"The Successful Owner is The One Who Discovers New Solutions Before Big Pharma & The Insurance Companies Destroy it." -- The Pharmacy Sage
Differentiation is the essence of strategy and the prime source of competitive advantage. You earn money not only by filling regular scripts for your patients, but also by being different from your competitors. The more ways you differentiate yourself, the greater your pulling power, as long as those differences are beneficial to current and future patients.
In studying pharmacy owners whom I’ve helped attain a high level of performance over many years, I found that more than 80% of them easily understood differentiation to be the centerpiece of their strategy. Over the long run, a pharmacy’s strategic differentiation and execution matter far more to its performance than the core concept of filling prescriptions. That differentiation is predicated on another strategic superiority: information.
What really matters to your patients is how you can provide them with solutions to their health problems that they simply can’t get elsewhere. If you can help someone with arthritis find a topical analgesic that blocks pain, you’ll become a hero to that individual. And, if you can help patients with asthma better control their symptoms, you’ll stand alone in your community.
You need to inform not only your growing staff on whatever they need to know, but also your patients on how they can feel better, live longer, and become more energetic. Ways to provide this information include handing patients’ printed reports on specific chronic disease states and engaging patients in meaningful conversations to solve particular maladies through the suggestion of specific supplements and solutions.
One of the best ways to start that dialogue is to ask a question. For instance, if someone is taking a statin, you could ask, “What did your prescriber tell you about potential side effects?” and then point out the importance of CoQ10 supplementation.
You’re in the Information Business
You have important information for those with chronic diseases, but how well do they know your pharmacy.
Even if you’re the most knowledgeable pharmacist, becoming known for your expertise is extremely challenging in today’s market. If you don’t, however, it can destroy your future and the legacy you may want to leave. That’s why marketing must be part of your total information system.
Every pharmacy has something that differentiates itself from the competition. Eventually, everything about your pharmacy should be different and superior, including its products, services, and even appearance. Everything you do should emphasize what’s different about your pharmacy, and that includes your marketing.
Advertising and marketing to your prospects is the only way they’ll know you’re concerned with helping them solve their most persistent health problems. Anything about your pharmacy should be secondary, except as it relates to benefits for them.
We happen to live in an age when information is easy to obtain. Those who grasp this principle understand that it’s easier than ever before to become known for top-notch information. It should be basic and fundamental to everything that you do in your pharmacy. When you use it in conjunction with the right business model, it becomes a currency that can help make you wealthy.
I consider it currency because it’s what patients seek from you the most. Products are one thing, but patients want information on why they require a particular product, what it will do for them, and how it will perform over what period of time. Even a patient’s prescriber may want more information about the finite details of a certain compounded drug.
Those are some ways you can matter more to your community, but they don’t have to stop there. Becoming a keen student of alternative therapies can be another pathway to satisfying your patients’ needs while putting more money into your bank account.
For more information get our FREE report “The Very Savvy Pharmacy Owners Marketing Handbook— How to Attract Hoards of New Patients and Get Your Existing Ones to Return More Often and Spend More Money.”