Setting Appropriate Expectations with Cosmetic Patients

Aesthetic consultant Catherine MaleyThe Perfect Aesthetic Consultation in 10 Steps
By Catherine Maley, MBA

Aesthetic patients have different wants and needs from medical patients. (You can trust me on this; I literally wrote the book on this subject!)

Here is a description of the elements needed to carry out a successful aesthetic patient consultation. The following advice is from the patient’s perspective and based on my survey findings.

  1. Knock on the door gently, greet the patient by name, introduce yourself while looking him/her in the eye and shaking hands.
  2. Spend 30-60 seconds to learn more about the patient as a person.
  3. Hand them a mirror while asking, “So, tell me what’s bothering you?” or “Tell me what you would like to improve?”” or “What can I do for you today?” And then listen while they tell you. Nod, look them in the eye and take notes so they know you are listening and understanding.
  4. Qualify. Ask open ended questions to determine if the expectations are reasonable, the results can be reached safely and they are rational about the process. And determine where they are in the process. A great question to ask is, “What is most important to you when picking a cosmetic physician?” You can also ask, “Have you talked with anyone else? If so, what can I tell you that you don’t already know?” Always show respect for the patient. Even though you are the expert and know more, arrogance does not sell. If you come across as demeaning or condescending, you’ll drive the prospective patient away.
  5. Repeat back briefly to the patient the main points you heard such as intended outcomes and the patient’s concerns. Ask them if you have left anything out.
  6. Now, differentiate yourself. The prospective patient needs to know you are the best physician in comparison to the competition.
  7. Reassure them. Look them in the eye to let them know you are confident, skilled and experienced. You have performed many of these surgeries or treatments with excellent results and you will do the same for this patient.
  8. Affirm you can meet your aesthetic patient’s expectations. Let them know you understand their concerns and fears so they trust you and your recommendations and are completely comfortable to move forward.
  9. If the subject of competition comes up, remember there is no room for bad-mouthing your colleagues. It puts you in a bad light and makes you look worse than your competition. Always focus on and reiterate your own strengths.
  10. Prepare and rehearse a closing statement that sounds natural. Tell the patient you look forward to working with him/her to help them look their best and you hope to see them again soon. Then personally usher them to your staff person who handles the scheduling and pricing.

By treating every single prospective patient as a person first, patient second, you will develop rapport and gain trust. In this way, you will grow your aesthetic practice quickly – as well as your word-of-mouth referrals and closing ratios.

“Just as you try to tailor your treatment to fit the unique features of your patients, tailoring your consultation to your patient’s unique personality will increase your closing ratio.”

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Aesthetic patientsCatherine Maley, MBA, is the author of Your Aesthetic Practice: A Complete Guide: What Your Patients Are Saying. As a speaker and consultant, she helps doctors market themselves to cosmetic patients. For free tips, resources and strategies, visit or give Catherine a call at (877) 339-8833.

Dentists: Don’t Be Afraid of Botox!

Aesthetic consultant Catherine MaleyIntroducing Botox in Your Dental Practice
By Catherine Maley, MBA

More and more dental practices are offering Botox and other aesthetic services to their patients. But introducing Botox demands more than just clinical training; it also requires some marketing know-how.

I’ve made a career of examining the unique needs and desires of aesthetic patients. Offering Botox is not the same as offering root canals, and you shouldn’t approach the two in the same way!

This week, I’ll tell you how to prepare your staff and prepare your office. Next week, we’ll talk about how to reach patients with easy marketing strategies.

Prepare Your Staff: Turn Them into Rock Stars!

Be sure your staff is on board and committed to your success with this new addition to your practice. They can make or break the success of this venture, so you need their 100% support.

Meeting with Your Team

  • Let your staff know what your vision is and where they fit into it.
  • Get their commitment to help you make this successful.

Your staff will perform better when they have quantifiable numbers to strive for. It’s important these be individual goals with numbers and time lines attached to them so the staff person knows what is expected of them and when. The more specific the goal, the better able they will be to obtain it.

Examples of Goals

  • Book 10 Botox appointments per week
  • Sell $5,000 of aesthetic services per week

It’s human nature to perform better when there is a “carrot” at the end of the stick. The easiest way to get your staff to be at their best when they are on the job is to reward them for a job well done and then reward them even more for going the extra mile.

  • Incentives keep your staff motivated and on top of their game.
  • Offer them free Botox or Botox at cost so they will be your front line walking/talking testimonials.
  • They could wear lapel pins that say “Ask Me About Botox.”

And be sure your staff knows you appreciate them. Thank them often. Hold regular staff meetings. Discuss what’s going on and what’s new. Get your staff’s input on what’s working and what needs to change so they feel they are part of the team. They will be more receptive to helping you reach your goals when they feel respected and valued by you.

Prepare Your Office: Signage Is a Beautiful Thing

Will someone who walks by or steps into your office know what sort of services you offer? In-house signage helps spread the word and will ensure that every single patient who walks through your door knows you now offer Botox.

Make Patients Aware of the Services You Offer

  • Clear signage
  • Digital photo albums in reception area and exam room
  • Framed eye-catching posters in restrooms and strategic places on the wall

Overwhelmed Yet?

Don’t be! In addition to being rewarding and profitable, it also doesn’t have to be that hard! I’ll be back next week to discuss strategies for attracting cosmetic patients.

Aesthetic patientsCatherine Maley, MBA, is the author of Your Aesthetic Practice: A Complete Guide: What Your Patients Are Saying. As a speaker and consultant, she helps doctors market themselves to cosmetic patients.

For free tips, resources and strategies, visit or give Catherine a call at (877) 339-8833.


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