Does Discounting Help or Hurt?

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Catherine Maley, Mba
  • Published July 3, 2021
  • Word count 876

Is discounting helping or hurting your practice?

As you know, plastic surgery advertising is out of control. Everywhere you look, you see ads, banners, and websites

Offering deep discounted surgical and non-surgical procedures.

That’s not happening by accident. Extreme competition is forcing some practices to lead with a price to attract new cosmetic patients.

However, this heavy emphasis on discounts creates the “Groupon Discount mindset” in consumers. But that not only cheapens the surgeon’s image but also our entire industry.

And, on the other hand, you have to address it with prospective patients because they are bombarded with it. They start believing price is the only variable to consider when shopping around for a service provider.

But then, that puts you in a position to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with prospective patients who want to negotiate with you.

OR NOT, but then you lose to these discounters more often than you want to admit, so what do you do?

FIRST, GET YOUR OWN MINDSET STRAIGHT.

It’s never ALL about price. If it is, you didn’t do a good enough job promoting your value OVER price.

It’s your responsibility to show prospective patients why you are worth what you charge, and I’ll give you examples coming up.

And here’s something else to consider…

Like attracts like. That means you attract who you are.

If you verbally wrestle vendors to the ground to get a great deal, you will attract patients who do the same.

If you make buying decisions based on quality, credibility, and excellent customer service at a fair price, you will attract patients who do the same.

Be the quality decision-maker you want your patients to be.

PROMOTE VALUE AND BENEFITS OF YOUR SERVICE

The value of your services is the difference between the price you charge and the benefits the patient perceives they will get.

If the patient perceives they will get a lot of benefit for the price they pay, then their perception of your value is very high.

The good news is, you can control that.

Spend the time teaching prospective patients how much they will benefit, how much your expertise and skill will help them, and all of the things your intangible services can do to help them to achieve their goals and solve their problems.

The more you focus on these values, the less important price becomes.

STEPS TO FOLLOW TO HELP YOU FOCUS ON MORE THAN PRICE:

Who Wants Your Services?

In other words, who is most likely to choose you and pay your prices? How old are they? What is their income level? Do they have children? What is their level of education? What zipcode do they live in?

Now that you know their demographics, ONLY advertise to that targeted audience.

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get better quality prospective patients who can afford your services and who want to pay a fair price for your skill and expertise.

Identify the Patients’ Problems Clearly

You are in the business of providing solutions to problems consumers have about their appearance.

Cosmetic patients pay you to solve their problems, so your job is to find out what bothers them and why.

Here’s a secret that wins you more patients……

Not only are you looking for the positive benefits prospective patients hope to gain such as increased confidence, increased desirability to the opposite sex, and a new lease on life, but also address their fears.

Because they may like what they hear, but they are afraid. Afraid they will spend all of this money and time recuperating only to regret their decision.

The media loves to show plastic surgery patients who have had bad plastic surgery outcomes with distorted face and body features, awful scarring, and disfigurement of other cosmetic surgery patients who said yes.

So, the prospective patient is scared they, too, will end up with regret and have to go through hell AND spend even more money to fix it.

The surgeon who not only proves their skill but also calms their fears AND reassures them of a better future, wins.

Prove It!

For all sorts of reasons, consumers are a skeptical group. They want proof from all sorts of sources so provide it. For example:

Proof from You:

Great before/after photos untouched – and lots of them

Videos explaining each procedure

Your videos talking about pros/cons; i.e., A smiley face scar vs. a flat tummy

Tour of your clean updated private, and comfortable in-house OR suite

Media PR

Speaking engagements

Book you wrote and/or articles authored

Guest spots on others’ blogs and podcasts

Voted Top Doc

Excellent staff credentialing you

Your superb customer service

Outside Proof:

Patient video testimonials telling their story and what you did for them

Online reviews from happy patients

Patient comments in 3rd party forums

Google your name and all good news comes up

Your patients interacting and talking about you on your and their social media platforms

The more benefits, value, and proof you can clearly provide to prospective cosmetic patients, the more likely they will consider more than just price.

When done correctly, they see and appreciate your higher price is well worth it.

Since Year 2000, Catherine Maley, MBA has been a plastic surgery growth business and marketing consultant, author, speaker, trainer, blogger, and podcaster. Her website is www.CatherineMaley.com

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