Dennis on the Future of Aesthetics

You’re listening to the Aesthetics Uncensored Podcast and in this episode we’re joined by Dennis from InMode. Will be talking about how he helps clients to cope up and how to maximize your team during these times. He also discussed how InMode has jumped on to the philosophy of being able to provide a range of effective multifunctional treatment indications on single devices and using artificial intelligence to control and manage the process so that there’s less operator intervention.
Dennis is the Managing Director at InMode Australia and New Zealand.
He successfully set up and managed both local and International Business Operations for multinational organizations.
20 plus years in the Aesthetic Industry and experience in managing the process of change, process, and people.

Transcipt

Trish

Hello listeners and welcome to the next episode of Aesthetics Uncensored. And today myself and Nicole will be joining you and Dennis from InMode. Now InMode, they’ve been around for a while, but they’ve just recently started their head office in Australia. So they’ve been going gangbusters. And we’ve also recently had a chat with Dennis. But today, we’re going to have a bit more of a chat on what’s going on in the industry today. So welcome, Dennis. 

Dennis

Thank you. Well, lovely to be here. 

Trish

Thank you for joining us today during these lockdown times because we’re all on lockdown. Or sorry, those two are but I’m not, lucky me. But I’m okay. I’ll let you get started, Nicole.

Nicole 

We are very jealous. I’m jealous of Trish having 1000 children at home, I would love to get into the InMode head office for a treatment. 

Dennis

You’d like to get back into the office? 

Nicole

Yes, yes, Dennis, do you ever have a treatment in the office?

Dennis

Not too often. But every now and again, when they want to test out a new piece of equipment I get dragged in. Finally the hands free technologies. So the facial tightening, the Evoke- for the submental and lower jaw line. And then the Evolve- the three in one fat reduction skin tightening and muscle toning. 

Nicole

Dennis, we’d love a photo of you with the Evoke on.

Dennis

I think I actually have one.

Nicole

Oh, that’s fantastic. Please share it with us.

Trish

It’s a thing where I liked the razors. So you know, with the razor company like the razor so much of what the company? Yes. Yeah, it’s important to try your own technologies out.

Nicole

Oh, absolutely. I agree. I think you’re in a very lucky, very fortunate position. Dennis, I was going to ask you as a man who has been in this industry and in business for many years now and clinics turning to you for advice during these challenging times, and if they are, what advice are you giving them?

Dennis

Yeah, we engage with our clients regularly, particularly in these difficult times. Because a number of them, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, have been in lockdown. So Victoria is just coming out of it. But there’s definitely concern amongst business owners in terms of trends, what they can do to keep the business flowing, ideas that we have. So we are constantly in discussion with a lot of the doctors and the practices as well as the non medical practices.

Nicole

That’s fantastic. I think it is very stressful. And it’s good to have somebody who is rational, as an outsider outside the business that can give really level headed advice to people, especially those that are struggling.

Trish

And I can like this is kind of the perfect opportunity where people in clinics can kind of upskill because I know that it must be really difficult, Dennis, for the people, for your business managers that are on the road pretty much all the time, teaching and showing people on the training and all that must be so difficult for them to sort of sit at home behind a computer like trying to do their work behind a computer, but you’re actually doing things within your team as well. So everyone kind of like you literally kind of in the office but not in the office.

Dennis

Yeah, look,  I think business as well learned from last year when we went through the hard slog of the initial lockdown in 2020. That was the new favourite one. Nobody expected that the whole country was going to be in lockdown. Business was going to come to a standstill. 

They hadn’t experienced that before. There was a lot of uncertainty, a lot of concern. Was this industry going to die, were the businesses going to close cash flow, all those kinds of things. And engagement was very important. So we learned from last year. And so we look at the lockdown now. So when I’m done talking to clients in clinics, and we were discussing where this is heading. We’re fortunate in that hindsight is the perfect science. 

So we look at what happened last year and we see what happened when clinics went into lockdown. What happened when we came out of lockdown? So I always, and I don’t say this flippantly, but I always say to them, the first thing is don’t panic. Look at what happened last year. Last year, we went into lockdown. But when we came out of lockdown, we saw the surge in consumer demand, our clinics were telling us, they were booked up for three, four months in advance, once we came out of that, and we weren’t sure if that’s what was going to happen. 

But human nature is we want to look good, we want to feel good. So when people are locked, locked down for an extended period of time, they start itching for that breaking free and being able to get back to some form of normality. And so we saw the surging in consumer demand. So we believe that’s what’s going to happen as we come out of this. And, again, we look at places like the UK now we look at places like the US. And we look at the trends as to what’s happening there. And that’s exactly what’s happening. You know, we look at our offices in the US demand for devices is at record highs in my head, we just had a prophet upgrade to the market two weeks ago, which saw our share price go from basically $92 to $110, purely based on the surge of demand for for technologies, and that’s from clinics looking to invest in new technologies, but they’re looking to invest, because they seen that demand flow through from their customers and their customers wanting newer treatments or getting back to their normal routine. 

So researchers, when you look at research documents, they believe that once the pandemic is no longer a threat, this inherent demand for aesthetic procedures, is going to help boost the industry’s growth back to where it was always close to pre COVID rates. So we’re seeing consumers eager to resume their personal care regimes wanting to get back to undergoing their recommended procedures. And we believe that’s what we’re going to see here. We saw it last year. And so we believe that’s what we’re going to see here. So that’s the first thing I discussed with business owners is just take it easy, don’t panic, things are looking as if they’ll go back to what they were prior to lockdown. Now, it’s easy to say don’t panic, if they are financially stable. So that we always keep that in mind. Finances are obviously a critical aspect of any business. So when I’m looking at discussing with clients as to what they can do, or what they are planning on doing, and we just brainstorm, one of the critical factors is analysing cash flow. Now cash is king, you can be profitable. And that’s great. But if you have no cash, you have a problem in your business. So analysing and managing cash flow is critical. And together with that, it’s managing costs. So it’s income and outgoings that’s really what you’re looking at. So how do you maintain cash flow? And how do you minimise your cost level that you’re still operating as a business. Key is also to keep, and we touched on that a little bit earlier, is to keep focused on the staff, the staff on the front line to the business. And they are the key to business success. It’s often said, if you look after your staff, they’ll look after your clients. And the clients are the ones that will look after the business. So in our business, we are very focused on staff, staff retention. And staff need to feel that in these difficult times because I feel as insecure as business owners are feeling. Is the business going to continue? Am I going to get paid? So they have all of those emotions going on. So it’s imperative on the business owner to keep the staff engaged and up to date on what’s happening and feel confident that they are secure in their position. And through this lockdown period. What we do is which a number of our clients are doing is we continue to upskill or educate our team. So there’s numerous digital points of access Online webinars, seminars, different courses that people can do. So it’s keeping them skilled and skilled. So for instance, our sales team, we are constantly involved in ongoing training. So we will be looking at our current portfolio of technologies, making sure they are and understand it. But predominantly, we focus on how these technologies can significantly impact our clients, how we can help them grow their business, we can help them maintain their existing customer base, and how we can help them grow and attract new businesses. So it’s always for us. And for clients, I believe, it is imperative to keep a strong focus on your staff to look after them. And then following the staff, customers, they are the bloodline of the business. So depending on what systems or clinical practice we’ll have, try keep contact as much as you can with your customer base that can be done either via social media sites on Instagram, Facebook, any of those social media platforms where they posting regularly, getting their clients to like and follow them so that they can see what’s going on. And it’s a way of keeping them engaged so that they don’t lose contact. But it’s also good to send newsletters, EDM’s, anything that is customer focused. And that’s what we do, we engage with our customers, constantly through social media, through surveys, through educational webinars or seminars, inviting them to join us, we engage with a lot of key opinion leaders, both locally and internationally, we’re specialists on certain treatment indications, allowing them to interact with the speakers. So again, purely focused on upskilling, and keeping them engaged with us as a business.

Trish

If we go back to your first point, which was last time, this happened, the fact that things came back stronger, and more. So if we can just talk about that and focus, I will agree as well. But I reckon that is so true. Because it me personally, I thought I came out of COVID last time, knowing what I wanted to have done, you know, to myself, like, okay, these are my aesthetic goals, this is what I want to achieve. And this is what I need to have gone to achieve. So I kind of kind of, although I couldn’t do anything during lockdown, by the time I came out of lockdown, I knew that in my mind that I wanted to have this, this, this and this done. So like it’s so important to maintain that conversation. And, I guess the first thing we panic with, oh my god, what are we doing? Actually my daughter said to me that keeping the dream alive was a monster that kept the dream alive. While this was happening, especially when it first hit, we didn’t know what to expect. And all of the other practitioners that I’ve spoken to in the meantime, like everybody are up into the HubSpot has been extremely busy, like to the point where they it’s almost virtually unmanageable, with the demand from the consumers coming in to want things and also the device, people selling devices, it’s been great. Because obviously, people want to make clinics want to make sure they keep up to date with all the latest technologies. And the consumers want the treatments. And it’s kind of like it does turn out to be a win win. But what you’re mentioning about the cash flow is really important. I think that’s where a lot of businesses are probably going to struggle, but isn’t it good to get like, just recently the government just released a grant for people that have had a decrease which is really helpful when we’re so lucky that we are getting these kind of like, they’re throwing us over hope if that makes any sense. No, don’t throw your rope so you can drag yourself up. So I think it’s about like you said, staying positive, staying in contact with your clients, your audience. It’s just, you know, you can’t hide that. That’s what a lot of us got doing because we’re at home and you want to hide, but I think it’s important to be the complete opposite. Isn’t that true? Nicole? We’ve been trying to sort of do that too. Hey.

Nicole

Oh, absolutely. Yes, I totally agree. Um, Dennis, I wanted to ask you if there was a hero product that would significantly boost a clinic coming out of lock down, you know, being that it’s not too intensive treatment time and has a high ROI and also great results. What would that be?

Dennis

Difficult question. The reason I say it’s a difficult question is because it depends on all the answers. This depends on the clinic in terms of size, capacity, and a demographic. So if you have a smaller clinic that is looking, that has limited space to treat customers, but is looking to increase the, what do we call it the share of wallet, for instance, of a client, so they’re wanting to increase the customer value to the business, they will be looking for something that can offer them multiple treatment indications in a on a single platform. So it’s saving space, but it offers them the opportunity to offer a range of treatments, then they’d be looking at a platform, something like the Optimas, or the InMode Pro, which allows you to do multiple treatment indications. The big drivers that we are seeing are facial contouring, skin tightening. And that’s that’s dominating to a large degree as we look at the sales of toxins and fillers. And people are able to treat the top two thirds of the face, but they really struggle with the lower third of the face, down onto the neck decolletage. So for facial tightening, contouring, that is a big driver. And so clients who are already offering some form of filler or toxin, facial tightening, and contouring is a big driver. So that can generate a significant amount of money. And there’s different ways of doing that. Our go-to technology would be the RF fractional microneedling product, Morpheus8, because it’s not only facial, skin tightening, contouring, but it can do larger areas on the body as well. It can get to depths that very few if any other technologies can get to so you’re not doing just calling it or heating the collagen to cause contraction. But you’re able to get down to the fibroseptal network to the layer where the fat is. And that will give you 40 times or 40% more contraction than just collagen contraction. So the clinical outcomes for the clients are exceptionally good, minimal to no downtime, and long lasting results. So you’d need a couple of treatments, three to four treatments and you see fantastic results. For clinics that are larger, offering a range of treatments that have multiple rooms and are looking to add new treatment indications into the clinic, then they’d be looking at stand-alone devices. So again, body contouring is a big driver. So things like fat destruction, the ability to tighten the skin after you’ve destroyed the fat. And then a growing interest is muscle toning, strengthening, or tightening. So people have often thought Oh, I’ll get it. I’ll get this muscle toning device as a stand-alone. It will be great for my business. The problem is, if you ever look, works very well, if you have a very lean person coming into every treatment so that you can see the definition of the abs. But the majority of clients come in with a layer of comfort over their stomach. And so no matter how much toning you’re doing, you’re going to see nothing. So you need to have a system that will be able to reduce the circumference in a very effective manner that will tighten up the loose skin and then you can look at the definition of muscle strengthening and toning. So it’s combination treatments, if you can do it on a single platform in an environment where you’re looking for multiple revenue streams of a single device, then you can do it on a single platform. If you have multiple rooms, you can treat individual indications with a stand-alone system. Then the specific treatment indications but its facial tightening and contouring and body contouring change To be the big drivers. If that answers your question.

Nicole

Yes, absolutely does. And I can’t believe how far the body contouring devices have come just in the last five years.

Dennis

Yeah, there’s been a big focus globally on that, because that initially years ago, laser hair removal was the big thing. Everybody wanted laser hair removal, because it was new. And lasers were relatively new to the industry. And then it came from laser hair removal, it became vascular lesions, treatment of vascular conditions. But all of this was focused around the face and, and hair removal, obviously, on the body. But people started to move to more healthy lifestyles. So healthy eating, we’ve seen a big upturn in our uptake in non animal products, plant based eating healthy lifestyles, so people have become significantly more health conscious. And with that comes again consciousness about how they look, not just their face, but overall, and how they feel overall. So a lot more exercise being done, a lot more outdoor activity, a lot more healthy eating. And you can see that in the supply of restaurants, the fast food restaurants, a swing towards healthier options for clients. So this whole string towards a healthier lifestyle is driving the wanting to look and feel good all over inward and outward. And zoom has definitely in the last year and a half contributed a lot to the fact that people are looking at themselves all day when they’re on camera. And they are identifying all the so called imperfections, and so they can’t wait to get out and have them treated. So that self awareness has definitely increased in the last two years. And you’re seeing that in the trends globally in terms of treatment that are being asked for and that’s what to a large extent is driving this consumer eagerness for effective treatments, not just treatments, but effective treatments that will give them a natural looking outcome, but long term with minimal downtime.

Trish

Do you know I’ve been reading everywhere and that the demand for facial procedures has just gone, gangbusters. And this comfort layer that you’re talking about Dennis, I’ll tell you what, I reckon we’ve got like a few of those because I think you’ve got the two different scores of people, some of these going off the wagon drinking too much at too much and not caring, and then you’ve got the ones that are doing the complete opposite, exercising,  and all that as well. So I think I kind of fall into the first category, but we’re not on lockdown. And that’s probably why. But yeah, it’s so true that the demand has just increased the the body and the face don’t but they’re the ones that are going gangbusters. People want to lose that layer. And I know now that it can be done with these devices which is fantastic. And the face like, we don’t have to look as bad as we might look and if we can look better, why wouldn’t we do it?

Dennis

Yeah, that’s true. But when you look at the business as though it as a whole, devices, which is our game, play out, play a large part in revenue generation for clinics, and then our customers in particular, we’ve invested in technology. So when when we talked and then that those are the questions that were asking, you know, when you review your revenue, your income over the last six to 12 months, what is it that is driven the business, you know, what is generated, the most revenue in the business is coming from one specific treatment indication from one specific device is a spread across a number of modalities. And if there is a tendency to lean towards one certain type of revenue stream, can you improve on increasing that revenue stream? And then not only improve on that revenue stream, through efficiencies or through throughput of clients in the business, but what’s lagging behind? What are the treatment modalities or indications do you have in the clinic or in the practice that’s not generating the revenue? Do you have a lack of demand? Is it a lack of exposure? Is it effective or non-effective clinical outcomes? What is it so we asked them to have a look at that and then one of the things to counter against, it’s not something that we do. But our philosophy is really to be a business partner for the clinic. So even though they invest in our technology, what’s made us really successful is we become almost a third employee or partner to, to the clinics business, and in talking to a number of clinics that have gone through this period successfully, is having some form of retail component to the business. So going inside, in and out of lockdown, can be very stressful if revenue comes to a dead halt. And then you’ve got to wait until you come out of the lockdown, and then you’re going to ramp it up again. So I always say to people, make sure when you’re looking at your business overall, investigate how you can continue to generate revenue while you’re physically not in the clinic. And if you’re in lockdown, now’s the perfect time, you can invest time and effort into learning how you can utilize the tools that are needed to incorporate some form of retail component into the clinic. You know, look at when you look at successful clinics, you see how they’ve embraced, let’s say skincare, selling skincare to clients. And what ends up happening is not only selling to their own clients, but they start to sell basically to clients across the country, people who will never sit within the clinic anyhow. But they are able to generate an ongoing business model where they can generate revenue without being in there in the clinic and focusing on programs that will encourage repeat sales and make it easier for people to buy, buy online, to make sure that the online models work effectively and efficiently. And then analyzing data, if you want to make for anybody thinking about how am I going to come out of the business, you need data, you need to be able to make sound informative decisions on how the business is going? What worked? what hasn’t worked? Analyse customer demand, what treatments are being requested? Or the feedback that we’ve got from clients on those treatments, and then plan for the future? Now how do I grow or retain my existing customer base? We know it takes six to eight, it’s more probably more than that of an investment to acquire a new client than it is to maintain an existing client. So you’re going to be looking to think, how do I plan for the future? How do I retain existing customers who are going to be looking when they come out of lockdown? They can be looking for effective treatment solutions because now if they’re going to be spending their money, they want to spend it wisely, they want to see a clinical outcome. So they’re going to be looking for clinics who can offer a range of treatments. And if the clinic only offers a very niche modality of treatment, as clients would likely go to a second clinic to go and get the other treatments and if that clinic offers what they’re getting from you likely would be that they might stay there. And so it’s all about how do you retain existing customers, while at the same time attracting new customers?

Trish

Retention attraction? Yeah, totally agree.

Nicole

Thinking about the future, I was watching the news the other day, I think maybe last week and I saw the first trials of a flying car. And I said to the kids, oh my goodness, it’s the Jetsons and the kids will like, Yes. What would you say about the future? I mean, we’ve got devices that are pain free that have instant results. You know, like you said 10 years ago, it was all about laser hair removal. Now we’re doing pretty much anything and everything non surgery. What do you see is the future for aesthetic devices? Do we get full body contouring and a block where we could just stand inside and it just makes us skinny? 

Dennis

We’d love to have those systems. Look, I think it’s about, if you look at the trend that happened in my study, investing in this six, seven years ago, it just so happened that when COVID got the big focus it was on social distancing. So how do you keep yourself safe? How do you keep your staff safe? How do you keep your clients safe? How do we operate and that’s become the new norm is this the ability to provide treatments in a COVID safe environment, and I don’t think that’s going to go away, I think we’ve just become now far more aware of the need to interact with clients in a different way. And that trend itself is driving hands free technologies. So the ability to deliver effective clinical outcomes, but with minimal operating intervention, the difference with that as well is the ability to very accurately and consistently control the energy being applied to the client so that you can almost promise consistent outcomes, taking into account that people are different and react differently to input energy. So but it’s the ability to, and I think this is where InMode has jumped on to the philosophy of being able to provide a range of effective multifunctional treatment indications on single devices and using artificial intelligence to control and manage the process, so that there’s less operator intervention. So for a clinic, lower staff costs, or read redeploying the staff to do other things, while the clients are being treated by a system that is artificially controlled with artificial intelligence. So artificial intelligence is definitely a big driver, you’re looking at these cars that are flying, you’re looking at the opening of the Olympics, where you had how many 1000 drones up in the air creating, all being driven by technological advances. And that’s where we see the market going, it’s going through the improvement of technology, the ability to deliver, you’re always looking for ways to deliver energy in a safer manner, with as little downtime to the client as possible. But maintaining efficacy. So that is, there is a big trend towards building modalities and technology that can really make use of artificial intelligence. So we see that that can be the driver, and for companies, particularly aesthetic companies, I think you’re going to see a diversity out of maybe what was called cosmetic aesthetics into more or less discrete aesthetics. So we’re seeing a big trend into aesthetic gynecology. So it’s almost a subsection of gynecology where gynecology was previously focused on women’s health and more serious types of woman’s health conditions. Now we’re seeing a branch opening up, just like we had with cosmetic surgeons, GPs wanting to expand into cosmetic treatments to expand their offering to clients and increase revenue generation. So you’re seeing a steady gynecology come into play where gynecologists, obstetricians, women’s health professionals are now looking at treating the whole person, so not only the medical side, but also the aesthetic side. So it’s a one stop shop, we’re seeing entry into ophthalmics the ability to treat cosmetic ophthalmic conditions, rather than the medical condition. So I do see that the broadening of cosmetic aesthetic devices outside of core medical and aesthetic medical procedures, and the big drive on multifaceted AI driven devices.

Trish

Whatever you said, then I thought, What’s that?

Dennis

So optometry, ophthalmology specialists who work on eye conditions. So for instance, if you look at the treatment of dry eye, for instance, dry eyes have always been a condition. Many people suffer from it and you go to the pharmacy and you get lubricating drops for the eye to treat it. But the underlying cause of dry eye can be almost a rosacea. So a vascular type has an underlying condition, or blockage of the sebaceous gland with the fat layer. So by treating those conditions, so if you can reduce the vascularity around the eye, you take pressure off of the eye, if you can contract or shrink the pad fat layer in the eyelid, it releases the sebaceous gland to allow fluid to flow. And that is not a difficult procedure to do. It’s not a significant medical procedure, it can be done by very safely and effectively applying the right amount of heat to the area for the right period of time to create that effect. And so there’s a lot of development that InMode stands around that in a very effective solution that’s launching very soon, in that market space. So it’s breaking into new areas of treatments that we haven’t been involved in previously.

Trish

So interesting, like, God knows where it’s gonna go. I’ve been in this industry for a short time coming from the public service many years, but it’s been in a while how long that nine years, whenever it’s changed so much. I can only imagine if the same thing happens in the next eight years. It’s going to be phenomenal. Yep. Awesome. 

Nicole

Thank you so much, Dennis. 

Trish

It’s been so interesting. So interesting. I really enjoy talking to you.

Dennis

Tons of pleasure. Thank you. I love not being able to talk about the industry. I love the industry, as you know, it has been in so many years.

Trish

How long have you been here? 

Dennis

21 years so that’s in the device industry. Before that I spent some time in the pharmaceutical industry, the last couple of the pharmaceutical drugs that we see around, but this is just a fantastic industry. And when you look at the growth of the industry, and it’s the people, I just love the people, the industry has so many wonderful people that have had the privilege of meeting and spending time with cross specialties, non specialties in non medical space, colleagues of mine in industry, dealing with people like yourselves, I think that’s what makes it it’s just a wonderful industry to be in. And it’s a growth industry.

Trish

Yeah, I’ve definitely made some of my best friends in this industry. And you have this perception of what the industry is like, and nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just people look out for each other, that’s my thing. That’s one thing I found: people will look out for each other, and people want the best thing for the patient. Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to. And that’s what I love about it.

Dennis

Yeah, and that is the big driver. Within every industry, you get those who don’t do the right thing, unfortunately but in the majority, I think we’re all about delivering the best outcome for patients and for clients. For working with our partners and watching there’s no better feeling than watching a client’s business grow and then phone you and say, Man, it was the best decision we made. You know, this is where we were last year. Our staff are loving it. This is what our clients are saying. And then you think, Yep, that was pretty good. So and then the staff we have at our company, also a fantastic bunch of team, a bunch of people who couldn’t ask for more, they are all driven to succeed and very much a team environment so that makes it worthwhile.

Trish

Yeah, that’s fantastic. Look, I’m gonna say thank you so much for joining us today. Dennis. That’s been so so helpful. 

Dennis

Thank you for the invite. 

Trish 

Nicole, I’ll see you later on. 

Nicole

Yes, thank you Trish. 

Trish

No worries. So if you do want to find out more about InMode, you can always look them up. It’s just, inmode.com.au. You can check them out on Instagram @inmodeaustralia. And if you still only have just sent an email to [email protected] and I’ll put you through so thank you so much for joining us. 

Dennis

Thank you Trish. Thanks, Nicole. 

Trish/Nicole

Awesome. Bye bye

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Well, like all good quickies it's time to dust off and get back to our day jobs! If you liked the podcast please rate us because we need the validation for our fragile hearts. If you have a story to share or have a burning question you would like us to cover please slide into our DM’s on Instagram at @transformingbodiespodcast. Stay positive, keep your boobs and chins high until we chat again xoxo Trish