Embracing the Art of Sales in Veterinary Medicine: A Win-Win Approach

Posted by Brett Bingham DVM on Thu, 02/08/2024 - 3:16pm
veterinarian selling to client

The notion of sales within the veterinary field might seem incongruous to many practitioners initially. However, examining various perspectives on sales reveals its nuanced nature within this profession. Renowned sales professionals like Zig Ziglar, Dave Ramsey, and the authors of "Go-Givers Sell More" provide insights that highlight a meaningful connection between veterinary practice and the art of sales.

Defining Sales

Sales, traditionally defined as the exchange of a product, commodity, or service for money, takes on a more profound meaning when viewed through the lens of those who excel in the field. Zig Ziglar emphasizes the transformative power of helping others achieve their desires, while Dave Ramsey, Daniel Lapin, and Stephen R. Covey underscore the importance of creating win-win situations. The authors of "Go-Givers Sell More" assert that sales are not about convincing people to buy unnecessary items but identifying and fulfilling genuine needs and desires. Drawing on these insights, it becomes evident that veterinarians, too, are in sales. A novel definition for sales in veterinary medicine could be expressed as follows: "We serve pets and people by providing education and medical/surgical care. In exchange, they give us money, and sometimes, cookies."


Accepting that veterinary practice involves sales is the first step towards mastering this skill. Despite the multitude of roles veterinarians play – from teachers to surgeons – being a salesperson is a crucial aspect. Success in veterinary medicine and personal interactions hinges on the ability to solve people's problems, making sales an integral part of the profession.

The Solution

Veterinarians might question how they can learn sales techniques. The answer lies in the Exam Room Flow Model, where every step contributes to effective salesmanship. We develop rapport through the Greeting Process. We identify wants and needs through the Medical Interview and the Physical Exam. We educate clients on the possibilities in Client Education, then we outline options to solve their problems, wants, or needs with collaborative planning. When clients are well-informed, the decision-making process becomes seamless, and they feel served rather than sold to.

We just don’t like to call it the dirty word of “sales”. So, instead of calling it sales, to make us feel better, let’s call it something else like service. But the concept of sales in veterinary medicine is indisputable; we are in the profession of sales. If we really want to serve our patients and clients, then we must focus on getting good at it. We do that by following the receipt outlined in The Exam Room Flow Model.

Reframing the Perspective

To readdress the question, "Are you a salesman?" veterinarians must redefine their role. Combining insights from Ziglar, Ramsey, and the authors of "Go-Givers Sell More," a simplified definition of sales in veterinary medicine emerges: "We serve people and pets by providing education and medical/surgical care. In exchange for that, they give us money, and sometimes, cookies."

Veterinarians are in Sales

In conclusion, veterinarians are, indeed, in sales. Embracing this reality and adopting a win-win mindset can elevate the profession. By integrating the principles of renowned sales professionals and applying them within the Exam Room Flow Model, veterinarians can master the art of sales and, ultimately, provide better service to their clients and patients.

Dr. Brett Bingham, DVM

Dr. Brett Bingham, DVM


In the early years of my veterinary practice, I learned the hard way that unintended bad communication can derail your best intentions. Through trial and error, I developed a communication course for myself and my veterinary team to develop confidence and success in the exam room. You can learn these powerful principles too! When great communication practices are put in place AND practiced regularly, you will see consistent growth, happier clients, and better job satisfaction.

Allow me to teach you the tools I’ve learned so that your practice can grow too.

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