Patient coordinators, also known as cosmetic coordinators, are an integral part of any practice. They are responsible for attracting new patients, managing the consultation process and overseeing patient care from initial contact through recovery.
Their dual responsibilities of closing sales and maintaining high standards of care and communication can be difficult. Prospective patients should trust their patient coordinator and not feel coerced into signing up for a procedure.
This column outlines a simple, yet effective, eight-step process for conducting consultations, closing sales and supporting patient care.
Step One: Build Rapport
Medical aesthetic practices cater to high-end patients because they are providing expensive elective procedures. The cost alone will cause resistance from prospective patients. Then, there is the concern of downtime and potential complications.
If the prospective patient can afford the procedures, they will expect VIP treatment and care. Therefore, building good rapport is the first step to booking a consultation and achieving a high satisfaction rate.
From the first phone call or inquiry, be attentive to the prospective patient’s questions and concerns; explain the process and credential the physician. Smile and take a genuine interest in why this individual is investigating cosmetic enhancement.
Step Two: Understand Their Concerns
Before you can move to “selling” the procedure, you need to understand the patient’s goals and concerns. Only then will you have the necessary knowledge to determine potential treatment options and build demand for your services.
If you take the time to understand what is bothering the prospective patient and why they are consulting with you, you can offer them the right solution.
Keep in mind, the perceived price of a procedure or surgery is the No. 1 obstacle to patients seeking cosmetic enhancements. Therefore, you will need to explain the cost and the value of the service to the prospective patient so they understand what they will be getting for that price.
Explain the outcomes they can achieve, the longevity of the results and the satisfaction experienced by other patients.
You should provide a general price range of the desired or recommended procedure, but focus on the value:
- The benefits they receive outweigh the price they have to pay.
- The provider who will perform the procedure is experienced, qualified and has a healthy success rate.
Step Three: Credential the Provider
Tell the patient everything they need to know about the provider who will be performing their procedure. This includes the number of years they have been in practice, their qualifications and their history of successful treatments and happy patients.
However, this must be done subtly, as the patient should not feel like you are just listing features. So be sure you understand the unique attributes of the practice and the providers working in the facility. For example, if the recommended surgeon performs revisions of surgeries botched by other surgeons, this will make the patient realize that the doctor you are suggesting is an expert and will provide the highest chance of a successful procedure.
Patients frequently end up choosing a practice with lower prices because they did not consider the drawbacks or potential risks. Let them know that these procedures should not be taken lightly and are not something to cut corners on.
Originally a pre-med student, Vahe Tirakyan had dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon. But once he started working in the industry, he realized there was a need for good business leadership in the medical field, especially in privately owned practices. He is CEO of MD Logica, a practice management consultancy, as well as a speaker and author covering business, marketing and strategy. Contact him at [email protected].