When investing in upgrades or new veterinary radiology equipment, one of the biggest questions a veterinary team faces is: Will my equipment investment pay off?
This question is actually a summation of several smaller questions, such as how much to charge per procedure, how often the equipment would be used, and whether clients will see the value (and therefore say “yes” to the procedure).
It may seem like a lot of these factors are out of a veterinarian’s control—but, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips to make client conversations more productive and help clients see the value you are providing to their beloved pet whenever you make an equipment upgrade or offer a new service…
Tell the Client Why the X-Ray Matters to Their Pet
With a wealth of medical knowledge under their belt, sometimes it’s easy for veterinarians to forget to “connect the dots” for a client.
Take dental x-rays, for example. The vet team knows why they’re important, but clients might not view it as a necessity unless they also have a thorough understanding of how periodontal disease can affect their pet.
An old sales adage is that people only care about “what’s in it for me.” So, be sure to explain exactly how a new service, product, or piece of equipment will help their pet. A few extra minutes explaining these details could lead to much better results.
Discover What Are Your Clients’ Biggest Concerns about Veterinary X-Rays
If a client immediately declines a procedure, it’s easy to assume their decision is due to cost concerns. And much of the time, that’s true. However, sometimes other factors are at play.
As mentioned above, a client might not view something as a necessity or understand the value of it. Other times, a client might be concerned that a procedure would be painful or scary to their pet.
When discussing new equipment and procedures, consider asking clients directly what concerns or questions they have. Their answer might be a surprise, and something that is easily addressed.
Experiment with the Best Way to Present Cost Estimates
Some experts recommend moving away from itemized receipts and instead bundling services on cost estimates.
For example, when presenting an itemized estimate for hip radiographs, a client may view some of the estimate lines (such as sedation or additional views) as optional “add-ons” that they can decline. Providing a package price for the same procedure can change that perception and help clients understand that ALL of the recommend services are necessary.
It’s okay to still include all the line items, so a client knows how much value is included in the veterinary x-ray bundle. Just list one price for everything rather than itemized costs.
Explain the Benefits and Limitations of New Technology
If you’ve ever seen a business with no bad reviews on Google—or a product with nothing but 5-star reviews on Amazon—your first reaction may have been skepticism. Or, maybe you believed the hype, only to then be disappointed when you discovered the product or service wasn’t perfect after all.
The same can be true of clients’ expectations when it comes to new products or services you offer, after you’ve invested in new or upgraded equipment, such as an x-ray system. So, it helps to be transparent and let clients know exactly what to expect.
For example, when taking x-rays, explain that they will rule out a lot of conditions and might even lead to a diagnosis—but that sometimes, they don’t provide a clear answer and additional testing would be needed.
Most clients appreciate knowing these facts up front so there are no surprises later.
Continue Demonstrating Value After the Procedure
Even after a client says “yes” to a new procedure, you want them to have a good experience and feel like they got their money’s worth. This helps with establishing trust and building long-term loyalty.
For example, say a patient has a veterinary fluoroscopy study performed. Be sure to show the videos to the client—and orient them to the screen (where are the dog’s head, backside, lungs, stomach, etc.) so they understand exactly what they are seeing.
Provide a report and/or a copy of the study. Or, consider allowing the client to use the voice recorder on their phone to record what you tell them (this could save you time later that would otherwise be spent explaining everything all over again to the owner’s spouse, who wasn’t present at the appointment).
Whatever new equipment or technology your practice invests in, also try to share your enthusiasm and passion for how it will help your practice provide exceptional care for pets.
If you enjoy being at the cutting edge and offering the latest advancements in veterinary care, be proud of that.
Your excitement may just be contagious—and combined with some practical communication tips like the ones discussed above, you’re all the more likely to get a “yes” from clients, so your x-ray system or other new equipment investments will pay off.