The most important thing you can do when someone has a concern (about money or otherwise) is to demonstrate that you hear him or her and that you care. Make eye contact, nod appropriately, and keep your body open and your arms at your sides. Show that you comprehend by repeating back to the client a summary of their concerns and then let them know, in your own words, that their concerns matter.
Show Clients Who You Are, Then Show Them the Prices
Before you introduce a client to your fee schedule, introduce yourself…and your practice. Find out the client’s name, the pet’s name and provide them with yours. Let them know that you appreciate their interest in your practice. Have you treated their pet’s breed before? Do you happen to like Dachshunds or rescued cats? Irrespective of their ability to pay, clients want to take their pet to a practice that they can trust and who they believe cares. Don’t underestimate the worth a prospective client assigns to your kindness.
Provide a Solution, Not a Song and Dance
A discussion about value may open a lot of people’s wallets, but many of those wallets are empty. Don’t stay with age-old policies that say services must be paid for ‘at the time they are rendered’. There are a host of payment solutions available to clients today that are low risk and require little to no additional administration on your part. Here’s a list to get you started.
Click here to download a break room poster on ‘How To Talk About Money
Understand the value of your services, products, and pricing. Don’t wait for this information to wash over you, but proactively seek it out by asking questions and observing your hospital in action. Read the books your practice has on its shelves. Use resources like DVM360. Respectfully challenge the value of your services and products on a regular basis. NEVER use a client’s emotional ties to their pet as a way to leverage a sale. Make recommendations out of genuine concern for clients and patients and the belief that your services can really make a difference.
Use words like ‘need’ and ‘advise’. Never ‘it’s up to you’. You’re the expert! After a thorough history and examination, match the client and patient’s needs against products and services at your practice that you know will be helpful.
Schedule the appointment, follow up with the client, remind for the service, make a phone call, send an email. These are not the actions of someone who is being pushy, but someone who is on the ball and remembering that a client and patient have an unmet need.