As new technologies and devices face long go-to-market lead times, aesthetic practices are left with many of the same tools to treat patient needs. Just Google Ultherapy®, CoolSculpting®, Clear + Brilliant® or Fraxel® and the search results of medical and non-medical businesses offering these services are endless. As the manufacturers of these devices invest heavily in direct-to-consumer marketing, it becomes no surprise that these devices are developing their own brand names, equity and patient awareness. As a result, patients often forget that the device is only as good as the service provider using it and they begin price shopping in search of the best deal for their wallet. While it is important that your service pricing is reflective of your geographic area, experience and practice profile, it is critical not to succumb or even entertain the possible pricing war that can ensue. As treatment providers, you are experts with years of training, hands-on experience and insight on treatment protocols that cannot be reduced to promotional pricing. The solution?
Develop A Signature Approach
While the devices you use may be readily available at other aesthetic practices in the area, your point of differentiation is how you approach and design the treatment protocol. Combining multiple modalities, bundling at-home care and even devising your own treatment techniques prohibits patients from taking your recommendation and shopping it around. For example, when it comes to body contouring you don’t just do CoolSculpting, it’s ‘CoolSculpting Plus’. Patients understand that when it comes to injectables, and particularly fillers, there’s a premium for experienced, talented injectors, so this mindset of spending more for superior care and results is already accepted. Price shopping is less of a risk.
Redirect The Patient Conversation
Aesthetic medicine should not have to be about selling – it should be about patient education. The conversation with patients needs to pivot so that it remains focused on their needs, what treatments are recommended and why. It’s important to spend the time explaining the treatment mechanism of action, post-procedure recovery and benefits. Patients may know branded procedure names but most likely they are not aware of how the treatment works, what and when they will see benefits and, most importantly, why the treatment is relevant for their unique skin needs. Finally, as the old adage goes – “a picture is worth a thousand words” – so share your own practice before and after pictures so patients can visually see the results YOU can help them achieve.
Focus On The Care
Yes, there may be cheaper providers out there but how long have they been doing the treatment? What are the average results they achieve? Have they ever had adverse reactions? Patients often don’t appreciate the full scope of practitioner experience and skill when it comes to these types of procedures. They often misbelieve that the treatment is more device-regulated than provider-led. As a result, it’s important that you provide your patients with an integrated and reinforced approach so that they feel supported through all the stages and steps and won’t resort to price shopping in the first place. And remember to highlight your practice’s extensive experience and results. Your patients need to know upfront that your practice’s approach and treatment philosophy brings the value and care they are seeking!