We’ve heard it many times: “My existing lab pricing is better than this.” And that’s because doctors aren’t factoring in the total cost per order (typically, they’re getting hosed on AR pricing). That’s far from the worst gimmick companies are using to exploit independent optometrists, though.
Any time the following words or phrases are mentioned, recognize that they’re not simply “perks” or “bonuses.” They’re already worked into the price you’re paying, usually at a substantial premium:
- Loyalty programs
- Discounts negotiated account-by-account
- Free shipping
- Free equipment
- Free lunch for you and your office staff
If a supplier provides a “free” piece of equipment or pays for a $20,000 remodel, but your contract states that you’ll have to pay it back by ordering set minimums of their product, you’re effectively paying a high-interest loan that costs you 2-4x the original “freebie.”
The profitable optometrist recognizes references to any of the above as something that’s costing them money. Not only are they paying for the expenses associated with the apparent “benefits” of their account, but they’re also subsidizing these costs across the supplier’s entire client base. You’re not just paying for your lunches, your equipment, etc. — you’re subsidizing those costs across their entire client base.