As we turn the calendar page to a fresh new year, be sure to start 2016 off right. Review these 5 tips to help supercharge your efforts with veterinary practices and make 2016 the best year ever for them and for you!
Try adding these suggestions to your normal approach with practices. Or, if you're already on top of all five, take a fresh look to see if you can do even better.
- Take a holistic approach to each visit. Yes, this can be hard when you have just a few moments with each clinic to discuss the latest products and promotions, but if you add this one question during your visits, you can make sure you're not missing anything: "What else can I solve for you while I'm here?" This may uncover a hidden need or problem your customers may have, and of course, you have a great solution they may not know about! New products and services are being introduced to the market all the time, right?
- Be the "valued educator" for more of the practices in your territory. As you may know, veterinary teams love Lunch n' Learn presentations to get updates or ideas on procedures, client education, protocols, team-building, leadership, upselling or expanding sales with existing clients and so forth. Many companies offer free educational websites, handouts and other tools specifically for staff and client education. For example, Midmark offers a website with marketing and client education tools to help your customers take dentistry to the next level. http://www.midmarkanimalhealth.com/tools/success
Make the most of these manufacturer resources and become the local hero when it comes to helping practices thrive. (Don't forget to bring the pizza!)
- Listen, listen, and listen some more. Many times, distributor reps are on a mission to get into a practice, provide updates on specific new products and promotions or check inventory and then move along. And, busy practices usually appreciate quick visits from their reps. BUT — one way to ramp up your value to practices is to ACTIVELY LISTEN so you can solve more of their problems. For instance, what is the practice struggling with? What questions do they have about a new solution or procedure they heard about? What's happening with their sales of preventatives? Why are they down? Let your customers vent a bit and reveal deeper problems that you can help solve.
- Get to the big benefits as quickly as possible. By now you know that clinics are BUSY with clients, patients and other matters, so when you're on a call, get to the point when presenting new solutions. Instead of describing all the features and cool technology of a new product, start with the big wow: "What would it mean if you could save your team at least an hour a day in handling samples or managing inventory or cleaning recovery kennels?" (For example.) Then, follow up with an action the practice can take to realize this big benefit, such as seeing a demo, using a free trial kit, etc.
- Be personally invested in your customers' success. Genuine caring goes a LONG way with practices, so do a quick gut-check on how you demonstrate your true interest in helping customers succeed. Do you call them by their names when you come in, at all levels (receptionists, vet techs and doctors)? Do you stop to gauge the environment when you walk in: is it out-of-control busy, or did they just have to put a patient down (therefore the team is devastated while consoling a client)? When you watch for these signals, you can adjust your approach with empathy, flexibility and understanding. Perhaps say, "Is this a good time to talk? Or, "Maybe I can help ease this situation." The staff will notice this and appreciate it. (This is one of our favorite sales strategies that can set you apart from other reps in a HUGE way.)
We hope you find these helpful. Thank you for your support and all you do in the business of animal health. We wish you a wildly successful 2016!
Happy New Year from all of us at Veterinary Advantage!