How to Properly Provide Discounts & Specials in Your Aesthetic Practice
Posted on March 23, 2023
Discounting professional services is quite common, especially when trying to attract new business to your aesthetic practice. However, simply offering discounts without a strategy can do more harm than good. For that reason, we bring to you these top tips to properly provide discounts and specials in your aesthetic practice:
Discounts vs. Specials: What’s the Best Strategy for Pricing Your Professional Services?
Discounts and specials are both effective ways to attract patients to your aesthetic practice, but they work differently. A discount is when you reduce the price of your products or services, making them more affordable for patients. However, once you discount, it can be hard to maintain the value of your products or services. On the other hand, a special is a promotion that offers a limited-time deal or a package. This allows you to create urgency and attract patients without devaluing your products or services. When the special ends, the price returns to its regular amount.
If you’re considering whether to discount or run a special, weigh the pros and cons of each option. While discounts can attract patients in the short term, they can also lower the perceived value of your services. Specials, on the other hand, can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity that can drive sales without devaluing your brand. Ultimately, the choice depends on your marketing goals and the needs of your business.
Discounts vs Brand Integrity: How to Price Your Services Without Cheapening Your Brand
Now, are discounts looked at favorably, or do they cheapen your brand? It all depends on the perspective and preferences of your potential patients and the marketplace. Some patients may perceive discounts as a great value proposition and favor your practice. Others may perceive it negatively, as it may reflect a lower quality product or service.
The key is to strike a balance and maintain your brand’s integrity while offering discounts occasionally. It is important to understand where your practice stands in the industry and what kind of patients you serve. Then, decide on the right discounting strategy that will help you properly provide discounts and specials in your aesthetic practice. Let’s touch on some strategies next!
When Is It Okay to Offer Discounts or Lower Prices in Your Aesthetic Practice? – Tips and Conditions for Discounting
To help you maximize profit and properly provide discounts and specials in your aesthetic practice, be sure to keep these conditions and circumstances in mind:
Discounting for Birthdays
As a healthcare provider, you have access to important information about your patients, including their birth dates. This presents an opportunity to create a personalized marketing campaign and show your patients that you value their loyalty. By sending a birthday email, text message or card to their house, you can make your patients feel special and offer them a unique promotion on their special day.
Doing this strengthens your relationship with your patients and creates a sense of exclusivity that promotes your brand. Remember, it’s important to make your patients feel appreciated and valued, and using their personal information to create a customized campaign is a great way to make them feel so.
Discounting for Open Houses
Open houses can be a great opportunity to offer promotional prices to clients. If you’re having a grand opening or another special event at your office, consider offering a discounted price for a specific service or product on that day. While the service doesn’t need to be performed or used that day, it needs to be ordered and paid for. This allows clients to take advantage of the promotional price and use the service or product at a later date when they need it.
Discounts for When the Patient Pays in Advance to Instantly Close the Deal
There are times when you’re speaking with a patient who is very excited about your treatment or procedure but needs a little incentive to make their “I will get back to you” a little sooner. To make the deal more attractive to the patient, you can offer a special discount or promo to instantly close the deal. It’s crucial, however, to emphasize that the discount is only valid if they pay immediately.
While discounts seem like a good way to attract patients, keep in mind that every dollar you discount is a 100% profit dollar that you’re giving away. So by asking patients to pay in advance, you’re not only securing the deal, but also avoiding the need to offer further discounts and maximizing your net profit. This allows you to focus your time and energy on closing other deals and expanding your practice.
Discounts During Slower Days Due to Last Minute Cancellations and Moving Patients Up the Appointment List
When you experience slower days or last-minute cancellations, there’s a clever strategy called the move-up list. This can help you make the most of your schedule. Let’s say you have appointments scheduled for next week or the week after, but suddenly someone cancels for today, tomorrow or the next day. If you have a move-up list, you can quickly contact patients who are scheduled for a future date and offer them the open slot.
By offering a discounted rate for the service, you can incentivize them to take the appointment and fill your schedule. This approach avoids the old airplane rule, where once a plane takes off, the unsold seat is lost forever. By having a move-up list, you increase the chances of filling empty appointment slots and maximizing your schedule. Overall, the move-up list is an effective tool that can help you manage last-minute cancellations and make the most out of slower days.
As a business owner, one way to keep your employees motivated and loyal is to offer them discounts on your products or services. Staff discounts can work wonders for generating buzz and showcasing the quality of your services. In fact, our CEO and founder, Jay Shorr, is a big believer in staff discounts. He shares his personal experience of complimentary treatments to his staff members in his former practice in episode 82 of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. In the episode, Jay discusses in detail how to properly provide discounts and specials in your aesthetic practice to avoid devaluing your services.
However, Jay advises caution when it comes to discounts for surgical procedures. While he offered professional services for free, he had to consider fixed and variable costs such as anesthesia and O.R. fees. In such cases, he would offer a discount on non-surgical services or ask the staff member to pay the O.R. fee while giving them a complimentary service. This way, the staff member could still benefit from the discount while the business owner wouldn’t have to bear the burden of hard costs. Ultimately, offering staff discounts can be a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee. Providing services to employees also allows them to sing your praises to patients. due to first-hand experience and gorgeous results of their treatment or procedure.
Discounting Services: Why It’s harder to Increase Prices for Services and Retail After Offering Discounts
When it comes to discounting your services, it’s important to consider the long-term impact it could have on your business. One popular example is the utilization of Groupon, to offer daily deals on your products and services. While it may seem like a great way to attract new patients, it can actually hurt your practice in the long run.
Discounting your services through daily deals can create a cycle of patients always looking for the next deal and not willing to pay full price. This can make it harder to increase your prices in the future, even for loyal patients who have been with you for years. Additionally, the daily deal model often benefits the deal maker, such as Groupon, more than the actual business providing the service.
Though we don’t recommend it, if you choose to run a daily deal on platforms such as Groupon, it’s important to keep things fresh and avoid repeating the same promotions. This can help prevent patients from always waiting for the next deal before coming to you. Recognize that price shoppers may not be the best fit for your aesthetic practice in the long run. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh the short-term benefits of discounting against the long-term impact it could have on your practice.
To learn more about this topic and whether you should offer deals on Groupon, be sure to read our short article To Groupon or Not?
How to Handle the Comment, “I Can Get it Cheaper Elsewhere” in Your Aesthetic Practice
Handling patient comments about finding cheaper options elsewhere can be a challenge in any practice. It’s important to be careful with the language you use when discussing price with patients. The word “cheap” can be interpreted in different ways. Avoid suggesting that a service is of poor quality (by using the word “cheap”) just because it’s less expensive.
It’s true that prices for medical treatments like neuromodulators and dermal fillers can vary widely between providers. However, it’s important to consider whether the same level of expertise and quality is being offered in each setting. Is the injector highly experienced and qualified, or are they a junior associate? Are they a physician, nurse or physician assistant?
When patients express a desire to find cheaper options elsewhere, inquire whether they’re looking for a better price or better value. After all, a lower price doesn’t always mean better value in the long run. In some cases, paying a bit more for a highly qualified injector or a more sophisticated treatment can actually save patients money in the long run by reducing the need for repeat visits or corrections.
Do not focus solely on price. Maintain the integrity of your practice by promoting the level of service and quality of care you offer. While it may be tempting to compete with other providers on price alone, it’s ultimately a race to the bottom that can end up hurting your practice and your patients in the long run. By emphasizing the unparallel value of your services and the expertise of your team, you can build a loyal patient base that values the quality of care you provide. This is a crucial step to properly providing discounts and specials in your aesthetic practice.
Is it Worth Discounting for Cash vs Credit Card Payments to Save the Merchant Processing Fee?
Have you ever been asked, “What’s the price if I pay cash?” The idea behind this question is that paying with cash will get you a discount compared to paying with a credit card. There is really only one reason why you would offer this discount, and it’s not something that should be promoted.
Many times, people will take cash in a practice because they can avoid having to pay the tax on the revenue, and they don’t report it. While this may seem like a way to save money, it’s actually against the law and can lead to serious consequences if caught.
Is it worth taking cash instead of a credit card payment to save on the merchant processing fee? The reality is that savings from this are quite minimal. A 2-3% discount on a $200 purchase is only $5-6, and it’s not worth the risk of breaking the law and facing penalties.
Instead of offering cash discounts, focus on getting the best credit card processing rates possible. This way, you keep your prices competitive without resorting to illegal practices. In the end, honesty and integrity are always the best policy.
Be Careful with Referral Discounts: Understanding the Legal Limitations and Ethical Considerations
Have you ever been asked for a discount in exchange for promising to bring in more patients? This is a common request that many aesthetic practices receive. However, be cautious when considering such offers. Offering discounts in exchange for referrals can be seen as compensation, which is against the law.
While it may be tempting to offer incentives for referrals, such as gift cards or discounts, remember that these actions can have serious consequences. Instead, be upfront with your patients and let them know that you appreciate their referrals, but that you cannot offer compensation for them.
If a patient asks for a discount, it’s important to be honest and transparent about your policies. Remind them that offering discounts in exchange for referrals is illegal, and that you cannot make any promises that you cannot keep.
Maximize Vendor Discounts to Pass Along the Savings
Vendor discounts are a great way to save money and increase revenue. Allergan and Galderma are two examples of vendors who offer promotions on their Botox, Dysport, and Restylane products. When you spend more money, they offer discounts or allow you to accumulate dollars to use on future purchases.
Passing along some of the savings from these vendor discounts to patients is a great idea. You may get free boxes or promotions when you purchase in bulk. Depending on your buying power, you have two choices: either pass the savings along to your patients or keep it to yourself for additional profit. However, it’s important not to discount them but to make it a special deal, have a prize or conduct a drawing. It’s a great way to increase patient loyalty and satisfaction while also increasing revenue for your aesthetic practice.
If you want to maximize profit, reduce costs and ultimately thrive in your aesthetic practice, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts for coaching! Schedule a free consult with our award-winning expert, Jay Shorr, to make sure that you’re on the right path to success!
To learn more about how to properly provide discounts and specials in your aesthetic practice, be sure to listen to episode 82 of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast!
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About Shorr Solutions:
Shorr Solutions is an award-winning practice management consulting company with offices in South and Central Florida. We work with aesthetic medical practices in all 50 states of the U.S. to help them strengthen the operational, financial, and administrative health of their business. With decades of industry experience, our father-daughter partners, Jay Shorr and Mara Shorr, lead our knowledgeable team of experts to assist practices in the aesthetic medical fields increase efficiency, increase revenue, and decrease their costs.
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