I’ve actually lost count of the number of times that I have been asked this question, so after finding an amazing post on Hubspot which tackles the point directly I thought I would do the same for the dental industry.
What struck me about Hubspot’s blog post was that they encounter exactly the same objections as I do every time I suggest prices are put on a client’s website, remember, these guys are not talking to dentists and look at the objections that their clients give… They sound all-too-familiar!
Reasons that Hubspot clients give for not putting prices on a website
1) “It’s not done in our industry”
2) “What happens if my competition sees it?”
3) “All our pricing is custom, nothing is standard”
And then simply:
4) “We would never do that”
WOW, so you thought that dentistry was unique, well it is, but so is every other industry!
I’m going to use the same format as the original post because I think the points are extremely relevant but I have a few additional things to add from my own dental experience.
Own the price conversation
As Ashley Latter says “Price is an issue but is rarely the issue” – and I completely agree with him on this particular point. We are all concerned about how much things are going to cost us and failing to put your prices on the website means you are missing out on the conversation, and without the conversation you have no ability to be involved in the pricing decision of anyone surfing the Internet.
By being upfront with your prices and clearly letting people know how they might have to pay from ( even if it is a basic guide) means that you have taken ownership of the pricing conversation at an early stage.
As you know it’s not about the price per se it’s about the context of your price within the service that you offer, otherwise known as value. Having prices on your website is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how good value you are even if your prices are higher than those of the competition. Your website is the perfect place to demonstrate your ability to deliver excellence which as you know comes with a fee. By not putting your fee you are not owning the pricing conversation.
One of the reasons that many people cite for not putting a price on the website is that they want the patient to call the practice so that they can have a conversation to convert the patient.
I accept this as a valid point but you need to get the patient on the phone in the first place. Most people, yes most people will not phone anywhere if they do not have prices on the website, embarrassment is often put forward as the reason, if they find out that you are far too expensive for them and they can’t afford you then they are embarrassed. To save themselves the embarrassment they don’t phone in the first place.
Without the patient on the phone you can’t do anything to convert them, and you just lost them from your website too!
What if people are scared off by your price?
If all you have is a fees page with a list of fees then they probably will be scared off, especially if you are more expensive than the competition. The key is to talk about what you add for that price so that the website visitor can see the value you bring. It’s all about managing expectations.
If you have a member of staff and you tell them they are going to get a £5000 pay rise but after you do the budgeting you realise you can only give them a £3000 pay rise they will be disappointed. But if you tell them you’re going to give them a £2000 pay rise and realise after the budgeting you can afford £3000 then they will be happier. The result is the same, all that has changed is the expectation.
So what can you do to demonstrate that your fee is worth it?
Social proof is enormously important and consists of things like:
- Written testimonials from patients.
- Video testimonials from patients.
- Results of surveys you have done which show that X% patients rate you as 10/10 etc
- Before and after photographs. (No check retractors please, teeth are not a thing of beauty to most people even though we think they should be!)
Your dental services are impossible to judge prior to experiencing them, so you need to give your website visitors the ability to judge you based on the results of other people. Always place testimonials, videos, before and after photographs around your pricing page so that people can see what they actually get for the fee.
A little lift on Google.
Everyone want to be top of the search engines right? Well, you need to use the phrases that people are searching for and very often those phrases include the words ‘cost of…’. Cost of dental implants, cost of teeth whitening, orthodontics cost etc.
Placing your fees on your website is an excellent opportunity to attract Google and website visitors to the site. If your website is optimised for conversions also then there will be a mechanism by which these people are able to enter into your marketing funnel and you can work on them over a period of time to convert them into a patient.
This is where e-mail marketing and social media coming, they are mechanisms by which we can continue to build a relationship with any website visitor over a period of time so that eventually they convert into a patient.
Trust me, I’m a doctor
The 2 big marketing factors for a dental practice are:
- Reduce Risk
- Increase Trust
You are going to ask a patient to lie on their back in their most vulnerable position, you are highly likely to cause some amount of discomfort to them and to really help the communication process you’re going to cover half of your face with a mask!
If you want people to do this they have to trust you 100% and in my opinion hiding prices from your website damages trust. Not putting prices on your website demonstrates that you are an opaque organisation which does not hand out all of the information, this again, in my opinion damages trust.
I had believed for a long time that prices should be on dental practice websites, and it was good to stumble across this blog post on another website by another online marketer experiencing the same resistance that I have.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, do you put prices on your website? Or if you don’t why not?