The dish on discounts


Should you offer discounts?

Q: In today's economy, are discounts a sensible way to attract new clients?

"No," says Dr. Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, CVPM, and CEO of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. "Once you start walking down the discount path, you're going to be sorry when the economy picks up." That's because clients who were receiving discounts will still expect your gold-standard service at a silver price, she says. Instead of luring in pet owners with deals your practice won't be able to sustain, retain clients—and nab a few new ones—by communicating the value of the services your practice provides.

Karen Felsted

Apply this to your regular clientele, too, Felsted says. Why? Because if you consistently start giving discounts on services like nail trims, clients will begin to think they weren't appropriately priced in the first place, she says. And just try getting Ms. Saver to pay full price for the sixth nail trim, after receiving five at half the price.

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