Los Angeles — Physicians commonly need coaching regarding the following elements of the sales process, according to an expert:
1. Nonverbal cues. From the start of a patient consultation, says Scott W. Mosser, M.D., “It’s very important to pay attention to the dialogue of body language.” He is a plastic surgeon based in San Francisco.
“If somebody has crossed legs or crossed arms, or is sitting to the side as if they’re almost deliberately not facing the clinician, these are all closed body postures.” When one encounters such a posture, “Set the person at ease by matching their conversational pace and tone and being a careful, active listener. The goal is that slowly but surely, the person will open up their body posture, because while that is occurring, they’ll also be opening up their capacity to listen, and expressing themselves more accurately and honestly.”
2. The heart versus the head. Few entrepreneurs realize that people almost never make a purchasing decision with their rational minds, Dr. Mosser adds. Instead, he says, most purchases stem from emotional drivers.
In other words, “People may want something, and then they’ll use their rational mind to justify it. However, many business people think it goes the other way — they approach people from a rational standpoint, trying to appeal to their sense of reason, and it doesn’t work.”
When a physician can connect with a patient’s emotional desires and vision of how a potential treatment could fulfill those desires that, Dr. Mosser says, “Then the person is much more compelled to move forward.”
For example, he says that when a person is considering facial fillers as a means of competing more effectively in a youthful workplace, “That fear of losing their viability is what you must address. That patient doesn’t care about shadows and anatomic landmarks. Instead, talk about how a treatment will help the person express his or her energy, verve and vigor more effectively.”
Understanding emotional drivers also can help physicians discuss and manage treatment plans over time, Dr. Mosser says.
“If you understand somebody’s original motivation and have the person’s trust to talk to them about it, then either they change their mind regarding treatment decisions, or you realize that further treatments eventually could benefit them, you can always return to this core element” to guide a discussion, he says.
Sometimes, he says, a patient who has booked a procedure may get cold feet due to irrational fears over safety.
“If you haven’t understood where their initial motivators came from, then that person’s fear won’t allow them to process those concerns very well. If, on the other hand, you help the person put into perspective the high probability that the treatment will help them reach their core goal, versus the extreme improbability of the things they’re worried about, then the patient can process this information in a more sensible, rational way and ultimately get back on track toward the treatment,” Dr. Mosser says.
Disclosures: This article grew out of information Dr. Mosser originally presented at Cosmetic Boot Camp University, Nov. 9, 2013, Los Angeles. Dr. Mosser is a consultant for Merz and a Suneva stockholder.