Plentiful food sales

Plentiful food sales

Mar 01, 2008

How can I encourage clients to buy pet food and other supplies from my practice?

Dr. Andrew Rollo
Selling therapeutic diets should be just like prescribing and selling drugs, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Andrew Rollo, an associate at Gibraltar Veterinary Hospital in Gibraltar, Mich. These diets are specific to a pet's medical condition and owners are taking these diets home on your recommendation. For example, Dr. Rollo says, if you're treating a pet for renal disease, let the pet owner know the importance of a renal diet and that the pet will be on this special food long term. "It's no different than a long-term medication," he says.

As for over-the-counter diets and other products at your hospital, you face stiff competition from the Internet and pet stores. But remember that as a veterinarian you're still the main influence in the pet's care. "You hold more influence than a store clerk or Betty White," Dr. Rollo says. "If there's a particular brand of food you believe in, let the owner know."

Another way to give your recommendations punch is to tell your clients that you actually purchase the products for your own pets—assuming that's true. Dr. Rollo tries to buy pet care products only from his hospital. "That way when I'm talking to clients about brushing their pet's teeth or what leash to buy, I can tell them what I use personally and where to find those products at the counter when they check out," he says.

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