As a refractive surgery marketing strategist with over 20 years of experience in the field, I understand the challenges of selling medical procedures such as vision correction surgeries. Patients need to trust the expertise of the medical staff and the procedures they offer. They must also feel heard, understood, and cared for. I advise reframing a typical sales call into a more valuable virtual suitability assessment. In this blog post, I will expand on this idea and provide tips on executing it effectively.
The Importance of Framing
As humans, we are wired to perceive things in a certain way. How we frame information can influence our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours. That’s why it’s crucial to frame a sales call that resonates with patients’ values and expectations. Calling it a suitability call is a smart move because it communicates that the call is not just about selling a procedure but also about assessing if the patient is a suitable candidate for it. This framing helps to build trust and establish credibility.
Booking Appointments vs Spontaneous Calls
People value their time, and booking an appointment (with an online scheduler, of course) shows they are willing to invest their time in the conversation. It also shows that they are serious about exploring their options. That’s why it’s essential to enable patients to book the suitability call beforehand. This way, they can prepare for it and have a sense of control over the process.
On the other hand, spontaneous calls can be perceived as intrusive and may lead to lower engagement rates.
Virtual Suitability Assessment
During the suitability call, it’s essential to take a leadership role and guide the conversation. The patient liaison should have prepared questions that help to assess the patient’s needs, expectations, and preferences. They should also indicate suitability by the end of the call, almost like a live self-test. This way, the patient can understand whether they are a good fit for the procedure and what to expect in the next steps.
However, it’s crucial to note that the patient liaison should not confirm suitability on this call. The reason is that they are not qualified to recommend a procedure, and they haven’t examined the patient. Instead, the goal of the suitability call is to leverage the time invested by the lead into a face-to-face appointment to confirm suitability with either an optometrist or surgeon. This approach helps to build trust and avoids the risk of over-promising or under-delivering.
Coupled with a digital self-test sent before the call, this approach can be a winning combination that yields even better conversion rates, more personalised customer experience, and more time efficiency.
The digital self-test can help to prepare patients for the suitability call and provide additional insights into their suitability for the procedure. It can also help to triage leads and identify those who are most likely to convert into face-to-face appointments. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the self-test is user-friendly, accurate, and secure. Patients must feel confident that their data is safe and that the self-test provides reliable information.
In conclusion, reframing a sales call into a virtual suitability assessment can be an effective way to attract and convert patients interested in vision correction surgeries.
By booking appointments, taking a leadership role, and providing an indication of suitability, patient liaisons can build trust and establish credibility. Coupled with a digital self-test, this approach can yield even better results, such as higher conversion rates, more personalised customer experience, and more time efficiency. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the approach is executed effectively, ethically, and with patients’ best interests in mind.