Whether we’re watching TV, driving down the highway, or scrolling through social media, we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements trying to sell us something. So it stands to reason that the last thing your patients want is to feel like they’re getting a sales pitch when they go to their doctor’s office.
With that said, there are plenty of benefits–to both your practice and your patients–of offering retail skin care products in your office or online. The key is to present these products in the right way so as not to turn your patients off and leave them feeling like they’ve walked right into yet another advertisement. Here’s how to sell skin care products in your office without “selling” your patients.
Explain the Value of Using the Right Products Consistently
A surprising number of patients use the wrong skin care products. This is often because they are wrong about their skin type or they have received bad advice. With all of the new scientific discoveries in the areas of skin inflammation and aging, patient;s should really seek their doctor’s advice on skincare. Only a doctor can understand the implications of using stem cells, growth factors, retinoids, peptides and other biologically active compounds on the skin’s biology.
Even if patients are using the proper products, they usually do not use enough of the product or they do not use the products consistently every day. One study published in JAAD showed that 95% of patients underdose their topical medications. You should encourage your patients to use the correct products every day. Properly diagnosing the Baumann Skin Type® is one way to facilitate prescribing the proper skin care products for patients.
Train Your Entire Staff About Skin Care
Lets face it- we are just too busy to spend a lot of time discussing skin care with patients. (It is even hard for me and this is one of my favorite topics of discussion.) Delegating skin care discussions to your staff only works if they are well trained on skincare. In my practice, I use a software system to help educate my staff and provide the proper skincare recommendations. My staff starts each new patient by accurately diagnosing the skin type. The software generates a regimen that corresponds to the skin type. Then the staff can explain why certain ingredients or products are or are not the most appropriate choices for that skin type. Patients rarely remember what you tell them so written information that corresponds to the skin type is important and saves you time. This approach improves patient outcomes by increasing patient understanding and compliance.
Educate Your Patients About The Importance of Proper Skin Care
Teach your staff to present the recommended skin care regimen in an educational, non-pressured manner. You don’t ever want your patients to feel as though you are pressuring them to buy products from you. It is not about selling to the patients, but about educating them. Educated patients will buy products from you if they understand why the products are being prescribed to them and if they are offered at a fair price. In addition, give them the option to buy from you on your online store so that they do not feel pressured to make an immediate decision on whether to purchase the products.
The MOST important thing to do is give the patients written detailed instructions on how to care for their skin with exact names of products. That way, they have the information they need to create an effective skin care routine for their skin type, whether they want to purchase the products from you or elsewhere.
Work out a methodology to use in your clinic that is easily followed by the staff. Every single patient should go home with advice about what to use on their face and body skin regardless of the reason for their visit. Do you have doubts? One study showed that patients that used a SPF> 15 had a decreased risk of melanoma. Your advice and recommendations could literally save a life.
If you’ve been considering selling skin care products through your practice, my advice is to do it. Patients will be grateful. However, you must adopt a standardized methodology and properly train your staff. Of course, you need to choose affordable, efficacious products. If you want to learn how I do this in my practice, visit STSFranchise.com for more information.
Developed by world-renowned dermatologist, Leslie Baumann, MD, the Skin Type Solutions® Franchise System is an educational, science-based skincare store that implements a simple and reliable system to maximize skincare product sales and improve patient compliance and results.
Based on Dr. Baumann’s patent-pending Baumann Skin Typing System, this first-of-its-kind retail model provides dermatologists with the scientific methodology, training, and education necessary to prescribe effective, customized skincare regimens utilizing multiple brands of products that have been independently tested and approved by Dr. Baumann. To learn more about what Skin Type Solutions can do for your dermatology practice, visit the STS site here.