Let’s say you have one veterinarian who has an average professional transaction figure of $240.00, and you have another doctor who has a $190.00 average professional transaction. What is causing the difference? Both doctors see clients and both doctors do surgery and dentals, so then why is one doctor’s average transaction so much higher than the other? We also need to consider what effect this has on the practice. If a typical veterinarian can do 2,900 transactions a year, then it follows that the $190.00 doctor is actually costing this practice $95,000 a year!

When reviewing professional transaction numbers with doctors, I usually hear all kinds of reasons why their transaction is 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 are probably not doing that much more or less surgery than the other doctors in the practice and a few sick cases isn’t going to make that big of a difference. The real reason why the one doctor has a $240.00 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 $190.00 doctor is doing only what the client is asking for and is not looking at the preventative needs of the patient. Has the patient had a fecal done in the past year? Is the pet on flea control and heartworm prevention? What food are they feeding 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 $190.00 doctor cheating the practice out of $95,000 a year, he or she is not being the pet’s advocate and, if this doctor is paid on Pro-Sal, he or she is also cheating himself or herself out of $20,000 plus dollars a year in compensation.

What can you do to help the $190.00 doctor PCT become a $240.00 PCT doctor? Well, knowledge is power so the first step is that the $190.00 doctor needs to be informed about his or her numbers and that they are low. You can then start to help the doctor to correct the problem. One idea is that you could offer to video record the doctor in the exam room during outpatient office visits. We have been doing this extensively with our clients and the results are nothing less than spectacular.

I would also suggest you set up passive marketing in the exam room. To do this, you would need to place a shelf in each exam room that has 8 or 10 over the counter products, 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 would explain to the client why the product is recommended for their pet and lastly, place 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 $20.00 to $30.00!

Mark Opperman, CVPM
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