How to Create a Successful Physician Cross-Referral System

How to Create a Successful Physician Cross-Referral System
Douglas Preston
salon spa mastermind

The emergence of the medical spa phenomenon has produced a number of unexpected yet critical professional challenges that oftentimes impede the intended benefits of joining physician and spa professionals in an integrated clinical environment. The two professions link people with sharply different standards and expectations for performance, responsibility, education and reliability. With that there is routinely found a significant gap between the occupational cultures and communication styles of physicians and spa professionals, often exacerbated by their not being recognized or openly addressed within the company. This gap, of course, leads to many debilitating conditions that can severely impede the business’s chances for growth and prosperity. Here’s how:

Spa professionals often feel like bottom-drawer professionals when working in the shadow of a medical doctor. This may make them reticent or reluctant to do or say anything that might risk illuminating the knowledge disparity they believe exists between the two professions.
A spa professional is not fully educated in the procedures performed by physicians may feel disinclined to recommend them to their clients.
Medical professionals often possess what is known as an analytical (less emotional) personality while the spa professional is often found with an amiable personality, one that is more emotional and sensitive. The two personality types in communication can convey messages and meanings that differ to the recipient far away from that which was perceived by the sender. This can result in unintended insult, intimidation or feelings of slight. The injured party will withdraw and morale will slip.
If the physician has only a nominal understanding or appreciation of the work and role of a spa professional then numerous erroneous assumptions may follow regarding their education, capabilities and professional standards. Many a doctor has been bewildered by the contrast between his or her expectations about spa professionals and the performance they witness from them.
And let’s face it, we are not all born to be the greatest of business or personnel managers. As impressive as one’s credentials may be in one discipline or other they will not substitute for the skills required of those charged with running a coordinated and productive business operation. If we don’t do that well then problems naturally will follow.
Got all that? Good! But since we can’t correct management issues or reduce personality gulfs in a single article we can at least target one element of cross-profession communication methods for quick and meaningful improvement in three simple steps.

Step 1: Have a meeting

Nobody loves meetings but when they are planned for bringing a team closer together they sometimes win a little enthusiasm. Announce it as a way of beginning the bridging a potential lack of understanding between the medical and spa professions, and express your sincere desire to learn more about it so you can better support its work within the company. Compile a set of questions that you will provide to your technicians a day or two prior to the meeting. These questions should be posed as thoughtful and genuinely curious attempts to understand the full mission and treatment efficacy of the spa professional. Do not construct your questions as challenges, or from the perspective of complete ignorance about what a spa does–both will insult and alienate them. For example:

Don’t: “Just what does a spa do anyway?”
Do: I realize that your work is important so could you help me better understand how to recommend your services to my patients?”

A little humility goes a long way…

Also, encourage your technicians to prepare questions for you, too, regarding your procedures, recovery time, how you see their work benefitting yours, etc. However, do not be surprised or dismayed if few if any questions are presented to you as requested. Technicians are often reticent and/or avoidant of standing out in the open in a setting such as a company meeting. You may need to coax something out of them: “Would any of you like to know how I as a physician view the benefits of your services in conjunction with mine?” That will probably produce a more engaging result. Once you’ve had your meeting and have established a better basis for communication it’s then time for the next step.

Step 2: Sample your team’s services, personally!

It’s remarkable how many physicians I’ve met that are working with spa professional but have not so much as experienced a single treatment they perform! Not only does this make it more difficult for the physician to recommend their services but also reinforces the idea in the technician that their work is not of much importance other than as a marketing lure for future patients. Additionally, the technician will feel that their needs in terms of tools, products and education may not be appreciated or properly evaluated by the neglectful referring physician, thus widening the communication gap.

Resolve this situation by setting up appointments with your spa team–all of them–to experience their treatments and learn how you can recommend or “prescribe” them to your patients for appropriate pre and post-operative support. Show focused interest in these professionals and their services–written notes are particularly impressing–something they both deserve and crave, especially from you!

Step 3: Design a cross-referral form for intra-practice use.
This helpful little tool will make it easier to refer patients and clients, plus make it more likely to happen:

physician

referral

Each patient or client should receive this form; filled out by the referring professional, prior to being introduced to the individual they are to see next. The form demonstrates the connection between the clinic’s practitioners and also legitimizes the referral and purpose thereof. If you prefer, the spa’s referral form can read “medical procedures of interest” instead of “recommended.” The form also conveys to the referred practitioner exactly what procedures/treatments the patient or client has received or has been advised to.

These simple but important adjustments to your practice will do much to facilitate a smooth transition of your clients/patients between the various practitioners that offer what can be a confusing array of treatment options for them to consider. Just as vital will be the improved cross-practice integration that your staff will recognize and work more positively within. It’s time to step back from the operating table and do a little nip and tuck on your organization!

Good luck to you!

Holiday Marketing for your Salon Spa [AUDIO]

AUDIO: Holiday Marketing for your Salon Spa
Christopher Brazy
holiday marketing
INCREASE Sales with this 30 minute audio that covers getting new clients, retaining old clients and how to double your gift certificate sales along with the resources to do it.

FREE, This week only to the public.
download audio wav file here (high speed connections only).

Resources mentioned are:

www.CardEmergency.com (try it out for free)
Call ’em all (almost half off pricing for us)
www.SpaBoom.com (mention “dayspaowner” for discount setup fee)

Salon Spa Marketing That Makes Sense

Salon Spa Marketing that makes sense
Christopher Brazy
sensible salon spa marketing
REVIEW: Marketing with Card Emergency
What are we up against as spa owners? Well, there’s the health club spas, hotel spas, resort spas, medspas and giant salon/spas. Now there are even massage and facial franchises. A practicing owner (or any owner) has a lot to deal with. How do you do so?

If you’re one of the few that went into the business prepared with funds to run your business, great. If not, you need to watch your bottom dollar. Even with advertising dollars, in this economy, you need to market smartly. That starts with a properly written ad (see link at bottom of page). But what can you do further? We found an amazing service that helps …a lot!

Getting read
What’s the main problem with advertising? It’s ADVERTISING! People don’t want it. They see it and they toss it. But can you really address thousands of envelopes by hand in hopes of them getting opened? And once opened, will your piece be read? Probably not. So, what does get opened? Think of yourself and what you open. And for myself, if I get a greeting card, I open it and I read it. And if it’s humorous, that’s even better. Card Emergency does just this.

What CardEmergency is exactly
Card Emergency is an online service that prints greeting cards (in your own handwriting) of their -or- YOUR design (with your own picture and headline if you like), stuffs the card in an envelope, addresses it, stamps it and sends it …all for you. You can even add in gifts (gift cards, cookies, books, etc). And it does so for MUCH less than the cost of a regular card. Simply put, you upload clients addresses, design a card and send it to one person or a thousand, in under a minute. Simple, cheap and best of all, effective.

A little bit each day
Most grand plans get put aside and never see the light of day …this doesn’t get pushed aside. With a service as easy as a few clicks online, you can stay on top of your marketing and actually get it done, which is what’s really important. We do a little each day, sending birthday cards, thank you cards, referral cards or even planning a large mailing. It’s easy to add in gifts for clients who have referred us and strengthen our relationships with business partners. When times are tough, it’s a lot easier to spend $5 to send a few cards to clients than to spend $5,000 to send out a postcard campaign that just ends up in the trash.

Ease of use
The learning curve is very low, but there. The hardest part is joining! But once signed up, you just go to the card catalogue, search through the categories (there’s even a beauty/spa category) and choose a card. You can choose a postcard, greeting card, or tri-fold (these you can use for menu’s). You type your message and can adjust the font color, type and layout. Images are easily added too. Creating your own card with your own image and headline is even a fairly simple task.

Getting your own handwriting font setup is simple as well. You just print out the alphabet on their form (cursive doesn’t work), create your signature and mail it in. They scan it into your own font so your letters truly are hand written. You’re even allowed four signatures, so you can have a personal one, business one, formal and informal.

The cost?
Technically, nothing. It’s free to use. You’ll pay retail and won’t get the bonus features (like adding in pictures and your own handwriting font), but if you buy “points” to pay for a card and put a little money into your account to cover postage, you’re set to use it. A retail point is .49 and 1 point covers a postcard, 2 a greeting card (so .98 each) and 3 a tri-fold.

For a $99 setup fee you can create your own cards with the “picture-plus” upgrade. If you’re going to do a lot of mailings you can even buy down the cost of points to wholesale pricing of .31 each (a 37% discount). This wholesale setup includes your own handwriting font and is an additional $199 (so $298 total). For $100 more you can be an “entrepreneur” and get paid for everyone you tell about it who signs up underneath you. So if you work it, you’ll earn residuals that will add up to a nice monthly paycheck! All the details are online at www.sendoutcards.com/cardemergency

start quoteChanging people’s lives, one card at a time.end quote
– Send Out Cards
The REAL glue
As their slogan says, you literally are changing peoples lives, one card at a time. By sending out heartfelt messages to your clients, colleagues, friends and family, you’re making a world of difference. I get a big smile on my face each time I send a client a birthday card, knowing that I’m probably one of maybe two or three people that even remembered. I get an even bigger smile sending a card and adding in a gift to anyone who refers me. By showing our clients, friends and family that we truly care about them, we create a bond that cannot be broken. Not by glitzy advertising, not by cheap rates, not by anything. And THAT is marketing that makes sense.

How to Market Your Salon Like SpaBoom

AUDIO: “10 tips to improving your online marketing”
Special guest speaker Seth Gardenswartz-Spaboom

10 tips to improving your online marketing

Seth Gardenswartz of SpaBoom gives up practical advice on how to improve our online marketing for salons, day spas and medispas.

Learn about:
Websites
Maintenance
Packages
“Picking the low fruit”
Email marketing
SEO
Links
Pay Per Click
Directory Listings
Branding

Download it here

Our SECRET Salon & Spa marketing plan

Our SECRET Salon & Spa marketing plan

EVERYONE’S been emailing about what kind of plan to work out for their salon & spa marketing, here’s our plan. Remember, your marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated, just some simple steps to coordinate things. Doing so will put you at the top of your town (most do NOTHING to market themselves, let alone PROPERLY …I think we’ll setup an “online evaluation” bonus for all here on our list as a Christmas gift).

1. Mid-October, emailed our list (are you building yours?) asking what THEY would like for a fall special (facials won).

2. Early Nov, emailed results, posted on facebook page as well, with a coupon for the deluxe facial (30 off of 99).

3. Mailed an actual, physical card using an automated service to our top 200 vip clients saying “Happy Thanksgiving” and telling them to bring the card in for 30 off our fall facial.

4. Today, mailing a “wanted” card, this time to our “missing” clients with a 20 coupon and announcing our HUGE Black Friday special.

5. Next week, sending more cards to our VIP list again announcing our Black Friday open house and 3 for 1 special along with emails the day before (you’ll double your response with repeat mailings).

6. …continue with emails about instant, online gift certificates, putting up a video on our facebook page and blog announcing our Holiday party (open house right before Christmas).

7. Setup multiple keyword loaded blogs and heavily distribute videos for an online marketing assault to go along with our PPC campaigns.

8. Sending more cards/direct mail to our missing list and vip list (now that it’s been a few weeks) to invite them to our Holiday party and push instant online gift certificates.

9. Adding on 3 more network tv stations to our already successful (400% ROI) tv ad campaign for a HUGE last minute push for online gift certificates.

10. Post holiday, setup a coop of fellow businesses for ongoing tv advertising and sending direct mail campaigns every 3 weeks (cards, newsletters & outrageous items) at LITTLE to NO COST to myself except time.

This isn’t rocket science …I just spent a half hour on the phone (at no cost) to a PROSPECT for my site who is doing nothing (as nearly all businesses out there, they just don’t know how or what to do that will actually work) and she’s realized the importance of taking action to keep things afloat and is ready to INVEST in her business. How about you?

REMEMBER, you have to TAKE ACTION to make a change.
Who loves ya?
-Christopher

10 Website Tweaks for your Salon Spa

10 Website Must-Dos
Christopher Brazy

Would you like your website to be a cash-cow? We’ve all seen the top 10 website mistakes, but they don’t get into purpose. We put up sites as glorified business cards without considering the reason and potential of our sites.

1 – Your website should have a PURPOSE. What is it for? To define your difference (USP)? To sell GCs? To educate? To book appointments? To build your e- mail list? Decide what you want it to do and make sure it does it well.

2 – You contact info should be easily found on any page (i.e. your PHONE number).

3 – Your website can produce income by allowing for an instant GC purchase, take advantage of it.

4 – Your website should collect emails so you can market to online shoppers.

5 – Your website should promote your USP, what you do that no one else does.

6 – Testimonials should be showcased online (text, audio & video).

7 – Your guarantee should be showcased.

8 – You should personalize your site with pictures of yourself and your staff along with some history.

9 – Utilize a headline to prompt people to read more.

10 – Create an irresistible offer with a call to action.

So your website should be similar to your ads. Use headlines, differentiate yourself, use testimonials and pictures of yourself. Utilize it’s list building and GC sales capabilities. Let people know about your guarantee so they feel safe to purchase and put your phone number there so they know how to get ahold of you!

Now, set aside time on your calendar to take a good look at your site. Better yet, find someone good/cheap that can take your instruction and revamp it for you. Set a goal of THIS WEEK to spend 1 hour to get it started.

Should Your Salon Spa Offer A Guarantee?

Win BIG with guarantees
Christopher Brazy

What would you do if someone called in to complain? Would you give them their money back? Would you offer another service? If so, you have a guarantee. Are you benefiting from it by advertising it or are you just offering it without benefiting from it?

People are nervous about something new. They are unsure if they’ll be happy. They are worried if it’ll be worth it. If the service/item is more of a luxury they are especially concerned that they’ll be getting their moneys worth.

With all these worries, how do we ever make the sale? Well, sometimes we don’t. It could be often we don’t! We don’t know what has never called or come in. So how do we change this and make the sale? We take away the worry.

A guarantee takes away all worries. By removing the risk people will buy. But it has to be a REAL guarantee. Not “if we don’t fix the problem” but a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee. Personally, if someone isn’t happy with my service, I don’t want their money.

Offering this take a leap of faith …set yourself apart, take the leap.

Try something like these:
“If you’re not completely satisfied, neither are we, your day will be on us”
-or-
“100% no questions asked, good as gold guarantee.”

There’s worries on our end that all the penny pinchers and complainers will frequent us to take advantage of us. I’m not saying this won’t happen. I’m saying the EXTRA business we WILL get because of our guarantee will more than offset anyone who complains to get something for free.

You’ll most likely get a new client/week (if not per day) and will RARELY see a complaint asking for a refund. Regardless of any small worries we have (90% of what we worry about never happens), leave your worries behind and advertise your guarantee so everyone knows about it. Be proud of it! Show that you are so confident in the experience you provide you stand behind it. People will flock to you because of it.

Take action now by deciding what’s the best way to get the word out.

How to Eliminate Your Salon Spa’s Competition

Be Competition-Free with a USP
Christopher Brazy

Would you like to be competition-free? Do so by differentiating yourself. Actually, if you don’t differentiate, you will be seen as a commodity, the same as everyone else. When given a commodity the only way the client knows how to differentiate is by price. Your USP (unique selling proposition) will set you apart and remove you from the price wars.

Dyson vacuums did this really well. “The vacuum that doesn’t lose suction.” They took a problem and made it their specialty. Not only that, but this implies that all other vacuums DO lose suction. Money is tight, but people still CHOOSE to pay HUNDREDS more for a Dyson. They were educated on the difference.

If you don’t have a USP, which is more than a tag-line or slogan (i.e. relax). “Relax” says nothing about you. Develop your USP now. It should be at the forefront of all your advertising/marketing. Since a USP is unique, I can’t tell you what yours is. I can tell you how to make one though.

Go through the list and figure out where your strengths are. What’s your spa’s name? (notice FaceLogic doesn’t offer massages). Start by compiling a list of what you do that is different. What is your position in the marketplace? Do you have an affinity or relationship to any groups? Do you have a hidden benefit or added-value no one else does? Do you creatively solve any client problems/concerns? Can you get a celebrity endorsement? What’s your guarantee? What message do you want to send? Something owner- centered (based on credentials/celebrity)? Service/Procedure centered (great for niches, specific treatment)? or Client centered (result-oriented, emotional ties, WIFM)? Look over the list and see what sets you the furthest apart from the rest. Look at what is in highest demand. Look at what your competition is doing. Decide what will be your USP.

For example, at your spa you offer botox, laser hair removal, massages, same-ol’, same-ol’, blah, blah, blah (the same laundry list of services everyone else offers …see why listing this in your ads is deadly?). You also have gotten REALLY good at treating Acne, are a no- tipping spa and have staff that’s been with you for 10 years. There’s 3 other places that treat acne in town, plus you do a lot of massage business, so that’s out. Everyone else accepts tips, plus people love a bargain, so you choose to go with that and add on your guarantee info. You come up with: “Keep your money – No tips allowed, guaranteed”

Not the best, but the best I could come up with in 10 minutes. Now you try it. Then sleep on it and look it over the next day. Think about it all week. Ask your staff and a few clients what they prefer. Tweak it but don’t sit on it forever, give yourself a five day deadline (no one takes action without a deadline). A mediocre idea that is out working will bring in more that a perfect idea that never gets implemented.

Set yourself apart now. Get out of the price wars. Take action. Let us know what you come up with in five days.

The WRONG Way to Advertise Your Salon Spa

Why traditional advertising doesn’t work
Christopher Brazy

The HIGH expense and LOW return of traditional advertising is what KILLS small businesses. Seeing your money go out for advertising but not seeing any results back in can not only be emotionally devastating but can cause crippling stress watching things spiral downhill and not know how to stop it. Fortunately, now you’ll know what to do about it.

Brand Advertising, the business killer
Most small business owners don’t start out as they should with enough money set aside to advertise (and everything else) for 2 to 5 years. So instead of a steady stream of advertising attracting new clients, they try things haphazard on limited budgets, or credit cards, and are inconsistent. THIS inconsistency is what the ad reps will tell you is the reason why your advertising isn’t working. RUBBISH (did I just say “rubbish”?).

Consistency is crucial in advertising, but if your ad doesn’t work once, what makes you think it’ll work after many times? Well, you could answer that it takes them a while to recognize your name and act on it. I’d also agree with that. Many advertisers will even tell you not to expect results before 6 months! (who can afford that?). We personally saw people walk past our spa over and over again, saying its name out loud, but not walking in until weeks later.

The real problem is the type of advertising you’re doing. Traditional, brand advertising, with your name up top and a list of services. Bad idea. It doesn’t work.

Branding takes decades
Huge companies like Coke and McDonalds do brand advertising. They advertise again and again and again on radio (all stations), television, print, billboards, etc. etc. etc. They have the money to waste on that type of advertising. As small business owners with limited budgets, we need results!

Instead of taking decades to establish “top of the mind awareness” to get people to call us, we need quick results. Many franchises will come in and FLOOD the airwaves with ads to establish themselves as a brand in a short period of time, but they typically have budgets of $10,000 per station per month and many of us can’t afford that. Who’s got $50k/month to put out there for half a year until we start getting the huge payoff?

The Same ol’ Same ol’
So what do we need? A UNIQUE advertising strategy that is efficient, affordable and that gets RESULTS.

STOP doing the same thing everyone else is doing.

STOP putting your name front and center.

STOP making a laundry list of services that looks IDENTICAL to everyone else’s.

START with an effective system in-house that will get clients to spend more, more often and refer you (why bring in more people when we’re not ready to handle them properly?).

START using headlines, these should be front and center. Like a newspaper, this is what will grab your prospects attention and convince them to read further.

START using testimonials, what others say about you is VERY powerful.

START giving them a reason to come to you. Your USP (unique selling proposition) should be a main part of your message. Always be thinking “what’s in it for them?”

START hooking people by using irresistible offers and unique approaches aside from traditional marketing. “Make them an offer they can’t refuse” to close the deal and get them to call.

START tracking everything you do (cost vs. return) to see if it’s worth doing again. Don’t do anything without tracking the effectiveness of it to see how it paid off.

START using deadlines to get people to take action NOW.

So to sum up, catch their interest with a headline, promote your USP, back it up with testimonials and then close it with an irresistible offer.

This type of direct response campaign will get results MUCH quicker than traditional brand advertising. Someone sees an ad, they act on it and you track it, refine it and run it again. It turns into a game of what can you change to get better results.

Plan out your year and be ready for things in advance. Forget about trying to brand your name. A steady stream of new paying clients that refer you to their friends is waiting for someone to step up to the plate and treat them right. Your name will be branded into their spa experience by you directly once you get them through your door.