Only for advanced veterinary marketers

This is the last of your four-part marketing series for June and it’s only for the ADVANCED Veterinary marketer.
The fastest way to jet-propel getting new clients into your practice is to leverage off other local like-minded businesses.
This is called a JV (Joint Venture) relationship.

And almost NO practice that I know actually does this.
It takes a little bit of effort to find the right like-minded business(es) to work with and…
it takes a little bit of effort to set it up.
but once that’s done, you can roll this out again and again and again, and bring a steady stream of new A-grade clients into your practice.
Watch the video, download the podcast or read the transcript to learn EXACTLY how to set up this strategy.

Click Here to listen to the Podcast

See below to read the Transcript


P.S – this stuff is ADVANCED. I’m happy to share some simple tips that’ll help you shorten your implementation curve.

Just hit REPLY on this email and we’ll set a time to talk – my compliments.


Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here.

Today, I want to talk about a concept that’s not hugely used in the veterinary industry. It is used very much in other industries. Quite a lot of my one-on-one clients, we’ve introduced this strategy, and it’s grown the practice exponentially. 

This is called Joint Venture, or JV partnership, Joint Venture Relationships.

I could talk for three or four days on this topic—I won’t say that it’s endless, but it’s got a huge depth to it that we could go through.

Today, I just want to give you a very simple introduction to it, and then we can dig deeper at some future time. Let’s start off really simple, and I’ll give you the simplest concept. 

Let me ask you a question; would you recommend another business that you are happy with to a client or in fact to multiple clients? I’m thinking you’re saying, “Yeah, Diederik, I would recommend another business that I’m happy with.”

Now, do you typically do that in a passive way, or an active way? What I mean by that is, are you going to say to your client “You need to use Joe, the car mechanic. He’s fantastic.” Or, are you going to wait for your client to say to you, “Oh, by the way Diederik, I just moved into this suburb, I need a new car mechanic. Do you know a good one?” And then you say, “Use Joe, he’s fantastic.” 

I’m going to say that typically, most people are passive, that they do not make this an active process. What this episode is all about is making this an active process.

Here is a very simple scenario. 

Let’s assume that you’ve got a grooming salon in your practice, and let’s assume that you also know a hair salon, a human hair salon. So, similar, but very different. 

Now, we can set this up in all sorts of way, but I just thought I’d make it super easy for you to grasp this concept. 

So, either you go to the hair salon, or your team do, or your wife goes, or your partner does, or whoever; and so, what you’re going to do is you’re going to go to that hair salon owner—and I’ll frame this around Christmas, let’s have an excuse or reason to do this, and you don’t need an excuse or a reason, but let’s use an excuse – again to make this concept easy to grasp. 

Let’s say the salon owner is called Judy, and you go to Judy and say, “Hey, Judy, hair salon owner, what are you doing for your A-grade clients this Christmas – to thank them for their patronage?” 

And Judy is going to look at you and say, “What I always do, nothing of course.” 

Of course, she won’t say that, but she’ll say “Nothing,” which is what she always does. 

She’ll say, “Why?” 

And you’re going to say, “Well, you talk to your clients a lot, don’t you? Would you know the ones that—you talk about their kids, and their personal lives, and you’re going to know the ones that have pets, don’t you?” 

And Judy’s going to say, “Of course. We just chat all the time, and I know everything about my clients.” 

“Great. Well, those clients with pets—your A-grade clients—how many of them would there be?” Judy says about a hundred. Okay, 

How would you like a hundred free vouchers ‘Get your dog groomed at our day spa-type of thing’ , and you give that to your clients as a ‘thank you for using Judy the hair dresser this year as a Christmas gift’?” 

And Judy’s got to say, “What do I have to do? How much do I have to pay you for those vouchers – I can’t afford a 100 vouchers?” 

And you’re going to say, “You’re not going to pay me at all. You can just have a hundred vouchers to give to your hundred best clients. It’s not going to cost you cent.” And Judy will say, “awesome.” 

But you need to say to her, “Judy, there’s just one thing that you need to do. You need to give a letter to your client with this voucher, and I’ll write the letter for you, so it’s easier for you.” 

Then you’re going to write the letter, and it’s going to say, say something along the lines of, 

….‘Mrs. Smith, you’ve been a regular client with me (Judy the hair dresser) now for 15 years. We see each other every two weeks, we like each other, we talk about this, that and the other. I’ve been thinking of a way to thank you for your custom for ages now, and I’ve haven’t been able to think of anything, but I suddenly remembered that you had a dog, and since you’re the person that I can think of the right gift for, but why not give something to your dog because you tell me how much you love your dog. So, what I’ve done is I’ve gone to Dr. Bob, and Dr. Bob is my vet. Oh, he is just awesome, the team’s fantastic—(you need to wax lyrical here)—and I’ve bought a grooming voucher for their salon, and it’s worth $60. So, here’s my Christmas gift to you. Please go and redeem that grooming voucher with Dr. Bob.’….

So, that strategy should be clear to you at this stage. Now, you can do this with a car mechanic. You can do it with a little dress shop. You can do this with hundreds of other businesses, your accountant—I just used Judy’s as an example. 

So, you, listening in or watching the video or reading the transcript…, you’re going to say to me, “But, hang on, if I give out a hundred vouchers redeemed at 60 bucks, that’s costing me $6000. What do I get out of it? Dr. Bob is also asking the SAME question.”

The thing is Dr. Bob, you need to do your job right, and if you do your job right when that pet comes in to be groomed!

What percentage of those hundred people that used Judy’s $60 voucher are going to remain clients with you? In my experience with my coaching clients, between 50% and 85% become permanent clients!!

Look at it this way, that $60 voucher is you ‘new client acquisition cost’. 

I can tell you that in Australia, New Zealand and the States, and in Europe typically at the moment, it cost you about a hundred dollars to get a new client in the door. 

About a hundred dollars is your average new client acquisition cost. Go on …. You can calculate this number for your own practice – go for it!

So, if you’re giving this Judy this $60 voucher, it’s actually costing you less to get a new client in the door that it would take to cost you through Facebook, Google, or your advertising, your website, your referral program, etc. 

If you do your job right, if your team is fantastic, if the groomer does her ‘magic’, if you use grooming report cards, and if you sell them some shampoo to use in between grooming, and your team is really wonderful (like they are always are), then a lot of these clients are going to come BACK to you and become permanent clients of your grooming salon and then eventually of your vet practice. 

So, you’ve just got to work out ‘the numbers’ — the first couple of times you do this, you’ve just got to suck it and see what percentage of these clients actually transition to you. 

But if you’re not transitioning half, I think there’s something very much wrong. Let me be blunt – if HALF don’t become permanent clients – then YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG! 

I do this strategy again, and again and again, all over the world and we typically easily keep half. So, that’s the first thing.

Now, the second thing

Let’s assume you’re worried about the 60 bucks, and you say, “Diederik, you’re an idiot. $60, I’m not giving away $60.” 

Remember this –  it’s not 60 bucks, it’s $60 of value. So, if Judy grooms a dog in half an hour and she’s getting paid 30 bucks and hour, then it’s only costing 15 in hard cost, the other 45 is in soft dollars. 

But, let’s eliminate that, let’s not worry about those minor details ?

Let’s go back, you’ve got the dog in here with the voucher, surely, when that dog is admitted by your groomers, or by your nurses or by your receptionists, you can say something along the lines of “When did you last worm your pet, Mrs. Jones? Because if you can’t tell me when you did it, and what product you did it with, I’m going to assume it’s been longer than three months. We’ll pop a worm pill down when you’re here now.” 

So, you can upsell worming—ethically upsell worming, ethically upsell heartworm, flea control, you might to be able to ethically upsell vaccinations. Maybe that dog’s got lumps or bumps or anal disease or bad teeth, and you can upsell other services from that angle. 

Remember – you’ll need to carefully script your nurses, receptionists, groomers to make this happen seamlessly – and that’s easy enough to do.

Realistically, when you’ve got that patient there, you’re going to make a lot of money out of this deal. 

So, that’s an introduction to joint venture partnership. 

So, that’s the first ‘transaction’.

Now, you can actually reciprocate that process and do it exactly the same, but the other way around. 

In other words, Judy would give you a hundred $60 vouchers that your clients can spend with her. 

So, you might go to your hundred top A-grade clients and say, “You know, I’ve been going to Judy, my hair dress for years. My wife goes there, and my kids go there. Fantastic person, great service…..and I’ve bought a $60 Christmas Voucher for YOU. You have been a fantastic client. I’ve never said thank you properly, and frankly, I didn’t know what to give you, but I noticed you’re always immaculately dressed, and your hair done, here’s a voucher to spend at Judy’s. She’s just a wonderful hair dresser.” So, this works both ways.

So, that’s the nitty gritty details of Joint Venture partnership, or Joint Venture relationship. 

You can do this with many, many other industries. In a lot of practices, we will do it with coffee shop, where we’ll get coffee vouchers that cost us a dollar fifty for a $5 coffee voucher. We’ll give that to our clients while their waiting for x-rays to come through, or blood test to come through. And, the coffee shop will give that to us for, in many cases nothing, or like maybe a $1.50, because they know that when their client leaves their pet with us for half an hour, they’ll all go down to the coffee shop and have a cup of coffee…

When they are there, they ALWAYS buy a slice of tea cake or an apple crumble or whatever. So, they’re actually going to make money on that deal. And they’ve also gained a new client this way – a client who will keep coming back – IF that coffee shop does their job werll!

So, that’s a very brief intro to Joint Venture partnerships

They are absolutely awesome, fantastic, and they work really, really well. 

If YOU want to start on some advanced marketing strategies, this is a strategy that I’m going to suggest that you get onto sooner rather than later. It works so well, and it’ll just grow your client base so well.

And – it’s easy to do. And – it once you’ve set it up once, it keeps running, seamlessly year after year.

Again, if you’ve got any questions with this (this is quite an out of left-field concept for veterinarians, we’re not taught this sort of stuff at Uni), so if you got any questions or challenges with this, hit REPLY in the email, give me your name and your phone number and we’ll set up a time to talk. 

So, that’s it for the month of June in marketing. I’ll catch up with you in July next month when we start to talk about all things dental. See you then.

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