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Medical Spa Business Forum > Questions: Patient before-after photos and cheaper competitors

We've had our medical spa for 6 years and have been lucky enough to open a second location.

We are in an area that has a lot of lower income but is peppered with higher income neighborhoods and towns.

A lot of our clientele is extremely private and won't even like our page on Facebook for fear of people thinking (well I suppose, knowing) they get work done. We take privacy law very seriously and don't show before and after photos without a written consent from the patient. However, a few other spas have popped up in the area and are sharing photos and videos of almost every treatment, sometimes with inappropriate language and overall just kind of low brow if you know what I mean. (For example, a friend of one of our clients went to one of these people and had her lips done. The practitioner actually told her he made her lips look so good he was getting a boner. She also had multiple complications and the woman was extremely upset. We've had multiple people tell us all the problems they have had, but none of them are posting it online.)

I actually know two of the practitioners and they're both using counterfeit and knockoff products and equipment with bargain basement prices.(Yes we've reported them.) This is causing them to soar with popularity, but not the kind of attention we want. We love our classy clientele and want to keep encouraging those types of clients, but we're at our wits end. We don't want to bash the other practices, so we just keep encouraging clients who are price shopping to look up the service and check on physician locators to help them make informed decisions and we credential our staff to them so they know they're buying expertise. However it is becoming increasingly harder because while we have tons of before and after photos, most of our patients don't want any photos out in the world because they are extremely private and don't want anyone to potentially recognize them. However new clients of course want to see our work and our before and afters versus those provided by the companies (Allergan, Merz, etc.) Some clients have come around, but how can we improve this? Is there a way to make it clear on our social medias so that people know we have the experience, but because we take our client's privacy seriously we never release their photos without consent? And how can we help more clients to make informed decisions?

I feel as though if you're in the industry you can spot a hack from a mile away, but patients frequently are clueless. I know it is our job to educate them during their appointments, but how do we address that one step sooner during the research phase?

07.10 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

@Stephanie,
A couple of thoughts from your questions. First, I would be very careful about bashing competitors or 'reporting them. It's possible to get hit wit a lawsuit doing stuff like that and if you're hit with a tortious interference suit you'll wish you hadn't been.

The before and after photos are somewhat easier to solve. You're asking your patients for something extra - the ability to use and disseminate photos of them - but it appears that you're not giving them anything. There is no benefit to them and a potential cost (the fact that they might be recognized and the anxiety that that might happen.)

This is a simple exchange like any other transaction. I would suggest that you tell patients who you want before-after photos of that you'll give them discounted prices in exchange for the ability to use the photos. At some point you'll reach the tipping point of agreement.

My two cents at least. Hope that's of some help.

Our reps have asked us to always report things to them, so that's part of why. But I'll definitely keep your advice in mind. We've been told to be careful with rewarding patients for sharing reviews, photos, etc or else it can be considered fee splitting. Do you know anything about that?

07.11 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

@ Stephanie.
NEVER NEVER NEVER tell your reps anything about your business or your competitors. You have no idea how they operate, or what they can do to you either by something they do, or what they don't do. They, or their bosses, will throw you under the bus at any time that they need to.

On fee-splitting: That 's complete bullshit. I don't know who told you that but just complete BS. Leroy is right.

07.11 | Unregistered CommenterJustinTime

Completely agree with JustinTime - The drug reps are not on your side, they're looking to get info and they will use it against you just as easily as others.

07.11 | Unregistered CommenterSdoc

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