After interviewing several surgeons on my podcast, “Beauty and the Biz”, attending medical society webinars and watching White House briefings, here are my own predictions…..
Demand for Cosmetic Procedures
There will be an initial surge of cosmetic patients who believe they NEED cosmetic rejuvenation. They have been stuck at home and want to get back to looking good and feeling great.
There will be a certain group of cosmetic patients who wanted cosmetic surgery but will now settle for non-surgical treatments to tide them over until they feel safe and financially secure.
But then what? Will the demand return as before? I believe that will take some time. Just like it did in the 2001 and 2008 Recessions.
The demand for cosmetic rejuvenation is still there by all accounts; however, we don’t know how many consumers will be afraid, or unable, to spend big dollars on surgical cases.
Some of the 22K med spas and some practices that were underfunded won’t survive.
Of those that do survive, many will drop their prices to attract patients; further, commoditizing this industry.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to differentiate you as educated, skilled & experienced.
Do not be shy about showing off your surgical degrees, before/after photos and awards so patients can see why you are a better choice.
New Safety Guidelines Limit You
You can’t have a crowded reception area so you can’t see as many patients. What does that mean for your revenues?
As a solution, you could extend your hours to make up for it; however, that will increase your overhead so do the math before deciding.
Marketing for New Cosmetic Patients
You won’t be able to spend as freely to attract new cosmetic patients unless you’re getting a great return on your investment (ROI) or you’ll run out of cash. That means no more “ego/brand advertising”.
My advice to you is: “If you can’t track the results, don’t spend the money.”
Plastic Surgery Virtual Consultations
For those surgeons who have embraced this, virtual consultations have proven to be successful and will become
mainstream because cosmetic patients will demand it for consultations as well as post/pre op visits.
Put a process together to orchestrate a virtual consult just as you do in real life.
However, I suggest putting parameters around it. For now, these consults should be free but then charge to avoid no-shows once we are out of the woods.
COVID-19 Restart PracticePlan Strategies for Plastic Surgeons
Ok, that’s the bad news. But like everything else in life, it’s your choice how you REACT to this. If you keep your growth mindset in check and be smart, you will overcome this challenge just like you have other challenges in your life.
I implore you to think logically and NOT emotionally at this time, using the strategies below to restart your practice:
Strategy #1: Target Market the Best Cosmetic Patients
We don’t know how many consumers can still afford your services.
We do know unemployment has hit an all-time high so that means, you want to “target market” more than ever before.
Obviously, discretionary income will take a huge hit for the foreseeable future, so answer this question:
Who is most likely affected and least likely to be affected by economic dips?
Focus on the latter group who have the financial wherewithal to not only weather the economic storm but also have the resources to move forward with cosmetic rejuvenation.
Every marketing & advertising dollar counts so prioritize:
- Current active patients who have given you money before
- Old patients who know you but haven’t been in for awhile
- Those who came in for consults but didn’t book surgery
- New patients who don’t know you yet AND have the financial wherewithal to afford your services (target high-income zip codes, homeowners, professionals)
Strategy #2: Build Your Brand
When an industry is saturated with a supply of cosmetic rejuvenation providers including plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons, general surgeons, non-specialty doctors, NP’s, RNs, PAs, laser techs and aestheticians…..
…….You don’t compete on price. You compete on your brand.
However, your brand is NOT just your Website. It’s only one piece of the puzzle of YOU.
It’s the personality of your practice and a promise to your patients.
Your brand relays your values, how you communicate your services, what you want consumers to feel when they interact with you, your staff and your practice processes.
As Jeff Bezos of Amazon says,
“Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Your brand = Trust + Safety + Helping others so here’s what you do:
Safety: Make videos, checklists, statements talking about all the precautions you have put into place to protect your staff and patients from the virus.
Trust: Differentiate you with your education, experience, skill that others can’t compare to when it comes to choosing the best provider.
Helping others: Show you have a generous heart with pro-bono efforts and giving back to your community.
Strategy #3: Cosmetic Patient Marketing Content
Now is the time to adopt quality over quantity in procedures and patients.
Focus on marketing the procedures you can do in-house and that give you the most profit using the least amount of resources and drop everything else for now.
AND, review which referral sources give you the most revenues (not the most traffic) but the most paid procedures.
Keep in Touch with Current Patients
The patients who already know, like and trust you are always your best audience so stay connected to them via email, text and social media.
Give them reasons to like, share, comment on your content so other prospective patients, like them, will choose you as well (see examples below):