How I Went From Near Bankruptcy to Making $4.5 Million at My Practice

I just got back from the 2019 American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) meeting at the New Orleans Convention Center, and I’m excited to share my experience as a first-time attendee. It was a very special opportunity to attend ASAPS this year because facial plastic surgeons are normally not invited.

An exception was made because I was the faculty for a new training in the educational component of the meeting. We shared my experience of going from near bankruptcy to over $4.5 million in cosmetic revenue with one provider and no insurance. With the goal of improving patient care, we dove deep into how most doctors are scientific with their practice of medicine yet completely unscientific with their business practices, often to the detriment of patient care and practice growth.

It is commonly seen in medicine that when good business practices are lacking, it will negatively impact patient experience, outcomes and reviews, not to mention staff (and doctor) morale and quality of life. I led the room through specifically prepared exercises that allowed them to measure and explore the current baseline and future potential of their practices.

We have developed a new tool called the business personality scorecard that measures team engagement and behavior. Through self-assessment, practices can determine their simple and intuitive “emotional metrics” that are duplicatable and predictive of team and patient behavior. This allows doctors to be more realistic and effective in their approach to growing their practice.

The first hour of the training covered how to engage your team so that they perform energetically and not complacently. Knowing these emotional metrics allows the business owner to monitor and encourage their progress through daily activities and ongoing training.

The second hour focussed on setting daily revenue and team goals. Most doctors have a general goal of “Let’s do the best we can today” which can be very confusing and demotivating to a team. When a team has specific goals, they are empowered to perform much more accurately. We can not manage what we do not specifically measure.

Inbound and outbound phone calls are a vital part of any practice, and the third hour offered a unique approach to make the most of this resource.  Outbound calling is extremely underutilized. Most patients need 15-20 touches before they may convert. Most doctors offices will deliver 1–3 touches at best. This is considered “Survival of the Fittest Leads” and we want “No Lead Left Behind.”

The training was wrapped up with tips on how to stop leaving money on the table by connecting with patient’s pain, falling in love with your patient, celebrating your value, proper use of soundbites, asking the right questions, and following up on the patient’s plan was the overall format.  Attendees learned that it is not what we do, but how we do it that carries the day, and ultimately the revenue and profitability of the practice.

Allowing the doctors to learn from role modeling what I do in my practice every day was informative, inspirational and entertaining.

One doctor told me they were skeptical when they saw "From Near Bankruptcy to Over $4.5 Million," but saw how my suggestions could help them in the future. Another doctor was surprised by the engagement of the lecture and what they learned from it.

After the training, I spent the next few days performing live social media interviews with plastic surgeons from all over the world at the event. It is interesting to note that doctors who proactively share their videos will get more engagement, compared to those that did not share. There is no better platform to educate patients than social media, and it is critically important for patients to consistently see videos that show the doctor’s personality. After all, patients aren’t really buying plastic surgery. They are buying the doctor.

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