First-time patients: What are they afraid of, and how can you help?

It’s no surprise that new patients often have anxiety about their first-time aesthetic procedure.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what first-time patients are worried about and how you can adapt your consultation progress to soothe their fears.

Before you make any changes to your new patient consult process, conduct an audit of your existing procedure. Look at it through the lens of a first-time patient and critically evaluate where there are opportunities for improvement.

Below is a framework to ensure you address patient concerns head-on, gaining the trust and confidence of your patients during their very first consultation.

Prepare: First, review your patient intake form to understand what aesthetic goals the patient has. Don’t go into a first-time consult without doing your homework.

Collect the following information to prepare yourself for the consultation:

What are the patient’s concerns and desired results?

What stage of the decision-making process is the patient in?

What treatments have they received in the past?

What does a conservative starting point look like?

Is there another first-time patient who had similar goals that you can use as a success story?

Collect before and after photos that match the patient’s goals, skin type, age, and gender.

Get briefed by staff who have talked to the patient to gain any additional insights.

Remember: Put yourself in the first-time patient’s shoes. Imagine the concerns your new patients have and make sure you treat them with comfort.

Common Patient Questions and Concerns:

Will I look natural?

Reassure patients that you and your staff will provide treatments that are aligned with their aesthetic goals. Patients can take a phased approach to aesthetic changes to make gradual changes. Your ultimate goal is to help them feel confident and comfortable throughout the process.

Show before and afters that are similar to what they are looking for and confirm that the results match what they had in mind.

Use the word “comfortable” to get patient buy-in.

Will it hurt?

Align and recommend procedures based on their needs—recommend multiple options from least invasive to most invasive. Clearly outline the pros and cons of each procedure and explain what your pain management protocol looks like for each treatment.

Set expectations, yes, sometimes procedures produce some discomfort. Explain what will occur during each step, and what they will feel both during and after the procedure.

Outline options for pain management during the treatment and at home during recovery.

If pain is an area of concern for a patient, recommend a less-invasive treatment with fast recovery.

Will it require a lot of maintenance?

Provide a complete treatment roadmap, including at-home care, expected downtime, pricing, and ongoing procedure maintenance.

Introduce your practice’s membership program. Membership programs can be a great way to help spread out the cost of maintenance treatments through price breaks, discounts, and service bundling.

Is it taboo to get aesthetic treatments?

If a patient is feeling wary or nervous about treatment, provide comfort by simplifying the explanation and expected outcome of the treatment. Put your patients at ease by educating them and adopting a ‘no pressure sales approach.

Implement a phased approach to the patient’s treatment plan. Explain to your patients that they can start small and gradually move towards a more advanced procedure.

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