God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. At the Central Veterinary Conference, one of my presentations focused on the Serenity Prayer, and specifically its application to product sales in veterinary practices. The quality of your life may improve dramatically if you let go of those things over which you have no control. Examples of things you cannot change include:
- The fact that popular parasite control products are sold online
- The fact that popular parasite control products are sold by Big Box stores
- The fact that some of your clients will choose to buy those products outside your practice
- The fact that many rational consumers are motivated by low cost, convenience and wide selection
- The fact that you lack a multimillion dollar advertising budget and the ability to buy product by the train load
Yeah, yeah…life’s not always fair. Now stop complaining and compete! Have the courage to change the things you can. Things you control include:
- Price (price matching? price competitively? display price per month or dose? etc.)
- Reminding clients to refill (phone, text, email, postcard, etc.)
- The value the client gets when buying from you (e.g. doctor/client/patient relationship, time, attention, advice, counsel, expertise, professional opinion, education, questions asked and answered, demonstration on how to apply product, peace of mind, manufacturer guarantee or warranty, etc.
- If you want to provide complete product selection and total convenience, opt for a veterinary friendly online pharmacy that carries every product, never closes, and delivers to you clients’ home tomorrow
- Doses dispensed (e.g. single-dose dispensing versus larger-dose dispensing)
I find myself silently reciting the Serenity Prayer several times each day. Now, when something hits me over the head, my learned instinct is to ask myself, ‘Can I change this?’ It’s proven amazingly helpful in my life. I enjoy much more peace and calm than ever before!
About Fritz Wood: Fritz is the former Personal Finance Editor for Veterinary Economics, the monthly business authority for practicing veterinarians. He has authored more than 100 articles related to the business of veterinary medicine and personal finance. He has also contributed content to several books and on-line educational experiences, including the Veterinary Nutritional AdvocateSM and VetMedTeam.com. Fritz conducts 50 to 75 seminars each year, each very well-received and highly evaluated by attendees. He teaches annually at most veterinary medical schools, as well as local, state, regional, national and international venues. Fritz has presented in nearly every state and in more than a dozen countries. His presentations have positively impacted thousands of individuals and practices worldwide. To learn more about Fritz Wood please go to www.fritzwood.com.