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Terri Ross Consulting LLC

The Importance of Asking Open-Ended Questions in Consultations

Asking open-ended questions is a key communication strategy and one technique, that if used correctly, will help boost your conversion rates during consultations. 

Why? Because asking open-ended questions gives you more than just a yes or no answer. They allow you to collect more information on the feelings, attitudes, and possible fears your clients might be experiencing when deciding to book a service or procedure. Using open-ended questions allows you to 1) Determine the client’s goals, motivations, and expectations; 2) Get to the emotional reason they are interested in getting the procedure; and 3) Build a relationship based on trust.

Asking open-ended questions gives you, the provider, the opportunity to practice your active listening skills and acknowledge their answers by paraphrasing back what you heard them say--showing your clients that you are listening closely. Reflecting back also gives them a chance to clarify any misunderstandings. 

We are all in such a hurry to talk and give advice or the solution, but if you take the time to listen, trust me--you WILL really stand out. In fact, 80% of the consultation should be about listening without interrupting. The goal is to uncover your client’s needs and how they feel—to really uncover their emotional capacity…what they're willing to spend…what their time frame might be. Aesthetics patients have money to spend and are highly educated. They do their research and are probably shopping around several practices. So, the key to standing out is to listen and ask the right, open-ended questions.

Advantages of asking open-ended questions:

  • Allows a range of possible answers

  • Gives you qualitative data

  • Collects more detail

  • Helps you gain insights and understand client concerns or thought process

  • Give you access to your client’s feelings and opinions 

Sometimes as busy practitioners, you tend to view the consultation as a time to just book out services/procedures. But put yourself in your prospective patient’s shoes. They want to get to know you and be sure you understand their concerns. So, it’s your job to make them feel comfortable and find out what is bothering them the most about their appearance. Remember--patients come in and they feel vulnerable, nervous, and anxious about your expertise, possible bad outcomes, or being judged for what they ask you. It’s your job to put them at ease, acknowledge their concerns, and listen before you respond. 

You want to find out:

  • What are they wanting to change about themselves?

  • How dissatisfied are they with their appearance or area of concern

  • How does their current situation make them feel?

  • What do they expect in terms of outcomes?

  • What are their biggest concerns?

  • What’s their budget?

  • How committed are they to moving forward with the plan?

My “Mastering the Art of Sales” foundational course goes into more depth about conducting consultations as well as expert phone skills, converting web leads, consultations that convert, the importance of follow up and building long-term treatments that yield a better result and greater ROI, and a complete road map to a 7+ figure medical aesthetics practice. For more information on the course click here or to book a call with one of our team to discuss which of our programs is right for you, click here.

Here are some open-ended questions to use during the consultation process.

Examples of Open-Ended Questions to Engage Patients

  • (Name), I see that you are here today to discuss your pigment or a mommy makeover, I'd love to learn more about you, Would you please expand on that for me?

  • How long has _____ been bothering you?

  • On a scale of 1-10, how much is ____ affecting your personal or professional life or how you feel about yourself?

  • What products or treatments have you tried in the past?

  • Were you satisfied with the outcome?

  • Why or why not?

  • Why is changing this so important to you--especially right now?

  • On a scale from 1-10 how committed are you to getting the results you desire? 

  • Specifically, what are your concerns regarding price?

  • What were you expecting to pay?

  • Did you have a budget in mind?

  • Would you expand on that for me, please?

  • What other questions could I answer for you to bring you closer to a decision or clarity?

  • What can I clarify to help you feel more comfortable?

  • Looks like you are struggling with making a decision. What is holding you back?

  • What do you think would be the biggest benefit to you personally of undergoing this procedure? 

  • You mentioned that this has been bothering you for some time now and it's making you feel old. If getting this procedure will help you feel better about yourself how important is that to you?

  • Imagine it’s a month from now and you have already seen results, how do you think it might change the way you feel about yourself?

Optimize Your Business

Terri Ross can take your business to new levels, whether you’re looking for exclusive private strategy sessions, corporate sales training, or a keynote speaker for the next major aesthetic event. Book Terri Ross today to take the first steps in giving your business the tools it needs to succeed in this incredibly competitive landscape.

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