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Marketing products and services: indentifying new profit centers (Proceedings)

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Nov 01, 2009

Most technicians should be fairly proficient at drawing blood samples, running fecal exams, inserting catheters, administering medications, doing basic examinations, performing dental prophys, preparing medications and discharge instructions, monitoring patients during anesthesia, etc. and hopefully are being compensated well according to their experience and skills. But, how many of you are really worth your salaries? How many technicians not only perform the duties expected of them, but actually generate business and income for their practices by identifying and implementing new profit cetners? In today's competitive marketplace doctors need to call upon everyone in the practice to generate revenues in ways appropriate for their job responsibilities, and technicians have many golden opportunities everyday to do just that.

In our practice, and in many practices that I've visited and consulted with, a technician's value to the practice goes far beyond his or her skills as a technician. Certainly, being technically proficient, understanding all of our medical and surgical protocols, and treating our patients and clients with the utmost care and respect are extremely important, but equally important is the technician's ability, by educating the client, to promote us, our services, and the goods and supplies which we offer. Via the "technician exam," which many of you know about, we encourage and prepare our technical staff to market directly to our clients all we have to offer. This time that is productively spent with the client is invaluable.

The examination room is an ideal place to spend this "quality time." From a products/services perspective, the technician should be promoting heartworm tests and prevention, dental prophys and all ancillary home care dental products, good grooming (and all the products that go with this), flea and tick control (and the TONS of products which go with this), nutritional services and counseling, training sessions/classes, annual or even semi-annual fecal examinations, and, of course, vaccinations. I can't begin to tell you how nice it is for me to walk into an examination room, and, because of the excellent work that my technician had done before me, be able to market our products or services so easily. I truly believe that if the groundwork is solidly laid by you, the technician, than our jobs are much easier. The client now hears things from both you and your boss, so is actually educated twice in a short period of time. You and your veterinarians on staff will truly complement each other. Not only does the hospital win, but more importantly, the patient and client win as well.

From a morale standpoint, this type of direct technician involvement does wonders for the hospital and the staff. Through the computer we can track production by individual or by location, and the front and back staff always have their friendly competition going as to who is producing more for the hospital. Incentive programs can then be implemented based on these productivity figures. This certainly keeps things exciting at the practice.

The next time you sit down to evaluate your own performance and value to your hospital, think about how much marketing you've done for your practice. If you routinely promote the many goods, foods and services your hospital has to offer, than give yourself an "A," but if not, keep it in mind the next time you find yourself speaking to or assisting a client. Show your boss that you are more than just a skilled, well trained, technician—show him or her why you REALLY are invaluable!