Fee Sensitivity and the $10,000 Refrigerator


Fee Sensitivity

Recently we have received a lot of communication about fee sensitivity. Dentists are worried that patients will leave them for a cheaper dentist down the street. Patients are trying to cut deals. And folks seem to be worried that a “no-show” may have been because their fees were perceived as “too high.”

A few years back there was a famous study done by an MBA candidate at Loyola University, right here in beautiful Baltimore. In the study she developed a high-end refrigerator, and then pitched it to a computer-simulated group of consumers using various price points.

The consumers seemed a little leery of a rock bottom price. They “purchased” a decent amount at a price that seemed above average. But the price that did the best was the highest – a $10,000 refrigerator! And of course the profits were sky high!

Don’t price your crowns at $10,000

Now we are not suggesting that you price your crowns at $10,000. But you don’t want to get involved in a race to the bottom of the fee pool either, unless you want to compete with Walmart and the worst DSO in town.

The thing is, whether your crowns are $1200, $1500, or $1800, most patients will think they are too expensive and that you are a “rich dentist.” So provide an incredible experience and do a fantastic crown. That way, even though the patient’s perception may be that your fees are a bit high, they will feel they got a great value. Then everyone is happy!

Right now hundreds of thousands of people are lined up (virtually of course) to buy a new iPhone 12. How many of them need an iPhone 12? Not a single one. How many WANT one? Every one of them.

Remember, you can lead a patient to water, but you can’t make them drink. You gotta make ’em thirsty!  That’s enough metaphors, analogies, adages and old saws for now……

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