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April 8, 2023

How to “Break into” the aesthetics industry

So getting into this industry can be challenging. If you are currently not in an outside sales cold-calling role, none of my clients with risk hiring you. However, if you have some aesthetics background, like working at the front desk of a med spa, as a plastic surgeon or a Dermatologist, then it makes getting into this industry much easier. I get many candidates that want to transition out of roles they are in now and merge into aesthetics and, unfortunately, without the outside sales and cold calling experience. It is almost impossible.

The aesthetics industry has multiple sales roles – here are the most popular.

Territory Manager

Area Sales Manager

Post Sales Support/Business Development Manager

Skincare Sales Rep

Injectables Sales rep.

The first position is a Territory Manager.

There is a Jr outside sales role called a Territory Manager selling the aesthetic lasers. This role is more of an appointment-getter for the Area Sales Manager. You have to learn how to be told no over and over, so this is the role you would have to start in to sell devices. This Territory Manager will be driving around from 8-5, knocking on doors all day long, trying to get a doctor to let them come in to pitch one of the devices they are selling. If you are in a desk job, my clients will never consider you for this outside sales role. You’ll need to show you have current experience cold calling to get new customers.

If you are in a role where you are only calling on existing clients for your current employer to see how they are doing or to get them to buy more, they will not consider you. This is a challenging role where you are driving all day long, walking into a potential client’s office, introducing yourself to them, and trying to get them to let you come back and pitch an aesthetic laser to them. Then, after work, you are in front of your computer at home, getting on Google, for example, and typing in a specific zip code in your assigned region to look for every potential doctor you could sell your devices to. That will then be added to salesforce, and you will hit the streets the next day calling on those doctors with the names of the doctor, the office manager etc., their phone numbers and the addresses that you entered into the CRM, such as sales force. You must start with this role if you are interested in selling aesthetic devices. 

Many of my clients have been looking for candidates from Cintas or Unifirst, then any payroll or HR company like Paychex, ADP, Paycom, etc. They also like companies like custom clothing company Tom James. The Wine and Spirit industry is also good, and several distributors like Southern Glazer’s are good outside sales companies to work at. Copier & Printer sales companies are the best company to get started in as those pieces of capital equipment are expensive, just like lasers. That is the best experience to have, as you would call on a business and ask the owner of that office to buy a piece of capital equipment that is expensive and take out a loan for it or get approved for financing. Copiers and printers, just like aesthetic devices, are considered capital equipment.

This Jr rep makes a $60k base plus a $600-$800/month car allowance, and after commissions, these roles pay $120k to $200K depending on how good you are and where you live in the US. I have some TM’s that have made $500k their first year on their W-2s and others that have made only $80K

Capital Equipment.

Capital equipment is an article of nonexpendable, tangible property with more than one year of useful life and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. The capital equipment in this industry is any device that treats a patient for things such as acne scars, face & body treatments, hair removal, hair loss, men’s sexual wellness like Erectile Dysfunction, Women’s sexual wellness like vaginal rejuvenation, skin conditions like Psoriasis, rosacea, skin resurfacing, tattoo removal, veins, vitiligo, dark spots, sagging skin, fat transfer, renewal the skin around the eyes, and more.

The next position is an Area Sales Manager.

After being a Territory Manager for at least a year, you can be recruited away or get promoted to Area Sales Manager. This role is for sales reps who have already been Territory Managers or have sold expensive capital equipment to private businesses or physicians’ offices. If you only have experience selling to a hospital where the doctor does not personally have to pay for the device you are selling, it is tough to get hired for this role. Sometimes, although it is rare, a client will consider experienced capital sales reps from outside the aesthetics industry, such as hospital equipment sales, dental sales etc., for this role. You would have to be closing your own deals and have significant numbers of sales, such as over $1M annually, to be considered for this title of Area Sales Manager. The annual quota for an ASM is usually $2.5M to sometimes over $5M depending on the company.

This position is almost always a $70k base with a $600- $800/mo car allowance, and after commissions, these roles pay $250k – $900k+ depending on where you live in the US. So if I throw out the high and low, the average total compensation these ASMs are making from coast to coast is about $300k to $400k per year.

The next role is a Post Sales Support/Business Development Manager/ Key Account Manager/ Practice Success Manager.

You can get this type of role in the aesthetics industry if you have worked as a front desk clerk, patient care coordinator or treatment coordinator at a local plastic surgeon, Medspa or Dermatologist.  Also, if you have marketing and social media experience in your current role, you would be considered for this type of aesthetics position. Still, they also want you to have some aesthetic experience for that.

These roles require marketing and social media experience usually. These roles are for the reps that go into the client’s offices after a device has been sold and work with the practice to help them utilize the device, open houses, events, launch parties etc.

The problem is that these roles changed in 2022. They are now less about social media and marketing and more about if you can upsell the client on buying more products or a second system if they only have one. So, for example, one of my clients now requires 50 cold calls a day to new clients, and you must turn that in to your manager at the beginning of the week. So you would have to work before and after work to discover 250 new leads you can call on that upcoming week as a post-sales support rep. So on top of working with the current client to host events, launch parties, and social media posts to showcase the device they just bought, you will also have to sell, sell, sell. Another client of mine now requires this position to sell a device a month or close to that. They require you to sell $200k worth of services and/or devices monthly.

These roles pay a base salary of $60k to $80k and a car allowance of $600-$800k a month, and after commissions, these roles pay $120k to $200k+, depending on what company you work for. I have some candidates making $130k on their W-2 and others making $350K on their W-2 for the same role. This all depends on the commission percentage you are getting and where you live in the US.

Next is Skincare Sales

You can get a job selling skincare only if you have sold skincare before. Therefore, I can only submit candidates to companies with skincare sales experience as an executive recruiter.

How do you get the skincare sales experience, then? First, you would have to find a skincare company and apply to them directly online on their careers page to see if they would accept you as a skincare rep without any sales experience. Then, once you have worked for them for at least a year, I can help you.

These roles pay a base salary from $80k to $100k and a car allowance of $600-$800k a month, and after commissions, these roles pay $150k to over $200k+ depending on what company you work for, the commission percentage and where you live in the US.

The next position in an Injectables Rep – Botox and fillers, for example

You can get a job selling injectables such as Neurotoxins or fillers. For this role, you would have to be currently selling skincare or injectables to be considered. Some of my clients will accept a pharma rep for this role. Again, you would have to get a job selling pharma products to be considered. If possible, you will also want to sell pharma products related to the skin. This means you would be selling to dermatologists or OB/GYN primarily.

These roles pay a base salary from $90k to $110k and a car allowance of $600-$800k a month after commissions; these roles pay $150k to $300k depending on what company you work for, their commission percentage and where you live in the US.


Please review my website and the Insights tab for all the Aesthetic articles I wrote about this industry.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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