Veterinary Practice Marketing Ideas to Grow Existing Business

Sometimes managing the daily struggles of running a practice can be overwhelming. From employee shortages to hectic schedules, veterinary practices must find ways to juggle all of the demands they face. However, getting stuck in this frantic pace often leads to forgetting about the big picture, including marketing strategies to increase revenue.

Traditional marketing strategies aren't the only way to make an impact. And marketing doesn't have to be costly or even time-consuming. Extending your veterinary practice marketing ideas to existing clients can be a wise move, especially because many practices aren't accepting new patients. It's also efficient and free. Finally, by switching focus to a readily available group—your current pet owners—you can grow your business and provide better preventive care for pets.

Market to Existing Veterinary Customers

Marketing to existing clients might seem counterintuitive. If they are already clients, why is advertising necessary, and what is advertised? Quite simply, what you already offer: the best care for their pet. Develop a marketing plan to focus on preventive and wellness care.

For example, most practice management software can target patients by age, breed, species, and more. If you want to focus on preventive blood work screening for adult dogs between the ages of 3 and 7, gather data from your software to determine how many dogs in your target group had blood work done in the last year. How many pet owners were offered the service but declined? Doctors on the team and your reference lab can help choose or create a customized panel, and you can reach out to pet owners to emphasize the importance of preventive care.

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Ask for Veterinary Team Buy-In

Sometimes, team members are hesitant to offer additional services to pet owners during annual wellness visits. Whatever the reason, marketing to existing clients can help boost your revenue so here are three ways to get the team on-board:

  1. If your team struggles with informing pet owners about costs, help them understand the costs of running a veterinary practice. Consider showing them the client cost as well as the practice's profit. Most will be surprised, as they generally do not consider the majority of expenses that are associated with every service.
  2. Stress the importance of taking the time to address every aspect of the pet's health as well as talking to the pet owners. If clients get the sense they're being cast aside or ignored, they're less likely to remain with your practice.
  3. Hold a meeting with your team to emphasize the importance of blood work screening. Once they understand how important it is, they will be better prepared to explain it to the client.

When your team fully understands and supports your veterinary practice marketing ideas, it's much easier to roll out the plan.

Put the Marketing Plan Into Action

Once your team members recognize the importance of discussing preventive care benefits with clients, they need to understand the "how"—the marketing plan.

  • Provide coaching. Your team is skilled in pet care, but probably not in sales or marketing. Offer some training or seminars to teach them a few strategies that will help pet owners feel comfortable, engaged, and more willing to agree to preventive care.
  • Establish goals. Make sure you have clear preventive care guidelines that your team understands. Then challenge them to mention it with every one of their appointments. You can even keep track in a visible place for the whole team!
  • Offer incentives. Team members can earn rewards for hitting sales and marketing goals. Some reference labs even offer their customers free wellness testing for team members. A little motivation can go a long way, and when they're genuinely invested in promoting services to your existing clients, the results can benefit them, your practice, and pets.

Getting through the busy day-to-day of running a veterinary practice can feel overwhelming. It's important, however, to continue marketing efforts by re-engaging existing clients, especially if they've been with you and your practice for a long time. Reach out, offer specific services, and remind your team that building a business with new veterinary practice marketing ideas means not only more revenue and growth, but also better patient care.

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Meg Oliver

Meg Oliver is a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager in New York with over 26 years experience in veterinary medicine. She manages a four doctor practice and writes for several veterinary publications. In her free time, she enjoys time with her husband, daughter and twin boys.

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