6 Ways Cosmetic Practices Can Rise Above CommoditizationNov 23, 2019
How do you handle the situation where a patient questions your fees, compares you to other providers, or tries to negotiate treatment costs with you?
Perhaps more importantly, how does your staff respond to these types of questions? Are they credentialing by communicating your training, skills, and expertise in a way that's interesting, adds value, and positions you as the patient's best option?
When a potential patient leads with price, it's often because they believe that all plastic surgeons, dermatologists, dentists (insert your specialty here) are created equal. They don't know what other qualifying questions they should be asking, so they default to price.
"Price only becomes an issue in the absence of value."
Enter commoditization. To add value and stand out requires a strategic approach to all of your marketing and sales communications. Your messaging must answer the questions a potential patient has, as well as the ones she didn't know she had. This type of educational positioning helps to build trust and put the focus of the sales conversation back to where it belongs; on the patient's desired outcome.
Here are 6 ways to avoid commoditization in your cosmetic practice:
1. FOCUS ON YOUR IDEAL PATIENT
Create your messaging around your ideal patient's wants and needs. Use your marketing communications to let potential patients know that you understand exactly what they're feeling and that you know how to help them achieve their desired outcome. Explain their hopes, fears, and desires better than they can.
As consumers, we make decisions based on emotion and then justify them with logic. To be effective, your marketing needs to speak to both. When it does, price often takes a back seat.
2. COMPETE ON VALUE, NOT ON PRICE
The general mentality of price shoppers is that they will do anything to get the lowest price. They're the patients who typically complain, waste your time, and cause issues. They're anything but loyal.
Competing on price is one of the fastest paths to sabotaging yourself, your staff, and your practice. Someone will always offer to do it cheaper, and you will continue to work harder for the same, or declining profit.
Price also makes a statement about your credibility. There are many patients who believe that you get what you pay for - and are willing to pay a premium for it. And it's those same patients who don't trust a practice when the price is too low. Don't discount. Add value instead.
"Give more in use value than you take in cash value." Wallace D. Wattles"
3. HIGHLIGHT YOUR UNIQUENESS
People do business with those they know, like, and trust. This is especially true when selecting our plastic surgeon, cosmetic dermatologist, or dentist. One way to rise above the noise and help patients relate to you is by highlighting your uniqueness - in your monthly newsletter, on social media, with the decor in your office space, or with the actual experience, you provide to your patients. The possibilities and number of ways for you to differentiate yourself are endless!
4. SELL TO PATIENTS IN A WAY THEY LOVE TO BUY
Make it easy for patients to see themselves and recognize what they want in your offerings. Bundling treatments, procedures, and products into results-driven, value-added packages enables you to give patients what they want, AND what they need. It takes the emphasis off individual treatment price, makes decision making easier and outcomes better because the thinking has been done for them - by you.
5. SURPRISE AND DELIGHT THEM
Even the most upscale patients appreciate an unexpected bonus. Build-in at least 3 unexpected "little extras" for your new patients to receive following their initial visit to your office. This might be a personalized welcome note or phone call, a complimentary add-on service, or a product sample that is designed to further enhance their specific goal. Have systems in place so this happens automatically without it needing your direct involvement.
"You don't get paid for the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour."
6. TRAIN AND DEVELOP YOUR TEAM
Educating your team is a critical piece to delivering a five-star patient experience and increased value for your patients. This is especially true of your front office staff, who must possess the skills and ability to instantly engage and influence new callers, respond to online inquires, and speak face to face with existing patients. When you have well-trained staff in these seats who are able to confidently do things like deliver price quotes, respond to discount requests, and move the conversation beyond cost...then you won't have to.
Perhaps we should talk?
As a professional provider, there are few things worse than being viewed as a commodity. If your staff is struggling to convert new patient calls and online inquires into scheduled consults, I can help. Schedule a free get acquainted call with me today.
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