The “How Much Is It?” question is such a pain. But it comes up more than any other question from prospective patients.
This is why I spend an inordinate amount of time working with my clients on new ways to address this question.
Here’s a fresh way to handle this popular inquiry, and it’s kind of… ninja. The big idea is to make your treatment seem like the deal of the century, even if you’re the highest priced provider in town.
Does this mean you should never do special offers for your market? No, I’m not saying that. There is a time and place for properly constructed offers.
But you don’t want to have a constant discount running 24/7 to the entire market. It commoditizes you.
You provide awesome value, you should command a higher price. And today, you’ll learn a simple script you can use to do just that.
This is mainly written for those in the vision correction space, but you can probably take a nugget away, even if you’re in another vertical.
Before we get into the tactic…
The Reason We Don’t Like to Talk About Price
The challenge with sharing price is that we don’t want our procedures to sound expensive.
And that’s a valid concern. Because LASIK (and related vision surgeries) DO sound expensive, in the normal context.
Let’s say I wear daily contact lenses, and I spend $50/month on those. If I compare that amount to the $2500 per eye on LASIK you’re gonna charge me, the LASIK is a much higher $$.
Higher $$ = more expensive, right?
Nope. Not in this scenario anyway.
In Reality, LASIK is a Lifetime Investment.
In my example above, I’m comparing monthly costs of contacts vs. lifetime cost of LASIK. That’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, even though people make it all the time.
It’s the standard context for the price question. And it sets you up to lose.
Want to change perception? Create a new context.
For a true apples-to-apples comparison, we need to talk about the lifetime investment in glasses and contacts.
Now, there are so many different ways to calculate this amount. It could be anywhere from $200/year to $1200/year, depending on a number of factors.
I’m not worried about how much Patient X (the person sitting in front of you) personally spends on glasses and contacts each month/year. They probably can’t tell you anyway, and if they say a number, 9 times out of 10 they’ll underestimate. Why?
Because Humans Are Biased Against Looking Stupid.
If you set up a scenario in which you’re asking a guy to tell you he’s doing something dumb (like overspending on his eye care), that dude will try to save face. Justify his spending on contacts. Underestimate costs. Get defensive.
So skip that whole part of the convo. Don’t make him look stupid. Instead, enlighten the guy.
How? Just use an average.
Let’s say the average contact lens wearer starts wearing contacts as a teenager, age 15.
And let’s say that carries an expense of $500/year. That includes back up pairs from time to time, prescription sunglasses, solutions, etc. All that works out to about $500 a year.
So if you look at $500/year from age 15 to 40 (when presbyopia starts), you could conservatively estimate the lifetime costs of glasses and contacts as $12,500.
And Now You Have Your High Price Anchor
Again, really conservative. Actual annual cost is probably more, and most folks are going to wear those contacts to 45-50 at least. So play with this number if you want.
But once you have that ‘average number’ you’re comfortable with – let’s say it’s $12,500 spent on glasses and contacts over the course of their lifetime – you frame it as a question.
“Did you know the average contact lens wearer spends more than $12,500 on contacts and contacts stuff in their lifetime? Soooo much money for something you can’t stand, right?”
Then you draw a comparison to LASIK, which is just $2500 per eye. LASIK is the affordable option, even if your particular LASIK offering is higher priced than your competitors.
Price Anchoring: The critical secret to success with this script
One crucial structural requirement I want to reiterate here.
I mentioned that we would use price anchoring to make your treatment seem like the deal of the century, even if you’re the highest priced provider in town.
Price anchoring plays on a cognitive bias – our tendency to give more weight to the first piece of information that we are given.
You see this all the time in infomercials – You get the main widget, an extra widget bowl, a second set of fancy widget utensils, and the travel size widget, a $299 value, for only $39.95.
You’re anchoring value to this big amount of money you’ve built up. Or in our case, you’re anchoring on a big expense – contacts and contact lens accessories.
To effectively use price anchoring here, you’re going to share the high contacts/glasses figure FIRST. Before you talk about the price of LASIK.
You are price anchoring the prospect to a crazy high expense that they are already experiencing, and you’re making LASIK the super-affordable alternative option.
Congratulations, you’ve created the new context.
Here’s how it works in Practice:
PROSPECT: How much is LASIK?
COUNSELOR: Well, do you wear glasses or contacts?
This question creates curiosity for the prospect and tees them up for your answer…
PROSPECT: Usually contacts.
COUNSELOR: Did you know the average contact lens wearer spends about $12,500 on contact lenses, supplies and backup glasses over the course of their lifetime? Pretty wild, right? LASIK, on the other hand, is less than half that amount, at only about $2500 per eye.
And then you could follow with another engaging question like…
COUNSELOR: So are you looking to get LASIK primarily for the cost savings or the convenience?
Then keep the convo going past price and onto more qualitative issues…
That’s all there is to it.
This word track can be used on the phone, in person or even in web chat. Why not have your team give it a spin?
Try it 20 times to see how people respond. Report back – troy at troy cole dot com.
And if you’re having trouble connecting with folks to actually have the conversation in the first place, check out my Follow-Up Mastery Manual, the scripts and tools you need to connect with more prospects and turn them into patients.