…We can’t blame consumers. Many are driven by price comparisons only. They often don’t consider VALUE or QUALITY until they’ve been burned. You and I have been in their shoes. We’re no different.
You know what I mean if you’ve ever accepted a patient from a Big Chain office. They left because they discovered there was more to dentistry than just PRICE.
There’s quality. How you’re treated. VALUE received in exchange for price. And, more. PRICE is but one factor.
Buffet, while I don’t agree with his political leanings these days, said it best: PRICE is what you pay, VALUE is what you get.
If you want to attract patients to your practice because of VALUE, then you have to use ads that address value and price. If you don’t, you’re perceived as no different than Big Chain dentistry. You’ll be pigeonholed.
Here in Salem, one guy has gotten so desperate and lazy with his advertising that every ad he runs is a $999 implant ad. He’s taken the bait and competing on price only. Meanwhile, if you were to look at his patient feedback (a sign of VALUE), it’s terrible. Competing on price alone is a lazy dentist’s way to attract new patients. And, when you focus on price, you get what you ask for: patients who care mostly about price. (And, he’s still broke, by the way.)
Look at it like this: Most have no clue that Walmart for example, obtains a lower quality product from a company for a lower price, than say ACE Hardware. They just look at price. They have no idea. Clueless. What you buy at ACE will be of higher quality and be a far superior value over the same “nearly identical” product at Walmart.
I saw this in action recently when I went to buy a couple of lawn sprinklers. We wear 1 or 2 out every year. I can get a plastic one with flimsy springs that requires a brick to keep it in place from Walmart or I can go to ACE and get the same brand, but with a metal base and metal sprinkler head for about $8 more.
The ACE sprinkler will last two-times as long (and costs roughly 30% more), and it’ll take a lump every now and then. The plastic junk from Walmart, while cheap to get into, won’t last. PRICE drives Walmart. Price drives Walmart shoppers, too.
In Dentistry, you have a choice: you can focus on price or you can focus on quality, value and experience. When you focus on low prices alone as the reason why someone should visit you, your overhead is higher because you’ll charge less for a procedure. You won’t have the spread between the price you charge and the cost to provide the service if you focus on delivering an incredible experience along with value and quality. You’ll find yourself hamstrung and limited.
To me, price is an indicator of the confidence a dentist has in his or her skillset.
Ergo, one of the easiest ways to avoid being compared to a Big Chain Dental Practice is to avoid offering procedures outside new patient visits, at huge (or really, ANY discount) discounts.
This is but one way.
In my free online course, De-Commoditizing Dentistry: How to Compete Against Chains & Win!, I cover even more practical ways you can opt out of and de-link from the commoditization of our industry.
PS. I’d also encourage you to learn more about the Wellness Springs Dental® Franchise, too. This Friday, August 5th, 10am Pacific, I’m conducting a special webinar. It’s free and you can learn more about the franchise! You can register here.