By Jeff Russell, Author of Secrets to a Successful Practice & Executive Director of the IAPAM
A successful practice needs patientss, and in order to reach them, you need to think about who they are—and about what they want. You want to come up with a clear, concise statement that identifies your unique edge, or the unique value you bring to them.
When thinking about who your patients are, not only think about what they want, but also think about how they think. The fact is that humans are egocentric; they always want to know what’s in it for me! Because of this, you need to always frame what you do from their perspective, not from yours.
You also need to be mindful of this as well: People make most of their decisions based on emotions, not cold, hard facts.
When thinking about your USP (unique selling proposition), not only think about your unique niche, but also think about what would be difficult for your competition to copy. For example, if you have a holistic nutritionist on your team, that would make it harder for your competition to copy. Or if your specialty is plastic surgery, dermatology, endocrinology or cardiology, those may be specialties that you can use as a unique competitive advantage.
Sometimes your competitor may have the same service (i.e. Botox® injections), so think about a unique way you combine this with other services (skin tightening) and products (vitamin supplements for healthy skin).
Looking to add a new service as your unique practice edge? The IAPAM Aesthetic Medicine Symposium offers various training in Botox, Weight Management, and more.
Who Are Your Patients?
I want you to think about your core patients: Who are they? Where do they live? What activities do they participate in? Where do they work? Marital status? Free time? What is their family income?
It’s important to know who wants the services you provide. Don’t try to guess; look up the most current cosmetic plastic surgery statistics. The ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) and ASAPS (American Academy for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) are both great resources. Their statistics also break down who does what procedures by sex, ethnicity, age and location.
Now that you’ve thought about who is going to be your patient, try and think about what is unique about them. You want to think about a niche that you can focus on. It may be stay-at-home moms, people who have personal trainers, or people who work downtown and pass by your location on the way to work.
A good exercise is to come up with three or four buyer personas. For example:
Executive Evelyn: Working woman, climbing the corporate ladder, focused on her career, age 40-55, kids are independent (tweens or teens), and signs of aging are starting to occur. Wants: soften wrinkles with botulinum toxins, targeted fat removal, skin tightening around the neck, skin rejuvenation with microdermabrasion, micro-needling, professional skin care, chemical peels and makeup.
Travelling Travis: Male, age 40-55, sales executive, on the road 15-20 days/month, 20-40 lbs. overweight. Wants: weight loss, targeted fat removal, and soften wrinkles in forehead (botulinum toxin injections).
Why Do Business with Your Practice?
You know what you do and you should know how to do those procedures; it’s time to think about why your prospective patient should do business with you. What is special about your practice?
Creating Your USP
Now that you understand who your patients are and what they want, it’s time to craft your USP in a manner that will emotionally connect with them.
Examples of USP’s:
Starbucks: “Love your beverage or let us know. We’ll always make it right.”
Enterprise: “Pick Enterprise. We’ll Pick You Up.”
Target: “Expect More. Pay Less.”
Geico: “15 Minutes Could Save You 15 Percent or More on Car Insurance.”
Now the above USPs are short and succinct, but they don’t need to be, yours can be longer, but limit it to one sentence. For example, “We offer full body transformations, including medical weight loss, targeted fat elimination, skin tightening and facial aesthetics.”
What will your USP be?
To learn more about developing a successful practice, check out the IAPAM’s annual Practice Growth Symposium, where leaders come to learn the keys to a profitable practice. For those preparing to start their first practice, there’s IAPAM’s Practice Startup Workshop.