Mara: Today, we’re really going to focus on one particular topic that has been near and dear to our hearts for quite some time. We’re going to be talking about boosting your sales conversions, the tips and systems you need to implement. Right now we are going to be talking today about the conversion cascade, we’re going to be talking about awareness, the call to call to consult, consult to treatment, treatment to returning patients, and other services. We’re going to cover six different phases as we talked about, we’re going to talk about the conversion cascade we’re going to talk about them in six different phases now, as you’ll hear at the very end, this is a big overview of these topics and we’ll talk about how you can get some really more in-depth information at the very end. So if it feels like maybe it flew by a little too quickly or it feels like, you know what I really love this information and I want more, we’re going to tell you how to do that at the very end.
How to Properly Market to Patients:
We are going to talk about how do I market myself so that patients know that I exist, meaning you as the practice and want to come to my practice for the treatment or the procedure, considering that in today’s world, there is quite possibly a place to go on every corner.
Now, Jay. I love your input because how things are done today is not necessarily how things were done, then, and so I would love for you to talk about: number one, one or two of the changes that you have seen, in, in the past few years what alone the past 10 years and then I would love for you to point out when somebody asks the question of why should somebody go see our clients, versus the person across the street. How do we help our clients answer that, how do we help practices answer that?
Jay: Why should they pick our practice? Well, I’ll give my age away, I’ve been in this business for over two decades. And when I first started this back in the mid to late 90s I was a partner in one of the larger dermatology cosmetic and plastic surgery practices here in South Florida, and the changes that have taken place over 20 years now you imagine what technology takes place in 20 years, and it just happened to have taken place actually very very slowly. When I look back at it today. It happened very quickly because 20 Years went that quickly. And it gets even quicker the older we get.
However, the technology that we used were yellow pages, and I know people laugh when I say this, but don’t laugh, because it was the only game in town basically outside of a newspaper, and a glossy covered magazine. But it worked. So, when we spent $12,000, a month, imagine what $12,000 a month in today’s technology could yield you. Yellow Pages was good for a year at least because even when the books expired people kept the old books around so it’s not that it ever went away. When it was the only game in town. And then came different forms of technology.
But today, the internet, more than ever, ever before with search engine optimization, Pay Per Click advertising, all types of organic, all types of social media, whether it’s Facebook or whether it’s Instagram or whether it’s TikTok or whether it’s any of the other formats that people use professional associations that deal in social media, like LinkedIn, things like that. We had all kinds, and it rapidly changes, and then the next thing you know you turn around and there’s something else because we never had e-blasts like that with MailChimp and Constant Contact and your website company and all the different companies that are able to help you to attract patients.
Mara: And I would say, Jay, you brought up such a good point and that there’s such a multitude of channels today. I would say that one of the missed opportunities that we see with our clients as far as maybe not getting off on the right foot or they’ve been doing the same thing for so long, is that every practice should have an email marketing campaign, or built out campaign that you plan ahead of time, everybody should have newsletters and e-blasts don’t think that this isn’t for you. Even if you’re just starting, then I want your 50 closest friends, neighbors, cousins, and Auntie’s to all be on that list. So we want to start with who you know. And so that’s number one.
Number two, we see a lot of people, and we don’t handle, website development that’s not in our wheelhouse I’m not marketing for that, but I see where people try and DIY their website and they DIY their, their SEO their search engine optimization, and those just leave that to the professionals, because that’s just not something that as a provider, you’re going to be able to handle, in a way that is really going to work. I think everybody should have an ongoing search engine optimization campaign, a really great website design, not something that you did yourself we don’t even do our websites ourselves. And then make sure you’re active on social not just having something up and setting and forgetting it so I think, and then those e newsletters, it’s just, it’s flushing this out, it’s making sure you have a plan.
Jay: I want to make sure, we throw three-letter acronyms around all the time, and for those of you who really may have passed over what Mara said is the DIY means do it yourself. I don’t want to assume that everybody understands. So before you start looking up DIY. COM, the company that you think is going to help you, it doesn’t exist.
Mara: Exactly, don’t pull a Chip and Joanna Gaines on that you don’t want to DIY it. You don’t want to do it yourself. And so, Jay, this becomes more of a branding question it becomes a content question, but the question that we posed to our practices is: why should a patient come to see them? That’s what they need in their marketing, so why should a patient come to see them, instead of going to the person across the street? We always say that they need to be able to answer that. Can you give an example of a couple of different alternatives?
Jay: Well, the key, initially, because right now we start off in the post-marketing phase into a prospect, and they’re not a patient unless they’re a prospect first. And we really should sometimes treat our own existing patients like prospects, because each and every time just because you have a patient doesn’t mean they’re going to stay a patient. And I really consider it kind of like dating. You’re usually on your best behavior during dating, and then the old habits fall in. So I always say whatever it took to get you there into that wonderful relationship, treat it as it was like dating. So that you’re always fresh, you’re always in great content, you’re always on your best behavior.
Jay: Same thing in business. Don’t assume and take advantage that just because the patient has been to see you that there isn’t always somebody else chasing your tail. Because as we speak, there is a new practice opening up that just signed on with Shorr Solutions that’s going to help them get ahead of you. That’s what we do. So, I love using that, that’s what I do.
So the question is why should they come to me? Well, we have to be able to credential our practice. And the doctor is the wrong one to do it. He’s the right one to have the professionalism, he or she is the wrong one, to do the credentialing, because he or she could never credential themself enough, more than your staff. And better yet, other patients can credential for the word of mouth.
So why should they come to me? Well, because I have that genuine demeanor that makes me feel wonderful. I’ll share a personal experience. I have a procedure, coming up or a personal procedure and when I met the practitioner, I loved the doctor the surgeon, immediately. And in the past when I had an orthopedic surgery, I didn’t like the practitioner and I cancelled, you know, and went to somebody that made me feel comfortable. These are all elective procedures, and they’re emotional procedures, and we have to be comfortable with where we’re spending our expendable income.
Next, have been credentialed as, if not one of the best, the best. Why? I have great education. Befores and afters are key. Let other people sing your praise. And why should they come to me. I’m local. I have great bedside manner. I’ve got a slew of before and afters that resemble me. They don’t resemble the model that you see in every magazine, you know which one I’m talking about. They resemble people like me, non muscle bound guys with bald heads, you don’t see those in the befores and afters.
But look, if I’m looking to get a facelift or a neck lift or Botox. It would make me much more comfortable to see somebody that looks like me, as the patient. That means, age, gender, that means, race, ethnicity, somebody that resembles me in a before and after. As you can see even, we have women we have people of color we have you know a surgeon, we represent everybody, because that’s what you really need to represent who we are as a company, who we are as a country and who we treat.
Mara: And that’s I think a huge difference that I’ve seen in marketing patterns as well is that more so than ever before your patients are really focused on them wanting to see themselves, just like Jay said. So Jay used himself as an example, your patients want to see themselves they want to see themselves in all the different facets that Jay talked about, and if they do not, they are more likely to go somewhere else. So both stock imagery and website. Your before and afters of the actual patients that you treat, make sure that it looks real. And it’s not just a bunch of 20 some year old Caucasian model stock images, because my guess is that you treat a far more diverse population than that.
So once that prospect, then picks up the phone. We’re now on the call component and we refer to call really, as is it a phone call, a contact us form an email, social media DM. Pick a channel, a chat, write a text response whatever that looks like, how does your team, do a strong job of converting that prospect into an appointment on your calendar, and that’s what we’re going to talk about next so I know Jay and I each handled some different tips and tricks here but one of the very first things if they are on the phone. You want to, Jay, start it off with a…
Jay: …Well depending on how you answer that call first. It would be –
Mara: – Smile Jay smile!! That’s the answer!
Jay: You have to hear a smile, and it’s “Good morning Shorr Solutions, this is Jay and I can help you”. And don’t do the voice inflection that really doesn’t sound like you’re happy. It makes it feel like the person calling was a waste of your time. Make that person feel that they have called the right place, “Shorr Solutions, this is Jay and I can help you”.
Now it might sound corny if you’re not used to that, but at least the recipient on the other end of that phone knows they have reached the right person because whoever it is that they’ve reached just told them they can help them doesn’t mean you’re going to offer medical advice, it means I can help you, versus “How may I direct your call?” No. When you tell me what it is you’re looking for, then it is, “Thank you for calling or thank you for calling Shorr Solutions this is Jay and I can help you”. The first thing you want to do is after we hear that is, “May I please have your name?” because we all want to refer to somebody, as Mr. Mrs. Dr. Or, Jay Mara.
Mara: I always love Jay so the framing that question as an whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with today. I think it’s just another way of phrasing that but it’s the same exact sentiment, it’s just another way if somebody feels uncomfortable saying, you know, asking for someone’s name it’s another way of phrasing it.
Jay: Then, after they give it to you. I always this is just me personally, referred to somebody, as Mr. Mrs. Dr. If I know it. All right, if that’s how they address themselves as doctors then I’ll look, I’ll address them as such as a patient, or Mr. and Mrs. Until I’m given the liberty of speaking to them by their first name now it’s a different culture today. Many people want to be referred to by the first names, and I will, unless but if they tell me, go ahead and refer to them by their first name, I shall.
And then I’ll go on, I’ll say, Are you a new patient or an existing patient, and if they tell me no I’m new, even if it’s a prospect. I will thank them, “and please allow me to be the first one to welcome you to our practice”, it really goes a long way. If they tell you they’re an existing one. Well welcome back, and thanks for calling. All right, we want to be different than everybody else we want to sound like we have a smile. We want them to feel that they are not an interruption of your time, because it makes me very uncomfortable when I get doctor’s office please hold, and I’m telling you every time I call a specific area specific restaurant or specific doctor’s office, I always get that, And it really bothers me and then worse yet, in the middle of a call I’m put on hold. Well I don’t think it should work that way. I’ve gotten my turn. Now I want to finish my turn, and either get advice, connect me to somebody who can help me. But make me feel that I honestly have called the right place.
Mara: And I would add to that as well. Make sure you’re collecting the phone number in case the call gets disconnected, I always like to do that at the beginning of a call. And so even if you have caller ID double-check it, just in case the phone number, calling out is different than the phone number calling in, so you want to make sure that you’re doing that as well.
We will go through so many more tips and tricks about how to properly handle phone calls in some other conversations and other courses of ours as well. But we want to make sure that you are answering all of the patient’s questions but most importantly, at the end of the call, you want to give them the next one to two available appointment times, and instead of just saying “So do you have any more questions? No? Okay, thank you” click, and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that. And I go no no you missed the point. The whole point was to schedule the appointment that was the entire goal of that phone call! Not just to answer questions. So, we want to make sure that truly we are connecting them with the next available appointment.
I also love to collect their email address to place on the email newsletter, the E-newsletter/e-blast that we talked about a couple minutes ago, your marketing department your marketing person is going to love you for that. so it’s all about working together, and pulling that together. So we talked about if it’s a phone call. But if somebody fills out either DM online right or things, I mean through their social or they fill out an email that, please contact us email. How soon should somebody from the practice get back to the patient? I know it’s a loaded question.
Jay: I say, as soon as you receive it. Let me retract that, it really should be 20 minutes to a half of an hour you’re going to hear some people say, one hour, two hours, four hours the next day. Let me assure you something. You are not the only inquiry that that patient prospect filled out. And it’s the early bird catches the worm. Now I know you’re going to say you know you come up with all these old expressions but you know what my grandmother and her mother used to say those things, and they still hold true today and I’ve taught my daughter those when she was a baby. And they just perpetuate and go on. And I’ll give you a perfect example.
Several years back, it was on a Sunday right before a football game, and I was looking for a new motorcycle. And I said to my wife, “How would you like to buy a specific type of a motorcycle” because I wanted a trike (reasoning for this is not important). So I went online and I saw the perfect trike Harley Davidson, that I wanted.
What happened is I filled out a contact form, and I submitted it. This is a Sunday morning at 10am, and about 10:15 I got a phone call from a gentleman who was a salesperson at the Harley Davidson dealer. He says “I have the bike, you’re looking for in stock” kind of think of course you’re going to say that! He says, “What are you doing today?” I said, “Well, I’m going to watch a football game, it’s Sunday” and he says “Why don’t you come down, I have the bike for real I really do have the bike you’re looking for. Why don’t you come down and take a test ride?” Well, if you’re looking to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and somebody tells you to come down and take a test ride, it’s like taking a puppy home for the weekend. Don’t go there if you’re not really serious about buying it. I went down with my wife took a test drive. After a little bit of negotiation, because I negotiate everything, I drove home with that motorcycle. And I’m a very hard close, by the way.
Mara: Now another record Jay, you also about six weeks ago took the puppy home for the weekend, which is how you now have your golden doodle.
Jay: I bought her on a weekend but I knew that I was buying her for good. That wasn’t a test drive.
My point really is nothing more than, Had I not received that phone call, I was also looking at a couple other dealers that may have gotten back to me, and the early bird catches the worm.
Now, this was a Sunday, and I’m bringing this up for a specific reason, because people say no I want to respect people whether it’s a Saturday, and it’s a Sabbath for the Jewish population, or I want to respect a Sunday because it’s the Sabbath for the Christian community. All right. However, If the people wrote to me, at a certain time of the day, or, you know now if it’s one or two in the morning because people have insomnia and have nothing to do I’m not responding to you at one or two in the morning. Now, I will. I’ll do an email back. Alright, but I’m not going to call you and I will wait till the next morning, I don’t think anybody really expects a phone call at two in the morning if, even if they’re sending an email, but if you write to me on a Saturday or a Sunday or at 5, 6, 7 o’clock at night. I will call you. If you tell me it’s an inopportune time to speak, then I’ll ask you when is a good time to call you back.
Mara: And I would work on an incentive plan with your team so that it doesn’t necessarily always rely on one person to be available 20 hours a day, I think that there are certain ways to work it out within a team so it is feasible, and we’re always happy to talk with practice owners and managers about that as well.
Jay: If you don’t want to be able to reduce your cost per lead. The only way to do it is to call more leads back! Because the more leads you call back, the less it’s going to cost you, by the amount that you convert, and we’re getting right into that. You spend so much money in your marketing or your time to get people to call. Why would you not call them?
Mara: Now, this actually fits in beautifully. So you followed all of the instructions all of the notes and everything that we have been talking about. And that person is now in your practice for their consult. Now some of you may be surgical some of you may be non-surgical, so it’s a little bit different. We know that people are less likely to book the same day for surgical consults and they are for a non-surgical consult we are very aware of that.
However, you are still going to have the tire kickers, that when that maybe they come in for a neurotoxin and they want to talk about a filler as well while they’re there and so maybe they aren’t going to have all the procedures on that same day. And so you still have somebody that maybe doesn’t get that exact procedure at that time.
Let’s talk about how should the consults be handled, and how you increase your booking ratio. Now, we have, we love to call them, our magical closing questions. And so, during the course of the consult, Jay, let’s give a couple of those magical secret not so secretive closing questions. Why don’t you kick it off?
Jay: I’ll take the first two. After you know what procedure, it is that they came in for, or what procedure it is that you finally have decided on because as Mara just said, you may not be a candidate for this but you could be a candidate for something else, whether it’s surgical and every converts to non surgical But assuming that you’re going to sell the procedure because we all know surgical may book today surgical can’t perform today, the non surgical if you convince them enough, you can close it, and the old “Can you do it now” scenario comes in.
But the first question is, how long have you been thinking about this procedure. That’s a very key important question, because if it’s just something that came into my mind, I may be less likely to book because it hasn’t been a compelling thing in my mind. My thinking about a Harley Davidson was very compelling, and I was ready. Mara just made a joke about me bringing the puppy home for the weekend. Well, it wasn’t something I just thought of. My wife has one of this golden doodle for a very very long time. And when we went, it was a matter of which golden doodle was going to look at me, and jump on me and tell me, “take me home”. Well, “take me home” is the procedure.
“How long have you been thinking about it?” And “how would having that procedure performed make you feel?” And then you wait for that answer, and then it’s followed up by the next two questions.
Mara: Exactly. “When are you looking to have this procedure?”, is the next question that I always like for our clients to ask. So in other words, are they thinking about having it over spring break? Are they thinking about having it this summer? Are they thinking about adding it over the holidays? Or are they ready asap. So when are they actually looking to have the procedure. They may be waiting for downtime, they may be waiting for a family member’s schedule, they may have all of that lined up, and therefore they are ready now.
What you don’t want is that your timeline is, let me get them in ASAP and they say, “Look, no matter what, I’m not going to be ready until June”. And it’s April, and you end up looking pushy, they feel that you’re pushy and that you’re not the right fit for them. When all along, you can go ahead and schedule that appointment for June, right off the bat, if you have availability that, you know, at that sort of timeline.
If you don’t, because we have clients that are booked up anywhere between four weeks to 12 months in advance, so if they’re looking at a specific timeline. Also ask them, “Are you flexible?”. If we have a cancellation, especially right now, is it that somebody tested positive for COVID? Is it that they had an exposure case? Or maybe they were not vaccinated. Maybe they had a reaction to the vaccine and so they’re not available, maybe something else came up at the last minute, and they have to change their date so we want to look at always keeping a surgical wait list as well.
And these are great questions to be asking for your non surgical patients as well. So, pick a procedure. Is it a, a fat warming or cooling device, is it micro needling look at something that maybe they didn’t plan on doing today because they came in for one thing, but they say you know I can come back tomorrow, I can come back this afternoon, I can have it done now, I can come back next week. If they’re not ready to book right now.
Then, this is where the final question of, “May I ask what is stopping you from booking today?”. Now if they have a scheduling conflict, and they can’t have the procedure that day or surgical and they won’t be having that procedure that day, that’s one thing, but may I ask what is stopping you from booking today, and that is where you’re going to find out about, is it scheduling and you need to work with them on that.
Is it financial, in which case this is where you’re able to offer them patient financing options. There are several out there. We offer several to our clients and we’re always happy to talk to somebody about that. If you have questions, we’re more than happy to talk to you about patient financing, but we like to make sure that our clients are offering their patients, different financing opportunities, and I would also encourage you to ask in the conversation would you like to learn more about our patient financing programs, because maybe they are too embarrassed to ask if it is a matter of they don’t have a caretaker directly afterwards. Do you work with a service that is able to assist them with that is it that they’re worried about something that maybe they don’t need to be worried about. We look at those different options and opportunities but those are going to help you close because they’re going to help you get the information that you need.
Now, your patient has called as a prospect, they have made their appointment they have come in for their console, we’re going to say that you have absolutely walked that concept, they now have had the procedure, all the procedures, right, so that you talked about. This is where the next step comes in, and we are now going to talk about how do I get that patient to come back for repeat maintenance and procedures.
Now, I want to start with one of the most commonly missed opportunities, we’ll say, when it comes to neurotoxin and how we have seen almost every practice leave up several $100 per patient per year on the table. Jay, can you talk about every three months versus every four months, as far as if we’re looking down further and rebooking for the neurotoxin avoidance.
Jay: Sure. You know when you go to a dentist, and you have a tough tooth cleaning for example, the average cycle for teeth cleaning is six months. All right, so when you’re ready to leave, and I do this with my dermatologist as well, you know for skin cancer body checks that I’m already on the books I had my April appointment, I’m already on the books now for October. I will forget between now and then but they’re going to remind me several times, even though it’s all on my calendar. So one of the things is, if you have a neurotoxin, for example, and we’re saying the average is three months on 10 weeks, my wife might be four months, whatever.
But, for an example, you always want to make sure if it’s three months, get them on the books for three months. When you go into your OB GYN, whether it’s for a Pap smear, whether it’s fun and getting that on the books as well whether you know it’s for a colonoscopy every two years, five years, whatever. Understand the difference where you wait a month for a neuromodulator treatment. If you do it every three months you’re going to get the word treatments in for the year and that’s why we have packages that we set, set up that are for treatments for a year three to whatever it is,
Mara: That you have three you’re talking in a practice setting. Correct.
Jay: And if you do it every four months you’re only going to get three treatments in a year. Now I want you to understand financially, that difference of one treatment in a year if you do it every three months you have four if you do it every four months you get three times how many patients, with an average patient may be being about four to $500 for two areas. Some will do one some will do three some will do 20 units, some will do 5560 units I’m just saying generically, but the average, even at 10 $12 An area 12 You know at 3040 units is going to be about four to $500. Think about a missed opportunity of $500 times how many patients, because the average cost to get a patient is $400.
Now some of us say I heard three is I’m not gonna say I heard, five and I’m just giving you the generic NGMA number $400 to acquire a patient. Why would you give up that opportunity by not making sure that you’ve communicated, whether it’s through your scheduling system, whether it’s through texting, whether it’s through somebody in your office to call, however you can decide to do it. You can’t pay enough to somebody that you’re paying 1520 $45 an hour in your office to make phone calls or a third party agency, because that $500 of revenue is about 250 to $300 in net after you figure your fillers are probably going to be half about approximately half of your retail price.
Mara: And I would encourage everybody to not only take advantage of those opportunities. There is a lot that software can be doing automatically for you at this point so that that didn’t used to be the opportunity so look at if a patient hasn’t been back for example in. Is it six weeks for facial a, you know, recurring treatment, dermabrasion etc. So look at, is it six weeks or something like that then in theory could be done every month.
Is it a matter of every nation hasn’t been back in three months, and it’s a neurotoxin if they haven’t been back in six months for a different filler for example, Look at what that looks like. I always love to make sure that patients, just as Jay said using dental gynecology. We know we are very accustomed to when we walk out the door when we check out of our dental office. Our annual or, or every six month check in with a gynecologist, and they just automatically want to put the next appointment on the calendar. Now I don’t know where I’m going to be April 28 of 2022, but sure, let’s go ahead and get it on the calendar.
Now, I’m not sure what my schedule is going to look like in three months. I think 2020 has certainly taught us that, but let’s go ahead and get it on the calendar, and what we tell our clients to tell their patients is that this way. I know. Jamie that you love to have that 11am spot that 9am spot I know how important it is to you to get that 5pm end of the day for when you get off of work, whatever that looks like. Let them know, since you are one of our favorite patients, and all your patients should be your favorite patients, since you are one of our favorite patients, let’s go ahead and we’ll, we’ll get this on the calendar if you need to move it, we just ask that you give us 48 hours, seven days notice etc whatever your policy has.
Jay: Now, if you’re injecting Bo-Port-omin, which is Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, jeuveau, whatever, and we won’t ever say one specific man, I will give, not to promote a specific product. We can help you in creating packages I, we used to do them by the area not necessarily by the unit now practice. So, we would sell multiple areas on multiple treatments, or if you want to know that you sell 20 units 35 units 50 units as an average per area, then you sell a package of 100 200 300 units or proportionally in Dysport where it’s a three to one, but you’re able to collect the money up front, whereas you discount it. No, I’m not saying that it’s great to discount. I’m not a proponent of discount.
However, if I’m able to sell something at 500 for the one treatment. I may sell it for 475 For two and 450 for three. All right, but you multiply the one treatment two treatments three treatments that carrier for treatments that carries you throughout the year. And you discount them proportionally and the answer it, why is it’s approximately a 10% discount when you buy multiple areas or multiple units for multiple treatments, because you’re getting the money, all upfront. So you may be getting two to $3,000 for the patient who can afford to do that, which increases your cash flow, you’re able to buy down debt for profit that you have purchased that doesn’t come due for 90 days, and that’s that revolving cycle it price protects your patient in the event of a price increase.
And also, if a patient has a concern, it says, Why should I buy that now, from Dr. Jay, all right, and as a disclaimer Jay is not a doctor. Okay, but why buy it from Doctor Jay? The answer is because the bank of Jay is giving you a 10% discount so it would normally cost you let’s say $3,000 In a year if you did those treatments. Yet, the package is $2700 that you’re paying upfront. Now if you believe in the bank of Jay and you’re going to come back to Jay’s Med Spa, all the time, and you believe in us, then what bank in the United States or anywhere that you can put your $3,000 in, or 2700, that will yield you a guaranteed 10% return. I don’t know of any bank that’s offering 10% interest over the course of a year. But if you propose it to them that way, you’re offering a lesser of a fee to put all the money upfront and believing with the cost of capital. Money’s cheap right now, it gives you increased cash flow.