Let’s say you have one veterinarian who has an average Professional Client Transaction figure of $240 and you have another doctor who has a $190 average Professional Client Transaction. What is causing the difference? Both doctors see clients and both doctors do surgery and dentals – so why is one doctor’s average transaction so much higher? What effect does this have on your practice? If a typical veterinarian can generate 3,200 transactions per year, then it follows that the $190 average transaction doctor is costing the practice $160,000 per year!

When reviewing professional transaction numbers with doctors, I hear all kinds of reasons why their transaction figures are lower – they don’t do as much surgery, they don’t see as many “sick cases,” they don’t see as many clients, and so on. The truth is that these are all excuses. The number of cases you see really doesn’t matter because this is an average professional transaction. Unless you are board-certified, you probably aren’t doing significantly more or fewer surgeries than the other doctors in the practice and a few sick cases wouldn’t really make that big of a difference. The real reason why the one doctor has a $240 PCT is that he or she is offering another product or service, charging for their services and making sure they offer a full-service approach to their clients. The $190 doctor only does what is expressly asked for by the client; he or she is not looking at the preventative needs of the patient. Has the patient had a fecal test in the past year? Is the pet on flea control and heartworm prevention? What food are they feeding to their pet or what shampoo are they using when they give the pet a bath? These are questions that the doctor needs to be asking. Not only is the $190 doctor cheating the practice out of $160,000 a year, but he or she also is not serving as the pet’s advocate. And, if this doctor is paid on Pro-Sal, he or she is cheating himself or herself out of $32,000 plus dollars a year in compensation.

What can you do to help the $190 PCT doctor become a $240 PCT doctor? Knowledge is power and the first step to correct the problem is to understand that the problem exists. Sit down with the doctor and review the numbers with him or her and explain that they are low. You can then begin to help the doctor correct the problem. One idea is that you could offer to videotape the doctor in the exam room during out-patient office visits and then provide coaching. We have been doing this extensively with our clients and the results have been nothing less than spectacular.

I would also suggest you set up passive marketing in the exam rooms. To do this, you need to place a shelf in each exam room stocked with 8 or 10 over the counter products that you would like to recommend, such as shampoo, ear cleaners, nutritional supplements, etc. You only need one of each on the shelf. When appropriate, the doctor can take the product down from the shelf and recommend it to the client. The doctor explains to the client why the product is recommended for their pet and then places the product on the corner of the exam room table closest to the exit door of the exam room. At the end of the visit, if the client wants the product, he or she will pick it up and walk out with it. The product is charged to the client and that doctor’s Professional Client Transaction just increased by $20 to $30!

Brushing up on exam room skills, advocating for the patient and making low-key recommendations for the products you would like your clients to use can be key to improving the doctor’s average Professional Client Transaction and, as a result, the practice’s revenue.

Mark Opperman, CVPM
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