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How to grow your aesthetics practice without spending a penny on marketing

Dr MJ explains how she grew her multi-million pound aesthetic medicine business without spending a penny on marketing. No tricks, no silly fads, just solid communication and outstanding patient assessment skills.

 

 

Get 1-on-1 help, guidance and tutorials with our expert botox courses for dentists.

 

Video Transcript:

Hi everyone,

Welcome to this webinar!

Thanks for joining me today.  It’s a real honour to be speaking to you and talking about how to grow your aesthetics practice without spending a penny on marketing.  

You might not have even started in Aesthetic medicine.  You might have an interest or you might have done a course and you’re wondering how you are going to put into practice what you have learnt because you’re struggling to find patients.  Some of you might be experienced practitioners and you’re joining us to have a nosey at what I do.  Or maybe you want to improve your conversions.

 

Whatever your motivations for being here tonight, I appreciate you taking the time out of your days to develop yourselves and learn with me.  I hope there’s a thing or two that is useful to you.

 

We all want to be a success in aesthetic medicine.  We all want to get more patients and grow our practice. If you’re starting out you probably don’t have thousands of pounds a month to spend on marketing so you’ll need to find aesthetic patients in your dental practice. 

 

This is by far the most efficient and successful way of growing a practice. Marketing and advertising should be a last resort after you’ve exhausted the patients who already trust you and are already coming to see you for dental work.

 

But there’s a problem. 

 

How do you speak to these dental patients about aesthetic medicine? How do you broach the topic without offending people?  

 

Most of the delegates I teach have the same problems: 

 

  1. You’re worried that talking about aging and aesthetics will offend people
  2. You don’t know what treatments might be appropriate
  3. You’re not confident because you’ve not had the right training
  4. You worry you’re going to come across salesy and pushy

 

I see so many practitioners struggling with these and it’s frustrating because the solution is so simple and you already have all the skills you need to be a success.  It’s not your fault that you sometimes don’t know what you’re doing when you are consulting with your patients.  They don’t teach this in dental school and there certainly isn’t a book on aesthetic medicine consultations.  So I have gathered up all my experience over a decade of practise and a decade of learning so that you can fast-track your success. 

 

It’s plain wrong for such highly qualified and well educated practitioners to be feeling embarrassed about suggesting treatments. Your patients want these treatments and they deserve your very best work.  It’s also plain wrong that poorly trained beauticians are kicking our butts when it comes to selling aesthetic medicine treatments. The future of aesthetic medicine is the dental industry.  We have all the manual dexterity skills and all the anatomy skills.  But we are lacking in these softer skills.  The skills that will actually make the biggest difference to your success in aesthetic medicine.

 

So what makes me qualified to come and talk to you today?  I’m going to keep this short because it’s rude to talk about yourself too much.

 

Over the last decade I’ve founded and grown aesthetic medicine and dentistry businesses. Smileworks, Smileworks Aesthetics and the Training Hub are at the cutting edge of all three professions, dentistry, aesthetics and professional education. 

 

My other career highlights include: 

 

some degrees along the way which was fun and certainly made me a better practitioner.  I like to know everything there is to know about the areas in which I practice so I can feel confident I am delivering the best care to my patients and performing to the best of my abilities.  

 

I really love private medicine and the way that you can interact with your patients when the pressures of time and UDAs are removed.  My now husband and I set up Smileworks Liverpool in 2013 as a squat practice and were initially too poor to even invest in a dental chair, so our dental offering only started in 2015.  After 4 expansions we now have a facility that is over 6200 square foot and home to 7 dental surgeries, 8 aesthetic treatment rooms, over 40 staff, over 11,000 patients.  And we’re making decent revenue.  

 

With the launch of the HUB, we wanted to do something special.  Our state of the art training facility is right next door to our practice in the heart of Liverpool.  We wanted to focus on the professionals best suited to aesthetic medicine.  Dentists.  And dental therapists.  Our training is for you.  It’s not for everyone.  It’s not for medics.  Or nurses.  Or paramedics.   We wanted to create a culture where peers can engage in deep learning and get the most out of their careers.  

 

And I’m really, really into cats.  My husband is actually trying to wrangle all of them right now so we don’t have any cameos on this webinar. 

 

But anyway.

I’ve had a real close look at how dentistry and aesthetics work together.  With them being so closely intertwined I’m pretty well placed to show you how you make the two work together to get you higher revenue, increased job satisfaction, and get patients who love what you do for them.

 

So during this webinar I’m going to give you insight into the main skills that not only helped me reach my potential but will help you build a practice and increase revenue using the patients you already have which broadly include:

 

  1. a comprehensive examination
  2. The technique of co-diagnosis
  3. How to use clinical photography 

 

Executing these skills isn’t something anybody can do, it’s not a quick fix to a problem. It takes time, practice and the courage to step outside of your comfort zone. But if you are someone who is persistent, hardworking and ready to take this step in your career then your reward is going to be bigger than you ever imagined. 

 

Get this right and you will be at the top of your game in the aesthetics industry. 

 

Aesthetic medicine is worth about £3 billion annually (same as the entire NHS dental services) and will overtake private dentistry and NHS dentistry revenue in the next few years. The government is spending less money on the NHS each year and people want to pay for private care. 

 

The patients who seek cosmetic dental treatment to look and feel better are the same patients who are open to aesthetic treatments. After all, you’re treating the facial area. Your patients are already there, your practice is ready to grow. 

 

There are four things that you can do in your consultation that will grow your aesthetics practice. 

 

  1. Modify the start of your consultation 
  2. Adapt your patient examination
  3. Incorporate co-diagnosis to explore their pictures and options
  4. Effectively share treatment examples

 

But, before we even get to the start of these and the start of the consultation there is one more little bonus tip I want to share with you. This is something that is overlooked by many practitioners but it’s such a simple thing to do that will give you the added confidence to perform these 4 consultation techniques we are going to discuss in just a moment. 

To set yourself up for an effective consultation you need to first SET THE PATIENT’S EXPECTATION.

 

Setting and managing patient expectations will have a huge impact on your overall success.  Every patient will arrive at your practice with an expectation, so how you manage or influence this will either help or hinder you.

 

Let’s explore an example of this. New Years’ eve.  The most hyped up night of the year (well, not in 2020 but let’s think back to other years).  We find an event advertised as the best thing ever, your favourite DJ is even playing, you do your hair and makeup, pick out a killer outfit, spend ages getting ready…

 

And then you get overcharged on an Uber, the queue is massive, it’s raining, then it’s packed inside, six deep to the bar, drinks are overpriced, some lout ends up drunk and in a fight and the taxi home is £100.

 

Did you have your expectations met?  Are you going to tell your friends you had a great time?  

 

Expectations versus experiences matter.  

 

Now let’s put this example into your work.  Your patient books in, gets told at reception that they are having a check up.  They have a preconceived idea about what a checkup is.  They think they’re going to be in and out in five and walk away with findings about their dental state. Then, all of a sudden you want to talk to them about their face and cosmetic treatments for perfecting their smile and enhancing other features.  They didn’t expect that, so they were overwhelmed and leave your consultation a little bitter. 

 

If your patients get something they are not expecting, it won’t work.

 

You’re a wonderful clinician, but you didn’t meet the patient’s expectations.

 

You didn’t meet them, because you didn’t manage them. You had no idea what they were expecting when they came to you, you’re not a mind reader. So let’s look at how we set the tone and manage patient’s expectations. 

 

The best way to set expectations is to ensure continuity from the first contact. When a patient books in on the phone, I like my front of house to educate them on 3 things:

 

  1. What they will expect from the consultation
  2. Who I am and what I do
  3. Endorse me

 

Telling the patient what to expect during the consultation will ensure any preconceived expectations they have now align with what I’m going to deliver. Telling your patient that your cosmetic dentistry consultation will contain an assessment of their teeth and their face prepares them for the type of discussions they expect to have. It also gives the patient a chance to decide whether I am the type of clinician they want or not.

 

By saying who I am and what I do makes the comprehensive exam a lot smoother – in my case my front of house will say that these are my areas of practice, and tell the patient about my education.  They may not know that I practice in facial aesthetics, so it’s important when I begin to talk about their face, the patient isn’t confused and wondering what on earth I am doing. 

 

And finally, endorsing me encourages trust.  Most of my front of house have had some treatment with me so this endorsement is genuine, personable and doesn’t feel forced.  They’ll rave about their own treatments and tell them I’m easy to talk to or something along those lines.

 

You’re now much less likely to overwhelm them and disappoint them and your team can help set you up for that goal.  This way, they leave your consultation feeling fulfilled, knowing what was delivered is exactly what was promised and there’s no nasty surprises that made them feel trapped or put on the spot.  

 

Expectation management is the key to opportunity.  And it’s very difficult to get back to this initial opportunity if you have let it slip.  If you avoid this interaction at the start for the sake of simpler treatments and easy wins in your comfort zone, you may never successfully get back to where you can broach the subject again.  Fortune favours the brave.

 

Meeting these expectations means happy patients – and happy patients tell their friends. I cannot stress enough how clear communication at the first instance assists the later stages of the patient journey. This will grow your practice.  Get it right and you’re off to a great start often before you’ve even met your patient.  

 

Set the tone before they even get to you – use your front of house.

 

Let’s look now at my First tip: Modifying the start of your consultation

 

You probably think at this point that the start of your consultation is great.  You greet them and then you ask them lots of questions about their teeth – which is what they came here for.

 

But you might actually inadvertently be closing the door to aesthetic treatment options within the first few minutes of your consultation.

 

It’s important to get to the bottom of what really makes them tick.

 

We’re all super clever professionals, and it’s really easy to impress the patient by doing all the talking.  But that’s not how you understand them.  

 

Start by meeting them on ground they know, get them to talk about themselves. And the way to do that is with open, non-leading questions.  

 

Try “what brings you here today?”

 

It’s worth looking at how just effective this question is.  Believe it or not, you will get a different response from

“how can I help you?” or “what can I do for you?”  (which is me helping you)

versus 

“what brings you here”.

 

Remember, the consultation is about THEM.

 

This question means they can be as general or specific as they want – some patients chatter like a waterfall and some are a little more reserved.  It allows you to gage how confident they are.  

You can determine whether it’s a very specific concern like “I have a dark tooth right here” (which may not be as effective for selling them on aesthetics– or a more generalised problem such as “I am unhappy with my smile” which is a patient telling you it might not just be about their teeth.  They’re asking you for solutions to make them feel better.. So this is the first step in building your discussion about aesthetics.

 

Understanding your patient is crucial in converting them and meeting their expectations.

 

Achieving it correctly means you have identified the patients who may be suitable to talk about aesthetics early on.  It means you’re not going to get halfway through the consultation, awkwardly pop the question about fillers and be embarrassed.  

 

Thinking back to the first step we talked about and appropriately setting expectations, your patient should already be prepped about what they can expect from their conversation, so don’t be afraid to bring up the discussion when it feels right.

 

Another question I would really like you to consider asking is:

“when you look in the mirror, how do you feel?”

 

It’s not “how do you feel about your face?”, and it’s certainly not “how do you feel about your smile?”.  It’s just 

 

“when you look in the mirror, how do you feel”

Ask it, and then just listen.

 

Honestly, this is the most powerful question I ask my patients.  It gets you an answer that comes right from the squishy parts of their soul.  This question has given me laughter, tears, had patients spill their problems and tell me everything they hate or love about themselves.  It is marvellous.  It gives you insight into what really makes your patients tick and how they respond will give you powerful answers.

 

There are those that say “I feel awful” or “I hate everything” and “I hate looking in the mirror” – these are the patients that are inviting you to openly plan with them.  You need to use the cues they give you to start a comprehensive consultation. Listening  to what they say instead of just marking them from a tick-box will get you far further than any corny sales chatter I can teach you.

 

So Do you see how important the opening dialogue is?

 

Open questions lead to a talking patient.

 

Those of you who have trained with me in aesthetics already will be familiar with these questions.  They are the essential drivers to my aesthetic consultations and something that we focus on at the training HUB.  I have done a considerable amount of work and research into what gets patients to open up and tell me their secrets so that I can deliver the most comprehensive and effective treatment plans.  I often get told I am a great listener and that my patients think of me as someone they can really open up to. That’s entirely from getting them talking about themselves.  All I do is ask the questions then I shut up and listen. 

 

So let’s move on to 

Tip Number 2: Modifying your patient examination

 

A comprehensive exam means comprehensive treatment which results in a comprehensive outcome.  Fail to do the first, and the rest won’t happen.  Get it right, and you have a trusting patient who will buy literally anything from you.

 

Examining properly is something I am sure you all do.  Or think you do.  I know you are terrified of our regulator.  So you try your hardest to check every millimetre of the mouth and record it to the nth detail.  But that’s not going to help you sell aesthetic treatments because you’re not examining the right parts.

 

We need to evaluate the mouth as a feature of the face, so we need to evaluate the face, too.  It’s no good giving Doris a million dollar smile if her skin quality is bad and she’s got lines and wrinkles all over her face.  

 

I sometimes hear dentist colleagues tell me “it’s pointless fixing the tooth at the front when the rest of the mouth looks like a bag of chips”.  Well, the same thought process can be applied when looking at a patient’s smile in relation to the rest of their face.

 

 

Sure, they may not consider aesthetic treatments, but what if they do? They would be so glad a medical professional has addressed it with them. So it’s your duty to give them that option and whether they choose to have it is a matter for them.  Discussing options is what we do, and whilst you would not hesitate to tell a patient that they could have an implant to restore a tooth, you fail to discuss other areas for improvement that may actually protect them from other conditions.

 

A comprehensive aesthetic practitioner that discusses their whole scope of practice may be able to modify health behaviour. like wearing sunscreen – this not only influences the ageing process but also protects the patient from things like skin cancer.  

 

So aesthetics isn’t all about being fickle and vain.

 

I know that some of you may have a vision in your mind about horribly disfigured lips as a result of filler and people running around with body dysmorphia.  And I am not disputing that this exists within the aesthetic community. There is still a stigma in seeking aesthetic treatments and for some patients they might feel vain or too embarrassed to seek professional help.  These people are desperate for someone they trust to show them that it’s normal and safe to have this type of treatment.  

 

And trust me – when you get one of these patients in your chair who is elated to finally speak freely with a medical professional about aesthetics – it’s like a lightbulb moment and you’ll want to do it again and again. 

 

I’m not going to go into details about your intra-oral assessment, but your assessment of the patient’s face should be just as much a part of the dental consultation.  You need to be systematic, just like you are in your dental examinations, to get predictable outcomes.

 

Here are my main areas that I go through when I am examining my patient

Skin – incl Fitzpatrick and Glogau 

 

The Glogau scale is a measure of photoageing and a handy way of assessing the degree of skin ageing and how this relates to their actual age – so whether they have looked after their skin or not

 

Positive attributes – things that make them look better for example does their face improve when they smile

Negative attributes – things that make them look worse

 

Upper face

Midface

Lower face

Anything else

 

These are all objective assessments.  Look, palpate and note these down.  They will be useful in the next step when you come to assess the patient’s photos with them.  A full-face examination means you prove you are a comprehensive practitioner.  You are there to make people feel nice when they look in the mirror and limiting yourself to examination of the mouth means you’re limiting the patient’s treatment options too.  

 

For each of the items that I note, I like to explain to the patient a little about what’s going on.  For example, the patient has lost some volume in the face – so I tell them about what happens in facial ageing, about how the fat layers of the face age and can reduce in size, resulting in sagging.  This will have effects on the tissue laxity and therefore the amount of tooth on display.  Really make sure you link everything together so that the feeling of comprehensivity is maintained.  

 

Dentists are cool telling people about the age related changes of the mouth, but when asked to discuss facial ageing they become stuck.  This is what we practice a lot in consultations at the HUB so that you can explain with ease what is going on. Moving away from selling and into educating the patient shows them the problem and allows them to explore the situation. Before you know it, they are asking for the solutions themselves. 

 

Let’s move on to TIP Number 3: Using co-diagnosis to explore their pictures and options

 

Co-diagnosis is about sharing the decision-making process with your patient and reaching a treatment plan with them.  This may sound obvious to you, but consultations are still often paternalistic or authoritarian, where the dentist is rather prescriptive about proposed treatment. 

 

This paternalistic approach means the clinician drives the decisions and the patient is left with either having the treatment or not.  This also often means the patient does not share ownership of the treatment plan and if things go wrong, it’s easily blamed on the clinician. I’m sure we’ve all seen this before – I’m sure we’ve all been here before. 

 

Co-diagnosis works in a three-step way to guide the patient through their discussions, explorations and engaging them in their treatment plan.  

The first step is to recognise the problem together with the patient.

Then, discuss options for treatment in a non-biased way, remembering to explain what happens if they do nothing

and then highlighting the benefits of having treatment and how the results can expect to look and feel.

 

Incorporating this means assessments look more structured and you’re delivering consistency with a patient who feels in control.

 

What’s more, you can use this technique with clinical photographs. This helps assess and discuss the issues you might feel are pressing without coming across as overbearing. 

 

Most clinicians think they are doing this already.  But really incorporating co-diagnosis is more nuanced than just coming up with multiple options and giving them select treatment plans to choose from.  It’s about integrating exploration and choice and letting them discover options whilst you act as their guide.

 

A lot of patients are not actually aware of what exactly their problems are.  So it’s up to you to physically explore that with them.  

 

Lots of practitioners take clinical pictures.  For the gram, for their portfolio, for medical records.  But few actually use them with the patient.  This is one of the most powerful ways of converting patients for treatments that I have discovered.

 

Handing the patient a mirror and asking them to judge isn’t very effective in my opinion.  Firstly, their arm gets tired holding the damn thing and it wanders all over the place, but more importantly, mirrors subtly manipulate the mind of the patient and can create a highly subjective and biased view of themselves. 

 

Photographs nudge the patient away from the subjective and towards an objective view of what is really there. As patients often become fixated on one part of their reflection, their pictures somewhat neutralise this and the chance of you both seeing the same thing increases. Patients become a little bit more critical and start to see the bigger picture with you. 

 

You can do this with extraoral and intraoral pictures and guide the patient by asking questions (you know how much I love asking questions) such as “how do you feel about this angle” or “tell me what you see” – keep it nice and open, and let them do the scrutinising first. 

 

Let’s have a look at a typical series of pictures that I would use in a dental consultation 

 

For those of you who treat orthodontic patients, some of these are part of your normal picture series.  These are also the standard set you would take for a comprehensive facial assessment evaluation.  So as a dentist, you’re most of the way there already.

 

The clearer your pictures, the better your co-diagnosis will be. 

 

You can do the outside-in or inside-out approach to looking at the pictures.  I prefer the outside-in, considering the facial pictures first and leaving the area open to go back to. When you start with teeth, it’s hard to shift the conversation away and you end up talking just about teeth. 

 

I know you are all going to have opinions on what to say and do about teeth so we’ll keep it to faces just now.

 

You have the skills to do this already.  We have cephalometry dinned into us at university and many of you probably won’t have used it since.  You can add your own detail, but here’s some examples of what I would discuss with this lady.

 

First off, I put the pictures up and just let them look.  Often they come up with some pretty insightful stuff without you even needing to lead them.

 

Let’ have a look at the pics

So let’s ask her some questions and let her do the talking. 

 

I ask her what she likes, what she doesn’t like and if there is anything they want to discuss in particular about the pictures.  

 

I say “what do you see”

And then rather than say something to do with the skin quality and possibly embarrass her, I ask “what skincare do you use” or “do you use sunscreen” if – say – you notice pigmentation.  And then you’re into a conversation about that.

 

 Just like I did in my examination I split the picture into upper face, midface and lower face.  This approach allows me to annotate the pictures in front of the patient, tell them the ideal and then let them work out whether they are close to that ideal or not.   

 

So for the Frontal picture you could chat about: 

Facial balance: such as the rule of thirds

  • Dividing the face into three equal vertical parts allows you to evaluate discrepancies in the individual thirds and talk about upper, mid and lower face
  • You can evaluate symmetry quickly by drawing a line down the centre

 

Here you might notice discrepancies in the volume or height of the cheek, then discuss how volume loss as a product of ageing which could be corrected with dermal filler treatment. By doing this, you are carefully planting the solution in their minds. 

 

Next have a look at the Side profile:

Look at skeletal class and pay particular attention to the relationship of the chin to the face.  

Have a look at the Frankfort plane and the true vertical, and how the chin sits in relation to the mid face.  If it is retruded, this is your opportunity to discuss surgery, but also options of modification with filler of the deficient.  

 

The nasolabial angle and rickett’s e-line are crucial in discussing the lower third in the profile view.  Draw them on and give patients the information on the averages and compare what the patient’s are.

 

Nasolabial angles in women should be between 90 and 110 degrees and on the rickett’s the upper lip should be 4mm away and the lower lip 2mm behind it.  You’ll be able to identify a small lip with the patient and discuss their options for improvement with filler.  

 

Again, you can make this much more detailed but if you’re starting out, keep the assessments simple, memorable and repeatable so that they may highlight treatment needs that lie within your scope of practice.

 

¾ views are really useful as this is the view that the patient sees most often – I call it the selfie angle.  It’s essential if you are considering nose, cheek or chin augmentation.

You can assess the midfacial volume by looking at the cheek contour.  This is the one where the patient will definitely have an opinion so don’t skip discussing it with them

 

Highlighting these areas is key to co-diagnosis.  An engaged patient will naturally identify them with you and ask for ways to fix it. This will result in an interaction which is dynamic, free-flowing and, more importantly, patient driven.  

 

Of course, you also give them the option of not having treatment.  Due to the linear nature of time – aging carries on, lips lose volume, cheeks sink, wrinkles – wrinkle.  

 

With some dental cases, patients don’t often see the problem immediately so not going ahead with treatment is more easily justified.  With ageing, the problem is literally staring them in the face every morning.  Make them aware – but be kind.  Telling them it’s only going to get worse is kinda insulting.  A sympathetic tone is what’s needed here. After a patient identifies an area they aren’t happy with you could say something like “if you’re open to x, y and z it will reduce these lines and improve these areas.  Everybody ages – and some people choose to accept it, whilst some people gently modify this process.  I can help you with that.”

 

You remember earlier on I said about how you never get a chance to go back to a comprehensive discussion with your patient?  If you have given them awareness and the option and they decide not to go with it, then that’s cool.  But having put it out there to start with means you can re-explore it at a later stage having planted the seed early on.  When they’re ready, they will consider you.

 

It’s important  we teach patients that dental work can only do so much to change facial features. So aesthetic treatment such as filler might be the answer for them and compliment the investment in their teeth. 

 

Think of it less as selling and more as educating.  I know you want to “sell ethically” – so educate and let them choose.

 

This way you can plan aesthetic treatment with them at an early stage and know you have covered it at an optimal time when they are open and ready to listen. You discuss science and objective facts to be comprehensive and then naturally present solutions without being aggressively salesy or overstepping.

 

I’m sure you have heard about the patient who sued their dentist successfully for not discussing the gap on the lower tooth and not suggesting an implant.  Well, whilst your patients are unlikely to sue you for not discussing aesthetics, you’re still doing them a massive disservice by not being comprehensive enough.

 

Facial assessment, facial ageing and how to evaluate clinical pictures with the patient are a HUGE component of what I teach at the HUB.  I want you to have the knowledge and appreciation to confidently speak to both aesthetic and dental patients and modify your consultation so you can grow your aesthetics practice. 

 

I would be crazy to think I could condense all of this into a tiny part of this webinar because it’s arguably one of the most important parts of what we do at the HUB and what successful practitioners do.  But you can come and learn all of that with us.

 

So let’s get to

 

Tip Number 4: Effectively sharing treatment examples

 

Sometimes, you will have discussed all of these pointers with a patient and they still just don’t see what it can do for them.  So you have to show them. A picture tells a thousand words.  

 

You’ve probably all got portfolios and Instagram profiles – which are worth so much when communicating with your patient.  So make sure you have them readily available in your consultation.

 

The best examples are obviously ones where you have worked on both dental and aesthetic aspects and they are similar to the patient you have before you.  But if you’re new to aesthetics you may not have these examples. So you need to approach your cases in a different way.  

 

One of the best ways to do this is self-critique.  It’s really powerful to discuss your cases with patients and highlight what you did well, but also what could have been done differently. It’s a great way to show your patient you are constantly doing better every time. 

 

Take this one for example;

 

I would say

 

“I loved treating this case, and she’s got a brilliant orthodontic result.  We did discuss with her how improving her lip volume with filler would put less of the gum on show and contribute to a more balanced appearance.  

 

Then follow it up with

…”she loved her teeth and is thinking about having some lip filler”

Or 

… “she’s booked in with me in a couple of weeks to have some lip filler”

Or something like that.

 

If you’ve had an opportunity to do the treatment, then so much the better.

 

It shows your patient that you are comprehensive, and thinking about more than just how her teeth will look.

 

It’s also an opportunity to show your patient that aesthetic results can be beautiful, balanced and subtle.  

 

Please don’t use other practitioners’ pictures to win them over. This will just mismanage the patient’s expectations and set yourself up for failure. Like I said earlier, If your patients get something they are not expecting, it won’t work.  So use your own examples. 

 

When you’re starting off on your first few cases, take decent before and after photos of your work. Do this every time, to create an accurate portfolio that you can refer to, reflect on and work to improve. Once you have a few cases, it’s like a snowball.

 

And This brings me to some exciting news.

 

With the launch of our new training facility – Smileworks Aesthetic HUB, we are also launching practice days for our graduates.  This is an exclusive opportunity as a HUB delegate to come back to my aesthetics practice and treat patients end to end under supervision.  It’s there for you to build case examples and gain more experience in real world aesthetics that will set yourself as a practitioner above the rest. 

 

You can kickstart your career by using our state of the art photo studio equipped with professional cameras, sophisticated lighting and hand-picked models we provide for you, so you can have photographic proof of your brilliant work. Treat our patients, take their photos, then showcase your winning portfolio on your website, your instagram, at your consultations or on whatever platform patients will look you up on (and you know they will!). 

 

Not everybody gets a fast-track opportunity to turn heads as a new aesthetic practitioner – so I urge you to push yourself a little further and take every new lesson and opportunity presented in this webinar.  

 

So there.

 

It’s science, not sales. 

 

Patients make decisions based on what they expected and the first interactions with you. So you need to start by setting the expectation you want them to have. Using your font of house to set the tone of the consultation before patients arrive will prepare them for the type of discussion and treatment plan you’re going to deliver. This means you can work with the confidence that you won’t be dropping any unexpected clangers that leave you both feeling awkward. 

 

Start with open-ended questions so patient’s talk about themselves. Remember, “what brings you here today?”  and “When you look in the mirror, how do you feel?”. 

Give them a chance to feel in control while you listen and learn about what they really want. This will help you identify receptive aesthetics patients from the beginning and will determine how you will approach the examination part. 

 

Integrate the face into your comprehensive exam. Don’t just look at their teeth, look at their face and skin and explain why you’re looking at these areas. Clarify why it’s important to have a complete overview before planning treatment and stick with the facts.

Remember you’re educating and not ‘selling’, you’re using objective science to let them make their own decisions, not being judgy.  This is also how you will get around your inner demons telling you it’s insulting or overstepping. 

Be their guide by educating, exploring and engaging your patient in photographs, a ‘what you see and what can be done’ approach to treatment.  Ask them to share what they see.  Then show them what you are capable of. Sharing treatment examples is the best way to showcase what you do and reinforces why you’re the best person for them. (After all, they already trust you as their dentist!).  Shows them you are a comprehensive practitioner because you look at the bigger picture.

This sets you apart from many others in aesthetics.  Enlightened and insightful patients want a qualified and trained practitioner to look after them.

 

Let’s be real for a moment. Not everyone will want your treatment and that’s okay. But you can’t just sit there and expect every patient to be dropped into your lap. You can’t expect to build an aesthetics practice if you are scared to make the first move. 

 

So build yourself up to talking about aesthetics treatment.

 

These simple modifications to your consultation and assessment could mean the difference between your practice taking off or not.  It’s time we stop seeing aesthetics as beauty and start seeing it as a medical discipline complementary to dentistry.  An integral part of your business, just like whitening or composite bonding and not as a side-hustle.  Because it’s huge, and it’s not going anywhere. 

 

My average long-term aesthetic patient spends between £900 and £1500 per year with me.  They come for one thing and before I know it, through a relationship of trust and exploration of their options, they stick around for all sorts of other treatments.  This revenue is available to you, too.  

 

I have purposely stuck to the modifications you can make to your processes in this webinar.  These are the things YOU can influence.  This means you don’t need to coordinate your team, ask for permission or organise anything.  It’s just changes that can bring about wins.  And it’s super efficient – the ROI on modifying your procedures is astronomical compared with any other marketing. 

 

Sure, there are other methods to raise awareness of aesthetics within your practice.  

 

Standard things like sending out mailers to tell patients you do aesthetics, having open days, updating your website and posting on social.  That’s all great and will certainly help, but they are the petrol station flowers equivalent of talking to patients about aesthetics. It’s the confidence to talk about aesthetics with potential patients that will ultimately grow your practice. 

 

Use these techniques well and you can increase your aesthetics base from your dental patients. You won’t need to spend thousands on marketing or hire someone to help you get your practice off the ground. You have the patients, you have the skills and you have a plan on how to do it. You have everything you need to start growing an aesthetics practice right now. 

 

So be persistent with it, use the proven techniques we have discussed and always look for opportunities to be better…

 

Whatever your motivation was for being here tonight, I hope you leave feeling excited about what you can do and I can’t wait for you to put this into action. I truly believe the future of aesthetic medicine is in the hands of dentists and dental therapists and I hope you see it too.   

 

If you’re interested in learning more of these things with me, and exploring aesthetic medicine, I would be thrilled to have you join my aesthetic training HUB!  

 

Head over to the Smileworks HUB at www.smileworks-hub.co.uk and register for one of our courses or hit us up on Instagram.  Everything that we do there is about launching your career in aesthetics successfully, and that includes the technical aspects of administering treatments just as much as it includes skills in consultations, managing your business and patients and getting it right.  

 

It’s been an absolute joy speaking to you tonight – thanks for tuning in and I hope you’ve taken some useful pointers away.  We’re going to switch over to a Q&A now and I look forward to answering some of your questions!

 

 

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