Here we have part 6 of the interview between Adrian Richards and Ron Myers where they discuss hard selling in the cosmetic surgical and non-surgical industry.
Adrian: So Ron I’m aware and I’ve talked to some surgeons who work with some of the larger companies specialising in breast augmentation in the UK and they advertise by a low price for breast augmentation but the surgeon is actually told they need to upsell to a more expensive implant which adds £1000 to the price of the operation. I believe this is quite a classic selling technique used in lots of industries from time shares to other areas which is: get people in at a low price but then sell them the extras.
Ron: And you know these are the other areas that we’ll look back on in the call for evidence as well and looking at both the consultation process where I think a lot of people from this report anyway recommended a 2 stage written consent process for cosmetic surgery and some people also wanted that reflected in the non-surgical side of things as well.
Adrian: Could you enlarge a little about the 2 stage process Ron?
They didn’t really go into any detail, I mean I think the key thing obviously with this is to look at giving people a cooling off period between you coming in and agreeing to have a procedure and then actually going ahead with the procedure.
Adrian: I’ve heard a lot of stories from patients who have come to see me and have visited other clinics and they vary quite a lot. Some of the patients have actually gone in, not seen the surgeon, seen a sales representative and been encouraged to leave a deposit at that stage. Pay a deposit without even seeing the surgeon.
Ron: No and the other area that was discussed as well was maybe banning free consults and saying that free consultations shouldn’t be a part of being able to buy cosmetic surgery procedures and you know clearly the more commercial companies will look at reducing barriers for individuals who are looking at buying this both in terms of accessibility to more information and advice and also to things like financing options and helping people to afford the procedure and clearly if you’ve got this and you’ve got non-refundable deposits being an area that shouldn’t be involved in our market for cosmetic surgery. Financing could be a difficult problem there and so that’s another area of debate and I know some plastic surgeons do not like financing in anyway shape or form and there are other people that take a middle ground and say well there are some people that cannot afford this at this point in time but need it for whatever reason and we would like to be able to facilitate that through a financing process.
Adrian: So any offer you know: ‘book today’, ‘money off’ any of those sort of time limited offers are something that I believe the report does discourage?
Ron: Well this is it. And I think there is a clear debate between looking at the commercialities of running a business and looking at what consumers want and then what is best for the consumer in terms of looking at how grown up are they in order to be able to make this decision and whether or not the offers or discounts is a major consideration in terms of them having a procedure and is the main reason not whether they take into account the quality, which of course is really hard to tell about the individual provider and the individual practitioner who’s actually performing the procedure. All very difficult things to pin down.
Adrian: So watch this space I think guys.
Previous episodes in the series include:
Part 1 – The Keogh Report
Part 2 – Dermal Filler Regulations
Part 3 – PIP Implants
Part 4 – Counterfeit Toxins part 1
Part 5 – Counterfeit Toxins part 2
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