Dear Bill | Should I Publish My Fees?

Posted by Bill Esteb on Feb 5th 2021

Dear Bill

I'm thinking about publishing my fees on my website. Is this a good idea? Any suggestions?

I think we've all done online research for a product or service, only to be frustrated by either a lack of pricing or encountering a Call For Pricing message.

Withholding pricing is often justified for several reasons:

To force a conversation. This is probably the most common strategy in chiropractic. Holding fees hostage is a way to engage the buyer so pricing (or any other potential objection) can be overcome. This is Salesmanship 101. If you currently field frequent phone calls from those seeking pricing information, are you able to win them over? If not, publishing your fees would likely reduce such time-wasting calls. Frankly, when I'm forced to engage, I simply hit the back button and search for another offer. Problem solved.

To avoid comparison shopping. Those unfamiliar with chiropractic might assume that all chiropractors are pretty much the same. If you're offering a commodity (an adjustment is an adjustment is an adjustment—as insurance companies assume), then buying on price is to be expected. One more reason to identify meaningful ways that make you different (better) than competitors.

To shield pricing from competitors. This is to prevent other practices from using your pricing to set theirs—either higher than yours (to be the premium provider) or lower (to attract the price sensitive). However, this is easily circumvented by competitors calling and pretending to be patients. Or do you keep your pricing secret unless they commit to showing up in your practice? How's that working for you?

To follow industry conventions. Other chiropractors don't seem to publish their fees, so why should I? This approach is common among many types of professionals and complicated service organizations. In chiropractic it may simply be a legacy from decades ago when most everyone had insurance and pricing was almost irrelevant.

Monitor Google Analytics When Testing

Careful that you don't marginalize those who ring up wanting to know your fees. Certainly there are price shoppers simply looking for the cheapest care. But there are also those who want to know if they can afford you. Or have enough in their Health Savings Account to pay for your care. Or who can fit your fees onto their maxed-out credit cards.

Like it or not, pricing is part of the buying decision. For some, it's more important than your credentials, location, gender or experience.

As more and more prospective patients face $5,000 deductibles which must be fulfilled before qualifying for reimbursement, it might be a good move to test pricing on your website.

Based on the number of website visitors you receive, conclusive results may take several months to achieve. You'll want to become especially mindful of the number and quality of new patients that manifest in your practice after posting your fees.

If the results appear to discourage new patients from choosing you, you can always remove the content. Just make sure you or your webmaster monitor Google Analytics to see if there's a significant increase in the number of website visitors exiting your site from your fees page.

Sample Text For Your Chiropractic Fees Page

If you choose to do some testing, you have a bigger job than simply listing the cost of your initial exam and the price of your adjustments!

You'll want to provide context and meaning to the fees you list. There is an educational aspect and a persuasion element to this. Here's some sample languaging to get you started: 

Our Patient-Centered Approach to Fees

Your initial exam and workup are $000. This guides our recommendations which are designed to produce the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Typical visits are $00. That includes your pain-relieving, life-affirming chiropractic adjustments and any other service you need. A series of visits will be needed to make lasting spinal changes.

Our patients pay for their visits at the time of service, or in advance, receiving a pre-payment discount.

We accept all the major credit cards and Medicare.

If you have traditional insurance, you'll want to use it. We'll provide you the documentation you'll need to get reimbursed from your carrier.

This simple, transparent approach offers you several advantages:

1. You'll be reimbursed promptly. When you file your own claim, you'll receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.

2. You're the boss. By not coming between you and your insurance carrier, we put your needs first—not the interests of an insurance company.

3. You'll receive better care. By avoiding the limitations of profit-motivated insurance companies, we're able to deliver results based on our two decades of clinical experience helping thousands.

Your health is your most valuable possession. Don't gamble it with a chiropractor trying to serve two masters, undervalues their talent or who is merely the lowest bidder.

Reserve your first visit now. Let's put this episode behind you once and for all. Call today.

Your testing may find that being open, confident and trusting produces a higher quality patient. But find out for yourself.

Avoiding No Man's Land

Someone in your town is the most expensive chiropractor. And someone the cheapest. Each has its advantages.

Yet, the strategy of far too many chiropractors is to choose a far riskier option of setting their fees in some middle range between the two extremes: No Man's Land.

Risky? Absolutely. Imagining that the care you deliver is an interchangeable commodity and priced like everyone else is a good way to be trampled by the herd. Or more likely, ignored.

At least the cheapest chiropractor (not recommended) can appeal to the cost-conscious and the illusion that they've eliminated the financial barrier to care. But the bunch in the middle can only claim parity with others equally unsure, inviting obscurity.

At least the most expensive chiropractor can appeal to those who expect the best and for whom money is not the constraint. Many will choose the high-priced service provider so they don't have to do the research and comparison shop. They believe choosing those confident enough to be the most expensive is a shortcut to getting the best. Many times it is.

However, to charge a premium you must have drop-dead certainty combined with remarkable tableside manners. Otherwise, you're not the best—you're merely expensive.

The SEO Opportunities By Revealing Your Pricing

Finally, by withholding your fees you overlook some search terms used by some prospective new patients.

Search terms with various combinations of "chiropractor" and "cost" and "fees" and "price" have little or no competition. That means you can likely snag some local website traffic by optimizing your fees page for these search terms.

You might even include special offers or an eBook on your fees page. Imagine providing a downloadable digital asset entitled, How to Choose The Right Chiropractor or something similar that caters to prospective new patients. It's a huge, untapped opportunity to cultivate and eventually convert the most conscientious into responsible new patients.

Test publishing your fees. I can understand the reluctance. However, my experience suggests that if everyone else is zigging, it's the perfect time to zag. And if it doesn't promote your cause you can always go back to withholding the cost of your care.

Thanks for the question!

Email Bill with your question.

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