Here are six relationship-builders you might use to get more clients away from emergency mentality and into planning and prevention.
1. Idaho beef specialist John Hall tells producers that if they have the veterinarian coming to preg-check cows and the only thing the vet does is preg-check cows, they have wasted their money and the vet’s time. “If it takes half a day to preg-check, I suggest they hire the vet for the other half of the day to sit down and go over things,” Hall says.
2. A growing number of veterinarians are helping their clients with records and recordkeeping systems. All of this adds up to a chance to fine-tune the health management of the operation, resulting in fewer losses and more profit for the rancher.
3. If you are on a farm or ranch doing the Bang’s vaccination or preg-checking, offer to be “an extra set of eyes” to assess herd health issues, says Idaho veterinarian Mark Bramwell. This might include ferreting out a copper deficiency or some other situation the client needs to be aware of. You can also check teeth, eyes or body condition scores, or suggest things that might help the producer deal with current situations or prevent future problems.
4. Hall tells ranchers it’s good to get someone unbiased to look at their cattle. He says, “When the rancher is looking at his or her cattle and operation every day, they become accustomed to how things look and might not notice something an impartial observer might see. If the vet is out there periodically and familiar with the farm or ranch, he or she may be able to see changes more readily.”
5. Colorado State University veterinarian Dr. David Van Metre says he tells clients familiarity will make your veterinarian a better doctor.
“When we only get to see sick animals, all we see is what has gone wrong ... but we can’t always tell the producer why it happened until we get out on the place. Knowing why things happen on a ranch is key to helping prevent future problems.”
6. Be an information filter for busy people, says Van Metre. He says because many cattle producers have other businesses to run, it can be hard to wade through all the data on vaccines, parasitology, appropriate antibiotics and more. Helping beef producers sort out the best products and practices can save money and improve production.