Money-hungry: How do I convince my practice owner that selling therapeutic diets is worth it?

June 17, 2016

dvm360 expert Brian Conrad gets black and white about the benefits of therapeutic diets, how to sell them to clients and how to convince veterinary hospital management that it's a totally brilliant idea.

Q. I'm an associate and believe in the value of therapeutic diets. Problem is, both my practice manager and practice owner are resistant to putting much effort into selling therapeutic diets. What should I say to change their minds? And what if they still say no?

Answer:

If you're mulling over the decision to carry therapeutic diets or not, heed Brian Conrad's advice: If you're gonna make a recommendation in the hospital (what's best for the pet) then you sure as heck better be carrying that product.

Brian Conrad, CVPM, sees the green you can make by stocking therapeutic diets.

You'll want to make the case to your owner and/or manager that you can't send pet owners to a megastore to search out a specific product. After all, your owner and manager know as well as you do that the chances a client will go out and find that specific product aren't great. Also, make sure you have samples in the exam rooms. Clients want to be able to see, feel and touch products. There's nothing worse than making a recommendation and then expecting the client to leave your clinic to find it.

In other words, let your owner and manager know they're handicapping you. It's great that you can talk to clients about nutrition, but if you don't have those exact products sitting in your hospital, your recommendations only go so far.

Pet owners want bullet points or short summaries, not protein levels and moisture content.

Conrad also says it's important to practice these practical conversations with clients in a training setting. Clients don't care about protein levels or moisture content. What clients do want is bullet points or short summaries on why and how this recommended food is going to help their pet live a healthy life for years to come.

At your next team meeting, propose a real-life example of a conversation you had with a client that demonstrates the value of having a therapeutic diet stocked. You can do an A/B scenario: Scenario A is when you don't have any products to show and your recommendation falls flat. The practice owner and practice manager should see the benefits of Scenario B in a hurry.

The latest technological advances have engendered a range of products and diets that can majorly benefit your patients, Conrad says. Do yourself, your clients and your patients a favor ... stock those products.