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A Prescription for Success

By: Pat Lam
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Because skin care is taking a turn toward the medical field, the need for a more thorough prescription sheet is evident. As in most health care practices in which the patient is required to complete a lengthy form, skin care professionals need to acquire more in-depth information about their clients in order to maximize treatment results. A more complete profile of a client’s lifestyle, product usage and, most importantly, the treatment products and steps used on the individual in the spa should be recorded on a prescription sheet. Understanding how a personal history, including health conditions, medication, nutrition, sleep habits and stress levels, affects the skin and body will aid skin care professionals in selecting the most effective treatments and providing the most appropriate home-care advice. The following information includes the important points that should be covered in a prescription form if a holistic approach to skin and body care is being considered.

The consultation

A consultation takes approximately 10–15 minutes, and many professional clinics require a small fee, which often results in fewer skipped appointments than if it were free. A good marketing strategy is to apply this charge as a credit toward the actual treatment. This serves as a motivation for the client to schedule an appointment.

A small consultation room located near the reception area produces a more conducive environment for immediately booking an appointment or purchasing products after the discussion, which helps to establish a professional relationship at the onset. The room should be decorated tastefully with product displays, information about spa services and, if available, equipment used to examine the skin, such as a Wood’s lamp. If the client is having only a consultation and has not booked a treatment at the same time, the prescription sheet can be partially completed and filed.

Following are some of the more significant questions to ask a prospective client during the consultation. Discussing issues relative to the client’s background shows that you take more than a casual interest and promotes a strong professional relationship.

Data information. It is important to ask the client’s permission to call their home or place of business in order to confirm or cancel appointments. Some people prefer that spa visits remain a private matter. Also, receive permission to send spa news and notifications about specials to their e-mail address.