Raising your prices is easier said than done, but essential if you want to stay profitable. The cost of goods and the general cost of being in business can scale dramatically as you grow.
But how do you communicate a price increase to your patients in a way that they will understand? Here are my 5 golden rules of thumb:
1. Be honest and don’t try to hide it. Be upfront that you are raising your prices (effective from a specific date) and make sure all your patients have an opportunity to secure an appointment at the current rate before the increase becomes effective. If you need a reason to justify the increase, chalk it up to rising costs, or because you have not increased your prices at all for over ‘X years’
2. It’s important to let your most loyal patients know about the increase as early as possible. A price increase, even if understandable, still has a negative connotation, so it should be communicated properly – in writing and over the phone.
3. Be Flexible. A price increase is more palatable if there is an option to save money or a less expensive alternative means of getting the same result. In some instances, offering a range of options at different pricing levels may work better than offering an across-the-board price hike. Consumers appreciate choices.
4. Explain But Don’t Apologise. As your level of expertise and experience grows, so does your worth. All you need to do is explain this in a way that your patient can relate to. Then move on. If you’ve proven your worth, they won’t walk away.
5. Add More Value. It’s simply counter intuitive for a patient to pay more for the same thing they got for less before. Think about what you can include to enhance their result or enhance their experience – something that is relatively low cost for you to provide but the patient perceives as high value.
One final tip – it can be beneficial to make at least one of your highest value products or services less accessible or capacity-limited. As consumers, when a premium product is in short supply, or there are very specific criteria for who can have it, we want it more!