Use human health comparisons to build value


The client looks up from your estimate and says, "Wow. That's a lot." What do you say when you encounter price resistance?

You deal with questions about the cost of veterinary care every day. And it's not always easy to know how to convince clients that you're offering a good value for their hard earned money.

Management consultant Shawn McVey, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member, says he's seen veterinary teams really open clients' eyes by comparing their fees with the cost on the human side. And you could take the same approach. Go to human health providers in your area and ask for estimates to perform procedures that you often offer to pet owners. Then you'll be armed when you meet resistance.

For example, he says, it might cost $120,000 for a hip replacement for a person, while a veterinary practice might charge $6,000 for a dog. “Sharing that information with your client could give him or her a very different perception of the cost,” McVey says.

Editors' note: Shawn McVey, CEO of Innovative Veterinary Management Solutions, shared this tip during the Veterinary Economics Managers' Retreat, held in conjunction with CVC East in Baltimore, April 2008. Click here for information on future programs.

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