National Veterinary Technician Week is coming up October 11-17, 2015, so we have a question for you:
What's your strategy to honor the veterinary technicians in your territory and support their needs?
We're here to help you develop a meaningful strategy that will benefit vet techs, the practices in your region and your goals at the same time!
First, why veterinary technicians? A couple of techs who are now part of the distribution sales force provided these answers:
- "In many clinics, the VT’s are responsible for patient care and client education. It is important that VT’s stay up-to-date on all products available for their patients and clients. By reaching out to the VT’s, reps will establish a go-to person(s) in each clinic who's interested and willing to listen to your 'pitch' for new products as well as the special offers and materials that may be offered."
- "Just as salespeople are the frontline of our organization, the Veterinary Technician is the frontline of the veterinary clinic. Their skill-sets encompass a multitude of responsibilities within the day-to-day events of the clinic… and we as salespeople need to be sure they're up to date with the newest products, procedures and programs available to them and veterinarians, offering the best medicine and time-saving techniques."
Have you found this to be true in your experience? If so, it's a no-brainer to celebrate technicians during their special week. If not, this is a great opportunity to engage with technicians during your clinic visits.
The main reason is — veterinary technicians DO influence the product purchase decisions within a practice. They may not always feel like they do or make the final decisions, but if they have a knowledgeable discussion with the doctor or practice manager about a product — they're influencing the purchase of products; especially day-to-day items they use. They appreciate finding time saving, reliable and simple-to-use products for their teams.
Here are 5 helpful tips for honoring veterinary technicians before, during and after National Veterinary Technician Week.
- Ask for the veterinary technician by name. Many VT’s are introverts and may not be willing to introduce themselves to the rep, but if each time you come in you ask to speak with a specific VT, it can go a long way in engagement.
- Pass along information during a short chat or at staff Lunch and Learn meetings. Provide updates on new products, promotions that can save the clinic money, client education, and how to bring revenue into the practice. This will help you build a rapport with the clinic.
- Be sure to treat all techs with respect. Remember that Credentialed Veterinary Technicians have an education and are quite serious about their jobs. Don’t talk down to them or demand to only talk to the doctor or manager. If you treat vet techs with respect, they're more willing to talk up your product to the practice's decision makers.
- Bring food. One tech told us, "Food speaks!!! ;-)" It's a great way to open the door with VT’s.
- Bring swag. Make an impression with small thank-you gifts from the company. Techs like water bottles, stuffed animals, stress balls and the all-important pens… all great ways to say thank you!
Most of all, your veterinary technician communications efforts should last all year, not just one designated week.
One rep told us, "Veterinary technicians are an integral part of the clinic and the industry. Whether they graduated from a technical program or learned their skills from the ground up, they work hard and are in this field for the love of animals and passion to care for their patients. It's nice to recognize them regardless of how or what you offer.
The role of the veterinary technician is a valuable role that has changed and evolved into diverse opportunities not only as a technician (as if that isn’t enough), but also as an educator and a specialist in nutrition, X-rays, dental procedures and anesthesia to name a few… as well as salespeople to the practice's clients.
As a salesperson calling on them, be sure to recognize their specialties and cater to their needs."
With an ongoing focus on rewarding much-deserving technicians, you and the techs will enjoy years of mutual benefit.