Preferred Partners = $$$

There are many effective ways to market your aesthetic practice without breaking yourPreferredRack budget.

A successful way to generate business, is by a cross-referral program. The simplest way to initiate this, is to have a rack of “Preferred Partners” business cards prominently displayed in your office. The purpose is not just to promote other businesses, more importantly it’s to get them to promote you.

You may already have a rack of cards from other local businesses in your aesthetic office, however do you know if those businesses have your cards/brochures in their offices as well? If not, then why not? Most likely there are a number of places in your area that already have display racks. The key, is to get them to get your information front and center, or at least in a prominent place so their customers will see you before anyone else.

A “Preferred Partners Program” is simply an agreement between you and other local businesses, that you will each properly display the other’s information. This could include business cards and/or brochures, leaflets, etc. Businesses that would compliment your practice should include salons and spas, upscale restaurants, luxury car dealerships, upscale dress shops and any other type of business that attracts well-heeled customers.

When approaching businesses about the Preferred Partners Program, assure them that you’ll be displaying their information in a prominent place as well. Also, rather than single business card holders haphazardly cluttering up your reception, purchase a small multi-slot business card rack (office supply stores) so that you can display all of your “Preferred Businesses” neatly in your lobby, at the reception desk and even in your treatment rooms. In fact the latter works best, because your clients will focus on those cards while they wait for consultations or procedures.

Assuring your ‘partners’ that their information will be displayed prominently in your treatment rooms, is a great ‘selling-point’ when talking about the referral program. Likewise, your information should be prominently displayed at their business as well.

The most important part of this program, is to make certain your Preferred Partners keeps your information well stocked, in that they should never ‘run-out’ of your cards, just as you should never run out of theirs. A quick phone call does the trick. Even better, have a representative visit your partners on a regular basis – “HI! I’m just stopping in to see if we need to replenish any of cards/brochures and also, we need more of your cards to replenish our racks as well. Thanks!”   You get the idea.



The Stealth Interview: Watch how they work before you hire

If you’re an office manager or the person in charge of hiring at your practice, you’ve probably Compairsonexperienced this situation before:

You comb through countless resumes looking for a new receptionist – one of the most crucial positions in an aesthetic practice and after interviewing many applicants and checking references, you feel confident you’ve made the right choice. However after the ‘honeymoon period’ is over and the new hire has settled in, it soon becomes apparent that the person you thought you hired turns out to be completely different and not in a good way. There is an ingenuous way to avoid this potential disaster.

The Stealth Interview Process

In my book “The Aesthetic Market, More Than Meets The Eye”, I discuss how to find the right person when staffing medical spas. One of the most popular ways is to look for potential employees while they are already working for someone else and without them knowing it. When staffing for your front office, you want to look for those already working in the beauty industry such as skin, hair, and/or cosmetics. Cosmetic counters at upscale department stores are one of the best sources for the Stealth Interview because cosmetic sales associates are often attractive, well-groomed, very personable and often very knowledgable.

Plan a visit to the cosmetic counter of an upscale department store near your practice. Chat with the salesperson about cosmetics and ask specific questions about products. Watch carefully how the salesperson greets you; note their appearance, if they make good eye contact, have a nice smile, a bubbly personality and are able to quickly answer questions about products or services. Once you see someone who may be a good fit, casually let them know that you are looking to fill a position at your office and phrase the question so that it appears that you are not trying to recruit them on the spot. Example: “You’ve been so helpful! By the way, would you happened to know of someone – such as yourself who may be looking for a job?” If so could you please pass along my business card?” 

If the person you’re interested in does not contact you later about the position, repeat the same process at another store or even at a spa, hair or nail salon. Eventually, the right person will call you for the real interview.

It’s important to remember that even if the person lacks experience, as long as they have “the right stuff” and are able to articulate the qualities needed, they can easily be trained for most any position available in your front office. Personality is far better than experience and one of the best ways to interview someone, is while they are working and without them knowing it.


Daily Tip – Vip Program : Part 2 of 2 membership tiers

In my previous blog discussing the basics of my VIP Program including the type of cardVIPCARDTempletFront recommended and how the program should be structured, outlined here are the (3) Basic VIP *Tiers* – SILVER, GOLD and PLATINUM that have worked successfully for me and for aesthetic practices all across the country.

As noted in Part 1, this outline uses fillers and botox as an example, however you can certainly substitute by adding your own products/services such as Lasers, IPL, Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels, Salon Services, etc.


With the VIP Silver Promotion the patient/client receives toxins and fillers at event pricing (in-office events and those held at partnering businesses) and these prices should be at least $200 LESS than regular office price and should be offered to the patient at *anytime* their VIP Card remains valid, whether the client attends a special event or not. The purpose of the card is to reward them with prices lower then those of non-cardholders.

In addition to the above, the client should also received (1) FREE SERVICE that includes a procedure that requires *multiple treatments* in order for them to receive maximum results. Suggested services could be IPL, lasers, (one) area of laser hair removal, one microdermabrasion treatment, a chemical, peel, etc. Remember that you should use the *one free service* for whatever you want to promote in your practice and again it should be a procedure that requires multiple services so they can achieve optimal results. Example: If the patient receives a free laser service and is happy with the results thus far, it should be easier to sell them a ‘series’ of treatments to achieve results close to what they are looking for.

If you use the VIP Silver Program for services that only cost you time and labor, you can use it as gifts for “door prizes” and/or drawings at events. Yet another way to use the VIP Silver, is to provide them to local RealEstate agents *free of charge* so they can include them in their “Welcome To The Neighborhood” packages. Impress upon the Realtors the actual *value* of the cards – which are normally $500 and that you sell them to clients at your practice. This will give the Silver VIP Card validity and the Realtors will be more likely to include them in their new homeowner packages.

Another way to promote the VIP Silver Card is to offer them at local *Gyms*, as part of the “New Gym Member Package.” Gyms attract people that are concerned about their appearance and in addition, many who experience dramatic weight loss after weeks of working out, often loose facial fat resulting in sagging, droopy skin; hence the need for fillers and skin tightening. This is the IDEAL patient. In fact any type of business that caters to customers looking for products or services to enhance their appearance is the type of client you’re looking for.

Silver VIP Memberships can also work at *country clubs* as a *value added* incentive for all members. Country clubs typically attract those whom are most affluent and often are big spenders, such as the proverbial “Ladies who do lunch”, Rotary Clubs, etc.

Yet another way to promote the Silver VIP Card is to provide them to major non-profit *charities*. The charities can use them in their fundraising programs, giveaway’s, Thank You’s, etc. The non-profit sells the VIP Silver Membership as profits towards their charity and you receive new clients for each membership card you donate. It’s a win-win scenario. Check with your accountant to see if you’re able to claim a tax donation deduction if you’re providing a tangible product to a non-profit for fundraising purposes.

Finally, consider offering the VIP Silver Membership to any major companies/corporations that have local offices in your area. They can offer them as Corporate Gifts to their employees such as Christmas gifts, birthdays, employee appreciation rewards, secretary gifts, special occasions, etc. Major companies can also offer them to their own VIP clients and customers. Remember that *every* VIP Silver Membership card you give out equals $500 worth of *member* discounts for products or services provided by your practice.



The VIP Gold Card will always be your most popular program. For the purchase price of $1,500, the patient receives *everything in the VIP Silver* PLUS toxins for 12 months. The patient can come into your practice as often as they like and pay nothing for toxins for a 12 month period. Remember that typically the toxin (©Botox) patient is usually your least faithful patient, meaning they are always ‘chasing’ a cheaper price such as those offered through Ads from major on-line discount clubs. The VIP GOLD Membership Card ($1,500) guarantees the patient toxins for one full year and as often as needed, so there is no need for them to look for a cheaper price. It’s *important* to remember that since you are providing the service and products (toxins) and since you are the expert, you are also in charge of determining exactly how much the patient needs each time they request a “tweaking”.

Should a patient choose to come in several times a month during their 12 month period just to take advantage of their ‘unlimited toxins’, often the amount needed is just a few units to satisfy the client. Remember your injector *controls* the number of units of toxins used each time and most importantly this is your ‘Golden” opportunity to up-sell fillers, lasers, IPL’s, Microderms, etc. (“Mrs. Smith, I see that its been some time since you’ve had any fillers and I also see some loose skin. We can address that with a bit more filler and/or skin tightening and since you’re already a Gold Card Member, the price will be much less than what you would normally pay”).

Note that the VIP GOLD continues to be the most popular of all VIP Programs including those chosen as Corporate Gifts.


The VIP Platinum Membership ($2,000) includes ALL of the VIP Silver *and* ALL of the VIP Gold Membership benefits. In addition all Platinum Memberships should also include *Skincare Products* for a 12 month period and with this particular membership, the patient should receive (one each) eye cream, moisturizer and a cleanser every quarter, free of charge. *Important*: Each time the client comes in for their “free product” they MUST have a mini-consultation to evaluate their skin. Most usually need *additional* products/services that are not part of the Platinum Program. Suggestions could be a night-time cream, serum, sunscreen, etc. Since the client holds a Platinum Membership you could discount any additional products if necessary. It’s OK to offer occasional discounts especially to VIP clients, however *never* give away products or services for any reason; otherwise you are de-valuing the product or service and you’re devaluing your practice.


Daily Tip: VIP Programs – Part 1 of 2

VIP Programs are one of the most valuable tools in building a profitable aesthetic business. Though widely used, far too many practices make the mistake of not keeping their VIP Program SIMPLE. VIP promotions often include a complicated point system, minimum purchase requirements, or other unreasonable terms that can quickly confuse a client to the point of them opting out of the VIP Program completely.

Remember the old saying: “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

Here is a fool-proof VIP Program that has continued to work for me and has also worked at practices all across the country, regardless of the products or services offered.

The Look of the VIP ‘Credit’ Card

First and foremost you need *personalized* VIP Cards (2 sided) either plastic (preferable) or printed on *heavy stock* paper. If using paper, the heavier the better. Remember that your VIP Cards should be credit card quality if possible. Contact me if you need a source for great customized *plastic* VIP Cards.

On the front of the card include the name of your practice, address, phone numbers and email addresses. Also include the logo of your practice or something that will immediately identify your business and the products and services offered. I recommend “VIP” be printed on the front of the card in BOLD lettering and then your logo in smaller print, phone number and email address, but nothing else. Try to keep the information on the front of the card attractive, *simple* and to the point.

The back of the VIP Card can include additional information about your business, products and services you offer and details about the VIP Program itself. Keep your information limited to no more than (2) short paragraphs. Include details of the VIP Program in the first paragraph and any additional info about your business in the second paragraph, with plenty of spacing in-between. Again, remember to keep it simple!

VIP Program Offer

Your VIP Program should include products and services that bring the most revenue to your business, meaning your ‘bread and butter’ services. You can include secondary products/services in your program as an additional incentive, however remember your highest grossing services should be offered first and discounted from your regular office price so that the VIP Membership is attractive and lucrative to the patient.

In my next Blog – Part 2: VIP Silver, Gold and Platinum Memberships

Today’s Tip: Divorcing A Client


Its a tough diagnosis to processIf you’re a physician or work in an medical-spa, this scenario may sound far too familiar: A new or an existing patient tries to convince you that one or two syringes of dermal filler and/or ten or twenty units of toxin will achieve the same results as a FULL Liquid Facelift (!)


For patients who receive fillers or toxins and have unrealistic expectations, here are some of my favored responses: “Its a syringe not a magic wand” (or) one of my favorite replies I often use in a consultation is: “Using only one syringe can be compared to pouring a cup of water into bathtub: You will never know its there and you’ll never be satisfied with the results”.


When trying to convince a patient that a small amount of product will not be sufficient, often they will try and *counter* with an advertisement they saw, or they may say they have received a different evaluation from one of your competitors. Whatever the case may be, if you go against your training and experience and concede to your clients wishes even if only to try and satisfy them, chances are they will never be pleased and they will continue to cost you time and money. It’s been my experience that patients who continue to make unreasonable requests are a pain in your practice; they’re never happy and you will not be happy either having them as a patient.


Compliant Patients Verses Non-compliant Patients


As a professional you know its impossible to deliver the results that you’ve promised *unless* the patient is compliant; this is true both in aesthetics and in general medicine. Once you allow yourself to “divorce” unreasonable patients, it will *free you* and your staff to nurture the rest of your clients who understand the difference between reasonable and unreasonable expectations. Learning to say “no” to all non-compliant patients is yet another relief to your practice.


Consider the amount of time saved if you divorce non-compliant patients and nurture those that follow directions? Compliant patients purchase products regularly, they use your products as directed and usually have a better understanding of the amount of product or service needed in order to achieve the results closer to their expectations. In addition, compliant patients often opt for *multiple* modality procedures in order to achieve the best long-term results. Non-compliant and/or unreasonable patients almost always demand discounts and/or want free products, simply because they continue to come in to your practice.


Bottom line: Thoroughly research your client database, look for signs of non-compliance and/or look for those that continue to make unreasonable requests. Divorcing some long-term clients may be a difficult decision, however from a business perspective it may be the only way to remain profitable, while having more time to spend with other patients.


Divorcing a client can be FREEING for both your practice and the patient. They eventually will get the message and move on and you can spend more time with patients that are not energy vampires!


Do you have more questions about divorcing a patient and/or other topics not covered here? Do you need additional assistance with patient consultations, building your practice and/or marketing your business? If so I’m here to help!


Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Office Managers and Estheticians:


Call me direct at: 772-453-4137 or email me at:



Starting Your Own Business


So you want to own your own business?


Do you want to own your own spa, med-spa or start your own aesthetics practice? If you’re leaving your current location and not taking any clients with you, or if legal agreements prevent you from contacting clients, it would be a better business decision to start solo and build your clientele again, while growing organically.

Begin by renting, sharing an office, or treatment room in an existing spa or practice. As your business gradually grows to where your clients/patients are waiting up to 1 to 2 weeks for an appointment, you will know when it is time to expand your business. You then can start adding qualified staff and office space. Additionally, you will have clients that you have grown organically that will follow you wherever you go. Always remember your reputation is your draw. Clients come to you not only for your skills, but because of your reputation and how you made them feel. Also remember they can receive the same services you offer at many other places and often closer then you may realize and by setting your yourself apart from your competition, it will give your clients even more reason to come back to you and more reason to be loyal.

Marketing through events and partnerships can jump start your business with questionable merit. Marketing is best when used to grow your business not start your business. Even successful business owners often make the costly mistake assuming that a huge marketing budget is needed for a start-up. A new business takes 1-2 years to become profitable and if the start-up is large, the longer it will take to become sustainable. Starting small will give you the advantage of becoming profitable sooner. In the unfortunate event you become part of the more than 50% of new businesses that fail, at the very least your initial investment loss is smaller.

I do not believe in paid advertising, as the ROI (return on investment) is rarely there. Old fashioned ‘gorilla marketing’ takes lots of energy and lots of valuable time for businesses large and small. The quickest way to build an aesthetic practice is by forming partnerships in the business community such as at your local chamber of commerce or similar monthly/weekly networking events in your community. Can’t attend a Chamber Event or don’t know of a networking group in your area? Start one yourself, inviting any business people you know encouraging them to bring business cards and brochures so they can network as well. Gather email and contact info from *every available source* and follow up afterward with personal correspondence. Personal contacts is a growth process of success that compliments the “rent a room” start-up.

Remember that a large start-up business forces you into debt before you can even open your door. Rent, utilities, product, supplies, receptionist, cleaning staff and equipment such as expensive lasers can place you in debt for $100,000 or more, before you see your first client. Something as simple as a Microdermabrasion machine, an IPL or any piece of equipment needed for your business will incur debt

Renting a room or a small office allows for natural referrals within the business or building that you’re working in and of course if you work at a salon, med-spa, or at a medical office, your landlord wants you to be successful so you can pay the rent. Co-hosting after-hour events, parties, ‘lunch and learn’ etc with any businesses in the same building, also gives you the opportunity to co-market and network with them.

Skincare products will also initiate debt especially with an initial opening order. If another location in the office (rather than a room) necessitates a retail presence, I believe a maximum of 3 product lines is appropriate; more then 3 brands will simply confuse your client into not purchasing at all, creating excess inventory and waste.

An ideal location with walk-by traffic and Fabulously decorated windows is a plus but regardless of the space your retail needs to be fully stocked, well organized and well specced apart, priced, well-lighted and in a pleasant waiting area that is comfortable and inviting and where the product is easily accessible. Few will inquire about a product that is ‘locked-up’ in a case or is not easily accessible. Out of reach means out of mind.

Are you considering opening or transitioning your current business into a medical spa? If so, you can offer services that are profit centers such as dermal fillers and toxins to bring clients into your facility. It’s important to know that in many areas, a medical spa is required by law to have a medical director on staff and in some cases the medical director is actually required to work at that same office in order to offer specific services allowed. It’s highly recommend that you consult your local or state business regulatory offices that govern and license aesthetic and medical spas. You can also obtain this and other valuable information from American Spa Association.

A medical spa also requires you to have licensed professionals performing your injectables – such as a nurse-injector (again, additional expense) however injectables (fillers and toxins) offer a larger than average return on your investment, as opposed to lasers, IPL’s, RF (Radio Frequency / skin tightening devices) and so on. These pieces of equipment can easily costs thousands of dollars, most are expensive to maintain and often are quickly outdated when newer or better equipment is available.

Always make approach major business decisions with clear thought, discuss your goals with those that have been successful in your field and do your own extensive research; if necessary seek out qualified investors that could also be silent partners, limiting your personal risk.

Once you’re ready to take the plunge into opening or expanding your business, in need of the experience and guidance of someone that has done this successfully many times all across the country, call me and let’s chat about the possibilities.

Let me know how I can be of help!

John Treadwell


The History Of Fillers



The use of injectable fillers first dates back to the late 1800’s following the invention of the syringe. Since then there have been a number of changes in facial filling agents.


The first filling agent that was used for facial augmentation was liquid paraffin wax. Despite it’s effectiveness for reconstructing facial deformities such as the “collapsed nasal dorsum”, it was proven to be biologically harmful.

By the 1960’s medical –grade silicone gel was introduced. However, it too had its risks with reports of ulcers and granulomas.


To minimize the risks the “micro-droplet technique” was advocated in 2000. With this technique minute doses of silicone is injected over multiple sessions. Recently however the use of silicone was banned by the FDA due to complications.


In 1981, the first agent approved by the FDA for cosmetic use was bovine collagen. Since then there have been others that have also been approved by the FDA including Restylane and Radiesse.


The duration of  the results of some fillers are longer than others. Artefill, is a permanent filler made from inert, microscopic beads and packaged with bovine collagen as a carrier. It is injected over several treatment sessions. Radiesse, a calcium based non allergenic filler last anywhere from 10-14 months.


Getting fillers is a popular way to help maintain a youthful appearance as well as correct deformities in a non surgical manner. However it is important to do your research on what type of filler would be best for you.



Letting Your Patient Down Gently After Divorce

When is it time to divorce your patient that wants a “liquid face lift” with *one* syringe of dermal filler or smooth the face with 10 units of toxin?Answer: The sooner the better!

I use the approach of “we can soften an area with that amount” although not correct. I note that on the patient’s medical records and face sheet. Patients who want only one syringe of dermal filler and we will soften their nasal labial folds although not correct. The amount to correct is number of syringes. Have the patient sign acknowledgement and this will give you proof when they return about lack of correction or a reason for the patient to accept the divorce and start stalking another practice. This also applies to toxins. Note that the patient wants ten units for the eleven lines. Note that only softening will occur without correction with number of units of toxins needed for correction and have the patient sign. This gives the power to the patient to accept the truth or go terrorize another practice.

Get control of your patients and stop giving away product trying to please someone you could not please with a “pleasing machine”. These notes should also be included for your patient to sign prices for the treatment and price for what is recommended to correction and also for their treatment plan. This patient needs to know quantity and cost to achieve remarkable results and anything less would be disappointing and is the desire of the patient, not the practice. This is a Fabulous way for the patient practice hopper who shops the latest sale and is not faithful to any practice at regular price.

Are they someone you want to develop??? A patient that only wants a deal as they are a pain in your practice for the rest of your life. This could make it easy in the divorce process for the patient to move on to another practice that offers group on. Also, with this patient in particular, do a face map. Map the face prior to the first treatment showing any lumps and bumps that someone else created as their patient. This prevents that patient returning with the complaint that you created irregularities that you did not address. Verbally point them out to the patient and have the patient sign off on the finding  so you will not have to correct someone else’s mistakes and hopefully they will move on to another practice that is less perceptive than yours. The classic way of not having appointments available for divorced patients is a soft approach although patients can become stalkers hoping with the next call something will change.

With the above medical records you have everything you need to write the divorce letter, with kindness of course.

Let me know if I can help with your Fabulous Divorce.


Fabulous Referrals from Fabulous Employees










Most Aesthetic practices have employees that are not productive all hours they are paid
and I think they can be used more productively. Free Facials. Now before you say No to
anything Free, take the time to consider the concept.

We all know that Dermal Fillers offer more ROI than any service provided in your
medical spa. Dermal Fillers require little to no pre and/or post care and are cash and carry.
If your aesthetician is not referring patients to you daily for Dermal Fillers and the profits
that come along, it is time to train your staff for success.
Offer your VIP patients as well as those that have done small quantities of
Dermal Fillers and you want to complete the process, a complimentary facial. Also
consider offering the same complimentary facial to your patients that have chatted
about Dermal Fillers and never taken the plunge to be as Fabulous as they could be.
Another ideal patient is the one that as never broached the subject of Dermal Fillers and
you would like for them to consider the possibilities.
The complimentary facial is a mini facial with little cost and little time involved. The
aesthetician has a unique opportunity to point out loss from the face, whether bone loss,
collagen loss, or fat loss that a visual consultation does not address. Informing the
patient while comfortable in repose. The temples have a deficit that nature has robbed
from them. Pointing out the jaw line as well as each side of the chin the loss that nature
has caused can prompt the patient to discuss with the injector the possibilities of Dermal
Fillers. Many places on the face, while touching the patient, offer fodder for discussion of
loss that could be addressed with Dermal Fillers.

Many practices I work with require all aestheticians do a minimum of 1 complimentary facial for Dermal Fillers referrals daily. Aestheticians that are paid an hourly wage should use their entire non booked time to feed your profit center, Dermal Filler injectors, patients for consultations and injections. The most successful of practices offer a financial incentive to the aesthetician. Even a small incentive offers to an employee that works paycheck to paycheck an increased incentive to assure your Dermal Filler injector never has down time and your profit center increases.
This technique also is valuable to increase retail sales. While touching the patient
pointing out the loss of volume, is the perfect time to note the texture of the skin that
could benefit from a skin care regime from your retail center. Also this setting gives way
to other services in your medical spa. Although not as profitable as Dermal Fillers, most
physicians love their toys and the toys are not always busy. Lasers are a Fabulous way
to add additional income from skin resurfacing, pigment reduction, skin tightening.
Try the above and let me know your reaction. Any questions, do not hesitate to contact
me: 772-453-4137772-453-4137

How to have a Fabulous Divorce!

When is the last time you divorced a patient??? If not lately, they are
costing you money. We all know the patient who wants a “liquid face lift”
using one syringe of dermal filler and/or smoothness with 10 units of toxin.
So many response come to mind, “it is a syringe not a magic wand” or “one
syringe will just piss you off” or “one syringe is like putting a cup of water in
a bathtub, you will not know it is there”. This patient is a pain in your
practice for the rest of your life. This patient is the one that calls back and is
not happy and wants more at no cost. Divorcing these patients free you
and staff to nurture Fabulous patients that get it and are willing to follow the
direction from the practice.!
A non-compliant patient is another relief to the practice to divorce. It is
impossible to have the Fabulous results you promise unless the patient is
compliant. Think of the time you would have if you divorce your noncompliant
patients and nurture you compliant patients. Compliant patients
purchase product regularly and use it as directed. Compliant patients have
multiple modality procedures for best results. Compliant patients purchase
the series of treatments needed for optimal results!
Do you have the patient that could not be pleased with a “pleasing
machine”??? Think of the time you would have with Fabulous patients to
take their treatments to the best level possible rather than sitting in a room
that is not happy because of issues we do not want to address. Divorce can
be Fabulous and freeing for both. They can move on to the next practice so
they can be the victim and you can spend time with patients that are not
energy vampires!
Why do you want to spend more wasted time with patients that are
questioning your price and want a “deal”? It is impossible to find a Fabulous
low enough price for this patient. This is the patient that you divorce and
see your profit rise and your temper lower!
The classic patient that is to top the divorce letter is body dysmorphic.
More time will be available for Fabulous patients by eliminating this one
patient. It is impossible to do enough as the need is from within, not what !
reflects in the mirror!

Let me know if I can help – maybe a practice evaluation??? 772-453-4137772-453-4137!!