Now, let me get to this week’s topic. It’s timely, hopefully because you have recently increased your fees and generously so. YOU are the expert. YOU spent 4+ years (and still spend at least 20 hours yearly or more) on specialized dental education. YOU invested the hundreds of thousands in yourself, your staff, your equipment, your building and so on. YOU should be commanding nice fees for the work you do.
The costs of the services you provide are all relative. You see, they are that way because what your patient perceives to be an incredible amount of expertise and specialization, additional, over and above service and so on all add to the experience they have – from the moment they call you to the moment they walk out the door (with referral cards in hand – is your staff ensuring that small piece of the puzzle?).
Here’s an example you can all relate to.
Let me give you some background…One year the power had been out at our house right after Christmas and we had zero heat, zero water and frankly, it was nice for about a day with no TV, but after that, it became an annoyance. In fact, half of Salem was in the same situation (although smarter folks probably had woodstoves and city water!) and our well pump and everything else runs on electricity. So, not only was I in the market for a woodstove now, I am also in the market for a 12kw propane generator.
OK, now the meat: I went to Lowe’s Home Improvement Center (Home Depot doesn’t carry woodstoves) to look at and purchase a woodstove. I had called ahead to see if they carried them to get an idea what the costs would run.
I snagged our cart (you see, I’m primed and ready to BUY) and asked a “sales associate” to direct me to the stoves (I’m focused on stoves only at this point). Rather than this person “handing us over” to the expert on stoves, he leads us to the beginning of the isle and points, “Down there on the right.”
Not knowing much about stoves, I looked at them and thought, “They don’t look big enough for what we need.” I went somewhere else in search of a woodstove store – someone that specialized in just stoves.
15 minutes later I find just the store. I get greeted at the moment I walk in the door, was asked what type of stove I am looking for, immediately given a recommendation by the person who greeted me and then turned over to the sales associate. Five minutes into the store and I am already more sold on the service and the education I’ve received and no longer consider Lowe’s even in the running, although their stoves were $200 to $250 less.
At the stove store, we learn how to do it on our own, the costs to have it installed for me and I also find out that the stoves I had looked at earlier were actually just fine for size.
At the stove store, I was taken care of. I was educated. The salesperson probably saved me over $500 by keeping my stove size smaller than what I had figured, while at the same time, getting me to spend more on a premium, Vermont Castings stove vs. the Lowe’s stove.
Was I mad because I spent more on the Cadillac vs. the Yugo stove? Heck no! I was thrilled because I got the stove I needed and the stove I wanted (READ: The patient gets what they need and what they wanted. I’m a firm believer in giving them what they want!).
At the point of purchase, the cost was completely irrelevant. I didn’t care. In fact, I KNEW I was paying a premium to get it…but it didn’t matter. The stove store took great care of me. They helped me understand and clarify WHY I wanted and needed a stove, they steered me to a premium, well-backed brand of stove and better still, they were pleasant, smiled and treated me just like a friend.
It’s all business basics. Does your practice have these simple things in place? Or, would someone like me be better off going to a Lowe’s?