VMP 274: Esteban Sotomayor Reveals How Veterinary Practices Can Stand Out in a Highly Competitive Market

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Brandon Breshears
May 7, 2024
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VMP 274: Esteban Sotomayor Reveals How Veterinary Practices Can Stand Out in a Highly Competitive Market
May 7, 2024

VMP 274: Esteban Sotomayor Reveals How Veterinary Practices Can Stand Out in a Highly Competitive Market

In this episode, we hear from a vet clinic owner in Quito, Ecuador, who dives into the challenges of standing out in a competitive market by enhancing client experiences and leveraging WhatsApp for communication. They also cover the importance of knowing your client base, branding consistently with your values, and fostering a positive workplace to ensure top-notch service, wrapping up with an open invitation for a clinic visit and more podcast chats.

In this episode, I'm the guy behind the mic at the Veterinary Marketing Podcast. I just wrapped up an amazing chat with Esteban Sotomayor, the mastermind running All Pets Hospital Veterinarians in Quito, Ecuador. We really got into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to stand out in the bustling vet scene over there, and let me tell you, Esteban's insights are pure gold. I can't wait to share with you all the smart strategies and deep dives into the world of veterinary marketing that we covered.

Ecuador's vet market is something else, with more than 700 clinics in Quito alone! Esteban shared how he's making waves by doing things differently. He's got this killer approach to bringing in and keeping top-notch talent by giving vet students real-world experience and then making sure they stick around by keeping the job fresh and exciting. And when it comes to marketing, he's all about that premium client experience – think short wait times, spotless facilities, and a personal touch that makes all the difference. Plus, he's got social media down to an art, using Instagram to show off just how great his clinic is.

Esteban's also big on learning from the best, taking cues from Disney to up his communication and client service game. He's a pro at understanding his clientele, using tools like WhatsApp to keep the conversation flowing, and he knows the importance of aligning his brand with what pet owners are looking for. We even talked about how these strategies aren't just for Ecuador – they're universal. Your team is your brand's biggest cheerleader, and getting that client-practice fit just right is key. I'm already looking forward to catching up with Esteban again to dive even deeper.

Thanks for tuning in, and I hope you're as pumped as I am to put these insights into action. Keep an ear out for more episodes where we'll continue to explore the ins and outs of veterinary marketing. Catch you next time!

Episode Transcript

Brandon (00:00:00) - Welcome to the Veterinary Marketing Podcast, where it's all about how to attract, engage and retain clients to your veterinary practice using digital marketing. My name is Brandon Breshears. I hope you're having a wonderful day! In today's episode, we have a very special guest. We have Esteban Sotomayor, and Esteban is currently an owner of a practice that is called All Pets Hospital Veterinarians in Quito, Ecuador. And I'm really excited about this episode because I think there's so much that we can learn from Latin American practices, specifically in Ecuador. The market is very different from the US. We'll get into those differences, but what this does is make it a lot more competitive down there. There's a lot of really interesting differences, and the thing that I find most interesting about it, most of the people that listen to this podcast are based in the US, Canada, Australia. Those are the top three countries that listen to the podcast. So we don't have too many people from Latin America, Central America. But hopefully we'll get more after this episode.

Brandon (00:01:05) - But it's very, very interesting because they kind of have the opposite of what's going on in the US right now where there are the corporates coming in, taking over practices and basically gobbling up as much as they can in Ecuador, they have kind of the opposite problem. It's actually very easy to start a practice, relatively speaking. It's easier to go to vet school to become a veterinarian. And so as a result, they have a lot more competition down there. So it's difficult to stand out. So Esteban shares what he is doing in his practice. He's a third generation, veterinary professional, which is really cool. And he shares what he is doing to help his practice stand out. And I think there's just a lot of really great insights from this conversation that are going to be very valuable to you. So before we begin, we have two sponsors for today's episode, and here they are. Are you looking to get better SEO ranking for your practice? Probably everyone I know that runs a veterinary hospital would be benefited from having better local SEO, and that's why I want to give you some free tools from one of today's sponsor.

Brandon (00:02:14) - It is WhiteSpark.ca. If you go to veterinarymarketingpodcast.com/seo, that's veterinarymarketingpodcast.com/seo. You can sign up to get a free account to give you some amazing SEO tools. WhiteSpark gives you everything that you need for better local SEO. If you haven't heard the episode I did with Darren Shaw, be sure to go back and look at it. He is the founder and owner of this company. It is fantastic. They have Google business profile management, local rank tracking, local citation finder, reputation builder. They even have professional SEO services if that's something that you're looking for. So go to veterinarymarketingpodcast.com/seo to check out WhiteSpark and the free tools that they have available for you. You won't be disappointed. They're really cool. let me know what you think too. If you need help with any of that, please don't hesitate to reach out. But again, veterinarymarketingpodcast.com/seo. Have you ever said to yourself, I wish I knew where these clients were coming from? If you've ever been wondering, you know what is actually driving conversions in your practice, then I have something that I think will be great for you and that is called real call.

Brandon (00:03:27) - Real is a fantastic tool that allows you to measure and see where your conversions are coming from, and which of the calls and call sources are driving clients into your practice. Caldwell makes it really simple to not only see where your calls are coming from, but the AI tools that they have that track and record the conversation so that you can assign outcomes to the calls is amazing. I highly suggest all of the clients that I have used Call Rail, and if you've ever wondered where my clients coming from, you can try call roll out for two weeks for free. If you go to veterinarymarketingpodcast.com/callrail, you'll be able to try Call Rail for yourself and finally know where your clients are coming from. So without further ado, here's my interview with Esteban Sotomayor. Okay, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Esteban, it's great to meet you here today, and I'm really excited for you to share all the insights that you have with the audience today. But can you give us a little bit of background of who you are and how you got into veterinary medicine?

Esteban (00:04:31) - Thank you, Brandon, so much to have me here on the show.

Esteban (00:04:34) - I'm super excited to be here sharing a little bit of of my knowledge and time with you guys. I'm the third generation involved in the bacteriology practice. My grandfather was a bit. He was one of the founders of the first vet school here in in Ecuador. My dad was also a bat. and I'm the third generation right now involved in the veterinary industry. I actually have a business degree. I have a marketing degree, and I have an MBA for. University of New Orleans, and I own the first 24 hour hospital here in Ecuador. we're open right now. This is going to be our anniversary. We're going to turn. 25 years, of opening, 24 hours, 365 days. And I'm also the owner and CEO of Netflix that it's a company that sells and distributes, veterinary care.

Brandon (00:05:19) - Thank you so much. Well, so you you actually run and own, 24 hour hospital down there, and you've coming up on your 25th anniversary, and then you also do equipment sales in, Ecuador with Vet Flex.

Brandon (00:05:35) - And so I think you have some really unique perspectives on marketing. Also the the market differences that I'm not super aware of. And I bet most veterinarians, that are listening. So majority of people listen are in Australia, US, Canada, a little bit in the UK and to a lesser extent, Europe. So not too many, South American, audience members, but hopefully we'll get more, maybe we'll do a episode in Spanish as well. that would be exciting. But, Can you talk about the current market conditions down specifically in Ecuador, and that hopefully will give some context for kind of the rest of the conversation. But what what is the market like right now? Because I think there's some really interesting things going on down there.

Esteban (00:06:23) - Of course. Okay. Here's a from Latin America, Ecuador and Latin America. We all have kind of the same the same issues. So whenever we talk about Ecuador, probably we can copy that information to a lot of the different countries here in Latin America. one of the biggest difference that we see is that we have a lot of competition, because it's a lot easier to become a veterinarian over here.

Esteban (00:06:50) - in, in the course from, to become a lawyer, or study business or study, oriented to veterinary school. Basically their cost, they cost the same. So whenever you graduate, you don't have as much depth as you have on the States. And, since it's right now, kind of, like, there's a lot of social, environmental friendliness here, too. Like, there's a lot of veterinary graduating in, in, in Ecuador, you know, Latin America. So there's big schools, probably around 400 to 500 students in that school. So that, that at the end makes it that we have a lot of competition. For example, in Quito, there is the capital of Ecuador where I live. Where is my practice? There's around 700 clinics just in Quito. So it's, I'm we're checking that out. It's crazy.

Brandon (00:07:43) - That is crazy. What's the population in Quito? Did you say it's about 3 million? Is that right?

Esteban (00:07:48) - Around 3 million. In Ecuador, we are 17 million and we have 24 bad schools.

Brandon (00:07:53) - Wow. That's. That's pretty. That's pretty amazing. I think that's about the size of Orange County, California, where I used to live. I don't know how many vet practices there are, but I don't think there's 700 there. definitely. So that increased in competition. And also, the just amount of vets that are coming into the market, I think that gives you pretty unique market and probably far more challenging market than, than most places. And so, I think there's a few things that are kind of interesting that we can talk about. And then maybe you can decide what you want to talk about first. But I think two things. Number one is that there's a big demand, I'm sorry, there's a large supply of vets. Right. and there's also a large supply of potential opportunities. So how do you go about attracting and keeping your vets, like what is the most important thing for your practice when it comes to marketing for, you know, jobs and things like that? to really retain and you mentioned to that the generation that you're working with is a lot younger.

Brandon (00:08:57) - because there are a lot of new grads and things in the market. So when it comes to marketing your practice for retention, what are some of the things that you're doing to keep your your current client base? I'm sorry, your current, staff base there.

Esteban (00:09:11) - So what we're doing is we're focusing, from, in students in vet school since they're probably in the almost in their senior years. So whenever they're in their senior years or even before they're allowed to come here to the, to the hospital and, be part of the team, like, of course they're not going to work directly on pets, but they're going to be assisting. They're going to be seeing why, how we work. they're going to be taught our, our working processes. So at the end, we have a big base of of students coming here to do their practices. and whenever we like someone or we think that they has a good, a good future and we see a lot of potential, that's when we try to to to recruit them, to stay with us.

Esteban (00:09:58) - And also, one of the things that we have a lot here is that, of course, since they're younger, our turnaround for for, for these younger that like around two years is the tops that we have one of these younger generation, vets here 2 to 3 years. so we always need to have, this, flow of students coming in so we can, whenever we somebody moves to a different country, most goes out to do their specialty specialization. We have somebody else to cover them immediately. So for us, it's really important to be working directly hand by hand with the universities so we can have this flow of potential, that's coming in for, for the future.

Brandon (00:10:41) - Definitely. And, in, in Quito, what are the most popular social media apps and things right now that are is it Instagram or is it TikTok that's more, popular down there.

Esteban (00:10:52) - Here? actually, like popular. It's going to be TikTok. But here's the issue, TikTok and Instagram. But at the end, it's going to be TikTok.

Esteban (00:11:01) - But TikTok, like one of the issues that we that I have seen over is that they have created such, all the all the businesses in all the industries, they have copied the same formula. They're making these type of, of funny videos that at the end of the day, they don't attract too much through to the population or they don't give the, the seriousness that a veterinary medicine. They should have. So at the end of the day. I move a lot from from TikTok. I don't I don't pay too much attention to it because at the end of the day, I want to give that seriousness to the veterinary medicine aspect. So what we're focusing a lot is on Instagram, an Instagram. we do have a big presence over there. I also heard, for example, one of your of your last episode about, social media, and you were talking about the importance of doing reels. right now for us doing reels with our beds, our beds, showing their faces and talking about the issues that we can have with our clients, discussing issues.

Esteban (00:12:00) - I think that's one of the biggest strategies that we're using right now. So here, here's you mentioned, we mentioned or we talk about the, the the hype, the like you have such, supply of veterinary practices. The two things are really important or have happened. One, prices have come down. So because of the competition, you can have practices that might cause they can they can probably, try to sell you, an examination for $5. So you have as low as $5 and vaccinations for dogs, probably for $10. And then you have the other three methods that we're one of the most expensive here in in Quito, where our exam is around $35 and our annual, vaccination is around $75. So it's a huge difference. So at the end of the day, it's the only way that we can differentiate ourselves is not through price, but is through the experience that we provide to our clients.

Brandon (00:13:02) - Definitely. And I think most practices will put that on their website or they'll talk about that. You know, that we strive for a better experience, but how how are you practically going about doing that? So what what is that difference in experience that you have that you think is helpful in selling that premium priced service?

Esteban (00:13:24) - I.

Esteban (00:13:25) - One of the things that I have noticed, here in Ecuador, in Latin America, is that that we try to promote the biggest standard of medicine, the newest technology in, in, in the, in, in diagnostics, we try to provide a lot or we try to show a lot of the medical part, but sometimes the clients don't pay too much attention to the medical part. They want to pay attention to the relationship, part of of our of the practice. So what we thrive is right now, for example, we we don't have we we don't have appointments. So basically you can come in and we have a high degree of we have around six doctors available and the waiting time is ten minutes. That's the top waiting time that you'll have even though without appointment ten minutes and you'll be in in an exam room with where are doctors? Well, that's a that of course allows us to have a lot of, of, of touch with our clients because since we have six, we're able to provide these higher touch.

Esteban (00:14:26) - for me the three important the most important things that we always try to consider is as as breakthrough cases. We're talking about marketing. The fourth piece price plays promotion. But yeah, so we try to focus on the biggest aspects that it's having the right place, like having the right place for us, to show that we're providing that experience. So our examinations, when we try to have them as top notch as possible. Yeah, our facility has to be as clean as possible. we use a lot of sensorial type of, of, of of devices. So at the end of the day you have these machines that they spread this, really nice scent. So whenever you get into the practice you don't, you don't smell like dog. So at the end of the day, what we have is this we try to fill it with this full experience. So the place looks and provides this, confidence to you, the our doctors, we train them a lot, a lot in how to communicate with the client and small details and how they how they welcome the client, how they treat their pet, whenever they get into examination, if they pet the dog or not.

Esteban (00:15:36) - we, we played a lot of importance to that. And at the end of the day, the entire process that we provide. So by the process, for example, here, it's not common to have, CSRs, it's not really common to have CSRs, but we do have one. And our idea is to make this, provided with this follow up, every day of, of their client, they're taking pictures. If the, if the dog is, is in hospitalization, those pictures and videos to the client, they'll keep the communication as, as the flow of communication as well as possible. And when, whenever they leave, they're also providing this higher touch. So we don't use a communication system, directly. Like we don't use too much the technology. We use this person. So this person is the one who is talking to you directly. So they're talking to a human being. So that allows us to have these extra, extra, extra prices with our prices are a little bit higher than the competition, but it's because we are providing these higher touch.

Brandon (00:16:41) - Definitely. Yeah. I think that's probably one of the biggest problems is that everybody says that they want a better, solution or they want to provide a different type of service, but it really kind of is the same, at least here in the States. That's like the thing that I consistently see is that they want to charge premium prices, but they're not sure how to justify that. and they just, you know, basically think because they care a lot, it should be. Higher priced in general. Right. And it's not true. I think that you're providing an that's amazing that somebody can just show up and I can hear everybody talking, you know, thinking to themselves, well, that's crazy. I wouldn't do that. I'm sure there's a lot of people that wouldn't do that. But that's why you're not charging seven times the low price. You know, you're actually making your practice different. And I think that's a big distinction. when it comes to, you know, how you're you're positioning your content online.

Brandon (00:17:41) - Do you think about the premium positioning, like for every single touchpoint, are you making sure that you're being, you know, really intentional on Instagram and all the way through to the the end or like, do you think about that whole process or is it just kind of separate departments, or how are you going about making sure that everything's consistent?

Esteban (00:18:03) - That's a really good question. And it has been, it has been a struggle a lot to try to get those processes in line, because I can I can do as I can do the best marketing possible. We can have the best, CEOs on, on our websites. we can have the best recordings for the reels, for the best marketing, strategy. But if we don't deliver, if we bring those claims and we don't deliver whenever they come, those marketing efforts, basically they're not there. So we're we're throwing our money. So at the end of the day, it's working with all our team so they can know what we're striving for. And that's that's when the mission and values and the vision of our clinic is, has to be so important for us.

Esteban (00:18:53) - So if we focus on customer experience, everybody has to be involved from the reception, from their CSR. Whenever the dog, the dog comes in, when the client comes, when the pet owner comes in, how we're going to kind of greet them, the doctor, how are we going to how is going to greet the the client? So it's a it has to be a full process. and we also have to communicate it through our, through our social media. So whenever these clients come, I'm delivering that, delivering that promise.

Brandon (00:19:24) - Definitely. When you're talking about communication and teaching your, your veterinarians how to communicate, I think that that's probably something that is definitely needed in marketing because, I've experienced this myself too, where I'll have clients that I'm doing ads for and things, and I'm doing a great job on the back end, but they don't see what goes into that. They don't know. And so if I'm not updating them throughout the process, they don't perceive the value that they're receiving even though they're still receiving it.

Brandon (00:19:52) - And so I think a lot of veterinarians are thinking to themselves, you know, I need to just do a great job. And if I do a great job, they will know that it's great. But I don't think that they will. So when you go about teaching your veterinarians how to communicate, well, what are some of the most important things that help to increase that perceived value?

Esteban (00:20:13) - I think there's there's two points that I want to mention here. first, I think we need to pay attention to, to other industries. So, for example, I paid a lot of attention to okay, what are the biggest, service like the service industries, for example. What's Disney doing? Okay. Why cannot we, as an industry learn from one of the best in the service in the industry to try to, to copy or use those elements into our practices?

Brandon (00:20:48) - Yeah.

Esteban (00:20:49) - So if we can see what they're doing and try to figure out a way that we can differentiate ourselves, why don't we do it? So if if all the clinics look kind of the same in our area, why I don't do something different on the on the facility wise, on the on the floor plan so it can attract a different kind of, of, of clients.

Esteban (00:21:12) - the same with people. If, if, Disney, they always try to have this, they, they always talk about the, the guest members and the cast members, they all need to know the same. And they're all delivering that experience to our clients. Do we need to work on the same? so at the end of the day, I think that we need to try to pay a lot more attention to other industries of of what are they doing to try to to teach these, right ways to communicate with our clients and with the owners so we can do a better job. That's one of the strategies. So basically, what I have done is try to to read as much as possible about different about different industries of what they're doing on their on an experience and of course, their service. So we can try to do the same in our industry. So I think we're we need to change a little bit the tip of how we do things there. And the other thing that it has allowed me a lot, a lot to grow on that aspect of the communication is, I'm right now, part of the Veterinary Hospital Management Association.

Esteban (00:22:14) - I became also right now they gave me an award as the emerging leader for the 2020, 2024 and 2025. So I'm the first person actually outside the state to have this award given. And of course, it has allowed, allowed me to, it has opened a lot of doors to me. And it's getting in touch with people that know a lot more than I do. And for example, if I'm going to I want to improve my marketing. Why don't talk to the right people? So if I want to improve my marketing, look for help, look like people like you, random that you're the the the expert on the marketing strategy wise for social media. You need to learn from the best. And at the end of the day, I think that that's something that we need to open our minds in the veterinary industry.

Brandon (00:23:00) - I agree, I think you can learn so much from outside the industry and specifically like the industries that I look at in the United States at least, are. I look at a lot of dental marketing because they spend a lot more to acquire customers.

Brandon (00:23:15) - So I look at their onboarding funnels and how they are trying to get clients, because in the United States they are very valuable as far as a patient value. And then they don't have medical insurance like they do for, you know, other traditional medicine type things. So it's mostly cash payers and that's who they're looking to attract. So I look at that a lot. And also chiropractic because they're always trying. So from a paid marketing strategy point, what are the what are those two industries doing. Because they're usually innovating because they're spending a lot more on on marketing. But I love what you said about looking for, you know, different experiences. And I think, one of the guests that I had, his name is Chris Doerr. and he, he talks a lot about, you know, if a brand opened a hotel, like, if Nike opened a hotel, what would that look like? and you can probably imagine what that would look like, and that that's the brand power that they have, is that if somebody has brand power and you think about how they would open or run something and it would be consistent throughout the experience, I think that that is is really important.

Brandon (00:24:22) - so when you're thinking about developing a brand and an experience that is higher end, where do you think people should start? And I'll give you a quick example. So when I'm running ads for somebody, usually I suggest that we start at the bottom of the funnel. So we're working on conversion and then we work our way up. When you think about execution for developing that brand, where do you think people should start? on experience.

Esteban (00:24:50) - On my experience, you have the best. Like if you figured out a way to communicate with your clients, with your current clients, that's the point where you can start. You start first with your clients, getting to know really well your clients and trying to and and learning what they like and probably what they don't like. And it's it's it's a it's a hard part sometimes it, it hurts a little bit because they're probably going to tell you things that you don't want to hear. Yeah. But you need to hear them and see okay, this is what I'm doing, right? This is what I'm not doing right.

Esteban (00:25:28) - How can I improve it? So, I think if we focus just in our, in our client base that we have currently and trying to figure it out, why the ones that left and they're going to another, practice why they why they left. If we can figure that out, we have a lot of advantages to try to see how we can develop our brand, what they're looking for, what makes them live for our practice. And, and, and I think that's the main point, to try to figure it out, what we can do with them, we should serve them. We have we should have surveys, sent to them, so we can know how was their, their experience. and we don't do that currently, which is really hard to find, practices that are constantly surveying their, their clients or their surveying, serving their pet owners in a certain specific point, but they're not doing it positively. So I'm not I'm not I'm not sure or they're not might not, might not be sure of what they're doing right or wrong in a specific type of time of, a specific amount of time.

Esteban (00:26:32) - Yeah.

Brandon (00:26:33) - Definitely. when you're communicating with clients, do you just have a standard way of communication, or do you ask the client how they like to communicate best? And I have a follow up question for you on that too. And so are you doing it just consistently, you know, sending text messages or always calling or always emailing or what do you do in your practice?

Esteban (00:26:54) - Here's a big difference here. in, in, in Latin America, like, text messages, they're not that big. So we use WhatsApp.

Brandon (00:27:03) - Okay.

Esteban (00:27:04) - So all our communication is done through WhatsApp. A lot of our communication, if it's text it's going to be through WhatsApp okay. So that's a big difference in the the technology part that we have to to implement. We try to we try to ask our claims what they prefer. I think that's something really important because it's not going to be like for example, my the base of claims that I'm trying to to target right now, it's the clients around the 30s, like the 26 to 35 that they have.

Esteban (00:27:35) - They're, they're they're just married and they have their dog and they live because of they, they love their dog and their, their, their dog is their kid basically. So I'm trying to focus on that target. And I'm also focusing on the older age, the like the, the higher folks who like their, their kids went to school and they're alone and they're left with the dog and they're basically right now their, their, their, their new kid, their new son is their is their dog. So, yeah, they, they have the money, they're going to spend the money. but they're, they're, they're actually really, focusing so much on that, the attention that they need to pay to their, to their dog. So they want that type of experience for them to. Yeah. Because they'll get here and they say, no, it's like my son to me. It's like my grandson. So please treat it like like that. So I'm focusing in those targets. So I'll ask them, hey, what's better for you to communicate? Many of you know, many of the newer generations we hate we hate to be called.

Esteban (00:28:37) - We don't like to be called. Yeah, we prefer the text message. The other the other segment of my older, older clients, they actually like to be called. Yeah. So we really need to pay attention on the age difference in the target that we're going to use to, to use that, the tools.

Brandon (00:28:55) - That's very interesting. I heard somebody say that they send out, it was not in the veterinary industry, but it was in, actually, they're a marketing company, but they they send out messages across like five different channels. So they'll do call, text, email, like a voice message and then a bunch. And whichever one they respond to is the one that they use as the channel then for moving forward, because they give them kind of all the options on the very first one. That seems like it would be more complicated. Definitely. so you you mentioned your target demographics, which I think is great because, you know, your, your client base. And I laughed when you said that, when the kids go to college, I had a friend that went to college and his mom got a dog when he left and it turned into her son, and she gave him the dog his room.

Brandon (00:29:44) - And when he left for college, it was pretty funny, but, I think. There's a lot of fear around, especially in the United States, of really focusing in on one type of client or one type of client experience. Most practices generally want to kind of go all over the place. What what do you think about that especially, you know, being a higher tier practice down there in Quito?

Esteban (00:30:07) - To be honest, I think that's one of the the biggest risks that we can take. Yeah, because we are not doing something different than the rest. It basically put us in the same like it. It's easy as right now. Probably the demand on on, on on veterinarians in the state of of the it's everybody needs a pet. You cannot you don't have appointments. There's no way that you could do a business model as the one that I have here. Yeah. Because of the of the of the of the demand that it has. But it's going to like people are going to like it's going to increase since since corporate are getting in, they're just going to start putting as many clinics and hospital as they can.

Esteban (00:30:52) - Yeah. And whenever that happens, if you're not differentiating yourself from the rest, if you don't have something different that from the corporate.

Esteban (00:31:02) - Yeah.

Esteban (00:31:03) - Things are going to get bad if sales are going to come down. There's for sure, because you're not doing something different than the rest. And they might have the right money to provide that different experience that the client is looking. And it's basically right now we're focusing just in the A. It's it's easy for us to try to see the generations that we're dealing right now as a client, but let's think ahead probably five years from now. They they're like bets are going to be a lot like many, many, many families. They're not going to have kids. They're going to have their talks as family members. So they want to have that higher touch. And if we're not thinking about five, ten years ahead like they're somebody is going to pay attention to that and probably is going to be corporate with the big money and the big buckets. And, and that's where we're we're owners and practice owners are going to be struggling.

Brandon (00:31:57) - I agree, I think the place that the corporates can do better than the average practice is specifically in client acquisition, because they know they're not buyers, they know how much they can. Oftentimes, they're even willing to spend at a loss on that first visit so that they can have the lifetime value of the customer because they are playing the long game like you mentioned. So I think that that's really, really important. And just like you can't if you had a, you know, Toyota car, you wouldn't take it to a Range Rover dealership and ask them to fix it. So, you know, if you can't expect to try to do everything for everyone and, and be successful, let you have the the right experience. And I think that that is definitely of value no matter what market you're in. Absolutely nice total seats.

Esteban (00:32:44) - Right now that we are touching this point, I think it's it's super an idea came to me. It's something that has happened to me through the years. Right now we're looking and we're having this practices that are being probably run by the second generation or probably this or this are new practices where bets are buying.

Esteban (00:33:03) - No new practices, but these old practices are bought by new bets. And they're right now, run by these new, veterinarians that they have this old clientele and, and all these old pet owners that they have now. And sometimes they don't go hand by hand with your mission and your vision. For example, this is something that I have seen directly with me. I still have some clients from my from my grandfather there, and I still see them, sometimes. And there are those type of claims that they don't pay too much attention to their dog. They they bring it when their dog is really, really sick, when there's not so much that we can do. And Mike and I need to try to move from that. Like that's not the client that I want to pay attention to, because he's going to be asking my money wise, he doesn't want to spend too much on the on the dog. They don't care enough. So they bring it whenever it's super sick. So I cannot provide that.

Esteban (00:34:04) - integral part of medicine of the. Well, well, all the full practice medical part that I want to provide. Yeah. so at the end, it's not the client that I want to focus. Let's say, for example, the clients of my dad, like my dad, is already retired a few years ago. his client is around the 60s, 65, age from probably 55 to 65. They're a little bit more the target that I'm looking for, but many of them still see the dog as a dog. Not, not as the, as their family member. Yeah. So it's still, it's not my client. It's not a claim that one that I want to pay attention because it's going to give me more problems. It's going to give me a communication problems. It's going to give me problems with my stuff. So at the end of the day, like whenever you choose, right, your target market, you're you're not also providing or, or bring it enough or you're bringing more income to your practice.

Esteban (00:35:03) - You're also bringing more peace to your stuff. And I think that's something that allows us to have a lot more, retention is that we're bringing the right clients to our practice, that they're not, they're not breaking your neck because you did something like, they're not calling you every five minutes to to to question what you have done or done or not have done. So it's it brings you peace in the future to have the right type of science.

Brandon (00:35:32) - Yeah. That that makes total sense. You're going to get people who are going to give you, you know, depending on what you choose to do, they'll give you a bad reviews because, you know, you're suggesting all of these expensive but blood labs and testing and, you know, they wanted to charge us this much and it's just a dog. Right? And those types of clients aren't the right fit, you know, versus somebody who really wants the best level of care for their pet. But I have a question following up on that, that I think you made some really important distinctions there.

Brandon (00:35:58) - But I'm curious to see what you say about this, with the clients that you do have that are the older generation, that might not be a great fit for your practice. Do you actively work to convert them to your way of thinking, or do you just say, hey, this isn't a good fit and move on for the sake of peace? What do you think? Should we try to convert everybody into your way of thinking? Or should we just try and find people that already believe what you believe?

Esteban (00:36:21) - I think we need to be true to ourselves and to our values and our mission and our vision of the business. as practices, there's so much this is what we can offer. This is the way that we do things, and we need to stick to it. And at the end of the day, is pet owners have to have, the last word on that to decide if they stick to us or they move, move, move to a different clinic. but if we like, if we do, and we try to to to stick to those values, and we always treat our clients the same way and we, we provide, the same experience every time that they come.

Esteban (00:37:03) - If at the end of the day, by the second or third time that they come, probably the second time they don't like it, they're not going to they're not his client. They're going to move to some somewhere else. But just they're they're going they're gonna do it alone. So that our idea has to be that we should be the ones doing it, doing that or taking that experience and having that experience, as, as copy paste as the, as the other ones.

Brandon (00:37:29) - That makes total sense, I think. And I, I was thinking you would say that, but most practice owners that I talked to, they want to try and convert everybody. And I think that's probably it's hard to change people's belief sets, especially around pets and animals and how they treat them. and, you know, maybe you could get some of the, some of your, your segments to convert in their, in their lines of thinking, but it's going to take so much work and you'd have to be an incredible sales person to get them to think, you know, the same way you do.

Brandon (00:38:01) - And so it's tough to do. So I think finding people who already believe what you believe, who already want what you're offering, is so much more effective in general. And I think that's really wise and kind of counterintuitive to what most people are taught in general. absolutely.

Esteban (00:38:16) - I think right now there's a lot of there's a lot of, of we're always talking about efficiency, how we can prove how we can improve our efficiency because we're running we need more time. Doctors are getting, exhausted. there's a lot of burnout. actually, one of the measures that I think that we're not thinking about is this. If we target, we. Right? If we target our efforts to the right clients, our doctors are going to have less problems communicating with the client. We're going to have less problems with, with with the general, with the with the medicine that we're providing, like so we're going to be able to charge what we should without so much discussion and so many issues. So at the end of the day, that's one way of thinking, of taking care of our doctors is providing the right target to, to, to to bring to the clinic.

Esteban (00:39:06) - Yeah.

Brandon (00:39:08) - That's that makes so much sense. And I think too, if you're not able to generate clients that you're, you're better love working with, at the end of the day, they're not going to be excited to come to work if there's always, you know, difficult clients who are always questioning what you're doing and, you know, complaining and being upset, it's hard to enjoy the work that you do. So I think marketing from a point of retention and trying to really do best for your team is not talked about enough. Absolutely. Especially in the management space. Definitely. So as I know we're we're going to be wrapping up here in just a minute. But if, if you could, kind of share with me one of the best tips that you see right now working for you in terms of attracting either a high quality client or maybe a great fit for your team, what would you say that would be?

Esteban (00:40:00) - I think, like the most important thing that I have figured out through the years is paying attention to my team.

Esteban (00:40:06) - My team is my biggest marketing tool that I can have is my team. If I can provide enough attention to my team like that. A word of mouth is easy to come like. Word of mouth is the biggest tool if they're given that experience to our client. Clients will come, pet owners will come and they'll be satisfied with our service. So I think we need to pay attention to to our to our team. we're always thinking about the numbers and sometimes we we're for example, we're trying to cut down in the number of, of, of veterinary technicians that we have. But at the end of the day, that extra technician is going to allow like the work balance to be a lot lower and our team is going to be more satisfied. So at the end of the day, like that's one way of paying attention. Of course it's it's it's more money. Sometimes we need to pay for that peace of mind. So, so so we can I, I'd like to say like that. Okay.

Esteban (00:41:07) - Okay. Sometimes you need to pay a lot more or pay a little bit extra to have that extra, doctor or have that extra bit there. But at the end of the day, the peace of mind that can bring to the whole team.

Brandon (00:41:19) - That makes so much sense. And I was listening to somebody that was talking about specifically sales and the the biggest thing to help people sell is not necessarily knowing the right words to say, but instead having the right belief set that what you're doing is something that actually matters and that you're going to do the best possible. Because I can't tell you how many times I've listened to calls, that we've generated through advertising. And somebody will say, oh, you should go down to the other practice because they're cheaper. So they don't have the belief that their service is good enough and that it's worth the the value that they're charging for it. So listening to your team, making them feel valued and helping to. Establish belief that you're going to do something that actually matters and is meaningful.

Brandon (00:42:00) - I think that's fantastic advice. So, so where can people, learn more about what you do? And, you know, specifically, I know you're going to be speaking a lot more, both probably in the United States and then also in Latin America. But how can people reach out to you if they're interested in getting in touch?

Esteban (00:42:20) - Of course they can. Look for me in LinkedIn at as Esteban Sotomayor. I'm probably going to send you the link to my LinkedIn so they can follow me up there. that's where I can get in touch with me. We can discuss a lot more of what we do. We also do a lot of consulting for hospitals here in Latin America. So whenever they want to try to find these ways of of doing things different. And of course, we're there for them, so they can reach me through that part to LinkedIn.

Brandon (00:42:48) - Excellent. And I would say, go check out your Instagram because it's great. All Pets Hospital in Quito is you do a great job with your your Instagram.

Brandon (00:42:57) - It looks really premium and very nice. So it seems great. Thank you. Thank you I appreciate it.

Esteban (00:43:01) - Also, if if you can also, whenever you want to visit, if you come here to Ecuador, please, I'll be more than happy to show you around and show you my hospital.

Brandon (00:43:11) - That would be amazing. I hope I can go to Quito sometime. I'd love to go. Architecture's amazing down there. well, thank you so much. And, hopefully we'll have you back on again at some point. But thank you for your time.

Esteban (00:43:22) - Thank you so much.

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Brandon Breshears
Digital Marketer & Podcaster
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