By JONATHAN FINE
In this article I am going to describe an incredible opportunity to anyone selling luxury services including high end dental work and then explain how to take advantage of this opportunity.
The opportunity comes in the form of a group of people who have begun to take their pensions while still earning, and earning more than ever. They have a double income and don’t know what to do with it – they are ‘double bubblers’.
Here’s some context: my first job was in January 1976 and my salary was £2,250 basic + £280 performance bonus + very tired company Ford Escort 1.1L + a weird thing called a final salary pension scheme, which I would become eligible for after three years’ service.
I left after two years despite my boss trying to convince me of the value of my entitlement to a final salary pension at the young age of 55 – he really thought I was tapped, and I thought he was a bit daft; 55? That was eight years older than my dad!
Now I am 58 and not surprisingly I have lots of pals of a similar age. Most expected to retire in their mid-50s and die before 75, so the very sensible and serious chaps (their female counterparts simply weren’t serious breadwinners yet) were obsessed with building income for their last 20 years on earth.
These chaps – me among them – were Maggie’s boys. Many were remarkably successful at building their incomes to levels unimaginable to their parents’ generation as a result of Thatcher’s policies. The market forces unleashed by deregulation, privatisation and Britain’s pioneering embrace of service industry technologies made this possible, but as the 90s came and went and we entered the noughties, something else was happening.
We stopped smoking, took exercise, ate balanced diets and stopped getting divorced or even married. We became obsessed with health and realised we loved life and pathologically resented any age limitations. We became empty nesters and for most of us retirement was of limited interest, although we did like our holidays – most of us taking seven or eight weeks a year.
The result of our healthier lifestyles, which have been complemented by huge advances in medical science, is 80 is the new 60, 90 is the new 70 and 55, well, that’s like being 27!
The majority of my pals could retire and live comfortably but choose to work; they need the challenge and social interaction. Maggie’s boys spent most of their lives scrimping and struggling to pay the mortgage and pay for the kids and holidays, then suddenly wham! No kids, no mortgage, and they’re at the top of their earning capability, plus they have a pension, quite possibly a final salary one! More income, less expenses…
The pleasant dilemma for Maggie’s boys now is they really have no idea what to do with their unprecedented disposable incomes. Of course, they try their best – they buy and even overdose on expensive holidays, cars, jewellery, second homes and health and wellbeing services.
So what has all this got to do with dentistry and your practice in Cleckheaton? Well, we already know that 50+ers provide the majority of the lucrative restorative work in UK practices. What we perhaps have not focused enough on is the double bubblers and the opportunity is to engage directly with them.
The vast majority of double bubblers probably enjoy a stable relationship with a dentist of their own age and view the relationship as the same kind of relationship they have with their GP. They go when and if they have problems or for check-ups. Few have the remotest idea what is available from a gifted dentist surrounded by 21st century technology.
The big opportunity here is to mobilise this wealthy cohort who have learned quickly how to become self indulgent and are now most interested in themselves and their health.
How to target double bubblers
1. Understand their mind-set
These people have recently discovered that money can buy happiness! They are very keen to spend on the basis that it improves their quality of life or even extends their life – on both counts it does not have to be very much, it just has to be ‘more’. They are often reassured by a higher price; these guys are not hunting for bargains – they gave that up yonks ago – they want quality, superiority and confidence and are a happy to pay for it, they actually feel very good about paying for it.
They are reassured by seeing people just like them in the act of buying. You will find them in the Audi showroom, at Toni & Guy, in business class cabins, cruising down the Rhine with one of the premium lines or quietly tucked away in a luxury country hotel, and of course you’ll see them at the very best local restaurants and private gyms.
2. Become part of their world
Join them at their golf and tennis and sailing clubs, make this environment your platform. Why? The kind of dentistry I’m proposing here must be seamlessly analogous with the values and attitudes of this exclusive club world.
It should be dentistry that not only makes you look more attractive but is actually great for your overall health. Think medicalised Toni & Guy; elegant, contemporary but very much a clinic. Double bubblers see through pretenders faster than Jeremy Clarkson left Argentina, so forget about faking it.
3. Forge strategic brand alliances
Everything from your corporate identity to your website needs to look as though Louis Vuitton has moved into dentistry. Critically there has to be a high level of strategic alliances with retailers selling to the same segment.
If you can hit the right tone and deliver remarkable service delivery a fortune awaits you, I promise. If you would like to target this group please contact me, I’d love to help.
Call 07860 672727
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