Convert More Consults with Risk Reversal Strategy

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Catherine Maley, Mba
  • Published October 17, 2021
  • Word count 1,042

The risk reversal strategy is a proven strategy that makes it impossible for patients to say no.

This might sound radical but hear me out before you tune me out.

Make it impossible for patients to say no to you by using Nordstrom’s risk reversal strategy.

If you buy anything at Nordstrom, you know that if anything goes wrong with it or you are unhappy in any way, they will take it back…no questions asked.

Nordstrom’s guarantee is what built its iconic business. The confidence of knowing that they will take back anything is what sets consumers’ minds at ease buying from Nordstrom.

And they are not the cheapest game in town, and they are not offering discounts at every turn.


What consumers/cosmetic patients really want is to make a smart buying decision they are happy with.

We all have “stuff” we bought and wished we hadn’t, or we felt pressured into, and now we’re stuck with it and live with regret.

That makes consumers wary of doing it again and wasting money. This fear is huge in cosmetic rejuvenation.

It’s a much bigger deal when your body is at stake, so cosmetic prospective patients are afraid to make a bad decision.

They’re scared they will not get what they want and then regret it. So, they’re on the fence for years deciding if they should or shouldn’t move forward with plastic surgery, and then once they decide they should, now they must decide WHO to choose to perform the procedure.

That’s why they are going on multiple consults and procrastinating.

Understanding Your Consumer

So, knowing that about consumers, it would behoove you to figure out how to calm their fears, so they choose you.

The more you remove the risk (called risk reversal), the more consultations you will convert because you are lowering the hurdle of entry, which is fear, for the cosmetic patient.

The best companies and marketers out there use risk reversal to make it easy for the consumer to buy.

But transferring the risk from the patient’s shoulders to yours is a very touchy subject for plastic surgeons.

Most surgeons think they will go broke if they offer some sort of guarantee, so hear me out.

How to Guarantee Your Work Without Breaking the Bank

Think about what you currently do when a patient comes back to you after a procedure and is livid and upset by the results they got.

You, too, can see it’s not the optimal result, and this patient isn’t crazy, so don’t you do a touch-up?

Or even go back in to perform a revision at no charge? Or, if it escalates, don’t you even refund them their money after they sign an agreement not to disparage you?

So, if you would do it anyway, why not get credit for it and use that risk reversal to convert more consultations, especially when the patient is deciding which of you or your competitors to go with?

Most plastic surgeons are scared to give guarantees because they think their patients will take advantage of them.

Well, it will happen occasionally, but I guarantee you will close so many more consults that more than makes up for the 1 or 2 issues you may have.

But most cosmetic patients are honest and ethical if you choose wisely. And those patients that take advantage of you, would have done the same thing even if you didn’t have a guarantee.

By the way, you are not broadcasting this out to the world. You are only using it in the consultation with the patient who is on the fence and close to making a decision, but the fear factor is preventing them from saying yes.


  1. Be definite. Don’t just say “our services are guaranteed.”

Take time to show your patients results they should expect. Walk them through it and carefully explain and educate them on the emotional and physical benefits you offer.

Here is a sample script for your coordinator to say to the prospective patient:

“Karen, Dr. Smith says you are a perfect candidate for this procedure. So, if you don’t look at yourself in the mirror and feel more confident and secure within 6 months after the procedure, just let me know so we can make it right and make you happy, even if Dr. Smith has to do a touch-up on the house. That’s how strongly we believe in the results you’ll get.”

  1. Make your guarantee for the longest time period possible.

Since cosmetic results can take months and even up to one year for the final results, make sure the patient is aware of the time frame.

Interestingly, the longer number of times you make your guarantee, the lower the number of refunds.

The majority of patients get used to their look and move on with their life to focus on something else more pressing.

  1. Watch Your Numbers After Instituting Risk Reversal

When a practice begins assuming the risk for the patient it is not uncommon for them to see double or triple the number of scheduled surgeries.

With those kinds of numbers, it makes the handful of people who take you up on your guarantee well worth it. You will have a whole lot more cosmetic patients use your services because of this unique feature.

Look, if you are confident in your abilities like I know you are, and you are selecting patients that make sense, then they should be getting the results and outcomes they want to state your guarantee in the strongest possible, legally permissible terms.

As prospective patients are weighing their options and comparing surgeons, think about the difference your guarantee will make in their minds.

If you want to help propel uncertain patients “off the fence” this will do it.

When you use this risk reversal strategy, the revenues you gain in booked surgeries will far surpass the revenues you will lose. I guarantee it.

Need more help on how to use risk reversal strategy, please reach out to me at

Since The Year 2000, Catherine Maley, MBA has been a plastic surgery growth business and marketing consultant, author, speaker, trainer, blogger, and podcaster. Her website is

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