In order to have a successful aesthetic practice, you need to have effective advertising to attract people to your business. This includes spending those marketing dollars effectively and having a team of staff that are well informed. When your front-line receptionist books a consultation, the next critical step is to ensure that consultation is of the highest quality, because only then will you gain your client’s trust, and allow them to move forward with the treatment and pay you money.
A thorough, quality consultation is an integral part of the entire process of the procedure. Essentially, the quality of your services will be judged during this consultation, and if it is performed poorly, people won’t expect great service or results. You can view the consultation as a portion of the treatment that separates you from other medical spas in terms of credibility, quality and expertise. Thus, it can also be the difference between profit and failure.
Structure and Systems Matter
Measuring the variables around the success of your consultations can help you evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. A good tip is to hold regular meetings with those who are doing the consults, so you can review their performance and ensure that any shortcomings are addressed. Training is just as important, by making sure the right person with the right skills is performing these consults. Essentially, an aesthetic consultation is akin to a sales process, and your consultant should have strong sales skills.
Knowledge the Key to Aesthetic Consults
To be a good consultant, you must become well-educated in many basic anatomical and aesthetic subjects. You must have a working knowledge of the anatomy of the skin and any relevant cosmetic skin diseases. You should also be up to date on current aesthetic treatments & technologies, including but not limited to light and laser based treatments, injectables such as Botox & cosmetic fillers, fat & cellulite treatments, and fractional skin resurfacing.
It’s important to remember that many prospective clients have done advance research about their treatment, so even if your clinic does not perform all of these treatments, you need to show your client that you are the most knowledgeable in the field. A lack of knowledge will really hurt the consultation.
Ensure that You Don’t Prequalify
As they say, “do not judge a book by its cover”. A client should never be pre-judged, as they may come in wanting one thing, but their body language projects that they need another. The key to being an effective consultant is to not impose or force your systems or values onto the client. Use effective skills and sales techniques to give the client what he or she wants, instead of what you want.
The Package, or “Add-on” Sale Drives the Best Revenue
It’s no secret that those people who are getting aesthetic treatments are aware of the cost involved, and they are willing to pay it. By performing an effective consultation, you should be able to sell the client a package of treatments, to generate extra sales. This ability to add-on is directly related to the amount of quality time you spend with them. For example, if you are doing a facial consultation, you want to spend at least one hour with the client.
A Quality Skin Analysis is a Sales Tool
This is the next critical step in the consultation process. It is an effective way to get the client to open up about any skin issues and problems that they have. Ensure that you have the right tools on hand to assist you in this portion of the consultation, such as a lighted mirror and a magnifier.
While conducting the analysis, use active listening to learn what the client’s concerns are – essentially, allow the client to lead the consultation and focus on their expressed issues. This will help you determine the client’s concerns and to prioritize the treatments.
It’s Not the Time to Improvise
A solid methodology gives you the best opportunity for consult success. For example, have literature ready for the client to take home regarding the treatments available. Power Point presentations are always a useful visual aid, especially to show appropriate before and after photographs of the treatments. Having systems increases legitimacy, reduces error, and allows the client to see the consultant’s strengths and expertise.
Take the Steps to Close
This is the final and most important part of all, and if you have a solid consultation in place, this should be no problem! A timeline incentive that motivates the client is essential here. Basically, if you aren’t able to close the sale and gain commitment from the client during the consultation, chances are that you won’t be able to close it later.
At times, it may be appropriate to offer an incentive of a free treatment or product if the client closes the sale and deposits on the treatment during the actual consultation. Putting a fair amount of pressure on the client without using the hard sell is important here.
Another important approach is to give the client a choice between commitments. For example, offer the client to pay for everything up front and gain a bonus treatment for free, or offer them to pay for the treatment in installments. The ability to give them a choice makes them feel more in control of the process.
To summarize, medical aesthetic consultations require expertise, energy and conviction. Your consultants must be strong, effective and competent salespeople, and the entire consultation procedure requires a systemized approach to ensure consistency and effectiveness. With all these criteria in place, you’re giving your aesthetic practice the best opportunity for success.