040 - Pricing Strategy: How Not to Discount - Network Spinal Analysis Story

Pricing strategy is a key consideration when selling a product or service. Hear a true story about a bizarre pricing model I encountered and what marketers can learn from it.

Topics:

0:50 Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) - recommended by Tony Robbins: "NSA was created by Dr. Donny Epstein in the 1980s. It's deceptively simple yet profoundly effective. NSA practitioners lightly touch certain parts of your spine to release tension. By releasing that tension, energy is freed up, which the body uses to increase flexibility in your spine and, by extension, your nervous system." Read more: Tony Robbins Says This Little-Known Therapy is One of the Most Powerful Sources of Transformation He Has Ever Experienced

"At its core, NSA is an elegant hack to help you reorganize your body and mind, making you more physically and mentally flexible and resilient. It's like a software upgrade for humans."

Sounds great, right? It didn't really work for me.

Network Spinal Analysis is a lesser known method of  chiropractic  care that  focuses  on connecting with the nervous system in order to free tension around the spine (the “brainal” cord) that is causing misalignment.

Network Spinal Analysis is a lesser known method of chiropractic care that focuses on connecting with the nervous system in order to free tension around the spine (the “brainal” cord) that is causing misalignment.

1:30 Pricing model as presented to customer: 25% discount for paying month-to-month (instead of by the session), or 30% discount for paying for all six months at once

2:10 Pricing policy is a retroactive price hike if you discontinue before hitting six months

2:35 An agreement requires consideration (both parties signing a contract). It later turned out an office assistant mistakenly forgot to present me with the contract. This indicates disorganization, a separate issue.

4:52 "Be impeccable with your word" - one of The Four Agreements

5:00 Make customers feel they can trust you

5:10 Don’t forget to reduce customer anxiety at ALL points in the customer journey, not only pre-purchase but also post purchase. Retention marketing is equally important. Remember, it costs on average 10 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep a current one.

5:22 Packaging (one of the 4 Ps) - package nicely to instill post-purchase satisfaction (great brands like Apple have always understood the power of packaging). In a service oriented business, everything about the service experience is essentially packaging, from your office environment to your communication style to your emails and online scheduling tool.

5:55 Marketing doesn't end after the cash register closes

6:10 Satisfaction guarantees and pricing model must be consistent

6:40 Keep your business reputation healthy - this is a priority because local businesses live and die by reviews. Nickel and diming or displeasing customers to scrape extra money out of a transaction is just not worth it nowadays when anyone can post an online review. Plus, having to do this is a sign that your product or service is lacking. Fix that instead of toying with a tricky pricing strategy.

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The Outcome

We parted ways amicably and I got a full refund, after 2-3 weeks of back-and-forth. This was an unnecessary waste of time. I have no ill will toward the doctor here. However I wouldn't recommend her practice with the current pricing model. Apparently many chiropractors use this six month pay-ahead discount. Please stop. Just do a good job and people will come back. You don’t have to trick them or manipulate them with complex pricing.

I made a podcast out of this not to complain or be negative, but to draw a lesson and point out the business takeaway - because that is more interesting and overall productive and positive. NSA is quite effective for some people and I wish them well.

A retroactive price hike or “pro-ration” of past sessions is a horrible model that takes advantage of customers and makes you seem like a no-money-down/payday loan quack.