How to say ‘no’ to patients

Managing unrealistic expectations is key in making your practice a success. An unhappy patient can pose a serious threat to your business, in making a claim, tying up your resources and they can seriously tarnish the reputation you worked so hard to build.

Yet, as a cosmetic practitioner, it can be hard to turn down a patient after all the effort to get them through the door in the first place. Saying ‘No’ is never an easy thing and at Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance, we would like to give you the confidence to manage these awkward conversations better, ultimately helping you to make your business a success.

Be honest

Tell your patient:

  • The results would never meet their expectations if you agreed to undertake the procedure
  • A less principled practitioner might undertake the procedure but not to their satisfaction either
  • It would be a frustrating experience for both patient and practitioner because you spent time, money and effort on unrealistic goals
  • You are honoured they came to you but you do not want to disappoint your patients in agreeing to something that is unattainable


Tell your patient:

  • Why their goal is not achievable
  • What would be a better alternative (if applicable)
  • If there is anything your patient can do to become eligible for the procedure (i.e lose weight, no tan etc.)

Be gentle and empathetic

Tell your patient:

  • That you would recommend a referral to their GP if you think they might suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
  • Why they are not a good candidate for the procedure
  • That you apologise for not taking their request further (if you like) but that you feel they are set up for disappointment

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Download your free copy of our how to say ‘no’ to patients guide

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