A few weeks ago our trusty old washing machine, which had lasted us a good 10 years, finally tried its last cycle and failed terminally, meaning that we had to buy a new one. Now try as I might, I just can’t get excited about buying a washing machine, I compare it to putting new tyres on my car or renewing the insurance. You can’t wear a washing machine, or eat one and showing it to your friends and family doesn’t really appeal, does it? So the thought of going down to the local retail park to look at these state of the art cleaning appliances filled me with as much excitement as a trip to the local municipal skip – in fact there’s always an outside chance that one of my chums might be at the skip for a chin wag, whereas they’ll all be avoiding the retail park? So, we duly arrived at the shops and my wife was already chastising me for being so miserable and behaving like a sulky 10 year old. So I put on my interested face and asked her what features were a ‘must have’ and which were just desirable. Anyway, we finally decided on a robust looking thing, made with German engineering, with lots of interesting buttons and features that would probably never be used and chased down a sales person. Something for nothing Eventually we managed to prise a spotty youth away from his colleagues in the corner and ascertained that the price of the machine would be in the region of £500. We told him that we were going to pop to one or two more suppliers to compare price, upon hearing this he said: ‘You can purchase this unit on 12 months 0% interest-free finance if you buy today’. Let’s face it, most of us can find £500 but I found the lure of getting someone else to pay the interest on a loan compelling.
Needless to say we decided not to visit any more exciting electrical retailers and buy this machine there and then, which brings me onto the subject of offering your patients interest-free finance for dental treatment.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s not every day you are offered something for nothing and this is effectively what interest-free finance is, even though someone somewhere is standing the interest, whether it be the electrical store, sofas or you as the dentist. It is an amazingly powerful sales tool. It was without doubt the only part of the shopping experience I was even vaguely interested in and can be the same for you when you are promoting different treatments. Make it a must-have For instance if you are offering a patient whitening and you would normally be asking for £400-£500. This can be a real sticking point for a patient, remember whitening is a luxury, but if you say it will cost them £33 per month over 12 months, this suddenly becomes a ‘must have’. In sales, we refer to this as overcoming objections eg, you take the objection of the customer having to find £500 away.