Sample script: Publicize your payment plans


The best time to talk about financial matters is during wellness visits.

Don't wait to hear the words "I can't afford this" to discuss payment options with clients. Instead, be proactive and educate them on ways they can pay for not only the treatments their pets need in emergency situations, but also the routine care their pets deserve.

"Studies have proven that clients with pet health insurance make 2.6 standard veterinary visits per year, compared to 2 for uninsured clients," says Michelle Guercio, CVT, CVPM, veterinary management specialist at Webster Veterinary Supply in New Port Richey, Fla. "And outside financing sources let us promote payment plans along with our treatment plans."

The best time to talk about financial matters is during wellness visits, Guercio says. She offers this script to use while scheduling clients' next visits or ringing up their purchases.

You: Thanks for coming in today, Ms. Ward. We always enjoy seeing you and Shadow, especially under normal, healthy circumstances. It's obvious that you're committed to his welfare, which is why I'd like to give you this handout on payment options.

Client: Oh, I don't need another credit card. Besides, I can pay for today's services with cash.

You: That's wonderful, but the handout isn't a credit-card application. It's simply information on the payment plans we accept and offer. We encourage people to be as devoted to their pets' health as you are, but we also know that unexpected expenses can sometimes prevent them from providing their pets with needed care. That's why we're giving everyone this handout on ways to make pet care more affordable in emergency and everyday situations.

Client: What do you offer?

You: We have a couple options, including pet insurance and third-party payment plans. Let's sit down in the reception area and go over the handout together.

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