The value of courtesy calls in building the bond

I read a quote recently that a business is only as good as the clients it serves.

So the key to success must surely be building relationships that go beyond one-time transactions and providing value to
your clients on a consistent, ongoing basis.

Some of the tips that I’ve learnt about developing productive and enduring professional relationships include: ‘There’s no such thing as over-communicating’, ‘The more value you offer, the more a client comes to depend on you’, ‘Be honest – always’, ‘Meet your deadlines’, ‘Eliminate unwelcome surprises’ and ‘Think of clients more as partners – rather than paying customers’.

Perhaps the first question is how to start the process of building that relationship with your clients

Episode 204 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from from Diederik Gelderman in which he recommends the value of courtesy calls in building the bond

Best regards

0

How to sustain your motivation in the profession you love

One of the characteristics of individuals seeking a career in veterinary practice is that they are self motivated. They regard their profession as a vocation –and to be successful, they can always find a reason and a strength to complete a task, however challenging it might be, without giving up or needing others to encourage them.

After all, you know deep down that the whole practice would fall apart if your were sick or unexpectedly took a few days off.

So if you’re a vet, a practice owner, manager or contribute in some other important way to the success of a veterinary practice, I can pretty well guarantee that you are a self motivated professional buzzing with ideas about your own future career and the future of ‘your’ veterinary practice.

So for you, the problem is probably not ‘how to get motivated’ but perhaps ‘how to sustain that motivation’ day-in, day-out over many years in the good times – and when the going is not so good

Episode 203 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from from Brendon Burchard who shows us how

Best regards

0

Would you be better off if you eliminate ‘busy’?

Somebody one said that being busy is cool – it shows that your skills are in demand – its a vanity thing and its good to be busy. Telling your clients and colleagues how busy you are is a jolly good way of reminding them how important you are – isn’t it?

After all, you know deep down that the whole practice would fall apart if your were sick or unexpectedly took a few days off.

The downside is that you’re feeling at the mercy of your clients and the endless demands of the business. You’re en-route to a potential burn-out, staff morale will deteriorate, service to clients will decline and there’s a danger that the business could start to fall apart.

So maybe busy isn’t so good after all – maybe eliminating busy means you’ll have time to think about what’s going right and what’s going wrong in the practice and how you might develop both personally and professionally.

Episode 202 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from from Deri Llewellyn-Davies who suggests you might be better off if you simply stop doing what’s keeping you busy.

Best regards

Why doesn’t your financial success match your professional skills?

I’ve been thinking recently about the need for an depth business study of independently owned veterinary practices here in the UK – to identify why it is that too many which offer high standards of professional care to their clients, fail to match that success with their performance in financial terms

I suspect that one of the reasons is that practice owners don’t acknowledge the need to make fundamental changes in the structure of their business model as it grows and develops.

Maybe an even tougher question, if you are the practice owner or manager – is whether or not you could articulate that vision and if so, would it match that of your employees

Episode 201 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from Joel Parker of Veterinary Practice Solutions who suggests that such a change is probably necessary when your practice takes on the characteristics of a rubber band.

Best regards

Where is your practice heading long term?

What do vets do? Your staff members know exactly what they do as individuals and they’ll have a pretty good understanding of what the other members of the team do day-in, day-out – as clinicians or as support staff.

Perhaps the more important question is ‘do they know what the practice is for? Could they articulate in one sentence, a description of its over-arching strategic aspirations? Could they describe the big picture and a vision of where the practice is heading long term?

Maybe an even tougher question, if you are the practice owner or manager – is whether or not you could articulate that vision and if so, would it match that of your employees

Episode 200 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from Erica Olsen who explains how you can create a great, future-looking vision statement for your business

Best regards

Sometimes we are the problem!

In Episode 196 of the Video Show we included a clip in which Simon Sinek spoke about one of his Ten Top Rules for Success. In that Episode it was Rule Number 7 – and rule number 7 was ‘be the last to speak’

In this Episode I’ve included another of those important rules – this time its rule number 4 – Take Accountability

Is that a rule which might be relevant to owning or running a veterinary practice? I think it is and for some of the challenges we face – challenges like poor profits, declining client numbers, poor compliance and many others – it’s the practice owners and managers who are sometimes the problem

Episode 198 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from Simon Sinek who explains why’

Best regards

The Leader who had no title

My theme for Episode 197 of the Video Show is your role as a practice leader. You may be the owner and leader of the whole team or you may have leadership responsibilities for a smaller clinical, administrative or support group of individuals within the team.

In any event, their success and your success will depend in part on your skills as a leader in your life as well as in your work

Episode 197 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from from Robin Sharma with some lessons from his book ‘The Leader who had no title’

Best regards

Five key elements for your strategic business plan

I have been working recently with a number of practices using my Veterinary Business online app to find out exactly why practice profit doesn’t match their apparent success in service delivery, patient care and professional standards

The process is a structured six month programme using a number of diagnostic tools and procedures and the preparation of a medium term strategic plan and an operational plan and budget for the first of those three-to-five years

Tracy Dowdy, a business consultant for veterinary practice based in California and good friend of mine, has recently launched a very important online resource. Its called the Relationship Centered Practice Academy Programme

Episode 196 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from Module 1 of the programme in which Tracy discusses the five key elements of the strategic planning process

Best regards

Behaviour patterns of loyal clients

For as long as I can remember we have debated long and hard the importance of converting what we described as casual clients into clients who valued a long term working relationship between themselves and ‘their‘ veterinary practice.

We referred to these clients as being bonded to the practice and we concentrated on meeting their expectations and satisfying their needs as animal owners.

Nowadays we know that animal owners frequently seek the help and support of two or more practices and simply seeking to satisfy their needs is not enough. The much more difficult task now, is to build client loyalty

Episode 195 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from Ron Kaufman who identifies 9 different behaviour patterns of loyal customers.

Best regards

Strengthen client relationships with preventive healthcare

We’re all engaged in commercial relationships one way or another – sometimes as buyers, sometimes as sellers. In our buying role, we’re happy to be regarded as customers when we’re in the market to buy goods and services on a single transaction basis – but I imagine that we would prefer to be regarded as clients when seeking professional advice from a service provider who is not in the game to make a single high-margin sale, but instead wants to build a lasting rapport that will generate an on-going stream of revenue in return for a fair provision of value.

Isn’t that the sort of relationship that most veterinary practices wish to establish with their clients – and if so we need to be on the look-out for new ways to engage with animal owners to improve the health of their animals.

Episode 194 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from the BVA website which explores how preventive healthcare can strengthen client relationships in veterinary practice

Best regards