Earning Your Clients’ Trust is Equally Important to Educating Them

Before you start working with a horse owner, explain your expectations for the job

Dave Farley, a farrier based in Wellington, Fla., started a practice decades ago to improve farrier-client communication and understanding. In the 1980s, he began sending his clients a yearly newsletter in early January. The contents of this newsletter could include product usage changes, tips for properly cleaning hoofs or life/business updates, but uniquely, the newsletter also included the price changes Farley was going to enact for the coming year for his services.

“The cost of living goes up every year,” says Farley, a 2008 inductee of the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame. “We shouldn’t have to absorb that. I have always tried to let the clients know what our profit margin is and that it is adjusted each year. Out of goodwill to all, I have only increased costs to maintain the same level of profit each year. The prices only go up as much as the cost of living, materials and other expenses.”

Farley says that he had never been challenged on his price increases by clients when he puts the information in his yearly newsletter. He maintains that it is vital for farriers to inform their clients of these charges and changes, as that will educate them on the life and business of the farrier.

Client education can be a double-edged sword, however. With the introduction of massive online repositories of information and easy-to-use search engines, Farley says that it can be difficult to maintain your status as an expert in the field. His newsletter helped him accomplish…

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