7 ways to absolutely crush your client acquisition goals without draining your time or money
You’re never too busy for more clients, right? That’s awesome if your practice is at capacity, but for most of us, we’re always searching for ways to grow our business through client acquisition.
Acquiring new clients doesn’t have to be challenging – and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. Let’s dig into these 7 dead-easy ways to attract new clients.
1. Establish Your Baseline & Goals
Do you know what your client deficit is? Using your VetSuccess reports is an excellent way to find this information. Once you know what types of clients you want to add to your practice then this can help you determine where to focus your marketing efforts.
If you’re like my practice and most of the pets you see are age 7 and over, you’re going to want to find clients that have younger pets. You could offer puppy classes if you have the space, work with local pet trainers to offer discounts or promotions, and advertise in dog parks. You could also sponsor breed-specific get-togethers in your community.
If you are on the other side of the spectrum, then you’ll need to focus your marketing efforts on attracting senior pets or felines instead of canines. Offer senior-only promotional events or highlight your cat-friendly practice at your local cat cafe.
2. Cultivate Your Reputation
The easiest and least expensive way to gain new clients is to create and maintain a great reputation. One way to do this is by providing optimal customer service and patient care and making sure your clients have an easy way to leave you feedback.
You may want to have a QR code (yes, they are coming back) that leads directly to your Google Review page hanging in your check out area. You could also just ask for reviews from your best clients.
Reputation is your client’s perception of your clinic. The more testimonials you have – the safer of an option you are for new clients to choose. You can even tie referral rewards into this equation as well. Your best clients are going to share their opinion of your practice and rewarding them for that is an easy way to say Thank You.
3. Make Your Website User-Friendly
Many clients are over the days of wanting to call you, be put on hold, then schedule an appointment and give you all their details. Make it easier for them by allowing online registration and appointment booking.
Most people are browsing your website from a smartphone which has all of their information stored. In the age of multitasking, one click to autofill a form is a lot easier than a phone call. This can be as simple as a form that they fill out which is then emailed to you or it can even be connected to your practice management software.
Want to make this even more enticing? Offer a coupon for booking their first appointment – and make it easy – no rules, just $20 off when they book now.
4. Tap Into Neighborhood Groups
You may have noticed in your area that online “neighborhood groups” such as Nextdoor, Front Porch, and Facebook Community Pages are becoming very popular. These groups are a great way to get to know the people in your community and stay up-to-date with neighborhood events.
Many of these groups allow businesses to register and post. You could offer new client specials in these groups or even highlight events and promotions happening at your practice. Also, keep an eye out for any mentions of your practice – these groups are ripe with candid feedback.
5. Show Some Personality
Clients searching for a new service provider, whether a veterinarian or a hairdresser, want to feel like they know the business they plan on giving their hard-earned money to. So, showcase your staff on a regular basis.
If your employees are comfortable with it, show their faces on your website and social media. Get creative and tell their stories. Make the potential client feel like they are part of your family before they ever step foot in the door.
6. Utilize Your Reps
Many vendors would be eager to help and are full of ideas that you haven’t thought of yet. Some also may have the ability to sponsor events or help your clinic purchase marketing materials.
Distributors are also a great source of industry trend information. Perhaps your rep can tell you what’s working or not working for other practices. See what insight you can gain and test regularly at your practice.
7. Engage With Your Community
This can be done in many ways and depends on your location.
For example, I am located near a university and a few apartment complexes. We contacted both student housing developments and the apartment complexes to find out what types of events they offered their residents, and then we asked if we could join.
When one complex had a food truck event we set up a tent and table and handed out treats and tennis balls with our logo and phone number. We even had a pet refreshment area set up. One of our reps from a large distribution company volunteered to foot the cost of the tennis balls and tent, so our only clinic expenses were staff time and treats!
Now Go Forth and Acquire Clients
We hope this list got your gears turning on all sorts of creative ways to increase client acquisition in your practice. Let us know what worked or didn’t work for you and any additional ideas you generated.
Wendy Jureski, CCFE has worked in veterinary medicine for more than 20 years. She is the business manager at a small veterinary practice in Jacksonville, FL. She is also a Social Media Manager for a website design firm that supports clients in the veterinary industry. You can reach Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org.