Convincing the Cosmetic Patient

Aesthetic consultant Catherine Maley Successful Aesthetic Patient Consultations
By Catherine Maley, MBA

It’s imperative to know what your patients want, what they think about you and your staff, and how to set expectations for the greatest amount of patient satisfaction. So I decided to research aesthetic patient consumers personally to learn, first-hand, what they were looking for when searching for an office and physician to perform cosmetic enhancements.

Know Your Target Patient

The 75 aesthetic patients I interviewed had had both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The median age was 44 years old. Respondents were 97% were female and were located throughout the US.

My objective was to determine trends and commonalities. Here are some of my findings:

  • The main reason both genders were considering cosmetic procedures was to feel better about themselves and improve their looks.
  • 90% of the time, confidence in the physician’s ability and staff interaction were more important than price.
  • 86% of them referred at least two other people to that practice.
  • 40% researched their procedure on the Internet ahead of time so they felt well-informed.
  • 75% went for multiple consultations before making a decision.
  • 80% felt they knew what to expect from having watched Extreme Makeover, Dr. 90210 and live surgeries and treatments on TV.
  • Long waiting times were a recurring complaint .

Variation Among Aesthetic Patients

While the data was interesting, it was also apparent that I could not generalize about patient relations. This is especially true as pertains to people’s preferences; everybody is so different and their perceptions are so varied. For example:

  • While some thought an aesthetically gorgeous office indicated pride and success, others found it was over the top and intimidating.
  • While some thought the doctors did not spend enough time with them and felt rushed, other patients thought too much time with the doctor made them wonder why the doctor wasn’t busier.
  • While some thought the physician thoroughly explained the various procedures available, others felt oversold and confused with so many options presented to them at one time.

The Deciding Factor

Probing further, I asked patients the bottom-line question: why did they choose that particular physician over the others?

The consistent answer, over and over, was that the aesthetic patient felt a “connection” with that physician. Their “gut feeling” or intuition was telling them this was the right physician for them. They had developed rapport. They trusted that particular physician to understand them and give them the best possible result.

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 Cosmetic Image Marketing 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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