On a recent trip to the USA I saw a sign in a restaurant that was positioned diametrically opposite to the way that most people think.
And I’m sure this stance, as expressed in this sign, was well thought out for a reason.
More on this sign shortly…
The sign started me thinking.
How often do we as business owners take the opportunity to present a case, or take a position that is so far out there in left field that it creates a double take for our audiences?
And have you ever done this?
Have you ever been so far out into “left field” that you have your competitors wondering exactly what it is that you are up to?
My thoughts are that one of the surest ways of insulting your customers and potential customers is to appear *mean* when it comes to payment options.
And I see this happening time after time after time.
And I’m sure you do too….
How many times have you heard a business say:
“I’m sorry. We don’t take American Express”
Or even worse:
“I just need to let you know that there’s a 2.5% surcharge on all American Express purchases.”
What virtual “slaps in the faces” do these comments convey?
These comments are both very insulting…and ignorant.
Firstly, not accepting American Express, which is a very widely accepted CHARGE card is insulting to Amex members, each and every time they request to use their cards.
Secondly, Amex members know that most stores do not take a truckload of Amex sales, so that even if American Express does charge the merchant more, the additional sales they make via Amex will not send that Merchant broke due to them having to pay Amex the extra commission.
It’s a piddly little extra amount.
Thirdly, because Amex is a CHARGE card and not a CREDIT card, the customer has the ability to pay their monthly Amex off in full every month.
So the Amex Customer is more likely to be able to spend more than the Credit Card user. And that’s got to be better for business?
So why not do what this restaurant in Manhattan did?
Why not turn the Amex debate on its head?
Why not reward Amex customers and give a slap in the face to those customers who do not have an Amex?
Make those non-Amex customers have to run to an ATM cash machine….
Years ago I turned the accounts receivable list in my Dental Office on its ear.
I was sick and tired of the failure of the people who owed me money to come and settle their accounts.
[Oh and by the way, the reason you have accounts receivable is that someone on your team, and it may be you doc, is allowing your customers to treat you like a line of credit]
It infuriated me that people who were delaying paying me the money that they owed me for services rendered were happily sharing their “triumphs” over me with all who would listen.
While I had my own debts that I was borrowing for…
So here’s what I did.
One Christmas, I sent a letter to each of the customers who owed me money that they should have paid to me.
And the letter read:
It’s Christmas, and Christmas is a time of giving.
So, as my gift to you, I’ll be giving your account to a debt collector if you do not pay me the money that you owe me within the next two days.
This letter resulted in a large number of outstanding accounts receivable being settled quickly.
Some begrudgingly. But quickly.
And I’d much rather be known as the Dentist who’s not going to be letting anyone take advantage of them.
Rather than the dentist who it was easy to get “free treatment” from…
Worked like a charm.
From that day forth my accounts receivable outstanding was never an issue.
Was it worth taking the opposite tack to create a positioning that was a distinct point of difference?
I think YES.
Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.
You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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