What's your Unique Advantage?Sep 01, 2023
Have you felt the pressure to lower your prices, participate in managed care plans you don't really believe in, unbundle, or otherwise "compete on price"?
There is one thing you can develop to reduce your patients' (and your own) psychological resistance to cost and make you clearly stand out from your competition.
I call it your "Unique Advantage".
Here's the core of the problem:
You probably look too similar to your competition for your ideal patients to differentiate you.
In most clinics, this means that you're focused on selling hearing aids.
Why is that a problem?
Because everyone sells hearing aids.
Costco. Retail chains. The internet. Ebay. OTCs. Managed care plans.
If you're focused on selling hearing aids, you're in a race to the bottom on price...because your selling a commodity.
"But we provide really great service!"
I'm sure that's true!
But if you're like most hearing providers I talk to, you probably have a difficult time communicating the value of that service to your patients.
Identifying Your Unique Advantage
To clearly communicate your unique advantage, and use it to attract ideal patients, you have to clearly understand it yourself.
Here are a couple of examples of companies who have developed a compelling Unique Advantage that attracts their ideal customers:
- Designer eyewear at a fraction of the typical price
- Home try-on program: Choose 5 frames to try on for 5 days for free
- For every pair purchased, a pair is distributed to someone in need
- Online and offline experiences and showrooms
- Exceptional performance with zero-emission driving
- Advanced autopilot capabilities
- Over-the-air software updates to continually improve performance and features
- Direct-to-consumer sales with no unpleasant dealership experience
6 Steps to Define Your Unique Advantage
- Get clear on who your ideal patient is: You need to begin with a crystal clear profile of who your ideal patient is so that you know what they value, desire, trust, and distrust.
- Analyze your competition's Unique Advantages: Make a list of the top 5-20 competitors in your market. Write out what it is that they offer that's unique in the market. Armed with this knowledge, you know what you don't want to focus on. Remember, the goal is to be clearly differentiated.
- Identify your relevant strengths: This could include proprietary processes, unique specialized training, celebrity (yourself or patients), affinity ("someone like me"), voice/communication style, guarantee of results, ease of working with you, marketing or sale process, or any other number of unique strengths. Make a big list.
- Align your strengths with your ideal patient: Now that you have this list of unique strengths, cross off the ones that your ideal patient won't care about, and highlight the ones they will.
- Identify which of your strengths are truly unique: Cross off the "gimme" items. If there are any items on the list that a patient would read and say "I would hope so", or that look generic next to all of your competitors...it doesn't belong.
- Organize it into 5-15 bullet points: This list of unique strengths, in its own unique combination is what defines your practice's Unique Advantage.
Now that you know what your Unique Advantage is, begin to integrate into your website, your marketing materials, your phone scripts, your consultation process, your take-home materials, etc.
Next time you enter a conversation with a prospective patient, referring physician, or ideal employee, you'll feel much more confident in defining exactly who you are, and who you're for.
Note: If you had a hard time coming up with strengths, good news/bad news.
That means, right now, you're probably not doing all that much to stand out from the competition, which is why you're struggling.
I'd invite you to spend 30-60 minutes on this exercise:
If you could wave a magic wand, and in 12 months have your ideal, unique, one-of-a-kind practice...what would that look like?
What would your Unique Advantage be?
It might take a significant investment in time, resources, effort, and education to get from here to there...but now you know where you need to be heading.
Block at minimum 2 hours on your calendar every week to begin setting SMART goals and taking definitive action to get you there.
This will be the most business and life-transforming effort you will make in your practice.
Want to help more patients in your practice? Schedule a risk-free strategy session to discuss your goals and develop a plan with Brad Stewart, AuD.