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Effective Internal Cross-marketing

By: Susie Naficy
Posted: January 28, 2010, from the November 2009 issue of
Medical professionals look at a chart

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Abstract: By encouraging cross-marketing between team members such as nurses and estheticians, you can ensure all your patients need are met under your roof.

Offering a broad spectrum of services is a key component to surviving—or even thriving—in an economic downturn. Cosmetic-based practices can feature recession-proof services—such as dermatology or reconstructive surgery—and surgical practices can increase nonsurgical revenue by hiring mid-level providers. However, introducing such services is only half the solution—an effective and successful cross-marketing program must be established within the practice for such diversification to pay off.

So, how can you get your surgical patients to come to your office for their routine Botox injections? How can you convert your photorejuvenation patients into seeing your dermatology-certified physician assistant (PA-C) for mole removal? How can you get your esthetician to start referring her patients for aesthetic cosmetic surgery? Following are five key components to encouraging your staff to cross-market successfully.

1. Educate your staff

Provide your team members with the tools they need to conduct comprehensive consultations during each patient encounter; this includes in-person, and via telephone and e-mail. From your receptionist to your mid-level providers, your team should be able to intelligently and completely discuss all treatments, products and services offered in your practice. Emphasizing education by conducting regular staff meetings, providing targeted reading material and reviewing case studies will give your staff the confidence and knowledge needed to discuss the wide range of practice offerings to all their patients.

CASE STUDY. An esthetician was seeing a patient for a radiothermoplasty consultation. The patient was seeking face lift-type results with very limited downtime. The esthetician recalled that the physician discussed both the suspension lift and the mini lift at the last staff meeting—and remembered the before-and-after photos displayed. When the esthetician showed the same photos to her patient, the patient determined that a mini lift was more in line with her expectations than radiothermoplasty, and scheduled surgery. The esthetician was very happy that she paid attention during the training, otherwise she might have just turned the patient away as not being a good radiothermoplasty candidate.

2. Reduce monetary competition