Far and away, one of the most oft-asked questions I receive from my ClearPath Society members and blog readers has to do with offering specials, coupons, certificates, discounts, etc., for new patients.
Am I an advocate?
The question usually goes something like this:
“Why should I offer a discount for a new patient? Doesn’t that de-grade, cheapen or de-value my services? Won’t people look down on me?”
Then, for some, a monologue ensues about how cardiologists and neurosurgeons aren’t offering $100 off OR free consultations.
There are 2 responses to the question.
The simple answer: Cardio and Neurosurgeons aren’t in the business of optional healthcare.
The other response is far more difficult to actually pull off, if you want to avoid ever having to use financial incentives to drive new patients to your office.
But, back to the first response:
Pretty much, if you need to see a cardiologist, price is irrelevant because your life is on the line.
Same thing with the oncologist or brain surgeon. It’s life or death.
You and I chose to work in a field where discretionary spending rules the day.
Here’s what I mean: NO ONE has to get dentistry. There is not one single bit of dentistry that is not elective.
The chance of dying as penalty for not getting that crown or even SRPs or even a recall exam, slim.
Granted, there’s the risk a person might idiotically take by choosing to skip exams and later, die from oral cancer.
And, it’s becoming more of a true risk all the time, the more we learn about other diseases that start in the mouth.
My point is, you are vying for the very same dollars the used car dealer is. The cosmetic surgeon (who is also advertising). Wal-Mart. Costco. You name it.
Next post, I’ll get into some particulars about how to avoid having to give discounts to stimulate buying activity in your office. That is the second response I mentioned above.
I’ll warn you in advance: the topic will be one followed by fewer than 1% of the dentist population. That’s right. Fewer than 1 out of 100 will ever use the information I’ll share in the next post. Right now, I have one client using it. Already, that elevates his marketing game and patient attraction game higher than anyone in his area.
In fact, the subject is covered in-depth in my new newsletter, the Dental Practice Marketing Advisory. The first issue hits this week… If you’ve already subscribed, you’ll receive likely right before the 4th of July or right after. If you’d like to learn more, drop me your mailing address via fax or email (jerry @ jerry jones direct . com) and I’ll send info to you.