A Fluid Environment in the Veterinary Marketplace

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Why sales reps may be in the best position to help veterinary practices navigate the changing marketplace

It’s an interesting time to be walking into veterinary practices. From the front desk staff to the exam rooms, you could bump into five generations of workers, according to experts we spoke to for our story on Generational Communication.

We’ve covered generational dynamics before, but most of those stories dealt with the changing consumer dynamics. In this issue, we explore how your customers’ workplaces are changing.

They’re not just changing because of who is working together, but what they’re working with.

In his book “Notes from a Nervous Planet,” author Matt Haig pinpoints one year to offer an illustration of just how different our culture and society is today than in year’s past – and how quickly it can change from here.

“In the year 2000, no one knew what a selfie was. Google did just about exist but it was a long way from becoming a verb. There was no YouTube, no vlogging, no Wikipedia … no Siri, no Facebook … no Netflix … no iPads.”

Social media. E-commerce. Telehealth. Think of how many tools that have become essential even in the last decade. Consider the dichotomy of how you experienced the introduction of those tools and resources compared to others in the workforce. Did you gain some or most of your experience in a world without these tools, like baby boomers, and to a certain extent Gen Xers? Or, were these tools and opportunities a part of the world you grew up in, like millennials and Gen Z?

Change is a constant, Haig writes. “But this change – even within the last four millennia – is not a smooth, straight upward line. It is the kind of steepening curve that would intimidate a professional skateboarder. Change may be a constant, but the rate of change is not.”

As disconcerting as that concept can be, there’s reason to be optimistic, especially for sales reps calling on veterinary practices. Your customers need someone with a business mind and tailored solutions to help them navigate these changes, and the speed at which they are coming.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the generational story is in order to succeed in, it still boils down to getting to know each individual. Their communication preferences. The best way to give them information and resources. A one-size-fits-all, automated method won’t cut it.

“Do more listening than talking and find out what they need,” says Liz Myers, territory sales manager, Midwest Veterinary Supply. “Don’t ‘assume’ they need what you want to sell. Sell what they need.”

Sound advice for every generation.