Seven ways to stand out |

4 mins

Seven ways to stand out

Measuring yourself against your competitors and trying to emulate successful elements of their business is a solid strategy for business owners wanting to up their game. Clinic Connect managing director Gavin Griffiths explains what differentiates truly great clinics from the rest of the field.

Let’s assume that you are already operating to the highest treatment standards, with the requisite training, hygiene, insurance, health and safety. However, enhanced client management can give you the edge and put you in the top tier.

Here are seven processes that all winners implement:


Responding quickly to prospective clients is important for two reasons.

Firstly, you’re showing you’re a pro and you’re setting the scene for the rest of the client experience. Replying to enquiries promptly proves you’re keen to do business with that person, and consumers like eager companies. In 2022, consumers expect immediacy. One of the reasons Amazon is one of the most successful companies in the world is that they can deliver a new ironing board to you by tomorrow morning or even later the same day. If you’re following up on enquiries a week later, you may as well pack up now.

The second reason you’re responding quickly is that, in aesthetics and plastic surgery, it’s highly likely that a potential customer is going to talk to a few clinics before selecting one. In this highly competitive market, the first to respond is almost always the clinic they choose.


It’s not OK to keep your enquiries on the back of an old envelope – you’re breaking GDPR rules and ignoring a huge source of future revenue potential. Data is the new oil, a phrase coined by Clive Hunby, legendary pioneer of the Tesco club card. It still holds 16 years on that most people do not fully comprehend the value of their client data. A sound CRM system will pay itself back a hundred times over. You’ll make your clinic look more professional and avoid breaching privacy laws, but most importantly, you’ll build a client database you can contact monthly or quarterly which will be a source of income for years to come.


When we start in business, we tend to only be interested in clients who want to book now, because we need the revenue. New companies are under pressure to pay the bills and get profitable. This rational, albeit short-term, outlook can persist and become part of your culture. I’ve worked with countless new clinics that consign wavering enquirers to the bin. Keep all your leads on your lovely CRM or database and hit them up occasionally. Cross-sell and upsell. Everyone evolves; they might have enquired about a specific procedure back in July, but they may want a different one now it’s January.


I recently had a new client explain how she’d get enquiries and spend half an hour on the phone with them, building what she thought was a great connection, only for them to go cold. What she was doing was consulting by phone, but the consultation MUST take place in your clinic. A client in a chair sitting opposite you is where the magic happens; it’s where the rubber hits the road. Everything up to that point is flim-flam. The deal is clinched when a client meets you and decides that you’re the person to undertake what could be a costly and private procedure.


You may notice that I’ve called our customers ‘clients’, not ‘patients’, throughout this article. This is because we are in a market, and the people who use our services can go elsewhere (we’re not working in the NHS). It’s always worth reminding ourselves that we are not the only ones that do what we do. There are always other suppliers and other options, so remind yourself that, in all your consumer-facing endeavours (website, reception, replying to enquiries, treatments, aftercare, etc), you need to be continuously operating at an optimal service level because, if it’s not great, they’ll go elsewhere


Put that tape measure down. When I say measure yourself, I mean critique your consultations and business. Break down your commercial process.

• How many enquiries do you get?

• How many convert to consultations?

• Of those, how many consultations do you convert to clients?

• Is it less than 50%? If you’re struggling to convert, then ask yourself why. Get a friend or someone a step removed from your business to go through your booking process as if they are a client. How easy is it to book an appointment?

Learning to understand your client acquisition metrics will transform how you think about your practice. It’ll enable you to work towards creating a dependable flow of new customers and calculate how much to spend to maintain it.


You follow up to ensure your client is happy because we all know that a delighted client will tell their friends and word of mouth is the best marketing there is. But you should bake the follow-up into your process. It’s also an opportunity to ask them for a review. But I hate asking for reviews, you say. I often hear this and remind my clients that TripAdvisor started 22 years ago. We’re all reviewing everything these days, and we are part of consumer culture.

Often practitioners think that the treatments alone will put them in front, but winners understand that putting the client at the heart of the practice will reward them repeatedly. That’s how you win.

This article appears in January 2023

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This article appears in...
January 2023
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