A business decision that we made early on at Champion was that we offer fair prices, with no discounts.
Sometimes discounts can help drum up some business, but it’s super important that you set the tone and value your services.
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#AskMikeReinold Episode 306: Why You Shouldn’t Offer Discounts for Physical Therapy
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So we have Maddie from Ontario and she asked, “Hey guys, as a private clinic, how do you handle parents and patients asking you as a therapist for discounts for your services? This is happening more and more to me, especially with long-term rehabs like ACL patients who are in the clinic for nine plus months. Do you offer packages for these long term patients? Do you let them know the full cost of nine plus months of rehab up front so they have time to plan? Any thoughts on how to navigate these conversations would be great. Thanks.”
That’s a good question, Maddie. I like how you started at the beginning here, that you’re seeing it more and more happen to you, which is interesting. Which I think is probably going to lead the start of this discussion of this is why you don’t do discounts.
Because where does end?
You just answered your own question.
Yeah, I mean, where does it end? But I get it, you’re feeling the pressure of it. I don’t know. Historically, we’ve been through the same thing, Maddie, just to make you feel better. We’ve been through this, too, and we’re trying to figure out what’s the best thing to do. How do we do these sorts of things? But, I don’t know. You want to be sensitive to your clientele, obviously, but I think you also have to be sensitive to you and the value that you bring to these people, and whether or not they value that as much as you do, right? So I think that’s interesting. But I don’t know, Len, we’ve been through this a little bit with PTs. We treat people for a long time, right?
How much do we deal with this discount thing? I feel like it’s come up in the past, but…
It’s come up, but not as much as you think. We have people ask if they know they’re coming for a month or two months, or they know they’re having a big surgery like an ACL. But we’ve never entertained it, and we’ve never done it. And I think we’ve priced ourselves correctly, we think, in the market that people value us and we don’t have to do the discount. I think people just know ahead of time that what they value the information that we’re going to provide and take care of their child, if that’s the case, then it’s worth it to them. It’s humbling. It’s shocking. And it makes me keep my game up and stay on top of things because I don’t want to disappoint. And I know the life of this person that I’m going to be rehabbing for the next nine plus months is in my hands, oftentimes, with some of the decisions I have to make and some of the advice I have to give.
So I don’t want to discount that, and never mind if somebody pays for nine months worth of rehab and they get back in eight months for whatever the injury is, do I want to have to then give a refund on that money? It gets awkward. So I think you said it yourself, the person that asked the question. You’re getting a lot of these inquiries, or you’re seeing a lot of people that need long-term rehab, there’s a reason why. They value you. They value your information and your ability to do rehab for that particular injury. So don’t discount yourself. I really think it’s important, and I think you’ve settled into a nice niche and go with it. And I think people respect that. They’ll ask of course, but I think you respectfully say, we just don’t do that. We just don’t have that concept here. And I think most people are fine with it. They want to work with you.
That’s a good point. I will say in the youth sports world, parents… There’s certain parents, too. It’s part of the game for them, but they’re always trying to get discounts on things. Do you have sibling discounts? Do you have this discount? Do you have this discount? It’s such a common thing. I just think parents get used to asking that, because so many people get it. And we’ve had this. I think there’s two components to this question for you though, right Maddie? There’s the humanity of it and then there’s the business of it. Business wise, say a sibling discount, you hear about that sort of stuff, or a package discount, you’re going to offer 5% discount. I mean, who cares? It’s not that big of a discount to entice somebody. You’re probably just losing 5% if you offer that discount.
I think you would use it from a business perspective when you are trying to drum up business and maybe your schedule’s low or something like that and you’re actually getting started with something. Because what you’re doing is you’re offering somebody a discount for guaranteeing longevity. And if you’re early in your career or you’re early in this process with that, that could be a good business move for you. But you do have to be careful. It’s a slippery slope, because then people are always going to be asking for discounts for everything and where does it end? You’re going to keep offering discounts. The humanity aspect, I get your point. It’s almost like you feel bad charging for the service you do, but I mean, you get a haircut every month or whatever. Although, I don’t know, Maddie… I don’t know what women do. Women, it’s not every month, right? But you get haircuts a lot, right?
People go to massage all the time. People go to skill instructors like golf instructors or baseball instructors for lessons, those sorts of things. I wouldn’t devalue yourself. It’s not fair to you. And I think that’s the component here, you feel bad for the person and you don’t want to charge them as much, but you are the one that’s then going to technically suffer financially from that because you’re giving a discount because you feel bad for charging what you’re worth. So keep that in mind. But I don’t know. Anybody else have more perspective? Dewey, I know in the gym you deal with this a little bit, but what are some other thoughts about discounts and stuff that you’ve dealt with?
Yeah, you and Lenny definitely nailed the aspect of it. I think people are just in the habit of asking. I think it’s just kind of part of the thing when you have, let’s say, multiple kids, or you have a whole family training with a facility or whatever. We get the question about a family discount all the time. I think people are just inclined to ask, and I think you can make it really awkward or you can just say no and stick to what your business values are and just move on, and they’re still going to train with you and they’re going to be fine. They’re not going to resent you for it. So I think that first part of the barrier is just being confident in what you provide and the value that you’re actually able to demonstrate. But what I want to piggyback on is what you said towards the end of devaluing yourself by offering discounts all the time.
I’d argue that you could get into that slippery slope of eventual cascade effect. You’re devaluing the industry. If you offer a discount and now you’re cheaper than the facility next to you, well, what are they going to do to market? Well, maybe they start lowering their prices, and then everyone in that area lowers prices and then the entire industry now makes less, but you still do the same amount of work, and you still provide the same amount of value. I think this can definitely get a little tricky. I mean, I can go off on this. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about just on the fitness side of things. Because we know how saturated the market is with training and personal trainers and strength coaches and stuff right now. But yeah, I think anything that we can do to be confident in the value that we provide and not devalue the entire industry or not devalue yourself is definitely going to be something that we’ve got to think about. Not just offer discounts because someone asks.
Yeah. I think historically with Champion, we’ve used discounts more as front end offers, right?
We’re trying to get people in the door. So Mike Scaduto, golf performance program, we may offer a cheaper than a normal session. Hey, get a TPI assessment for X dollars. That’s sort of our discount, but it’s to get them in our funnel to get them to our core offerings from a front end offer. That’s how we would potentially use it. But you only want to do that when you need business. Once you’re established, just giving a discount because you feel bad is… I don’t think you’re valuing yourself or the industry enough. I think Diwesh made a good point there. But we’re also very reasonably priced, I think, at Champion. We’re intentionally probably low on the scale of what we charge for around here because we also are conscious of that, Maddie.
I think we made our prices very competitive. I don’t know if competitive is the right word, but we made our prices very affordable… I don’t even know. Affordable is all relative, too, right? There are a lot of people that are more expensive than us, but we don’t think that’s how we wanted to do it. So you could argue that we just priced ourselves what we thought was fair for both us and them, and we ran with it. And I think once you get busy, I think you’re pretty good. But yeah, good stuff. Awesome. Anything else? Everybody good? Right?
That’s a good answer. So Maddie, you got this. Feel good in the service you provide and charge what it’s worth and I think that’s the best way to do it. Awesome. If you have more questions like that, anything you want talk about, PT, sports performance, career advice, business stuff like this, just head to mikereinold.com, click on that podcast link and please, please, please go to Apple Podcast, Spotify, and rate, review, subscribe so you can keep getting these episodes. Thanks again. We’ll see you on the next episode.