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Tailoring Consultations and Practice Procedures

By: Catherine Maley
Posted: November 2, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of
Physician sitting at a computer, explaining something to a patient

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To help your patients understand you better, you should understand there are different learning styles. Three of the main styles are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual people want to see the results, auditory people want to hear about the results, and kinesthetic people want to touch and feel the results. Everybody has elements of all three modes, but one mode usually dominates decision-making, learning processes and how patients perceive information.

You want to present your message in a manner that gets through to patients in the way they understand it best. The easiest way for that to happen is to include all three modes of learning for everyone. For each patient, you should show them things, let them hear things, and attach feelings and emotions to them. Some suggestions to use during the consultation would be to use your hand, a mirror and a cotton swab to show patients facial skin-lifting procedural results, and letting them look at before-and-after photos of patients who sought similar results. Photos are all the more compelling if they are of people of the same age, gender and ethnicity as the patient.

Computer imaging also is popular for illustrating results specific to patients, and videos of procedures and taped patient testimonials also are often well-received, especially when explaining complex procedures. To offer potential patients a spot-on consultation, see tips in The Perfect Consultation.

Additionally, if you have any tenuous patients, have them call former patients who are satisfied, and be sure information packets handed out to prospective patients include press you’ve received, articles you’ve written, your credentials, your practice brochure and anything else they can touch and feel.

Take the time

By treating every single prospective patient as a person first and a patient second, and taking the time to develop a rapport and gain the patient’s trust, you can grow your aesthetic practice—as well as your word-of-mouth referrals and closing ratios—quickly and effectively.