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VMX 2020

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When the dust settles and you are back to your busy life, it’s easy to forget about the ideas, encouragement, and excitement you experienced at a conference. I am no different. There’s a list as long as toilet paper of things I want to try to improve and change while challenging myself. But my coworkers and I hear the voices of a few speakers who said some powerful things: Don’t go home with a list. From what you have learned, take one or two main things that you will dedicate your time to changing, improving, or implementing. The chances you achieve them will be much higher. Once you do achieve them, go back to grab more.

It’s been only a few days, and I am already with my head in my work, far away from sunny, chilly Orlando. For those who were there, remember the morning of 38 degrees? Not nice!

Here are my three takeaways, which I want to share with you:

  1. Online pharmacy. If you are one of the many who have already implemented an online pharmacy, you probably have numbers to prove that even though the margins are lower, the volume is higher, thus making this a good choice. An online pharmacy brings up more questions, such as: Do you include the sale in the doctor’s production or is it excluded? We heard 5%, but none on refills. We heard from some that they are excluding it completely but offering doctors a higher commission on services in return.
  2. I have never thought about how widely telehealth is already used among veterinarians. Did you give your cell phone number to your clients? Do you now get a text from them, with a description of what’s going on with their pet? You might ask them to take a picture. (“Is that a tick? I tried to squeeze it. It doesn’t look alive.” You: “Can you check on the other side of the belly if there is another one?” “Yes, there is!” “That is a nipple.”) We heard a wide range of options on how to make telehealth available in your practice without your having to answer all the basic questions. Tech might be able to handle some. But invest in the right technology: PetPro, TeleTails. And charge for it!!!
  3. There were many great sessions and opportunities to learn new ideas for marketing, from online chat to Google Ads, blogging, apps, and more. Also, tips and tricks on how to improve your website, get more Google reviews—the good ones, of course—and how to get your whole team involved in contributing to your social media. Eric Garcia and Shanna Sullivan were only some of the many who shared their knowledge.

Remember who your customer is. How many of us shop on Amazon or use Lyft or Airbnb? It’s all about convenience. Can I order my dog food online from my vet and get recurring delivery to my house? Can I book my appointment online, ask questions directly over an app, and get an immediate response? Think about the consumer. Times have changed. Are you keeping up? Implement one thing and then see how it affects your clinic.

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