What’s NOT working:

Assumptions. You know what they say about ASSumptions… well it’s true.


Every time we try to attract patients for a bariatric surgery and assume that we know why the patients would want to make a commitment, we get it wrong.


Marketing messages like  “Most advanced surgery center” and “Dr. Bariatric is a member of the ASMBS” or “Onsite Registered Dietitian” are what we assumed would be compelling points worth mentioning in ads and brochures.


Turns out that high reimbursement and cash pay patients are not looking for those perks.

What IS working:

Patient Q&A – If we are wondering what motivates our new and best patients, why not just ask them?


Well, we did. We asked the perfect high reimbursement patients a few questions about them… not about us.


You know what the high reimbursement patients and cash pay patients said?

Q. Why go through the paid and process of surgery, etc?

A. “I’m tired of being unable to participate in activities like playing with my kids/grandkids or going on walks with my spouse.”

Q. What scares you the most when thinking about surgery as a weight loss option?

A. “Pain and Failure. How much will it hurt and what if I can’t do it (loose the weight) or don’t have the self discipline?”

Q.How much is your ideal change worth to you?

A. “Whatever it takes. I will do the work, pay the fees, get the support and change my life. I cannot stay like this. Staying this way costs more than changing.”

Well, that’s nifty but what does it matter?

These answers are what your our ideal patients are thinking about. These types of statements are what catch their attention and let them know you understand them.

The old Theodore Roosevelt quote, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” is true.

What to do:

Successful bariatric marketers flip these patient answers around and use them as marketing messages. Here are a few examples:

  • “Are you tired of being unable to participate in activities like playing with your kids or going on walks with your spouse. You are not alone. We can help.”
  • “How much will weight loss surgery hurt? You are not the only one wondering that.”
  • “Are you ready to do whatever it takes to lose weight? Do the work, get the support and change your life.”

The real magic comes when you:

  1. Ask your patients feeling oriented questions about why they made the decision to take action with you.
  2. Listen to understand their feelings.
  3. Use their statements as the foundation of your marketing efforts.

You can do this! Start asking your best patients the right questions and start finding more of your ideal patients.

Future subjects:

  • Who is your ideal patient?
  • Facebook, Google, SEO, Print, Radio, etc? Ugh!!!
  • How much should I be spending on marketing?