It’s time to address the elephant in the room, PRICE!
“So, how much does it cost?” Let me guess, that made you uncomfortable. Everyone wants to avoid the price question like the plague; “Well it all depends on your goals, technology, procedure, prescription, time of day, our mood, our revenue this month…etc.” We’ll say almost anything to avoid disclosing price. Stop it. It’s the 21st century. Information is everywhere. The purchase 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.
It’s time to take the veil off. Be transparent. Communicating your price is just as an 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 about in the right context it can actually be as engaging and action driven as any educational material.
Before we get into details, let’s first discuss two important concepts to keep in mind when discussing price with your patients:
Tone: The first thing to keep in mind is to stop thinking about price as something you need to hide. Instead, think of it as something you want to bring up for their benefit. Enhance their experience with your practice by providing them with all of the information needed to make a decision, including price! Provide them with a simple explanation of your pricing structure so it more of an education vs. a hard sale; keep the tone of the presentation informative and inviting.
Timing: There are two very distinct moments when pricing is a factor:
1. When they first contact you (web or phone) and are trying to determine if the cost is financially feasible. This is the time when they are self-selecting whether they would be a fit or not for your practice. If a potential patient looks at your pricing and rules him or herself out that’s not a bad thing. Yes, I know this is an off-the-wall concept, but this will save your practice and sales team time and resources that are better focused on enhancing the experience for the patients who do choose you.
2. Before making a decision to purchase, they will consider cost vs value; they will consider every factor of their experience up to that precise moment. The key here is clarity. Make sure all of the details are communicated; provide the pricing and its inclusions clearly. In addition, paint the value with a solid and sincere validation to substantiate price in relation to the procedure and technology they will experience.
Below are some keys to successfully disclosing your price upfront, be open with your patients/clients.
- If you charge more than your competition, there’s probably a good reason for that. Tell people why, so they understand the value they get for your services.
- The same goes if you charge less. Every price point has a story. Telling the story adds credibility to the price.
- Put your price on your website. Frame it in terms of affordability and value. Provide education on what they get for the price, and any ways you can help make that affordable – i.e. financing options or special promotions.
- 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.
- “Lead the dance.” The truth is 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.
Understanding costs is a fundamental piece of a prospective patients research. If you don’t disclose your price, they’ll look elsewhere because consumers are getting used to having access to information. It will feel like you have something to hide.
Now’s the time for you to change the conversation, and start treating price like what it really is: an extremely powerful and beneficial educational decision-making tool.