How do you strategically entice a prospective patient or referring physician to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with YOU rather than one of your competitors?
It’s all done with your value proposition.
A value proposition is a clear, concise statement that explains the tangible benefits your patients receive by choosing you over other competing diagnostic imaging centers.
When we first started our imaging center we didn’t even have a value proposition, we just stated what we did “Ultrasound Dimensions – Medical and Maternity Ultrasound Centre”. No wonder it was such a struggle to fill up our appointment calendar!
Next we tried a clever tag line, “Ireland’s Most Trusted Ultrasound Centre” but still, this raises too many questions in a prospects mind and doesn’t communicate any value at all.
The value proposition statement that I crafted for our centre, Ultrasound Dimensions reads like this:
“Since 2007, Ultrasound Dimensions has been trusted by over 28,000 patients and doctors. Our Enterprise Ireland award-winning team offers you convenient appointments seven days a week, immediate results, and always takes the time give you peace of mind.”
This statement quickly answers several principle questions that are essentially the heart and soul of what determines if patients will do business with my center or choose to seek the medical care of another practice. We will dissect the key components of a similar statement in just a moment.
But first, when creating a value proposition, the key is to communicate what value you have to offer to the patient, and make it quick!
So…WHY Does Your Medical Center Need a Value Proposition
Before the “what,” let’s get right to the “why.” When it comes to your customers, nothing is more important to them than their health.
Often, there is a disconnect between healthcare practitioners and patients when it comes to understanding how you can truly help.
You have been practicing your area of healthcare for years while this may be the first time a patient has even heard of your speciality, even if it is as something as common as an X-Ray.
Don’t assume they understand they understand what you have to offer.
You have a fiduciary responsibility to your patients to clearly and effectively communicate what benefits you can provide – in a language they can understand.
This is why I feel it’s so important to have a value proposition in any and all areas of healthcare.
Value Proposition Basics
With a wealth of information available on the internet, the health industry has become a highly competitive market and creating a well-structured value proposition is key to standing out amongst the other available options and to show patients how you can help.
It’s no surprise that a patient’s attention is difficult to grab ahold of, so it’s important that you create an engaging value proposition that answers the following questions:
- Why should your ideal patient choose your medical practice over your competitors’ or doing nothing at all?
It’s important to clearly present the benefits your patients receive through your medical center that they wouldn’t be guaranteed elsewhere. Do you offer more comprehensive insurance coverage? Or more extensive rehabilitation services? Be clear in your explanation of what your patients will GET, rather than simply what you DO.
- What services (or practices) do you have that other medical centers lack?
Simply tell your patients what services you provide that your competition doesn’t. Maybe you offer extended hours for greater patient flexibility? Or maybe stay open on weekends? Identify and share your strengths through evidentiary support.
Your value proposition will be the catalyst that entices your ideal patients to continue reading on about your services rather than clicking away to a competitor’s site.
So…WHAT is a Value Proposition?
A great value proposition:
- Differentiates your medical center from the others
- Takes into account terms and verbiage that your customers can understand
- Approaches the value of your company from a consumer mindset
- Markets your company as above the norm or standard
- Creates a perception in the patient’s mind that your services match or exceed those of the competition
Not to exceed a short paragraph, your value proposition should identify the needs of your customer base that aren’t adequately being met elsewhere. Again, brevity is key!
You cannot simply market yourself as being the biggest, the fastest, the oldest, or the first, etc. at something and expect to grab the attention of prospective patients. You must provide clear, concise evidence to support your statement. Being very specific in your claims and citing true numbers or percentages will help boost your value proposition’s validity.
The client should instantly recognize what they will gain and how their lives will be made easier by your services. A good value proposition must entice the customer immediately, prompting them to seek further clarification about your medical services.
So, What Does a Great Value Proposition Look Like?
Still wondering what an effective value proposition even looks like? Well, while there are thousands of value propositions online, finding a superb example can be a little trickier.
So, what’s the good news in that statement? There is a high likelihood that your competitor’s haven’t mastered the art of a value proposition either – which means you can gain an advantage!
Let’s examine the following value proposition:
“Jackson Medical Center offers an industry-leading medical team with cutting edge imaging technology and the latest in robotic surgeries. Since 2006, Jackson Medical has received an “A” For Patient Safety and continues to gain respect throughout the healthcare community. Set to open a $1.2 million cancer care wing in 2018, Jackson Medical continuously leads the healthcare industry in southern Pennsylvania and strives toward their commitments to exceptional patient care and advancements in medical research.”
This value proposition speaks to the overall competency of the Jackson Medical team and their services. So, now, let’s dissect it a bit:
- What benefits does Jackson Medical Center provide?
“Jackson Medical Center offers an industry-leading medical team with cutting edge imaging technology and the latest in robotic surgeries.”
- Do they give evidence that sets their medical practice (and services) apart?
“Since 2006, Jackson Medical has received an “A” For Patient Safety and continues to gain respect throughout the healthcare community.”
- Do they provide an “only factor” – something no other competitor can match?
Set to open a $1.2 million cancer care wing in 2018, Jackson Medical continuously leads the healthcare industry in southern Pennsylvania and …”
- Are they implicit not explicit (implying why their practice is the best and allowing patients to infer rather than telling them)?
“…strives toward their commitments to exceptional patient care and advancements in medical research.”
Like Jackson Medical Center, your value proposition must entice your patients to infer that you are the best at what you do – rather than flat out telling them.
Dr. Glosman is your dentist. You click on his website homepage and see the following value propositions displayed mid-screen:
“Glosman Dental: Leaders in Dental Implants and Cosmetic Dentistry – Est. 1977!”
Would your immediate thought not be, “What makes you the leader?” This claim is more of a slogan, rather than a value proposition, as no evidentiary support is provided. It’s also not an implicit statement, which allows you to infer your judgments as to the competency of Glosman Dental.
Now picture clicking on Dr. Glosman’s homepage and reading this:
“Since 1977, Herald Square Dental has been trusted to improve and maintain confident, natural looking smiles of over 90,000 patients. At our state of the art Manhattan Center, our award winning team always takes the time to explain your procedures, answer your questions, and provide you with an enjoyable, pain-free experience that results in a beautiful smile.”
Now…are you not much more inclined to believe Dr. Glosman really is a leader in the dental industry, even though he never said it? Evidence of the benefits you provide (and your reputation) will always pique your prospective patients’ interests on a much greater scale than self-proclaimed status statements.
What is NOT a Value Proposition?
Though a value proposition may sound like a simple statement that you can whip up in minutes, there is skill involved, and many companies get a little confused while constructing theirs.
So, here are some simple “no-no’s” to avoid:
- A value proposition is not your mission statement or slogan.
- It is not intended to be a cheap, catchy sales pitch (but is designed to legitimately display the advantages of your company over those of the competition).
- Never use slang or jargon.
- Get out of YOUR head! Remember to make your value proposition relate to your target audience.
- Don’t overwhelm them. By using too many adjectives or a string of long words, you will inevitably lose the attention of your reader.
- Do not attempt to create a value proposition by advertising your company as you would on a billboard (Instead, sell an image and a promise that you can help the patient and that there is something your company excels at above all others).
- Don’t get too fancy. Make it simple enough that potential patient can easily digest and verbalize the proposed value to friends.
- Avoid overly trendy or hype-style writing (such as “as a bonus”), as this will put clients on guard and create skepticism about your legitimacy to deliver valued services.
Additionally, a value proposition is not a detailed background story about the company, nor is it an overview of every service that you offer. Keep it simple! Never write more than a paragraph, as this will surely test the attention span of your consumer and cause you to lose out on potential clients.
Lasting Quick Tips for Your Medical Center’s Value Proposition Success
So, make sure to:
- Focus on your best competitive advantages.
- Gently pepper in details that create an unparalleled image of your medical center’s capabilities in the minds of your patients (Allow them to infer).
- Elevate yourself above the competition (but never attack them)!
It’s as simple as that.
The art of the value proposition hangs neatly in the balance between sneaking a glimpse of value and benefits and being caught in another sales pitch that makes promises you can’t deliver. Medical patients are wary of gimmicks and pitches, and rightfully so.
A value proposition simply highlights the features of your business that excel in the industry and gives patients more than they would regularly receive from the competition. Value propositions are vital to gaining trust and respect within your patients, while also serving as a fundamental element that boosts your business in the forefront of your industry.
So, take your time…Because creating a fundamentally sound, effective value proposition is invaluable!