Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and differentiating in a crowded market.
I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits. Now, today’s episode is called “Differentiating in a Crowded Market — with Paul M. Parker, MD”.
When you practice in a highly desirable location with lots of consumer demand, you have to be on your game to capture your fair share of the patients, or your competitors will outdo you and leave you scrambling.
Dr. Paul Parker knows this firsthand. He’s a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 30 years of experience and 35K surgical procedures under his belt.
He owns his 14,000 square foot building in Paramus, NJ with a fully accredited surgical suite, as well as a busy med spa. The location is excellent, and, as luck would have it, a 400-bed hospital was recently built nearby.
He’s actually looking for a board-certified plastic surgeon to join his practice, with the intention of taking over down the road so, if interested, check him out at www.ParkerCenter.net.
This video is an interview I did with Dr. Parker talking about how he differentiates from the heavy competition in his area.
Of course, it’s not one thing. It’s all sorts of little things (excellent staff, team building, rapid recovery, consumer book and more) that keep him busy and popular.
But it’s also Dr. Parker’s attitude towards surgery, patients, staff and family that make all the difference.
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Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and differentiating in a crowded market. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice — What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and profits. Now I have a very special guest today.
It’s Dr. Paul Parker of Parker Center for Plastic Surgery, located in Paramus New Jersey. Now, Dr. Parker is a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 30 years of experience and more than 35,000 surgical procedures under his belt. Now he did a full five-year residency in general surgery and a two-year residency in plastic surgery at NYU Medical Center.
Then six months of plastic surgery training in Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital, as well as a fellowship in microsurgery at New York University Medical Center’s Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. With a heavy emphasis on innovative methods of breast reconstruction. Now, Dr. Parker is an author of a consumer book for moms who want to get their pre-baby bodies back.
And we’ll talk more about that and differentiating in a crowded market because it’s good. And then he’s also a member of numerous professional medical societies and he’s received several awards and honor. As a top-rated surgeon by his patients, as well as his peers and for his generous support to the Susan G. Coleman Breast Cancer Foundation, as well as the Alzheimer’s New Jersey Organization.
Dr. Parker, welcome to Beauty and the Biz. It is a pleasure to have you on to discuss with our listeners about differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Pleasure to be here. Thank you, Catherine.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Sure. So just tell me, did you grow up wanting to be a plastic surgeon and eventually differentiating in a crowded market, or did it come to you a little later in.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, I enjoyed science back in high school and I ended up working at a, a local emergency room one summer followed a friend of mine’s father, who was an ER doc around that summer.
And yeah, I kind of was hooked from that point on. So, I, I knew I wanted to be a doctor and that kind of set the, set the ball in motion.
Catherine Maley, MBA: But then how did you know it was the specialty was going to be plastic surgery and not emergency? How has that impacted you today on differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: It was a gradual process. When I when I was in medical school during our, our third-year clerkships, we spent six weeks doing all the various specialties surgery included, and I just found myself drawn to surgery.
So, I, I liked that. One of the one of the fellows. Surgical fellows at the time in in medical school told me if you like surgery, you should go to NYU. That’s where I trained. It’s a great place. And so, I went up there, I did an externship at NYU, kind of fell in love with the process up there and the place and, and ended up going there for my training.
While I was at NYU. I was doing general surgery initially. And in the course of my third year, I, I realized I did not want to do general surgery for the rest of my life. I did a three-month sub fellowship type thing in in plastic surgery. Fell in love with a variety of plastic surgery. And applied to the program then got into it and started that after I finished my five years at general surgery, which is kind of what we had to do back then, it wasn’t the same kind of integrated programs that they had today.
Catherine Maley, MBA: And then did you, if you could remember that far back, did you immediately join another practice when you graduated or after your fellowship, or did you immediately go out into solo practice? What was your journey? How has that impacted your insight on differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: It was a little bit crazy to be honest in, in hindsight. I did that fellowship in microsurgery and we had really a good training at NYU.
One of my, one of my fellow trainees in five years at general surgery in plastic surgery. Was a fellow named rich PAEK and he and I were good buddies and we both decided we wanted to go out into, into the hinterlands of New Jersey and do the kind of stuff we were doing at NYU, meaning microsurgery and some sophisticated breast surgery and so forth.
And so, the two of us being newbies wanted to practice together. I remember going to one of the, one of the banks in the medical lending department, and it looked at us and said, you guys, aren’t going to make it. You’re going to start. That was kind of daunting. But somehow, we were persistent and we went into practice together and then we made a goal of it rich and I were together for, for 14 years.
And at the end of 14 years, he said, you know, I’m done being a doc. I’m burned out. I’m going to go back to NYU now, law school. And it became a lawyer.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s interesting. Yeah. And were you doing all reconstructive at that practice? How has that been useful to you in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, initially, you know, the environment was, was different back then than it is now.
So yeah, we’re doing a lot of, a lot of reconstructive and, and slowly built up a cosmetic practice, but it, it certainly took time. And for many years we did a lot of breast reconstruction, a lot of hospital based reconstructive type things.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, when did you I know that you own your own building and I would love to hear that story, as well as differentiating in a crowded market and I know the audience would as well.
How did you have the foresight to do that? How did you know where to, did you build it? Did it, was it just available? What’s the story there?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah, well we were, we were renting for a number of years and, and then it just you know, it dawned on me that it made sense to own our own building because we would, we would have the equity of the building and in owning our building, it also provided us flexibility to do what we wanted to do as far as expansion down the road.
So, I found an existing building and. We, we ended up buying that it’s 14,000 square feet. It’s on a main road that can be easily reached from east, west, north, and south. And where we’re we comprise the building’s 14,000 square feet. We have our medical offices and spa on the top level, which is 4,300 square feet.
And we added a surgical center on the middle level, which is 2300 square feet. And then we have some other medical tenants in the building, but it’s, I think it’s in hindsight, it. It worked out very well because it gave us the flexibility to expand and, and meanwhile acquire more and more equity in the building.
We also got very lucky along the way because valley hospital, which is a 400-bed hospital in neighboring Ridgewood, New Jersey here decided that they were having a lot of issues with the townspeople in Ridgewood expanding their hospital. And so, they decided to build a brand-new hospital, 400 bed hospital right next to.
So, we have the good fortune of having our, our building right next to valley hospital, and also next to an office building that they acquired. So, it we got a little bit lucky with that one.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That is amazing. I can’t imagine what the value of that. I mean, it must tenfold. Yeah. Yeah. So, are there any pearls or tips for buying versus renting in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Was there any kind of mathematical equation in your head you’re trying to figure out, should I buy or should I just continue to rent any tips on that?
Paul M. Parker, MD: You know, I, I guess maybe I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m a surgeon I’m, I’m not an economist or a financial guy, but it just seemed to me that almost like home ownership back then, it made sense to just put your stake in the ground rather pay somebody else, pay yourself and, and the other benefit, I think that was significant was our flexibility that I keep coming back to.
So, I think the, that combination of you know, acquiring equity over time. In, in your space, knowing I’d be in this for a long time and the flexibility were very helpful. And then the, the location, location, location thing that realtors talk about all the time, we got a little bit lucky with that one.
Catherine Maley, MBA: It’s a great location. You can’t beat it. It’s so much traffic going by there. Really good on helping you on differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well that we knew about the hospital was the lucky part of the. Yeah,
Catherine Maley, MBA: That, that amazing. By the way, when you were building your surgery center you were probably doing insurance. So, you needed like serious accreditation, any tips on that for building out your own?
Are you glad you did? Was it a pain in the neck? How has that helped you in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, as a pain in the neck you know, Angela, Angela was the one that really shouldered the burden with getting all the credentialing. It still does. It’s a lot of dotting eyes, cross ATS, and she’s worked with some very good consultants along the way.
They’ve been helpful to us. So, she sheltered me with that, you know, with that burden. But I think it’s, it was the right thing to do. And every step of the way we’ve been well credentialed and that’s never been an issue for us, with insurance companies, with patients. So, I, I think it’s the right thing to do as much of a headache as it was now.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Are you still doing insurance cases or what did you end up doing with insurance versus cosmetic? Is that helping you on differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. At this point, there’s very little insurance. We have a running battle here in the practice because they, they kind of want me to stop doing insurance. I still though enjoy Mo’s closures and, and, and that kind of thing, that just, it goes back to my roots, I guess, being a, a reconstructive surgeon early on, I would say if, if I were to handicap it, we’d probably do 98% cosmetic and, and 2% insurance at this.
Simple like Mo’s closures and things like that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Any breast reconstructive or, or. No. Is that helping you on differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: I found I found in our practice that in doing breast reconstruction, we would, the, oftentimes the cases would start a little bit late. Sometimes the breast surgeon would run over and then I’d have to start my case late and call the officer and say, oh, by the way, I’m going to be.
You know, an hour and a half late. And along the way, the women in the office said wait a minute. Now, are, are you going to keep annoying patients? Or are you going to dedicate yourself to try to build a cosmetic surgery practice you keep talking about? So, I, I gave up, I gave up breast reconstruction focused on cosmetic surgery and, and things kind of took off in that light.
Catherine Maley, MBA: I really think just watching doctors try to toggle between the two is very difficult and you just never gain momentum because you’re not focused. So, I, I do think in today’s world, it’s just too competitive to dabble. There are too many competitors who do cosmetic 24 7, like they eat, drink and sleep at, and it’s just difficult to do both.
So, I think that’s probably the right move for you, especially on differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: For me. I would agree with what you’re saying. I think for me that was, that was what I.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Now you, you are heavy now, also in nonsurgical. You have a very nice med spa. When did that happen? Like when did you see the writing on that wall? Where huh?
Nonsurgical catching up or how, how did that all unfold in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, we’ve had a med spa for some time doing neuromodulators and peels. Facials. We’ve done a lot of man lymphatic drainage massage in our cosmetic patients for a number of years now. That’s all been very helpful. I, I suppose that you know, I was intrigued to see how cool sculpting took off.
And as a surgeon, I was kind of amazed really that patients would want to have a procedure that gave them a far lesser result. Then light suction could, could accomplish, but the driver for them, as I talked to patients that observed all this was that they could avoid anesthesia, avoid surgery and avoid a recovery.
And that Tim light bulb went on. So, we started doing cool sculpting and that was really very, very busy in the beginning and seeing how popular that was with patients that kind of led to other non-surgical things that didn’t provide a surgical result. But it, it gave patients what they wanted in terms of a, a quicker recovery avoiding surgery per se, and, and, you know, things like that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, do you feel like you tapped into a new marketplace or do you feel like you had to cannibalize your surgical for the nonsurgical? Has this helped you in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: No, I think it, I think what it’s done for us is a few things. I, I think it has, it, it provided entree to the practice for people coming into the spa, wanting nonsurgical, and then Angela and the other women in the spa are, are very good at assessing patients and being very honest with them with that.
They developed a loyal following. And when, when patient. Reach a point where they say, you know, I, when Angela and women assess somebody and say, you know, here’s what we can, we can achieve with nonsurgical means. But I think in your case, you are better off with a face lift or you’re better off with tummy tuck patients, trust them.
They’ll set up a consultation with me and we’ll talk about things from the surgical side. So, I think it’s really been an augmentation to the surgical practice. The other thing is that, of course, when, when we have surgical patients come in, we have all the surgical patients exposed to the medical spa by getting manual emphatic, drainage, massages, three of them as part of their recovery, they get to know the people in the spa.
They get to trust us and, and like us. And so, they’ll come back for their neuromodulators. Fillers and various nonsurgical treatments, bring your friends and family. So, there’s really a dovetailing back and forth between surgery and, and non-surgery. And I see it as not.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. Now you’ve mentioned Angela? How does she help in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: She’s my right hand. I mean, she’s a, she’s a nurse. She runs, she runs the office. She kind of takes care of everything. And so, she runs the spa. She has a wonderful group of people that she’s trained and work under her. And similarly, she she’s cosmetic patients with me. So, then she can she gets to know the cosmetic surgery patients.
And she’s very helpful in helping them sort out sometimes their options and their priorities in terms of what they, you know, what they would like to do. She’s really a very good student of people. And so, she, she kind of runs things and, and helps the spa helps the practice and really moves things along in the right direction.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That, you know what I found in some of the most successful practices, they have that right hand person who is very good at organizational skills, processes, structure HR. And you have that with Angela and I just think that’s irreplaceable. So yes. Yeah. Would you say though that, you can concentrate on the surgical more so, although, you know, the business side very well, you know, also, but is it helpful when it comes to staff, are you involved in staff issues like hiring, firing, motivating, where do you fit in with the HR part of your practice? How does this affect your ability on differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. I, I am not, I’m not good at hiring. Don’t like firing. So, I have nothing to do really with either one of those. When we have someone, we’re hiring I’ll, I’ll meet that person talk to them a little bit to get a feel for them. But Angela is, is much more adept. At, you know, at those things. What I do is I, I interact with the staff a lot I’m in office hours, two days a week.
So, I’m interacting with all of our staff in that regard in the operating room with our staff three days a week. And I’ve found that by treating people very well and fairly and interacting. And being human with them. We have a very good rapport and I think that, that, that goes a long way. We, we treat our staff like family
Catherine Maley, MBA: You have a beautiful staff and you can, you know how I can tell when you call someone’s practice, if the staff answers in a friendly, enthusiastic way versus a board I’m don’t want to be here kind of way. It just says so much about the doctor, you know, cause people look at you know, you are, they are representing.
And I, I don’t know if they always know that, but they’ve got to be on their game and your, your staff certainly is. So, give me one big mistake that you made, that you learned a lot from, that others could avoid in regards to differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, I don’t know that there’s one big mistake. I think it takes; it takes time. I mean, don’t be, don’t be impatient.
It takes time. If I reflect back on, on when we started the practice and how long it took to grow the practice. It takes time and, and I think you just kind of have to stay with it and keep working hard, keep working hard at what you do. You know, I, I, I read a lot. I go to meetings, I talk to friends, I look critically in my results and always pushing myself to try to get to try to get better.
And along the way don’t, don’t, don’t be impatient. Enjoy the ride. Cause life is short.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, that’s Sage advice, but nobody takes it. Especially in today’s world and in regards to differentiating in a crowded market. Everything has to happen right this second. And you just don’t have, I mean, when I was first getting into this in year 2000, I was always taught that it takes about 10 years to grow a practice to the point where you’re comfortable and today’s world, you don’t have 10 years.
You’ve got about a year and I don’t know how you can do it that fast. So, I agree if you can be patient. That’s what it’s going to take anyway, you can be patient or impatient, but it’s going to take some time.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. Yeah. I think you know, I, I, I, I never leave the operating room until things look, what I think is perfect.
And when you do that, and you’re fortunate that people heal well, who I office hours are just such a pleasure. Cause you have such happy patience. So don’t be in a rush, you know, and I, I love most surgeons do, particularly plastic surgeons, love being in the operating room, love enjoying that. So, I kind of savor, savor those moments.
And, you know, at the end of the procedure, if, if I’m doing the breast case, for example, I’ll set the patient up and maybe the nip on the a that doesn’t look just right. And so, I’ll say to theologist, ah, I told you 10 minutes, but you know what, I got to take it down and do it again. And boy, when I see that patient postoperative.
And they look really good. I’m so happy that I did that. And so don’t be in a rush.
Catherine Maley, MBA: You mean don’t be in a rush day to day in differentiating in a crowded market? I meaning don’t be in a rush like year to year.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Both. Both don’t be in rush. Yeah. I mean, even if you’re in your second year of practice, take down the nipple in the AOL and make it right.
Cause it’ll serve you well, short term, long term.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Very good advice. So now that you’ve been around for over 30 years, like, what’s your plan? Are you, are you thinking about exiting, growing, scaling? Where, what are your thoughts on that in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. If people tell me, I should be thinking about exiting because you know, friends of mine are retiring, but when I then tell them what I do and how much I enjoy, they say, well, you’re not ready.
So, I don’t see myself going anywhere soon. We’re, we’re looking for a younger person to bring in the practice. I’d like to find somebody who. Has the same method that we do that want to work as a, as a team member and enjoy working with everybody. Work hard, play hard is kind of our motto.
And then over time, hand the practice off to this person.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, let’s talk about that for a second. Are you looking for a plastic surgeon, a facial plastic surgeon age, like brand new, been around for a bit. What do you think in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, I think probably, a board-certified plastic surgeon would make the most sense.
My practice is still a very varied practice. I, I do a lot of rhinoplasty facial surgery. I do a lot of breast surgery, a lot of, a lot of body contour, lip, suction, tummy, tucks, body lifts, the kind of things that people need to be trained in, in a plastic surgery training program to be able to assimilate in a practice such as ours.
Someone who’s well trained. I, if they’re you know, fresh out of practice, I think that’s fine. If, if they’re a few years in practice, I think that’s fine too. Some won’t, I’m open to all of those kinds of things. Long as some, as long as someone has the same kind of mindset that, that we do as far as working as a team and hardworking and, and all that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That is the tough part. I think it’s so important to take your time, talk about being patient on that one. Take your time, getting the right person with the right mindset. Like for example, what kind of personality traits would the right person have for your practice to help with differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, I think willing to willing to work hard, willing to be critical of your results and try to get better willing to work as a member of the team when patients come in, for example, and they say, oh, thank you, Dr.
Parker, this has been a great experience. I said, well, you know, it’s not just me. It’s the team. It’s, it’s these wonderful women around me. And we have a wonderful. And I really enjoy being part of that team. So, I would like the new person to feel like they’re part of the team and want to be a part of the team, because to me, that’s, that’s a critical element of our success for sure.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, anybody who’s listening, if you know of somebody there’s an, an opening to join a really successful practice that excels at differentiating in a crowded market in a killer location in the east, on the east coast. That would be how, how would they get a hold of you if somebody was, was interested in talking with you about.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Probably reach us at www.ParkerCenter.net.
Catherine Maley, MBA: www.ParkerCenter.net. Gotcha. Okay. Now let’s shift gears a bit and talk about marketing in relation differentiating in a crowded market. I, I was going to ask you, how do you differentiate yourself, but there’s something I’ve noticed on your website. And I just love the consumer book. You did. The book is called what to. After you’re done expecting your guide to all of the wonderful slash weird things, having a baby does to your body.
How did that come about? And I have, I’ve seen the book. I’ve read it. It is so good. It’s succinct. It’s really interesting. And women would just really get that. So, tell me about the book, how it came.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, we, we, we deal with that population extensively. We have so many young moms who who’ve come in after having had one and more children and while they enjoy having those young, beautiful babies.
And now, now those young children it can often wreak havoc on the body and we end. Doing a lot of Molly makeovers. And along the way, it just seemed appropriate to address this, this kind of weird thing of pregnancy where you go through these changes in the course of, of that, of that timeframe. It does these weird things to your body and produces these beautiful babies.
And it just seemed like it was worth talking about.
Catherine Maley, MBA: And did you write that yourself or was it a ghost writer? Cause it’s really great. How has it helped you in differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah, no, we, we, we had, we had somebody help us do that, had a lot of ideas from the women and the people here in the practice and me as well, but then we had someone put it all together.
Catherine Maley, MBA: And what kind of feedback are you getting from it in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: We’ve gotten great feedback. Yeah. I, I wish more people read it because it is, it is kind of a fun, interesting book that, that deals with those issues. I think very nicely.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, if you wanted my 2 cents, I would have that book front end center on the home.
In Instagram, I would be talking about it. I would have the patients talk about it. I would use it almost as a lead magnet, you know, like give your name and number and I’ll give you free PDF copy of it. It’s just such a good book. I hope to get more hands. If you think about a makeover, a really big decision for a woman to make, it’s not, you know, that’s not an easy one.
There’s a lot of downtime tough recovery. And who’s she going to go to the person who wrote the book on. Probably, you know, so anyway, that’s, that’s my 2 cents, especially in regards to differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: So many good ideas here’s yet another one.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So, there’s something else you do, and you already mentioned it. One big deal for a cosmetic patient is downtime.
Price is always a big deal, but downtime’s also the second runner up. Some offices, when you call them, they’ll say, oh, you’re going to be down for two months. And you’re like two months. What are you talking about? Can’t relay around for two months and then other offices say, oh, it’s about a week, but you’ll be, you know, you’ll be up and walking in no time.
When it comes to recovery, I know a lot of patients would pay more to have less recovery and you happen to make a big deal out of it in your practice with your rapid recovery program. So, can you talk about that in regards to differentiating in a crowded market? Cause that’s a great differentiator.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. Well, you know, you you’re right. Patients want to come in, have a procedure and get back to things as quickly as possible.
Sometimes there, their lifestyle just doesn’t allow them to have surgery. And therefore, the advent of these non-surgical things in our medical spot. But when we talk to them in consultation about surgery it’s nice to be able to offer. Trying to get back to rec, trying to get back to daily activities as quickly as possible.
And with that in mind, a number of years ago, we put together this rapid recovery program, these medications that we would give them before, during and after surgery, three manual lymphatic range massages. Those kinds of things that really help speed along speed recovery along the way, you know, and, and as, as time goes on, we’re always on the lookout to take things to the next level over the past year or so.
I started adding trans acemic acid to to my local anesthesia, my tain solution. Our anesthesiologist will sometimes give it inappropriate cases and it’s made a big difference in terms of reducing swelling and Bru. Additionally, we’re starting to use ultrasound guided tap blocks for abdominal to try to help, help that, you know, reduce the pain even more.
So, I think being able to, to Quicken the patient’s recovery is really a very helpful adjunct to having a busy cosmetic practice.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, for sure. I, in several practices I’ve been to. Instead, like you make it part of your package, it’s just part of your surgical package. In other practices, they will literally give them the patient, a list of people in the area who do.
Lymphatic massage, let’s say, and they’ll charge them three to five grand to do that. And it’s so inconvenient for the patient. It’s more money that they like probably weren’t expecting, hopefully that somebody mentioned that ahead of time, but that for you to keep it all under one roof and show that you care about that patient before, during and after the surgery that’s how you’ve grown a successful.
You know, you’ve really watched that patient journey. So, congratulations on helping yourself to differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, it just, I mean, intuitively just makes sense to do that, to just kind of help guide them through that whole process and, and take ownership of it.
Catherine Maley, MBA: You know, something else you do, that’s very different. You have a complimentary consultation and normally I would recommend not doing that.
However, You also have your pricing on your website and you’re not cheap. you’re, you know, you’re above average pricing. Then I thought that was actually kind of brilliant because you’ve got the complimentary console, but they also know darn well you’re not Kmart or Walmart or whatever it’s called. So, has that worked well for you in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Because I’m, I’m kind of liking that.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah, I think it, I think it has I know people argue back and forth about charging a consultation fee. We just we, we opted not to do that. And I, I think for us, it’s, it’s worked out. We, we see a lot of patients, but. In in when patients call up to make their appointments, our staff is pretty good at screening who is realistic about coming in and, you know, not wasting our time, not just kicking the tires.
And so, I think it’s, it’s been productive. We have a, a high, high booking rate and establish a good rapport with patients’ kind of from the get go. So, for us, it’s worked.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you also have your reputation and credibility and experience backing that up. So, I think that all goes together. Somebody like you can get away with that.
Whereas other practices, they can’t, I, I would, you know, I would have a different recommendation for them, but it’s working beautifully for you. So, you know, I would just keep doing it. Now I know your patient demographics are all over the place because you like rhino, but you also like facial rejuvenation.
So what marketing channels are working best for you to cater to very different target and assist in differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, you know, we, I think we, we work closely with our website people and search engine, engine optimization. We have a team that works with social media as well, trying to get the, you know, get the word out and keep, keep our patients abreast of what’s going on.
We’ve just recently started using your, your kiss program to try to keep patients coming back and, and, you know, and, and love us even more. We’re always on the lookout for, for new ideas. And you’ve been very helpful to us as far as providing good marketing ideas, energizing the staff. I think. You’ve helped our staff to understand marketing better and be able to answer questions and, and serve patients better.
So always being on the lookout for trying to take things to the next level and do it better. And, and you’ve been very helpful to us in that regard.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Thank you for that. Regarding social media, how involved are you in it and how much of your time is it taking and how is that helping you in differentiating in a crowded market? Let’s say weekly. How much time are you putting into it or is the staff pretty well covering.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. You know the young guys seem to do it pretty well. I’m embarrassed to tell you how little time I spend with it. So, our, our staff really does it and they kind of keep me inform and take some pictures along the way. But yeah, not my, not my area of expertise
Catherine Maley, MBA: Because you’re the star of the show.
And I just want them to be the roving reporter. I always say, just walk around and catch, catch him, walking down the hall, ask him a question, drop in on a console, you know, and just like record him as. Day in the life of a plastic surgeon, because the consumer patient is so interested in that. Like, who are you?
What do you, what do you do all day? Like what, what would I, what would I expect if I visited? You know? So, I hope to see more of you on Instagram, which is helpful in differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: All right. Well, that’s, again, I think that’s, that’s very good advice and something we should probably do and I’ll pass it along to our, to Olivia and the people at you know, honcho the social media.
Cause I hear what you’re saying. It makes a lot of sense.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you how I know you’re a really great practice. One way. One thing I always do is I check out practices reviews, and you have 376 reviews and you are rated 4.9. Now, as a perfectionist, you probably want that to be a five.
I will tell you it is. Disingenuous to be. You can’t have a perfect score when you have 376 reviews. So, for you to have 4.9, I just think that’s so honest, it looks good. It would be fishy otherwise to consumers, I believe so. How are you getting, how did you get 376 reviews? That must help you in differentiating in a crowded market!
Paul M. Parker, MD: That’s pretty remarkable. Yeah, well, the staff takes ownership of it and we have one, one gal in our practice Melanie, who is just a very wonderful, warm people person.
And she’s not afraid to ask patients for reviews that, and I think it’s reflective of, of our team as well that patients will tell us time. And again, they, they see the camaraderie among our team and how everyone works together and makes the experience for them very special. So, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it is not just, it’s not me that deserve the 4.9.
It’s our staff because yeah, I’m the, I’m the surgeon, but I’m supported by this wonderful team of women that support the patients and the patients recognize that.
Catherine Maley, MBA: But you’re also the leader in the visionary and you have a personality that you want to support. I can’t say that about all surgeons and all practices, but just the friendly comradery in your practice is priceless.
I wouldn’t take that for granted. I, I somehow, it’s magical for you. Others have never achieved it or it’s a strain to get there. So, whatever you’re doing leads, keep doing it because it’s certainly working for in differentiating in a crowded market.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah, well, you know, you, I mean, you talk to people who hate going to work every day.
Right. And that’s, I mean, that’s terrible. So, I always thought if I was in a position where I could change that that I would try to do that. And I, I love going to work every day with this team of people. I have, they love going to work. So, to me, it’s, it’s kind of the perfect environment. It just, it’s a fun place to go to.
And maybe that’s why I want to keep doing it. You know, for as long as I can think about now,
Catherine Maley, MBA: Right. So, we’re going to wrap it up soon. So, speaking of that, I know, like, I want to, I want you to tell us something that we don’t know about you and the one thing I know is you like golf. I think you’re a really good golfer, but what don’t we know about you in regards to differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: I have 8 grandchildren and two on the way.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, that’s oh, wow. OK. That’s a lot. Did you all live nearby?
Paul M. Parker, MD: We pretty much. Yeah. One of the, one of the boys is temporarily down in new Orleans for a year with his wife and three children. So, they’re not around right now, but they’ll be back next year and everybody else is pretty close by.
So, yeah, it’s great. It’s, it’s all crazy, but it’s fun.
Catherine Maley, MBA: Are you the common marketplace where everybody congregates.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah, we, we, you know we love, we love the kids at her second marriage, we have seven kids between us. Most of whom are married now. And then these eight grandkids with two on the way.
And, you know, we just made our house sort of the focal point. And the perfect weekend for me is to go and play golf with some of the boys in the morning. And everybody come back to the house afterwards and have a barbecue and pool, a party, you know, and all the fun that’s involved with that. It’s, it’s, it’s crazy.
But for us, it’s a lot of fun.
Catherine Maley, MBA: On your Instagram. I can see the grandkids. They are adorable. Like some of them are less than they can’t be more than four months old or something. All so darn cute.
Paul M. Parker, MD: Yeah. It it’s, we’re blessed. It’s a lot of fun. It’s great.
Catherine Maley, MBA: But there’s something else you do. You also have another hobby that may also help you differentiating in a crowded market and that’s photography.
I did not know that until recently. What, what are you taking pictures?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Well, I have to be honest, I, I took a lot more pictures back in the day. These days, Angela kind of supplanted me as, as the family photographer and, and some of the other kids, Jessica as well, one of the girls has taken on photography skills.
So, I’m kind of a backup photographer at this point.
Catherine Maley, MBA: When you were doing a lot of photography, was it still shots of animals, buildings? What were you interested? Has this hobby helped you in differentiating in a crowded market?
Paul M. Parker, MD: No, when I traveled just taking pictures of, of, of scenery that we posted here in the office because they, they tend to be kind of relaxing for patients.
When patients go in a room, they’ll sit back and they’ll look at the photographs and, you know, they’ll kind of see I know there’s a waterfall in Yosemite that we have in one room and another room. We have some pictures of Rome and Venice and the Duomo and Florence. And so, patients will look at that and it just kind of.
When you’re, when you think about those areas, it just kind of makes you smile and relax. And that’s what we’re trying to do.
Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s terrific. Any, any words of wisdom in relation to differentiating in a crowded market while we wrap this up? I know be patient was the, was the big one. Anything else that you would say to somebody coming up in the industry?
Paul M. Parker, MD: Try and get yourself with good people. Whether if you’re joining a practice, join a practice with a, a, you know, a, a good person that you can bond with. So, you can enjoy the ride, work hard, play hard. And as you, as you grow and establish your team try to treat that team. Fairly well, enjoy them. Let them enjoy you.
So that work is fun for you. Work is, is fun for them and that’ll breed tremendous loyalty. It’ll make your life more enjoyable, but it’ll make their job life more enjoyable. And I do believe it’ll make your practice more successful because those things are pretty evident to patients.
Catherine Maley, MBA: So true. What great advice on differentiating in a crowded market.
Thank you so much, Dr. Parker. I really appreciate your time. And for those who want to not miss any more episodes, go to Beauty and the Biz. So, you can subscribe and you can give us a review if you like. And then if you’ve got any more questions for Dr. Parker, or if you’re interested in joining his practice or, you know, somebody who is please reach out to him, his website is www.ParkerCenter.net
Okay. Thanks everybody. We are going to wrap it up now for Beauty and the Biz. A big thanks to Dr. Parker for sharing his insight on differentiating in a crowded market.
And if you have any questions or feedback for me, you can go ahead and leave them at my website at www.CatherineMaley.com, or you can certainly DM me on Instagram @CatherineMaleyMBA.
If you’ve enjoyed this episode on Beauty and the Biz, please head over to Apple Podcasts and give me a review and subscribe to Beauty and the Biz so you don’t miss any episodes. And of course, please share this with your staff and colleagues.
And we will talk to you again soon. Take care.
-End transcript for the “Differentiating in a Crowded Market — with Paul M. Parker, MD” Podcast.
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