You Aren’t Wal*Mart

by Dr. Ron Arndt

In an era of Groupon deals and price matching, where everyone wants something half off, some dentists believe that this marketing strategy of deep discounts is the way to go. News flash: It’s not!

In 2011, we live in a discount consumer culture – it seems as though patients no longer care about value and quality; they just want a good deal!

What happens with sites like Groupon is that while your patient may be able to purchase a $500 whitening service for only $250, Groupon takes 50% of the price the patient paid. That means that you are left with $125. You are essentially providing your valuable services at 75% or more off!

I advise my clients not to discount their fees. As dentists and business owners, we are influential professionals and must set the tone for what a sustainable, quality business looks like. This does not mean that we want patients to overpay for oral health care services, but that dentists should charge a fair fee for their service and deliver it with panache.

Remember that if you raise your fees or even simply refuse to discount them – some patients might question you. They might even leave. But the patients that you want to continue to attract and retain are the ones who will gladly pay what is a fair market value for quality dental services.

Note: In my book, Killing the Practice Before It Kills You: How Throwing Out My Business Model Saved My Life, I discuss how I was able to confidently raise my fees and not lose patients in the process. Pick up a copy for more detailed info.

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