This article was inspired by a question that some cryotherapy business owners asked back in April when we were conducting a pre-launch survey for CryoProsUnited:
“How to compete with franchises that under-price their services?”
So, let's discuss some ideas on how to stand out from the competition without lowering the price and sacrificing profits.
The answer to how NOT to compete on price begins with defining the IDEAL client. It must possess two important features:
So, the 1st question is: are you marketing to the right crowd? If yes, price will never be the primary factor. If not, even lowering it will hardly produce the desired results.
Let's discuss the options and one commonly made mistake - talking features, not benefits.
Cryotherapy has 3 possible target audiences:
Due to endorsement by professional athletes, the physically active and competitive people are often perceived as the number one target, especially because those who compete also allocate resources to support their ambition.
With the rise of Cryoskin, the beauty conscious people have become easier to attract.
At the same time, in my own experience, the best people to work with are those who need help with their health. It could be low energy, loss of sleep, or depression, but nothing compares with PAIN. Living with it day by day, not being able to work, rest, or play takes a huge toll. Many have tried various approaches that have only provided short-term or no relief. Many live on painkillers. Many have been told that not much more could be done to improve their condition, while we have seen cryotherapy do wonders.
When I just started developing cryotherapy business, I had a client – a young woman with terrible sciatica. She was told that her only option was a surgery, but there was no guarantee it would help. Even more so, there was a risk that the invasion would worsen her condition. Having heard of my recently opened cryotherapy location, her mother was driving her one hour each way every Saturday morning for a cryotreatment, so that she could live through the week. Her car seat was down on the way to my office, as she could not sit, but cryo was helping – her mobility had improved, and her pain was easier to bear.
If you can provide relief, you will have the most loyal clients you could dream of. You will become a destination. They will keep coming back, and they will be willing to pay the price. Marketing cryotherapy specifically to the people in pain may be the boost your business has been waiting for.
Even if not, WHOEVER your IDEAL client is (it may be the athletic crowd, after all), you need to know the answer, as it is the prerequisite of being able to compete on value.
The most common mistake by locations providing cryotherapy is not being clear with the message. It is marketing treatments, a list of services, rather than the transformation that these services will enable and the benefits that they will provide. And it is trying to appeal to everybody who may be interested (as being in a niche business letting anybody go sounds like a bad idea).
As reasonable as it sounds, this approach does NOT produce the best results. To be compelling, your promise must tap right into the deepest desires and the biggest fears of the target audience. IF the audience is not uniform, only two things can be done to clarify the message and to improve the “hit rate”:
For example, talking about cellulite reduction or fat cell removal to athletes creates confusion and reduces their confidence that your location’s the right choice for THEM. Having a room full of athletic bodies intimidates and discourages people with health issues.
You need to display two qualities to the audience of your choice to gain its trust:
This is where competing on value, not price, actually begins.
By having a strategically selected audience to target, understanding of what they are looking for and offering the knowledge to help, you can make it much more personal to people and become their trusted adviser, a “go to” place to have their needs met.
Cryotherapy is a people’s business. The looks of the equipment or any other external factors matter much less than friendliness, kindness and true understanding of what needs to be accomplished – the relationships that you and your staff can build with your audience.
The number of people you are seeing on regular basis probably permits having a deeper conversation at least once, during the first visit, and taking some notes about the particular person.
Knowing their name will help. There are little tricks that can be useful. For example, when teaching 50-people groups of MBA students, I used to refer to a print-out with their photos and names. I would review it as many times as necessary to be able to recognize every person, and our interaction during the classes would immediately improve. They appreciated it and saw it as a distinguishing factor between me and my fellow instructors.
But remembering little details from their personal story and referring to them during the visits will do more than any treatment ever could. You may have heard of the Ritz Carlton approach which is so famous it’s used internationally as a case study for business students. Their attention to personal detail is the reason why this extremely expensive hotel chain has the most loyal clientele in the world. To be able to do that, they document their clients’ requests and choices. This way, they “remember” the details and use them to add little personal touches every time the client returns.
Another approach that’s extremely effective in making people feel personally attached to the place is displaying their signed photographs on the walls. This approach has been used by Hard Rock Café for decades, it has been adopted by many restaurants, bars, and clubs, but it’s much less common in the wellness industry. You don’t need celebrity visitors to do it, you can make your own “hall of fame” - take a picture together with any client you have helped recover or succeed. Have it signed, put it out for every visitor to see, and people will be feeling like coming to a service provider who cares.
Last, but not least, events can be an extremely effective way to create a sense of belonging and a community. Not too long ago, many wineries and wine bars started offering “paint and sip” events where people come together to replicate an offered painting under a supervision of an artist, while also enjoying some wine. It has created some wildly popular franchises, and these events don’t only build closer ties between the locations and their clients. They also serve as an additional source of revenue AND a way to sell more. Creative application of this idea could help any wellness location – instead of wine and painting, there may be an interesting presentation by an expert, a product demonstration, or a class on self-massage or stretching. People can be invited to bring their friends or family members. They can form teams. There can be elements of education and elements of a game – competing on answering health-related questions, for example.
Success leaves clues. The most outstanding businesses in any industry have been able to think out of the box and offer something that none of the rivals could.
In a small business like a wellness center, gym, or spa the people and the feel will always be more important than the gadgets. The bottom line is – make your business more personal and more social, and the word will spread without you spending any money on marketing. Price will not matter much anymore
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