Telling the truth about SME life today

Brad Burton and the tale of the entrepreneurial dentist

I’ve just come back from my second and final session at the dentist for a root canal.

Honestly, when I got the emergency appointment a few weeks back and I was hit with the £400 price tag, I grimaced and thought, "You robbing bastard!".

If it wasn’t for the pain of the abscess when I sought out the dentist, I would have walked away right then. I’d have been gone.

It’s the equivalent of the modern day highwayman. At least he had the decency to wear a mask throughout the entire procedure.

Now the pain has gone and the work has been done, my point of view has changed.

I no longer feel I’ve been robbed, but actually believe I’ve received amazing value for money.

Let me explain.

Four hours in totalTwo-person team. Years of studying to be qualified to do it Thousands of pounds worth of specialist equipmentComfortable, well-maintained premisesReceptionistSupport teamIT holding it all together

Taking that little lot into account, I have to say the £400 price point was an absolute bargain.

Fear not Real Business Brad fans, this is not my column submission for Dentist Monthly. I want you to transfer my initial reaction of "£400 you robbing bastard" into a business context.

We’ve all had it. We’ve submitted a quote or a meticulously put-together proposal, only to find that the first thing the potential buyer does is bypass the first five pages whizzing straight to the last page, right at the bottom, where it lists the price.

This proposal will then be used as a weapon to beat up and shave down your competitor’s quotes.

On that basis, I stopped doing proposals a long time ago. Buyers seem to only be interested in the price, not how you come to that conclusion. As you sell the value in at the front end, there’s no need for a proposal. It’s old-school thinking.

Since taking my no-nonsense, no-proposal approach with my consultancy or my speaking jobs, I’ve never lost a gig yet.

You’ll find on the path to being a genius, you’ll first stop at the station "you’re mad”.

It’s a brave new world – one of no proposals – but in my world, it works. Beautifully.

So next time you are hit with a proposal, that YOU have requested in order to move your business forward, think about the path that’s been taken and the experience that allows someone to bottom line you with a price point that, after the event, can only be described as great value and not that of a robbing bastard.

Thank you, Houston’s Dentist of Weston Super Mare.

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