This post was updated April 12, 2018
An aesthetic consultation establishes what a potential client would like corrected and how you can help them with their needs. Understanding what they want (and what brought them to your service) is the first step towards your professional relationship with the client. While everyone has their own approach towards performing aesthetic consultations, there are a few proven methods that not only guarantee new clients, but keep them coming back for more. We’ve compiled some of the best tips from successful aestheticians that will help your thrill your new clients time after time.
The First Consultation
Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That quote has stood the test of time, just like a first impression – good or bad – tends to do. So, what can you do to make sure your initial consultations leave your prospects loving you? One approach is making the first consultation complementary. People love free stuff, but you need to be careful not to lose the perception of value which can work against you. If you choose to offer a free initial consultation, keep it to a specific length (one hour is common), and be sure to let the client know up front what it usually costs for your consultation service.
Once the primary client need is established, begin taking photos of the client in normal light, UV light, and polarized light to document their issue. Again, doing so provides the client with a higher perception of value during that first visit. These pictures will serve as a starting point for your records and give the prospect the feeling that they are already a client, after all at this point you’ve already started building their file and documenting their case. For the consultation, these photos can help you give the client a better view of their condition under clinical lighting, and what your service can do to help fix the underlying problems.
Keep in mind that many patients investigate on their own before looking for your service, so they could know more about their problem than you expect. In this initial phase, any uncertainty towards an issue your client has could give them pause with your practice and have them looking elsewhere. Being knowledgeable in all areas of aesthetic consultation is important to instill confidence and make that good first impression, but always be careful not to talk down to clients or prospects as they may feel their research had qualified them to self-diagnose and give suggestions on their treatment (and maybe it has), be sure to take their input into consideration.
Whether you charge for the initial consult, or offer it for free, the more time you spend with a client, the more time you have to hear their needs, present them with options and pitch your services. Always provide the perspective client with useful information, and a tangible take-away (this could be a custom treatment plan, a proposal, or a small gift like a set of sample products), something of value for their time. Remember that they value their time as much as you do yours.
Great consultations establish a lasting relationship, which can eventually pay large dividends for years to come. So first and foremost, you need to keep in mind that aesthetic consultations are a sales processes and should be handled accordingly. Since you’ve taken photos of the client from the first consultation, use them as a reference once the treatment process is underway. This further establishes your credibility and gives the client a way to really see their results happening which will ensure their confidence of your practice. A great idea to keep in mind is that great skin consultants are educated in the areas of:
- Skin Anatomy
- Cosmetic Skin Disease
- Cosmetic Fillers and Botox
- Radio Frequency Technology
- Fractional Skin Resurfacing
- Laser Lipolysis
So even if your business doesn’t cover all of the topics above, your client may be familiar and educated about them all, and will be interested in learning your qualifications and recommendations for addressing their issue.
Fixing Underlying Problems, Not the Symptom
The client will present you with symptoms, and that’s what they want fixed. Smaller, symptom focused treatments do not offer many positive outcomes for the client in the long term, which often results in them looking elsewhere for treatment. To keep both of your interests in perspective, give the client what they want, even if they don’t realize it, by building treatment plans that address the cause of their issues. While you will want to include some short term solutions in your recommendations for immediate results, making treatment plans for your prospects that will fix the underlying problems, and taking the time to explain the difference to them, can establish prospects as long term clients. This is another step that will go a long way towards building trust.
Let’s face it, you don’t have all the time in the world with your patients. By focusing your efforts on their underlying issues, you will also be better able to introduce your more expensive services in their treatment plan, while at the same time establishing deeper client relationships, building trust, and providing longer lasting results. And, with the root causes addressed, the symptoms the client came to you with will be resolved in the process. This approach perfectly aligns your goals for increased revenue correlates with the client desire for excellent results. Everybody ends up happier.