BLOOPER 4: Missing marketing opportunities
Marketing, by definition, is the process of informing your client of the various services and products your practice offers.
How well do you market your practice in the exam room? Again, this varies not only among hospitals, but also among doctors
within a hospital.
In one video I reviewed, the veterinarian impressed me. She was examining a patient and, as she looked into the dog's mouth,
asked the client, "Have you noticed Casey's breath lately?" The client replied, "Yes, it's pretty foul." The veterinarian
said, "Let me show you why. Take a look at these teeth."
She showed the client the red gum line and the tartar on the teeth. Then she took out a dental grading chart and asked the
client how she would grade her dog's teeth. The client looked at the chart, looked at the teeth, and graded them at a three.
The veterinarian agreed and told the client, "We need to get those teeth cleaned before they become a grade four."
The doctor instructed the assistant (who was standing right there) to review with the client what was involved in a dental
cleaning and to prepare a medical care plan (estimate) for the pet's treatement. The assistant scheduled the appointment before
the client left the building. Now that's marketing.
http://dvm360.com/passivemarketing for step-by-step tips on how to effectively market the products your patients need.
BLOOPER 5: Forgetting to ask the client
I've seen many veterinarians, technicians, and exam room assistants do a great job educating clients about a specific problem
or preventive procedure but then fail to close the deal. They forget one of the most important and simplest steps—to ask if
the client would like to do what they've recommended. In a recent video I watched, the exam room assistant did an awesome
job educating the client about microchipping. The assistant explained how the chip worked and how easy it was to insert, especially
since the pet was having a dental procedure done that day and was going to be under anesthesia. Problem was, she never asked
the client, "Would you like for us to take care of that today?" I'm sure the client would have said yes.
In some cases, of course, we provide the client with a medical care plan before asking if he or she would like the service
or not, but we always have to ask. The worst-case scenario is that the client says no, in which case you enter a declined
code in the computer. But you can't get to yes without asking.
After watching countless exam room videos, I can tell you one thing is for sure: They're eye-opening and a lot of fun to watch.
If you haven't taken the plunge, I urge you to do so. What you'll learn will astound you. And if you have any good videos,
send them to me.
Mark Opperman, CVPM, Veterinary Economics' Hospital Management Editor, owns veterinary consulting firm VMC Inc., in Evergreen, Colo. Please send questions and comments