"The Successful Pharmacy Owner is The One Who Discovers New Solutions Before Big Pharma & The Insurance Companies Destroy it." -- The Pharmacy Sage
Goals are important. Goals drive performance.
However, major goals need to be broken down into smaller ones. Likewise, your monthly goals should be broken down by week, and then even by day. Use something called “the Laser Sharp Focused Action Approach.” It’s the 80/20 rule applied to the extreme. Ask yourself daily: “what is the ONE thing on my list, that if accomplished, would make everything else on my list easier or unimportant?” Then get busy making it happen.
Be consistent on a daily basis. Use this approach day-in and day-out, and you will automatically be successful.
Never Accept Average
And make certain you’re always following your passion.
Also, to accomplish great things, never accept “average.” Those who accept average results remain average, and you’ve seen exactly what average results look like today. Totally unacceptable!
Each day make certain that you have time to talk to patients. Talking to patients can be your key to creating many more sales, especially if you stock the right natural medicines.
Talking to patients means asking them questions, discovering their aches and pains, and then making recommendations about how they can feel better, live longer, and enjoy those extra years of their lives.
Do You Have the Right Business Model?
All of this may lead you to question your business model. Are you simply filling prescriptions, or are you in the information business, influencing patients, which is where you should be in the 21st century.
Providing the correct information about solutions to people’s chronic diseases is definitely something the medical fraternity has not been adequately trained to do. Therefore, you should step in, fill the void.
When you do so, you begin to differentiate your pharmacy. And when patients notice that you stock a bigger selection of natural meds and better brands, you definitely differentiate yourself in their eyes. You truly MATTER to them.
What Else Can You Do?
How to Increase Your Gross Profit Margins, Guaranteed
Above and beyond providing more and better solutions to your patients for most of their chronic diseases you can also improve your margins for that huge portion of your business that is devoted to filling traditional scripts. How? By getting together with The Pharmacy Sage, who can help connect you with new and better proprietary software, you will increase your gross profit by 3% to 8%, guaranteed.
#1. Market to Your Existing Patients
Keep in touch with your own patients. It is seven times easier and seven times less expensive to get your patients to spend an additional dollar than it is to get new customers to do the same. That’s significant. Determine who are your top 1% of patients are. Those are the 1% who contribute as much as 95% to your profits. Collectively that small number may contribute $50,000-$150,000 additional to your high margin sales if only you will emplace them. Market to them and market more frequently than you do to any other group of patients. These are the people with money and willing to spend that money with you for the benefit of their health and the health of their families.
Be certain to capture the name, address, phone number and especially e-mail address of every person who makes a first time purchase of a specific nutraceutical. Organize them by disease state so that you can mass e-mail or mass mail to them. If you’re not collecting data on every customer who buys something from you, you are missing out on something that may be the biggest opportunity available to you. This database becomes your most valuable asset— one that never appears in your accountant’s reports.
Mail a highly informative and educational newsletter monthly to the database of names that you have collected. Be sure to include other databases obtained from health fairs, seminars, as well as people you can get to sign up for the newsletter who are picking up prescriptions.
Market to this database at least once monthly. Use your newsletter to get them to return more often and purchase more products which are valuable to their health. Use email blasts to segmented groups of database customers based on their disease states or maladies.
Remember to remain HIPAA-compliant, you must have a separate database.
#2. WOW Your Patients
You're setting the stage for a great alignment between your patients and your pharmacy. Show each patient how much you really care. This is your opportunity to display and make evident just how friendly your pharmacy really is. Caring and friendliness are two captivating characteristics that create customers-for-life.
You’re also setting the stage for a word-of-mouth advertising campaign which you will be initiating and one, over which you will have much more control.
It all starts with a simple phone call. A phone call to people making their first purchase of something that is valuable to their health. Perhaps you do this for the benefit of new patients bringing their script to you. But, more importantly, you should be doing this for people who are buying natural meds, especially if you have either marketed to them in the media or recommended the product personally. Call the individual, ask how the product is doing for them and make certain they are adhering to protocol (how they are using it). The product that the customer purchased will sort-of dictate the timing for your follow-up phone call.
For instance, if the product can produce a noticeable response for a patient in a short period of time, then the follow-up phone call will be made at the end of 3-5 days. For other products that do not produce any significant measurable results, but rather protect the health of the individual in the long run, the phone call will be made later in the month. Products such as CO-Q10, or any immune system builder, even your recommended vitamin mineral combination would fall into this category.
For your patients who have had a new compounded prescriptions filled; call these patients in two-to-three days to follow up on how things are going, such as: Any problems or side-effects from the medicine or other questions they might have. Also use this opportunity to make certain that patient is using medication exactly as prescribed.
#3. Guarantee Your Way to Success
This tactic can increase your sales of any natural medicine product by as much as 40% when you teach it to your staff members. It’s all about taking the risk off the shoulders of your patients— especially if it’s something they did not specifically come in to buy. Thus, when you make a suggestion, the patient might hesitate at first.
On the other hand, if at the end of your presentation you mention (and you teach your staff) “take this home and use it with the full understanding that you have my 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not totally satisfied with the results that you get by the end of 30 days, (or 60 days if so desired, for some products) then please do bring back the empty tube/bottle and we’ll cheerfully refund your full purchase price.”
Once your people make this statement, your patient feels much more relaxed, much more willing to make the purchase, because the onus is not on her to bear the burden if she’s not satisfied. You have assumed the risk of her satisfaction. In fact, the entire process is called “risk reversal.”
#4. Creatively Arrange Your Products
Organize nutraceutical displays by disease state. Arrange disease states alphabetically left to right (e.g. allergies, arthritis, asthma, etc.). Also include a book or two as a focal point for each disease state. Have it standing upright on the shelf.
When you make shopping easier for your patients they will spend more money and do so more quickly (studies show 15% increase when you do this).
Your staff members will also find it much easier to sell products because they have all of the products in one place to help customers find solutions to their maladies and discomforts.
Don’t be afraid to duplicate certain items in various displays (e.g. EFA’s, Multivitamins/Minerals, etc.)
#5. Turn Selling Into an Art Form
At the pharmacy bench, turn flora-destroying antibiotics into an opportunity to sell probiotics. Consider it your obligation to inform and educate your patients on both the short-term as well as the long-term side effects of taking antibiotics without replenishing flora. This one tactic can add an additional $800 – $1200 per week, by the end of just six weeks.
Approach statin drug patients in the same fashion with CoQ10 which is utterly essential to prevent other types of heart attacks resulting from the destruction of CoQ10 by the statins. Again, keep in mind, it is your duty and your responsibility to get your statin drug patients to leave the store with CoQ10 to help them maintain their good health.
Provide consistent and knowledgeable counseling for drug/vitamin/mineral/nutrition depletion. Turns prescription patients into more profitable ones. This one tactic can build not only sales and profits but also a tremendous reputation for you. Remember, doctors don’t know the subject and chain store pharmacists neither know nor care. You will be all alone in providing this highly knowledgeable information that is so vital to your patients’ good health.
Commence a similar process at front-end for arthritis and allergy suffers— flu sufferers in season, too. Provide friendly greeting— develop front-end service and add-on sales. Devote each month to a different topic— a different disease state. You can easily commence the first month with arthritis. Therefore your question of the month can well be “Mrs. Jones, tell me is there anyone in your entire family who suffers from arthritis?”
#6. Never Miss An Opportunity to Increase Your Marketing
Use Grass Root Marketing Strategies. That is, marketing that costs you nothing or very little. For example:
Include marketing material in every bag that leaves your store. It could be as simple as a copy of an advertisement you recently ran, a bag clipper, even a special report or newsletter. If you are shipping the product to a neighboring town, include as much information as you can. You increase your marketing and its reach, thereby increasing the possibility of additional sales and profits.
Cross market (coupon) with local stores, especially those in your strip mall or adjacent retail locations, i.e., dry cleaners, burger joints, pizza parlors, diners, etc.— particularly ones that appeal to more upscale audiences. A local delicatessen is a good choice. Get them to offer 20% off natural medicine products, showing that the other business has it’s name on the certificate as the “supposed” donor.
Call host of talk radio show/station to find out what is the biggest malady/affliction each one has. Then send the natural medicines as a free gift to that individual to try. Should produce some very good free publicity to a wide listening audience.
Differentiate yourself by sharing your expertise. More than anything else people seek your expertise in integrative medicine.
#7. Develop Fee-for-Services
This can become one of the most profitable new income streams you could possibly create. In essence, you can add a thousand dollars of pure profit each week and help create more sales of nutraceuticals to more and more patients who will be constantly returning to purchase the nutraceuticals and compounds.
The strategy is to offer a free 15 minute consultation. If you cannot complete the consultation in 15 minutes and make the proper suggestions, then indicate to the patient that she needs a lengthier consultation for which you identify your fee schedule. You should be charging at least $120 an hour for your consultations. If you have already been charging that amount, and are successful, then raise your fees to $150. Remember, you’re worth it.
#8. Drive More People to Your High Profit Products & Services with Educational Seminars
In this case, I recommend that you run educational seminars. When properly conducted you will see increased sales in natural meds, as well as compounding.
First, choose a topic. Your first topic should be HRT— that’s the most popular topic, and usually the one that draws the most attendees. It may also be the topic about which you have the greatest fund of information.
Next, outline your subject material. Plan on having at least 45 minutes to an hour for your presentation, and 15 minutes of questions and answers. Your outline should focus on, or at least include, the benefits as seen from the viewpoint of the patient— for instance, how might patients benefit from bio-identical HRT?
For each seminar, I recommend running two ads. If the event is to be held on a Tuesday, I suggest running the ad on the Thursday and Monday before the event.
#9. Creatively Get Your Vendors to Help Defray the Cost of Your Advertising
The very best concept for advertising support I have discovered is for you to have the manufacturer provide you with FREE product. When you advertise, you have an all-win situation.
#10. Cross Marketing
Use host/referral marketing with another business in your area. Arrange for the other business owner to send his customer base a powerful message about your knowledge and expertise and the many ways in which you help people to build their health and retain that good health. Accomplish this joint venture in exchange for your doing the same, or something else, for this business partner. This is one of the most powerful— and yet seldom used— marketing techniques that exists.
At the very least, leave highly informative and educational brochures—even reports—in the offices of chiropractors, dentists, practitioners of internal medicine. Be certain to customize your brochures for each specialty.
#11. Become the Recognized Authority
Get your local newspaper to publish authoritatively researched and written health-related articles. (You make the arrangements, we write the articles for you.)
Become noted as an authority in your field, especially for those particular areas of interest in which you can provide expertise for prospective patients. Be certain they publish the credits at the end of the article pertaining to your being the authoritative source of that information. Your pharmacy name and phone number can be listed for people to call and obtain additional information.
Once the newspaper publishes one of your articles, it will be easy for you to get them to publish more of the same. Just phone and make arrangements.
#12. Obtain Free Publicity
Get interviewed on radio or television. Tie into a local health related program or health related segment of a television broadcast or talk radio. Make arrangements to present a specific topic periodically that can range anywhere from two minutes (on a news broadcast) to ten minutes on a radio talk show. A few good topics are Arthritis, Allergies, and Osteoporosis.
Once again you will be presenting yourself as the expert. Accordingly, you will commence attracting many new patients. You can also talk on subjects about which you have a substantial fund of knowledge and which will result in having people calling you at your pharmacy.
#13. Extend Your Marketing Reach
Arrange speaking engagements and lectures with local organizations and societies— even presentations in local high schools or college classrooms.
Also, consider those communities adjacent to your own. Are they well covered by your newspaper or do they have their own newspapers? Would extending your advertising into other towns or cities significantly increase the flow of patients for your nutraceuticals and your compounding?
Further extend your outreach by developing a good world-class website with copy that actually sells products— to a nationwide audience.
If you want to have a future, you better plan it now. That’s what entrepreneurs do. Dealing with insurance companies today is a rat race.
This concept was first espoused by the 4th century Greek physician Hippocrates. Today, it is part of the Hippocratic oath.
However, is that where it should end?
My answer is: NO. And, that’s my admonition to pharmacy leaders. Far too often, you do create harm— even if inadvertently. How so? By…
The above are but two of the “The 10 Commandments of Wealth for Independent Pharmacy Owners.” To discover complete explanations for the above two, as well as the other five, send for our free report “The 10 Commandments of Wealth for Independent Pharmacy Owners.” In that report, you will also learn about the ways you may be inadvertently preventing your pharmacy from achieving your dreams.
Additionally, what are your core strengths? Are they in areas needed to build your pharmacy business bigger and make it significantly more profitable, adding abundant cash flow dollars to your bank account? For instance:
“The 10 Commandments of Wealth for Independent Pharmacy Owners” will give you answers you've never had before. Additionally, they will help you to make sure that you are not doing harm to your pharmacy’s cash flow and profitability— harm that you, and you alone, can prevent.
So, do get your copy of “The 10 Commandments of Wealth for Independent Pharmacy Owners” NOW.
5/16/2017 3 Comments
Over 380 Cases Prove It
Many pharmacists struggle. A select group have cracked the code for success—enormous success in the Independent Pharmacy World.
Let me tell you the stories of two.
When I first met Craig by phone, he was still struggling with a traditional pharmacy that was commencing to spiral downwards in terms of cash flow and profitability. He told me he would soon sell it and move to another state to create his dream pharmacy.
About 18 months later he did indeed call me. We discussed what he had done: establish a compounding and natural med pharmacy only it was 6 months old. And he was struggling to get it off the ground.
He arranged to bring me aboard with the understanding that he would achieve a certain sales goal in six months. At that time his only assistant was his wife.
We achieved the agreed goal; it was accomplished in just four months. And, within a year he saw his sales quadruple. He later moved to a bigger and better location, and a couple of years later started to enjoy a rather permanent vacation. By that time his pharmacy had grown to 4 pharmacists, 12 compounding techs, and several other individuals to round out the staff.
Jake, on the other hand, had been in the independent pharmacy business for about 12 years. While making a reasonable living, he was nevertheless struggling on a daily basis to find out what worked & what didn’t. Most of his scripts were traditional, some were compounds. His front end was natural meds amidst some of the typical OTC products. He had one assistant and a bookkeeper, whom he had just severed from his payroll. After a brief discussion, he agreed to rehire her.
In the course of a few months, I enabled him to partner with another compounding pharmacist who had a large veterinary following.
His business immediately boomed. With margins exceeding 50%, the pharmacy thrived to the extent it had to move to larger quarters, which he established on a major highway. It didn’t take long for the practice to grow to 4 pharmacists, 8 techs and a few other support staff. Several years later the partners dumped their traditional scripts, recognizing that such low profit income was business they did not want.
What the Two Pharmacies Had in Common
Both pharmacies started in medical arts buildings. Each in only about 1,200 sq. ft. After achieving a certain amount of success with my “strategic marketing,” each moved to a high traffic location. For both, business boomed. One started with the ideal business model; the other embraced it after a little trial and error. Each recognized that the business model made all the difference in the world—both in cash flow and profitability.
For reasons of confidentiality I cannot reveal the true names of the individuals or amount of money they have been taking home year after year. By this time, I believe you can see it is huge. Many others have followed in their footsteps; however, these two are perhaps the most memorable.
Achieving this level of success and the lifestyle that accompanies it is a matter of making choices. Here are the basic elements on which these choices should be made:
For more information on this subject, send for my free report “The Very Savvy Pharmacy Owners Marketing Handbook.”
Practicing the right success principles creates more cash flow and profits than simply grasping at straws. And, getting knowledgeable help beats going to the school of hard knocks.
Therefore, know this:
Your time is the most vital resource you have. Use it wisely. Identify those tasks that contribute to the goals you want to achieve and put YOUR TIME only into those activities. None other.
Delegate the rest.
In order to make the above effective, you must practice KFC.
For more information, get my free report “The 10 Commandments of Wealth for Pharmacy Owners.”
5/11/2017 0 Comments
Lets agree on one thing. You have a passion for helping patients feel better, live longer, and enjoy their newfound health in ways the average pharmacy owner does not. Because of that passion, you want to transform your pharmacy into the only go-to pharmacy for information, education, and the best performing true medicine products that those patients could possibly put to use for the betterment of their health.
Therefore, would you not agree that you want to help those patients feel better, live longer, and become more energetic in those golden years? The result:
The One Strategy
What is this one overriding strategy? Answer: deploying “strategic marketing”— marketing so powerful that it magnetically attracts new patients by the dozens each week. Such marketing gets you immediate and measurable results from your online and offline messages while simultaneously building your brand.
In order for that strategy to be effective, both your online and offline marketing needs to be totally integrated so that it produces maximum results in minimum time.
For more details and to get a complete explanation of how “the one thing” really works best, sign up for my free teleseminar below.
5/9/2017 1 Comment
More About the Unstoppable Pharmacy!
When John called me from his Midwestern pharmacy complaining about how things were going, I asked him a very straightforward question: “what is it you’re being paid for? Because you’re not being paid to do everything right. You’re simply being paid to do one thing right. What is it?”
He pondered lengthily, not being really certain of what the right answer was. And therein lies the problem for ever-so-many of you who are trying to get through these perilous times. You cannot do everything. You can’t even come close to doing most things really well. Therefore, you must know what earns you the most money versus what doesn’t.
Putting Your Staff to Work--Properly
If you have a staff of only 4 people, each one of them can perform a specific task rather well— things that you either cannot do, or don’t enjoy doing. The ultimate downfall of ever-so-many pharmacies is that the owner, as leader, fails to tap into the hidden talents of the individuals on his or her staff.
Yes, those people may be doing rather well those specific jobs for which they were hired. Fortunately, for you, they have additional talents and additional capabilities that they will happily render to your cause, if only you would ask them to.
One of the best ways I have ever discovered for tapping into the hidden talents of individuals is to hold a staff meeting. Requires training, then asking just the right question. You’d be amazed at the involvement and ideas that can flow. It’s a tried and true method that I’ve used to solve some interesting problems in many a pharmacy.
Work Less, Achieve More
Is your life how you imagined it would be, or is the reality more complicated and stressful than you planned? Do you get to the end of the day and wonder what you managed to achieve in between all the patient phone calls, and the ones from doctors, too?
“Life is very simple, but we insist on making it very complicated.” – Confucius.
The solution: work smarter not harder.
And so, in order to prepare yourself to do the one thing that really earns you money, commence by doing the following:
And So, What Is It?
Now you are ready to become involved in the one thing that truly earns you money. What is it? Performing only those tasks that support your value to the pharmacy and earns you the amount of money that you desire. And no, it’s no longer filling scripts. That’s $50/hr to $60/hr work. Should be done by someone else. Your job: business and profit building so that you are worth $200/hr to $250/hr.
If you are earning as much money as you want, that’s fine. However, if you aspire to add another $100,000 to $250,000 annually, then you need to concentrate with laser-like intensity on doing only that work which will produce the desired results: earn you that additional sum of money.
Yes, each and every hour of your time should be concentrated solely on such significant activities. Any task that does not produce significant results is a distraction and should be delegated. No hour should be non-productive. Motivate, train, delegate, and concentrate—concentrate on what you should be doing that others in your organization cannot do.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
When you stop trying to do so much, you’ll get so much more done. An important element: doing the right things at the right time. Requires that you trust others and encourage them to know when to ask for help.
You will be able to achieve more of what matters in each and every time frame and make the most of your talent and abilities. You will also develop even more talents and abilities of your team members, so that they, too, will accomplish more for you. And so, doing the right thing at the right time rather than trying to do everything all the time, is the key to your success.
The unfortunate truth is we try to make things far too complicated in our business life.
Maybe you’re juggling being a leader as well as being a pharmacist, and finding that everyday your spreading yourself just a little bit thinner. As a result, you don’t have enough energy and attention to go around.
So, ask yourself: Are my priorities at the back of my queue when they should be at the front of my queue?
For more details and to get a complete explanation of how “the one thing” really works best, sign up for my free teleseminar below.
For the first time in over a decade, I will host a LIVE teleseminar, including a Q&A session.
On Tuesday, May 16th at 8pm EST, I will reveal some of my inner-most secrets on how you can create maximum success in your independent pharmacy.
Here are some examples:
Don’t you want to get out of the rut you are in and start earning the money that you and your family really deserve? You’ll amazed at how much more value you can create in your own pharmacy.
I trust you’ve found my blogs to be highly informative and educational. That’s why I’m determined to help you make more money and get more enjoyment from being an independent pharmacy owner again.
Though, the event is scheduled for one hour, it may extend for a bit longer, as I want to answer as many of your questions and concerns as I can.
Recreate your future. Sign up for this teleseminar today. It costs you nothing but one hour of your time on Tuesday, May 16th, 8 p.m. eastern time. Capacity is limited. Therefore, I am offering you, my loyal readers, the first opportunity to participate before the link goes public.
Don’t miss this value packed, information laden discussion.
To register, sign up below.