Ask Catherine: [Discounting Plastic Surgery]
…is a weekly post where I select and personally respond to one question received from my consults, Webinars, emails or talks that I believe will help most practices. Please provide your feedback!
This Week’s Question:
I have been a plastic surgeon for 16 years. In the past few years there’s been a change in the cosmetic patients who visit me. They are not only more educated about the procedures, but they are negotiating like never before. They will show me quotes from others (even those not as qualified as me) and ask me if I can do better. I’m not interested in getting into a price war with others who don’t have my credentials but I also don’t want to lose business. Should I discount my surgical procedures? Dr. P
Hello Dr. P,
Thanks for the great question. The truth is…. You shouldn’t have to discount your plastic surgery prices if you KNOW and BELIEVE that you are offering a “fair” price for the amount of skill and expertise your plastic surgery patient will get.
But here’s the pearl….
You can never assume the prospective patient KNOWS how skilled you are at plastic surgery vs. your competitors. There is a good chance your competitor is discounting their plastic surgery because they cannot compete on skill and expertise so they have to compete on price. If a patient is only interested in discounted plastic surgery, they do not understand the difference between a highly-skilled surgeon and a physician who took a weekend course. You need to spell it out for the plastic surgery patient in a way they will easily get it.
For example, use a visual like the one below to explain just how much “blood, sweat and tears” went into your plastic surgery training to be who you are today – a highly-trained plastic surgeon! For example:
4 Years College
4 Medical School
1-2 Years Residency
1-2 Years General Surgery
4-6 Years Specialty Training
Medical Board Exams
1 Year Fellowship and so on…
Because as much as the patient wants a good deal and discounted plastic surgery, they really want a good result and the assurance they will NOT regret their decision. So, give them logical proof in this visual way so they see for themselves that you are the BEST choice at a FAIR price.