How to Be THE EXPERT in a consultation
By Rebekah Brendis
Hi MedSpa Family. I am going to start by first asking a few questions. Who here loves MedSpas? Have you ever asked yourself WHY you love MedSpas? Is it the aesthetics of the practice itself? Or is it the outcomes the treatments provide? Is it the educating of the patients on the products and services you have to offer?
Why do you actually love MedSpas?
This is an important question to understand because your answer will show when you are in the treatment rooms with your patients. Whether you are with a patient who has been with you from the beginning, a patient who comes in once in a while, or with a brand new patient, the consultation standard should be exceeded every time. Regardless of the patient’s previous medspa experience.
According to the CEO/Co-Founder of National Laser Institute, Louis Silberman, there are 8 steps to crushing the consultation. I will explain each step and go into more detail on why these steps are important and should not be overlooked or cut short.
- Set the Intention
- Introduce Management
- Tell a Story
- Get Personal
- State Price
- Check For a Close
- Simplify Objections
- Close the Deal
Setting the Intention
From the moment you walk in the room, the patient should feel that they have your full attention. Anything that has gone on outside this treatment room is irrelevant, or make it seem as such. The energy you bring in sets the tone. You see a lot of patients, so remembering every detail about them is impossible. Review your notes or if you have an assistant make sure you are briefed prior to entering the room. Start your conversation by listening to the patients’ goals and concerns with the services they are interested in. Louis says to prepare a plan that is well-informed and addresses those goals and concerns; This will help build your patients’ confidence in you. Taking high-definition photos of your patients’ skin and projecting them on a screen can help both of you further discuss desired areas of improvement. This is a must. The patient will be able to visually see what you, as the provider, see and will trust your recommendations if you are both looking at the photo together.
TIP: When the provider and patient are viewing the photo together, ALWAYS ask the patient what they love and don’t love about their appearance BEFORE consulting on areas that need improvement.
The patient wants to feel understood. They are there to be a part of this consultation and to learn from it. Get them involved! Educate them while making them feel beautiful at the same time.
Remember that being in medical aesthetics, you are a part of the service industry. You want to ‘woo’ the patient. After setting the intention and asking the patient what they would like to change about their skin and/or appearance, check in with the patient. Ask them if they would like a glass of still or sparkling water. Go the extra mile; Offer freshly made cucumber water. Give them time to process what you have gone through so far. When you return with the water, if possible, bring in a “hotshot” during the consultation. This might be the owner of your business or some other expert in the field who will back up what you are saying. The owner/expert should be someone with a warm personality who knows how to instantly put patients at ease. It takes the pressure off of the patient and improves the energy in the room.
Tell a Story
Now is the time for you and/or the owner/expert to share a success story about another patient. This is called “Social Proof”. Patients are put at ease when they know other people have had success with the same issue. It makes them feel like they are “not alone”. Always get consent to show photos of other patients. Create a folder of the top with B&A photos to show the patient when talking about the treatments you are recommending. Always make sure you are showing the patient the right photos. You can even create sub folders by problem areas/treatments to quickly find what you are looking for. If you take a long time to find photos, the patient will quickly assume you do not have many examples and are desperate to convince them.
For example, if your patient tells you she has always felt very self-conscious about her acne scars, you can describe a similar patient who experienced spectacular results with your recommended treatment. ALWAYS backup your story with before and after photos.
Decisions in our business are very personal. Change the tempo and ask them about their personal life.
“Do they have a family? Pets? Do they enjoy what they do for work? This indicates that you don’t see the prospective patient as “just a customer ” but also, someone with whom you would like to share a friendship.” Remember, this is an emotional issue that they are coming to you for and it’s usually much deeper than just the superficial wrinkles. If you can get to know and understand them on a personal level, you will be able to address their REAL hidden root of the emotional need.
Price is almost always a sensitive topic, especially when trying to sell big-ticket items or package deals. But now that the prospective patient has built some trust and confidence in you, (and you understand them as a person) it’s the perfect time to discuss price. You might offer a slight discount on your typical price that is special for them and not offered to anyone else because you truly believe in helping them and not just using them for profit.
Check for a Close
“Closing the deal is all about timing. If you’ve been patient with them and a careful listener, you’ll probably get a gut feeling when it’s time to close. Don’t rush it, but at the same time, don’t delay it with extra chatter or details; both of these things will turn-off your patient. You might say something like,
“You mentioned your daughter’s wedding in a few months; why don’t we go ahead and start your first treatment today so that we can be sure to help you meet your skin care goals in time for that?”
But … what if your patient still voices some objections?”
Typically, objections come in one of four categories:
- Do you offer payment plans in your practice?
- Do you have financing options?
- Did you offer a discount?
- Do you have promotions through your vendors to offer?
- “Perhaps for you, as a skin care provider, you have a superior product or piece of equipment that gets results in half the time of similar products or equipment. Communicate whatever it is that makes you stand apart from the competition.”
- The patient wants to, but there might be pressure from their personal life that is affecting their decision. (ie. their husband would get mad or a friend told them to never get their lips filled because of someone else they heard of with an adverse reaction)
- What if they are not happy with the results?
- The product itself
- Does that patient have more questions about the specific product?
- Do they want to do research by themselves now that they know what to research?
- Do you have pamphlets for the patient to help with education?
- Do you have samples of the product that the patient can try or take home with them?
- Has the patient ever used a product similar?
- Do they enjoy clinical studies and facts? Or do they enjoy seeing results through pictures?
Close the Deal
“Crushing the consult involves adapting your technique when necessary and correctly controlling outcomes. The key here is to practice and rehearse the consult over and over until it becomes second nature for you. SPEND PLENTY OF TIME WITH EACH PATIENT! These are not skills most people are born with; they must be developed with practice. And do not forget, once you’ve closed the deal, take a moment to enjoy your success. Appreciate the impact you can make on someone’s life.”
Louis 3 Tips:
TIP #1: Truly care about your patients.
TIP #2: Remember that success flows from an authentic passion to serve.
TIP #3: Practice, drill, and rehearse the consultation with friends and family; role play and make it real and fun!
Silberman, L. (2022, February 2). $PA Marketing: Crushing the Consult. Skin Inc. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.skininc.com/business/customer-service/article/22031113/national-laser-institute-pa-marketing-crushing-the-consult