Q&A: How to market your practice to low-income clients

How can we market our services to clients in a low-income area?
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Jun 01, 2010


Karyn Gavzer
Treat clients and their pets like welcome guests and offer them what you believe is best for their pets, says Karyn Gavzer, MBA, CVPM, of KG Marketing and Training in Springboro, Ohio. Keep in mind that lower-income clients want what all clients want: a trusting relationship with their veterinarian and healthy, happy pets that will be with them for as long as possible.

The best way to market to low-income clients is to start with your hospital team, Gavzer says. Decide what kind of basic preventive care pets in your area need—vaccinations, diagnostics, parasite control, heartworm protection, and physical exams. Then encourage team members to follow the same preventive care protocols for their own pets as those recommended to clients so that they can speak with confidence and credibility about the products and services you recommend.

Rather than discounting, consider other strategies to make pet care easier to afford, Gavzer says. You could bifurcate your protocol so that you complete basic preventive care in two visits instead of one. Some vaccinations could be given in conjunction with the first exam and some with the second—same with the fecal and heartworm tests. This gives you and your team twice the opportunity to educate clients, and it breaks the cost of care into two pieces instead of one large annual bill.

Finally, when the cost of care is substantial, as it is when a pet is ill or injured, consider offering third-party financing to help clients afford the care their pets need.