Talking about money and, especially, taking payment from patients can be awkward for new aesthetics practitioners.
If you’ve come from an NHS background in particular, you’re unlikely to have encountered having to do this before. Even experienced injectors can find themselves forgetting to charge patients before they leave the clinic, once they start practising on their own.
So, if you’re finding it uncomfortable to talk about money or take payments, you’re not alone. Obviously, it is a skill you need to master, however!
The first thing is to remember your value – you are an experienced medical professional, you are worth your price! If a patient does not proceed with treatment due to cost, that is a reflection of their own situation. You are still providing a valuable medical service for which you should be properly compensated. Don’t be tempted to discount!
We spoke to cosmetic nurse prescriber, Shantel Noble about how new injectors can start feeling more comfortable with financial elements. Shantel runs her own aesthetics practice as well as working as a Harley Academy clinical trainer, so she is well placed to share her experience on such matters and has some helpful tips for you all…
How do you get over the awkwardness of talking about money?
Discuss the price early on during the consultation or even in the initial messages with your patient.
Do not surprise them with it at the end. Make it clear on your price list. You can take the payment before or after the treatment, if you act awkward it will feel awkward so be forthcoming and confident and simply say, “For your treatment today, the price will be…. would you prefer to pay via cash or card?” Be confident until it becomes second nature.
We know some injectors forget about taking payment from patients, especially early on in their careers. Have you ever done this?
This has never happened to me to be honest but I do know people this has happened to! As a prompt for taking payment, perhaps leave your card machine by your note taking device – your iPad or laptop, for example. Alternatively take payment at the beginning of the appointment or before treatment, once the plan has been established. This also eradicates any issues of a patient not being able to pay after the treatment is delivered. These are expensive treatments and it’s fine to ask for payment in advance is fine.
Should you completely forget, simply invoice your patient as soon as possible afterwards.
What’s your advice for boosting confidence when it comes to talking about money with patients and getting into a routine so that taking payment becomes instinctive?
Openly discuss the topic of money, pricing and payments throughout and over time – it will feel far less uncomfortable. You could choose to invoice for a deposit or for the cost of products ahead of the appointment and take the rest on the day so it feels less of an amount in clinic. Providing a free sample or aftercare pack is a caring and inexpensive gesture. Patients often appreciate it and it may help you to feel more comfortable about the overall monetary charge.
For further advice on talking about money and taking payment from patients, read our article Business Skills for Injectors article on this very topic.
And remember: patients know they have to pay, they are expecting to pay and will expect you to bring it up. Just as you expect the cashier in the supermarket to tell you how much your bill is, your patient will want you to give them this information too. If it’s not a big deal to them, why should it be to you..?