4-Step Holiday Guide to Profitable Medical Spa Promotions

Whether your Aesthetic Practice selling strategy is high volume/low gross margin or low volume/ high gross margin, creating successful promotions is a challenge. It can be a tricky selling proposition for any Medical Spa, especially when you factor in the holiday sales season. How many patients are you prepared to treat and at what cost to the practice from a financial health, staff morale, and brand impression perspective? These answers have far reaching implications!

No matter your strategy, there is a way to incorporate promotions and discount packages into the mix, provide exceptional patient care, and keep the right leads coming into your practice, even during the holiday chaos. You can take advantage of the wonderful gift that is the 4th quarter of Aesthetic Medicine by increasing total revenue but still protecting profitability ratios. An article in PopSugar points to a 65% average increase in Botox sales during the Holidays, attributing some of the increase to helping patients improve their mood during a stressful time.  That’s an incredible opportunity for any practice.[vc_single_image image=”9182″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]It’s no surprise that promotions can be a tricky thing- sure, you may move a lot of inventory quickly, but you can also exhaust your entire staff while making very little profit.  You can dilute your brand, actually increase your operating expenses with longer hours and proportionally higher variable costs, and work tirelessly with little to take home. When planning promotions, first decide, what’s the end goal, then manage your expectations for success accordingly.

#1 Decide the Goals of Your Promotional Activities

If you know the end result you’d like to achieve, designing your discounts and promotions is far easier.  A few options to explore include:

  1.       Get NEW patients in the door?
  2.       Introduce existing patients to new products?
  3.       Fill a new provider’s schedule?
  4.       Sell through existing inventory?
  5.       Take advantage of a manufacturer incentive or promotion?
  6.       Create brand awareness and social interest?
  7.       Collect patient B&As and testimonials on a new product launch?
  8.       Increase engagement with social media followers?

Once you’ve determined your end point, it’s much easier to create the right mix of products and services! For the holiday season, most medical aesthetic practices tend to want new patients, new purchases from existing patients, and to sell down inventory before the end of the year.  If that’s the case, here are things to consider as you plan your packages.

#2 The Cost to Add-On a Cosmetic Procedures is Always Less than a New Patient

What does that even mean!? Basically, when a patient comes to your practice for Jeuveau, you do a certain set of things- consents, questionnaires, before pictures, consultation, medical supplies, occupy a chair, use a provider’s time, etc.  The price you charge for that toxin treatment should include all the costs associated with treating for toxin. Now that you’ve already sunk the time to get the patient “ready” for injections, adding a lip injection doesn’t require near the resources in time or supplies to complete. If you don’t charge full price, you can STILL protect your margin.  Why? Your cost is less, so the charge can be less! You don’t need to account for all the initial prep-work to add on a procedure which means less staff and injector time used as well as other practice resources.

Conversely, if you discount a single procedure, let’s say the toxin treatment, to get the patients in, you’ve done all the same work, same time and resource drain, and the patient has paid less than normal.  Your costs are unchanging, but now the patient is paying less, thus, your margin is smaller. This is okay if your goal is to bring in new patients, and you consider it a marketing expense, or the goal is to offload some expiring toxin, and you need to cover your cost But, remember, you’ll have to do more volume at a reduced margin to compensate for the discount. Make sure your staff can handle that additional load!

#3 Review Product Mix & Purchasing Behaviors before Going Live

As you think about your holiday mix, look at your patient buying patterns.  What products pair well together that would be a logical upsell in an already occupied chair? Patients who come in for Sculptra would be a great upsell for toxin treatment or lip injection.  Different areas of the face, same type of procedure (both injections), and can be done in the same chair on the same day! This is a great way to expose your Sculptra patients to new treatment areas or a new product offering in your practice.

Another idea is what value can you ADD to the patient’s treatment versus taking things away from your margin? For example, if you do a full priced toxin treatment, can you add on a complimentary skincare component? Adding a retail item doesn’t require additional chair or provider time (so you can continue producing revenue in that room with that injector), and there is no need for a thorough history, consent or consult.  It adds to the patient’s experience without further derailing your profitability. The only loss you take is the actual wholesale price you’ve paid.

Do you have free goods or samples you can allocate to help reduce your losses per procedures and protect your net income? If so, that’s an easy choice! Think of what you have available- how can you use those freebies to offer something extra to patients (maybe one sample contains enough for several treatments) that has very little cost to you. And you can put your mind at ease.  You aren’t “selling” a sample. You are using it to expose patients to something they may have never tried or forgot how much they loved the first time around. This will keep your sales representatives from having a heart attack, and keeps you out of the doghouse from selling a “Not for Resale” product.

#4 Don’t Discount a Product or Service They Already Buy at Full Price

The #1 mistake practices make is placing their most popular products on a deep discount to drum up new sales. According to Kelly Smith, CFO at Projected Growth Consulting, your marketing plan should always match your financial goals. If the two are in opposition, it’s a dangerous place to be. The only time this works is if you’ve totally dropped the ball and it’s mission critical to improve the patient experience after a major mishap. If 75% of your practice is on both toxin and filler, for example, discounting those are a tough choice.  They are going to come in for those treatments anyway, so by deep discounting, you may create a cycle where they start to wait for the savings to book. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9181″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Use your promotional packages to introduce them to things they AREN’T doing by tying them to something they ARE doing. This is a great idea when you are launching a new product in your practice. If you discount something they’ll buy at full price anyway, you just leave money on the table! If everyone is coming in for Dysport anyway, then offer the NEW product at a small discount to your Dysport customers. The customer feels like they are getting an incremental value as part of their loyalty, and you protect your margin while also taking advantage of the benefits of “add-ons” vs. stand alone promos.

No matter your strategy, promotions play an important role in making patients feel like a valuable part of your practice family.  If you’re curious how to determine patient purchasing behaviors, input costs, or inventory usage over time, we invite you to experience Aesthetic Record! Through our Advanced Reporting functionality and our multiple revenue streams, you’ve got hundreds of reports to analyze your practice, and a multitude of ways to generate revenue within your existing patient base.  Connect with one of our Expert AR Coaches to learn more about how Aesthetic Record can help accelerate your practice growth!

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