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S1 E11 Digital Marketing & Strategy For Veterinary Practices With DVMElite

Updated: Jan 13


Sheri Vandermause from dvmelite.com & Melissa from conciergeelite.com discusses her work as an engagement specialist at DVMElite. She worked as a company client for five years and joined in 2016. She outlines how DVMElite helps practitioners focus on their growth and work-life balance. Sheri also discusses the importance of digital marketing and strategy for veterinary practices.

The episode discusses how DVMelite helped a doctor regain balance by providing support and resources such as account managers and mastermind groups. Sheri also talks about Covid and how it accelerated the need for marketing and remote support for veterinary care.

They discuss how the practice owners benefit from their community of practice partners. They discuss how being part of a community allows practitioners to share experiences and strategies, which helps them to avoid making mistakes and to grow their businesses. They also mention that there is no charge for consultations with DVMelite's consultants and that they are willing to work with practitioners who are a good match for each other.

Transcript

00:08 Melissa Today's podcast is brought to you by Concierge Elite.

00:11 Melissa Concierge Elite provides dedicated remote, front desk staff and virtual assistants to your office. We specialize in finding your office the perfect and right fit for your office and your office only full or part time. Your remote team member is just us. That yours. We do all the hiring, the recruiting and training. Yes, the training. It's one of the things that makes us unique as we train your dedicated remote team member in your systems and software. Hi, I'm Melissa Brown, your host of Understaffed Today. I have with me Sherry VanderMass. And she is from DVM elite. I'm excited to have her with us as she brings over 30 years of experience in the business field. Of course, but prior to her role with DVM Elite, she worked with her husband who was a DVM practice owner, and they were clients of DVM Elite. This is really where she gained passion for the products and services that DVM Elite offers.

01:03 Melissa She really found like they have so much value from being a part of that community of independent practice owners, along with the expertise and simplicity of having constant digital presence and really opened her eyes to the way that the world and the way that business is working nowadays.

01:21 Melissa She's going to talk about all of.

01:22 Melissa That, but prior to that, she owned a business and was a partner in the real estate and a consulting firm. She was an awesome executive with an It service franchise for eleven years. So I'm really excited to welcome Sherry. Welcome Sherry. Thanks so much for joining us today.

01:37 Sheri Thank you so much for having me. I'm really happy to be here today. I appreciate it.

01:42 Melissa Yes, thank you so much. DVM Elite is one of our partners and so we're glad to finally have somebody on the podcast to represent you. Sherry, will you just tell me more about yourself, tell our listeners, because I did have your bio there in the beginning, but I'd really like to have them learn more about what you do at DVM Elite.

02:01 Sheri Well, thank you. I would love to tell you. Yes, I think you probably already know, I worked in a practice for five years as a client of DVM Elite, and then circumstances changed and there was an opportunity. I joined DVM elite as engagement specialist. I deal with when somebody new is coming into the program, I'm the person that kind of gets them involved and gets them set up with all of their stuff so they can move forward quickly. I also do some member communications and oversee kind of how our members are progressing along in the program. Right.

02:39 Melissa

I think you bring a unique perspective because what our listeners will be able to hear is kind of that perspective of being in the practice, but also the importance of working on the practice and doing things like building your business. We'll kind of talk about that and some of the solutions that DVM Elite offers.

02:56 Sheri Excellent.

02:57 Melissa

One of the big things that you mentioned even in your bio was the work life balance. Tell me how DVM Elite can provide that solution.

03:07 Sheri Well, being an independent practice owner is a challenging job, and especially for our medical professionals because they went to school to learn how to give the best service and the care, but they don't talk about PNLs or growth strategies in vet school. What we found is a lot of our practitioners are out there trying to have their own business, serve their communities, serve their patients and clients, and offer the very best care. Kind of on the side, you also have to run the business. For us, that was just a huge challenge. Learning Google Ads or whatever was not my forte, nor my husband's. We found that when we found GVM Elite, it really resolved so many things so that we could focus on client service, client development, care, standards of care, improving our staff performance and our workflow. There were so many things that were taken not off our plate, because you never as a business owner, you never stop looking at things and wondering about things.

04:17 Sheri Just having that support and knowing that weren't going it alone and really being able to work with the professionals at DBM Elite who are marketing people, there are strategy people, there are people that can help us with implementation of systems and processes. It was really like we became part of a bigger group, which so empowered us and it allowed us to focus on the things that we could do in front of us, client relationships, et cetera.

04:49 Melissa

Yeah, exactly. Really focused in on your growth, right?

04:52 Sheri Absolutely. Having a plan and a strategy and knowing that we just had to execute it, but also knowing that someone had your back if you had a question, if you weren't certain of something, there was always somebody there. That was such a huge relief for us.

05:07 Melissa

Right, and you talk about that. DVM Elite really are dedicated growth specialists. Talk about what they do in that aspect.

05:15 Sheri Well, we focus on the things so that the practice owners don't have to. We focus on things like their digital presence and even review management, monthly newsletters and blogs. We take all of that and make sure that it's all put into place. We like to call it the flywheel. The digital marketing is a huge element of the program that is done for you now. You still have approval and obviously you get to say what your promo is or whatever's going on. Knowing that somebody has a plan and they're going to take a step by step through it and then we execute our part locally. But that was a huge element. It's not just the digital marketing. There's the strategy, how to work more efficiently, how to make sure your team is fully utilized and appreciated, and team building, and all kinds of other support that as a single practice owner, or even if you have two veterinarians, you can't sit and think of a strategy and how to execute it.

06:16 Sheri Having via Malik gave us a lot of work life balance because we could stop at the end of the day, we had our plans in place and go out to dinner once in a while. This was before COVID obviously, but we could do things and focus on having a life in addition to having a business. Because the challenge for us was we didn't always run the business ran us.

06:43 Melissa

Yeah, exactly.

06:45 Sheri Malik gave us an opening to have, oh, we can go see the Grandkids on the weekend, or we can go on a little weekend trip. Allowed us to gain back that balance.

06:58 Melissa

Yeah. I was speaking to a practice owner yesterday, actually, and he says, how do when you need help? How do when to hire somebody? When's the right time? I said, when you spend longer working in your business than on your business, that's when when you're so overwhelmed with all the administrative tasks that you can't actually build it. I said, that's when you know that you've moved to another stage and it's time to hire somebody, it's time to get some help. I think that's exactly what you're saying right now, is that when you're so busy doing all those things that a doctor can't doctor, you have become to the point where your balance is wrong. When you become so much involved in the business that you're doctoring during the day and then staying after doing Admin, and then you have no time for family again, it's about putting things in perspective.

07:47 Melissa

I think COVID did that for us, too. It really put things in perspective and learned that now more than ever, work life balance is a must. Not maybe not a one day, but it's a must.

08:01 Sheri Absolutely. It's funny though, for our industry, COVID accelerated the need for veterinary care. So it was really challenging. DVM Elite helped us figure out how to do it. Not just the professionals at DBM Elite, but our community of other practitioners. We worked together, we shared ideas, and so were able to fast, quickly, put into place new protocols, because you had to change your way of doing business overnight, basically. I agree.

08:36 Melissa

I see that so much, even through Concierge Elite, how businesses had to adjust, how they could be efficient, their protocols, their procedures, how are they doing things, how are they bringing people in? Now we're even seeing another shift again, kind of post COVID moving out of that curbside and things like that, moving into a lot of even televisits are becoming very popular again. All of those things that efficiencies, how can we be most efficient with what we've got? How do we capitalize on the business coming in the door?

09:10 Sheri I have to say that I've learned so much over the last few years because I was in the old school mindset that everything had to be done personally, that we couldn't have a remote person answering the phone. I mean, that to me seemed impossible. I guess we have COVID to think partially, but also that and being part of DVM League did also open our minds because we didn't realize that we thought we knew how things were supposed to be done. All of a sudden there were all these ideas and people who were implementing them successfully that showed us that were closed minded. We thought were just doing great. We were overwhelmed. So clearly weren't doing great. I mean, the thought to me of a remote front desk, if you will, a receptionist or a scheduler, sounded preposterous when I was first heard of it. I'm like, that's not going to help us.

10:03 Sheri Learning that there can be alternative ways to approach your business that are still high end client service, that are still high in practice, medical provision, whatever, really did open up our eyes to a whole new way of doing business. We have GDM lead to thank for that. And concierge.

10:24 Melissa

I think it's so important. I think that's a huge point you and I talked about before is that really we're having to rethink the way business is done. That's a lot of really why I have people on this podcast is for other people to hear exactly what you said is maybe I was closed minded. Maybe I didn't think about the possibilities. Maybe I didn't explore the idea of everything that can be done, not within my four walls, but outside of that, to grow my business in ways. I think DVM elite Melissa B conciergeelite both do that so well. They really help to open the minds. Now I know that DVM elite has success managers. Can you talk about how they offer support?

11:07 Sheri Absolutely. This was one of my favorite elements of the program. We call them account managers or practice growth specialists. But they are your rock. If you're an independent owner like I was, I knew that at any moment my person was her name was Monica and we had monthly calls. If something needed to be done, for example, during COVID or after well, post COVID is still semi, but I can make one call or send one email and say I need this and this changed. I need the website to say this, my Facebook page to say that, my Google, my business page to say this, announcement to go to the clients that were going to be closed on such and such afternoon for training or whatever. It was one email and it was all done for me and that was such a relief. Of course they would hold me accountable to what I said I wanted to do for the month.

12:06 Sheri So it was an accountability partner. It was almost like another staff member is how I looked at it.

12:14 Melissa

Yeah, I think that's what's special about DVM elite. I've seen other businesses that may try to duplicate what DVM Elite is doing, but not in a special way that they have formed relationships with each of their practice owners. They really are, like you said, I hear time and time again, they really are the rock. They really are that person that they can go to not only talk business, but talk personal. I've heard so many stories over the years, but the personal stories of the accomplishments and having babies and having families and getting to go on vacation for the first time in a long time, all of those different things because they finally have that work life balancer. They finally have somebody kind of a sounding board, a strategic partner to really walk them through their business.

12:57 Sheri Absolutely. And it's invaluable. You just can't put a value on getting your life back and still having your successful business and still growing and still expanding and still taking on new things, but to also have that peace of mind, and I think that's probably the biggest thing I got from DVM Elite, which is why I'm here, because I'm like, everybody deserves this. Everybody should have that person or company behind you that just allows you to have some peace of mind at the end of the day over the weekend that you don't have to panic.

13:31 Melissa

Not only do you get that strategic partner, so you get that account manager, but there are also some other groups, right? The mastermind group. I know that they have some pods that you can be a part of.

13:43 Sheri Absolutely. That was huge for us because the pods, we call it the practice of dreams. It's a mastermind group and you're in a group with maybe ten to twelve other veterinarians around the country. You're not talking to your next door neighbor who's your competitor sometimes. Just hearing how people implemented things in their practices, every practice is different. It isn't a cookie cutter approach, but listening to other people talk about what worked well or what didn't work well helped us to see, oh okay, we need to think about that. Being able to share what we had done that had worked really well to help others. And so that community is so invaluable. We have twice a year we have summits where sometimes they're online and sometimes they're in person. Getting to interact with other practice owners and practice managers and just really having that strategy partner.

14:41 Sheri Dr. Warren does a monthly call about strategy in the industry and he does all this research and is expert at that. You have this huge community behind you and when you have a price increase that didn't go well or something that happened, the other thing that's the valuable thing is you don't have to make the mistakes yourself. You can learn from other people, oops, this didn't work for us, and be aware of this. So again, that's a huge element. Again, priceless that just gave us that feeling like, hey, we've got a strong community behind us and they want us to succeed and we want them to succeed. And somebody said, I think Dr. Warren Rising Tide elevates all votes. I don't know if I said that correctly, but that was true. It was being part of the community and part of all of this that supported our boat to rise, so to speak, along with everybody else was in the program.

15:40 Melissa

Knowing that you're not going at it alone. I know you've said that, but really in the difficult times, in the time of COVID I know those groups really soared because people knew that they weren't alone. Even if we go through a recession, I know that some people definitely believe that it's time to recession proof your business.

15:58 Sheri Absolutely.

15:59 Melissa

Having that valuable group of people to talk with. What do you think about this idea? What do you think about us implementing this, looking at other options and solutions. I know Concierge Elite gets brought up a lot of times because again, like you said, I would have thought remote was totally not even a thing until it got brought up and people are using it and implementing it and they're saying, yes, this is great. Talking about software, hey, I love this software, I don't like this one. Looking at all those different things and talking about and being able to be free. I know that those groups are very safe. I know that the DVM Elite has spent quite a bit of time making sure they are safe groups where people can talk openly and honestly.

16:41 Sheri Absolutely. I must say that now the idea of having a remote front desk or receptionist or even person to assist you with some data entry and all the things that you guys offer, it's so like, why did I resist this at first? Because it makes so much sense. Actually the world is evolving to remote working so much and COVID definitely drove that. We're finding out that we don't have to sit inside the building to still be growing and developing and learning and moving things forward. I think the whole Concierge thing is genius. I understand it now and I can't believe that I sat in there and answered those phones all the time by myself. Right?

17:26 Melissa

Exactly. We appreciate DVM Elite for helping us grow that and definitely talk about it in those groups and allowing their clients to take it on and take it full for so. For sure. Now, how do we get in touch with someone at DVM Elite if we're interested in looking at getting a growth specialist?

17:48 Sheri Okay, well, that's a great question. We have a website, DVM Elite.com, that we would love you to go look at. There's veterinarians talking about how we help their businesses. There are all kinds of information there, and you can simply click that. I'm interested in more information, and one of us will call you to schedule an appointment so we can talk to you about your business, get to understand it. There's no charge for a consult. We have consultants that will talk to you, and we'll just look together to see if that's a good match because it's important that we are a match for each other. But again, I think people deserve this. Independent practice owners deserve this. I've told people that, and they look at me crazy. We don't take it like a transactional relationship. Nor I know. Do you right. These are our partners that we're here to help succeed, and our success is theirs and theirs is ours.

18:45 Melissa I absolutely couldn't have said it better myself. Make sure to go check out DVM Elite.com and mention the podcast. I know that we have a great partner discount if you're looking at subscribing to their services and or concierge elites who sponsors this podcast. Thank you so much, Sherry, for being a part of our podcast today on Understaff, sharing your perspective in house, and then also now in your new role with DVM Elite and all the special things that they have to offer. We appreciate you being with us.

19:13 Sheri Oh, thank you so much. It was my pleasure. Thanks. Bye.

19:16 Melissa Bye.

19:16 Melissa Make sure to subscribe and like our podcast. If you'd like more information on today's topic or any other product or service featured on this, make sure to drop us a line and say hi or visit anytime. Melissa b conciergeelite.com you.