Your Veterinary Voice episode 7: Meet Bash Halow, LVT, CVPM
Know how they say, "It's not you, it's me?" Well, veterinary practice consultant and regular CVC speaker Bash Halow, LVT, CVPM, has some (perhaps uncomfortable) news for the veterinary industry—oftentimes, veterinary practice owners are the ones getting in their own way.
That's not to say Bash Halow isn't on their side. In fact, he takes a tone of reverence and awe when he talks about the overworked, stressed-out and pulled-in-every-direction practice owner—he just thinks that sometimes, people who are more reluctant to change are going to have a harder time.
Oh, a consultant who wants you to change? Big surprise. But in this candid conversation with dvm360.com Business Channel Director Brendan Howard, Bash pulls back the curtain on veterinary consultancy and gets real—really, really real—about why his job is so important and what changes he'd like to see veterinarians, practice owners and team members make to get along better and eventually make their practices more profitable.
Give it a listen here:
Short on time? Here's the breakdown of this episode, with links to handy tools and other stories to help inspire change in your practice—no matter your role.
At 6:00, Bash pulls back the curtain on how veterinary consultancy works, his methods for eliciting information from the team and how he generally approaches a problem practice.
>>> Wondering if your practice could benefit from a consultant? One study says sometimes it's best to ask for help.
>>> But which consultant should you pick? Here's a handy guide.
>>> It's also important to know your role when you hire a consultant.
>>> Finally, just for fun … you think your practice has it bad? Check out "Can this veterinary practice be saved?"—the true story of a husband-wife duo at Applebrook Veterinary Clinic on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
At 9:30, Bash discusses what his initial consultant conversations with a team are like. Mostly, he's trying to get the team to really articulate what good "customer service" looks like to the team members. This "bumper sticker" phrase can be problematic, he says, because it loses its meaning after a while.
>>> Here's another regular dvm360.com contributor, Dr. Andy Roark, on how to sell clients on your service.
>>> We got Veterinary Hospital Managers Association members to spill their secrets for better customer service here.
>>> And here's a novel idea—make a checklist. No, really: Here's evidence that lists help improve client service and patient care.
At 13:50, Bash acknowledges that so much of what goes wrong in veterinary practice (clients aside) comes down to communication. His take? "We always call each other a team, why don't we huddle like one?!"
>>> Here's more on the "huddle" concept.
>>> And here are 9 steps to the perfect veterinary appointment (hint: pay special attention to the steps before the client arrives.)
At 17:00, things get juicy—Bash discusses problem clients and difficult situations where he's been fired. (Spoiler alert: He tells the story of a particularly stubborn practice owner prone to emotional outbursts and NSFW language.) To that end, he says, "I will always work through differences to some positive outcome. You can't fire people just because they bug you. You can fire them if they lack passion."
>>> How should you deal with a boss that shouts and curses at you? Here's how.
>>> How to manage your team's emotional outbursts? It starts with you.
>>> What to do when bickering gets out of hand? This.
And at 25:50, the discussion turns to change, specifically, whether Bash believes people truly can change. Here are a couple of our favorite recent articles to check out on the concept of making effective change.
>>> Change makes room for growth—numbers don't lie.
>>> Is there a shortcut to personal change and transformation? We hack the DVM brain to uncover the psychology of change in the veterinary profession.
>>> And just for fun: 24 books to change your life!