Let me ask you a question? Have you made a significant purchase in your life recently, but took a while to make this purchase? You may have been thinking of purchasing for a while, but you were just not quite ready.
Maybe you were doing a lot of research, visiting different shops or researching varies websites, is this you?
Your patients are the same. Your patient doesn’t just wake up that day and say I want my teeth whitened, or I want them straightening, they have also been thinking about it for a while. They also take their time before they buy cosmetic treatment from you and if you offer free consultations, the chances are you are going to get many of these patients through your door. These are patients who are really interested, but not yet ready to buy. That is why if you offer free consultations, it is impossible to have a 100% success rate in your case acceptance.
To illustrate this, let me share a real-life example. A friend of mine who is a hairdresser recently took up some short-term orthodontic treatment in a local dental practice. She had been thinking about this treatment for a while, during that time she went from a 5/10 fairly interested to a 10/10 in the space of six months.
So, what prompted her to take the treatment up? She decided to have the treatment done after a breakup of a relationship that had lasted five years, there was a significant change in her personal situation that prompted her to make the decision to have the treatment. That is how I normally find people go from interested to buying, there is normally something significant that happens or is happening like a special birthday, wedding or other occasion. Before that she had gone for three different consultations, including her own practice, the other two were recommendations from friends. However, from seeing the first dentist to her having the braces fitted, there was a 7-month time lag. You see at the time she was thinking about it, fairly interested, but not yet ready to buy. I call it the pain. In other words, the pain at the time, emotional pain, was not big enough yet to justify the investment of both time and money. The dentist wanted to start the treatment, but the patient was not yet quite ready to buy.
By the way that is often the case in my business. Dentists from knowing me, to starting the course, can often be many months, or in some cases years. That is why it is important that you have a system of keeping in touch and letting your prospect know that you are around and when they are ready to buy, you are here for them.
So how can you keep in touch?
Well 28 years ago when I got into the training business, there were only two ways of keeping in touch, post and telephone, nowadays with social media there are many ways of keeping in touch and letting your prospect know that you are around.
For example, if you are friends on Facebook and you post something educational or interesting, then the patient can see your posts. If they follow you on Instagram, they can see your pictures. You can send an email or e-newsletter, to them full of interesting content. Or better still, good old post, inviting them to a special evening or maybe send them a coupon with a special offer. Don’t knock post it still works. If you offer implants and your market is the grey pound, then post might be your best form of marketing.
These are just a few ways of keeping in touch and letting your potential patient that you have not forgotten about them. It is so easy nowadays and the good thing is it does not take a lot of time to do this, especially if you are in the habit of doing this all the time anyway.
There is not a day that does not go by that I am not posting on some social media platform about the work I am currently doing, and I am always trying to provide educational content of value to my reader. My head does not hit the pillow until I have done something. What I can say is, there is very rarely a day that does not go by when someone does not contact our business asking for some information about our courses, or somebody wanting to book on one of my courses. The more quality content we put out there, then the more business we do. It goes hand in hand. You reap what you sow.
To conclude this article, keep in touch with patients that don’t buy from you at the first consultation. They might not be ready to buy right now but you will be surprised how much we leave on the table by not keeping in touch and following up with our patients.