Blast from the PAST!!! This blog post is courtesy Robynne Kingswood, former director of The Healing Arts Learning Organization. It is a fabulous article about why it's best to upsell rather than discount our services . These days you can find Robynne and her family in the beautiful province of British Columbia.
Don't degrade! UPSELL your Super Self
We’ve all seen it. It’s as common as a two for one pizza, or last season shoes. Why pay full price? Everyone likes a deal, right? Wag Jag, Groupon. Discounting is cool, everyone is doing it!
Actually, no, so please check that notion at the door. All is not fair in love and discounts.
Unlike pizza or shoes, a human is not discountable. You heard me. Your value, your worth, is not best represented by a reduced bottom line. There lies a dangerous boundary here, one that affects the very core of who we are…our self-esteem.
Additionally, marketing should involve our target audience. No one gets into health care and hones their skills in order to fulfill the needs of “Bargain Shopper” as a profile. Using our skills to symptomatically assist someone with cancer, diabetes, stress, pregnancy…this is how we target clients in fulfilling and meaningful ways; by need, not by pricing discount.
When we draw in a bargain shopper some of the problems can be:
What about clients in need? Those who can’t afford service but need it?
This refers to a clinic policy (in writing) that basically states “upon notification of financial need, assistance will be assessed, on an individual basis, by the practitioner”. Sliding scale empowers a therapist to award a seniors or students discount based on non-discriminatory criteria. Rather than age, it’s based on financial circumstance. A client out of work due to injury, or single parent going through a divorce where income is limited are no less worthy than an undergrad student or senior. Treating everyone equally and fairly is a key stone in professional health care. Age-ism, wither reverse or traditional is not how we write our clinic policies.
Sliding scale is different than promotional discounting in a few ways
We will address some areas to be cautions regarding susceptibility to manipulation in the next article in this series.
With discounting, the end result is often spending a great deal of time treating non clients and not making any money at it.
Therapist Joe worked at a clinic that was all about building business through Wag Jag. The manager prepared the agreement and when all was said and done, the therapist was paid approximately $10 pr treatment. The clinic launched this in November, just a week before the busiest time of year when the therapist would be swamped with regular prices treatments of $85 from open to close each business day. They did not think to put a cap on the sale of these discounts nor redemption date restrictions, and 300 bookings later the therapist was notified of the promotion the clinic was offering, recoiling in horror. Rather than benefit from the most profitable time of year, the therapist could not make rent, working $10 treatments all day long. The incident illustrated some key points about contract rights, control and plain old common sense. He ended up leaving over the incident.
Rather than discount, include “non you” extras. Epsom salts, home stretches, complementary charts, aromatherapy cotton balls, a draw for a relaxation CD once a month or season. Offer signature treatments with a wider skill set, specialty items like chocolate paraffin, or custom blend products increases value. This model, unlike the ½ price appetizers, works in health care.
If you walk away with one message from this article, let it be this:
YOU are not discountable.
You are FABULOUS.
Robynne Kingswood RMT, RRPr, C.Ac
Robynne is a Registered Therapist, Instructor for CCMH and HALO, lecturer for CMTO and author of Marketing Clinical Health Care. This text is being integrated into health care curriculum in public and private colleges throughout Ontario and is available at Know Your Body Best.
They say the only constant in life is change. Yet so many of us avoid change more than anything else in the world. We enjoy our cozy little bubble and are afraid to step out of our comfort zone too much in case we rock the boat and never get back on course. I, fortunately or unfortunately, have never been too afraid of change. My motto usually is: "If it doesn't work, we can always change back." I'm happy that has been the way I live my life because it means that I am accustomed to taking calculated risks. I'm not reckless by any means!! But I'm willing to take chances if there is a possibility it will bring positive change to our life.
A few months ago we made a decision to sell our house. There are many reasons why we decided to do this, and I won't bore you with all the details, but let's just say that after carefully weighing out the pros and cons, my husband and I decided that this was a good decision. It was a stressful few months selling the only home our son knows, one which we have created many memories and have amazing friends close by, but it was even more stressful to find a suitable home to start the next part of our journey. We have spent the last two weeks moving into that new home and I have to say, it all worked out amazing as our temporary new location. My office space is a beautiful loft and I have so many ideas for it!! Already based on the new layout we have had more opportunity to bond as a family and I am so grateful.
While moving, I had a chance to go through many papers, files and boxes and I am astounded beyond belief when reflecting back on the past 10 years since I achieved certification, which is the motivation behind this post!! I found my planner/calendar from 2007 when I was first building my business as a Reflexologist. I am so proud of myself for consistently building my clinical practice each week. For getting out into the community and making connections. All while balancing the joy of being a new mom and caring for my new born son. Being a Mom was beyond important to me but I never wanted to just be a stay at home mom. I wanted to be a role model and contribute to our family financially as well. Having a career that allowed me to control my own schedule was - and still is - amazing!!
As a person, a practitioner, a mom and a business a lot has changed these last 10 years and reflecting as I packed and unpacked reminded me just how much. I am so excited for the positive changes we have made recently and I can't wait to share some of the plans for the future of Soul Treatments Wellness.
But for now, I want to leave you with this. If you are thinking about making changes in your life - STOP THINKING and start acting!! Only when you take action will you know if the things you are thinking about will be positive or negative. And because the only constant in life is change, you can always change back if you don't like the changes you make. But my guess is, you will like them!!
I look forward to helping you in the future!!
Tanya Hill ~ Owner, Soul Treatments Wellness Ltd.
Head office now located on Marcy Cres. in Cambridge.
Tanya Goreing is the proud mother of one boy and the owner of Soul Treatments. The natural health of woman and children is her passion!