Want returning clients? Make sure they buy something on their way out. Research shows that the amount of retail products sold to a client during a visit impacts the likeliness of that client returning.
If done correctly, retail sales can be a good way to add to your practice’s income and increase profit. We suggest picking one of two approaches, both of which have proven successful under different circumstances.
The Top Sellers Approach
Typically 80% of your volume is coming from sales of 20% of your top selling products. It may be time to stop carrying the lower volume retail products. You can special order discontinued products for your clients if needed. Make sure you do not have products that directly compete unless you can clearly explain to staff and patients which product is best for different patient types. Product lines are typically created and built around a few superstar products. When selecting your lines, you can cherry pick the best or top sellers from different product lines and do not need to carry every product offered for each skin care line.
We recommend carrying a full array of a few lines for your patients who prefer to use one brand. To create a thriving retail inventory, offer various price points of high, medium and low-priced options. Next, carry products that range from highly active to moderate and all natural or organic options. This approach ensures a variety and full array of retail options for your clientele.
If you are only just starting to offer retail, try placing small opening orders and test the products yourself or create a small patient focus group. Patients love to be invited to participate in these types of programs. Negotiate with your vendor for free travel kits and a few full-size products so you can sell the test kit at a perceived 50% of retail or cost pricing.
When you want to bring on a new line, you can invite ten clients for a discounted offer to try the product line, as well as free laser or peels in exchange for photos documenting the efficacy of the line. Not only does this reduce costs, it provides social proof to increase sales of your new line and other retail as well.
The Less Is More Approach
The opposite approach is to put all your eggs in one basket. You can drive your rebates up and your costs down by implementing this strategy. By partnering with just a few vendors, you will get more samples, on-site training and event support.
They may also offer points or rewards for your volume purchases, which can lower your costs. To leverage your vendor benefits, set up quarterly lunch-and-learns for staff, monthly retail sales contests run by the vendor (who will also supply the prize), product collateral, signage, flip books, and selling-scripts for your team.
Vendors can also provide quizzes and certifications during these on-site trainings. Many times, they will help plan an event for the line and come on-site and sell it for you to your patients. For these types of events they can provide catering, treatment visualizers, e-mail content, product bundles, and prizes.
Vendor selection in combination with efficient expense management relate directly to your AMP and its effect on increasing your net profit. Share plans for upcoming promotions and events with your vendors before each quarter, and let them support your campaigns with products, staff training and client appreciation gifts-with-purchase programs.
To explore this topic in more detail and learn how to use our planning tools, purchase my newest book Top 10 Profit Killers for Plastic Surgeons and Medical Spas.