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Add Value to Customers with Veterinary Online Services

By Pam Foster
February, 2016

In November 2015, Henry Schein announced that it will acquire a majority interest in Vetstreet, Inc., "a leading software as a service (SaaS) provider of marketing solutions and health information analytics to veterinary practices and animal health product manufacturers."

Other distribution companies also offer software and online practice-management tools (marketing, client education, estores and more), such as Patterson's ePet Health system and Midwest's MyVetClinicOnline.com, and MWI's Practice Management Resources.

Vet Advantage photo: Introduce online solutions to help veterinary practices thrive while improving their value to clients and animals.

This got us thinking.

Have you considered introducing these value-added online solutions to your customers — so you're enhancing your relationships with them?

Any time you can offer ideas to help your customers thrive while improving their value to clients and animals — everyone wins. Your customers win, the clients win, the patients win… and you win.

Consider it this way.

Practice owners and office managers are ALWAYS looking for ways to bring in more business, save money, become as efficient as possible and provide the best care. They don't want you to tell them how to practice, but they DO expect you to present suggestions on how to lower costs or keep the clinic running smoothly.

We know this because veterinary professionals have told us. In the April 2015 Vet Advantage magazine story, "Great Expectations," veterinarians talked about the attributes of a great rep. For instance, Dr. Dan Brod of Deer Creek Animal Hospital said this: “It’s very important to have a rep you can bond with… somebody who’s been there a long time, is very tenured, and is someone you feel is really looking out for your best interests.”

One way to look out for your customers' best interests is to help them follow a "pull" strategy where they "pull through" profits from the products they just bought from you.

With spring flea and tick season coming up, here's how you can introduce this pull approach.

  • First, help practices identify specific goals related to pulling through/increasing purchases of preventatives and screening tests… which will lead to increased visits and treatments (and healthy pets!).
  • Next, talk about the ways that online client education materials, email reminders, special offers, etc. can make clients more aware of prevention and early diagnosis and treatments (and prompt calls to the clinic).
  • In addition, explain how a cross-selling approach — offering specific clients ancillary/related products and services via online marketing communications AFTER the flea/tick visit — can give practices new insights into how to attract more purchases and visits beyond flea and tick care.
  • Finally, explain that this pull approach can help veterinarians build momentum to increase demand, appointments and purchases all year, while more pets get the care they need.

Using the same scenario of flea and tick season, you can also help practices by helping them audit their current inventory-tracking methods, purchase-tracking methods and more. This audit (or conversation) may open the door to a discussion about using a much more effective and efficient online tool that provides more information. Once again, you're providing extra-mile service here.

It's an amazing recipe to strengthen relationships with your clients: identifying ways to help, providig great solutions and helping the practice win.

Be sure to look into the online tools your distribution company provides and see how you can be that "dream rep" who delivers service WAY BEYOND your customers' expectations.

Topics: Sales and Marketing

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