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To the grumpy old vet that doesn't want to change

Posted in Client Service @ Jun 17th 2014 - By Geoff Talbot, Creator Seven Sentences
To The Grumpy Old Vet

When you hear the word "BLOG" do you think something is wrong with the toilet?

I want to take you back to 1964:

Imagine a man and a woman, Cyril and Ethel, in their early 20's, highly conservative, lovely, good, young people, dressed in the finest plaid; newly married high school sweethearts, deeply in love with each other.

However, Cyril and Ethel do not like the changing landscape of the world around them. There is so much immorality, huge technological changes like color television, the musical revolution, space travel, etc. It seems as though the world is about to spin dangerously off its axis; it just isn't safe any more. Late one night (before 8pm) Cyril sits his new bride down and he tells her that he has a wonderful new plan.

In his wisdom, Cyril has decided that he and Ethel will not leave the safe confines of their 3 bedroom love nest until all the madness in the world around them settles back down. 

They won't change with the world --they will wait until the world acknowledges that the old way was in fact a better, more righteous and productive way of living.

Fast forward 50 years and as far as I know Cyril and Ethel are still living inside that small, wooden bungalow on Same Street. They look out the windows sometimes, watching in horror as cars flash past at lightening speed. And when they hear the roar of airplanes tracing across the sky, they clasp their wrinkled hands together and huddle under the duvet, praying that God will save them from this terrible and tyrannical world. He never does.

I know what you are thinking. "What on earth does this story have to do with running a Veterinary practice?"

Everything.

As the owner of a veterinary practice you may not like the changing landscape of the world around you. You may hate the fact that your technicians and nurses are spending time on Facebook and Twitter.  When you hear the word blog you wonder if there is something wrong with the toilet. This digital revolution is just all too much for you!

Maybe you're feeling the urge to move inside and lock all the doors. After all, what is wrong with simply running your veterinary practice the way you've always run it?

I will answer your question with another question. 

"Are you prepared to let your fear of something new destroy your veterinary practice?"

Let's look at the real issue: fear of change. The truth is unless you embrace the change, you will be overcome by it.  Little by little, one by one your clients will drift away.

Harsh? Yes. 

Unfair? Maybe. 

Nevertheless it is your reality.

But don't worry I am about to give you some good news. This news may surprise you.

"The new way of running your veterinary practice is actually the old way of running it."

Don't Let The Technology Confuse You.

The new way of growing your veterinary practice is actually very much akin to the old method of marketing and promoting your business. When I am working with practice owners and veterinary clinic teams this is the place where we always begin.

What am I talking about?

Your website, your social media profiles, your email accounts, your mobile phones -- these are conduits for building relationships with your clients and potential new clients.

Your role as a service provider hasn't changed at all, you still must provide a great service to your clients. You must not only provide a high standard of care for the animals, but you must also build trusted relationships with their owners; they must like you, they must know that you care.  And when they do, they will share good stories about you with others.

The sharing of stories now happens predominantly via technology. It happens on blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter and on any other social media channel that your clients care to use.

The word of mouth messaging that used to happen on the village streets is now happening on the internet. Why? Because that is where modern day people are spending their time.

If you don't believe me, just walk into a cafe or coffee shop in your local area and count the number of laptops and smart phones being used.

Why You Need To Be Part Of The Conversation..

In North America, studies have revealed that 80% of consumers trust a business or organization more when their leader has a recognizable presence on social media.

When people are looking for a vet clinic in today's world, one of the first places they turn to is the internet. They google search, they jump on Facebook, they look on review sites, they read your blog. The truth is, if they don't find you, they either don't know about you or they do not trust you.

Whether you like it or not, there is a conversation about you taking place online and the only way to influence this conversation is take part in it.

But I am only touching the tip of the iceberg, I am only looking at the negative, I am playing to your fear. There is an INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY for you to grow your practice in ways that you can't even imagine using technology and the social channels.

Let me finish by painting a very different picture to the one with which we began.

The Actual Story Of Cyril & Ethel

At the beginning of this article, I told you that Cyril sat Ethel down and told her that they were going to stay inside their "three bedroom love nest" until the world settled down. Well, actually I was lying, Cyril was afraid of all the change, but he decided not to shrink back from the changing world, he decided to master it instead. This is what he told Ethel:

"Ethel our world is changing and we must change with it. We cannot hide or we will atrophy and die inside this little old bungalow."

And so Cyril and Ethel did the unthinkable, they went out and they bought the very first color television that anyone had ever owned in their neighborhood. Every Friday night they they threw open their doors and their whole street poured into that tiny little bungalow and watched Perry Mason strut his stuff in living color.

Everyone in their town still remembers where they were when Neil Armstrong took that one small step in 1969. They were at Cyril and Ethel's. 

Ethel, made an astounding $45 from selling lemonade and cupcakes when Armstrong took that giant leap. She and Cyril used that money to jump on a plane and they flew across the Pacific all the way to Australia, where they made lifelong friends that they still have to this day.

That decision not to hide, that decision to embrace change, changed their lives forever.

If you are brave enough to embrace these new technologies, if you will open yourself up to the new possibilities that they are offering your veterinary clinic then you will begin to tell a story that no one will ever forget.

The choice as always is yours.

Today's post is written by Geoff Talbot, a former Veterinary Surgeon and the founder of the globally popular Seven Sentence Blog. If you want to excel in today's market you should contact Geoff here to enquire about having your own uniquely crafted digital marketing strategy for your veterinary practice.

You can also connect with Geoff on Twiitter: @GeoffTalbot

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