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Posted 21st Mar 2018

A Harley Academy Masterclass In Client Consultation

 A Harley Academy Masterclass In Client Consultation

What differentiates a top aesthetics practice from its competitors?

It’s not that it employs a fantastic public relations agency, nor that it can perform advanced procedures, nor even that it has the most accreditations and highest accolades.

The answer lies in the quality of consultation. In aesthetics, patient retention is the single most important factor in long term success. Forming lasting relationships with your patients not only secures recurring revenues for your clinic, it also leads to the ultimate reward: a fulfilling career which transforms the lives of those you treat.

At Harley Academy, our philosophy is to train you to become a professional and a true expert in your field. This means not just equipping you to be an accomplished aesthetic professional but also giving you the skills to conduct effective consultations that create informed, loyal clients who become advocates for your services.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand this process is to look at a some examples.

Standard aesthetic consultation

  • Practitioner, “Welcome to our clinic!”
  • Patient, “Hi there, I’m looking for some lip fillers.”
  • Practitioner, “Sure, we charge £300 per millilitre.”
  • Patient, “How long will that last?”
  • Practitioner, “Lip fillers last around six months, at which point you may need to come again.”
  • Patient, “Okay, let’s do it.”
  • Practitioner, “Great, please fill in your personal details and our consent form, and we’ll get started.” The patient ends up having 1ml of lip filler, but with an adequate result. Six months later, the same patient goes to another clinic because their prices were £275/1ml.

Harley trained consultation

Compare the above to the approach taken by a Harley Academy graduate who has been trained in professional consultation skills.

  • Practitioner, “Welcome to our clinic!”
  • Patient, “Hi there, I’m looking for some lip fillers.”
  • Practitioner, “Great. How long have you been thinking about this treatment?”
  • Patient, “A few months. Some of my friends have had fillers and I liked the result.”
  • Practitioner, “For the right patient, lip fillers can look really great. I’d like to know a little more about why you’re looking for treatment … have you had any treatments in the past? Do you have any ongoing medical conditions? Do you take any tablets? Do you have any allergies? What’s your current skincare routine? Do you smoke?”

Here, the detailed medical consultation continues. The practitioner looks at the results and continues the conversation:

  • Practitioner, “Excellent, that’s really useful information, now let’s move onto an examination of your face. I’ve taken the opportunity to assess you while we’ve been speaking. To begin with, you have a wonderful heart-shaped face and your skin has a good texture but there is some uneven pigmentation which we could help with. Looking at your upper face, you have some dynamic lines in your glabellar region – that’s the skin above the nose and between the eyebrows – do they bother you at all?”
  • Patient, “Yes, but you can’t do anything about that, can you?”
  • Practitioner, “Yes, let’s talk about botulinum toxin shortly. Now, looking at your mid-face, you have nice structure to your cheek bones. But if we added some volume here, it would really enhance the V-shape of your face, which is associated with classical ideas of femininity and youth.”
  • Patient, “Okay, I can see that. So what are you suggesting? Not lip fillers after all?”
  • Practitioner, “When recommending aesthetics treatments, we always consider more conservative treatments first and then work towards medical treatments. Initially, we could start with an excellent medical skincare regimen to even out the pigmentation of your skin and improve skin quality. On top of this, I would recommend 20 units of botulinum toxin to soften your frown lines, and 2 ml of dermal filler to accentuate your cheek bones. But looking at your lips, you already have good volume there and I would be concerned that any extra volume could start to look unnatural.”
  • Patient, “Okay, now you’ve taken me through it, that makes perfect sense… Actually I think that sounds much better. Shall we go for it?”
  • Practitioner, “The skincare I’d recommend will cost £200. Each ml of dermal filler costs £300, and 20 units of botulinum toxin costs £175. I suggest beginning with the skincare regime, which will start to show progress while you consider the toxin and fillers. Once you’re ready, we can book you in for further treatments.”
  • Patient, “Sounds great. Let’s go for the skincare now, and then I’ll see you in two weeks for the other treatments.”
  • Practitioner, “Perfect. Here are some leaflets about everything we’ve discussed along with explanation of some of the medical risks involved, plus information on some other treatments like chemical peels and mesotherapy which you might find beneficial in the future. I look forward to seeing you again soon.”

So, what’s the difference?

The first practitioner has reduced aesthetics to a financial transaction, and the patient ended up with a treatment that didn’t suit her face. She didn’t return, and wouldn’t be recommending that clinic to her friends and family.

The second practitioner runs a busy clinic with patients who are committed to long-term treatment programmes and what is best for the patient. These patients are treated holistically, get beautiful results and regard the practitioner as an expert that they can confidently recommend.

Which would you rather be?

Harley Academy sees the value in mastering every stage of this process – from patient information gathering, to facial assessment, to treatment recommendation, right through to closing the deal. Extensive 1:1 mentoring gives you the skills to master the consultation process in a way that will delight your patients and build lucrative and lasting relationships.

Learning to become an expert in aesthetics is more than simply qualifications, although those are vital too. That’s why Harley Academy delivers both expert qualifications and well-honed skills in building client relationships. Join Harley Academy today to launch yourself into becoming a consummate professional in the field of aesthetics.

Read more about the pre-consultation checklist and how to keep your patients.

About the author

Dr Tristan Mehta is the Founder of Harley Academy. He undertook postgraduate studies in Aesthetic Medicine at the University of Manchester before founding Harley Academy with the ambition of improving the standard of aesthetics training in the UK. He is passionate about creating successful patient-doctor experiences, both personally and throughout the Harley Academy courses.

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