The Technology Headlines

Stop Discounting, Start Cross-promoting

Stop Discounting, Start Cross-promoting

Kelly Smit
Projected Growth Consulting

Even established, successful practices can have a hard time introducing and selling new products in the information-saturated world of today. People are being bombarded with services, discounts, offers, and promotions for things they may or may not need everywhere they look. So how do you get through to them? What will make them choose your product or service over the rest? Try giving it away for free.

A well-tried model to spark potential clients’ interest is to offer a large discount. And likely this will bring in a few people, perhaps even a lot, but rarely will it have any real impact on your sales in the long run, and most practices cannot afford to consistently offer steep discounts. What you have instead is a lot of traffic for little to no profit and less time on your calendar for the profit-making appointments. Think of the 70% off Groupon promotion – sure, the clients will come in, but probably only once. They will likely go and find another Groupon deal for their next visit as well, which means you are left with time and effort spent and no money to show for it. Needless to say, this is not a sustainable model.

You need to turn your focus towards a different model instead: the cross-promotion. A cross-promotion, or gift with purchase, allows you to give people what they want for free, but as a reward for trying something new that you want to sell them.This strategy has proven profitable with women especially, who make up about 85% of the aesthetic industry patient base. The model is a great way to build ancillary services, promote new services, and get patients to try products they may have not otherwise tried.

The way to utilize this strategy successfully is to integrate it as part of your Annual Marketing Plan, your AMP. It should be combined with the two other essential AMP strategies – Social Media Integration and Quarterly Sales Events – and you should aim to do a cross-promotion special every month or at least quarterly to keep your dedicated clients coming back on a consistent basis.

To get the response you are looking for, your value-added offer needs to be enough value for at least a 20% savings, which is enough to make it worthwhile for your patients while not economically devastating for you. When deciding which products to give away, consider making it a service, which staff other than the doctor can do, such as Toxins and fillers. You can also choose what is most profitable; a doctor, staff or patient favorite; or simply something you want to sell more of. However, make sure to take into consideration the seasonal appeal of the product, and that it is a product that’s already popular with your patients. 

Another overlooked but significant effect of the cross-promotion strategy is that it will give you two talking points per month throughout the year, whereas a regular discount offer will give you one. It creates twice as many opportunities to inform and educate your current and future patients. That is twice as many ways to start a conversation and generate leads, twice as many blog subjects, twice as many potential ways to grab people’s attention.

So take a look at your AMP. Which services do you really want to grow? What areas are most profitable for you? Use the answers to these questions to determine which procedures, treatments, and products will be the best for your company’s next twelve cross-promotions.