As veterinarians we have many opportunities to provide advice and advocate products that improve animal welfare. Pitching a recommendation can, however, make us feel uncomfortable if it feels too much like ‘selling’. We have some tips to help you connect with clients and make confident recommendations.
It may come as a surprise but the best sales people say they talk for just 20 percent of the time and listen for 80 percent. Your recommendation as a professional carries great weight but having collaborative conversations with clients can also help you make better and more frequent recommendations.
Asking questions will help to identify the client’s pain point – that could be not knowing how much the pet’s itch is bothering them when they are out of sight, to what extent it’s having an impact on the pet’s quality of life, or something else that’s completely unexpected. We only find out what matters most to that particular client by asking.
Open questions (who, what, where, when, why and how) that you might want to ask include:
‘What kind of effect do you think this problem is having on your pet’s day to day life?’
‘How do you think your dog’s signs vary week to week or with the seasons?’
‘When it comes to monitoring this condition, what is your biggest concern?’
Your solution should connect to the client’s needs and concerns. Show them how their problem can be fixed. Pick up on the language they have used and where appropriate include that in your explanations – for instance if the client says they are not sure when the pet is most affected by the condition, you can explain that by using Vetrax they can be sure about the times when their pet is most affected and when they are improving.
As scientists we all love a bit of tech-talk but try not to get wrapped up in that. Your client usually won’t care that Vetrax uses state-of-the-art behavior classification algorithms but they do care that it helps them find out when their dog’s scratching is reducing and their life improving as a result.
The relationship we have with our clients tends to develop over time and most will trust and respect that your recommendations are in the best interests of their pet. It’s much more powerful to use the words “I recommend” than to suggest.
A Vetrax sensor and monitoring is free when clients enrol for ongoing automatic purchase of any Hill’s food for their dog, enabling you to make recommendations before the pet has