Q&A: How to ditch discounts
Q: We gave dental discounts to increase business, and we're now ready to eliminate them. How can we do this without upsetting clients who have come to expect them?
A: There's only one way to eliminate discounts, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Craig Woloshyn: Just do it. Practices that eliminate discounts generally see few complaints. That's because people don't usually expect a discount, but your practice offered one anyway. So simply stop offering, and the entire issue will go away. Periodic discounts—during Dental Health Month, for example—are easy to eliminate, since few clients will remember them from one year to the next.
Now is a great time to eliminate discounts, as you can legitimately blame the economy. You might tell clients, "With the way things are these days, we felt that eliminating discounts was the most reasonable course of action for everyone."Now, move on to that other, more significant discount your practice likely gives every day. Most practitioners give away services that amount to close to 10 percent of their gross revenue—that's half their profit. To be more profitable, eliminating freebies is a good place to start.