Teaser: There is no better or more readily available source of new client referrals than your current clients. Current clients have firsthand experience with you, your staff and your practice. Current happy clients can be your best ambassadors. The only caveat: You have to ask for their referrals…
When to Ask Clients for Referrals
The best time to ask for a referral is when a client thanks you for your care or expresses satisfaction with their pet’s outcome. At that moment, the client is giving you an open invitation. Instead of just smiling and thanking them, you or your staff should say something such as:
“I really appreciate hearing that. I became a veterinarian so I could help as many pets with [condition/disease/illness/problem] as possible. If you know someone—a family member, friend, co-worker or business colleague—whose pet has [condition/disease/illness/problem], please have them call me so I can help them, too.”
It’s that simple. You have expressed your appreciation and enlisted the client’s help, and you’ve created additional goodwill between yourself and your client.
If the client makes a similar comment to your staff, you can follow up with a personal note expressing the same sentiment as above. Better yet, make sure every member of your staff is trained to encourage referrals. Ask for referrals every chance you get, and watch your new client referrals add up almost effortlessly. This strategy can be especially useful during slow periods in your practice and help you mitigate the usual ups and downs in pet visits.