A while ago I spoke at a terrific conference run by the Pharmacy Guild, attended by a select group of pharmacists, and as the plane climbed through the skies on my way back, I reflected on the strong reaction some of the delegates had to selling and being sold to.
In conversation, all of those pharmacists claimed to be in favour of increasing their sales- as they should be. Community pharmacy continues to take a hammering right now: PBS reforms, price disclosures, discounters and the threat of supermarkets getting in on the act. Not to mention the apprehension and anxiety around the remuneration review.
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It’s an uncomfortable time to be a pharmacist and especially a pharmacy owner.
The major way to offset the $90,000+ drop in turnover from the dispensary is to increase sales of front of shop products and provision of professional services.
We all know that.
When I talk to pharmacy owners, they tell me they want their staff to sell more, to be proactive with customers (whilst showing integrity of course) and they’re looking for ways to motivate them.
But nothing’s changing for many of these pharmacy owners. It’s not working for them and here’s why.
They’re saying the words but they’re not really committed in their hearts to them.
They are mortally offended when someone offers them value through an opportunity (in other words, they decide they’re being “sold to”). Oh, the horror! Someone is suggesting they do something that could, at a later date, lead to money changing hands. Given that would only occur if they are receiving value for their investment, that would be a problem because…..?
The extension of that is that they’re actually not congruent with selling in their pharmacy. They still don’t really believe that selling is just adding value to customers – provided you understand their needs.
It’s about building rapport, relationships, understanding and trust not limiting staff conversations to ‘do you want fries with that?’
The pharmacists whose businesses are thriving right now grasp that selling with integrity helps you improve customers’ lives and health. Those that don’t ‘get it’ can’t get their staff to sell and they never will.
The fish rots from the head down.
Until pharmacy owners get their head in the game, their turnover and profitability will continue to spiral down.
You have a choice.
Watch your pharmacy assistants spend hours chatting aimlessly to customers and treating your pharmacy as a social gathering place OR create a culture where staff are enthusiastic about asking some purposeful, pertinent questions to uncover your customers’ needs and wants so you can provide solutions in amongst the chat.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
You can still provide a friendly, caring atmosphere but for your pharmacy’s survival and your staff’s job security you need to remove the cringe around the idea of selling and help your staff to be more focused on selling (and not just talking) not just for the sake of your business viability but also your customers’ well being.
Selling = Adding Value.
I hate to be brutal but it comes down to this: Adapt or die.
If you’re keen to adapt and be successful in this new world order then then go to the link below for some great tips to help increase the sales in and profitability of your pharmacy. Click here for your free report “The 7 Strategies PROVEN To Increase Revenue In Your Pharmacy Now” and download NOW.