My first response is always to ask what kind of brand image you want to be identified with and what is your value proposition? Do you want to be Motel 6, or do you want to be The Ritz Carlton?
Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Would you want to schedule bypass surgery by a surgeon offering a “discount” this month? What would your perception be about their skill set if he/she felt the need to reduce prices?
Think about what YOU want. Do you want patients who are bargain shoppers, or do you want ones who value your skill, expertise, results and impressive credentials? You need to ask yourself:
- How much is my time worth?
- How much time am I willing to waste on price shoppers?
- How much is my rent, payroll, marketing, leases, loans, warranties expenses, etc.?
- How much is it costing me if they do not schedule?
- Do I want one patient or a patient for life?
Risks of Being Known as a “Discount Provider”
Everyone likes to feel they are getting the best service for the best price. However, there are several pitfalls to offering discounts:
- There are numerous inexperienced providers performing cosmetic procedures. Even if you are more than qualified, you can be lumped into that perceived category and tarnish your reputation.
- Sometimes the product/service you offer a discount on is not the best choice for that individual client and their specific needs.
- When a client “pre-buys” a service, they are basically bypassing the consultation. You are missing the chance to develop a treatment plan to increase their lifetime value or help them achieve the best outcomes. You can be setting yourself up for disgruntled patients, bad reviews and broken trust.
- The psychological mindset of patients who purchase based on discounts or promotions involves searching for the cheapest option. They are not brand loyalists or people concerned about the best quality as a rule. They are not likely going to be repeat or long-term clients.
How to Sell Without Discounting
If you need to generate business to get people in the door, I encourage you to consider combining treatment modalities together and include something of value to them (like a mask or a product) that will improve results vs. reducing your profit margin.
Once you get a new patient in the door, you can show them the five-star customer experience you provide, as well as cultivate trust, credential yourself and the practice, and discuss additional longer-term treatment plans for retention.
Special pricing can be beneficial to offer during traditionally slower times of the year or if you have a new service or perhaps a new provider who has come onboard offering a new area of expertise. You can also bundle your services to offer additional add-ons at a lower price if they book by a certain date. If you offer payment plans or financing, another option is to offer a special savings incentive for “up front paid in full.”
About the Author
Terri Ross is a world-renowned practice management expert, thought leader and high-performance sales expert for medical aesthetic practices. She has helped thousands of medical aesthetic practices launch, grow and scale upwards of $2.5M in one year. Terri realized aesthetic practices needed one source for education, training, financial tools and resources to become more profitable and efficient. She disrupted the aesthetic industry by introducing APX-the most comprehensive, impactful, business solutions platform based on her proven methodologies.