Many pet owners want to buy their pet medicines online or through other discount drug brokers who hawk their wares through large-scale ad campaigns. As a veterinarian, you know that cheap pet medicines aren't always reliable products. As a business owner, however, you know that more and more of your clients are buying pet medicines online, and will find a veterinarian who will provide, or approve, discount pet medicines if you won't.
When clients come to you or call with questions about online discount pet medicines, take the following steps to ensure legal compliance and client retention:
1. Verify which prescriptions the client is buying from an outside source, and ask the client what they'll be paying, including shipping and discounts.
2. Warn clients against buying prescription pet medicine at pet stores.
3. Develop a transition plan for client-outsourced veterinary medicine prescriptions that includes a no-cost office visit and pet health check.
Offer competitive vet medicine prices without sacrificing your bottom lineWhen you buy veterinary medicine supplies, listen to the pharmaceutical sales representative's pitch and ask about specials. Most companies offer discounts and run monthly specials, such as on dental products in February, National Pet Dental Health Month. The more you buy from a particular supplier, the more you can ask that company for loyalty and bulk discounts. Keep costs down for your clients, and implement a prescription refill plan with a focus on outstanding customer service, timely refill reminders and personal attention.
Educate your clients and keep veterinary medicine sales at your clinicMost of your clients who enlist aggressive online veterinary medicine sales companies just need some education. When you get the prescription verification request on your fax machine, call the client first. Explain to them that you will gladly approve the prescription, but that you'd also be willing to provide a price comparison and match the Internet pharmacy's price. Ask that they bring in their pet for a complimentary weight check and brief exam, and bring a copy of their online invoice -- complete with shipping charges -- for a price match. Remind the client to update their sample invoice regularly to keep up with changing prices, and use the visit as a chance to renew your clinic's reputation for unbeatable customer service.
Enlist the help of vet medicines companies to keep your staff knowledgeableFantastic customer service is of the utmost importance to running a successful veterinary clinic or hospital, but all that service must be backed up by well-versed employees who can promptly answer client questions. Offer your staff members regular opportunities for continuing education and training, and do it at no cost to your clinic. Ask your pharmaceutical company sales representatives to provide regular product training sessions and staff participation incentives.
- Like it or not, companion animal vet medicine sales are the heart of your business. Utilize the tools within your practice management software to access reports detailing how much of your profits are due to prescription sales. Use similar reports to reassign a prescription fee to a regular service, such as small animal examinations or emergency fees, to compensate for a prescription price matching plan.
- If your client has begun purchasing no-prescription pet medicine at a local pet or feed store, don't be afraid to let them know that most controlled meds in those stores are black-market versions or counterfeit products. Show them how to spot the fakes.