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The Perfect Consultation Starts with Credibility

April 2024

Learn everything there is to know about step one of our nine-step consultation process.

Patients are going to have a lot of objections, concerns, and uncertainties when they come into your office for a consultation. It doesn’t matter what the consultation is for or how extensive the treatment will be; when people are considering spending money or having treatment, there will always be hesitations. 

But, did you know that, in the majority of cases, you can pinpoint the first objection you will run into, before the patient has even had a chance to introduce themselves? Can you guess what that objection is?

The answer is trust.

Less than 50 percent of the general population trusts hospitals, doctors offices, and our health systems. There are a host of causes for this phenomenon, but the simple fact remains: your patients aren’t going to trust you right away.

So, to avoid fighting an uphill battle the entire consultation, the most important thing you can do is tackle that objection as soon as possible. But how do you do that? How do you establish credibility in those critical first moments when the patient is making their judgment? How, in such a tight window, do you get patients to trust you truly?

Trust Is About Credibility

First, we need to explore the components of trust. At its core, trust is fundamentally anchored in the credibility of the healthcare providers. Credibility, in this context, encompasses several key components: expertise, honesty, and empathy. These elements work in tandem to foster a trusting relationship.


Medical professionals are expected to possess a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of their field. This includes knowledge of current medical practices, treatments, and guidelines. Patients rely on this expertise to receive accurate diagnoses, effective treatment plans, and informed advice about their conditions.

The assurance that one is receiving care from a knowledgeable professional is a natural precursor to a trusting relationship. When patients believe their provider is at the pinnacle of medical care and understands their specific goals, they are more likely to have faith in treatment plans.


Honesty and transparency in communication are critical in establishing trust. Patients more easily trust medical professionals who provide clear, straightforward information about diagnoses, treatment options, and prognoses, even when the news or guidance  is not what they hope to hear.

The ability of healthcare providers to communicate truthfully, including the acknowledgment of uncertainties or errors, strengthens trust by demonstrating respect for patients’ autonomy and right to make informed decisions about their own care.

You need to communicate to the patient that your priority is their treatment outcomes, not how much you are able to convince them to spend. If you can achieve this, you are on a fast track to becoming a trustworthy physician in your patients’ eyes.


The ability to convey empathy isn’t a strategy that is traditionally taught or explored in clinical training or even aesthetic business consulting, but empathy can bridge the gap between professional expertise and patient experience, making healthcare interactions more personal and less clinical.

(This is why we often include it in any in-person or virtual MINT training.)

By being empathetic, you can remove yourself from the associations that people carry around regarding healthcare and doctors. After all, patients are more likely to trust healthcare providers who acknowledge their fears, worries, and expectations and who are committed to addressing them as part of a holistic care process.

Practicing “Credibility Speech”

Now that we know the components, we need to explore how you can actually tackle the different elements of trust during your consultation. We recommend using “credibility speech,” a phrase we use to describe strategic communication aimed at building your credibility as a medical aesthetic provider. Remember, there are three components you will want to cover here: expertise, honesty, and empathy.

So, when you first walk into the consultation room, take the opportunity to introduce yourself and tell the potential patient more about you and your practice. You don’t need to have a script memorized here — in fact it’s better if you don’t — but here are some questions to ask yourself to get an idea of what types of concepts you should be communicating:

Questions About Expertise

  • How long have you and your practice been in business?
  • What qualifications and certifications do you hold in your specialty?
  • How many years of experience do you have in your field?
  • What kind of staff do you look for when hiring for your practice?
  • What success stories or case studies about this treatment can you share?
  • Can you discuss any professional awards, recognitions, or affiliations you have received?
  • How does your staff support your practice’s philosophy toward patient care?
  • What technologies or innovations have you incorporated to improve patient care?
  • How do you keep yourself updated with the latest research and developments in your field?

Questions About Honesty

  • How do you handle complications or unexpected outcomes?
  • What is your approach to patient education and informed consent?
  • How do you involve patients in their own healthcare decisions?
  • What is your policy on follow-up care and monitoring after treatment?
  • How do you measure patient satisfaction and quality of care in your practice?
  • How do you address patient concerns or complaints about their care?
  • What is your approach to combination procedures and making recommendations?

Questions About Empathy

  • What is your practice’s philosophy toward patient care?
  • What measures do you take to ensure patient safety during treatments or procedures?
  • What led you to open an aesthetic clinic?
  • What are some challenges you’ve faced with other patients, and how have you overcome them?
  • How do you ensure that your practice remains accessible and accommodating to all patients?
  • Can you explain how you develop personalized treatment plans for your patients?

Once you have done the work and figured out generally what you want to be communicating to your patient, you will be able to walk into every consultation and lay an effective foundation of rapport.

Bring Your Homework

Before and After Photos

There is really no easier way to convince your patient that you can provide them with results than to show them that there were patients similar to them that you have already given results to through the use of before and after photos. While you are exploring those concepts about your expertise and your staff’s experience, use the before and after photos as a visual aid, naming the staff members who did the treatments.

Creating detailed profiles for patient testimonials and staff qualifications during the consultation can also enrich the consultation experience, making it more collaborative and working to build more rapport for your team.

Patient Testimonials

For patient testimonials, compiling in-depth profiles that include not just before-and-after photos but also personal narratives that detail the patient’s initial concerns, the decision-making process, the treatment journey, and reflections on the outcomes can profoundly impact potential patients.

During consultations, referencing these testimonials allows you to tailor the conversation to address the unique concerns and aspirations of the person sitting in front of you. It creates a space for potential patients to see themselves in the stories of others.

Staff Profiles

On the other hand, creating comprehensive profiles for your staff, highlighting their qualifications, personalities, experience, and any specialties or achievements, underscores the expertise of your team. Through this effort, you are humanizing the treatment process and building rapport before the patient even meets the rest of the team in person.

It also encourages a more collaborative atmosphere, as patients feel informed and comfortable with the team, fostering a relationship based on mutual respect and trust from the very beginning.

Have a Conversation, Don’t Give a Lecture

It is important that, in your effort to clearly communicate your trustworthiness, you avoid turning the consultation into a lecture on you and your practice. This type of communication will come off to the patient as rehearsed, self-focused, and, in the worst case scenario, disingenuous.

In our medical aesthetics training, we always emphasize the importance of taking your time to move through your points, engaging the patient in the conversation as much as yourself. Stop after major ideas or benchmarks to ask about questions or even get a simple nod of approval or understanding.

Don’t be afraid to tell them you are going to be giving them a lot of information over the course of the next hour — make a joke about it, even, which will humanize you in their eyes and let them know that this process, while  informative and educational, is still lighthearted and nothing to be nervous about.

Always Consider the Hesitations

The elephant in the consultation room is always going to be the patient’s concern that their procedure will become something similar to what they’ve seen on a botched show or horror stories on social media. Your approach should never be to disregard these concerns. 

Instead, take the time to explain to them exactly why some of these issues occur, what steps you take to make sure they don’t happen, and then let them know what kind of reasonable risks there are for the specific procedure they are considering.

If you are being forthcoming about the risks, then the patient will be less likely to feel like you are keeping something from them; or, in other words, they will inherently trust you and the information you are providing.

Building on the Foundation

We mentioned earlier that if you could effectively communicate your expertise, honesty, and empathy, you could build a foundation of trust between you and the patient. And, although establishing credibility is step one of our nine-step program, it is something you should continue to do throughout the consultation process.

Here is the catch: you probably want to drop the emphasis on expertise at this point. Your patient will respond much better if you focus on concepts that matter to them, personally, like your honesty about treatment or being empathetic to their conditions. 

Even as you start to tackle other steps, like explaining skin anatomy and conducting  the medical evaluation, you should be constantly reinforcing their feelings and quelling their concerns.

Statements like these are always helpful:

“I know you said you were concerned about spending money on treatments that won’t yield very noticeable results, so I actually think we should consider a different procedure over the one you came in for. We have some powerful devices that will produce much more prominent results in the areas you are looking to improve.”

“I know it is incredibly hard to keep a skin routine going every day. Most people struggle with it, so don’t feel too bad about not hitting 100% every day. Let’s look at some ways we can simplify the process for you or find some treatments that will tackle those big concerns so you can always look in the mirror and feel good about your appearance, even if you didn’t get to your skincare routine the night before.”

“To be completely honest, I am a little worried you are looking to have dermal fillers performed to reduce wrinkles throughout your face when I can see many of these are actually dynamic wrinkles. For these, I think you should consider something like Botox instead, which does a much better job at smoothing out the face in a situation like this.”

Even simple affirmations can go a long way: “I know you’ve been struggling with this, but don’t worry, we are going to take care of you here.” 

As you focus on these little pieces of insecurities, and make your patients feel more confident in your desire to help them, not just charge them for treatment, the barriers will drop and you will earn lifelong patients who truly, deeply trust you.

Invest In Consultation Training

Hands-on consultation training can be hugely beneficial when trying to improve on your practice’s ability to convert patients when they come through the door. It might seem like a heavy investment, but the more capable your team is at the consultation process, the more revenue you will ultimately see.

At MINT, we offer an entire business consulting training day that covers conducting the perfect consultation and many more practice fundamentals that can improve your financial position. If in-person training isn’t an option for you, a virtual aesthetics training session might be a better fit.

Learn the Other Program Steps

Putting together the perfect consultation is no easy task — it is going to take plenty of studying and practice before you can nail it every time. If you want to know the other eight concepts that make up the Perfect Consultation, feel free to sign up for our online e-course aesthetics training subscription.

When you sign up for the online aesthetic courses, you’ll not only get access to the rest of the consultation module, but dozens of other self-paced educational materials that will help your practice prosper and stand out from the crowd.