22nd March 2018

One of my pet hates is underselling, and the act of undervaluing your treatment. As a practice owner it makes my toes curl to hear this being done, and as a result when I’m out in the big wide world I am conscious of it happening all around me; I wonder how businesses make any money!

Let me give you an example of a situation recently where this happened and how things could have been done differently.

My car was due for its service and I knew that it was probably needing new tyres. As I dropped my car off at the garage I handed my keys to the lovely, friendly, bubbly assistant, and I mentioned that I thought it needed 4 new tyres. She wrote this down and said she’d call me later in the day with an update.

I received a call early afternoon from the lovely, chatty, bubbly assistant, but she had turned into a completely different person, she sounded almost embarrassed at having to call me. I asked if there was a problem, she apologised and said she’d sent me a service video across so that I could see what the problem was.

Apparently I needed 4 new tyres. I said that’s fine and that I thought as much, I was actually relieved that was all the problem was, as I had started to fear that they had found something seriously wrong from her tone of voice.

She didn’t stop here, she was apologising again about “the cost”, she didn’t realise that they were going to be that much, I said that’s fine, I have already had one new set and knew how much they were.

This wasn’t the end of it, she was going to give me a discount. I knew that I could get them slightly cheaper elsewhere but I chose to have them fitted at their garage as it was convenient.

This still wasn’t sufficient to ease her conscience, she said she also needed to take any labour costs off as well. Don’t get me wrong I was quite happy with this outcome, but I was also starting to feel mildly irritated on behalf of the owner of the group of garages. Were they all trained to do this? I had already said I was okay with the fact I needed new tyres, and the cost of them, at least twice now. If she looked back on my cars history she would see it had 4 new tyres fitted last year, full price, with labour costs. I didn’t have a problem with this, she did, and this is the key: Her issue was with the price, not me. I just wanted to pay and go on my merry way.

How many times might you have been the one with an issue with the cost of treatment?

How many times over your professional career do you think you might have managed to persuade someone out of completing treatment due to you apologising for charging them for your time and skills? Don’t let this mindset creep into your practice. Value what you are worth, your patients are wanting your experience and knowledge. The more you focus on the value of what you are doing, the less important the price is to your patient.

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