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Thursday
Mar262009

Medical Spa & Laser Clinic Coupon Shopping

Medical spas seem to be opening up everyday, or more physicians are adding cosmetic services to their practices and adding the phrase “medical spa or laser clinic” to their practice name. Whatever the cause of this increase in “competition” the fact is the more players there are, the more you have to step up your marketing campaign.

Potential clients have no idea who is “better” than whom, or who has the most experience, or talent. Point blank, their main concern when choosing a medical spa service provider is price. We have price shoppers calling everyday asking how much we charge per unit of Botox, or per syringe of a particular dermal filler. It amazes me that "A", Botox and fillers are so common and are injected in so many different types of practices that someone actually CAN price shop. And, "B", it amazes me that someone doesn’t even ask who is performing their injections and how much experience they have had. Since when is cosmetic medicine categorized like shopping for a handbag?

Here’s the conundrum we’re facing in our medical spa... laser lipolysis is our number one aesthetic service in our practice. So many physicians have added laser lipolysis to their practice in the hopes of generating revenue and, unfortunately, are having a difficult time getting business in the door that they’re offering ridiculous price breaks or coupons worth a very high dollar amount. What the unsuspecting client doesn’t know is how high they jack up their service price to allow for the coupon deduction. Plus the client knows nothing of the practice, who’s performing their procedure, etc.

We have recently had clients come in for complimentary consultations and asked us if we would honor our competitors coupons. My staff was taken a little off guard not expecting such a request.

My stance is that this is a medical practice, not a boutique, and there is certain room for negotiation in pricing, but honoring a ridiculous coupon just to get someone’s business isn’t worth the reputation we’re trying to maintain as medical professionals. Granted, some clients take their coupons away in a huff and say they’ll go elsewhere and only under my breath can I say you’ll get what you pay for!

I’m curious to know how other medical spas handle competitor’s coupons. Is there a limit to what you will accept, or particular services you’ll negotiate on? How far are you willing to go to acquire new clients?

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

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Reader Comments (7)

This is so true. As soon as one doc starts realizing some success they're immediately copied by every other med spa in the area. It's a giant bucket of crabs.

03.26 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal

Forgot this that I found on this site and is good advice: Patients that come to you for price will just as easily leave you for price and having the lowest price is never good business. (something like that)

03.26 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal

I politely tell them they should go there. Never had one leave....

03.26 | Unregistered CommenterLA MD

Paula,

I absolutely am seeing more and more of this. Botox has definitely become a commodity item - and people don't care one bit about who's injecting them. One client recently said to me "I would inject myself if I could get a vile to take home - how hard is it......couple of pricks and you're done". ..... My jaw dropped.

Along with this, how are folks handling phone calls requesting your Unit price? We've typically had a policy of not discussing prices over the phone, but more and more inquiries are hanging up on us. For a few I've told them the price, after first explaining to them our expertise....and we get the typical "ok, great, I'll call back".....

-JBird

03.28 | Unregistered CommenterJBird

JBird,
I have taken the position of putting our prices on our website and on our Menu of Services that we hand out at events and in the office. Believe it or not, this has cut down on the callers who are price shopping. If they do call, we tell them our prices per unit of Botox and per syringe of dermal fillers. We also tell them that our physician is the only person who performs injections in our office and that he has won a Reader's Award in our area for doing so.

If they say "I'll call back" so be it. We know they won't if they're calling for price. We can usually tell if we triggered something in their brain to make them think "hey, wait a minute, maybe there's more to this than I thought?". We just hope we subliminally put the message in their head that this is a medical procedure and we actually give a crap who's injecting it in their face! If they don't care and only want a price break, then I don't want them as a client. It yields no long standing revenue for us, nor does it build a solid client base built on trust.

Nurse Paula

I have to agree with LA MD on this one. If you are a coupon clinic, expect coupon clients. If you believe in your skills, pt rapport, and are willing to stand by your work there is no need for this. Coupons in down or any economic time screams desperation. The patients who realize this will stick with you. The ones on a bargain hunt will sell you out the second the spa next door reduces prices in hopes of keeping the door open one more month. I have kept my prices current and have seen a rise in revenue. The only thing I can attribute this to is the med spas the pts used to go are out of business.

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