It’s Only a Price War – Or Is it?

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avoid-unhappy-patientsEvery day we hear doctors complain that patients are tire-kicking….just calling around for the lowest price.

And I completely agree. All things being equal people decide on price, because that is the one element they can easily quantify.

But read this recent article about patient deaths and physician reprimands.

If your patients read that article would they only be concerned with price?

How Do You Make Patients Consider Something Besides Price?


Well to start you must have a reasonable technique and a reasonable expectation of it’s efficacy. Just like medicines …there are no communications strategies that are 100% effective. So you can’t quit using a strategy the first time it doesn’t work.

Your goal is to increase your percentages. The majority of people who get quoted a price over the phone will never call back. We have the statistics. But it’s a Catch-22. Because if you don’t answer their price question they will get annoyed…and never call back. We have those statistics too.

What’s a patient-coordinator to do?

What Do Your Staff Say Now?

When confronted with the price question most patient coordinators respond one of three ways:

  1. Always quote a price.
  2. Never quote a price.
  3. Quote a purposely vague price range and say that a consultation is needed for an exact price.

Numbers 2 & 3 tend to frustrate patients. So if left unmanaged most offices eventually deteriorate to quoting prices, especially busy offices, because it gets them off the phone faster.

What Could Your Staff Do More Effectively?


Is your goal is to make the patient feel it is in their best interest to weigh more factors in their decision process than just price? It should be.

So what is your main challenge? Your goal to add variables to their decision process works against their natural instinct to simplify the decision.

This is especially true since things like reputation and safety are much harder to quantify than price.

So how can you get the patient motivated to go against their own desire for simplification?

Do you remember Socrates? He used questions to make people reexamine their beliefs. And the method has been lauded for thousands of years.

Why does the Socratic method work? It works because it is more respectful to the person than lecturing them on what they should believe.

Exactly What Should Staff Say?

  1. First they should quote a price range to diffuse the struggle that the patient is usually expecting over quoting prices.
  2. Next they should ask an assumptive question like “How are you quantifying the important issues between doctors like their training and skill level? Are you finding that part difficult?”
  3. Your third step should be to offer a very specific….quantifiable….Unique Value Proposition.

Most of your competitors will offer non-specific undifferentiated superlatives like “Dr. Smith is really good.” “ Everyone loves him.” etc. Some are a little better and offer specifics like “Dr. Smith has performed over 1,000 Liposuctions” or “Dr. Smith is a board-certified plastic surgeon”.

If you are struggling with how to craft a credible Unique Value Proposition call us at 888-Mktg-Pros (888-658-4776). The initial consultation is free.

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