Jeff Sirianni writes:
>BTW, there have been several times where a patient has become shocked with
>the price of any device and simply wants to think about it. I once
>finished up with a couple who thought this and I happened to follow them
>out to the parking garage at lunch. Sure enough, they hoped into their new
>Cadillac and drove away.
This comment made me chuckle. I can think of many similar experiences when
this has happened. Once, I had an old "farmer" referred to me by the local
United Way agency because they thought he could not afford a hearing aid and
they wanted me to get a free one for him. He came into my office wearing bib
overalls. I noticed he had a "savings" book (back in the old days every
Savings & Loan used to give out a booklet to keep track of your savings) in
his pocket so I started visiting with him. He owned six sections (a section
is 640 acres) of rich Iowa farmland free & clear. How often do we make these
decisions by the clothes a person wears.
Recently I was in one of the largest retirement homes in our area and
noticed that on the plaque giving recognition to the major contributors to
the home, one of my patients had contributed more than $500,000. She now is
the proud owner of two programmable canal hearing aids. Why not? (She likes
them better than any aids she has had in the past.)
Thirty years ago the Prudential Insurance Company made a study that relates
to this subject. When they received an application for Disability Income
Insurance (a very risky product, it pays when one is disabled), they hired a
credit company to send someone out into the neighborhood to verify the
person's income. They discovered the credit company reps were
under-estimating the applicant's income by 50% or more. They came to the
conclusion that the credit company reps were very poorly paid so they
assumed everybody was poorly paid and they under-estimated people's incomes.
Poorly paid audiologists, likewise, will determine that "everybody" has a
poor income so they can only afford inexpensive hearing aids.
When I joined my Father's hearing aid firm 27 years ago, the first thing I
did was raise my Father's hearing aid prices to a respectable amount.
Several things happened as a result. 1) The quality of our patients
improved. 2) Problem cases virtually disappeared. Why? The person who wants
a "cheap" hearing aid is the person who expects a Cadillac at a Yugo price.
If the Yugo, i.e., "cheap" hearing aid, does not perform like a Cadillac,
they are constantly back into our office "bugging" the living daylights out
of us. Recently I have sold some "linear" hearing aids (Ruth Bently calls
them CPC or "Crummy Peak Clipping" hearing aids). They frequently come back
for a refund within the first 30 days. We do make dumb mistakes, don't we!
Paul Woodard ;-)
Des Moines Iowa USA