1. Trading Trauma for Drama
You’re an ER MD who has grown weary of trauma and wants to make a career change to aesthetic medicine, you’ve attended an event hosted by an aesthetic device company and the thought of trading in shifts dealing with trauma for a fixed routine in fee-for-service medicine has appeal. You dream of a 9-5 lifestyle where you can take little Johnny to weekend ball games and leave work in enough time to join the fam for dinner. What you may not know is that many aesthetic clients are seeking treatments outside these 9-5 hours and if you’re not available evenings and/or weekends or have staff willing to work these hours, you may be missing out on significant revenue and may find you’re not booked for as many treatments as you’d like. Aesthetic treatments are considered ‘luxury’ procedures and as such your clients most likely have to work in order to afford them. If you’re not making yourself available after your client leaves work for the day, or on days off for them-which is often weekends-they may go elsewhere to a practice which is opened extended hours.
2. If you ‘Build it they Will Come’
Are you a brand new aesthetics practice? It takes more than fancy chandeliers in the lobby and the latest aesthetic devices to draw people to your business; it takes time and a game plan! If you don’t have a strategic plan and budget set aside for marketing (website, SEO, lead gen etc) a strong physical presence to capture walk-in traffic (outdoor signage, room layout, décor) and a solid presence on social media-no one will know you exist…period! Many device companies offer standard marketing material but consumers are increasingly seeking marketing that ‘stands apart’ from the competition. This means devoting time, energy and setting aside a healthy budget to develop original content unique to your brand. Too many practices we speak to purchase aesthetic equipment with the impression that if they ‘buy it, customers will come’ only to be disappointed when they aren’t fully booked for treatments. Be realistic with your expectations and understand that you are a medical professional, not Kevin Costner in ‘Field of Dreams’-anticipate a hefty lift in order to differentiate your brand!
3. New Device Launch Parties
These get a huge push from reps as a great thing to do to gain interest in your new aesthetic device and encourage clients to purchase treatments. What they don’t tell you is that they’ve become the Tupperware parties of the industry and can come across as desperate, boring, not be well attended-and actually do more harm than good to your brand if done incorrectly. Unless you or a member of your practice are thoroughly adept at partly planning/hosting events and you’re not relying strictly on stock images of treatments, long-winded sales pitches and half frozen canapés-you’re event may lack appeal. If you aren’t inviting 3 times as many people as you hope to attend, have enough staff on hand with sufficient time to perform consults, determine if a client is a good candidate for the procedure and book the treatment (offer special pricing for placing a deposit & booking procedure) during your event-save yourself the embarrassment, scrap it! Or think outside the box and make it the best, most innovative Tupperware party in your town! Remember your clients are taking time out of their busy days to be ‘sold something’, unless you’ve got more to offer than meager rations at the dinner hour and awkward anecdotes of how the people in the stock images achieved amazing aesthetic results, don’t bother-these types of events have been overdone.
4. Monkey Roundup
You’re a GP who’s just purchased a laser hair removal device and now you’re looking to find someone to operate it so you can start ‘bringing in the big bucks’ (you think back fondly to the stats at the aesthetic device presentation with dollar signs in your eyes) and start the process of trying to find your next great employee. Frustrations abound as you advertise the position with little response and witness your sales rep expressing awkward empathy when you ask if they ‘know anyone’ willing to work for you (they’ve just sold you a device, their job is done, unless you’d like another one-volume discount perhaps?). You press forward and make a hasty hire only to find that your once keen staff member grows quickly tired of working with just one modality. They give notice of their departure and promptly go to work for a practice with all the latest aesthetic devices on the market where they’re able to acquire and hone new skills.
The sales reps may tell you that ‘even a trained monkey’ can operate certain devices (can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that one)-insult to freedom loving monkeys aside, providing enough variety in an employee’s work environment is key to them wanting to show up to work each day. The fabulous looking elephant in the room in aesthetics is that staffing is an issue and certain businesses develop the reputation of being a ‘revolving door’ of employees. Open communication with team members is critical to attract and maintain professionals whose skills are in high-demand industry-wide.
While my desire is to ‘spill the industry tea’ occasionally, I have a great passion and respect for the field and make suggestions to share knowledge and experience with the goal of assisting my clients and making positive contributions to the medical aesthetics industry as a whole! You are free to agree, disagree and/or:
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