What a dog owner can teach us about marketing

Dog owners: they are a breed of their own. If you are one, then you know exactly what I am talking about. Those of us who are privileged to have these four-legged friends would often do anything for them, even spend thousands of dollars on medical treatment without a second thought. But in your most critical moment of need, who would you trust to take care of “man’s best friend”? The vet you randomly found in an internet search or referred to by a human friend?

I own a 10 year old Lab-Irish Wolf Hound mix who has suffered from epileptic seizures most of his life. As you can imagine, most local vets, pet emergency rooms, and pharmacists know me by my name: “Panther’s mom.” More recently, Panther’s condition worsened and it was determined that he needed to see a neurologist. Naturally, I turned to my vet brother for guidance. Living in Kansas, he diligently conducted online research for Maryland specialists and suggested that Panther and I visit “Dr. S.” I made an appointment, drove an hour, and within 30 seconds of meeting Dr. S. I didn’t like him. After 10 minutes I hated it and left crying. Not because he gave me bad news, but because his bedside manners were hideous. He referred to Panther as “the animal”, never made eye contact with me and was quick to suggest that I do an MRI (for a sum of $ 1,000 + which he was willing to pay) to see if there was a brain tumor. . With all of Dr. S’s credentials, he was missing the most important thing to me: compassion.

Fast forward to a month later, a friend of mine told me about her “fantastic experience” with a pet neurologist. In fear, I drove another hour and within 30 seconds of meeting “Dr. G.” I was madly in love. He knelt down and stroked Panther (whom he referred to by name) as he listened to me recount the past 10 years. After taking a thorough intake and consulting with his technicians, his diagnosis was clear: “There is no need for an MRI and there is no brain tumor. Panther is an idiopathic epileptic and with a slight change in his medication I am sure we can get his seizures. ” under control. “Since then, I have referred three friends to Dr. G.

The power of referrals and word of mouth marketing is no big secret. The groups of leaders were founded on the same concept. However, many companies miss out on opportunities because they keep stories like mine to themselves. Sharing authentic testimonials with your prospects that are presented in a professional manner can be a very compelling marketing tool. And using honest customer feedback can be instrumental in helping you determine what makes you and / or your practice or business truly unique and special. In other words, your customers determine your brand, not you. But it is up to you to pay attention and take advantage of customer feedback to properly position yourself in the market among your competitors. If you don’t, it could be the world’s best kept secret, but it will also be out of business.

As the saying goes, “If you’re not the guide dog, the scene never changes.”

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