As a little girl Terri Ross was sure she wanted to be a doctor. In fact, she started working in a hospital at the age of 17 and did two years of pre-med in college. But her time in the hospital changed her mind; she soon realized that she thrived on her interactions with the sales reps that provided the medical devices and supplies. So, she switched directions and pursued a career in medical sales, which put her on the path to where she is today – CEO of Terri Ross Consulting, a leading practice management and sales training firm.
In the Beginning
Terri landed her first sales job with Ethicon Endo, a surgical division of Johnson & Johnson, where she gained hard core, comprehensive sales training and experience. From there she progressed with biotech and medical device companies including Merck Schering Plough. There, she started in asthma/allergy, and was promoted to the oncology division, ultimately overseeing the launch of a drug for brain tumors and malignant melanoma.
In 2002, Terri relocated to Southern California to manage the West Coast territory for EMD Serono, an endocrinology company selling HgH for children born with short stature in a highly competitive space. Within a year, she rose through the ranks and came in at number 2 in sales out of 23, winning the President's Award. Shortly thereafter at age 32, she was promoted to director of sales over 20 states, managing over $20M in revenue.
Her Journey into Aesthetics
Terri recalls joining Medicis (now Galderma) as West Coast regional director. “I never thought I’d get the position. I had zero aesthetics experience and here I was in Beverly Hills, Calif. – the mecca of beauty, and there was a lot of competition for the position.” When she started with Medicis, fillers were just coming out and her region was ranked number 10 out of 10 for the company. Within her first year, Terri’s region went from ranking last to number one in the company.
Based on her proven results, Terri was later recruited by Zeltiq to launch CoolSculpting® in the U.S. and Canada, generating $5M in sales in the first 12 months.
A Transition to Consulting
In 2011, Terri reached a crossroads in her career; Zeltig went public and she was ready to have a baby, leaving her with both professional and personal decisions to make about her future. Based on a number of requests Terri began consulting for some of the highest profile physicians in Los Angeles, including Garth Fisher, MD, Paul Nassif, MD and the doctors at Lasky Aesthetics, helping them scale their practices. From there, she was approached to oversee a medical aesthetic practice in Beverly Hills.
“I had never worked in an office before and really didn’t know what I was doing in that respect. But what I did have was business acumen, formal sales training and experience leading highly successful teams. I was able to translate the skills I learned in the corporate sales sector to understand the workings of a medical aesthetic practice, specifically why patients come and why they leave; uncovering the unique value proposition for the practice; and mapping the processes and systems required to run a successful practice.
I joined the American MedSpa Association (AmSpa) to further my knowledge, expand my network of resources and advance my skills in this new role. Under my management, I scaled the medical spa from $500K to $3.1M in one of the most competitive markets in the country, because
I understood the foundations required to be a successful practice, and more importantly, what it takes to scale to seven or eight figures.” I also now teach sales training and lecture at the AmSpa boot camps around the country.
Through Terri’s discovery, she identified sales skills as the biggest gap in aesthetic practices, and spent most of 2018 writing a sales training curriculum to address this critical issue. Her signature Practice Foundational Elements (PFE™) focuses on five core modules to master the art of sales, increase revenue, convert more patients, understand profitability and conduct a high converting consultation by learning communication tools and developing long-term treatment plans that yield results and long-term retention.
Her Passion for the Industry
“I’m so passionate about this industry. I worked very hard in my career to advance and prove myself in a space that used to be male dominated. I’m equally as passionate about business and sales. I’ve studied personality types, buying patterns, communication skills, the psychology of the aesthetic consumer and have led teams to reach huge sales numbers. I hate seeing many practices just getting by when – with the right training and coaching – they can be exponentially more successful. It is easy to make mistakes and spend money in all the wrong places or on all the wrong things if you are not aware – from payroll to marketing spends, or understanding the Key Performance Indicators to monitor and measure to track results – there are a lot of hidden pitfalls. There is a systematic method I have developed through my extensive research and experience, and I truly want to give back to help the aesthetic community advance. That’s why I recently launched a weekly podcast called “In Touch with Terri” where I answer questions, interview industry experts and share information to run a successful practice.”
Terri’s strongest advice to anyone trying to start a medical spa or aesthetic/plastic surgery practice: “Do your homework. It is not as easy as renting space and buying equipment. You need to understand compliance and the legalities involved. You have to train and become highly skilled at performing procedures, so your patients have a great result. You have to understand the sales process, how to set goals, manage a budget, how to use software. You must study the buying patterns and communication styles of your clients and know what you are selling and who you are selling to. You have to truly believe in what you offer and provide solutions. You have to be passionate about what you do and stand out from your competitors.”
Good to know
Q: What are you most proud of?
My little girl. I was older when I had her and went through two rounds of fertility treatments. She was my miracle baby and is my mini me. She is fearless, kind and has a warrior spirit befitting of her name, Sloane. (Sherocks those girl scout cookie sales by the way). She makes me a better person.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m super into fitness. I love Barry’s Bootcamp, boxing and pilates. I love spending time with my daughter and good friends.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learned in life?
As women, we often struggle with so much self-doubt, negative self-talk and feelings we are not good enough. I truly believe that we can achieve anything we put our minds to! It just takes some level of spirituality, self-awareness, confidence and hard work.
Q: If you were offered a free trip anywhere in the world, what place would be on your bucket list?
San Tropez. I’d love to go to the French Riviera.
Q: What’s the one thing you could not live without?