OK, let me just say up front that I am fully aware of how nerdy this gift is. However, I’m still going to tell you about it because it makes people feel great, it doesn’t cost a thing, and it might even help your clinic. So what the heck is this magical stocking stuffer? I’ll explain:


Last year, a young couple who had just moved to my area and were looking for a veterinarian brought their two Westies in to see me. They were about my own age, energetic and upbeat — I liked them immediately. Both dentists, they had bought a little dental practice in town from someone who was retiring; and their enthusiasm for their new business and the changes they were going to make was fun and contagious. Every time they came by with their dogs, it brightened my day. So I was genuinely happy when it came time for me to get my teeth cleaned. I headed over to their new office and had a wonderful experience.


Family pets receiving gifts for Christmas - dog a kitten with sm


Then I did something I almost never do: I wrote an online review. (I told you this was going to get nerdy.) Why? Because here these people were, working with all the determination, uncertainty, and hope that many of us have about our own businesses, and I had the ability to do one simple thing to help them with one of the biggest challenges they faced — reaching out to potential new patients. It only took me a moment, but I imagined it might make their day.


Think about it: How much do you love it when people say nice things about you in front of other people? That’s what it feels like to see a new 5-star review appear for your business. It costs the person writing the review absolutely nothing except a few minutes of thought, but the resulting joy and pride are huge. Writing a nice review for someone has all the hallmarks of what I’d consider a perfect gift, too. It’s unique and personal; it shows that you are thinking of the recipient; and you make it with your own hands.



And you know what? Sometimes this gift has a very nice way of coming back to you.


After I wrote a review for my dentists, I went on about my day with that warm feeling you get from doing something unsolicited and kind for someone else. I didn’t contact them or point the review out. I figured they would find it sometime in the future and have an especially good day.


About two months later, I got an alert from Google. There was a new 5-star rating for our veterinary practice. It positively glowed, and it mentioned me by name. I still go back and look at it every now and then when I need a little boost. You can guess who it was from, can’t you? My dentist friends. I wasn’t expecting it, and it made my day.


work with cats


So this holiday season, think about whether any of your clients own a own small business. They probably feel the same way about their bakeries, shops, garages, or dental practices that you do about your clinic. Why not pop in to visit and then leave a nice review? They may return the favor one day, or they may not — what matters most is that you’ll be spreading immeasurable good cheer.