You Can Be a Cut Above Your Competition

Nick Dumitru

Plastic Surgery Internet Marketing Expert, CEO of Think Basis Inc.  and Best Selling Author of the book “How to Be a Cut Above Your Competitors” , Nick Dumitru goes beyond SEO and discusses the much deeper psychological trigger points that influence a consumer’s decision on choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon when looking online.

According to Dumitru, the real value in online marketing is being able to persuade and convince a patient to choose you over the competition. He teaches physicians how to look at the factors that help consumers make decisions and how to leverage their marketing information to help consumer’s justify their decision to peers, family and friends.

The consumer is making a decision on anywhere from a three-month to twelve-month cycle so the physician’s marketing needs to be focused on giving information in a way that differentiates themselves from their competition.

Jack:And we are back on Influencers Radio. Today, my guest, and I’ve to say that I’m a little extra excited, and I know that word is overused. I’m not turning cartwheels. But I am. I thought about it a lot because, when it comes to marketing, I’m definitely a fan of marketing and watching processes and how people market.

But today our guest is someone that goes beyond just the tactical parts of marketing. This is a guy that understands, in a much deeper than usual, the psychology of prospects. The psychology of very specific prospects and one that really, you have to be careful with and understand what’s going on inside their head, as they’re trying to make a decision.

Today’s guest is best-selling author of the book, How to Be a Cut Above Your Competitors, which is definitely apropos to his industry. He is the guy, the go to guy for cosmetic surgeons in their marketing.

Please welcome Nick Dumitru. Nick, how are you doing?

Nick:Great, Jack. And thank you for the wonderful intro. Much appreciated.

Jack:No, I’ve got to say that very rarely do I talk with a marketing, that person that is so, have their thumb on the pulse of not just their prospects, the people that you’re helping. Your clients are cosmetic surgeons.

But you go a level deeper and you have your thumb on the pulse of what’s going on inside the heads of people that are exploring the opportunities, or thinking about making really life and body altering decisions, which is something that people don’t take lightly. Although, I’ve got to say, if you watch reality TV, you do see people that take it a bit lightly, right?

Nick:Yeah, absolutely.

Jack:And I wish this show could go on for hours, because I bet you have some stories. But what I really want to dig into today is that a lot of people, on the surface, when they think of internet marketing or marketing their websites for their business, they’re really focused on, got to get on the front page of Google. Got to get to the top of Google. Right?

If I get to top of Google, that’s the mecca. That is paradise. If I get to number one on Google, my problems will be over and the leads and, in your case the patients, will just be flooding in.

Can you pop that bubble for them?

Nick:Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s a very, very common misconception to have. I meet with a lot of doctors that when we first start the discussion, it’s all about getting on Google and getting to the top of Google. Getting our ads to rank.

I mean, those are really, for us, they’re kind of no brainers and the thing that a lot of physicians don’t get is the fact that the consumer is making a decision on anywhere from a three-month to twelve-month cycle. That’s the cycle that we focus on to try to bring in the business.

And when she’s online and she’s googling, she doesn’t stop at position one. These are not people without a brain. These are not people that, as you said, are making these decisions lightly.

And just because you’re number 2, 3 or 4, it doesn’t mean that she won’t go to your website. And the real value in online marketing is being able to persuade and convince that patient to choose you over the competition. So it’s really all about looking at the factors that help her make the decisions and help her justify that decision to her peers and family and friends that are helping her decide.

Jack:Right. Cause this really is a big decision for a lot of folks. And as obvious as it would seem, that it would be silly that someone’s going to choose a cosmetic surgeon based on their ranking on the front page of Google, there still are a lot of people that base their marketing on that.

They base their marketing decisions on that.

And I consider cosmetic surgeons to be in that field of what I would call a “me, too” market. Most people don’t generally think of there being a big difference. You know, they do breast augmentation. They do nose jobs. That kind of thing. So it’s tough to have that unique proposition, obviously. And it seems to me the one thing that they have to do is figure out how to resonate with that potential patient.

What is it that you see that most physicians, that common thread that they’re doing and they’re doing very painfully wrong or just neglecting all together?

Nick:The number one thing that I see all the time is physician-focused websites. I mean, that’s the primary thing that’s sold and when a design firm is selling something to a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon, they sell on ego. And they try to sell the surgeon the idea that the people are there to see him. And nothing could be further from the truth.

When a prospect is going on a plastic surgeon’s website, they’re there to find out if that facility, that physician can do what they need done, and if they have a reasonable belief and expectation that that will get done.

So when the website is focused on the physician, it completely misses the picture. It completely disregards the patient’s needs for information, for validation and for trust. And it’s really the biggest thing that we do, is we refocus the web property to be patient focused and not physician focused.

Jack:And, you know, that seems like it would be a natural thing to do, as a physician. If you almost, if you juxtapose that with a physician walking into the office for that first consultation with the patient, I would be willing to bet that the physician doesn’t sit down and say, well, let me tell you all about me. Here’s what I’ve done. Here’s my certificates. Look at my plaque on the wall. I’ve done this. I’ve been here. I’ve done this for many years. Right?

They, in all likelihood, if they’re successful in what they’re doing, they sit down and they immediately focus on that patient, and that patient’s concerns. That patient’s, the common obstacles that patient has.

What is it, and I think you hit it, that doesn’t migrate to their website, I guess because the people that are designing their websites aren’t necessarily marketers or don’t even really have a clue to what’s really going on inside of the head of their prospects. But do you find that to be the case that it’s such a contrast between the way that they speak to their prospects and their patients in person, versus the way that they speak to them on their web page?

Nick:Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, and you provided a wonderful analogy there, where a patient wouldn’t sit down in front of a physician and the physician wouldn’t conceive of telling her all about his weekend and his barbeque and his golf score and that.

He’s really focused on her. But the issues arise because companies that sell to plastic surgeons are good at selling to plastic surgeons. And they sell them something that they know a plastic surgeon would buy. And the easiest thing is to sell, like I said, on ego and personality and put the doctor’s face on the home page and tell them that that’s what people want to do.

I learned a long time ago that to add value to a practice, I need to focus on the consumer, not the physician. Selling the doctor is not that difficult, in terms of selling a website and promises and so on. Delivering on those promises is the hard part. And to be able to deliver, you really have to focus on the consumer. What’s she’s thinking. What she’s doing and how she can make a decision.

And there’s absolutely a disconnect between how a physician would think face-to-face with a patient, and how he’s communicating online. And what people have to understand is that there is really no difference. Your website speaks to one person at a time. And it speaks to that person individually, just as if they were standing in front of you.

Jack:Well, I think, in reading your book and talking with you, I think that is why you are the go to guy for cosmetic surgeons, is that simple but very important understanding of the patient.

Now, let’s talk about what they’re focused on. First of all, so many think it begins and ends with getting on the front page of Google or getting number one on Google. Now, I don’t even want to talk about that. You’ve clearly got that down. All right? That’s just, that’s done. That’s just a given.

Now, when you go into beyond that on what are they on the front page of Google for, that’s where a lot of folks get, I don’t want to say lazy, but uninformed. What is it that plastic surgeons, do you think the biggest misconception is on what they should be found for on there?

Because I know there are a lot of people in business, if they’re a CPA, they want to be found for Miami CPA. They’re in Toronto for cosmetic surgeon, do they want to be found for Toronto cosmetic surgeon. And what’s the value of that versus digging deeper into the actual procedures, and even more granular than that?

Nick:Uh-hmm. Well, I guess you gave me a two-part, rather I have a two-part answer to that question.

So, obviously, the first one that everyone in marketing always discusses is the need for them to rank for plastic surgeon city name. So plastic surgeon LA. Plastic surgeon New York. Plastic surgeon Toronto. And that’s really not, really what the consumer’s looking for. She’s not there looking for a plastic surgeon.

I’m sure a lot of the suppliers to plastic surgeons are out there looking for them, because they can come in and sell them wonderful lasers and other devices. But the number one thing that the patient is after is the procedures.

Now, when we get down to the procedure key terms, what’s important to understand is that just being number one for something like breast augmentation New York isn’t going to bring as much business as having a fully fleshed out website with multiple key terms, with something that we call the long tail.  And the theory of the long tail is that when you add up these lower volume key terms.

So if breast augmentation gives you, let’s say 200 searches a month. And then you’ve got silicone breast implants New York, which might get, let’s say five or ten. Well, those longer tail key terms will add up in volume, because there are so many more of them.

So the common mistake that a lot of plastic surgeons make is that they go after these primary key terms, both with their PPC and with their (by PPC I mean pay per click Google ads), and the SEO on their websites. So the Search Engine Optimization.

And those things don’t help them clean up the market. They’ll just get a fragmented segment of that market and people that are, could be very early on in the decision making process.

So a woman that’s looking for a plastic surgeon or just breast augmentation is just starting to get informed. Someone that’s looking for silicone breast implants 500cc, for example, photos, that woman’s very far along. She’s looking to make a final decision and choose a surgeon. And that’s really where we focus. We try to kind of sweep this whole range of the buying process. Right from the end, where she’s ready to make a decision, right through to the beginning, where she’s kind of starting her research and we nurture her along that way.

Jack:And then that’s where you, cause then you can speak directly to that person in the path and where they are along they’re decision making process.

And even though there’s a lot less if that silicone breast, you know, 500cc, whatever it is.

Nick:Ccs. Yeah.

Jack:I think of guys, we think of them as, we use different vernacular than ccs, but it would be, that is a far more, what we would call a purchase driven consumer. Ready to buy. Versus New York plastic surgeon. It could be. I see people say, hey, I got number one for New York plastic surgeon. I say, what’d that get you? Well, a bunch of people calling me, wanting to sell stuff to plastic surgeons, because that’s what they’re looking for.


Jack:But the person looking deep, even though there’s a lot less, would you say that those have a much higher conversion rate? Or those are people that are ready to engage?

Nick:Absolutely. You used the correct word there. It’s about engagement. It’s not about exposure. It’s about engagement. It’s about if I give you ten people, and ten of them call you and want to buy, that’s a lot more valuable than a hundred people, maybe one or two out of those want to call you and buy.

It’s really about making the connection and getting the person to take that first step to contacting the practice.

Jack:And what would you say, in a lot of different industries, it’s like the first call wins. The person that can entice them to make that first call, oftentimes gets the consultation, gets the patient. Would you say that’s true in the area of cosmetic surgery?

Nick:Definitely not. We see, time and time again, that people that convert for our physicians come there last. I mean, that’s even a tactic we sometimes use when we ask them to come to the physician last. It’s really all about letting them get exposed to the rest, and then finding the best.

And that’s what you want to make her feel like she’s doing. Like she’s come across the best thing ever, compared to the rest. There was no comparison. There are some of those people out there that will go with the first one. They’re just rapid buyers. But that’s not the majority of the market. The majority of the market researches for a minimum of anywhere from three to twelve months.

We don’t touch the ones that are at it for seven years, because that’s just too long of a buying cycle for us. So we focus on a twelve month area. And she’s not buying right now just because she called the first place. She’s buying the place she trusts most. She’s going to be putting a lot of money towards this. It’s a big life decision, as you said. And it’s not something that’s taken lightly.

So it’s not about getting the first call. It’s about getting the best call.

Jack:Right. And I would assume that by having this prospect, by having her see all the other physician-focused sites, it just makes your type of cosmetic surgeon site that much more of a contrast and gives them that much more. It’s a compelling reason to actually pick them and call them when they see that contrast of the physician-focused site, versus the one that you put together and craft, that is more patient-focused.

Nick:Absolutely. It’s all about that contrast, both online and on the telephone and in the consultation. I mean, the whole process is all about contrasting one practice versus another. And it’s not necessarily always the same. So you have to look at the competition as well, and make sure that you’re positioned against them and that you’re repositioning them so that they can’t do what you do.

And it’s done online. It’s done on the phone. It’s done in the consultation. And it’s, at the end of the day, it’s not about anything else but giving the consumer a reason to pick you over the competitors and contrast what they’re doing.

Jack:Yeah. That’s incredible. The one, that’s neglected so much. And then two, that, well, I think that’s the big one is neglected so much. How easy it would be to take that patient-focused persona from the consultation and put it on the website. And I think that’s absolutely brilliant. And I think that definitely speaks volumes to why you are considered the top in this market.

Now, one thing I have to ask, because you clearly influence a lot of folks, not just the cosmetic surgeons, but you also influence their patients, their prospects into making these big life decisions.

What I want to find out is what is influencing the influencer? What are the things that influence you and help guide you to make these dramatic differences for folks?

Nick:That’s a great question. I think it would depend on the time of year. So at this time of year, I always start planting tomatoes. So I’m growing them from seed. It’s just a little side hobby that I have. I just finished pruning out, you know, when you start seedlings, you put in two or three seeds, just to make sure that you get something that comes up.

And oftentimes, you can get two or three that come up out of the three seeds that you put in. But if you were to leave those seeds in there, those plants will be stunted. They’ll be small. They’re competing for light and nutrients from the soil and you just don’t get a good crop out of that planting.

And business is the same. Medical practices are the same. Physicians are the same. What I have to do to the tomatoes is mercilessly cut out the things that I know are not the strongest and aren’t going to produce the best. And they just get thrown away.

And it’s the same in business. If you’re focusing on too many things, if you’re allowing too many things to crowd each other out, there won’t be that one strong product that you can put out there. And it’s the same in the marketing and it’s the same for a doctor and what he’s focusing on.

Is he focusing on five things that aren’t making him money? Or is he focusing on the one thing that’s going to make him wealthy?

And that’s the biggest lesson for me at this time of year. When it comes to spring, that’s what I’m always reminded of is to refocus, cut out the dead weight and make sure that I’m doing the things that matter.

Jack:Pure poetry. There has to be poetry in that analogy. You know, inspiration from fruit that’s thought of as a vegetable. I love that.

How to Be a Cut Above Your Competitors, the book from Nick Dumitru. Nick, how can folks find out more about you? How can they dig into and really explore? Because there’s no way that we can cover what you do. And I know that you’re pretty frank and you’re direct. You don’t cover things up when you’re talking with physicians. You let them know how it is, really, fairly bluntly.

So how can they go and find out?

Nick:Absolutely. The best place to reach me is through our website at That’s

And if someone’s in need, like immediate advice, we do have an online mastermind group that we started for doctors, called the Medical Marketing Mastermind. And that can be accessed through our website as well. And that’s really the best and easiest way to engage with me personally.

Jack:All right. Nick, truly fascinating stuff. And I really, it’s rare that you find people that go that deep into their clients’ prospects minds. So I think that folks that work with you truly, truly get a benefit that’s tough to put a value on.

So I do thank you for coming on today and sharing this stuff so freely. I think, you know, you’ve helped a lot of folks, especially cosmetic surgeons. But what you’ve talked about really applies to just about any industry.

If you just dig a little bit deeper into the mind of your prospect, you’re going to get so much more out of that in understanding what’s going on in their head and how important the decision is in what they’re purchase is going to be.

So whether you are a cosmetic surgeon or anybody that’s interested in marketing, going deep in that psychology, I strongly suggest you take a look at what Nick is up to. Some really, really fascinating stuff on marketing psychology.

Nick, thank you so much for being with us today. It’s been a pleasure.

Nick:Thank you for having me, Jack. Likewise.

Jack:All right, great. All right, folks. We will see you next time on Influencers Radio.

Jack Mize

Jack Mize - is a Best Selling Author,host of Influencers Radio and Business Innovators Magazine covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.