Call me, veterinary clients!


Build trust with pet owners by giving them your mobile phone number.

Giving a client your cell phone number is the veterinary equivalent to an all-access backstage pass or someone lifting the velvet rope to usher you into an event with a line a mile long. But there's a trick to this special treatment: Make it on a case-by-case basis—no matter how free you are with your own version of the all-access pass.

How do you do that? Don't put your cell phone number on your business card. Instead, when you're sharing the information, write it on the back of your card just for that one client. Not only does this allow you to pick and choose who gets your cell number, but it also sends a message to the person you do this for: "You and your pet are special to me. And our relationship is good enough that I trust you with my personal number."

Oh, I know what you're thinking, believe me, "If I give out my cell number, I'll never have a moment's peace." But when I give out my number, only one person out of 100 ever calls. All 100 of those clients, however, feel special as a result.

I bet I don't have to tell you what that kind of goodwill adds to the partnership for care you're trying to establish with your clients, and the higher rates of compliance those partnerships mean.

In 20 years I've had only two people abuse the cell phone privilege. I asked them to text me instead if they had questions, and the problem went away. The truth was, they were lonely and just wanted someone friendly to talk to.

So start giving out those digits, and make it special. As often happens when you give, you'll get more in return for your actions.

Dr. Marty Becker is a popular speaker and author of more than 22 top-selling books, including The Healing Power of Pets. He is the resident veterinarian on Good Morning America, a regular guest on The Dr. Oz Show and the lead veterinary contributor to Dr. Becker practices at North Idaho Animal Hospital in Sandpoint, Ida., and Lakewood Animal Hospital in Coeur d'Alene, Ida.

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