Why Discounting Botox Doesn't Work!

November 22, 2016


$10/unit is the average clinic price of Botox across the country.  The polar extremes of these prices can run as high as $15/unit from a clinic selling Botox in downtown Toronto in comparison to another clinic offering it at $7/unit a mere 20 minutes down the road….


If you own or manage a cosmetic clinic, Botox at such a low price from a competitor may leave you feeling a little nauseated; however, you are probably also asking yourself how a clinic can sell at the higher price.  Regardless, when the average price is $10 per unit, that $7 PER UNIT price may have started your heart racing and perhaps got your palms sweating.  STOP!  There is no need to panic. 


I have witnessed far too many clinics in this exact position; they discover their nearest competitor is offering this prestige service at – let's face it -  an unprofitable price.  The knee-jerk reaction to this shocking revelation is the biggest mistake that medical cosmetic clinics are making today: they drop their price to compete.


The worry of losing all your patients to the discount clinic because of the inability to compete and the general risk as a business-owner all fuel this reaction.  There are reasons that this is the exact opposite of what you should do!  The facts are simple: discounting doesn’t work and these are the reasons why...  #2 just might surprise you!



1. Weigh the Risk


Price is not the ONLY factor nor the most important factor patients consider - especially when it comes to Botox.  You can prove this to yourself by reflecting on your own buying habits.


In the case that your patient is comparing the clinic prices of Botox, a Health Canada approved drug, you may be at an advantage to be higher in price. Yes, you read that correctly.  The patient may be more likely to choose the higher priced clinic without any other information.  Take the case study of buying aspirin as an example:


The sign at your local pharmacy invites the consumer to compare the price of the generic brand of aspirin to a brand name version.


According to Itamar Simonson, the consumer may not go for the cheapest.  Instead, they choose the major brand because the name brand provides a perception of less risk.


Questions surrounding Botox safety from patients arise all the time.  It is imperative that we remember when choosing to make the decision on injections, consumers are aware of risk and want to find a qualified and reliable clinic for this service, not just the lowest price.



2. Bargain-Hunters vs. Value-Seekers


You are probably telling yourself that in your experience with patients, there are still some people looking for the best price.  You’re right!  So, let’s examine the driving force that brought these patients to your clinic and what this means for your business.


When your Botox is discounted, you will end up with a lot more patients that we’ll call, “Bargain-Hunters”.  These are patients that may have been priced out of the Botox market at $10/unit or who are simply not willing to pay for the service at that price.

In contrast, the patient that purchases your service at $10/unit may not be an easy sell; nonetheless, they are impressed more so by factors such as the clinic, injector or service verses the actual price.  These “Value-Seekers” allow you to maintain healthy profit margins by maintaining expectations of quality that your clinic provides.

Now ask yourself who is the better patient for your business?  Who is more likely to return as a patient at regular prices?  Who would you prefer to service as your patient?  Who will offer quality referrals?  Who will offer negative online reviews?


These answers will provide an understanding to the differences between these two groups of patients and the consequential long-term effects each may have to offer.  If “Value-Seekers” will help grow your business, “Bargain-Hunters” give little to no worth to your business except for the single Botox service purchased.  In fact, many experts suggest these patients are not even worth a one-time sale with advice to drop this client altogether.



3. Value Based Pricing 


How do you want your cosmetic clinic to be perceived?


With this thought in mind, let’s look at the classic Starbucks example to understand Value Based Pricing.


In Starbuck’s case, setting and maintaining a premium price has been policy. A quick comparison demonstrates how high these prices are verses the competition:



The reason behind the coffee mega-success was always a plan of luring and retaining a loyal, high end consumer base seeking a luxury brand.  


The idea that Starbucks coffee is higher priced is the exact reason these customers want to buy it!


It is the image of the brand that outweighs the consideration of the higher price.  For this reason, Starbucks no longer considers lower cost competitors, competition at all!


By maximizing profits Starbucks has created a loyal following and reaps the rewards through Value Based Pricing.


In short, a high price propels the exact idea that there is high value.  So, before making the decision to cut your Botox prices, decide what value you want to elicits from your clinic.



The reasons to stop discounting Botox are clearly presented in these three arguments but if you are still concerned about how to increase sales and patients, there are other ways to compete and succeed.  Don’t miss out on what to do:  SUBSCRIBE HERE and get answers to growing your sales and increasing your patients through strategies that work from my upcoming post, “Don’t Discount Botox!Ideas That Work Instead”


Want even more strategies that will work for your cosmetic clinic?  Get in touch and find out how we are helping others like you!




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