VMP 277: Dr. Glenn Robinson Shares How Veterinary Practices Can Build Strong Teams and Attract the Right Clients

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Brandon Breshears
June 26, 2024
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In this episode, I have an amazing conversation with Dr. Glenn Robinson from Southwest Veterinary Solutions. We really dig into what it takes to build a thriving veterinary practice, touching on everything from creating effective teams and fostering a strong clinic culture to attracting the right clients and talent. Dr. Robinson brings a wealth of experience to the table and shares some incredibly actionable advice that I think you'll find invaluable.

One of the key points Dr. Robinson emphasizes is the importance of having a clear mission, vision, and core values. These aren't just buzzwords; they are the guiding principles that shape your entire team and help attract clients and staff who truly resonate with your practice's ethos. We also talk about the importance of setting achievable goals. Whether it's a long-term five-year plan or a short-term 90-day action plan, having clear objectives ensures continuous progress and keeps everyone on the same page.

On the marketing front, Dr. Robinson has some great insights into targeted strategies. He points out that different demographics respond to different platforms—like Facebook for older pet owners and Instagram or TikTok for the younger crowd. This kind of targeted approach can really make your marketing efforts more effective. He also stresses the importance of continuous recruitment efforts. Even if you're fully staffed, it's crucial to always be on the lookout for new talent to prepare for growth and any unforeseen circumstances. By aligning your practice's identity with your marketing efforts and continuously investing in your team, you can create a successful and sustainable veterinary practice.

So, if you're a veterinary practice owner or manager looking to take your clinic to the next level, this episode is packed with insights and practical advice that you won't want to miss. Tune in to hear more from Dr. Robinson and get ready to implement some game-changing strategies in your practice!

Episode Transcript

Brandon** ((00:00:08)) - - Welcome to the Veterinary Marketing Podcast, where it's all about how to attract, engage and retain clients to your veterinary practice using digital marketing. My name is Brandon Breshears. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to the episodes. Today we have a special guest. It's Doctor Glenn Robinson. I'm really excited to have Doctor Robinson on the podcast. We met, several months ago, through LinkedIn. And, he's had a really interesting career, and he's really insightful when it comes to building teams, building culture and how to build a practice that's going to attract the right types of clients, the right types of talent, so that you can really build your dream veterinary practice. That's what we're going to be talking about today. How do we approach hiring, recruiting, building teams in a way that is going to attract the right types of clients? Talk about marketing. within that, how do you market your practice in a way that's going to attract the right types of team members and all kinds of really interesting and helpful and very, very practical tips in today's episode.

Brandon** ((00:01:12)) - -  So before we begin, just a few things. we have two sponsors for today's episode, and here they are. Are you struggling with managing client communication and focusing on what you do best, which is providing exceptional care to your patients? Mascot is here to help. Scott understands the challenges of running a busy veterinary practice. That's why they provide dedicated omnichannel client communication and operational support, which allows you to concentrate on medicine while they handle phone, email, SMS, chat interactions, as well as many other admin tasks that you want them to manage, all in full collaboration with your on site staff. Exclusive for listeners of the venue marketing podcast, all setup and onboarding fees are waived, plus get 10% off your first month services. They're trained and experienced. Veterinary staff ensures efficient management across all channels, turning inquiries into appointments and continuously engaging clients with follow up calls to enhance satisfaction. Increased foot traffic, including annual visits and vaccination reminders. Mascot doesn't only just handle client communication, they also manage back office tasks such as keeping client and patient records up to date, answering emails, collecting records, and much more.

Brandon** ((00:02:25)) - -  This totally removes the time burden and time of time consuming tasks like pharmacy requests, client record management allowing you to focus on patient care. You can go check out their case studies. Veterinary practices partnering with Mascot have seen up to a 370% increase in ROI, up to a 24% increase in average client spend, up to 17% increase in monthly appointments, and up to a 17% increase in monthly gross sales. Not every practice is the same, and that's why mascot customizes each plan based on your unique needs of your practice. Unlike traditional recruitment or staffing agencies, Mascot Health embeds itself as your operational partner with dedicated teams that act as an extension of your onsite staff and help to focus on increasing capacity of your current staff by handling the entire process and providing efficiency and satisfied clients, all at a much lower cost than traditional recruitment. Get a demo today and see how mascot can help your practice today. Visit Mascot Health Comm to learn more. That's mascot mascot like the French way it's spelled health com that's mascot. Realtor.com.

Brandon** ((00:03:36)) - -  For an exclusive 10% off your first month's services, along with all of the setup and onboarding fees waived. Now that's a special just for these listeners. Be sure to mention that you heard about it here. Don't let administrative tasks hold you back anymore. Visit Mascot health Comm that's mascot mascot health google.com and discover how mascot can help support your practice and enhance client satisfaction. All right, so before we begin, Doctor Glenn Robinson is a veterinarian, engaging speaker, and trusted clinic and career consultant with a wealth of experience, imparts valuable insights into the industry to help foster growth for aspiring veterinarians through mentorship. So without further ado, here is the interview with Doctor Glenn Robinson from Southwest Veterinary Solutions. All right. Well, thank you so much, Glenn, for being on the podcast. I can't tell you how much I appreciate, you being here. So we had a great chat. like, probably a couple months ago, you were expecting your daughter. And congrats on that. That's so exciting. But can you tell everybody who you are and how you got started in veterinary medicine?

Glenn** ((00:04:49)) - -  Yeah.

Glenn** ((00:04:50)) - -  Yeah, sure. I'm doctor Glenn Robinson. I actually graduated from Iowa State in 2017. I wanted to become a veterinarian. like most people, when they were, you know, with their animals growing up on a small acreage in Iowa, I got to work firsthand with our veterinarian quite a bit and thought, what an awesome job. This is really cool opportunity to help people. Actually, how I got motivated, to be honest, was seeing how much a veterinary meant to not only the animals they worked with, but the people that were behind those animals. Right. And so, kind of toyed around with the idea of going into human medicine as well. And so I took some prerequisites for that, as well as some veterinary coursework before attending veterinary school. And that's really what kind of drove me into veterinary medicine, was the opportunity to kind of help people and animals in one job. So.

Brandon** ((00:05:34)) - -  And very cool. and so you worked in practice, but you discovered kind of that you like doing things that are not necessarily practicing medicine only.

Brandon** ((00:05:45)) - -  Can you talk a little bit about that?

Glenn** ((00:05:47)) - -  Yeah, yeah. So, yeah. So graduated 2017, became an associate, for a couple of years and really enjoyed working and learning basically how to be a veterinarian. Right. And, in those first couple of years, it's a pretty intense, learning curve for veterinarians, just to be honest about it. And there's a lot of opportunities for us to kind of smooth that out a little bit. And one of the areas that I found that maybe I was a little underprepared for is kind of the transition from being the person asking all the questions to being the person answering all the questions. and one of the big things for me was also, they don't talk about this very often, but as soon as you're a veterinarian, you are automatically a leader of a team by default. And, you know, while I played a lot of sports, had a lot of leadership opportunities through high school and different organizations and colleges, they don't talk about that role often enough and prepare people for that.

Glenn** ((00:06:37)) - -  And so it became an interest of mine, of how do I help my team now that I have my feet underneath me as a veterinarian? And I started looking at opportunities, that kind of led into that and blending business and medicine together in order to kind of have a better understanding of how we can help our patients. And that's where I started looking at medical director roles. I became an area medical director role and then even helped start a company of in-home euthanasia.

Brandon** ((00:07:03)) - -  That's very cool. So and that's, you know, one of the big reasons why I wanted to talk to you, because I think so many people are struggling with number one, building a team. then also having a company culture that really helps to promote and grow the practice in the way that they want to. And what I mean by that is attracting the right kinds of clients, servicing them in the way that they want to like to create brand like I think experience is, is the best marketing that a veteran practice can do, in that if your client has a good experience and you produce good quality service in your practice, like through the whole experience, you're going to be a lot more successful if you do any other kind of marketing in general.

Brandon** ((00:07:45)) - -  And so it's definitely one of the weak spots for myself. I've been recently trying to become a leader of my company, have been hiring people, training people. It's completely different skill set that's foreign to me. So I'm actively trying to be more like you for sure.

Glenn** ((00:08:02)) - -  But I don't know, I don't know.

Brandon** ((00:08:04)) - -  So there's so many questions that I have that will probably be just selfishly, I'm asking for sure, but I think, it's one of the harder things to do is to get your team. You know, in in the right mindset, with the right belief set so that they can produce, you know, really good quality work and things like that. So right now in today's market, I think that. Well, I know that based on conversations that I've had with companies that are working to scale. The biggest limiting factor for growth is hiring and retention of specifically veterinarians. So right now, what are the kinds of things that you do and suggest to really help build the team that grows the practice? And I know that's very general, but yeah.

Brandon** ((00:08:50)) - -  what do you think some of the best and most important things are? Yeah.

Glenn** ((00:08:55)) - -  By the way, great question. Because one of the first things I usually get asked is, oh, like, do you help with recruiting? And I was like, you know what I do? But it's indirectly. And what I mean by that is there are things that we can do as a practice or as a team that attract talent to us and retain the talent we have. And sometimes we get wrapped up in the idea that, man, if we just had another doctor, so many problems would be solved. And really, what we need to do is solve those problems first, to bring those doctors to us and show them, hey, we have a way of treating not only our employees, but our clients. And here's the expectations that we set up in the processes that we have to really make this environment great. Don't you want to work here with us? And that's a much different thing than being like, oh, we can't wait to have you come in here because we have so many clients.

Glenn** ((00:09:40)) - -  You're going to do so well. We're just so busy nonstop and we're just working so hard. Okay? We all work hard. but which one of those environments is more attracted to you? You know, it's like, hey, this team is growing together and wants to make an environment that's moving forward. And that's really what I talk about with recruiting is how do we create the environment, how do we create and manifest the kind of DVM that we want to come to our doors instead of, how do we go hunt down that DVM? Because you can hunt all day long. And right now a lot of the industry is hunting. We're trying to hunt, we're calling, we're cold calling emails that don't get responded to. And that's because there's like 16 jobs right now posted for every licensed veterinarian in the WMA. And it's and that's that's a hard market to do that in. And so what I try to do is say, hey, let's look at opportunities we have within your practice with your existing resources to look at your efficiencies and workflow.

Glenn** ((00:10:33)) - -  What can we do to help balance out that bottom line financially. So we can get in a stable position so we can make and develop our brand. That will then attract another doctor. And that's what I like to do. I like to do it in that order, if we can. Right. And I understand if you have zero doctors. those are incredibly challenging situations, like we need a doctor, but when you're talking to doctors, you talk about that opportunity to create that brand together.

Brandon** ((00:11:00)) - -  Definitely. I think that's a that's a fantastic point. and I was actually just talking to you a couple clients today. There's, competitors that are coming in that are specifically corporates, and they're just using relief vets to fill them because they can't hire people where she's actually hired two vets here in the last six months. Awesome. And things. And I didn't ask her more follow up questions because I probably should have. But I think that's kind of the situation that I see happening over and over again, specifically within private practices that are developing like truly remarkable practices that look like they're fun to work from and work in and be part of this team that they're building and things.

Brandon** ((00:11:39)) - -  What would you say are some of the most important things to problems to solve, to make the practice attractive from the outside?

Glenn** ((00:11:49)) - -  for me, it's it may seem a little bit basic and maybe even rudimentary to some, but you have to have some kind of mission vision that your entire team believes in. and I do mean that. And it's one thing to say we're here to help pets and help people. Okay, so are you in 99.8% of other veterinary hospitals today. And so I need something that really shows this is our mission and our vision and what we're trying to accomplish here and here are our core values that we hire and fire based on, because we want people to not only believe in our mission, but we want these kind of people here. And that's what is described by our core values. And so I try to encourage teams to revisit those quite frequently because often it's something that we do once, 3 to 5 years ago when our medical director took charge. And do we still believe in that? Do the people that work here still believe in that? Do we make decisions based on those factors? And so that's my first point of contact, is get a vision, get that mission.

Glenn** ((00:12:45)) - -  Be clear everyone share it. And those core values and higher based on that, if you do those things, you'd be pretty impressed by who aligns with you and how quickly they want to be a part of that with you. The next thing is, honestly, we talked about marketing your clinic or branding your clinic. You know you need to get that brand. That's basically what we were just talking about. This is who we are. This is the people we have here. Here are the three things that we do really well here. And I use the term three, but it doesn't have to be three. It could be 2 or 4 that it's insignificant on the number of things, but pick a few lanes that you're really good at and be proud of, because that's how you attract people that also align with you. So I'll give an example like clinic A is. Very proud of their way that they handle senior pets. Let's say they are senior pet focused. We you know, we care about pain management and managing these senior pets through their golden years.

Glenn** ((00:13:39)) - -  Okay, I kind of know what's at this clinic already. I haven't even walked in there. You probably kind of know what kind of environment's going to be there. you know, and I'm not saying that's the only way to run a clinic because there's so many great things that veterinarians can do. And that's the fun part is when I get to work with teams is we get to talk about truly where your passions are and let's market that. And because if we do that, that will definitely show through in every interview you host. because if you're like, yeah, we do like six rentals a day, but man, do I hate them.

Brandon** ((00:14:06)) - -  Sure.

Glenn** ((00:14:07)) - -  Yeah. I mean, that's okay. So that means I'm going to have to do it if I don't like doing it. So how do I want to sign that contract today? Yeah. Not really. so that's where I think we have the greatest opportunity is you get that mission vision, the core values. You pick out the 2 or 3 areas where you want to be great, not just good.

Glenn** ((00:14:27)) - -  Like these are where we want to be great and we want to market that throughout our entire team. and to your point with the marketing side, it's to the clients, right? So these are the type of clients we want, because these are the type of things that we're good at and we have passions for. I think a personal thing for me is, you know, for a long time, veterinarians have had to be good at everything. You know, every single thing that walks through the door. Snake, hamster, you know, chicken. We'll see it. We'll handle it. We'll take care of it. and I'm not saying that we need to go away from that, but if you want to set yourself apart and start talking about how you recruit and retain people, it's having a clear vision for what you're going to build this clinic into. So maybe you are that jack of all trades, but we recruit and retain based on people that want to do that. Does that make sense? Sure.

Brandon** ((00:15:13)) - -  That totally makes sense. How much do you think a practice should be doing marketing that's focused towards hiring and retention versus outwardly towards like client acquisition? And I'm interested in your thoughts because the practices that I'm thinking of specifically that have had a really easy time hiring, I'll tell you kind of what they're doing and see what you think about that. But what's what's your take on that?

Glenn** ((00:15:38)) - -  Yeah, I mean, that's such a one of the little points I wrote down on a piece of paper was marketing is not just for clients. It's retention, it's recruitment. And those things are really important in brand. And so, I think, you know, there are certain companies out there and I'm sure you're aware that actually take their marketing and say, basically, we're not targeting clients specifically. We're targeting pet lovers, and pet lovers want to see this stuff. People that work on pets also want to see this stuff, and they want to see how cool our clinic is to come work for. and so when you put out a piece of marketing material, it's not just because you want another 2 to 5 clients this week, it's actually those clients know someone and they know people more than we think, to be honest.

Glenn** ((00:16:21)) - -  Like, I don't know how many times you're in an exam room and they're like, my uncle is a veterinarian. And, you know, he's been practicing. We hear all day, every day as veterinarians of how that link is. So when you're doing marketing and you're you're planning out your marketing, make sure you keep that in mind that the people that are clients are also your best pull into the recruitment world.

Brandon** ((00:16:39)) - -  Yeah, that's that's very interesting thinking to the practices that are doing a good job. They're they're really good at communicating their mission and their values and their like connection to the community specifically. So it's not just like a picture of a dog. It's like we're doing this community event and it's highlighting team members being there and talking about, you know, cool things that are going on. And, like, they they really care about their community and their patients and they like communicate that. And so it's not just like educational content, but it's engaging with the local community specifically. I think that's a big kind of.

Brandon** ((00:17:18)) - -  Distinction that I see from, and it's a lot more transparent and also personality driven. because you can kind of get a feel for what the practice is like, what the owners are like and the staff and what's important to all of them. Yeah, I think that's probably.

Glenn** ((00:17:33)) - -  That's even, you know, that's important no matter where you are, that community sense and to your point, marketing to a community impact and having that footprint because that's incredibly important. But it's even more important, and I would stress, is that in the rural areas, you know, like you need to be such a face. It's almost I don't want to say almost political, but you almost have to have that sense of position in your community that people recognize you not just as a town veterinarian, but as a person that volunteers at the science fair, you know? And it's like, that stuff matters because people remember that. And again, they're the ones sending people your way, whether it's another credentialed technician or a licensed veterinarian or even just high quality reception.

Glenn** ((00:18:12)) - -  And it's like, hey, you're trying to do something I want to be a part of.

Brandon** ((00:18:15)) - -  Definitely. Yeah. And that's that's really interesting. when when it comes to, like, the entire team, how much do you think you should focus on, like the jobs that are not as difficult to hire in Q4? Yeah. And do you think that you should your main focus should be targeting, you know, specifically veterinarians, or do you think it should be built around just the entire team?

Glenn** ((00:18:42)) - -  Yeah, that's a good point. I mean, team is everything in veterinary medicine, to be honest, because, while the veterinarian is very pivotal to a clinic for obvious reasons, there's only, only the veterinarian can diagnose, prescribe, do the surgery. you know, that's it. That's all we can do, you know, that no one else can do. And so while they're pivotal in that aspect, it's really keeping that team mentality that aligns with those things we talked about earlier. Right. Vision core values I still think that recruitment of team members is nonstop, to be honest.

Glenn** ((00:19:14)) - -  And and I mean that in a positive way. Even when you think you have everyone you need. Life happens, and so we should have all term Rolodex of numbers that we can call people that want to be part of our team and have good skill set that we want to utilize. So I think it's never ending. To be honest, people are like, and I'm exhausted from the hiring process. But the bad news is almost the hiring process never stops. Or it shouldn't be because you should be growing, right? Like we should be growing. And if we're growing, we're going to need more help.

Brandon** ((00:19:43)) - -  Definitely. Yep. That is absolutely true. I mean, there's so many things that are tiring to do in business, but that's like part of owning it, right? Like, I mean, it doesn't feel exciting to write email, follow up sequences or build automations, but like, that's part of it. Now you have to kind of do those things. So I, I definitely agree with, with, specifically building teams and trying to market your practice.

Brandon** ((00:20:08)) - -  Where do you think people should be? I know that specifically, like practice owners aren't the most active on like LinkedIn, for example. Do you think that there's platforms that people are missing out on, or that they should get good at doing or using? that most probably aren't.

Glenn** ((00:20:26)) - -  Yeah, yeah. I mean, they definitely don't teach that in vet school how to make a great TikTok, right? Like we know that. but we also have to appreciate that certain forms of media are being viewed much more than others. And I think if you want to I don't want to say target certain age groups, but there is a fact that, you know, the Facebook demographic is different than the Instagram versus the Twitter versus TikTok. Right? And if we're trying to do client marketing targeting versus employee targeting, like we have to take that all into consideration. And so I think we do have a large opportunity in veterinary medicine to kind of just do a little bit better as a whole and make it very personal to your clinic, you know, and to your point, like, you can make educational films, but your community and your clinic is going to really what sets you apart and be like, I didn't realize this clinic was down the road for me.

Glenn** ((00:21:16)) - -  Not only do I take my pet there, but maybe I'd like to work there. Like that's all it takes to get that one outstanding employee that. Yeah. So what, they found you on TikTok? You know, like that doesn't mean anything. it's like those relationships are like, oh, we just. We met on Tinder. It's like, well, yeah, okay. It doesn't matter if the quality of the relationship and the person is the same, right? So I think we just we have an opportunity to do a little bit better in those facets. it's going to be unique to you. you know, radio ads are. You know, we don't like I don't even listen to the radio almost ever, you know. And so it's just different now. and I think we just have to adapt to it.

Brandon** ((00:21:54)) - -  Sure. That that marketing message to the market makes sense. and that's interesting that you mentioned that, because I'm sure that TikTok is probably the most used for especially graduating vets and things.

Brandon** ((00:22:07)) - -  But probably Instagram is a good kind of bridge between the older and the younger. But definitely Facebook is older demographics. Yeah. and.

Glenn** ((00:22:15)) - -  LinkedIn for professional based, like hires, like DMs, some CVS. if you're looking for somebody that's like, I need somebody to help manage six clinics. You're probably leaning towards LinkedIn than TikTok. That doesn't mean great people are on TikTok. It just means if you want that kind of personality, you're going to want to target a different demographic.

Brandon** ((00:22:38)) - -  Definitely. That totally makes sense. And that reminds me, there's this, practice in Florida. I gotta remember the name of it. I have to look it up. But they do TikTok, and the technicians and the doctor do them together, and they are so funny. And they're also, like, not super professional because they swear in it a lot, but it like, it's the perfect for their brand and it just looks like it's fun to work there. And so I'm sure it generates some clients. It's not like the uptight professional veterinary practice and it's just like really hilarious and engaging.

Brandon** ((00:23:06)) - -  So they're not though.

Glenn** ((00:23:07)) - -  Because, I mean, that's the kind of client you want to work with, which, you know, you could talk to a lot of veterinarians and find, you know, well, ten veterinary will tell you 12 different types of clients they want to work with. But for sure, yeah, that's a way to get them right. And it's just you have to get in front of them. And getting in front of veterinarians is hard, but getting in front of clients sometimes can feel impossible. And so you're like, well, I'll just do a good job. Which like we talked at the very beginning, doing good medicine is the best form of marketing you can do to start. But there's so much competition in this space. in a good way. What makes you different?

Brandon** ((00:23:39)) - -  Yeah. Exactly. Right. What makes you different? Because most practices you could just copy and paste their website on each other's and it would be, you know, basically the same and you wouldn't notice it all.

Brandon** ((00:23:50)) - -  So. Absolutely. you'd mentioned really defining the vision goals, values for your practice. How far out are you looking like in terms of how far in the future you want to be like focused goal wise? Yeah, like.

Glenn** ((00:24:07)) - -  That's a great question. I love that one. And so I like to think of depending on the practice we'll talk about the furthest out like I've talked about is ten years. but that was a relatively new owner. And so ten years makes sense. You know, five years is usually a good starting place and then make a five year plan. Who are we five years from now and start with that. And then we say, okay, in three years this is where we should be. By the end of next year, we should be here if we want to be where that five year plan wants to take us. Right. And so that's the easiest exercise you can do with your leadership and your owners. To start is say, five years from now, who are we? How many doctors work here? What kind of equipment do we have? what's our average client transaction at that date? Like start putting numbers to those things because it helps you identify where we're going to be three years and one year from now with the plans in play.

Glenn** ((00:24:59)) - -  I actually encourage doing goals and setting them. You know, Smart goals set Smart goals, but try to keep them shorter. Stances like 90 days is usually about right for people's brain, and 90 days it could be 60 days or 90 days. But in order to keep your team's buy in on those things, think about 90 days is usually about right. And so once we have those five, three, one year, let's set up some 90 day goals to make sure that we're getting close to our one year goal. And let's keep each other accountable to that. And that's that word right there is one of the most challenging words is accountability to what we want to do.

Brandon** ((00:25:37)) - -  I agree totally. and the reason I was asking that was because I think where you want to go is going to determine what kind of content you need to be producing, what platforms you need to be on, especially from a long term perspective, because it it seems easy when it comes to content creation, just because there's so many creators out there and people are engaging and consuming all the time.

Brandon** ((00:25:57)) - -  But I think it's really hard to get your messaging down to figure out, you know, how to say things in a way that is engaging and how to build really an audience with consistency. I think it would take typically around at least a year to get things figured out. And so I think the 90 day action plan and then trying to hit, you know, certain benchmarks in over a year is probably really wise, but it makes a lot of sense.

Glenn** ((00:26:24)) - -  Thanks for sharing that, because, I mean, even for me, if I was like, I need to market something and have my numbers change in 3 to 6 months, you'd be like, it's we're not going to see probably what you want to be honest by that thing. that's.

Brandon** ((00:26:35)) - -  Definitely.

Glenn** ((00:26:35)) - -  That's a common thing, even for the veterinary side. It's like we talk about those five year or three year plans because sometimes you realize like, well, we better get moving. It's a short answer. Like, we don't have as much time as you think if you want to see that.

Glenn** ((00:26:47)) - -  And so that's a really common deduction we make. And it kind of motivates us all to buy into what we want to do, and get moving.

Brandon** ((00:26:54)) - -  So yeah. Well I think people typically give up, especially on content, too soon just because it takes time to learn it. You think you should be immediately successful. but like one of the last Step episodes recently had Darrell Eaves on, who's a YouTube coach and he's helped, like, I think 35 or 36 channels get over a million subscribers, but that first thousand subscribers is kind of like the The Hump to get over. And usually it takes people around a year to get there, but then within the next 2 to 3 years they'll hit, you know, 100,000 pretty quickly. So once you get your stride, it it takes off, but it takes time to learn it. And most people give up too soon. That's really just kind of interesting.

Glenn** ((00:27:33)) - -  It makes perfect sense, though. one of the things we talk about sometimes is like succession planning in veterinary hospitals, right.

Glenn** ((00:27:40)) - -  And like, how do we make this plan for the future? But if that future includes me exiting at year five, like to your point, well, we got to start working today on some of those things just to get the marketing around. Right. You know, and so, sometimes too often we as veterinarians get a little bit too much into our job and too much into our work, and we don't think or look up to see that five year plan clearly.

Brandon** ((00:28:03)) - -  Yeah, absolutely. That definitely makes sense when it when it comes to building out the team and things. I think what you mentioned about really choosing on what you're going to be really good at is pretty unique. I don't think most practices do that. and I think most practices also, just like if I ask somebody, what kind of clients do you want? They said as many as possible. It's not like, you know, we want it's always like more is what we want. but that doesn't really help. Yeah. When you're talking to people and practices, how important do you think it is that you develop like a unique selling proposition? And what are some of the things that you do if you feel like that's important?

Glenn** ((00:28:46)) - -  Yeah, I mean, it is very clinic specific when I'm working with them, just because everyone has a different story, a different goal and different resources.

Glenn** ((00:28:55)) - -  And so based on what your resources are and your goals, we kind of tailor that. And so to your point, it's like, well, does everyone need basically I don't want to say gimmick because the gimmick makes it sound cheap or easy, like, oh, you're just you do this and it's not gimmick. It's it's no. What are you passionate about? Because this job is so hard. And if you're not passionate about it, the clients will feel that, like they know that you don't enjoy looking at it. Ear infection. Right. Like they're going to know you're like, oh, it's another ear infection of this dog. So what are you wanting to attract to your clinic. Because you're going to be doing more of those things. And so a lot of our. Burnout situations that get talked about. a lot of information out there about that. But I actually think it comes down to we don't express what we want to do sometimes well enough, and we don't market that well enough that we end up doing a lot of things that don't fill our cup.

Glenn** ((00:29:46)) - -  And it should, in our opinion, like, oh, I should be happy to be here and help these pets. But it's okay that that part of your career isn't rewarding to you because it might be to someone else. And that's okay. But today we make sure you get what you want out of this. Because for you to stay in this profession, for you to stay in this job and to be a true supporting member of this community, I need you to be happy to be here. And definitely that's where if we get that feeling and working with groups where it's kind of like I clock in at eight or, you know, one, because I was a minute late and I'm out at 502 because I can't be here another minute. It's like, okay, we need to identify something that keeps these people motivated to be here.

Brandon** ((00:30:26)) - -  Definitely. and what do you feel? So I guess the follow up question to that, do you think that it's better to just have a lane for your practice or be focused on individual lanes for each one of your doctors? So like, adapt to the team that you bring in or have just a specialty for the practice, so to speak, maybe 3 or 4 things.

Glenn** ((00:30:45)) - -  That's a great question. Honestly. I think from a marketing standpoint, it'd be nice is if, oh, we're just all the same, you know, we all we all see the same stuff. And that's probably not realistic. but when we talk about things like there are things that most veterinarians will unite on and really enjoy together. And so we have to make sure that we align on those things together to move forward in those paths, whether and maybe it's even like this person really enjoys surgery and this person really enjoys internal medicine, and this person is actually like just the best at puppy exams and visits, you know, and and you can all practice together really well actually, because you're actually. Helping each other in each area that you want to be good in. what you don't want to find is that you're in a competing space. Not that that would be one, but if your recommendation is I don't want to do surgery, I want to send everyone to rehab. And you're working with a partner that only wants to do surgery.

Glenn** ((00:31:43)) - -  Is that a sustainable environment for you guys both to work in? It's probably not right. Like it's probably not a good feeling when you come to work. If one person feels like this and another feels like that. So the key is communication and hiring according to what you want to be. And so I don't know if that directly answers your question, because I think clinics can have, you know, doctors that are great at surgery, great at dentistry and great at internal medicine, and you can work all together. And what is the one thing that you guys all have in common? Well, we really value high quality care and medicine to give our patients the best that we can provide. So you unite under that flag, but we market all these great things that we do better than everyone else is how we feel.

Brandon** ((00:32:23)) - -  Yeah, definitely. I like that answer a lot, and I think what I, what I'm seeing more and more often, which is kind of cool, is that practices will come to me and they'll be like, we just hired an associate.

Brandon** ((00:32:34)) - -  Here's the things that they love to do. So can we get more of those procedures, especially like the practices that have exotics? I mean, vets that have an interest working on exotic pets, because that's not a super common. And the cool part about that is with with ads, you can target exotics really easily, and there's so few practices that actually want them that you can bring on tons of cases for them, which is cool. So I think tailoring the marketing to like what people enjoy, I think they would probably take like they would they would appreciate that as well, that, okay, the practice owner is going to make an effort to bring me cases that I like to see versus just like whatever is most profitable type of a thing.

Glenn** ((00:33:11)) - -  Yeah, exactly. It's a good point too, is like sometimes it's like, oh, we have a special infection. And it's like, okay, well special for fecal is on doctors is like, no offense, but some of the boring things for me.

Glenn** ((00:33:21)) - -  Right. Like if I have to call another. Pet parent about Giardia or roundworms. Those are important things. But if that's all I do, how excited am I about this special that we're running? So after team, what they want to do and build around it because they'll be happier to be there instead of telling them, oh, we got a great deal on this, let's let's do this. Okay, well, we can talk about it. Maybe they love it, maybe they will, but they should probably have some say on what that looks like.

Brandon** ((00:33:48)) - -  Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things that I think is kind of like a bad word in the veterinary industry is sales, because people don't like selling, especially when you're building teams. but I think that sales can be solved. The problem of not being good at selling it can be solved just by simply having a higher set of beliefs about the practice. Like, for example, if you think that your practice provides the best care and clients are going to get the best service and they shouldn't go anywhere else, like, chances are you're going to be able to communicate that better.

Brandon** ((00:34:19)) - -  and so like by default, you're going to believe that. They should come here so it's easier to sell. You're selling without having to be salesy, so to speak. when it comes to team building and building belief, how do you think the best ways to do that are? from like, a practical standpoint?

Glenn** ((00:34:40)) - -  Yeah. I mean, one thing that's really important is on site leadership for me is that the people that are not only like deemed leaders, but like their position is such they really have to be strong in the aspect of we're here to help everyone in this organization grow and inside this clinic. And so we need to have strong leadership and a strong commitment to their future success. Even, you know, the receptionist, like, what do they want to become and where do they want to go in their career. And so if you want to create belief and commitment with your team, it actually starts there. It's like strong leadership that is committed to their growth professionally, personally in this field.

Glenn** ((00:35:18)) - -  And so if you can do those things, and that's incredibly challenging for a lot of people because we got all these cases to work on. And I'm the medical director, I have to talk to this doctor. We're going to have 20 cases this, you know, today. but make sure you always keep that in mind that the staff are equally important. And so I, I actually prioritize things like the patient I'm working with care number one. Right. That's patient care is number one in my book. Whenever you're dealing with medicine, number two is the people that work with me. All right. Like the people in this office, the people that are in this hospital, we need to take care of them. And then to me, clients actually become number three. Not that it's like a hierarchy that we would never care about clients, blah, blah, blah, but if I do things in this order, those clients will be really well taken care of by the staff that we have, and those patients will be well taken care of.

Glenn** ((00:36:06)) - -  And so we just need to make sure that we keep them in mind when we're going through our day. And sometimes we just need to step back and put time into it.

Brandon** ((00:36:14)) - -  Yeah, absolutely. As you were talking about that, I was thinking, you know, that that is so important. There's so many times that in the past I've had clients that I've worked on their ads, and we're recording calls and things, and we'll listen to the call and the receptionist will say, like, you should just go to the other practice because it's cheaper. So they're bringing in like price bias and service bias into it. and it's really kind of disappointing. But I think if they felt and probably if they were compensated better, right. If the receptionist is saying, hey, we're too expensive, like they probably shouldn't go there because they're probably not being paid competitively as well, which like, you know, you have to really care about your team. And I would hope that you'd want to pay them as much as you possibly could, rather than as little as you could.

Brandon** ((00:37:01)) - -  But, that team building component would probably take care of most of those problems. Definitely. Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Glenn** ((00:37:08)) - -  Look to the leadership. If you're ever feeling like the we like to sometimes try to find the problem and it's rarely just a person or a problem. There's usually some kind of failure in the way that we design the process or the flow. I'm not saying that there isn't just one problem ever, but most of the time there's been a failure before that point. And so when I work with teams, if we keep identifying a lot of opportunities for us to improve, let's look into how we built out the processes or the team, because there's probably something that's at the root of that.

Brandon** ((00:37:41)) - -  Definitely. How how much team, training do you feel like reception staff need? Just out of curiosity, because I've been seeing a lot of just variation in that they're kind of just thrown to the wolves sometimes, or sometimes it's very structured. So what's your thoughts on that?

Glenn** ((00:37:57)) - -  Yeah, I mean reception is like the hardest job in the clinic, to be honest.

Glenn** ((00:38:01)) - -  And it's I mean, you almost need a full psychology degree and in a sales role, you know, and you're doing those all the time. I think the key with any position is building out the hiring process that everyone gets the attention and onboarding that they need in order to be successful. if you're trying to hire somebody because you have zero people in that role, that's obviously really difficult. But like, we shouldn't get to that point if we can help it because. The rate of success of somebody just stepping into a vacant role where there's no support is very low. It's it's hard. so we need to be thinking of that next person up. I like to use some sports analogies and it's like, yeah, you wouldn't just have one starting quarterback. And in the NFL you just want to do that. Yeah. And so we need to think a little bit like that and make sure that people are cross-trained and people are trying to accomplish their career goals. So I'm a big proponent of cross-training personally.

Glenn** ((00:38:54)) - -  because even if it's not necessarily the receptionist needs to be able to draw blood, I want them to understand all the steps involved. So that way when they communicate it to a client that they're very confident in what happens. I don't want them to be like, oh, I think it just, you know, it's like a little poke and, you know, like, no, I don't want to hear that. I want to hear, hey, I know exactly what it's like because I've helped with it. It's actually quite simple. It'll take about 5 to 7 minutes and it's less than four mils of blood, which is very small amount. Like I want them to do that confident. And so reception training specifically, it's like a lot of people obviously it should be documented. There should be a process and we need to be spending time with them, just like any member of the team, because they're the first and last person most of the time that clients are dealing with.

Brandon** ((00:39:36)) - -  Yeah, that's that's such a good point.

Brandon** ((00:39:38)) - -  I think two practices expect the reception to be able to communicate value, or most practices don't want to be competing just on price. But if the reception staff doesn't know what goes into it and you're calling for a TPO and they just quote a price, there's no context for that whatsoever. And so you can't say, you know, well, it depends because most, most practices are only quoting you on the price for the procedure. They're not including rehab. And here's all of the things that we do. And you know what. They're able to communicate so much more than just yeah, it's $4,200. And then the client says, okay, thanks, I'll call you back. And they don't call back, right? Yeah. That's the call that always happens. Okay. We'll call you back. Yeah. So, you know, that's a really, I think big and and good distinction to have is that cross training absolutely makes total sense.

Glenn** ((00:40:31)) - -  Training helps a lot. just having that process documented like this is what we're going to do on your first day.

Glenn** ((00:40:36)) - -  This is what we're going to do on day ten. This is what we're going to do on day 14. Oh, by the way, like learning never stops here. So whenever you're ready to learn more about how the technicians day go, let's get you in the, you know, with the treatment, with the tech there, maybe even spend a couple hours with the doctor when they're making phone calls about bloodwork. So you can kind of see what this happens and why it happens. That way when somebody calls me like, hey, I haven't gotten a call back. Oh, let me tell you how this works, because the doctors do it like this and they're going to get to you. I've seen him working really hard back there. We'll put a note in for them. And that's just a lot more confidence with the entire workflow of the hospital.

Brandon** ((00:41:11)) - -  Yeah, I would bet. And I don't have stats for this, but I bet that most people who work in a veterinary hospital, even just as a receptionist, are not there because they love answering the phone.

Brandon** ((00:41:20)) - -  They want to know more about pets and like veterinary medicine and people like answering the phone and talking on it. They'll be like doing phone sales, because you can make way more money than being a reception, you know, being a salesperson. Yeah.

Glenn** ((00:41:32)) - -  So so no, we appreciate the heck out of them though. And like a good receptionist, you don't have to. Everyone agrees on this. One is like a good receptionist is worth every penny they make or break your entire day of with your scheduling. nothing makes doctors more heated than a poorly scheduled day for them. And you know, that's something that we can train and teach. And why does that matter? Like that's telling the why? Just don't tell him your day is ruined because they did that. Like like, hey, I just want you to understand, like, if I have to stop surgery to do this, these are all the things that has to happen. And now this is what's going to happen. And most of the time they just didn't know, to be honest.

Glenn** ((00:42:10)) - -  Yeah.

Brandon** ((00:42:11)) - -  Definitely. That totally makes sense. when it comes to creating, like, a consistent, Experience throughout the whole process, right? Because if one of the pieces breaks, kind of like the whole experience is soured. And so what do you suggest that practices do like? And I think this starts essentially at the first piece of marketing that they consume all the way till they get home. Right. So how how do you suggest people go about really designing that and making sure that it's it's being executed on.

Glenn** ((00:42:43)) - -  Yeah, that's such a great point. So, I'll do some workflow evaluations for clinics. And during those evaluations I'll spend time with doctors, I'll spend time with technicians, I'll spend time with reception. And then one of my favorite parts is actually spending time on the client side. And I ask clients if I can go through their day with them and I'll be an observer. they can talk to me or ask questions if they would like to, but the point is, get in those client's shoes, quite literally get an opportunity to see what the day is like from their point of view.

Glenn** ((00:43:11)) - -  We think we know because we work in the field, but until you're in it, even with your own pets, like you're like, oh, it felt so different when I had to bring my pet to the emergency room. Okay, the reason it feels different is because we don't take enough time to step back as a client and be in their shoes, and I encourage like take a look at time studies of your appointments, spend time with your clientele and ask them if it's okay as a manager, if I accompany you through this process, sure. It's going to be a little bit different because it's weird when the manager is sitting in the room. But even as a doctor, that happened early in my career, and it makes perfect sense because it's an opportunity for them to see what it's like on every step.

Brandon** ((00:43:47)) - -  Yeah, totally makes sense. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. and when you're thinking about, well, there's two things that I was thinking about when it comes to firing so specifically firing clients and then firing staff, how responsive do you think people should be to both of those things? yeah.

Brandon** ((00:44:08)) - -  And interested on your take on that because I've, I've seen people fire clients for the sake of even within, the marketing space. Right. We're had clients that were just not good. And so we fired them because they were being, you know, pretty terrible to employees and things. Yeah. So I think that helps to really say, hey, I value you and we're not going to put you through this, but what's your take on that kind of stuff?

Glenn** ((00:44:31)) - -  Yeah, I'm a I'm a pro client. Firing when when it's necessary for sure. And necessary to me is exactly what you touch on. It's like you can't threaten my staff. Period. Right. You can't do that. if you're threatening other clients or their pets some way, like. And you keep doing that. We can't have that in this, in this environment. so protect your staff. Protect your patients. Right. The order that I work on. Patients, staff. Well, yeah, clients are third. So I'll get rid of a client to keep those two things.

Glenn** ((00:45:00)) - -  Good. Period. Because what is it a rule? It's like your bottom. Bottom 10% of clients. It's like 80% of your work. Right. And so if you get rid of the bottom 10%, you're going to have room for the the type of client you want with the right targeted marketing. And so I have no patience for risk to people. And so if they're putting people at risk, that's an easy no, we're not going to work together anymore. Same thing with staff. you know, there's some pretty immediate things in my book that are worthy of this isn't going to work. And that's you're putting people in danger. You know, that's a problem. You're putting patients lives at risk. and you're not, like, with a refusal to learn and get better. Right? Like somebody that accidentally does something and is learning. We understand we have some sympathy there. But if you're negligent or your intentional intention is easy, you're gone. Like, that's just and that's part of our, you know, my core values.

Glenn** ((00:45:54)) - -  And so I think if you address those core values you don't have that. It allows you to keep people accountable quickly. and that's what I try to do because, this job is hard enough. we don't need to make it any harder.

Brandon** ((00:46:08)) - -  Definitely. Yeah. And the way I look at that, when I lose clients, if if it's one that's just not a good fit, it actually feels good to get rid of them. No offense. Like, not to say in a way, but just not to be like, hey, this isn't a good fit for you. You don't trust the recommendations that we're making. You're actively trying to disprove that. What we're working on is going to work like it feels like a good relief to get them out of the system is going to improve the business over the long haul, even though the short term revenue loss is a bummer. But over the long haul, you'll just fill it with better.

Glenn** ((00:46:40)) - -  Yeah, exactly. And that's the exact phrasing. It's like, hey, you don't seem happy here.

Glenn** ((00:46:44)) - -  And if you don't seem happy here, I would love to find a place that you are happy. Here's your records and I wish you the best of luck.

Brandon** ((00:46:53)) - -  Yeah, definitely. Or if you're not going to be happy anywhere, then also good luck. You know, there's some of those people out there too. I can't.

Glenn** ((00:47:01)) - -  You know I can't help you. So yeah.

Brandon** ((00:47:04)) - -  Definitely seems like a win.

Glenn** ((00:47:05)) - -  With the client. Firing, by the way, is it's hard to do sometimes because it's like, well, we weren't there. we should be so confident in the staff that we hire and so confident in our processes that. If a receptionist told me they hit me with a cane, there's no question of what happened. And if I am questioning what happened, then I should question why we have this person up front. Because that's, that's, that's a, that's another question that I need to answer. And so, I just really support your support staff. we don't tolerate that here. And so there are doctors that are really great at that, by the way.

Glenn** ((00:47:42)) - -  And they, they take it straight to the exam. You know, we're going to talk about this right now because you just treated our technicians like this. And this is horrible. And if this happens again we're done. Let's move forward.

Brandon** ((00:47:53)) - -  So yeah absolutely. Well that that definitely makes total sense. Well, as we get closer to wrapping up here, I what are some of the biggest things that you think practices can implement, like right away, that are going to be the biggest impact for attracting and retaining and building the right culture in the practice?

Glenn** ((00:48:15)) - -  Yeah, I can I cannot advocate enough for having those plans for the future. Five to 3 to 1 year. Get your leadership together. Get the doctors that you had together. Get outside of the clinic environment. I usually recommend do it in the morning, like before the day happens, because at the end of the day, or you try to do it in the middle of the day, it's not going to happen. It's just veterinary medicine.

Glenn** ((00:48:35)) - -  I just promise you it's going to get interrupted and get creative and start thinking about where you want to be, because as soon as you create that buy in, if we make a five year plan and as a veterinarian or associate, that is really exciting to me. Not only am I committed to getting you there, but I'm also more likely to stay here because I know where we're going. If I feel like every day I'm just seeing patients and we just keep getting delivered curveballs of like, oh, we're going to start doing this now. You kind of feel like, well, it's just like a waterfall of stuff hitting me, and I just have to stand here as long as I can. Yeah, that is not a good feeling. And I think that's what a lot of veterinarians unfortunately feel like in some situations. and we can correct that to make it feel like we're writing this, you know, we're having a good time and we're riding it. There's going to be bumps. There will be things we're going to, you know.

Glenn** ((00:49:18)) - -  But that's my biggest advice. Get them together, have a talk. I don't care if you do it over coffee, mimosas, whatever your clinic environment is that allows you to get those thoughts out. That's what we need. Focus on your on site leadership. Whoever leads that, that crew will lead your hospital. So if you're an owner, make sure you have the right people in play that when you're not there, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. It's the same clinic when you're there. It's the same clinic when you're gone, have that kind of confidence, and if we don't, we can get there. We just need to work on it, you know? Yeah. and I think between leadership, getting those core things, taking care of, of where we're headed now, we get the fun part, which is how do you get there? And that's, that's that's my favorite part. I love talking about how we get there because we develop a plan. We work together to say, okay, if we want to go from here to there, there's a lot of ways we can get there, but let's make one.

Brandon** ((00:50:12)) - -  Sure that totally makes sense. There's so many, so many overlaps between your process and marketing. You know, starting with your end in mind and figuring out the best route to get there. For sure.

Glenn** ((00:50:21)) - -  Take the time to do it. Is the other, you know, short story. Like we don't have time, and the reason we don't have time is as veterinarians is because we don't we don't do some of those things. If we did some of those things, your day would be 20% easier because we did it and we set up, we set up our team for success. And so now we're not here till 7 p.m., we're getting out at 5 p.m.. and so a lot of, you know, comments are like, well, I don't have the time to really have a weekly meeting. And I'd argue you probably don't have the time not to have a weekly meeting. because people don't know when they can voice their opinions. If they don't know, they're going to have an opportunity to.

Glenn** ((00:50:54)) - -  So what do they do? Interrupt your day? They they stop what they're doing, or they slowly kind of just fall into the background and go look for a different job because they didn't feel like they had the opportunity to really supply anything. so keep those meetings regular and make them productive. Like the reason people don't like meetings because everyone's been in a bad meeting. bad meetings suck. They just drain you emotionally. Well, Sherry, you did it wrong again. Let's talk about how to do it right. All right, let's not do it again. Yeah. That's not that's not helpful. I mean, we need to address those things, but those are bad meetings. We need to have good meetings.

Brandon** ((00:51:33)) - -  Yeah, definitely. I just read this book called The Motive. Have you ever heard of that book? I was looking it up on my phone. It's. It's an allegory about leadership, and it's not very long. I did Audible by Patrick Lincoln, I guess is his name. But anyways, that was specifically, you know, being the CEO of a company, your job is to make sure that meetings are good and not boring and people don't want to not show up to them.

Brandon** ((00:51:58)) - -  So I think you're right on there. But, how can people go and find out more about working with you and what kind of things do you typically help with?

Glenn** ((00:52:07)) - -  Yeah, yeah. Great question. So, the easiest way to get Ahold of me is through my website. So Southwest Veterinary Solutions comm. on there you'll find my email. It's listed. You can definitely send me an email. That's an easy way to do it. I also have my calendar posted on there so people can actually book phone calls. And so I offer an hour of my time to everyone. All right. So we can talk about where you are, what you need, what you know and how I can help. So that's the easiest way to get direct contact with me. things I really enjoy doing. If, I picked up on a few since we started, which is, you know, on site leadership and development of their skills is incredibly important. And it's often overlooked, to be honest, because we're just too busy.

Glenn** ((00:52:46)) - -  So on site leadership development, getting people united behind a cause and getting plans implemented, workflow evaluations. And so my goal is to make your day easier. All right. And we I do believe we can make most clinics easier. Maybe it's 2%, maybe it's 20%. But imagine making your day 10 to 20% easier. That's a huge win. All right. Because that's every day. And so I do workflow evaluations for clinic where I come in person and spend a day with your team. And we go through the whole process. We see it from all angles. those are the big ones. I do offer strategy as well. So, working with teams of like, we don't know what our five year plan is or what we're potentially capable of. Can you help supply some opportunities or. Options. We can do that too. And so, that's kind of what I do. and I structure it differently for it's all tailored. And because of what I said at the beginning, it's, you know, based on your resources, based on what you have available to you and, where you want to go.

Glenn** ((00:53:44)) - -  So.

Brandon** ((00:53:46)) - -  Very cool. Well, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate you sharing all these insights. And again, everybody go check out Doctor Robinson's website and, we'll link it in the show notes to you if you want to go there and, and click on the link, you'll be able to get there and check out all of the services he does. All right. Thanks so much.

Glenn** ((00:54:06)) - -  Yeah. Thank you so much. It was great. Enjoy our time together. So. All right.

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Brandon Breshears
Digital Marketer & Podcaster
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