As a leading sales training expert in the aesthetic industry with vast experience as a medical device sales director managing successful, peak performance teams and generating upwards of $20 million in revenue, one of the most frequent questions I get asked when I conduct staff trainings and seminars across the country is:
“Terri, what is the number ONE thing we can do to increase our practice’s revenue?”
Can you guess what it is? Increase pricing? Cram in more patients per day? Shorten your allotted consultation time? Sell more expensive product lines or add more retail products? Hire more staff?
Those are usually the comments I hear when I’m out speaking on expert panels at industry events or conducting on-site sales training in cosmetic surgery practices and medspas around the country.
However, the number one most overlooked strategy to increase your practice’s revenue, conversion and retention rates (whether you are in the process of launching your practice or are wanting to scale your current practice) is investing in powerful sales training for your team.
Understanding the patient journey
Sales and customer service are at the core of any successful business. The aesthetics patient is smart, savvy, educated and has a lot of choices when choosing one practice over another. Having a well-trained, knowledgeable and professional team is the difference between good and great.
It is critical to understand the importance of the patient journey and how each phase represents a distinct opportunity to provide high quality patient care and ensure a positive, memorable experience.
Approximately 52% of patients leads come from finding your website online, 25% are referrals from other patients and the other 25% come from social media, other referring sites, other physicians or paid advertising.
A patient’s first point of contact with your practice is the initial phone call. This is probably your most important opportunity to make a great first impression.
Here are some questions to consider when evaluating how your staff is answering phone calls:
● What kind of tone and attitude are they conveying with their voice?
● Are they knowledgeable? Can they answer all of a prospective patient’s questions?
● How well trained are your team on all procedures you perform and the products you use?
● Can your staff easily explain why your practice stands out from the competition? In other words, answer “Why choose us?”
● How solution-focused is your staff and how well versed are they on the outcomes and benefits of each procedure?
● Can your staff confidently navigate questions regarding pricing and potential objections?
● Can they engage in dialogue to ask questions vs. just answering with a yes or no?
● Are they making sure all of the prospect’s questions are answered?
● Are they engaging in active/intuitive listening – hearing potential concerns behind the surface question?
● Are they offering to schedule a consultation appointment to every caller?
● What is their conversion rate for turning phone leads into consultation appointments?
Scheduling a consultation
The goal of each patient inquiry should end with a call to action. Potential clients want to know what the next step to take is, even if they don’t verbalize that. Your team should always offer a clear path and call to action to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
The initial phone call is critical to book a consultation, which is an opportunity to convert a patient to a paying procedure.
Here are some questions for evaluating your staff’s ability to capture all the relevant information needed.
● Are they gathering complete patient information (including name, referral source, best contact information, email, phone number, procedures they are interested in, address, zip code, date of birth, gender, concerns or any specific notes)?
● Are they following up with appointment reminders via text and phone calls?
● Do they explain your cancellation policy and fee?
● Are they taking credit card information to keep on file to reduce no-show rates?
If you are like most physicians, you are so busy working IN your practice and using your gifts to perform highly skilled procedures, that you may often overlook the critical component of working ON your practice and training your front office sales team.
That is why it is vital to give your own practice a checkup. Scheduling one to three more patients a day for consultations could translate into $50K to $100K more revenue a month.
Isn’t that worth the investment in sales training?
Even if your practice has not launched yet, now is the time to invest in expert sales training to start out on the right track.
Your front office team can be easily trained to be your most efficient, revenue-generating sales force, and as a clinical provider your consultations can improve drastically for a better patient experience.
Ms. Ross offers on-site sales training at your practice, as well as two-day sales training seminars. Her next seminar will be in Manhattan Beach, Calif., March 28-29, 2020. Ms. Ross will also co-chair a live, 2-hour interactive sales training with Chris Stock of SalesMD at The Aesthetic Show 2020 (July 9-12), during the all-new practice management track.
About the author
Terri's experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20 million in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become an internationally renowned practice management consultant, helping aesthetic practices thrive. Terri’s professional associations span across a variety of therapeutic specialties such as plastic surgery, dermatology, oncology, endocrinology, and cardiology–giving her a global perspective in medicine and a deep understanding of the business structure needed to position practices for success. She has achieved multiple awards and is a recognized leader in the aesthetics field.