Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Rebecca Gelber, MD, Tahoe Aesthetic Medicine
A successful medical spa requires two things: 1) A patient-first focus on results and service and 2) tightly buttoned-up business practices. As clinicians opening a new aesthetic practice we are often already trained in the first, but we are rarely armed with the second.
Medical aesthetic practitioners have extensive training in performing procedures, but most of us have close to zero experience with the business side of aesthetic medicine. Practices rarely run into trouble because they can’t perform treatments properly. They run into trouble because they don’t know how to sell those treatments.
You can have the best equipment and skills, but if you never get patients to sign up to sit in your treatment chair it's all for naught. Even when we do have a patient coming into our practice it’s all too common for them to leave without taking full advantage of the services we offer.
There are missed opportunities in our path each day. Every patient encounter is a chance to add value to their life and strengthen their relationship with your office. If someone comes in for Botox, ask if there is anything else they would like help with. This may be the time for them to learn about fillers, lasers or even a skincare product.
If you’re unsure where to start, learn from people who know how to sell. When sales reps come into your office, study what they are doing - especially the ones who have been around a long time. There is a mantra in the sales world: “Always close for something.” In other words, always move the process forward, even if it’s a baby step. Bad sales reps make you feel uncomfortable when they do it; good sales reps make it natural and non-threatening. They might ask, “Is there anything else that’s bothering you?” or “May we call in a couple of months to check in?” A good sales rep moves the process forward without making you feel pressured.
Believe it or not, dental offices are fantastic at selling. They “always close for something”. They have methods perfected for getting people to sign up for their next appointment before they leave, and ensure that the patient shows up six months later. Try incorporating something like this in your practice. Even if they aren’t ready or able to block out their next appointment, you can get permission to call or send them a reminder card.
In our office, we have a sheet of paper for every patient. If they come in during May and say that they would like to do a laser treatment in September when they can be out of the sun, we ask if they would like a call in August to make sure they get the best appointment slot. If they say yes, we make a note of that and then put that paper in a folder marked August. We have a folder for every month and keep each page with an action item in the appropriate month. That way, when anyone in the office has a free moment, they can pull out the current month's folder and follow up with someone.
This one little thing can keep your calendar full without having to resort to expensive marketing and specials. It keeps patients coming in regularly, greatly improving your revenue stream and also the results and service you provide.
“Sell” is a four-letter word, but in your medical aesthetic practice it doesn’t have to be a bad one. By taking every opportunity to educate your patients on the services that you offer you can improve the quality of their results while also increasing the profitability of your business.
Dr. Rebecca Gelber graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1993 and completed her residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Since that time, she has completed a preceptorship in aesthetics, liposculpture and stem cell therapies, as well as specialized training with luminaries across the country in BBL and laser therapies, Botox, dermal fillers, and thread lifts. She founded and owns Tahoe Aesthetic Medicine and also offers specialized training to other providers.