How to Talk About Money with Your Patients
Do you struggle to talk about money with patients? If you answered yes, don’t worry—it’s completely normal. New business owners who are trying to value out and price their services in a for-profit setting for the first time will face plenty of challenges, and this may or may not be the biggest one. But with a little practice and by following the suggestions below, it will get easier.
Why is it so hard to talk about money?
If you’re a new entrepreneur building a BHRT practice or another type of functional medicine business, there will be moments of discomfort, no matter what. You’ll probably be passionate about what you’re offering but uncertain of how to talk dollars and cents with your valued customers.
Clinicians and other health professionals typically don’t have training in this area because many health services are covered under insurance. Patients, too, may be unfamiliar with health services in a for-profit setting.
Practicing talking about money is one of the best things you can do, but the key is to reframe it so that it’s not (really) about money! Think about what kind of conversation you are having, what you have on offer, how you value your services. The more clearly you understand exactly how your services can improve your patient’s lives, the more you can talk about what you’re doing for them.
Building a successful practice takes time. If you talk about money and it feels uncomfortable, come back to your own core beliefs and values, and work from there.
When people are in the mode of “selling,” they focus on their own needs—for instance, you need to make “one sale” to break even this month, or you need to get three clients by the end of the week to make rent. This won’t work.
If people sense that you are in it for yourself or only concerned about your own needs, they won’t be interested. When you put your patient’s needs first, however, and focus the conversation around them, you are offering them the opportunity to make an important change in your life.
If you hate selling, don’t worry; frame it as a genuinely centred conversation around their health, and you’ll be fine. Being confident in your offer will let them gain trust in you, even if they do say “no.” But being confident and positive is different than being pushy when it comes to sales.
No one likes a pushy salesman, but people are attracted to professionals who appear trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Build an Authentic Brand
The way you build your brand will be reflected in everything you do. Even if you don’t have many clients or patients (yet), your business will be noticed and talked about in your community, online, and in real life.
If you are authentic about what you have in store, others will listen if you share real success stories.
Of course, having a solid marketing strategy is a part of this!
There are plenty of experts out there who can help you grow your integrative medicine practice, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Build Awareness Through Education
How many people actually want your BHRT services?
How many would-be customers even know what BHRT is?
Whether your clinic is focused on BHRT or another facet of functional medicine, many people might not even know it exists.
Your practice and your conscience will do well by framing your marketing around awareness and education. Don’t feel like you need to “hold on” to important information either. People will learn about it on the internet.
It’s best that they hear fact-based, interesting, and useful information—for instance, in the form of blog content, youtube videos, or a newsletter—from you first. Then they can make their own educated decision about whether or not what you have to offer is truly of value to them.
When you engage with would-be clients to educate them, you can share that information in a real way and not worry too much when you talk about money.
Gauge Their Interest Level Early
You know high-pressure sales don’t really work—and you probably don’t want to develop a reputation on par with a dishonest salesman!
To prevent this, you can have a (non-sales-y) sales pitch ready, which both you and your staff can use. This can be accompanied by a simple pamphlet which can be given out to passers-by or people showing some level of interest.
People who are truly committed to buying will probably have a sense of how much they’re willing to spend.
If they seem interested but not willing to spend, have some free or low-cost options such as workshops to suggest, or let them know about payment plan options.
You can use plenty of other strategies, but the point here is: Check on their overall excitement level before you talk about money.
Don’t Forget Why You’re Here!
What is your purpose in building this practice, on expanding the business? Where did you come from, and where do you see yourself? How do you want to be seen by your community?
When you focus on your “why,” you can absolutely focus on helping, not selling. Practice this daily, and you’ll find it comes naturally in no time.
Talk About Value Before You Talk About Money
When you focus on caring about your patients, in helping them achieve a better quality of life, you’re truly offering them an invaluable gift of health.
There’s no need to sell or discuss pricing right off the bat. Just make sure they have all the information they need to make a good decision for themselves.
And remember that building a new business takes time. But when you work with passion and integrity, you will find success!
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