Behind every successful man there stands a woman. That adage certainly applies to plastic surgeon Constantino Mendieta, MD, and his thriving 4 Beauty Aesthetics practice in Miami. It is Nina Mendieta, his wife and practice administrator, who had the original vision for how the practice could differentiate itself when they launched in 2000.
“When he finished his residency, I told him, rather than do everything, set yourself apart by specializing in gluteal procedures,” Nina says.
A former model, it’s no surprise Nina has an aesthetic sensibility and immediately set out to promote the new practice by creating a website—buttsbymendieta.com— that showcases strictly the gluteal work of the surgeon. That dedicated website—the only one of its kind at the time—has delivered thousands of leads and helped position Mendieta as a gluteal expert, especially in the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).
Presently, Mendieta performs approximately 45 to 55 surgical procedures a month, with 80% of them being Brazilian Butt Lifts.
Nina’s ideas for building the business didn’t stop with the website. In 2004, she convinced Mendieta to begin charging for consultations. The practice had been doing free consult days, seeing about 30 people a day—that meant the meetings had to be swift and the majority of those who came in were not serious candidates for surgery, so the conversion rate was low.
Now, 4 Beauty Aesthetics charges $200 in advance for a consultation. While it took a leap of faith on the part of Mendieta, Nina felt strongly about putting a value on the surgeon’s time, and it has paid off. Today, Mendieta sees about 20 to 25 people a week for paid consultations—and these prospects are far more qualified. In fact, approximately 75% to 80% go on to book a body contouring or BBL procedure.
Puttin’ on the Ritz
In addition to spearheading the marketing, Nina oversees a staff of 25, and is a stickler when it comes to patient education and customer service. “I tell my staff, ‘Let’s put ourselves in our customers’ shoes, and ask ourselves how we would like to be treated and what we would want to know before we have this procedure.’?”
Her team arms patients with educational videos and brochures, and is always ready to answer questions. Creating a soothing atmosphere where patients feel welcome is equally important. Her staff knows not to keep patients waiting, when to offer coffee or amenities, and how to respect and protect patient privacy. She sends her team to seminars regularly and even once hired a concierge from the Ritz Carlton—for an entire year—to ensure they got top training in customer service.
When Nina’s not running the practice, she’s hitting the books. She’s presently enrolled in an Owner/President Management program at Harvard Business School. With 2 years under her belt, Nina has one more to go before earning her OPM, which she likens to “an MBA for entrepreneurs.”
With she’s all done at 4 Beauty Aesthetics, she says her greatest accomplishment is seeing her husband reach the level he has in his practice. “I believe in his talent,” Nina says. And clearly, he believes in hers.
Marianne Matthews is a contributing writer for Plastic Surgery Practice magazine. She can be reached via [email protected].