Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2019

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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60 Today's Veterinary Business Merchandising To the average client, such news is as exciting as hearing their pet needs to wear an e-collar for the next 14 days. For our staff, similar reactions. But for some of us with a passion for always wanting to better serve clients and pets, we hear the sweet sound of opportunity. While 4 in 5 Americans break their New Year's resolutions by early February, there is still time for you to make good on your commitment to grow and raise the level of care and education in your hospital. Re- juvenated and inspired sales teams are knocking on your doors, excited to share all the new information. Now is the time. Will you seize the opportunity? Start the Discussion I invite you — no, I boldly encour- age you — to seize the opportunity rather than do what you have always done. Let's create an even better outcome for you and your hospital. The lunch and learn is the go- to event for sharing much of the new information with your team. These meetings can be valuable, but you need to make sure the time spent is invaluable. First, be proactive and set up meetings with your vendors. You could invite the prac- tice owner, manager, associate veterinar- ian, lead technician and inventory spe- cialist. You know your hospital and the key players who make critical decisions. Have the vendor walk through all the updates. I often learn about resources that were available in the past but not capitalized on. By in- cluding your leadership team in the meetings, collaborative thinking will take place and enthusiasm for what could be will grow. Develop an action plan. List three to five bold objectives the leadership team would like to see accomplished in partnership with the territory manager and his com- pany. Don't complicate the process; you don't need a 21-step plan. What you need are simple, defined steps that everyone can get behind to provide op- timal results in 2019. Set Ground Rules The next step is a revised staff meeting. Tell the account representative exactly Merchandising SELLING POINTS By Brian Conrad, CVPM what should and should not be communicated to your team. For example, his company might have three new products, but your hospital will carry only two of them. There is no sense confusing the team with products or services you won't provide. Educational time limits should be set, and decisions should be made in advance about staff sam- pling of products, client and staff incentive programs, and rewards. Nothing is more awkward than making a decision in front of the entire team when what you deter- mine has a direct financial impact on the staff. For example, a manufacturer might offer an incentive for each unit sold by a team member. The enticement wouldn't work in your hospital because of your team approach to sales. My point is this: Ensure that the meeting details are agreed to before the pizza arrives. During the lunch and learn, explain why the education is taking In the run-up to 2019, manufacturers and distributors met with their sales teams to announce new goals, strategies, product lines, marketing campaigns and client-clinic incentive programs. New educational pieces, training opportunities, efficacy studies and pricing lists were reviewed and summarized. Lunch and learn 2.0 What you do in advance of a staff meeting and how you utilize your sales reps can improve employee buy-in and, in turn, client compliance. Educational time limits should be set, and decisions should be made in advance about staff sampling of products, client and staff incentive programs, and rewards.

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