Money. It's the elephant in the consultation room that no one wants to talk about.
Yet, nothing happens until something is sold!
Sales are the lifeblood of any cosmetic clinic, and the ability to sell can be the difference between a struggling and thriving practice.
Problem is, there are endless examples of bad salesmanship out there which have given sales a woeful reputation. (Think pesky telemarketers and high-pressure salespeople).
But is selling really as evil it's made out to be?
Absolutely not, and you need to safeguard yourself from this mainstream belief before it sabotages your own ability to grow or even maintain your clinic.
Here's a great definition of selling, according to leading business coach Dan Sullivan:
"... getting people intellectually engaged in a future result that's good for them, and getting them emotionally committed to taking action to achieve that result."
The key words here are "good for them". If you truly believe your product or service is going to benefit the consumer, why not do everything in your power to motivate them to buy?
For example, I see patients all the time who are only interested in one procedure such as Botox. If I just gave them what they thought they needed, they would miss out on the opportunity to achieve a much better outcome.
I feel compelled, if not morally obligated to educate and motivate them to commit to something bigger, provided they will be happier with the results.
This is why I have no shame in presenting high-end treatment packages while asking for payment up-front.
Firstly, I know that combinations of my best treatments deliver superior results. I also know that when a patient pays up-front, the monetary investment leads to greater commitment towards their own self-improvement.
Consider this: if your monthly gym membership was free, would you be more or less dedicated to your fitness?
I see sales as such a noble pursuit that I still do my own consultations & sales even after growing my clinic to $100K+/m in revenue.
This surprises a lot of people because doctors are notorious for viewing sales as beneath them and would rather delegate this "dirty work" at all costs.
I say, no matter your profession or how big your clinic is, sales is never beneath you.
Ok so what's the lesson here, and how can you use it to increase your profits?
Yes, that's the goal. (Gasp!)
It starts off by eliminating the notion that sales is a necessary evil. Even holding a smidgen of this belief in your psyche will mitigate you and your staff's ability to engage patients in a future result that is good for them.
Ethical selling is NOT a zero-sum game, and often what's best for you is best for your patients well.
Also, you must realize that EVERYTHING in your clinic hinges on the consultation and the ability to sell.
The consult not only determines how much each patient will spend with you but also sets the stage for the results they will receive and the experience they will be telling their friends about.
With that said, you should be extremely picky with who performs your consultations and only delegate them once you have mastered them yourself. You should also have a proven & documented consultation sequence so your staff can replicate your results as easily as possible.
If you prematurely delegate consults you will only multiply an ineffective process which will divide your future profits...
... And if you continue to expand without a solid, ever-improving consultation/sales process at the core of your business, you may find yourself working harder and harder to achieve a stagnant bottom line.
If you're in a situation where you still perform consultations yourself but feel uncomfortable or "pushy" asking for the big sale, you should first ask yourself if you truly believe in the treatments you are offering.
If you wholeheartedly believe in your service and know with conviction that a higher, more expensive level of service is best for a particular patient, you should have no shame in confidently presenting the best, most expensive option first.
Finally, if you want to do more consults but just can't find the time, remember that consultations are one of the most leveraged uses of your time as a business owner.
I consider consultations to be a "$5,000/hr activity" because spending one hour with a patient can easily yield $5,000 in treatment revenue, and this is not including the future value of providing a great experience during the consultation (think testimonials, repeat visits, and referrals).
So before you discount spending more time on consultations, think of where you're currently spending your time and consider what tasks are truly moving the needle.
Chances are that if these tasks don't have to do with generating more consultations, conducting consultations, or continually improving these 2 key processes, they can be delegated to free up time for where you can make the biggest impact.