As I travel around the country from practice to practice I'm starting to see a very unhappy trend.
More and more dentists are offering discounts.
Quite often the practitioners offering discounts are struggling to fill their appointment books and in some cases their practices have become only marginally profitable
They have wrongly concluded that the reason they are struggling is that their fees are too high and the way to solve the problem is to try to become the patient's buddy by discounting.
They are dead wrong. 100% wrong.
How do I know this?
Because, the practices I see that are dynamically successful have 2 common traits. Firstly, their fees are higher than average and secondly, they never discount.
Successful practices compete in 3 ways:
- Superior service – they pamper their patients.
- Superior marketing – they are good at getting their message into the community.
- Comprehensive diagnosis – they diagnose what the patient needs then explain it in a way the patient can understand.
Ironically, IMHO, discounting, far from ingratiating you to your patients may actually have the reverse effect.
Competing on price by discounting sends the message that you are not very competent or cut corners or both. Secondly it tells your patients that you used to charge too much. It heightens their fixation on price.
If you are so bereft of ideas that you really think that discounting is the way forward then it truly is time to call in a consultant.
Discounts. Just don't do it!