Brock Ridenour

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Differentiate YOU in the Competitive Marketplace

When you look online for cosmetic rejuvenation, you see website after website of beautiful young women with similar headlines promising you’ll look and feel great too.

That would be fine IF there was not so much choice with lots of practices promising the same thing. 

As a consumer, how in the world do you choose who is the right service provider for you?  And, as a service provider, how in the world do you stand out as the BEST CHOICE given the highly competitive nature of the industry?  

The answer is you differentiate from competitors.  Differentiating yourself from the pack will help you get noticed, attract more cosmetic patients, and increase your revenues.

Here are strategies to help you differentiate from competitor

Answer the Question – Why you?

This is an important question to ask yourself.  Can you answer it confidently?  If not, start here.  Stop and consider why you are the perfect choice for your patients.  What are you doing that is unique that most of your competitors don’t offer?

If you are struggling with this question, survey your patients.  They will tell you.  Ask them directly or through an anonymous communication, why they choose to come to you and not the others.  

Use an online app called SurveyMonkey to email a survey to current patients, old patients you haven’t seen for a while, and even prospective patients who visited you but didn’t book. 

Keep it short and sweet. For example:

  • What do/did you like most about coming here?
  • What do/did you like least about coming here?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best, how would you rate the staff?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best, how would you rate your overall patient visit experience?
  • What is one thing we can do better?

Here’s the important step.  Now that they have told you, fix what’s broken and capitalize on what’s working.  If they say you are the best because your staff is always friendly and welcoming, be sure that is consistent for all patients who visit your office.

Or, if they say you are the gentlest Botox and wrinkle filler injector, which means less pain and less bruising, note that in all your communications. These are “hot buttons” for many prospective patients and should be highlighted.

Differentiating Strategies – Niche

You differentiate yourself through your community, technology, heritage, value, service or affinity (catering to certain groups of patients such as celebrities, athletes or dog walkers).

The riches are in the niches and like-minded people tend to flock together, so choose your preferred market carefully. 

top ways to differentiate from competitors

Define who your perfect target market is and then cater to them and their interests better than everyone else.  It’s determining what’s most important to them and giving it to them consistently.  

For example, if your preferred target market is busy professionals, offer them online scheduling, easy parking, texting if you’re running late, extra plug outlets in every room and anything else that would save them time.

Specific Differentiators

There are so many factors that can pull you away from the fray. I would get together with your team and come up with your own list or use my list below to get started:

  • Specialist in one procedure
  • Number of procedures performed
  • Advanced/uncommon technology
  • Extensive experience
  • Exceptional facility
  • Superior results (excellent before/after photos)
  • Caring personality
  • WOW experience
  • Convenience or accessibility
  • Physician personally calling patients to check on them
  • Short waiting times  
  • You remember patient names and details like they were family
  • Your staff also treats them like friends and family
  • You well known around your community
  • You are from the town you practice in
  • Special credentials or professional memberships
  • Pro bono efforts 
  • Creative financing

The point is to say what others won’t, don’t or can’t say themselves.

Yell it from the Rooftops

how to differentiate from competitors

In today’s crowded marketplace, there is no room for the timid. 

Your unique differentiators need to be integrated into every aspect of the patient experience including your website, signage, patient welcome package, advertising, public relations, on-hold messaging and new patient caller scripting.

Conclusion

Since you cannot be everything to everybody, choose your preferred patient and then cater to their specific needs.  You will be more likely to differentiate from competitors, succeed, increase your revenues and enjoy the process so much more.

Your patients learn to trust your brand and expect the same experience and result – every time.  As long as they get that, they will be passionate about trusting you to give it to them, they will tell their friends, and they will be less apt to wander off to “check out” your competitors.

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Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.

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