Closing the Deal
The three keys to converting patient leads
Each year, millions of people decide to move forward with elective surgery. However, in today’s difficult economy, consumers are behaving more cautiously and selectively with their money. To avoid losing patients to your competition, your practice needs an air-tight system in place for generating and converting leads.
Follow our three-step plan and you’ll have more patients in no time!
1) Hire the Right Staff
Booking consultations is a sales job.
It may sound like a strange statement for a medical office, but it’s true. First impressions are everything, so the staff members answering your phone need to have not only a sparkling disposition, but also a knack for sales. They are the face of your practice and the key to patient volume.
Unfortunately, many front-office staff members and “surgery coordinators” have no sales training or experience. In fact, many have no interest at all in selling the attributes of the practice to prospective patients. If this is the case at your practice, you have a problem on your hands. Having a non-sales-minded employee answer the phone is like leaving the door to your practice locked.
There are a number of measures you can take to remedy this situation. For example, some practices have instituted incentive plans to motivate their staff. Also consider monitoring or tracking the performance of your staff using methods such as call tracking, patient questionnaires and secret shoppers. Implementing strategies such as these will allow you to better understand the strengths of your practice staff as well as the weaker areas where work is needed or duties need to be adjusted.
More importantly, it will result in higher lead conversion.
2) Nail the Initial Contact
Many practices spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing, only to lose prospective patients when they call! Don’t be one of them. Once you’ve made any necessary adjustments —in many cases, this can be as easy as redefining a few responsibilities —it’s time to make sure your staff is properly trained to field initial contacts.
Most importantly, your staff should cater to patients — and directly ask them to book a consultation.
They should also go to great lengths to avoid irritating your prospects. The following is a list of things that irritate potential patients to no end — often sending them fleeing to the offices of other surgeons (i.e., your competitors):
- An abrupt or disinterested greeting
- Placing them on hold
- Transferring them from person to person
- Answering machines
- Not answering the phone at all
So make sure your staff is trained to avoid these pitfalls. Naturally, a few people will have to be put on hold (very briefly) from time to time, but think about it this way: Would a trained salesperson allow these things to get out of hand? Of course not, and neither should you.
3) Be a Closer
Booking consultations won’t do you much good if you aren’t able to close the deal. Just because someone visits your office doesn’t mean they’re going to book a surgery or treatment. So make sure you have a system in place to follow up with your prospects. Many patients take months to make a decision, during which time they often visit several different surgeons. So don’t let them drift off; they may very well drift into the offices of your competitors who, even if they are less skilled, may have great closing processes in place.
And don’t be afraid to explain why your practice is the best choice for their surgery. Many of your competitors won’t be so bashful, so why should you?
Ask the experts
Q I keep hearing the terms “Panda” and “Penguin.” What do they mean for my website?
A February 2011 marked the first time a Google algorithm change dramatically affected the search rankings of entire websites (as opposed to individual pages). The change, nicknamed “Panda,” involved penalties Google placed on websites it judged to be “low quality.” These penalties were designed to punish websites with excessive amounts of duplicate content. The second term, “Penguin,” refers to penalties Google placed on websites that were “over-optimized,” meaning they were overloaded with key words. Numerous websites were penalized by the Panda and Penguin updates. There are corrections that can be made if this happened to your practice website.
Events: Increase Your Patient Volume
Come visit the Internet Marketing Experts at Ceatus
47th Annual Baker Gordon Educational Symposium
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Miami
Meet us at this year’s 47th Annual Baker Gordon symposium in Miami, Florida! This meeting will explore ways to enhance the aesthetic outcomes of various technical approaches. Come by booth 20 for a free evaluation of your website’s Google potential from a Ceatus Internet marketing expert. Discover how Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery®, Breast Implants 4 You™ and All About Facial Rejuvenation™ can bring more patients to your practice!
Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting
McCormick Place, Chicago
This year’s 148th Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting will build your knowledge by putting you in touch with dentistry’s top leaders in continuing education. It will be an exciting three days of interactive dental lectures, live demonstrations and hands-on participation courses. Join Ceatus Media Group and Consumer Guide to Dentistry® at the midwinter meeting — and speak with one of our Internet marketing experts at booth 4816 to learn how you can increase conversion and bring new patients to your practice!
Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium
Westin Galleria Hotel, Dallas
Ceatus Media Group will be at this year’s 30th Annual Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium on March 8-10 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas, Texas. This meeting brings together professionals from the fields of plastic and reconstructive surgery, otolaryngology and dermatology. Attendees will learn innovative techniques to grow their practice. Speak with one of our Internet marketing experts to learn how you can increase conversion and bring new patients to your door with Concierge SEO Services, Custom Website Design and Patient Referrals from Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery® and All About Facial Rejuvenation™.
Foundation for Facial Aesthetic Surgery
InterContinental Buckhead, Atlanta
Come see Ceatus Media Group at the Foundation for Facial Aesthetic Surgery in Atlanta, Georgia! This symposium will feature leading educators who will lead interactive teaching programs, with a particular emphasis on facial rejuvenation. The Foundation’s goal is to create and fund future educational ventures that will benefit medical practitioners. Come join Ceatus Media Group, All About Facial Rejuvenation™ and Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery® to speak with one of our Internet marketing experts for a personalized website and SEO evaluation.
CEATUS Case Study of the Month
A case study in customization for increased conversion
Dr. Joel Beck is a board-certified plastic surgeon whose practice is located in San Mateo, Calif. Due to his excellent reputation, patients travel to his practice from a wide geographic area extending from San Jose to San Francisco. With top-notch competition spread across this far-reaching area, Dr. Beck wanted to update his Internet image to reaffirm the uniqueness and high quality of his practice and surgical services.
Problem: Dr. Beck already had respectable organic rankings for both the San Jose and San Francisco markets, but he wanted to better convert the prospective patients who visited his website. He called upon Ceatus in 2010 to help transform and personalize his current website, giving it a more modern look that would facilitate better patient conversion.
Solution: The new site features a wider image in order to accommodate the modern wide display screens used by consumers and to allow more space on each page to place images and calls to action.
In addition, the following steps were taken:
- A strong mission statement (“Positive Changes & Honest Opinions”) was placed prominently on the site.
- Contact information, including phone number and email contact forms, was made more visible.
- Various modules on the home page were created to promote specials.
- More imagery and higher-quality photos were placed throughout the site.
- The most highly-trafficked areas of the site – the photo gallery and testimonials – were made more prominent on the home page as well as throughout the site.
- Added prominence was given to his credentials (ASAPS, ASPS, etc.) to emphasize credibility.
- In addition to the aesthetic and structural changes to the site, additional updates were made to enhance the consumer experience.
- The site navigation was completely overhauled and simplified to make it more intuitive and easier to reach every page of the site.
- Much of the content was rewritten so that it would be unique.
- Social media icons and promotions were added to boost credibility.
- A blog was added to post news about the practice.
Result: The results of the website were impressive; the traffic and conversion metrics for each visitor improved significantly, as the average time on site and the number of page views skyrocketed. Most importantly, the number of leads generated from the website increased from 2 to 5 per week to more than 12 per week.
Year of the Snake
Happy Chinese New Year! How does your animal sign fare in the Year of the Snake? Refer to your birth year below!
The Charming Rat (1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008)
The charismatic Rat will have a dynamic year. There will be periods of growth mixed with times of uncertainty and inward seeking. Make use of your keen attention to detail and be careful what business ventures you engage in. Financial challenges will appear earlier in the year, but choose wisely and you may find yourself in a better position towards year’s end. Friendships will flourish as new acquaintances enter your social life.
The Industrious Ox (1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)
People born in these years will have good fortune in the career realm and financially. Money will flow more readily this year, and you will attract more business opportunities. You are not easily affected by others or your surroundings; you will follow your own set of beliefs and ideals. While 2013 will be a favorable year, you should avoid pushing your thoughts on those who may not share your opinions. No major health problems are evident, so make use of your fitness this year!
The Brave Tiger (1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)
If you were born in the year of the Tiger, patience and self-awareness can work in your favor. Use this year to recharge and look inward rather than outward. Resolution of debts and improved financial circumstances can be achieved with some careful planning. Family relationships may have a few rough spots, so beware of being drawn into someone else’s conflict. Relationships will grow more romantically, as you will find yourself spending more time with loved ones.
The Modest Rabbit (1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)
This will be an exceptional year for Rabbits. Business ventures started this year can bring an abundance of wealth in the future. You may spend more time traveling, either for business or pleasure. Your loving nature, which hates extremes, will appreciate the lack of domestic relationship problems this year. In general, your health is good, with some lesser illnesses but no major issues.
The Ambitious Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)
It’s another powerful year for you. The year of the snake brings out the Dragon’s best characteristics — those of a great leader. Minor work or career challenges arise, but people under this sign are not discouraged when met with difficulties. They have great ambition. However, they can also be overconfident at times. Make sure you listen to both sides of a story before passing judgment, and remember that there is no need to say everything that comes to mind.
The Wise Snake (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)
This is your year — and a memorable one at that! You will push your limits and may have to come to terms with your inner perfectionist. Your career and self-employment endeavors are favorable, and money comes your way as the year goes on. Your charm and wisdom are irresistible, so use these attributes to your advantage. Love and family relationships are harmonious in general, but poor communication can cause flare-ups.
The Energetic Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002)
Your attention will be divided this year. Your finances will improve, but money will flow into different areas. You’re quite active this year so be sure to maintain a fluid balance and use your energy wisely. Horses must be cautious of their health during the first half of 2013. Meditation, spiritual reflection and an emotionally healthy environment are musts for your optimum health this year. Romantic engagements are generally smooth, but be careful not to push your loved ones aside while dealing with obstacles.
The Compassionate Ram (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003)
Lucrative opportunities will appear throughout the year. You’re in a position to achieve long-term goals, so it’s important that you focus on your career. You should develop yourself every day in the workplace to prepare for future travel opportunities. New and influential people will make their way into your life this year, so be sure to network since they may help you advance on your journey towards success.
The Clever Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004)
Your clever way of thinking is stimulated by the wise Snake this year. You may find yourself contemplating spiritual and philosophical ideals more often than usual. Your quick wit and sense of humor will bring success in 2013, and your influential manner with others will be noticed. Daily physical exercise is a must for physical health this year, and watch out for minor afflictions. Romantic involvements are on shaky terms in 2013, so be careful of whom you trust.
The Jovial Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005)
You are blessed with a smooth year in 2013. This year it is more possible for you to get promotions than it is for people with other signs. Start saving when you can, because unexpected expenses may arise. Whenever you need help, people are always around to give a helping hand. Your social life will blossom, and you may find yourself in the spotlight more often than not.
The Loyal Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006)
This Snake year will prove to be an auspicious one for anyone born under the Dog sign. In career and in love, you are faithful, courageous, smart and amiable. Your popularity will rise as your career and social status improves. It will be easy for you to cultivate new relationships with bosses and colleagues. Make sure you use this to your advantage.
The Gallant Boar (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007)
It will be another challenging year for the Boar. Success will come your way, but the path isn’t easy. Your fortitude will be put to the test. Be sure to have a back-up plan for any big decisions you make. Extraneous factors may cause career or relationship strains. Despite a few setbacks, at year’s end you will finish strong. You may find that some obstacles endured during the year have hidden benefits.
Personalize Your Website, Increase Conversion
In today’s tough economy, many practices are looking for ways to attract more leads and convert them to patients. It all starts with your website. Your site needs to stand out in the crowd to convince website visitors to contact your practice and schedule surgical consultations. To accomplish this, your site needs to be personalized so that your personality, uniqueness and practice vision shine through.
How We Do It
Personalizing your website means tailoring every element — including the content, imagery, videos and design — to your practice. By customizing these elements you brand your practice and build rapport with prospective patients. The result: Higher Conversion.
Content. Ceatus goes to great lengths to provide its clients with unique, customized content that is trustworthy, authoritative, and optimized to attract the attention of Google and other search engines. Our professional writing staff has years of experience in medical and dental writing, so you can be sure that your content is reputable and comprehensive. A website developed by Ceatus will be tailored to what makes you unique, from your education and training to your unique approach to patient care, surgery and more.
Multimedia. Adding personalized multimedia elements such as animation and video to your website allows you to effectively communicate your practice vision and your personality. It also enables you to create a strong rapport with potential patients; this is a key component of the conversion process, because people buy from people they like. Practice websites with customized multimedia are more likely to convince website visitors to book appointments.
Design. An aesthetically pleasing, consumer-friendly website will set your practice apart. Quality design and structure stands out and is more likely to keep patients interested. Our team of webmasters will maintain your vision while using the latest features and technologies to keep both the search engines and your website visitors engaged.
Ceatus knows what it takes to customize your website for increased conversion. Our team of production specialists, writers and marketing experts has the know-how and experience to identify what makes your practice different and convey that to prospective patients. They work together to develop compelling, informative written content and video that highlights the complexity of the procedures you perform and the quality of care you provide. The Ceatus team has the knowledge and skill to maximize your online visibility and ensure that you convert website visitors to patients.
To learn more, contact Ceatus today!