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