THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Prices in a crisis

First week back after the three month summer holiday we all enjoyed this year. In the first 48 hours I have had THREE phone calls from dentists/practice managers asking the following:

  1. business in September is slow to pick up

  2. the book is looking very gappy

  3. I’m in a bit of a panic about new patient numbers and

  4. the uptake on treatment plans

  5. I’m worried that our prices are putting people off

  6. should I drop my prices?

  7. Revert back to 2011 prices?

  8. Write to all the people who have had Tx plans in the last 6 months and offer them a discount?

So here is my answer to them and to everyone. DO NOT DROP YOUR PRICES DO NOT EVER EVER EVER TAKE PART IN A PRICE WAR Because:

  1. you will freak out your team – who will assume their jobs are on the line and your nerve has broken

  2. you will freak out your associates

  3. you will freak out your referring GDPs

  4. you will be a magnet for every time-wasting, unappreciative, trouble-making, tight-wad customer in the area

Please don’t do it. The right patients aren’t concerned about what you ask them to pay. They may be concerned about how they are going to afford it and part of your brief is to show them how. That’s one of the main benefits of a good TCO by the way – getting ‘the money conversation’ out of the way. If your book is gappy – marketing, marketing, marketing – that’s relationship marketing, networking and social media engagement – not stupid bloody fliers, mailers, adverts, exploding cigars and gimmicks. If your pipeline is stagnant, review your sales process:

  1. did you build rapport?

  2. did you listen?

  3. did you make it about them and not about you?

  4. did you constantly use the word ‘investment’ and not the word ‘price’?

  5. did you tackle all the major objections before they even thought of them?

  6. did you give them a deadline?

  7. did you give them a world-class customer service experience at every step of the journey?

If your numbers are down, stop moaning and go to work. You, yes, you the Principal, yes, it IS ALL ABOUT YOU because the associates and hygiene/therapy team aren’t going to solve the problem. YOU ARE GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM BY HAVING A RECORD FOUR MONTHS OF SALES BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF THE YEAR YOURSELF. I am working with clients all over Great Britain and Ireland who are enjoying record months. There is no difference in the dentistry or the price they charge, and yet they are busy as hell. They are busy as hell because they do it all the right way. It’s not about the price. It never is at the proper end of the market.

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