What are the best ways I can market my specialty or referral practice?

What are the best ways I can market my specialty or referral practice?

May 08, 2008

"Specialty practices don't want to step on the referring practice's toes by marketing themselves to clients directly," says Mark Opperman, CVPM, owner of VMC Inc., a veterinary consulting firm in Evergreen, Colo. "They would rather get referrals through the general practice. And the best way to do that is by developing relationships with them."

Opperman says the best way to market a specialty practice is to schedule one-on-one time with the owner(s) of the practices making referrals or practices that could potentially make future referrals. "You can do it over lunch or whenever they have time to talk," he says. "Your objective is to get their attention and develop a bond. Be the liaison or public relations person for a minute and explain what services you offer. If they have any questions or concerns, address those and talk it through." You might also invite them to your practice so they can see the quality and excellence of your facility.

Lunch and a friendly chat is just the beginning of what you can do to solidify your relationship with the referral clinic, Opperman says. In-clinic seminars, surgical demonstrations, open house events, team building meetings, and discounts for employees of the general practice also work well in developing strong relationships. He also says it's important to show appreciation to practices who refer to you on a consistent basis. "You could send all of their employees pizza for lunch or video rental and movie theater certificates. It lets them know that working with them is something you truly appreciate."

Hot topics on dvm360

Follow dvm360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

For quick updates and to touch base with the editors of dvm360, Veterinary Economics, Veterinary Medicine, and Firstline, and check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Sell veterinary clients on your service

But you don't have to have butler-style service to win new clients and keep existing clients happy.

Why veterinarians should be more like a Louisiana shoeshiner

If my veterinary clients feel half as good as I did after visiting the 'Michael Jordan of shoeshines,' I'll be thrilled.

Texts from your veterinary clinic cat

If your clinic cat had a cell phone and opposable thumbs, what would he or she text you?

Learning goodbye: Veterinarians fill a void by focusing on end of life care

Veterinarians dedicating their careers to hospice and euthansia medicine may be pioneering the profession's next specialty—at clients' request.