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Cat got your tongue? 4 tips to talk to cat owners
Confess: Do you stand behind the veterinary exam table and blah, blah, blah, hairball, blah, blah blah, litter box" at clients? Jane Brunt, DVM, CATalyst Council Executive Director, offers the purrfect words to connect with cat owners. (P.S. There are kittens here. Playing. Its really cute, we promise.)
Note: There are kittens at play at the end of this video. Skip it at your own risk.
Really?! You're skipping the kittens? OK, DOG LOVER here's the condensed version: Dr. Brunt says your communications shouldn't consist of you standing behind the exam table and lecturing about hairballs and litter pans. (At 0:23 a random guy in a red shirt walks in and decides to read a text right behind Dr. Brunt. We choose to believe it's a vital text about his cat's next veterinary appointment.)
Tip 1: Make your communication fun, engaging and memorable. “How do I do that, Dr. Brunt?” you might ask. Funny, she answers that exact question at 0:29. (And random dude in red shirt wanders away for a minute, riveted by the teeny screen of his phone. I bet he's watching the video above RIGHT NOW. You should, too.)
Tip 2: Get COT-Caught On Tape. Use these fun ideas to engage clients: Take iPhone videos of cats doing cat things, like playing and prey behavior, to give pet owners visuals of the topics you discuss (these are also great for your Facebook page!) Also ask clients to take videos of their cats and bring them in so you can see their cats in action and tailor your cat conversations to their kitty (a bonus: you get to watch another cat video!)
Tip 3: Put on your listening caps, people. At 1:18, we ask Dr. Brunt “What's the most important thing team members can say to cat owners?”
The correct answer: This is a trick question! The most important thing you can say, Dr. Brunt says, is nothing. That's right. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. You should be listening. And we're all ears. Start with open-ended questions:
> What's your house like?
> How did you get the cat?
Then you can tailor your conversation to the client's needs-and you'll be a much more effective healthcare provider.
Tip 4: Use story time. Ask cat owners for stories about their cats and share your own stories to relate to the challenges they're facing. Perhaps they're frustrated by their kitty's regular tap dance across the kitchen counter. Talk about how you relate. Then give them tailored solutions, like providing another place for their cats to get high.
At 2:38, there are kittens. You're welcome.