Q&A: Converting phone shoppers into clients

How can we convert price shoppers into clients?
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Nov 01, 2010

A lot of people think price shoppers are just cheap, but often that's not the case at all, says Karyn Gavzer, MBA, CVPM, owner of KG Marketing and Training in Springboro, Ohio. By price shopping, pet owners are conveying the message that they're willing to spend money on their pet—it's up to you to convince them to spend it at your veterinary practice.

Keep in mind that most price shoppers are simply uneducated about what's best for their pets, Gavzer says. They think all veterinarians are more or less the same and their pet will get the same care everywhere, so it's simply a matter of finding the best price. To show them that's not the case, you need to demonstrate a significant difference between your practice and others. The way to do that is to treat these callers with care and respect—don't make the conversation about money; make it about their pets.

Instead of simply stating a price, engage the client in a conversation about his or her pet. Ask for the pet's name, breed, age, and weight, and ask if the client has any special concerns. Show phone shoppers the kind of care and attention they can expect from you. Close by giving them a price range on the service they've asked about and offer to set up an appointment for them. Often, you'll find that the price shopper will be willing to do just that, Gavzer says. "I find that team members are quick to go right to the price and forget that this is all about the pet," she says. "It's a prime opportunity to educate a pet owner who doesn't understand anything except cost."