My wife’s lease on her car is ending in a couple of months, so we decided to go shopping for the new one. She didn’t really like the last car so she did a lot of research to find one that would suit her needs. She went online, found the configuration she wanted, the colour, the packages, the tires and the much needed heated steering wheel. On Saturday we went to the Audi dealership to talk numbers.
Now, I know a thing or two about automobile negotiation, I’m going to go in there, guns blazing ready to get my deal. It is human nature, we want to get what we want for the price we want it for. Now the mechanics of negotiating for a car and negotiating for dental implants may seem different but to our patients it’s the same thing.
The only difference between a car and your implants is that in the car industry the value came from years of hammering a marketing message. The differences between brands and cars are very apparent. If I want to buy a Honda and I walk into a BMW dealership expecting to get a BMW for the price of a Honda, good luck! And no matter which Audi dealership I walk into, I will walk out with the same vehicle right? Well ya, I will walk out with the Q8 I wanted but the service, the extras, the attention, the ease of transaction will be the difference, the dealership will try to differentiate itself based on things other than price. Otherwise it’s a race to the bottom. If they can’t give me more value for the money then I will go for the lower price, that absolutely makes sense, because I’m here to buy my car and feel good about it.
With dental implants it’s the same thing. Our patients want teeth. They know a bit about implants and they do their “google” research. But they don’t know why your implants and your clinic is different from the other 30 offices around you. Since there is no marketing message in implants dentistry all they know is that the implant commodity is the same everywhere, and since your implants are the same as the other guys’ implants, I’m going to pay the lowest price possible. You need to differentiate yourself if you want patients that are willing to pay for your “Ferrari” implants.
Quality, speed, price: pick two. You can’t have all three. If you want the best price then pick one of the other two to compromise on, because quality and speed cost money.
Every business needs to decide on how it wants to function and what it wants to concentrate on. Do you want to do high volume at low prices, or lower volume with higher quality at higher fees.
I argue that in dental implants with the rates of possible complications and sequelae, we need to stay focused and provide high quality services that will lead to lower complication rates and this will be at a higher cost because offering better service costs more. The office offering the rock bottom prices is cutting something out, if the patients are aware of this they can make their decision based on what they truly want, trust me, not everyone chooses the cheapest option, because some will value quality and speed over price!
Our patients need to understand this and it is their experience in the practice that will show them that you are different. In the way the office operates, in the services and materials you offer and in the ability of your team to build and deliver value. “Price” only shoppers really only account for 13% of buyers, so price is really not as important to a buying decision as much as value is… so instead of hammering down on the offices charging $999 for an implant restored, find a way to give patients a service that they will trust be the Audi Q8 of implant dentistry.