Leading Off: Find a winning strategy in the big box battle - Veterinary Medicine
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Leading Off: Find a winning strategy in the big box battle



Developing a bond built on personal integrity and professional trust will help us demonstrate the value not just of the products we prescribe but of the knowledge and support we provide. Pet owners who enjoy a good relationship with their veterinarians are more likely to bring their pets in twice a year or even more often.

So how do we build this bond?

Understand what pet owners expect:
  • Medical competency
  • Competitive, fair pricing
  • Friendliness and courtesy
  • A safe and clean environment.

Know what clients want:

  • To have a real relationship with their veterinarians
  • To be treated with respect
  • To be included in medical decisions
  • To be greeted and introduced by name
  • To share eye contact when talking
  • To engage in a discussion, not a lecture
  • To have their pets treated with affection.

Stress your commitment to the ongoing health of the client's pet, with the goal being a long and healthy life. Make sure that commitment to care is ongoing.

  • Schedule future appointments for preventive healthcare while the client is there.
  • Establish a plan for reminders and communication based on the client's wishes.
  • Reach clients through email, social media, and texting.
In this age of consumerism, though we must be cost sensitive, the biggest mistake we can make is to compete on the lowest common denominator—price. We must instead emphasize the value of our commitment and dedication to our clients and the lifelong health and well-being of their pets. You can't buy that in a box, no matter the size.

Michael A. Paul, DVM, is the former executive director of the Companion Animal Parasite Council and a former president of the American Animal Hospital Association.


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