Doesn’t matter who the person is.
Doesn’t matter morning or evening.
This is the greeting I get when I go to my local 24 Fitness. Pretty much the same tone. Monotone, non-committal, insincere. The voice varies, the face varies, the message is the same—“I don’t really care who you are, I just have to say something.”
How about this one?
#$%^&*( Animal Hospital, hold please!!!
Is this your practice? How do you know?
I call anywhere from 1 to 10 practices per day. The responses range from comatose to irritated to engaged. Where is your practice on the scale?
Whenever possible I go on road trips. I will visit from 1 to 8 practices per day to drop off things and say hello to the hospital owner or associate or manager or cat. In some practices, a smiling face looks up, catches my eye and says, “Welcome, how may I help you?”
In other practices, a dour face looks up, wipes the sleepy out their eyes, and removes the cobwebs from their mouth and says, “Sign in, sit down, we’ll be with your shortly.” My reply is usually, I have a gift for the doctor. And in return I get, “Fine. Sign in. Sit down. We’ll get to you shortly.”
Or, in some practices, the eyes come up from their smartphones with a pained expression of why did you interrupt my text and Facebook post and a pissed off voice saying, “Yes”. My reply, “I’m Dr Weinstein and I have a gift for Dr. Deadstaff. Is he available?” To which I am told, “I’ll give it to him.”
If you are wondering what this has to do with marketing, the answer is:
What is the message your team is sending? What is the message you want to send?
When is the last time you called your practice? When is the last time you had a secret shopper come in? When is the last time you sat in the lobby or hung out in the reception area? Your team can only be on its best behavior for so long.
So, are you a “Hey, how you doing practice?” Then don’t worry about marketing or a website or social media. Your anti-social, comatose staff is all the marketing you need. Remember everything you do sends a message and marketing is all about messages.
About Dr. Peter Weinstein: Dr. Weinstein attended Cornell University undergraduate and the University of Illinois to receive his DVM. After graduation, he worked as an associate for three years before opening his practice.
While running his practice he identified the need for business acumen to make his practice successful. While managing and practicing full time, he attended University of Redlands to receive his MBA.
Politically, he served as President of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Association and is a Past-President for VetPartners, the national consultants association. Additionally, he acted as Medical Director overseeing the Claims Department for Veterinary Pet Insurance.
Dr. Weinstein provides small business and corporate consulting via his company, PAW Consulting.
In 2007, with Dr. Steven Kornfeld, Dr. Weinstein created Veterinary Success Services to provide coaching and consulting services that are accessible from the comfort of your home or officee. www.veterinarysuccessservices.com
Presently, Dr. Weinstein is the Executive Director for the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Weinstein has spoken and written extensively on practice management, team building, leadership, collegiality, marketing, and other topics focused on making the veterinary profession better for all those affiliated with it.