There’s nothing like a tempting 2-for-1 offer to rake in the clients, or a 50% off sign to tickle your customers’ fancy. But, hold up. Whilst discounts, offers and promotions might seem like a no-brainer if you want to attract more clients, you need to consider the (maybe not-so-obvious) negative impact this might have. Not only will you cut your profit by dropping prices, but your clients might end up opting for an aesthetic treatment they wouldn’t have normally gone for. And that has huge ethical issues. Let’s dig a little deeper.
What’s wrong with discounts, offers and promotions on aesthetic treatments?
No-one knows better than you that treatments can be very pricey. And everyone loves a good deal. Now, this might be okay when it comes to a buy-one-get-one-free offer on shampoo, but non-surgical treatments are a whole other story...
Perhaps a client has never considered lip fillers before - in fact, perhaps they’ve always been quite happy with the shape and size of their pout. But, a lighter price tag might convince them to take the plumping plunge and just try it out. Why not, hey? Well, although non-surgical aesthetic treatments really should lose their taboo status, they’re still something that a client needs to think about clearly. And a discounted price or offer could lead to a snap decision, especially if the price cut is only around for a limited time - and this pressure can be dangerous. Clients could end up opting for treatments they wouldn’t have, had the discount, offer or promotion not been there, and they could be left feeling disappointed afterwards - and that’s not great for either them or you.
Discounted treatments and the regulatory bodies
Now, aside from encouraging clients to try out a treatment they don’t really want, price cuts and offers are also frowned upon by many self-regulating bodies in the aesthetics industry. The likes of Save Face have voiced their concern about the danger of offers and promotions, and the JCCP and CPSA’s Code of Practice also states that practitioners should not use limited time offers or promotional tactics that could lead to clients making rash decisions about treatments. And that’s not to mention the government reports which also hold this view. So, if you’re a member of a body such as these, it’s important that you’re working to the guidelines they set out, which all focus on putting the client first and delivering results they’re happy with.
The importance of a thorough consultation
Since it’s really important that a client knows exactly what they’re getting themselves in for when going for a treatment, ditch the discounts and make sure you’re offering your clients a thorough consultation beforehand. Not only is this essential for determining if the customer is suitable for the treatment on your end, but it will also allow the client to decide if the treatment is right for them. And it’s not just about the consultation itself - it’s also important that a client has a sufficient cooling-off period afterwards, to really weigh up if they want to go ahead with the treatment. When a client has the time and support to fully consider their decision, it means there’s a much lower chance that they will feel regretful and dissatisfied with the results - and that’s what really matters.
And it’s not just about client safety…
Making sure your clients are happy with the treatment they’re getting is the most important thing, but you also need to consider the financial impact of discounts and offers. Some discount sites will take a pretty large commission for treatments you advertise through them, so not only are you already losing money by offering a discount in the first place, but your profit is cut again by having to pay the discount site.
So, do discounts, offers and promotions do more harm than good? The answer is, yes. It’s all about helping your clients make an informed decision about choosing aesthetic treatments, without the pressure of sale signs and price reductions.