Is It A Good Idea To Offer A Free Consultation/Assessment?
I have seen plenty of resistance (i.e. fears) that come up when I talk about introductory freebie offers with medical practitioners. There is the worry that by giving things away customers won’t have a need to buy or that free offers attract the wrong types of customers (price shoppers), or that freebies don’t encourage loyalty. Some specialist fears that it may come across as tacky and push patients away. Those concerns are valid. But the truth is FREEBIES WORK. Great examples of freebies that work: - Free consultations - Free ultrasounds / X-rays / examinations - Special packages
Think about this. When you test drive a car, or try a sample at the ice cream shop or grocery store, or read an article on a website. All of these things are completely free but they give you a better idea of what you can expect from these products or services.
Here’s how you do it right. The rule here is as long as you offer free consultations to first-time patients only and state clearly the terms and conditions, that’s perfectly fine. Of course, you will get some freebie seekers, so be it. Focus on the 20% who are genuinely interested and will actually take up the service that you are offering. But don’t provide an endless supply, put a cap on how many you are willing to offer, this can create a sense of urgency and allows you deliver the best customer experience for patients that are genuinely interested. At the end of the day, you need to provide them with a reason to come to you, and a free consultation does just that. However, this is not the same as a discount. I generally don’t encourage anyone to offer discounts because discounts can be addictive. People aren’t addicted to freebies generally. When a person is paying for a service even at a discounted rate, you find that they feel no responsibility to consider a repeat purchase or support your business. Once they pay, it relieves them of the obligation to do anything more. Hope that explains to you why it's ok to offer free consultationsns. You may have some people who do not become your long-term patients, which is completely fine for both parties. You don’t want to attract a customer or client who is not a fit and will not be a good source of recommendations and referrals, so don’t sweat it.