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« Dr. Karen B. Vaniver: A Plastic Surgeon in Seattle | Main | Effects of Changes in the Medicare Physician Fee System »
Tuesday
May152012

Where Does Creating The WOW Factor Begin?

Have you ever been put in the bad situation of believing you need to fill an opening out of need? You post and ad and literally the first few people that respond and can walk and chew gum get the job.  How did that ever work out for you...

There is a real skill set to interviewing & selecting the "A" players that will create the WOW factor even without all the tech behind them. The question I'm most often asked is how to find them, interview them and hire them.  Here are a few tips to consider.

1.  Start with ad itself. Don't flour up the position or your establishment to make it seem like a dream job.  Instead, think of what you specifically need for the position you're trying to fill and use language that will weed out anything other than "A" players. In other words don’t talk about your wonderful environment. Talk about the demands of the position.

2.   Weed through the stacks of resumes and make piles of A & B applicants. All others can be put in a rainy day file for a possible another look. Now send an email to each of your A/B possibilities asking them to describe in specific terms what they can do for your organization. Then sit back and evaluate who you want to bring in for a face to face meeting. In order to hire a WOW employee they need to really impress you in this phase.

3.  At this point you're now meeting the applicants. Remember your job is to find the best "A" level player. Now you have to find out if they can think on their feet and react positively to pressure.  For myself I inform each applicant that regardless of what they are being hired for that every position also has three responsibilities.

   A.  Everyone is in Sales

   B.  Everyone is a Customer Advocate

   C.  Everyone is responsible for outside marketing activities and needs to bring in 5 new patient per month through those efforts.  In short they will need Evangelize how we are and what we do.

Now at this point you will begin to weed out the producers from the pretenders but for me, there is still one more test. I call it my pen test but feel free to create your own. I tell the applicant that I need them to role play for me. I tell them that I want you to sell me a pen and not just any pen. I want you to pretend that there are 3 other pen sales people in the waiting room all trying to sell me the exact same pen you're trying to sell me. I then count down from 5 and it's roll play time. 

What you're looking for is the applicant that can take the heat of the moment and find some way to shine. Funny thing is that I'd estimate that 75% of the over 1,000 people I've interviewed in my life fail this test. Some break down and cry, some stammer then shut down, some freeze and walk out and some hit it out of the park. I submit that if a candidate can't handle selling a pen how the hell are they going to sell aesthetic services?  If they can't handle the pressure of a simple role play how will they handle the irate patient we get from time to time. If that can’t sell you a pen that’s the same as 3 others how can they sell Botox & Laser treatments that are same at other practices in your area.   I’m constantly amazed at how few staff members at other organizations I meet can’t give a simple elevator pitch as to why I should buy from them vs. the competition.  If they lead or bring up price in the first sentence or two I can assure you the organization is floundering on failure.

So, seek out the "A" level players.  They exist but you need to attract them, hire them and retain them.  The last one might be another topic to discuss...

Reader Comments (7)

Wow, tough test. To be honest I'm a little hesitant to have my staff 'selling' quite this hard. While you might be OK with laser hair removal or an IPL treatment or a cream, I think that you can get yourself into some serious trouble if you're overly pushy with anything more invasive. Patient selection is an art and deciding who not to work on is as important as making sure that your time is filled. There are plenty of horror stories about patients who were treated that shouldn't have and then became a problem.

05.16 | Unregistered CommenterCutter MD

I'm guessing that this has a dramatic impact on returns/refunds. While I like the pen test, I'm not sure that I could pass it myself.

05.16 | Unregistered CommenterDr.M

I understand the resistance and I get this from M.D's all the time who proudly state. I'm a Doctor not a salesman. I answer that with a question. Doc, are you married or did you ever ask out a guy/girl on a date. Congratulations and welcome to sales...

There is a fine line between knowing your business and being able to effectively communicate information to a patient and overselling. This article was on hiring not selling. Selling by the way is effective listening not spitting bits and trying to sell. My point is that unless you hire "A" level staff members, no matter what type of technology you use, your establishment will never be an "A" level business.

Your own model may change from the approach you take. What I will tell you is that having staff members who go out and bring in through their own efforts 5 new patients a month each represents for us 30 new patients a month that we would not otherwise obtain.

This is one very big reason why we are growing at 40% this year and many centers are in the single digits or worse down from last year. Our compensation plan BTW is based on performance so staff members, when they saw first hand the monetary gains they made by bringing in new patients, are only to happy to make that happen month in and month out.

This business is no longer a "build it and they will come model" Now you have to build it, advertise it conventionally and then, go out and make it happen...

I'm a retired salesman who did quite well. I do not like to think of my doc as a huckster, If he has a staff that does the selling for commissions (most sales organizations work this way) your over-enthusiastic people can ruin you. You have no control over what they say at any given time and commissions or PMs (push money) tends to make many too aggressive.... especially in a doctors office.

There is a company selling a laser for home use through doctors ONLY. It costs about $800. Everybody wants MORE, MORE , MORE.... money that is and it is ridiculous as to what they will do to get it from those who trust them.

Hey Doc.... you will ALWAYS MAKE A LIVING IN YOUR OWN FIELD but when you try to get into another field .... WATCH OUT.

05.17 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

I'll have to disagree with lefty2g and his annoying all-caps on this. I don't think selling a quality product or service equates to being a 'huckster'. Cosmetic medicine is elective and as such, it requires both a market and a vendor. Lefty2g's comments seem a little too strident to be taken seriously. (I'm always suspicious of people who resort to all-caps in order to make a point instead of having a reasoned argument.)

I can't remember who said it but I happen to agree with this quote: "Nothing happens in a company until somebody sells something."

All transactions include selling in some form... even the white coat.

05.17 | Unregistered CommenterShelly DO

@Shelly DO
Well said in all respects.

[This comment has been deleted for violating our terms regarding the use of all-caps.] - the Management

05.19 | Unregistered Commenterlefty2g

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