If you consistently offer price promotions then you risk being viewed like one of the sofa sale companies that we associate with ‘always having a sale’. As a result, they are not necessarily known for their quality and the whole annual marketing campaign is built around their seasonal price promotions. Nobody ever expects to go there and pay the full price, whatever that may have once been. Let’s also remember that, certainly in retail, sales are often used to clear old stock and prepare for a new season. The public understand this but does the same logic extend to dentistry, probably not. Is your teeth whitening cheap this week because it’s the end of the current line or is approaching the end of it’s shelf life, I doubt it.
The harsh reality of this hit home recently when I met with a dental practice owner who could not understand why his profit margin was falling. He told me that he had successfully increased his turnover through having regular themed or seasonal price promotions, but his profit margin had gone down. With a bit more digging, I discovered that he had increased turnover with some of the familiar quick fix price promotions, but the promotions were only encouraging transactions and not attracting or retaining loyal and motivated patients. The result, some short term increases in turnover justified by a flaky ‘return on investment’ calculation and an overwhelmed and frustrated dental practice owner.
If you are offering a price promotion then be clear on the outcome. If you genuinely want to attract and retain loyal and motivated patients then yes a price promotion might work as part of a larger and well thought out strategy. But just to slap ‘was £250 now £100’ all over your website for no apparent reason, will not only get you in trouble with the ASA if the original price has never been offered in the first place, but will also damage your brand and your credibility.