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Bridging the Gap Between Esthetics and Medical

By: Adele Beck
Posted: July 22, 2008, from the March 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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So how does a medical spa incorporate esthetics into medical and vice versa? Start out by training your team in sales, which is not always an easy job. Clients come to a medical spa to learn about their skin—they are looking for answers. When a team member offers knowledge of skin care pertaining to the individual client’s skin type, the client listens. She constantly is reminded of the benefits of monthly facials, microdermabrasion and peels, and thus, she couples the esthetic treatments with the medical procedures naturally. Making sure the client realizes these treatments function as age-management and continuing maintenance is a must to get optimum results from more aggressive treatments down the line.

Cross-training staff also is important for the success of a medical spa. Even if it is a procedure particular technicians don’t ordinarily perform, it is important they know and understand everything associated with each treatment the facility provides. Only then can they intelligently explain all of the spa’s offered treatments to clients, telling them how it feels and noting the benefits. At the end of each business meeting, train your staff on the profitability of each treatment and the cost associated with actually performing it. This both broadens and strengthens your team’s understanding of sales and how difficult, yet important, it is to be profitable.

Testing the waters

Of course, even with all the information you can provide for them, some clients are hesitant to try new things. That’s why it is important to give them incentives. I emphatically dislike the word “free.” Nothing is free. Someone is paying for whatever is marketed as free. However, everyone enjoys a gratuity. So, after first-time medical treatments, apply a complimentary esthetic add-on. For example, following a first-time laser facial hair removal, add an aqua lift mask. It brings an added value and gives the client a soothing feeling after an anxious laser treatment. If performed with style and courtesy, the odds are that after each ongoing treatment the client will purchase the mask. Add-ons also open the door to other esthetic treatments. An easy way to assure that clients remember your facility offers esthetic treatments as well as medical procedures is to ask if they would like a makeup application after any procedure, even if they’ve had a cellulite reduction.

To help familiarize clients even more with treatments, try hosting a wine and cheese makeover party. Invite around 10 to 15 women to receive a complimentary makeup application. As five are being made up, the other 10 are engaged in a question-and-answer period with a physician, a factory laser technician or another qualified professional in an associated field. It educates clients on every treatment performed in the spa and is a great way to sell retail products.

A guided tour

Explaining what a medical spa offers also can go hand-in-hand with getting the word out about the facility itself. Last year, I produced four infomercials that still run on a local access station benchmarking all the spa’s treatments, explaining what a medical spa is and what one can expect at a first-time appointment. The viewer is transported through the rooms in the spa as the host demonstrates each procedure. The first stop is the skin analysis machine, which generates quantitative values for skin features in six different areas. All my new clients receive this complimentary procedure. The demonstration leaves clients with a picture in their mind and thoughts of how to finance a program prepared exclusively for them. It also provides each client with a good idea of the special things only a medical spa can offer.