How to tell your patients about the hidden costs to you
Record inflation, higher interest rates, and the cost-of-living crisis are front and centre in the news, but it is not just your patients who need to think about all the costs involved with aesthetic treatments.
In this blog, Dr Tim Pearce explains how he used to feel uncomfortable about the mark up on dermal filler syringes, until he realised the significant hidden costs to his clinic when delivering filler treatments that he had not factored in – patients are not just paying for the ml of product.
Read more on pricing in aesthetic practice during a period of possible recession and the cost-of-living crisis, including eight steps for consulting patients who are on a budget and how to meet their needs without cutting prices, alongside why you should not worry about talk of recession.
Patients are not only paying for the cost per ml of dermal filler
Dr Tim recalls the early days of his aesthetic career when he felt uneasy about the significant mark-up in price, as is commonplace, when offering dermal fillers – to be with a patient for half an hour and generate £600 seemed astonishing. That was, until he sat down and chewed over all the hidden costs associated with that patient.
There are the acquisition costs – across the board for all your patients. As a business, he had spent three months building the relationships to get patients to come to the clinic – talking to salon owners to generate referrals, producing leaflets for his local area, and posting on social media.
He also realised that the half an hour of his time was not a single commitment to that patient, it was his commitment to them for anything that may go wrong, related to that treatment, from that day forth. He will be there to look after them, all part of the service they are paying for. In fact, most clinicians within the aesthetic sector provide aftercare free of charge, but their patients are often unaware and believe they are only paying for the product.
However, if something goes wrong with the product, the clinician will see the patient as many times as it takes, until they have done everything possible to return them back to their starting point, managing any complication or reaction. All this is built into that original price, and often not appreciated by the patients, perhaps because we, as clinicians, do not communicate it well enough, reinforces Dr Tim.
How to tell your patients about the hidden costs to you of their treatment?
It can be difficult to explain to patients that the price they are paying includes this kind of aftercare ‘insurance’ and commitment from their practitioner.
Let’s face it, you do not want to blurt out, “I will look after you and I know what to do if something goes wrong”. This immediately sparks fear that the patient had not even considered that something might go wrong and now you have just said it to them out loud. But worry not, says Dr Tim, there are positive ways that you can discuss this, starting with your consent process.
By explaining during the consultation and as you go through your consent process that aftercare is included in the price, it can become a very valuable component for both you and your patient.
For example, if you have a patient who believes that they are only paying for 1ml of dermal filler, and they have an allergic reaction to the product as a complication, which you go on to reverse with hyaluronidase, they are very likely to ask for a refund, not realising that what they have experienced (and paid for) is a seamless process where you have managed the risk for them and helped them to get back to where they started before their unexpected adverse reaction. This may have cost you three hours of your time, the product cost (including the hyaluronidase) and your clinic overheads, all of which has been built into the original treatment price which they paid, just like an insurance policy that pays out when required.
It is vital that you make patients aware of it, says Dr Tim, at least in the consultation; educate them that they are not only paying for the syringe of filler, but they are also paying for the service, your expertise, and the safety that you provide.
Dr Tim explains further in a recent blog on why you do NOT have to compete on price in aesthetics.
If you have any questions or comments about the costs involved in aesthetic practice or pricing strategies, you can find Dr Tim Pearce on Instagram.
Aesthetics Mastery Show
Tell your patients about hidden costs
In this Aesthetics Mastery Show, Dr. Tim looks into how to understand and explain pricing. He says:
“I used to feel sensitive about the mark up I made on filler syringes. That was until I realised there was a significant hidden cost that I hadn’t factored in. As I explain in this video, I now tell patients about that hidden cost.”
Watch the full Aesthetics Mastery Show here.
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Dr Tim Pearce eLearning
Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP founded his eLearning concept in 2016 in order to provide readily accessible BOTOX® and dermal filler online courses for fellow Medical Aesthetics practitioners. His objective was to raise standards within the industry – a principle which remains just as relevant today.
Thousands of delegates have benefited from the courses and we’re highly rated on Trustpilot. For more information or to discuss which course is right for you, please get in touch with our friendly team.