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Ep.44: COVID 19 Update with ASAPS Past President Dr. Grant Stevens

COVID-19 Update with ASAPS Past President Dr. Grant Stevens

Dr. Grant Stevens is an internationally recognized industry leader, former ASAPS President, and Founder and Medical Director at Marina Plastic Surgery. Listen in as he shares his solid advice and wisdom to help your practice weather the COVID-19 storm.

Grant Stevens, M.D., FACS

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Beauty and the Biz

Ep.44: COVID 19 Update with ASAPS Past President Dr. Grant Stevens

Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the marketing and business side of plastic surgery practices. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice: What’s Your Patients Are Saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits. Now today’s episode is very exciting, and it’s called COVID-19 update with Dr. Grant Stevens. And he really needs no introduction but just in case you’ve been living under a rock. Let me just tell you a bit about him. Dr. Grant Stevens is a board-certified plastic surgeon and he’s the founder and medical director of Marina plastic surgery and the Institute of Medical Spa in Marina Del Rey, California, which is gorgeous. And he’s also the medical director of orange twist brands offering multi location noninvasive and minimally invasive aesthetic treatments. And he’s also the chairman of the USD Marina Aesthetic Surgery fellowship, and the director of the USC division of aesthetic surgery. Now, Dr. Stevens has won tons of top awards, and he’s written over 60 articles and chapters on Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. And he’s an active member at Marina Del Rey Hospital and we’re chairman of the liposuction committee and the medical director of the breast center. Now he’s also on staff at St. John’s Medical Center at the marina outpatient surgery center in USC. Now, Dr. Stevens is well known for his active participation in many medical societies. And he’s a recent past president of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, otherwise well known as ASAP. He speaks on clinical topics, as well as business and marketing the aesthetic practice topics. And that’s where we have shared the podium the most. And he stands out over all the other physician speakers and for his forward-thinking growth mindset. Now, he’s been interviewed by all the major media and PR outlets, and he’s appeared on more than 125 TV programs, such as extra CNN and 60 minutes. So welcome Dr. Stevens, to Beauty and the Biz. I am thrilled to be interviewing you.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Thank you so much, Catherine, I only regret my mother wasn’t listening. It’s an absolute pleasure to have a chance to chat with you and your listeners, thank you very much

Catherine Maley, MBA: You know what they say there’s always an opportunity in every challenge. And this was the one time I could catch you because you are so gosh darn busy. So, I’m thrilled to have this time with you and to share your opinion and your insights on what’s going on out there. So, can we just start with give us an update on COVID-19 in Southern California?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, Catherine, I my suspicion is probably not a whole lot different than most of the other areas where your listeners are located. And I will tell you that we are not seeing patients are doing electric procedures. Recently, we’re seeing more masks being worn. Up until now we didn’t see as many I noticed over the last day, I’ve seen a lot of more masks being worn and the streets are pretty desolate people are still walking about and so forth, but keeping a distance from one another and the restaurants here are closed and they are takeout and that sort of thing and essential services as the President and the governor have said we can still be open for essential services.

Catherine Maley, MBA: All right. So why do we practice and how much it was medical versus cosmetic?

Dr. Grant Stevens: So, my main practice is Marina plastic surgery and the marina Med Spa or the Institute. And that practice is in Marina Del Rey. And we just started our 33rd year it’s hard for me to imagine, and it’s 100% aesthetic, or elective surgery with the exception that that if obviously if somebody gets hurt when I sew up lacerations, I help family members of my patients with various trauma that they’ve asked for. In fact, I sewed up a little kid just the other day during this lockdown, but primarily it’s an Aesthetic Plastic Surgery practice. And I am including breast reduction there even though some consider that reconstructive. Now my other practices orange twist that you mentioned, I have the orange twist centers, the retail centers around the world, California but also Texas, Nevada, Washington. So, but those are retail centers, and they’re entirely non-surgical, aesthetic medicine.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, you’re almost 100% shut down, right?

Dr. Grant Stevens: We are 100% shut down. In terms of revenue production, we are 100% shut down. And there are things we’re doing to compensate for that. Hopefully I can share some of those ideas with you because it’s a lot of my colleagues and residents and fellows and people I’ve trained in over the years are calling and asking for suggestions on how to maintain revenue and minimize costs. And that’s what we’ve been trying to help people with it to do.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well. Yeah, that’s what we’re here for any insights you have to help surgeons get through this insane time?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, one of the things, and again, in no particular order here, but as we go through this, one of the things that I have had over the years, is a loyalty card program, we’ve had this for years, and we’ve had three different levels of loyalty cards when it’s a prepaid card. And that’s worked out well for people that didn’t want to do subscription. And I’ll touch on your subscription a minute. And these loyalty cards and the people are rewarded according to how much they spent. So, they can buy $1,000 card, a $3,000 card or a $5,000 card. And with this pre-payment, then they receive back certain discounts, and certain prizes, if you will, or gifts. Now we run a pretty large balance on that. And I got to thinking during this COVID period, well, that would be another way a shot in the arm, if I really market it that so I did, I worked with Max influx, who does my websites, and we came up, we just extended what we already do. And we offered some more bonuses, including an additional 10% off if they spent their loyalty card in the first 60 days once, once we’re back in business once the more times lifted, and we’re actually seeing patients. So hopefully that will jumpstart a practice. And once we can start seeing patients, the patients will enjoy an additional 10% off, the staff will be busier, I can bring the staff back sooner. And in the meantime, they’ll be paying the money now that I can use to help pay my staff and keep the doors open while we’re waiting to reopen.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And they had already paid this up front. Correct?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Correct. And they’ve been doing that historically, we’ve run a large six figure to sometimes seven figure balance on that. And so now what we’re doing is we’re trying to jump that I want to double that if I can, and we’re incentivizing people to help now and then enjoy the discounts later.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Gotcha. I remember though, you used to have a program that was pretty comprehensive, and it paid monthly. Have you noticed the difference between prepaid versus monthly?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, so it’s really interesting. Some consumers prefer monthly payments, or a subscription method, like we all do with Netflix and our car payments and various things that we’re used to it actually is at the average per patient, when I just study on this has six different subscriptions that they’re paying on a monthly basis. And so, we started this, three or four years ago with hint MD, and we started our club, our Marina club, and we have hundreds of people probably 600 by now are there abouts on our subscription program where they get a monthly charge on their credit card. And then they come in, according to whatever their schedule is. And that can change and the monthly amount can change depending on how much they consume. And some people love to budget it that way. Others want to just if they get an infusion of cash, they just want to pay for loyalty cards. It’s not one size fits all, it’s the different people. Now speaking on the subscriptions, a lot of people who can’t come in on their appointed time for their Botox or filler, or whatever it is, let’s say for the last three, four weeks, and the next 234 weeks, whatever it’s going to be, they’re concerned about their subscription, they don’t want to pay a subscription for something they’re not getting. And I completely understand that. And with that in mind, we’ve just put everybody on a hole, we just turn the subscription program temporarily off. So, everybody gets a hall pass and they won’t get charged. And then once we’re up and running in the subscription, we’ll just kick back on. The people that want to go off the subscription, are disincentivize, if you will, because then they have to pay retail, and make up for whatever it is that they have to do what the advantages they enjoyed by being on subscription. Because the cool thing about subscription also is not only can they budget, but they get discounts, and they get different gifts and so forth. And I think you’re gonna see many more practices going on a subscription approach to aesthetic medicine, aesthetic services.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, for sure. So, I know you don’t have a crystal ball. But how long do you think this is going to go on? Do you have any idea?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Oh, boy. Well, I agree. I don’t have a crystal ball. I’ll tell you what I’m doing. You know, I besides praying, I am now booking for my non-surgical services. We’re booking in May. Now I’m an optimist, I have to confess that I am an optimist. The glasses always 90% for when I look at it, so that my bias is I am an absolute natural born optimist. So, I have no problem and I’m telling the patients, let’s schedule everything in May. And then if we have to push out further, we will and likewise I’ve been saying it’s if we possibly could go back sooner, we’ll call everyone up because we have many, many people on the books just dying to come in and get their services because everything’s been put on hold.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I wonder a lot of us who are very used to aesthetic rejuvenation and we’re way off kilter. And I know you’ve seen the Instagram cartoons where you know when your eyebrows down there Botox or fillers? I mean, some of us are [inaudible 09:41] right now.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I’m taking calls from patients. I’m doing cyber consults and virtual consults and so forth. And yesterday I had two emergency Botox calls, which cracked me up and another emergency home peel call. And when I say emergency No, I’m just kidding, but they both were both long. Any patients we have this concept that’s on all of our website and, and all over and present if yours, you’ve heard me talk about patients for life. And so, I’ve had the wonderful good fortune of having patients for over 30 years and some of their children and so forth. And I’m sort of a family doctor. And it’s so hilarious that they call and they’re getting me I’m answering my own phone, I’m answering his Marina plastic surgery, if it rings through to my cell phone, I have two or three staff that are taking calls. But when they’re tied up, I take the calls. And so yesterday I was fielding calls from patients saying we need plastic surgery, how may I help you This is Dr. GrantStevens, and they never heard me answer the phone, sir. So, it’s a terrible time, there’s no question. But there’s a lot of good things that are coming out of it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I know there will be I’m just not sure we’re ready to see them yet. Because it’s still so raw. And I know, third week of shelter in place, and it’s a real mind bend when you when you’re a very active, productive person. And now you’re sitting still indebted. Wow, I got to tell you, I’ve been meditating lately, because I don’t know what else to do, you know, work and meditate.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, absolutely. Home yoga and home workouts and– I hear you I’m a Type A like you and I can’t sit still. So, it’s a challenge for me.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you have a pretty nice backyard, isn’t it?

Dr. Grant Stevens: And I do freak out at night, and take my dog for a walk and wear my mask.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I don’t even have a mask, I’ve gotta go get one. So, you’ve been through several recessions like I have, like you’ve been through two of them. And I’m sure you’ve been through a lot more? Well, you know, I’m sure you’ve been through many, many challenges, but I’m sure the biggest one. But how do you think this is different than any of the other challenges plastic surgeons have had? Because both of those recessions and those were tough but what about this one?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, well, this is also a hybrid, it’s not just a recession, it’s also a little bit like 911, in that it was a bomb that dropped on us, some of the pure recessions, they start a little less abruptly, it’s a little more insidious, and you start seeing a drop off, and then you hit this crescendo, and then the then at the drop off, but there are there are some things you can do to prepare. I didn’t see this coming. I don’t think there are many people who did. And this feels a lot like the consumers after 911. And I say that actually positively when you hear my next my conclusion of that. But the problem is then the financial problem that with the recession, I think like 911, we’re going to see a ton of interest in patients, the moment that doors are open, I think we’re going to be flooded with patients, like we were after 911, I think people are going to want to reward themselves. They’re tired of being locked up, tired of their roots and their wrinkles, and they’re all the different things, they’re going to come in for noninvasive big time. And I think they’re going to reward themselves with surgery. Now, here’s the only caveat. If they have no money, then because of the recession, then we have a problem. And clearly, we have a problem. And so, if we don’t have that horsepower, that financial horsepower, then as much as they want to do it, they still may not be able to. So that’s going to be the offset in my mind. And I think the acelin patients will be alright, that have enough money in the bank. And I think that’s what we’ll see happening. And hopefully, we can turn around this crazy unemployment and get the cash flow going again, and with this loan stimulus package, hopefully people will be able to keep their businesses and thus keep their employees and everyone will be employed and all the rest. So, it’s hard to say but I remain optimistic that we’re going to have a huge influx of patients in the aesthetics business. As soon as this is over.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I think it’ll be helpful if you as a practice. And I know you do this; you actually attract a more fluid patient. But there are definitely realities about social economic groups. And if you are catering to, you know, the service industry or the certain groups, you are in very big trouble, I think the credits gonna dry up for a while. And so, if you don’t have the money, I don’t even think you can borrow the money. So that would be interesting to watch how that all pans out. But I think you’re right about the non-invasive, I think we can all jump right back into that, again, I’m not sure about the surgery, I don’t know, but my guess would be non-surgical, would be as popular as ever.

Dr. Grant Stevens: And that’s what we saw in the last recession. As you recall, we saw such a surge in the non-surgical, and we’ve never really recovered entirely on the surgical side. Since the 2008 2009 period of time ever we’ve grown but it’s been single digit growth. And not this incredible double in some cases, triple digit, the non-surgical so far outstripped the surgical in terms of recovery.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, let me ask you this, because it just seems to me this is like Google supply and demand. And if this comes back, and everybody still wants non-surgical, so the demand is still there and it will get less because they won’t be able to afford it as much as before, but the supply will be even greater. So that’s going to force a price war, I think. What are you feeling on that?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, we’ve seen that in the past, certainly as the as the supply is growing, we’re seeing a lot of price pressure, downward price pressure even before this very time. So, using your argument, I think you have a very good point. However, there are different types of consumers. And there are these sophisticated consumers that believe you get what you pay for. And when you see advertisements for $9, Botox, you’re not getting, you’re not getting the same product, you’re getting diluted Botox, you can’t even inject it for $9. So, I think the mills will probably still continue on. Now on the other hand, though, this is going to put such pressure on a lot of those practices that had, that we’re only competing on the basis of price, that I think you may be surprised. And you may see, that’s the supplied, use your supply side, your supply demand argument or the discussion, you may see the supply go down. Because this may wash out a lot of the wannabes and a lot of the people that were just functioning on price alone. And that’s what I expect to happen. I think a lot of the small med spas that were dabbling, this are going to be out of business. So, I will I will be interesting what happens. And it also depends on how long we have to go, right? I mean, if we’re doing this, six months from now, a lot of practice will be over.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you know what i can see happening, then, the surgeons will be saying, well, then Heck, I’ll do my own injectable.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Absolutely.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I can see that coming. And then I think Oh, dear now then what happens?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, I think we’re already seeing some of that chapter. And I’ve been seeing that I have a lot of Doc’s have been calling me about getting certified and trained more in fillers as opposed to neurotoxins. And all I have to allergen certified instructors. And I’ve had doctors talk to me about getting up to speed on specifically fillers. And I’ve thought about it. I’ve just done surgery. I don’t do the non-surgical so to speak of I do a little bit of lasers, but not much. And I’ve actually thought about that.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You think you would? You think you’ll do injectables?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah. I thought about doing injectables myself. Hmm. So, who knows when we’re coming back? If we come back, and there’s no surgery to do? what’s to stop me from just providing the injectables? That I think that’s going to be a common phenomenon you’re gonna see.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, regarding your own practice? Where did you end up with–? You have quite a bit of staff, you’ve got quite a big operation there. So, who’s coming? Who’s going? How are you going to handle all that?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, well, a couple of things. So, we had to put a number of people on furlough. But while we did, that, we maintain all their health benefits, all the various other benefits or life insurance or dental, the other benefits we had, and they all have a pretty handsome PTO. And so, they’re using their PTO, we just did payroll on Monday. And all the people that were furloughed had a chance to apply for unemployment. And we paid them their PTO, so their vacation sick accordingly, such that they could have full paychecks, we did keep a group of people to help me with the phones and the emails and the texts and just the logistics of keeping the car up and running, taking deliveries and such on upon a little bit limited hourly basis, then this whole package came through or is coming through this loan package. And I’m hoping I’m hoping we could apply and receive that such that I can bring my staff back at least for those two months. They’re talking about the eight weeks; I was just on the phone before this call with my banker at Chase. And that’s where applications will be going. And I’m really hoping that we can take that infusion of cash and maintain our employees. That’s what it’s intended for, at least from my perspective, that’s what I’m trying to do.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Make sure they have to because there will be such a domino effect if somebody doesn’t do something like now. So yeah. We didn’t talk about the surgery, though, because I know you work out of hospitals and a surgery center. And I think they’re going to be slowly bringing back elective surgeries. Where you–

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yep. So, in my particular case, I own my own surgery center. So, and I don’t use the hospital except on emergencies or isolated things. So in for me personally, at the moment, we’re able to be up and running, I’m going to be up and running. And I have a full surgery schedule already lined up. So, I have people already on the books for May, June, July, August, September. Now we pushed all the April into May, and may in June. But we’ll be up and running a moment. They give us the green light and we’re starting surgery. So now with the hospitals, it’s going to be a little tougher for sure. I think we’re still going to have the social distancing. And we’re not going to have the same number of people in waiting areas or reception area. So, I think we’re gonna have to you know, we won’t do we do as many cases per day I don’t think we certainly won’t have all the family members sitting there. We’ll have to change our behavior I’m sure.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You have always been a super great marketer and make it look very easy and I know you put money and effort into that you put both into that money and What’s your plan now for marketing?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, I will tell you that as you know shattered, I’m somewhat of a contrarian historically. And I’ve talked about this and back in the recession, I talked about this, if you look into depression, the Great Depression, and look at Kellogg’s and post, both makers of cereals, one double down their marketing, the other one did not they cut back their marketing, and the one has never caught the other. And I will tell you, that the moment is started, I doubled down my marketing. So, all of my stuff I’m doing, I’m doing more, and I’m cutting deals. So, there’s so many reasons to do it. Number one, people are confined to their home, the website traffic is up, not down and the various other media, it’s up, not down. So, television, radio, people are bored, and they’re watching television. So, it was contrary as it may sound in this midst of this terrible economic downturn, I will be candid with you. I’ve turned up my marketing.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay, and are you doing all facets? Are you doing? I don’t need to build words, because every time I go to LA, I see your billboards for–which are terrible.

Dr. Grant Stevens: I’m not doing any billboards right now for cool something I had arrived. But that has nothing to do with COVID. I’d already turned that down. It had sort of run its own life effort. And I ran it. We did great with it. But we’re not doing it right now. And periodically, I’ll do ESPN Radio for various things, especially CoolSculpting. And cool Cohn. We turn that off, although I spoke to them last week. And I’m probably turning that back on the rack, Randy Alvarez stuff that we do on television and cable, and we’ve turned up significantly, and our phones are ringing, because I’ll be honest with you, it’s working. Now, if we’re scheduling for May, and it turns out, it’s going to be September, then I’m going to look pretty silly. But again, I’m stuck with that optimism problem.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You care what other people think about you. And I think that’s such an asset to have, when you stand out in a marketplace where your peers can shoot you down. You know, it’s a tough crowd, because there’s a lot of ego involved. I love that you just do it anyway.

Dr. Grant Stevens: People ask me about that. I always say, these critics, they don’t pay my they don’t pay my rent. And then last time I checked them; I pay my daughter’s tuition. And so as long until that day comes with, they’re paying my overhead and paying my family expenses, I really don’t care what they think, to tell you the truth. I think we should be ethical at all times. And I think that anything I’ve produced, I would argue, it has been ethical. I mean, I’m the past president of the aesthetic society, there have been people that didn’t like my approach, I get that. But I’ve never done anything false or deceptive, or unethical. I know, it makes some people uncomfortable. And I’m sorry that it does. But I believe you need to tell people your story. And tell people if you have a product or good or service, you have the responsibility to let the public know. And we have more experience doing let’s say CoolSculpting than any other practice in the world. And we have more machines than any practice in the world. And so, I can feed treat for people, four cycles at once. We’ve done the FDA studies, people come in, we have competitive pricing, there’s very quick because we do four cycles in 35 minutes. So, we can do eight cycles, and just slightly over an hour and someone gets in gets out done and they have quality five different cool sculpture system. We’ve done over 60,000 CoolSculpting treatments. Well, yeah. So, I don’t have any problem. The fact that we’re, you know, talking to people about them now with cool tone, the same thing. So yep, I would encourage people that are considering what to do now. They lower their expenses everywhere they can possibly, but not on marketing. If they do that, it’s going to be a slower return back.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, do you– Like as in PPC, you’re still doing that Google AdWords?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yep. Sure. And actually, it’s cheaper.

Catherine Maley, MBA: It’s supposed to be cheaper and better be better be. When you do advertising? Are you picking one or two procedures? Or how what’s your game plan of marketing?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah. So, we don’t do one thing. So, I have quarterly goals that we set and I decided I’m going to go after this particular procedure or this market and the public is tired of the same old same old same old so we change and I’m primarily marketing the procedures and the body parts and the actual technologies and I’m not doing a lot of brand marketing a lot from for the Dr. GrantStevens brand. I think the branding, there’s probably enough and we also have multiple providers. So, I’m going after the you know, beautiful lips all year long, nine, nine dollars a month. That’s a simple subscription program that we ran at the universities and the millennials went crazy over it. You know, Millennials don’t start with Botox or neurotoxins, they start with fillers. And they’re starting with them. They’re starting to places in their lips number one, and they’re jawline number two. And once we got a handle on that, and I started this $99 a month program, which is Jupiter in January, and Jupiter demand July, every six months, and $99 a month for beautiful lips all year long, we had the 20- and 30-year-olds beating down the door thanks to an MDM subscription. And that’s something if I, if your listeners were not doing it, I would encourage them to do that. And I’m happy to explain it to them. It’s simple. Just put them on a budget.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You think the 20-year-old are still gonna have money when we get back?

Dr. Grant Stevens: They’re gonna have $900 a month. Yep.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And then what about it? Because it’s very generational. Now, I know you also do faceless and vpls. And are you going to change your strategies at all when this is over?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, I’m going to combine services combining. When I do the facial rejuvenation, I’m going to be pushing the icing on the cake and actually throwing in as a value add the say, the cytron tail or the bbl, and the other non-invasive as a perk for doing the surgery, I’m not going to discount surgery, I don’t believe in discounting surgery, but heaping other services on top of it is a way to reward good behavior without eroding the price. So, I think that’s what we’re gonna be seeing.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Patients will get better results too. A long time ago, I used to do a very simple marketing message for my clients, I would say one plus two equals 10. And we would give the patient Botox and filler and then a free IPL call, they got the you know, they just got a while result, they were happy that something was free, because I still got to use the one free. Yeah. And they got to partake in all three things, Botox filler, and lasers. So now they’re just more apt to become a happy patient who returns again and again, and when they now know what to do with them.

Dr. Grant Stevens: I love that Catherine. And those sorts of things, I think that will really resonate when people get back into the swing of things.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Which will be we don’t know when.

Dr. Grant Stevens: What’s your crystal ball say?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I’ll tell you, I don’t watch the news, because it does give me anxiety. And I’m not easily missed. But this has gotten me like nervous. Because it’s not a recession. It’s an event, that’s going to become something else. So, it’s an event that then attacks our credit that that affects our economy that you know, there’s just a wave to this thing. So, I think you know what the today was thinking, even if it’s six months, it’s six months out of our lives is nothing, it’s a blip. So, I’m looking at it that way, because we can still come back, it’s going to be painful or more painful to some than others. But we can handle six months. Okay.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, from your lips to God’s ears. I hope you’re right. And I believe you’re right.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay, well, there we go. You know, I want to talk about your entrepreneurial growth mindset that you’ve already mentioned. And I don’t think you know this, but once we were at a staff, and we were sharing the podium, and let’s talk about CoolSculpting, because there was a man in the audience, a surgeon, and he was complaining that everybody in his brother has a CoolSculpting machine. And then the audience was jumping on Yeah, everybody has CoolSculpting. And you very relaxed and you are relaxed way says, guys, so far, we’re only attracting 3% of the population. Who needs CoolSculpting? Relax, there’s plenty for everybody. And I just thought that was so forward thinking of you. How did you get like that?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, you know, I’ve always worked, I’ve always been an entrepreneur. And it’s not that tough. There’s a lot of fat people out there. And I remember I used to say, hey, raise your hand, if you don’t have an inch of fat, you’d like to get rid of you’ve probably heard me say that. And rarely does a hand go up. And I’ll say, Okay, now there’s the there’s the audience right there. I I’ve said this repeatedly, if people want to open CoolSculpting centers across the hall from me, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, because it’ll just attract more people. It’s not a coincidence that few go over by Disneyland. When I was a kid, I worked at McDonald’s. And right next door, McDonald’s was Kentucky Fried Chicken. And right across the street was at Salt, Esquire, fish and chips. Now, the families would pull in and they have the fast-food paradise, and these kids would pop out of the station wagons and run to these various places. And I looked at that and thought, Oh, that’s interesting. And that’s the same way with aesthetic services. If you if you build it, they’ll come as long as you take care of them and you give them value. So, I think the fact that there’s a lot of in this case, a lot of telescope machines, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, not the slightest.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You also have that patient for life mentality and I sympathize with that. Most surgeons want to they don’t want to but they can’t help but get focused on I just want the surgery. I just want the surgery. Right? How do you explain to them that this is a game for the long run?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, that’s– Catherine, and that’s something you and I have talked about before, and we’ve done it from the podium, I want to be all things beauty to my patients, it is far, far easier to keep a patient in your practice for a client in your in your office, it doesn’t matter if you’re a dry cleaner, or a restaurant or a clothing store, it’s a lot cheaper to keep the existing customer base coming back to see you. And the way to do that is to be more comprehensive and fairer and take care of these people from cradle to grave. That’s where I came up with this whole patience for life. So, I don’t want to be the guy that just does facelifts or breast dogs or light bow or tummy tucks or mommy makeovers and so forth. Rather I’d rather be the guy who provides all things aesthetic or all things beauty for you for the next 30 years. And that will then include the stages of everyone’s life, and includes non-surgical and surgical and over the last 15 years, the non-surgical steps so outstrip the surgical and this is where some of the plastic surgeons were slow on the draw here, thankfully, most of them are in it now. And that keeps the patient in the practice. Because if you’re providing something on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis, they’re coming in seeing you see how you’re doing, you’re talking to patients, and they’ll come in and a patient for life will have an average of three surgeries. Over a 22-year period. We’ve done the research on this, I have hard data to show this. And the average patient over that period time is worth between 80 and $120,000. Oh, that’s so their value their lifetime value. They are the outliers that are worth more. And then the outliers, they’re worth less. But that’s what we found in general. And you do that by providing these non-surgical procedures and encouraging people to return. And that’s where subscription comes in. Great. It’s a perfect reason to do subscription services. Because they come back in.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I would be one of those outliers on the on the more expensive side. Yeah. Yeah, I see on Instagram, you guys and stuff down to LA.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Absolutely.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, what did you– do any other suggestions for surgeons to not panic but plan? What should they be doing right now, while people are sitting still? I just think it’s time to grow and learn, like findings on sharpening your saw, what should they be doing right now, other than–?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, we’ve talked about a number of things, certainly budgeting and planning and the first thing to sit down and do a 13-week plan, do a firm. Now financial analysis, you know, this is going to take some thought and some planning, applying for the federal assistance 100% essential, getting rid of the fluff and the things that you don’t need and minimizing your expenses. And negotiating with people negotiating with your landlord negotiating with any vendor that might be negotiable. Now for a number of the companies are giving extended terms I saw just the other day that Allegan was extending their terms of said 90 days, it went to 150 days, that’s a wonderful thing. So now they don’t have to pay on that. And that’s in interest free for a number of the corporate partners. For plastic surgeons Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons are helping try to help wherever they can. I think we’re gonna see more of that too actually.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I think we have to, if we don’t all work together on this, you know, we all either we all go up, you know, we all?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, you’re right. I completely agree with you, Catherine.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, on another note, I know that you’re getting married, and–

Dr. Grant Stevens: You’re so sweet. We haven’t set a date.  Aaron and I have not set a date, we’re engaged and we’re happy the way it is. And we were thinking sometime in 2021. But the world is a little bit changed. And so, we’re not really sure right now.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, it always seemed to me everybody like the engagement period. I’ve never been married. But it seems to me I could handle being engaged for a long time. That seems like a lot of fun. You know, so why not? draw that out? As long as you could? Just might be?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, that’s pretty much what we’re doing. So, we just got engaged in June. And there are no date set. And then the next question is if we do or when we do get married, what’s that going to look like? Is that going to be a small family only wedding or is that can be everybody we know. As you know, Aaron knows a ton of people and in the business and in elsewhere, and we’re not sure what we want to do. So, stay tuned on that one.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Knowing you it is going to be a big affair. I saw your 25-year anniversary in black tuxedos. And it was amazing.

Dr. Grant Stevens: That was that was my 25th anniversary from my office, right?

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yes.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Wow.

Dr. Grant Stevens: That was a lot of fun.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Do you like YouTube? Are you a video guy?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah, am I a video guy? We have a lot of YouTube’s. If we have hundreds of them. But am I a video guy? I mean yes or no. A lot of It is from media that we have that’s been done. And my very social media people fill me a fair amount. So, I guess I probably am in the big picture. I don’t personally do it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right. I actually believe in in the very near future, we’re going to all have videographers on cable, because that’s where we’re all heading, especially now that everyone’s getting more used to digital, because now everyone’s gonna become more important than ever for your branding purposes. And just for patients to feel like they know you and are more comfortable with you before they actually meet you.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, yeah, and then also with podcasts. Oh, for sure. So, I’ve been doing some different things on different podcasts and webinars for aesthetic Innovation Summit that is that we’ve been doing right before the aesthetic society meeting. And I have had so much fun doing that interviewing corporate Titans and CEOs and such that I went ahead and I started, I actually have done a few of my early podcasts, I have a new podcast coming out called the technology of beauty. It’s a term that I’ve popularized over the last 30 years, and I registered it and have written a number of things called the technology of beauty. So, I went ahead name, my podcast, the technology of beauty. And we’ll be exploring all sorts of surgical and non-surgical, especially heavy a non-surgical way to achieve more beauty.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Speaking of that, just out of curiosity, 100% of your practice, how much is non-surgical versus surgical?

Dr. Grant Stevens: There are different ways of measuring that you can measure in terms of the bodies that walk through the door, or you can measure it through the finances, the gross revenue. And there’s some other ways you can also time and square footage. And we do it all different ways. But I’ll tell you, two years ago, we clip the surgery 51% of my revenue was non-surgical two years ago, and we’re running at about 5050 right now, surgical non-surgical, yet to do that, to generate that, of course, you have to see way more non-surgical patients to do that, right. So that the time in the reception areas or walking through the front doors, those numbers have to be much higher for the non-surgical to achieve that sort of a revenue stream for non-surgical.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Would you say you have to market more for non-surgical and surgical?

Dr. Grant Stevens: That’s an interesting question. I don’t know. That’s an interesting question. I don’t know the answer to that.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I mean, that’s what I’m gonna, when I consult with practices, I always look at the non-surgical and surgical but then but just like you, I also look at the time of the surgeon, the hassle, you know, the hassle. You know, the marketing, like what it took to get that patient in the door. And just to be clear that it’s not all just revenue. It’s there are many other factors that go into it.

Dr. Grant Stevens: That’s for sure. Yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, none of us can travel anymore, because I’ll probably never see you again, because it was great meeting. Well, what are we going to do now? Most of these meetings have been cancelled, has AIS also been canceled as

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, it has been– only it’s been postponed. I don’t like to use the word canceled. It’s been postponed because this exercise been postponed. But we just signed a contract today for the state society meeting in September. So, this society is still going to continue to have meetings, and the steady coalition summit will follow. And we might even follow a different meeting. But we haven’t decided yet. how we’re going to do that. But well, we’ll be traveling again chapter we’ll see each other.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That’d be great. Yeah, I just want to circle back I find this fascinating your orange twist brands, you tell me but these are these are big retail centers. You have what like five different states.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Four states, we have 15 centers right now. And we’re in [inaudible 38:44] also so and we’re going to be going into Saks Fifth Avenue.

Catherine Maley, MBA: How do you go into [inaudible 38:49]? What does that look like?

Dr. Grant Stevens: 

It’s a store within the store. So, there’s a really popular support us here at the grove in LA. It’s one of the one of the landmarks and we placed a store within a store. So, we can we have a contract with Sephora, we have our own store within it. We don’t compete with them in that we don’t sell any skincare that would compete with the Sephora line. But we provide CoolSculpting and various other services injectable such as fillers and modulators. All of them all them you can name clear and brilliant all therapy HydraFacial, of course, IPS and various services there within the Sephora, but it’s under the orange twist banner. So, it’s a separate area store within a store, kind of like with department stores do.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah, but you need some room to do that?

Dr. Grant Stevens: No, we have it. If you come out, you’ll see it or if you look at the grand opening, if you go back on my social media, I could find it or send it to you. We have we have about 1500 feet probably up and it’s upstairs and towards the back in a separate area but it looks it’s open looking down on the support store. It’s lovely and very successful.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Did he help you at all?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, we help one another in that We market our store in Sephora, and they market Sephora. And so, their traffic is curious about ours. And our traffic is curious about there. So, it’s a symbiotic relationship. And our names on the on the door, I mean, it’s a support and then it says aren’t stressed.

Catherine Maley, MBA: This is you a doctor to be our nurse objector. Or how does that work?

Dr. Grant Stevens: We don’t need a doctor there, we’ve we certainly adhere to the Medical Board of California, whatever state we’re within the medical directors. I’m the chief medical officer and co-founder along with Clint canal. And but we have medical directors for each store, if you will. And we have licensed physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners. And in some cases, registered nurses, all of whom are trained to do whatever they are happening to do and the cases are reviewed. And everything’s done at a very high level of professionalism and quality.

Catherine Maley, MBA: As you see expanding it, or you’re happy with where it’s at right now?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Oh, no, I see expanding across the country. Yeah, we’d like to expand it, and go into all the supports, if you will. And I mentioned we’re going to be going into Saks Fifth Avenue also.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Very nice, so [inaudible 41:12] must be looking for some new ways to grow their awareness and their– Okay, that’s very interesting. So, anything else? Any last words about what to do now or how to think right now?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, I think we should think positive. And we should plan, optimize everything we possibly can in preparation, and just stay as healthy as we can follow the rules, stay with our loved ones, and get ready for a boom as soon as this is over. That’s my prediction.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Good for you, I just love the way you think. How can people learn more about you?

Dr. Grant Stevens: Well, they could certainly follow me on Instagram at Dr. Grant Stevens, they could call me they could email me, I’m available and take calls pretty much throughout. And always interested in keeping up my colleagues and not just plastic surgeons, I have a lot of friends in the in a Derma world and EMT, facial plastics, family, plastics and other aesthetic medical field. So, I’m very interested in actually the overall comprehensive approach to this. So, I’m core friendly.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay, that’s great. And I will put your website in our show notes, but it’s Marina Del Rey is a beautiful area and when I say his backyard, it’s just breathtaking. It’s done. He’s got — to die for it. He’s back there. It’s a lovely place to live. I hope you wear your sunscreen.

Dr. Grant Stevens: I’m always wearing my Alaskan sunscreen. I love the Alaskan product line. And I love that sunscreen. I have it on right now.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s so funny when they came on board. And you know, Randy Walden of his wife, you know his wife, Mary, and I said, oh my God, your skin looks fantastic. And she said and she said Oh, that’s a lesson skincare and I went oh my now everybody I know is laughing.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Yeah. Same here. I love it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: All right. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Stevens. I really appreciate it and I will see you again when the dust settles.

Dr. Grant Stevens: Good, Catherine, you take care, be safe.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay

Dr. Grant Stevens: Bye.

Catherine Maley, MBA: All right, everybody. That’s that I hope you got a lot of value out of that. Please do me a favor and subscribe to Beauty and the Biz. So, this can reach more surgeons and we can help more people. And then if you want to give me a review, I would certainly appreciate that and iTunes. And then if you’ve got any comments about what Dr. Stevens or I said or do you have some feedback, please just leave me a note at my website, or you could always see me at my Instagram account, which is catherinemaleymba. Thanks so much and we’ll talk again.

Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.


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