Stop selling in the exam roomheres how


Get veterinary clients to buy in to a recommended brand of pet insurance so you can focus on care.

Getty ImagesI've been in practice more than 35 years and I, like all of you, tire of the multiple-times-a-day task of getting clients to say yes to recommendations, to accept estimates or quotes, to pay the bill and make sure they leave feeling like they have received value. 

The simple solution

Too much of the time, the client doesn't say yes to what's in the pet's best interests (as outlined by our recommended diagnostic, treatment or prevention protocols), bargains for a lower level of care, leaves the practice feeling exploited, or worse yet, exercises the final solution-economic euthanasia. This is what we've always done, so what could we possibly do that would allow us to stop selling in the exam room?

Simple. Recommend a brand of pet insurance, get the whole veterinary team to understand and promote that company's policies (best yet if yourselves are policy holders), get the pet owner to purchase a policy and get ready for clients to say yes.

Put aside the usual objections

I'm a mind reader. I can sense your resistance to selling pet insurance and know your objections. “I don't like selling.” Really? You already sell a certain line of parasite control products, vaccines, therapeutic diets, etc. With almost all veterinary products and services, you sell with each transaction. With pet insurance, you only have to sell once, get them to become policy holders, and then everyone (pet, pet owner, practice) reaps the benefits.

My crystal ball sees more ... “I tried pet insurance before and they didn't pay, were slow to pay, dictated how much they reimbursed, just didn't work well.” Just like I don't use a rotary dial telephone or an 8-track tape player because they wouldn't work well to call on the go, play music on an airplane or surf the web, yesterday's pet insurance companies and the policies are like the first generation of mobile phones compared to today's smartphones. You need to check out the new models. 

Ah, another image appears in the smoke. “The same clients who need pet insurance are the same people who should try and get credit or wouldn't qualify for it.” Wrong. You know which of your clients are best suited for pet insurance? Almost all of them. Pet owners with pet savings accounts are about as common as Jackalopes. Few pet owners are prepared or able to pay the costs associated with specialty care (I know, I just paid a whopper of an invoice for a puppy of mine that spent 10 days in intensive care). Even your employees would benefit from having pet insurance (I have it too).

I think of it like basketball superstars who are in college for one year before going pro. It's commonly referred to as “one and done.” I think of pet insurance as “Won and done.” With competent, confident selling of pet insurance, you get clients to say yes to pet insurance one time, and then you're done selling. 

Dr. Marty Becker is a renowned speaker, TV personality and author. He practices at North Idaho Animal Hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho.

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