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Put on your thinking cap

H.R. Huddle

Consider three strategies for retaining a star employee who has reached the top of the job pay range.

Let’s say you employ the veterinary nurse of your dreams. Not only is she wonderful with the animals, she is compassionate with their owners. She communicates clearly with clients, she’s highly experienced in necessary skills, she’s always on time, she’s willing to do her share and more, and she avoids gossip, among other positive traits. […]

If it’s in stock, they will buy it

Selling Points

Are your inventory controls lacking? Sending a pet owner away empty-handed doesn’t help the patient, the client relationship or the hospital.

Chances are you are missing out on product sales because an item isn’t readily available or in stock at your hospital. The worst part is that you might not be aware of the issue or that the problem might be bigger than you realized. I noticed at my hospitals that a couple of inventory categories […]

My celebrity client

What rock star and dog owner Rob Thomas taught one practitioner about veterinary medicine.

Confession: I have been a fan of Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 since my veterinary school days. I clearly remember five-hour drives from Ithaca, N.Y., to my folks’ house, exhausted after exams and belting out MB20 tunes in my SUV. My black Labrador, Paige, had to tolerate my singing, but the music became the soundtrack […]

Watch and learn

Practice Smarter

Observing what happens in the exam room, possibly through videotaping, can improve communication, customer service and patient care.

What does an effective exam room visit look like in your veterinary practice? Ideally, the client does not have to wait for the appointment. During her visit, she is educated about all she needs to do to provide optimum care for her pet. Appropriate services are rendered and the pet appears to have had a […]

Opportunity knocks

Creative Disruption

Millennials spend more on veterinary care and pet services than any other generation, so what are you doing to embrace them?

For decades, baby boomers have been a dominant force in our profession both as consumers and colleagues. No longer. Millennials — hereafter referred to as PetGen (you’ll see why) — are now the primary pet-owning demographic. Thirty-five percent of U.S. pet owners are members of PetGen, which grew up with the internet and smartphones and […]

Give it your best shot

Compete with low-cost vaccination clinics by doing what they do or by building a better client relationship.

After graduating from veterinary school and entering a small animal practice as an associate, I recognized a change. One of the more common marketing approaches was to offer a free exam with paid vaccinations. The focus of my four years in veterinary school, the full physical exam, had been demeaned to a free service so […]

Of nurses and unions

Politics and Policy

Two emerging campaigns – the Veterinary Nurse Initiative and hospital unionization – could radically change the industry.

2018 marks the year when two vastly different efforts are emerging to address the status, professionalization and health care outcomes involving veterinary staff in animal hospitals throughout the United States. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, the national organization for credentialed veterinary technicians, launched the Veterinary Nurse Initiative in Ohio and Tennessee and […]

Mix business and pleasure

Selling Points

Introducing a bit of imagination and a staff focus to product sales can motivate the team.

To some team members, selling products and managing inventory is nothing more than a severe pain in the you-know-where. I choose to see the task as an incredible opportunity and privilege. There is nothing better than being able to recommend a solution to a client who has a problem with his pet. To hear the […]

Flow in the face of adversity

Go With the Flow

When a difficult situation arises, you can change it, remove yourself or accept it.

Difficult or unwanted situations invariably arise almost daily as busy professionals seek to balance work, family, friends and other passions. So, the question naturally arises: How should we navigate our more challenging moments? While we don’t want to pretend to be psychologists or psychiatrists, we have observed some approaches that are useful for dealing with […]

Fighting the good fight

Thwarting gray-market suppliers is a challenge for manufacturers.

The direct-channel relationship between veterinarians, drug manufacturers and distributors ensures clients that the medications prescribed for their pets are safe, effective and of the highest quality. In the internet age, however, consumer websites offer pet drugs at discounted prices, and many national stores, such as PetSmart, Walmart and Target, sell name-brand prescription pet products. How […]

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