Marketing 101: Open Letter To New (and Existing) Clients

Sometimes, don’t you just want to send this letter to new clients?

Dear Client,*

Welcome to our practice. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve you and help your pet. Here are a few suggestions to make our relationship as pleasant as possible in the long run.

1. Bring along as many small children as possible. More than three is preferred. If you don't have that many, borrow from your neighbors (look for the most poorly behaved). Make sure they all have juice and crayons, because we love to clean. Also, we encourage them to jump on the furniture, play rough with the hospital cat, and go through our drawers. Our favorite is when they jump up and down on our scale in the waiting room.

2. Do not put your dog on a leash or your cat in a carrier. Just let them loose as soon as you walk in. Our staff enjoys chaos. And our doctor loves stitching up bites wounds.

3. Do not bring any prior health records for your pet. Calling other practices gives us time to catch up with old friends.

4. Insist that we follow your breeder’s recommendations, especially about anesthesia or vaccine protocols. Our schooling and veterinary journals really don't teach us anything of value, so we appreciate the guidance.

5. Please ignore the “Employees Only” signs. Wander freely in our pharmacy and treatment room. Feel free to take pictures. Stick your hands in all the cages and if your children are with you (kindly refer to item No. 1), we prefer them to be barefoot. Don’t forget to check out our state-of-the-art OR!

6. If your pet is sick, please wait a minimum of three days before seeking help. Also, be sure to exhaust all over-the-counter treatments before coming to our clinic. Aspirin, naproxen and acetaminophen are some of our favorites.

7. Always complain about the bill. We know our prices are too high. In general, we tend to be greedy and don't care about your animal.

8. Please do not bring more than $20 with you. Our office manager previously worked at a pawn shop, so she will be happy to appraise any piece of jewelry or household item. Payment plans are available—no interest for five years. You can also ask us to send the bill to your ex-spouse. We apologize in advance: We cannot accept kids as payment.

9. Please give us detailed information while we listen to your pet’s heart and lungs just to make things more challenging.

10. Don't tell us that your previous vet had to muzzle your dog until after he tries to bite. It keeps our reflexes sharp. Besides, it's more fun to muzzle a dog once he's all worked up.
 
We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a mobile, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (www.WalkaHound.com).

Katie Kegerise, a certified veterinary technician in Reading, Pa., contributed to this article.

*We would love to give credit where credit is due, but we are unaware of the author of this excellent letter, which has been freely modified and adapted from the original version.

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