based upon Acara’s extensive experience, that a cosmetic practice will do much better if the consultations are conducted by a trained patient coordinator.
Let me explain.
The goal of the marketing program is to drive leads to the practice. The first goal of the sales system is to convert as many of the leads as possible into consultations. What you don’t want your team doing is screening leads or conducting consultations by phone. This will limit just how many potential patients walk in your front door to visit your practice.
If you have an effective marketing program and a team that is really good at converting leads into consultations you will end up conducting many consultations each day, hopefully at least 5 and oftentimes more.
In addition to conducting numerous consultations each day it is important to be following up with leads and unclosed consultations. This is all part of managing the sales pipeline to build the business stronger.
As I’m describing this process, does anyone reading this actually think the physician should be doing this job? Of course, oftentimes, the physician will stop into a consultation for a few minutes to provide his/her opinion or if necessary (when the physician is not available during the time of a consultation) a pre-op visit needs to be scheduled prior to the procedure being performed.
This past summer I was speaking at a conference and a physician asked me (skeptically) how can you do lipo consults without the physician. I proceeded to describe how we recommend the consult being conducted. He actually hired Acara soon thereafter and we implemented a non-physician consultation process. It took a few months for it to really begin to take hold (culture shift) but once it did…the practice doubled its sales and this month it will have its record sales month in the 20 year history of the practice.
Even in a practice where the focus is on a non-physician approach to consultations you still have physician consultations taking place. Typically for more involved procedures such as face lifts or when a potential patient requests a consult with the physician. We always recommend that there is a charge for the consultations that require dedicated time with the physician. When a consultation is scheduled with a patient coordinator it is important that it is complimentary. The more potential patient flow through the practice the more visibility for the practice.
It would be great for others to share their success stories concerning this topic, please feel free to post.