Are we not love vendors?


I have a present for you, Mrs. Client. It's behind that door over there. And I know you are going to love it!

I have a present for you, Mrs. Client. It's behind that door over there. And I know you are going to love it!

Gerald Snyder, VMD

Before I give it to you, I want to tell you some things you should know.

There is a Salvation Army version and a Gucci version, and I'm not certain which one this is, but I guarantee you are going to love it! Oh! Yes! You should also know that this gift needs special fuel to run it. You are going to have to go out and buy this fuel on a relatively frequent basis. Sometimes the fuel that has been working so well for months won't be accepted, and you are going to have to try several until you find one that will be accepted. Oh! And sometimes that fuel will come back up the fuel filler tube on to your carpet. But it really is no problem because you are going to adore this gift.

Before I forget, at the other end of this gift is a discharge valve that works fine most of the time but sometimes leaks making a mess, but you won't really mind because this gift will be so precious to you!

You will have to build into your already busy schedule some time during the day to take this gift outside to dump the discharge valve, which is pretty regular, but occasionally signals a need for discharge at inconvenient hours like 3 o'clock in the morning. But you are going to love this gift.

Dump time

Oh! Yes! Maintenance. Initially, during the first 5,000 miles or so, you'll need to make an appointment for service every few weeks but after that, it's only once or twice a year at about $100 a pop! Then there is a major alteration procedure that is best done three to six months after you get this gift. Of course, if it starts to give you bigger problems, you'll have to see the service people more often and believe it or not, some of them are open all night!

Some of the Gucci models require that you bring it in for detailing once a month, but the results will make you proud.

After many years of ownership, this model is going to break down requiring many hundreds of dollars in repair costs, and if the repair is unsuccessful, you will be very upset and may need grief counseling. But what the heck, having this gift will give you years and years of pleasure.

Built Ford tough

Now, Mrs. Client are you ready to accept your gift?

What person in his or her right mind would accept the responsibilities listed above? Is there any doubt in your mind that every client knew about the walking, feeding, vaccinating, pooping, peeing, vomiting and loss problems attached to every puppy in the world?

Sanity check

Yet, they accepted their gift or paid real dollars for it, when jobs are still scarce and the recession relief has not hit your area yet. Why? Why?

It's very simple really! That dog or other pet has unreserved love to share. No dog ever withdrew its affection from its master if he came home with a blond hair on his jacket.

That dog does not care whether your socks match, how much you earn, whether you are five minutes late for anything, it just is glad to see you any time any place and that is a rare commodity in today's world. None of us comes home today finding the Dallas Cheerleaders in our driveway shouting yea! Mom! or yea! Dad! In fact, if you come home these days and your teens run up to you with the same excitement as the dog, they want money!

Your clients love their pets more than they hate the walking and finicky eating and pooping et al. Never forget that they are in your reception area only because of that love.

Frankly, nobody wants veterinarians or veterinary medicine. They want a pet that will never need altering, vaccination, de-worming, blood tests, surgery and will last forever! Perhaps Sony's AIBOª comes close, but even then batteries need recharging, and somehow it doesn't even come close to providing the love our clients want and need in this ever more impersonal world.

So, we are here to maintain and keep their cherished pet alive and well and able to give them the love they need.

Building value

So, why do we cringe when we tell the owners of their love machine what it will cost to service it and keep that love flowing? And why do our clients cringe when they hear that price? It's because blurting out a major fee without first building value can make clients feel like you've dropped a bombshell on them and is a sure way to alienate them.

Here's how to help clients not only accept but appreciate your fees:

Give an awesome, presentation. After you've uncovered your patient's needs, dazzle your client with the benefits. Don't you have a VetEd Tablet or a laptop to take into the exam room with you with Hill'sª Clinical Atlas, Tilley's 5 Minute Consult and surgery texts that can be photocopied explaining everything down to the three-layer closure?

Don't you have dermatology texts that have pictures that show your client that what you are talking about is what their pet's problem looks like now? If not, gettum!

Once you've done a great presentation, wait for your client to ask for the fee, if possible. Simply blurting out the fee often causes sticker shock and sends clients running.

Prevent sticker shock

Next, help your client see how inexpensive your service is by reducing the total price into little parts as below. If anesthesia is required, break it down like this…

General Surgical Anesthesia $112.74

Pre-anesthetic physical exam

Injectable induction

Tracheal intubation

Gas administration

Cardiac monitoring

Respiratory monitoring

Blood pressure monitoring

Tracheal extubation

Recovery room and monitoring

Hazardous waste disposal

Remember Sally Struthers on TV telling us we could help feed a needy family for as little as the cost of a cup of coffee a day? (That was obviously before Starbucks!) She was actually asking people to send in hundreds of dollars; hundreds of dollars all at once was more than most people were willing to part with. But a cup of coffee a day, now that was something that more people could handle.

Build appreciation and better acceptance of fees by showing the details, and you will find yourself performing more services for pets in need.

Recent Videos
Managing practice caseloads
Angela Elia, BS, LVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.