The independent hearing healthcare provider is being confronted by a variety of outside influences unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
- 3rd party insurances that that you feel a need to accept but a rate that leaves little room for profit.
- Online retailers who compete solely on the basis of price, using ad campaigns that are a direct violation of HIPAA.
- An average cost per lead has tripled in the past decade, meaning you’re spending 3 times as much to attract the same number of new patients.
The only difference between a problem and an opportunity is in the mind. A problem means that there is no clear solution, while an opportunity means there is a chance to exercise creativity.
Steps to a Solution
Stop panicking. It’s a complete waste of time and energy.
Assess the situation. What can you control and what is outside of your control?
Understand why the outside influences are becoming more and more effective. Instead, evaluate other industries. It’s easy to view the loss of business as being solely driven by price. However every industry has successful enterprises at a variety of price points.
What I’m suggesting you do is to evaluate why some businesses thrive at a price point significantly higher than their competitors. I’ll give you one possible reason why… value. They compete on value, not price. Competing on price alone, while it can be done is a risky proposition.
Only one company can truly have the lowest price and if all you do is tie them, customers will look for another point of differentiation. You will end up in the same place you are now, but with less money in your pocket. Given the volume of purchases of the small business owner compared to large chains, online retailers and box stores…competing on price is futile.
Compete on Value
Start by understanding your customer.
I know that you think you understand your demographic, but do you really?
Who will be using your product or service?
Do your potential customers still fit the demographic model that they did 10 years ago? Are they older or younger, what is their income level, educational level?
How does your prospect make buying decisions?
The sales cycle for most products and services is no longer a nice, neat linear process. Instead the cycle has become much more complicated. Potential customers have the ability to research a vast amount of information about a product or service (price point, reviews of the product, technical data) and compare the data across any number of providers.
How does the competition promote, price and sell its product or service?
Here’s how you’ll build this knowledge base:
- Read what your customers are reading.
- Know what your competitors are doing and saying both on and offline.
- Attend an event where your prospects, customers, or other market players are speaking.
- Record the information you gather and and analyze patterns.
- Identify opportunities, so you can discuss them with your customers and prospects
Yes, this is a lot of work. But the payoff can be tremendous.
Define the value you will be delivering.
Starbucks and Whole Foods are two examples of companies that offer products sold by their competitors for significantly less. Both companies have defined the experience their customers can expect each time and they deliver on that promise. Those experiences have been deemed by the customer to be worth the higher price point.
Kmart and Sears are excellent examples of companies that competed on price. They failed to understand and respond quickly to changes in the marketplace and the inevitable is about to occur (Read More Here)
If you fail to deliver… fix the problem, IMMEDIATELY. In the age of social media, time is of the essence. You’ve heard the adage that that 1 unhappy customer will tell the story of their experience to somewhere between 9 – 15 people. With the ability to post their unhappy experience online you might be looking back on that 9-15 number with fondness as the number of people who view your customers story and share it with ours enters triple digits.
No one ever said running your own business would be easy. And if it has been easy, those days have come to an end. The information above is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. If you’re ready to get serious abut making money from your practice, give us a call. We know what to do.