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Peer Proof and the DSR Role in Veterinary Dental Revenue Growth

By Pam Foster
November, 2017

If you’ve been in the veterinary industry for a while, you’re probably aware that most veterinarians like to see “peer proof” of success with a new procedure, technique, device, or practice-building tactic.

Most veterinarians aren’t keen on being the first to try something new. They’re generally risk-averse and they demand proof before trying something different. Perhaps you’ve noticed this during your clinic visits. 

Being risk-averse is understandable. After all, it can be expensive and disruptive to add a new tool or
protocol to the practice, especially if it’s something so innovative that it doesn’t have much of a track record of success in the field.
Vet Advantage image: The AVMA’s Pet Dental Care website offers helpful information for pet owners and veterinary practices

This is certainly true when it comes to adding an entirely new offering for local patients, such as full-service oral care.

The good news is, there’s quite a lot of peer proof that adding a dental suite and oral-care services is great for patients, clients, and the practice. 

For instance, the September 2016 report, “Veterinary Service Market Overview,” (by Harris Williams & Co.), noted that, “Growing awareness has caused increased usage of preventative services, such as dentistry.”

As a DSR, you’ll have an excellent chance of discussing oral care when you can show what other peers are doing, quite successfully.

There’s no better time than the present to talk with clinics in your area — well before February 2018 National Pet Dental Health Month. 

Let’s look at ways to talk about oral care now, with the goal of helping practices get what they need to prepare for a terrific 2018… from February and beyond. 

  • First, review all the oral-care products you have in your distribution catalog: chews and treats, exam equipment, cleaning tools, anesthesia innovations, and so forth.
  • Next, check out the new WSAVA Global Dental guidelines (which we’ll discuss in detail in our next blog post). Ask your practice contacts if they’ve seen them yet. The aim of these guidelines is to “Set standards for veterinary dentistry worldwide,” and sets the stage for discussions with every practice you visit. AAHA’s Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats is also an essential resource for your visits, and your practice discussions. 
  • Review the AVMA’s Pet Dental Care website for clients. It’s possible that certain practices in our area haven’t seen these helpful, detailed materials… complete with educational videos.
  • Finally, show your clinics the peer proof — what other practices are doing to introduce oral-care services, with outstanding results.

On this last point, you’ll find a wonderful article in Vet Advantage magazine (in the upcoming December 2017 issue) that features Jennifer Mathis, DVM. She reported that dental care became 30% of her practice revenue within a year of adding it to her services. Be sure to watch for that issue when it’s released.

Stephanie Mieras, CVPM, Practice Manager at Iron Mountain Animal Hospital in Michigan, told us, “We added a Progeny dental radiograph unit in Q4 of 2015 and we have increased our dental revenue from 2.4% of our total gross revenue to 3.7% of our total gross revenue — an increase of roughly $45,000 per year. This is a 62% increase in dental revenue for our clinic. Woohoo!” Check out their website’s Dentistry page. 

What about practices in your area? Have you helped one or more practices develop oral-care services? A dental suite?

If so, how are they doing?

If they’ve done well, perhaps they’d be willing to share their success information with other practices (if they’re not in direct competition, geographically)?

It’s worth asking, so you can bring more peer proof to the other clinics in your sales territory.

You can help practices evaluate their current ability to provide oral care services, show them how to easily add or expand what they need to step it up in 2018, and provide guidance on being 100% ready before this coming February 2018 National Pet Dental Health Month.

That’s a lot to smile about!

Topics: Dental, DSR Facing Blog

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