Oof let’s face it, we’re all feeling the impact of inflation. The annual inflation rate for the United States is 7.9% for February 2022 — the highest since January 1982. Whether you’re at the pump, paying your restaurant tab, or shopping for groceries, you’re starting to see prices increase everywhere.
Source: US Inflation Calculator
It comes as somewhat of a “hangover” for those who had extra income from not spending money on travel and entertainment, commuting to work, or various other things because of the pandemic.
The natural result is increased price sensitivity among consumers. For practices that are just getting back to normal, it could mean a whole new set of challenges. We break down 3 ways to combat inflation with prospects:
Openly Discuss the Topic of Price
Everyone wants to avoid the price question. Many practices even try to steer it in another direction. “Well, it all depends on your goals, technology, procedure…etc.” We’ll say almost anything to avoid just being upfront. Stop.
With inflation causing most people to become more price-sensitive, it’s better to just address the topic. The purchasing power is in the patient’s hands, and they want to know as much as possible about your price and what it includes before they ever consider you as their provider.
Communicating your price is just as important as communicating the services that your practice offers. In fact, they go hand in hand. The key is to understand when to talk about price, and when you do, how to approach the subject. The truth is, when price is discussed in the right context it can actually be as engaging and action-driven as any educational material.
It’s ok to provide a range of prices, just be prepared to justify that range. Example: “Our prices start at $1500 and can go up to $2500 based on the technology that is best suited for you.”
When over the phone or in person, ask them the question: “Is that about what you were expecting?” This helps to identify immediately whether price is a sensitive issue.
From there, “lead the dance.” Patients don’t want the cheapest provider; they just want the best value. But patients don’t know what questions to ask, so they ask how much it costs. Provide them with a clear explanation of both the cost and the value upfront, so you then have the freedom to discuss the real issues that concern them, like their goals and outcomes.
The truth is, getting caught up in price means they are losing sight of the value. Things like waking up in the morning and being able to clearly see without glasses or loving how they look in the mirror after an aesthetic procedure can be far more valuable than what the procedure actually costs.
Consider Promotions & Recommend Ways to Save
If you’re feeling like price is still getting in your way, it may be a good time to re-visit promotional offers and additional incentives.
A slight reduction in price, or adding value with an included service or gift, could be the small thing prospects need to take the next step. Putting a short-term window or expiration date on offers can help you manage costs and can motivate prospects to act faster if they are truly serious. You can also make the offer contingent on them taking action. For example, if you’re speaking with a prospect on the phone, providing a discounted offer for booking the free consultation that day, can motivate them to take advantage of something if they don’t act quickly.
It’s also never a bad time to remind them of programs like a Flexible Savings Arrangement (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), which can help offset the cost of a procedure.
Manage Your Costs
About this time last year, we were discussing how to manage the surge in demand. Practices were just trying to re-open and re-build before they were seeing an influx in patient calls and inbound leads. Pre-pandemic processes had been cast to the wayside. Hiring, training, and managing staff was becoming a constant headache.
Then came the Great Resignation. A good amount of staff either quit or was disengaged and underperforming at work.
And now, with the onset of inflation, the cost of doing business – particularly the cost of labor – is estimated to increase.
The problem with key trends like the Great Resignation and the labor shortage, as well as remote work, combined with inflation, is that employees may be asking for more to essentially do the same or less.
Practices are in a vulnerable position where they have to maintain stability and pace with demand.
This is where outsourcing key functions can help mitigate costs. Outsourcing can also be flexible to accommodate the highs and lows in demand that practices continue to face with the pandemic and now inflation.
OptiCall has been helping many clients match the ebb and flow of demand with the right level of support in key areas. Our trained staff can be the anchor in ensuring inbound calls and phone leads are consistently handled with the highest level of customer care. The result – new leads are managed with the right support, and you have a team of experts solely focused on driving business goals and maximizing your bottom line.
Contact us to learn how we can help you maximize your bottom line.