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Why Are My Prospective Patients Not Booking

Jun 6th, 2024

You’ve drawn your ideal patient in with your marketing campaign and already had your first consultation with the prospect. You expect to be celebrating a surgery booking anytime now, but what actually happens is a clinic’s worst nightmare: the prospective patient GHOSTS you.

There’s almost nothing worse than that feeling! So let’s make it as easy as possible for your potential patient to follow through.

Attracting patient leads is only the first step in your process. The real challenge is in converting these prospective patients to paid surgical procedures.

If you are finding a growing gap between mild interest to putting down a deposit, you need to look at why this is happening so you can do something about it.

So in this week’s podcast, we are going to talk about 6 reasons why prospective patients are not booking and what to do about it?

By the end of this episode, you’ll have a solid understanding of the reasons why you haven’t got a decent conversion rate from consultations to surgeries and how to fix that.

Thank you for checking it out ! 🙏

PS: if you want to speak to me about your clinic’s marketing and how to generate more patients, here is a link to book a 15-minute discovery call with me: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/discovery-call-booking/

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Links mentioned in this episode:

Discovery call booking link: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/discovery-call-booking/

We’ve talked about similar topics in previous episodes of the OMD TV and Podcast Show. Here are the links to some of the more relevant episodes. Check them out…

https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/video-category/online-lead-generation/

https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/podcast-category/convert-more-new-patients/

https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/video-category/grow-scale-your-practice/

https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/video-category/smart-marketing-advice/

Why Social Media Ads Aren’t Working For Medical Clinics

Video #61: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/why-social-media-ads-dont-work-for-medical-clinics/

Podcast #110: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/podcast/why-social-media-ads-dont-work-for-medical-clinics/

4 Essential Ways to Increase Patients’ Perceived Value of Your Practice.

Video #39: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/improve-patients-perceived-value/

Podcast # 88: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/podcast/improve-patients-perceived-value/

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🔝LEARN MORE ➡️

💡About Huyen Truong: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/about-huyen-truong

💡About OMD: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/about-us

📖Get a Copy of our latest 🆓FREE eBooks: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/resources

📞Book a 🆓FREE 15-Minute Discovery Call with OMD: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/discovery-call-booking

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Hi, I'm Huyen
Our work (and this site) is devoted to sharing ideas, tools and resources that will help you automate, grow and scale your practice.

huyen

Learn More

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

You’ve drawn your ideal patient in with your marketing campaign and already had your first consultation with the prospect. You expect to be celebrating a surgery booking anytime now, but what actually happens is a clinic's worst nightmare: the prospective patient GHOSTS you.

There’s almost nothing worse than that feeling! So let’s make it as easy as possible for your potential patient to follow through.

Attracting patient leads is only the first step in your sales process. The real challenge is in converting these prospective patients to paid surgical procedures or treatments. If you are finding a growing gap between mild interest to putting down a deposit, you need to look at why this is happening so you can do something about it. So in today’s episode, we are going to talk about 6 reasons why prospective patients are not booking and what to do about it?

Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing For Doctors TV and Podcast show – the place to go to grow and scale your practice. I'm Huyen Truong, a Strategic Marketing Consultant for medical clinics. My team and I have been in the game for over a decade, helping hundreds of clinics thrive with our proven patient generation system.

Now, let’s go through the reasons why patients are not booking.

Lack of Trust

One of the most important factors and decision making is trust. Prospective patients may question your credibility if they don’t find enough evidence of your expertise and skill. That’s why social proof is so important.

  • Clean up your photo gallery by taking consistent photos with the same lighting, angles and background. Designate a photo room and make this part of your pre and post process to collect photo consents.
  • Have a system to ask for reviews and then help the patient write and upload it. You can make a 5×7 cm postcard clearly explaining how to do it.
  • And, since the best reviews are well though-out, give them starter sentences to help them describe their experience with you in more depth. For example:
    • This is WHY I wanted surgery (pain point) ________________________
    • This is WHY I chose Dr. Smith _____________________
    • This is WHAT the experience was like ____________________________
    • This is HOW much I love my results and life now _______________

Lack of Connection

Undergoing a surgical procedure is an emotional decision filled with fear and uncertainty, so prospective patients are looking for a safe haven. You and your staff want to focus on building a personal connection with the patient, so they feel comfortable choosing you because you make them feel safe and secure. You do that by:

  • Making all patient interactions warm, informative and caring
  • Listening to what the patient is saying so they feel heard
  • Being curious and asking questions to address common concerns and objections they might not be saying

Your Procedure’s Perceived Value is Not Greater Than Price

In the podcast episode number #88, we did talk about “4 Essential Ways to Increase Patients' Perceived Value of Your Practice”.

Simply put, customers buy an item when their perceived benefit is equal to or more than the price tag. It means that they feel they are getting good value for their money.

Customers do not buy items solely for their features. In reality, product features are merely a way of delivering what a client truly desires: benefit.

This is how it works… your patient’s perceived value about your clinic equals Patient Received Benefit MINUS Treatment Cost.

When a patient asks, “How much does it cost?”, replying immediately over email or by phone call will lose you the opportunity to build up the Patient Perceived Benefit and all they can see from their end is the Treatment cost. Therefore, you will have a negative Patient Perceived Value meaning you will lose this prospective patient.

“How much does it cost?”. I got to deal with this question a lot throughout my career from both, running my own agency and also from other clinics that we work with.

Price is always a factor in a prospect’s objections. You will want to think about the prices you charge, and how can you build value around the price point that you're asking for because a transaction only occurs when benefits exceed the price.

In your pitch to a prospect, you want to be building the benefits of your services or procedures; thereby addressing the price point objection before it is even raised.

Once you do this, you will minimise the main objections that come up about pricing.  While I’m pretty sure that you'll still get these queries, however, they will come up much less frequently in your sales process.

Because of the competitive nature of our medical industry, prospective patients have so much choice that baffles them and makes it difficult to decide who the best surgeon is to help them get what they want.

YOU may know how great you are, but don’t assume consumer patients do. You can’t take anything for granted when it comes to the fickle and frazzled consumer who is overwhelmed with information and choice.

Too many other surgeons show great results online and have good reviews and testimonials, so what else can you do to stand out? Here are strategies to seriously consider and implement:

  • Explain WHAT makes you different. Articulate through video and in your consultation on how your unique techniques make all the difference in the results you’re able to achieve versus your competitors.
  • Demonstrate through videos and website content (including follow up email sequence) how much you and your staff are there to support the patient before, during and after their surgery. Show a tour of your gorgeous office and surgical suite, your rapid recovery process, and your superior aftercare support.

This should be done even before prospects begin enquiring about the first consultation. The value needs to be established through all touchpoints, from the premium appearance of the website to the use of authentic, high-quality videos and images across both the website and social media platforms. Since we are offering high-value procedures, consider the experience when walking into luxury stores like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, or Burberry. What is your initial impression? It's the ambiance of space and luxury, isn't it? And what do you expect to pay? You would expect to pay more right? Similarly, your website must exude a premium look to enhance the perceived value of your clinic and procedures.

Finances

Cost is often an issue and the number one reason you tell me prospective patients don’t book.

However, if you have attracted quality leads and you have built trust as well as a connection and you have been clear about why your fees are worth it, there is one more step…..

Help patients find the money. Vanity knows no bounds and patients want what they want and will go to great lengths to get it so give them these suggestions:

  • Offer a choice of payment plans
  • Get an increase in current credit card limits in a simple phone call to customer service
  • Open a new credit card with 0% interest, cash back rewards and travel points

You’re Not Booking Potential Patients Because You’re Not Following Up

The truth is, in sales, the fortune lies in the follow-up. But how can you effectively follow up to secure that all-important surgery booking? Here are some proven methods we've successfully implemented in other client campaigns:

Schedule a Follow-Up Consultation:

After the initial consultation, it's crucial to promptly schedule the next appointment with prospective patients right when you have the prospect there in your clinic. Some clinics with high conversion rates integrate the follow-up consultation fee into the initial consultation cost. This adds value for patients and reduces hesitation, making it easier to confirm the follow-up appointment to address any remaining questions before proceeding with the procedure.

Social Media Remarketing Ads:

You can employ creative strategies for following up to avoid appearing overly needy.

Leveraging social media remarketing ads is an effective way to discreetly follow up with prospects. These ads can showcase additional results, explain the aftercare process, and even feature patient reviews (if permitted in your country). In our previous episode #109, we discussed about “Why Your Social Media Ads Don’t Work” , in which we emphasised the importance of tailoring ads to cater to the various stages of the patient journey from brand awareness to consideration, conversion, brand loyalty and advocacy stages and, particularly focusing on the consideration and conversion stages when it comes to follow up with the prospective patients after the initial consultation.

Implement a Follow-Up Email Sequence:

Emails provide an opportunity to delve into the finer details of the procedure and address common questions or objections. Share insights on your before and aftercare process, testimonials from previous patients, and personal stories from the surgeon who conducted the consultation. Personalised emails from the consulting surgeon convey a sense of care and professionalism, setting your clinic apart from other surgeons who don’t send any follow up emails before and after the initial consultation.

The question is how many emails and over the course of how many days? To determine the optimal frequency, consider your typical sales cycle (usually 2 to 4 weeks) and send educational and informative emails every 2 to 3 days. This approach ensures you stay top-of-mind without coming across as pushy.

By employing these strategic follow-up methods, you can enhance your chances of converting leads into confirmed surgery bookings seamlessly and effectively.

The thing is—it would be inaccurate to assume that interested leads are always going to book right after the consultation. But try not to take this too personally. Everyone is busy with things going on in their own lives and their own businesses.

So it can really help to send a follow-up to stay top of mind—several times, if necessary. After all, you’re offering a solution that will make their lives easier and reduce some of that busy-ness. In a lot of cases, I’ve found that persistence really does pay off.

Ineffective Marketing Channels

Are you tired of attracting bargain-hunting patients? In today’s market, many potential patients are solely focused on finding the cheapest option available.

This fixation on price can be frustrating for high-end surgeons, particularly when enquiries often begin with the dreaded question: ‘How much is it?’

If you are not happy with the quality of patients you are attracting, something is wrong with your marketing. You are not reaching or resonating with the right audience of preferred patience you want.

It’s either your message, the marketing channels, or the demographics of those channels (i.e., post codes) you are using. Try this instead:

  • Look at the last 50 surgeries you did and see where they came from. Then focus your time, money and effort and those marketing channels only.
  • If you want higher quality patients, be higher quality in your own efforts and that includes your website, messaging and visual content.
  • Increase the quality and quantity of your social media content to expand your reach outside of your local area.

Take the time to address and implement these strategies and you’ll see a significant improvement in your conversion rates because new patients will feel your standard for excellence and genuine patient care.

Ok that wraps up another episode of the OMD TV & podcast show.

If this was helpful to you, please subscribe to the OMD TV and Podcast Show so you don’t miss any future episodes. And please share this episode with your staff and colleagues.

If you want to learn more about Online Marketing For Doctors offers and how our team can help you generate more new patients and referring doctors via SEO for medical and healthcare practices, please reach out to us and book a and we’ll show you the opportunities that you might have with your practice’s marketing.  I’ll leave a link to it in the show notes below.

Thank you so much and hope to talk to you on a discovery call soon. 🥳

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