Is Discounting Dental Fees Like Using Cocaine?

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Patient Attraction Episode 345

I hope you’ve enjoyed the last two days of sharing comments from podcast viewers about the value of Internet marketing. Today, we are going to switch gears, and I’ll tell you whether viewers agreed or disagreed with me about whether dentists should discount fees. Stay tuned.

Podcast 244 is one of the most commented-upon podcasts I’ve ever done.

– In it, I encouraged dentists NOT to discount fees, as it drives down the value of their services and attracts patients looking only for the cheapest price.

– Here is what viewers said.

– The first comments come from Bruce Carter, publisher at The Dental Trader and partner at Food Trade Consultants:

– “Excellent subject Colin! I am constantly telling my advertisers this! The Cocaine of Advertising applies to all businesses (product and/or service alike).

– “Ask your doctor how to feel good and he’ll look you squarely in the eye and say, ‘Eat right and exercise.’

– “Yet for every dollar spent in fitness centers, Americans spend nineteen dollars on cocaine.

– “The reason? Two seconds after you snort cocaine you feel like Superman. Two weeks of diet and exercise just makes you feel hungry and sore.”

– He goes on: “… Good advertising is painful at first because you don’t see immediate results.

– “The impatient business owner will usually snort a little ad cocaine and then get defensive about it: ‘How can this be bad for me? I’ve never done better!’

– “But just as the junkie never stops to consider how the drug is destroying his physical health, the business owner never stops to consider how “SALE! SALE! SALE!” undermines his business health.

– “The first dose of cocaine makes him feel great. So does the next one, and the next, and the next – though it takes longer and requires more and more each time to get the same effect.

– “Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to convince the addict he has a problem, even though he started with only ‘20% OFF’ and has now progressed to ‘HALF PRICE!’

– “Successful companies don’t spend their ad dollars training their customers to wait for a sale. Do you?”

– Right on the money.

– I only wish I had come up with that cocaine analogy!

– Next comes a comment from Karen Burnett, a dental practice consultant at AKT CPAs, Advisors, and Consultants.

– She said:

– “In my coaching experience, most practices don’t think to build in much of a margin to their fees – they worry that patients will complain about their fees.

– “The fact is that patients usually will complain about fees, no matter what they are.

– “Smart to have a margin so that there is freedom to give a reduction at the dentist’s discretion!

– “Agreed that they cannot compete with ‘big box’ dentistry!”

– An excellent point about intentionally building in a margin on fees and understand that some people are going to complain no matter what that margin is.

– That’s all we have time for today, but I’ve got a couple of doozies tomorrow.

– Until then, keep moving forward.