"Price is what you pay; value is what you get" is one of Warren Buffett's most famous quotes. While a lot of people are familiar with this quote, many do not put this into practice. Understanding value vs. price is key for not only your sales dollars but also your patient's satisfaction and return business.
Price is arbitrary and value is fundamental. The seller sets an arbitrary price for reasons known only to them. Value is the perceived monetary worth of a product from the consumer. In other words, price is normally a formula such as cost x 3 that is set by the seller and value is what is actually worth to the consumer.
Pricing is normally set with only cost in mind. There is no value included. One simply looks at the cost and then sets the price. In our industry, this is how most retail opticals set their core pricing and this has worked well for many and for many years.
Core products such as FT28s, traditional single vision lenses, and even value progressives do not have much value added. These products are like milk and butter, they are commodities. You know your costs and you know your competition. So you set a price that will enable you to make the sale while making a little profit. All is good and everyone is a little happy.
But don't you want more for your business? Don't you want more for your patients?
Selling on Value
Value runs deeper than just cost. It includes benefits such as service, warranty, follow-up, quality of performance, and benefits to name a few. Higher-end progressives offer varying value based on your patient's needs as does high-index materials.
Value is based on your patient's perspective. What you might count as a value add might not seem so to all of your patients. An example would be turn time. This is a hot button for many offices out there but is often based upon the needs of very few patients. Often the patient seeking fast service is going to be vocal about this need.
We are all familiar with the old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the grease. I believe that sometimes we only have one wheel in need of grease but we are lubricating all of them every day. In other words, is there any value to fast service for a patient who is not in a hurry?
Finding the Value Add-On
No one patient will have the same exact Rx, fingerprint, or needs. When we treat all patients the same we are selling on price alone. When we get to know our patients, their needs, and their wants, we are only then able to apply the upgrades to the sale.
Once again, value comes from their perspective. What do they want or need? What add-on would create the best outcome for them?
For some, it is all about price! Their value will be measured by having a low price. This is okay, there will always be the budget-minded customer who has no value beyond low pricing. Just keep in mind that this is not everyone and I would contend that this type of customer is an outlier.
For others, it is about vision. They long for the visual fields and acuity that they had in their 20s. Helping to recreate this vision through high-end lenses and premium AR is what is valuable to this patient.
You will find the value add-on for your patient is discovered by simply getting to know them. Spend a few minutes talking. Ask some open-ended questions about their old glasses. Find out their wants and needs regarding their vision. Find what has been working for them and what has not.
Also, dig into the specific moments that their current glasses have worked well and not worked so well. This is often a good chance to recommend a second or third-pair sale that covers these needs while offering great value at an even higher price.
Create the value add-on in every sale and you will create a consumer base that will value you and your business.