Would You Like Fleas With That?

I can spot a sales pitch from miles away. But I never saw this one coming.

We’re used to getting upsold at a fast-food joint. But my veterinarian could teach a MasterClass.

I brought our dogs in to get vaccinated. When our trusted vet recommended ‘additional services’, I fell for his well-rehearsed rap. I’m not saying that vets prey on our love for pets. But without a hint of guilt, he drained my wallet.

And he had me at hello.

It started with subtle pressure, “If you really want to protect your dogs, we recommend some more tests.”

Of course. I’d give a kidney for our dogs. And vets know it.

“You don’t want them getting distemper or leptospirosis, do you?”

 No, and parva just sounds scary.

“So, to keep your pups healthy we should take a few x-rays, draw some blood and do a full lab workup.” Before he suggested a bikini wax, I realized this was a no-win situation. Either decline the tests and live with the guilt. Or run up a tab like Kanye at a strip club.

Here’s my take. I don’t blame veterinarians. Their hearts are in the right place. But sales shouldn’t be part of their job. As dog lovers, we respect their advice. Still, my vet stood there in his white coat – and put on an upselling clinic.

Since larger veterinary clinics have been consolidated, the vulture capitalists want profitability. So the directive to vets is: Do no harm to the pets. But show no mercy on pet owners.

So, the next time you’re at the vet, get ready for: ‘Your dog needs dentures and massage therapy!’

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347   

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