The Fear of Up Selling a Patient

up sellingI sometimes run specials through a daily deal site or through my own website. While my practice is busy with current non-surgical and surgical patients (we have our own in-office operating room), I still find running specials is very helpful for meeting new patients (in the case of the daily deal sites) or re-engaging former patients (in the case of specials on my own website).


This process of having specials is generally a good experience, especially with my former patients because we already have an excellent rapport (otherwise they wouldn’t return!). The former patients feel that I’m rewarding them in a way for being good, loyal patients. But when patients that purchase through a deal site – that don’t know me – come in for their treatment, they typically only want the treatment that the ‘special’ covers. For example, if the voucher from the daily deal site only covers 20 units of Botox, that’s all they want, even if the amount of wrinkles they have “begs” for more than 20 units.


Herein lies the problem. When I see a patient that has very deep creases under their eyes that require more than one syringe of a filler or so many forehead wrinkles that they require more than 20 units of Botox, I feel the need to tell them. Mostly I want them to understand that if they don’t get the result they wanted, it’s not because I’m lacking in ability (I’ve done thousands of injections over the last 7+ years). But if I suggest they need more than what the special offers, they automatically assume I’m up selling them.


I truly am recommending more filler or Botox out of genuine interest of giving them the result they want. But if they feel I’m up selling them, then they may not trust me. On the other hand, if I just give them what they want and don’t explain what optimal treatment is, they’ll be unhappy with the result and potentially write a bad review, or not refer a friend. It’s a catch-22 but I choose to always give the patient my honest opinion. Even if they don’t take my advice, at least it’s been documented that they understand the risk of suboptimal treatment if that’s the path they choose.


My advice – trust your doctor!




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