Hey veterinary sales reps: What do we really want? Pretty pens!

October 8, 2019
Emily Ridyard

If you want to schedule a luncheon at my veterinary hospital, a few stationery items would not go amiss.

sinoptic/stock.adobe.comNearly every day I encounter veterinary company sales representatives who come into our hospital to try to see management and ambush the staff into a luncheon.

Now, luncheons are great-at least if we have that extra hour to spare that day. Who doesn't like free pizza? But during my busy days working as a veterinary client service representative, I'm sometimes guilty of telling these reps that my manager is in a meeting and then forgetting to follow up. And often when I do tell my manager about the visit, they simply toss the rep's number in the trash.

Don't shame me-I've worked at nine veterinary hospitals and every practice manager has dismissed reps this way. My brilliant idea? Provide us with a better incentive.

I've seen hospital managers go above and beyond to get luncheons scheduled if the company is going to give us free things. For example, if it's a Heartgard meeting, provide us with free Heartgard doses-maybe throw in some Nexgard as well.

What do we care about upfront? The stationery. If you have amazing pens, markers, styluses, bags and notebooks, you've won my heart. Maybe the key to nailing that next luncheon is a bit of pen bribery. Just saying.

Emily Ridyard is a veterinary client service representative at Christensen Animal Hospital in Wilmette, Illinois.