No matter the category you fall - new start, adding to a medical practice or adding to an aesthetics business - to succeed in body contouring, you’re going to need to change some things in your current business - in both (1) your operations and (2) with your team. And if you don’t have a current business and you’re just starting out, you’ll need to do these things to start out right.
Body contouring patients are different from both your medical patients and from your other aesthetic patients. They can have feelings of shame, disgust and ugliness. I can’t even tell you how many patients who’ve told me that they decided to come in because they were so tired of feeling disgusted with themselves and had to do something about it. They won’t all verbalize this, but based on our years of experience, we believe they all feel it to a certain degree. And they definitely all come in feeling a loss of confidence.
“Fat” is stigmatized in our Western culture. It’s the thinner bodies that are characterized as our ideal, which is only accelerated by the bodies portrayed as beautiful by our media. And as you know, not everyone is designed to fit that ideally thin image. An important note here, not everyone who comes in for body contouring is even overweight. Some just want to trim some inches and improve their bodies. But nearly all of them still feel “fat” and suffer with all the emotions associated with being “fat.”
Don’t worry. We don’t intend to dive into a deep discourse about our societal norms and judgments. We’re simply bringing home our point. Patients feel really bad when they “feel fat,” and whether we consider them as “fat” or not, they all require special care and handling - we believe different from all other patients.
So here are the things we suggest you consider.
Be sensitive to their feelings and remain positive. Express excitement and encouragement with their decision to consider body contouring. Validate their decision as being smart.
Support their decision and show empathy. They’ve taken the first step. Listen to them and nod in agreement. Smile. If you’ve been through something similar, tell them so. If you’ve struggled with body issues, share with them. Many times these patients feel that everyone who works at a facility that does body contouring has the perfect body; remind them we’re all human with our own struggles. We’ve had many patients at our medical spa comment that they felt so comfortable. They were afraid they were going to feel intimidated but they didn’t. Through our communications and interactions, we showed them we were human with human faults.
Handle with TLC. Go into the lobby to approach them with a smile, handshake and a warm welcome. Do not yell their name from the doorway.
Watch your choice of words. Think carefully before you speak. Could your choice of words be misunderstood? Also, don’t mimic the patient’s choice of words as they may be hurtful coming from you. Avoid saying ‘roll of fat,’ use ‘excess fat’ instead; avoid saying ‘hanging fat,’ use ‘unwanted fat’ instead.
And for the Team:
Get your entire Team “on board” with Body Contouring by doing these things:
Each team member must grasp a thorough understanding of what the treatments do, how they work and why they are great
Each team member must smile sincerely and display excitement talking about body contouring
Each team member must know that people buy from people they like and understand their impact in this even if they are not doing the consult or the treatment
Finally, each team member must be willing to listen and learn from your in-office body contouring team members
Which brings up our final Team Recommendation - to appoint at least one Designated Body Contouring Team Member. More than one is great, but you need at least one.
Your Designated Body Contouring Team Member must be chosen carefully. Look for these qualities:
Should be ‘natural smilers” - everyone should smile but smiles must be sincere and not “fake” or forced; smiling is a form of non-verbal communication and studies show that a person with a fake smile is seen as untrustworthy.
Must be a “skilled listener”- must be an active listener which is a skill not everyone has; it’s fully concentrating on what’s being said rather than just ‘passively’ hearing the message. It involves listening with all senses.
Should express empathy readily - Empathy, as you know, is the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes, then relate and understand, even if it’s not familiar to you. In other words, your Designated Body Contouring Team Member need not necessarily be a person who has suffered with body issues herself, but she does need to be someone who can show interest, ask questions, acknowledge the patient’s feelings, show care and concern, and provide support without judgement - then give the patient hope that your body contouring services can give her the solution she is looking for.
Has the ability to become the body contouring leader and the body contouring advocate for you in your office. Willing to put in the work to grow professionally, such as learning about unwanted fat, become versed in fat reduction treatments, work towards being an expert at the selling process and the psychology of sales, etc.
Your Action Step for this episode:
Create two checklists, one for Operations and another for your Team
Refer to our show notes for the details. We’ll have it all there for you. After completing your checklists, create a plan to meet all the criteria you fall short on. Do it now because it’s time to turn up the profits!
That’s it for today but there’s more to come…
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Bye for now from Kay and Shannon at the Body Contouring Academy’s Proven Profits Podcast.