Pricing In Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy

Price list again, the scary topic! If you want to include it in your healthcare marketing, just how do you do it?

By Geoffrey Cooling

Darenight: LockdownPrice list, pricing, there I said it, you can come out from behind the couch now. Lets talk about that nasty subject, the rarely broached one, your price list. Sometimes I feel it is like those other no go subjects, sex politics and religion. I do realise that many of our colleagues would prefer to discuss product and service. However, I still think that there is room for your price list in your healthcare marketing strategy. I also think that our potential Patients become nervous if they feel you are worried about price transparency.

Your pricing is an important part of your healthcare marketing communication to your potential Patient.  Just as the features of your products and the benefits of your ongoing service. Pricing, product and service are inextricably linked in our profession. They are inextricably linked in any business model. They are at the core of most marketing, but not yet healthcare marketing. But when is the right time to talk about pricing, and what’s the right way to go about it? In our profession, it has always been when the prospective Patient is in front of us. Historically I was taught that I should never really discuss pricing with prospects unless I was in consultation with them.

As we are all aware  over time the thoughts on pricing changed, most Practices will discuss general figures with a phone query. However they will be careful to qualify their statements with the caveat that definitive pricing would depend on a full consultation. Other members of our profession are willing to place their price list on their website. I am not speaking about businesses that we would see as internet sellers. I am talking about bricks and mortar Practices. I have discussed with many Patients the perception of this strategy. There are two words that recur, transparency and honesty.

Those are pretty powerful words, words of this type tend to generate emotion. They tend to generate good emotions that lead to trust. I think by now we are all aware that our prospective Patients have changed, they are better informed, they or their loved ones are actively undertaking online research. So, has the right time to bring up the “P Word” changed? Has the timing of the pricing conversation changed. It is said that there are two moments in the cycle of a sale that pricing is of importance to a buyer. The prospective Patient’s needs at both moments are different.

The first moment is at the very beginning of the cycle. That moment is when the purchaser is trying to ascertain whether the product or service is affordable to them. The second moment in the cycle is at the very end, when the purchaser is weighing the cost to benefit ratio of purchasing. Both moments are important for differing reasons. The first is actually an opportunity for you to qualify a lead. In fact it can be looked at as  leads self-select whether they’d be a fit for your service or not.

By this I mean that It may not be a bad thing if they look at your pricing and rule themselves out as a potential Patient.  In fact, it could save your Practice a tremendous amount of time and effort. Something that is finite in most Independent healthcare Practices. The second moment occurs when the prospective Patient is heavily weighing the purchasing decision.

At this moment  the prospective Patient needs all the details that support the buying decision. If they have arrived without support, they may also need a way to communicate the pricing to other people. In order to facilitate the decision process, it may be that you should supply two different pricing documents. For the first moment deploy a clear, easy-to-understand pricing document. This can then be supported at the second moment with an additional document that provides a more detailed breakdown of your pricing.

I have digressed slightly, but I think it was important to lay out the two moments in a sales cycle where price was important. I also wanted to explain why they were both slightly different and how that may change what type of pricing document you would deploy. So if the timing for the pricing conversation has changed, is it time that we offered concrete access to our pricing at an earlier part of the cycle? If pricing transparency engender perception of honesty and transparency, is it time to deploy pricing transparency?

If in fact pricing transparency pre-qualifies your leads, therefore increasing your conversion rate on appointments, would that not be a good thing? I think it is, I would hope that many of you would think so as well. I will continue later in the week with more on this subject.

Regards

Geoff

 

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About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland.

After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites.

I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology.

I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating.

I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one.

I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients.

I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Geoff

    Its a really good article. Pricing is always a very interesting area.

    Let’s take a pint of milk. You walk into a shop and a pint of milk would cost you 60p. The shop next door sells a pint of milk for 57p. So one place is less expensive by 3p. The product you get will be pretty much the same. The service you get may differ greatly. The aftercare you get if the milk has gone off may differ greatly. The knowledge about the product may differ greatly. Is the product suitable for that client? Does the person serving you know of alternative products that may be more appropriate?

    You and I know that when you purchase a hearing aid, the price of the actual hearing aid is only one portion of the overall price. Even if we only look at one small part of the process and analyse it, there are massive differences between the people who supply the hearing aids and the processes they put in place to ensure that they are doing the very best for their clients.

    There are a battery of tests that can be undertaken before the hearing aid is prescribed. How many hearing aid dispensers and audiologists in the UK still only perform a Pure Tone Audiogram before they prescribe a hearing aid? In my experience, the majority. Some may perform a speech test, well a speech test is not reading out a list of words free field in a whisper to prove to the client that they cannot hear. A speech test is a measure of a clients ability to discriminate speech, preferably with background noise present using pre-recorded material in a sound treated environment through equipment that has been calibrated, with normative data and at levels which can be controlled and replicated.

    I am trying to highlight that the price for a hearing aid cannot be taken in isolation, there are other factors that need to be considered. The tests conducted, the level of aftercare and the experience of the audiologists in question to deal with the client to name a few.

    So when a client compares the price of the MegaSuper hearing aid at £1000 from supplier one and £1050 from supplier two are the really comparing like for like?

    • We understand the vagaries of the profession because of education. We possess the knowledge that allow us to objectively assess pricing. I think that is why I like blogging or more formally content marketing. It is a way to disseminate that knowledge for the committed business owner.

      In that way prospective Patients can be educated in a non threatening way. You can also show off your myriad talents. In this manner you attract people to your business in a non traditional way.

  2. Educating patients is always the way to go and the non threatening approach has to be how it is done. I am strong believer in giving patients the information in a way that they can understand. The role of the dispenser/audiologist is to educate, engage and facilitate the process, not to be the clinician with dictatorial tendencies telling the patient what is going to happen.

    Attracting patients in non traditional ways is also the way to go, we need to look at how we interact with patients and find different lines of communication that they feel comfortable with.

  3. Pingback: Pricing On Your Healthcare Marketing Channels - Just Audiology StuffJust Audiology Stuff

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