At a practice management session at CVC Washington, D.C., Dr. Mike Paul reveals the best ways to get veterinary clients on board with your recommendations.
“The cost of veterinary services isn’t the most common obstruction to compliance,” says Dr. Mike Paul, a veterinary consultant and founding member and former executive director/CEO of the Companion Animal Parasite Council. “When my plumber or mechanic shows me the value of my toilet flushing or car starting, I write a check.” Here are some of the most common reasons clients don’t comply, according to Dr. Paul.
1. Information overload. You need to develop a clear and succinct message for clients. Make your point, make sure the client understands, and then move on. Rambling will make your recommendation about as clear as mud.
2. Disastrous distractions. When educating pet owners, try to escape the hustle and bustle of the clinic. The best place to communicate with clients is behind exam room doors.
3. Inconsistent recommendations. If the receptionist rolls her eyes when the client mentions your recommendation at check out, your words won’t hold as much weight. “Reach a staff-wide agreement on what you’re going to say and then, by God, say it!” Dr. Paul says.
4. Confusion. Sometimes clients don’t actually hear what the staff thought they presented. “Talk with clients—not at them,” Dr. Paul says. “Don’t show them how many polysyllabic words you know.”
5. Failure to schedule. Never tell clients, “Call us to schedule that dental!” Your staff should schedule that dental before the pet owner gets out the door.
Dr. Paul tells clients, “I can’t drive to your house and apply the medication. I need your help.” Stress to clients that you’re in this together and you need them on your team in order to keep pets happy and healthy.