Do start, do continue, don’t stop using this tool

Written by Chris Stock

Chris Stock helps Plastic Surgery Practices and Med Spas grow their revenue by converting leads into patients. With over 30 years of sales experience, including 15 years as a world-class sales expert and speaker, Chris has the expertise, know-how and strategic vision to deliver results every time.

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COVID-19 has severely affected our industry, especially the medical spa and plastic surgery spheres, causing us to have to rethink how we conduct our business, our offices, our medical procedures and ourselves. Whether we are in a position to reopen or not, I think now is the time to share with you a great tool I’ve been using for a number of years that I think could be very useful right now.

The tool is known by a lot of names but primarily is called Start, Stop, Continue. It’s a simple exercise I recommend team leaders such as doctors and office managers do when thinking about past experiences, actions and incidents, and where you want to go from here. You ask three questions, in any order you need to: “What should we start doing?” “What should we stop doing?” and “What should we continue doing?” 

The concept is nothing new. In fact, do a Google search and you’ll find more than 3 million entries. The website GroupMap calls it a “retrospective” and provides a roadmap.

“Start” refers to things you will begin, or need to begin, doing. These include maybe improving a process, such as med spa sales training or plastic surgery sales training, reducing waste, and it can positively affect the way everyone operates.

“Stop” causes you to look back and examine what didn’t work, what’s inefficient, wastes time and negatively affects how things work.

“Continue” calls for examining what worked and should remain, whether they’re part of common practice or not.

Med spa and plastic surgery team leaders should encourage this because everyone has great ideas to contribute. And in these uncertain times, it is critical to make sure everyone voices those great ideas. Start, Stop, Continue helps all team members buy into those ideas and become fully part of the process.

Here’s an example: Where do your patients wait before the doctor sees them? Right now, that might be in their cars. This is working right now, so you would continue that. Eventually, patients will again use the waiting room, and that would be when you’d stop that. 

You might wonder what’s the point? Won’t it eventually become obvious that we should stop having the patient wait in the car? Yes, but by using Start, Stop, Continue, you formalize the process for your team, which results in you being in control and staying ahead of the curve rather than just waiting for something to become obvious.

But for this to work, you must use Start, Stop, Continue at regular intervals. You will find that by doing so, as you share ideas, you might find other processes that need to change. And you’ll discover the need perhaps a week to 10 days before you have to make that change. That allows you to start putting the processes in place, to get the medical spa or plastic surgery team ready for that change, and to communicate with your patients that you’re going to make that change.

Try it at your next team meeting. Pick a topic, ask the three questions, allow for conversation and ideas to flow, and come up with a plan. You’ll see you’re ahead of the curve, not behind it. You will have better communicated with your team in a more timely way, which you then can pass on to your staff and patients.

COVID-19 has caused many in our industry great challenges. Start, Stop, Continue is a great tool for doctors and office managers in the medical spa and plastic surgery spheres to proactively think differently and combat what’s happening now.

Chris Stock is CEO of SalesMD and a noted sales expert with more than 30 years of experience. SalesMD has mastered the art of converting leads into patients, and they can do it for you, too. Contact SalesMD to learn how.

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