Tough talk: Veterinary pet insurance


Here's the best way to prepare veterinary clients for the worst.

Your clients may find it difficult or painful to imagine anything ever happening to their beloved pets. But realistically, you know they need to prepare for potential health issues their pets might face and consider financial options, including pet insurance, to safeguard pets' health. Unfortunately, this is a conversation where you may feel tuned out or cut off before you really even get started. To smooth the path for these conversations, Brian Conrad, CVPM, the practice manager at Meadow Hills Veterinary Center in Kennewick, Wash., offers this advice.

First, use media effectively. Clients may feel overwhelmed by all of the information they need to learn at each practice visit, especially if they're visiting with a new pet. "Try to offer your message in increments, whether it's an e-mail, text message, or another approach," Conrad says. "For example, you might write an e-mail that says, 'As you're celebrating six months with your pet, it's time to think about pet insurance.'"

Then keep it real. Clients will appreciate your sincerity, Conrad says. He recommends skipping a sales pitch in favor of some straight talk. This means discussing both the pros and cons. "For example, you may pay for pet insurance that you never need to use," Conrad says. "But in the event that something does happen, we want to make sure that finances don't get in the way of offering care."

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