Patient coordinators, also known as cosmetic coordinators, are an integral part of any practice as they manage consultations and expectations of surgical patients. They can make or break a practice as they decide whether they will or won’t go for the surgery. They need to close with a client successfully and effectively while maintaining a certain standard of care. Prospective patients should trust their patient coordinator and not feel coerced into signing up for a procedure they are not ready for. Which is why this article will be helpful for patient coordinator- it will act as a field guide to show how they can increase their close rates. It is a simple yet effective 8-step process that will give them a conceptual framework to boost their confidence with conducting consultations and closing sales.
Plastic surgery practices are known to be for high-end patients because they are selling expensive services. Surgeries can cost anywhere between 40-60k. The cost alone will cause resistance from potential clients. These are high-priority clients who, if they can afford the procedures, will expect VIP treatment, which is why building a good rapport is the first step which could, depending on how it goes, foreshadow your success. Make them feel special, be as attentive as possible- give them the 5-star experience they are looking for. Easy ways to do this is be smiling, listening actively, showing genuine interest, and overall being personable.
The perceived price can make clients rethink their decision to get plastic surgery done. Therefore, you will need to create value for the patient and understand what they will be getting for the high price they pay.
Make them understand that the result they will get is ultimately priceless. The feeling they will get after being satisfied with what they see in the mirror or looking more radiant and decades younger has no price.
Build on the value of the procedure they are looking to get and tell them all the added benefits that they should consider. They should be made to realize why they need the particular surgery and not just want it.
Only sell to the client once you understand them because only then will you have the necessary knowledge to build up the demand for your services. If you take the time to understand what is bothering the patient and why they are consulting with you, you can offer them the right solution.
Tell your patient everything they need to know about the doctor. Talk about the number of years they have been in practice, their qualifications, and their history of successful surgeries and happy patients. However, this must be done subtly, as the patient should not feel like you are just listing features. They should be told the benefits they will receive if they choose that doctor. What is the benefit of choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon versus one who is not? You can also mention what problems they may face if they choose a different route. A great technique to further gain the patient’s trust is by pointing out how 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.
Now, keep in mind that the decision of getting a cosmetic procedure done does highly revolve around the cost. This is why you should tell those consulting you the general price range, but again, focus on the value:
Patients frequently end up choosing a cheaper doctor because they did not consider the drawbacks. As the saying goes…you get what you pay for. Let them know that these procedures should not be taken lightly and are not something to cut corners on- after all, it is a significant change, and you need a doctor you can trust.
Another critical technique to follow is asking the patient when they were looking to get the surgery done. This will plant a seed in their mind, and they will start envisioning the surgery happening at that date, making them solidify their decision on a more subconscious level.
Going through the process with the patient in detail and planting these seeds in their minds is an effective way to eliminate the fear of the unknown, as they will now feel like they are more familiar with the surgery process. That is why this is a deciding moment that can either make or break the deal. Your discussion goal with the patient should focus on the value they will receive and eliminate doubts and fears.
By this point, the prospective patient has been thoroughly vetted, so you have all the information you need to move forward. If your patient is showing a growing interest in the procedure, the next step is to consult with the actual surgeon.
Patients often feel more at ease when they get the opportunity to meet with the doctor themselves and ask them any questions they have because they are the expert. Keep in mind that sales are often lost either due to cost or fear. If you correctly applied the steps so far, the patient should not fear the procedure anymore.
It would be best if you worked on being professional and confident while being calm and casual. The patient will sense your excitement and confidence regarding the procedure, and they will most likely mirror that too and move ahead with the surgery.
If you did your job right, you should lead them in the right direction and get them to take steps to book the procedure. For example, ask questions such as “Would you like to know anything else before we reserve the date for your surgery?” or” Should I go ahead and reserve your date with Dr. XYZ?”
Do not hesitate while asking them these questions. The more confident you are, the more likely they will agree.
Of course, a patient coordinator’s job is not just the secure the sale; they also have to coordinate with other departments to ensure the procedure goes smoothly from start to finish. They should make the patient feel like they are seen and genuinely want the best for them and are ready to support them accordingly. This step is when you ensure they receive the care they deserve and that the procedure continues as planned. Then, be there by their side and set up whatever is needed, and let them know you are there to support them. This part of the process is essential as it is a way to keep your patient happy and come back for more future procedures.
This is the final stage, which is essential but often overlooked by patient coordinators. Reviews are a big part of running any business nowadays, so following up with the patient will make them feel heard, and they will know that you are committed to them having a great experience and bettering the process. Support them after the procedure, ask them how they feel, and let them know you are there if any issues arise or if they need any help.
If they are singing praises, this can also act as the perfect time to ask them for referrals.
So, you have it: an easy way to ensure that patients go for the suggested surgical path, and you get to close the sale without a hitch successfully.
Remember, being a patient coordinator is more than just making sales. Your main job revolves around dealing with people, and these steps will also aid in you improving your people skills, which will lead to you closing more sales.