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New Clients and The Word No

Are you saying no to new clients or thinking about having to?

You may be considering having to say no to new clients at your veterinary practice and if you are, it may be because of one or more of the reasons listed in this blog.

With the veterinary industry in the UK set to grow by 4% in 2023, veterinary practices must compete to take a share of this continued growth. With this in mind, it seems crazy that as a business you would start turning away new clients however, the veterinary profession has gone through a testing time over the past few years and at times, it may have felt like your only answer was to put your foot on the breaks to buy yourself and your practice, time to breath.

4 reasons no might be your answer to bringing on new clients at your practice right now.


If your veterinary practice is already working at full capacity and can simply not accommodate additional patients, it’s best to politely decline new clients. Although this may be hard to do, you must protect the standard of care that your practice provides its existing patients, the standard of service you provide your existing clients and the existing workload of your practice staff. Should any of these be jeopardised by taking on one more new client, you must say no for the greater good of your practice.

Consider looking at your practice data, analysing real life data from your practice can be invaluable. When looking at this, see whether you can spot any trends where you could advise the new client a timeframe where they could try again. You the data from your practice, this will allow you to be able to provide a form of reasoning as to why the new client would have more success coming on board at the later date. Ensure that instead of saying no, you take the time to explain. Explaining these reasonings will only assist with making your practice stand out from the crowd. Honesty and showing your genuine care for those that will be directly impacted by allowing further new clients, will highlight your good intentions and will only allow for the wait of coming on board as a new client, be that bit more bearable.


A shortage of veterinary professionals and other staff members will limit your practice’s ability to take on new clients. Acknowledging this and understanding your practice threshold is vital in supporting staff wellbeing, time management and overall patient care.


If the potential new client is unable to afford the veterinary services required to treat their pet, you might suggest alternative options or refer them to an organization that offers financial assistance. After all, it is not that you’re not invested in the healthcare of animals, making a suggestion like this, proves that you are. However, do remember, you are running a business and no amount of patient care you provide free of charge or at a reduced rate will allow your business to thrive.


Some new clients will want to come on board with your practice and just because they believe your practice is the right fit for them and their pet, it does not mean you need to agree that they ‘re the right fit for your practice. Choosing a vet is no longer weighed on convenience, it’s part of it, but other factors come into it. Demographic changes, business values, the client’s beliefs, and the experience they expect. Should your core values as a practice and the service you offer not be aligned with the clients’ expectations or beliefs, see this as you not being compatible. Much like personal relationships, business relationships must weigh in on compatibility for the relationship to strengthen and flourish, improving overall experience and patient care

There are many factors to weigh up when deciding to turn away possible new clients, so ensure you fully evaluate all areas before providing no as the answer. Goodbye doesn’t need to be goodbye, it could just be goodbye for now.

Provide reasoning and understanding to your clients, when your reasons are explained, it highlights your understanding of fully knowing your practice and the you manage the client expectations from the get go.