Why is September a Good Time to Promote Flex Plans?
As we come out of the dog days of summer, many elective surgery doctors find it difficult to focus on anything other than the need for immediate surgeries. This is a common mistake for practices in the LASIK world. Although practices are usually looking for a rebound in the number of surgeries that plummeted during the summer, it is also equally important to be forward=thinking and make the necessary efforts in September to have an amazing January.
Many practices’ January numbers account for up to 30% of their year. How does this happen? They understand the Flex Plan game and start pushing it in September.
Flex Plan Game Plan
So, what’s the game plan? September and October are typical months for companies that offer Flex Plans to notify their employees of the deadlines for enrollment in these plans. This means the employee needs to understand the benefits of enrolling, how it can be used and think about how much money they want to allocate to that account; all on a tight deadline to meet enrollment dates.
With the way the rules stand now, employees don’t want to allocate too much money to the account if they don’t think they will use it all in the upcoming year. Why? Because if they don’t use it all, they will lose it, and that simply defeats the purpose.
Make Your Messaging Relatable & Timely
This is why a timely advertisement explaining the benefits of (and guidelines for) using a Flex Plan for LASIK can be extremely effective. The prospect will be receptive to any messaging that involves a decision or circumstance for which they can relate (saving money, life without lenses, etc). We call this “having their antenna high” to receive the message. This is also known as the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in psychology. The only challenge from there is how to articulate the message so it is received openly and causes the prospect to take action.
All too often, practices try to place these ads, or talk to the patients in consults, about this subject in December or even January when it is usually too late to enroll in the plan for the upcoming year (aside from the occasional extension a company may provide).
Flex is Not the End-All Be-All for September
Now, are we saying that a practice should focus all of its efforts in September toward booking for January? The short answer is no. There is a way to capitalize on the mindset of the buyer for the short term. With a well-thought-out marketing plan, you can also attract prospects that are ready to move in September. The trick is to just think it through, allocate the dollars correctly, know the prospects’ mindset and be prepared to speak to them about their options confidently.