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Want to Give Patients a Better Experience and Book More Procedures? Direct their Attention.

What’s the most valuable commodity in the world?

Gold? Oil? Rare-earth metals? Cash? Bitcoin?

No — the most valuable commodity in the world is attention.

Want to give patients a better experience? Want to book more procedures? Direct their attention.

Think about it: the most successful companies in the world today aren’t those who mine the earth for natural resources.

They’re the ones who capture our attention. The ones who make those ubiquitous glowing rectangles we call smartphones — or more often, the apps on them. Those devices that capture our attention and dictate how we spend much of our lives.

Attention is the bedrock of our lives and experiences. Research suggests that what you spend your attention on – and yes, you are spending it – will dramatically impact the quality of your life.

Focus on the negative in every situation, and you’ll end up like Eeyore: glass always half full, rain always on the way.

Focus on the silver lining and your quality of life will be much better, even when circumstances are tough.

But it goes far beyond pessimism and optimism. What you spend your attention on dictates the experience you’re going to have.

Attention and Patient Acquisition

Attention doesn’t just matter for our life satisfaction — it also plays an outsize role in patient acquisition. But most surgeons don’t think about this.

Getting new patients for your practice is an uphill battle: there are marketing costs to get leads, plus endless follow-ups and inevitable scheduling issues to work through – not to mention the fact that not every patient who comes in for a consult will book a procedure.

If you want to fill your surgery schedule, what can you do?

I’d suggest you should start by directing your patients’ attention where you want it to go.

That’s right — you’re in control of their attention.

You can actively shape the experience they have and use that experience to your advantage to increase the likelihood of them booking a procedure.

Just think about the patients you’ll see today. Many of them have never had an experience like the one they’re about to have. They’ve never had a consult before, let alone an elective procedure.

They have no framework for this experience. No mental model for this decision.

And it makes sense — they’ve never needed to until this point!

Most practices combat this lack of experience by throwing more information at the patient: they spew a bunch of technical jargon, but nothing sticks. They inundate the patient with tons of information about their technology or how the procedure works, but it all flies over their head.

What’s common knowledge to the surgeon (because they’ve been practicing for two decades) makes no sense to the patient. In one ear and out the other.

Too many doctors assume that the more information they throw at the patient, the better. More information = better decisions, right?

No. Not in this case at least.

More information isn’t always the answer. The right information is.

Your role is to first be an educator: to teach your patients how to think. And this involves directing their attention.

As the expert, you’re in control. When a patient has no framework for how to behave, what questions to ask, or where to focus, they’ll defer back to you. You’re the expert, after all.

If you want to improve your conversion rates, you can direct their attention where you want it to go.

Some of this takes emotional intelligence, of course. If you’ve got a prospect who keeps mentioning price, it’s a waste of time to keep going on and on about how advanced your technology is. You’ve got to “read” your patients and see what’s most important to them. Then you can direct their attention where you want it to go.

Reframing Objections & Directing Attention

Consider a patient who’s concerned about cost. If you come right out and say “Our LASIK fee is $4,200,” what goes through their head? Where does their attention go?

  • Yikes, I can’t afford that… (admitting defeat)
  • If only I had gotten a raise last year… (negative thinking about experiences)
  • Well, I guess this isn’t for me after all… (feeling unworthy)
  • If I win the lottery, maybe… (daydreaming about their ideal life)
  • Is that $4,200 total? Or $4,200 per eye? (raising more questions and doubts in their head because they have no framework for this decision)

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can always reframe the question to get them to latch onto what you want them to focus on.

Consider this instead: “I know you’re probably wondering about price (reading their mind). LASIK would be a really great option for you (positive framing) and can give you the crisp, clear vision you’ve always wanted (aspirational message) for as low as $99/month (affordable price, which was their primary concern). Plus, it could save you thousands of dollars over the coming decades (focusing on value, not on cost).

See the difference?

Now, because you have reframed the situation properly and actively directed their attention where you want it to go, positive thoughts start flowing through their head:

  • $99/month? I can swing that… (positive thinking)
  • Wow, that’s a lot less expensive than I thought it would be… (reframing expectations)
  • $99/month? I pay more than that for things that are far less vital than my sight… (considering value, not just cost)

That’s why attention is so powerful. People don’t need more information — they need the right information to attend to — and you have the power to direct their attention and give clarity when they consider this life-altering decision.

Not to mention the fact that your active guidance makes them feel more at ease, builds trust, and helps them have a better experience. They aren’t left to fend for themselves and figure this whole elective surgery thing out.

Instead, they have you to guide them along the way, answer any questions they may have, etc.

Once you’ve done that, you’ve built up an important asset: trust. You can then ask to book the procedure, and they’ll do it because they trust you.

So remember – you’re in control. Deploy this technique, and you can direct your prospects’ attention where you want it to go, and you’ll end up booking more procedures as a result.


Ready to take your practice marketing to the next level? Contact us today to see how we can help you build the practice you’ve always dreamed of having.

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