Do you drop off pens at a local vet office and hope that they refer business your way?
Or maybe you bring a plate of cookies, chat it up with the front desk staff and leave a stack of business cards?
Has it worked?
It is important to build a relationship with local vets and their staff. Veterinarians can be a HUGE referral source for pet sitters (and other professionals in the pet industry too!)
How do you start doing this? Follow the outline below:
Watch this webinar with Dr Andy Roark. While the entire thing is fantastic, in the beginning he talks about how you should go about building a relationship with your vet. He’s a vet! It’s exactly the perspective we need to get started!
One thing that you don’t want to do is to make more work for the vet. You don’t want to go in and say:
“My clients are pet owners and they have a lot of questions about diabetes in cats. If you write an article about signs to look for, I’ll publish it on my site. My clients will see your clinic and they’ll magically switch vets and come swarming through your door. Is a week enough time for you to write it?”
Your pens would get more traction.
How about instead:
Call the vet clinic:
Hi, I’m a local pet sitter in town and I am writing an article on diabetes in cats. I would like to teach my clients about recognizing the symptoms of diabetes so they can catch it early. Is there a time that I could talk to Dr. McLabradoodle and ask him some questions?
I would include his name and a link to the clinic in my article. You would be welcome to share the article as well.”
When you talk to the vet:
Hi Dr Doodle, thank you for calling me back. I have over 100 pet owners and a large social media audience. My goal is to help them keep their pets as healthy as possible.
Diabetes is easy to catch if you know the signs and I am writing an article about what to keep an eye out for. What do you see as the first signs an animal that is developing the disease show?
*insert natural flow of conversation here. If you don’t understand something the vet says, ask for clarification. If you don’t understand a term your audience won’t either.*
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me about this Dr. The information will help pet owners keep their pets happy and healthy. I will be including your name and contact information and also a link to your clinic’s web site. Can I email you a link to the article so you can share it on any of your social media sites? Who should I send it to?
20 minutes tops. Done.
Here is one that I wrote about rattlesnake bites for my pet sitting site:
Which I followed up with:
Next big question to decide for yourself is
Do I choose a few select vets in my area or do I try to give every vet some exposure?
That depends on what kind of relationship you want to build with each vet.
If they know they are 1 of 10 vets you interview and talk to, just expect the same from them. You may be 1 of 10 pet sitters that they recommend to their clients.
If you want a more exclusive relationship, you can choose 2, maybe 3 vets (especially if they have different specialties) and really have them be your go-to experts in town. And you would expect the same from them – you would be their go-to pet sitter.
Kinda like dating….how much do you want to play the field? Sure, you get to meet a lot of people but do you really have any meaningful connection?
Share with us some questions you are going to ask your vet and let us know how the interview goes!