Your Slight Edge - Part Seven: What’s the Difference Between Specialists and Generalists? (Hint: $$)

The people in our society who are paid the least are generalists.  These people are indistinguishable from others with a similar skill set.  Often, these skills are not highly valued and this is because they have been commoditized.  They look exactly like everyone else.  And if everyone looks the same, then the only differentiating feature is the price. And if price is the only differentiating feature, then the lowest price "wins."

Specialists are paid far more in our society than generalists.  If all podiatrists are specialists, then why is there so much disparity between podiatrists in their income?  If all podiatrists have similar training,  then why the disparity? While you may have many strongly held opinions about the difference between your training and others, the public does not share them, and does not reward you for it.

The answer is Differentiation

Everyone wants "the best."  The best car, the best lawyer, the best computer, the best doctor. And contrary to what you might think EVERYONE is willing to pay for the best. 

When you want something, you always want three things: the best price, the best service, and the best quality. You always want all three, but you can only have two.  You can't have the best price and the best quality and the best service.  if you get the best price, you have to give up either the best quality or the best service.  Think about it, this is true of all things.  You, as a practitioner, can't offer the best quality and service to people and be the cheapest practice in town.  You would go out of business trying.

As you market your practice, you differentiate yourself by demonstrating (without directly asserting it yourself) that you are the best choice for solving your prospective patient's problem.

If your potential patient is unhappy enough with their ugly toenails that they are willing to do something about it to get it fixed, then they want it fixed.  They don't want to pay less and not have it fixed.  When someone wants a problem solved it is never ever about the money.  We all find a way to pay for the things we truly want and need.  We all do.

What your potential patient wants to know is "can you fix me?"  This is the most important question in their mind.  "Are you the right person to solve my problem?"  If your marketing looks like every other option available to them and there is no difference between you, or the other options they have, then all they want to know is the price. 

If instead, they have come to see that you are the obvious choice for them, before they ever set a foot inside your door, then price is never an issue.  This is true in all things.

Rem Jackson
Founder and CEO of Top Practices, LLC
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