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Are you chasing the wrong patients?

Article-Are you chasing the wrong patients?

Are you chasing the wrong patients?

When consulting with cosmetic practices, I ask them who their preferred patient is, and the answer is typically, “Everybody!” The challenge with this is that EVERYBODY is EVERYWHERE so you end up spending a fortune trying to be everywhere they are. 

You throw money at website design, organic search, social media marketing, google ad words, directories and more, to attract “anybody.” Your staff spends a significant amount of time posting on Instagram and Snapchat and answering inquiries of potential patients in hopes they become real cash-paying patients. 

So, how’s this working out for you? 

If you are not getting the results you want for the time, money and effort you’re putting into it, it may be time to stop and reconsider your strategy. Here are three ideas that can help you improve your patient metrics. 

Know your numbers

You need the right tools to set yourself up for success. The most important one being your practice software. Your software is the “control station” of your practice because everything should be tracked within it and every one of your staff should be using it. 

Utilize a system that is simple, easy to learn and does the heavy lifting of scheduling, invoicing, marketing and reporting. 

In addition, set up categories and guidelines for the data or you won’t be able to make sense of your numbers. 

For example, when it comes to scheduling, determine and assign time periods for specific types of appointments to allow enough time and avoid double booking. 

And for referral sources, set up categories to choose from and make sure all staff are completely trained on them. I regularly see duplicated categories such as, “referred” and “word-of-mouth”; these should be combined to give you a more accurate accounting.

This cannot be anecdotal information. The answers are in the numbers. Accurate numbers take the emotion and guesswork out of the equation and allow you to truly assess how you’re doing.

Follow your successes

There is an easier way to market your cosmetic practice and here it is…Follow Your Successes. Determine what is working and do more of that. Here’s how: 

Run reports called “Revenues by Referral Source”, “Revenues by Procedure”, “Revenues by zip code”, and any other revenue report you have so you can follow the money.

These reports will tell you what is working and where to spend your time, money and energy. They will also tell you what to tweak or eliminate if it is not working. 

For example, if most of your social media efforts come from Facebook, then put more budget towards Facebook! Or, if it turns out the real money is in the patient over 35-years old, put your money where they are. If the numbers tell you your word-of-mouth referrals are low, step up your results and the patient experience. 

Go forth and multiply 

A cosmetic practice has always been and will continue to be driven by happy patients who return, refer and review, so, the following metrics are mandatory for your financial health and not to be taken lightly. 

Hold weekly staff meetings on these numbers and brainstorm how to make them better:

# Return Visits by Current Patients

# Average Amount Spent Per Visit

# Word-of-Mouth Referrals

# Reviews

The point is to focus on what is working and do more of that to change the dynamics of your practice. 

By implementing these key actions, you see less patients but have more time to spend with those patients to ultimately convert more consultations. And using good data will help you to strategically shift your efforts, resulting in more revenue with less hassle.  

About the author

Catherine Maley, MBA
Ms. Maley has been an author, speaker, consultant and trainer for the cosmetic industry since 2000. Her mission is to help cosmetic practices attract and convert more cosmetic patients via creative marketing strategies and training staff to be conversion rock stars. Get more free resources at 

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