"The Successful Man is the One Who Finds Out What Is the Matter with His Business Before His Competitors Do." Roy L. Smith
In every industry, there are a few super successful players— ones who know and understand the basic principles of success. These findings are the result of a 5 year massive study by a team of researchers who delved deeply into the subject.
For independent owners, they are the ones who have created— or are now creating— a Wellness Pharmacy.
And while there are obstacles to be overcome and habits to be formed, these 3 basics underlie all success.
1. Better before cheaper. For the Wellness Pharmacy, better information and better products are so basic and fundamental that they need to be put upfront. They are the foundation on which success can be built.
Cheaper is what the chain stores and big box store pharmacies try to maintain they are delivering. Cheaper and lower performing qualities of natural medicines is what they offer...and what they deliver.
The Wellness Pharmacy can and should deliver the opposite: better quality backed up by superior information.
2. Revenues before costs. No one ever got rich by cutting costs. Obviously, fat should not be allowed to accumulate in the cost column. However, there is a point at which any further cost cutting depletes service. And that is an issue no independent pharmacy owner ever wants to face.
This rule has the merit of providing meaningful guidance because the opposite could be true. Lower costs might systematically have driven superior profitability. Instead, the researchers found that in 8 of 9 cases, superior profitability is driven by higher revenue, in many cases thereby incurring higher costs. Of the 8 Miracle Workers, those with revenue-driven exceptional performance, 6 relied primarily on higher prices, while 2 relied on higher volume.
The analysis of the full population of exceptional companies gave grounds for concluding that the pattern is not just confined to the sample, but also encapsulates the characteristics shared by the most exceptional companies.
This fact is abundantly clear in terms of those independent pharmacies that The Pharmacy Sage has helped to create as exceptional success stories.
For pharmacy owners, low margin revenues do not create the desired results. High margin ones do.
Since most expenses are fixed— and even the ones that may not be fixed in the long-run are definitely fixed in the short-run— the obvious answer is...
...high margin revenues must be increased to create pharmacy success
Hence concentration on revenues, not costs, is paramount. It must be the focus of the Wellness Pharmacy owner if he truly wishes to pursue financial success. Using good sound strategic marketing here is the conduit.
The opposite can never produce results. Cost cutting is a downward trend. Increasing revenues is an upward one. Hence, revenues before costs.
3. Quality before quantity. For patients, quality is what you’re all about. Quality should never be in doubt, especially regarding the information you dispense, whether verbally or in writing. Written reports are essential, especially for the visually oriented patient. Difficult to create, yet a necessary component to the Wellness Pharmacy.
So, quality is what you should be all about. Even the foundation for your brand. And certainly that should be De Rigueur with regard to the way you conduct business with your patients.
However, when it comes to creating profits, revenues before expenses should be your rallying cry. It’s how exceptional pharmacy owners THINK.
For more information on how exceptional pharmacy owners think, download my free report, “Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Marketing tor Independent Pharmacies.”
Upgrading your marketing is probably the most compelling thing you can do to improve the results of your pharmacy.
Obviously, having the right products, the right presentation, and the right pricing (no, it doesn’t have to be discount, just fair pricing for what you’re selling) are basic and fundamental.
Getting the word out about how special you are is the next step. It’s called marketing. And, marketing when done right can produce tremendous results—results you have not seen before, and results you must see now. I can truthfully say you need to market or perish. And your marketing must be on-the-money in order to produce results.
Furthermore, your marketing should be fascinating, that is, intriguing to the reader because it presents the answer to her question, “what’s in it for me?”
The following examples provide you with powerful headlines, ones and ads that attract dozens of new patients weekly to the pharmacies using them.
“I love the ad! I love how it grabs your attention, almost demanding that you read it.” -Cody H., Utah
Advertising is the method by which you attract new patients. When you use advertising that gets read, advertising that is introduced by headlines that promise relief from whatever ache, pain or other discomfort is bothering the reader, you get the results you want. Advertising is one part of a marketing machine that should be part of your total business operation.
Marketing is the driving force that identifies your Wellness Pharmacy, your brand, and ultimately provides realization of how valuable your legacy can be. It’s the delivery agent.
That’s why The Pharmacy Sage is at the leading edge of the next generation of pharmacy strategic thought leaders. That’s why he presents you with cutting edge information about:
For more information, download a FREE copy of "The Very Savvy Marketing Handbook for Pharmacy Owners."
A cover story in the June 2017 issue of Drug Topics was all about the angry customer and what the pharmacy and the pharmacist, in particular, can do when facing such a situation.
The article was very creditably presented and in a decidedly reputable publication.
Kudos to them.
However, nowhere was any mention made of the lifetime value of the patient. Neither was any mention made of the value of a particular patient to the pharmacy in terms of business wanted vs business not wanted.
Important Marketing Questions
The two important questions that should be asked and answered is: “what is the potential lifetime value of this particular patient?” The answer can be found in calculations relating to the number of years the average patient remains with you. That number, in turn, gets converted into sales dollars, and profit dollars. Such is the lifetime value of your average patient.
The second question, and perhaps the most apt one is, “what is the profitability of these prescriptions, as well as other purchases of high margin items she may have made that have been filled for this particular patient?” That will give some indication of the lifetime value for this particular patient.
Both lead to a third question that may be, “Is she in the top 20% of most valuable patients or is she in the bottom 20%?”
About this point, somebody can determine whether this particular individual is at all desirable of being catered to and retained as a valuable component of the overall pharmacy’s patient matrix, or is she not.
Business that Is Wanted vs that Which Is Not
Which leads me to state demonstrably: Some patients are just not worth the time, effort, and aggravation they cost. They are not profitable and therefore do not have very much of a valuable lifetime value and are therefore not worth keeping.
In such a case, that customer should be invited to take her business elsewhere.
From My Experience
On the other hand, if she is indeed a more valuable patient, then the “patient care” team should do backflips in order to retain her business.
One Saturday morning, during my retail days (I owned a few China, Crystal, and Tableware stores), the manager of my flagship store she received a call from the wife of General O’Hara, the Commanding Officer of the New York National Guard. She was holding a party for 20 people that evening. Unfortunately, she only had service for 8 in a very fine Wedgewood bone China pattern which she identified for the manager.
Pam, the manager, recognized the pattern, made recommendations for supplementing so that Mrs. O’Hara could complete the service and entertain 20 people. However, she needed immediate delivery.
Fortunately, that morning, I was working in my office. Pam, spoke to me about getting the delivery to Mrs. O’Hara’s home in time for her to wash the dishes and serve her party. For Mrs. O’Hara? Of course. She was a frequent customer, spent a lot of money, and brought her friends with money to that store.
I personally delivered them, even though it interrupted the rest of my day. It was worth it, because Mrs. O’Hare praised us to all of her friends at the party. That’s business I wanted. It was huge for many months thereafter.
A More Profitable Model
Filling traditional scripts is getting to be a fruitless activity. More and more scripts and more and more patients are becoming less and less profitable. That’s the business you should no longer wish to handle. It is eating up your all-too-scarce resources.
At some point you, as a pharmacy owner, need to answer two very critical questions: ‘What business am I in?” And “what business do I want to be in?”
The answer to that question should provide you with the monumental turning point in your profits and profitability. With an open mind, it can lead you to more questions and conclusion that inevitably need to make in order to upgrade your cash flow, profits, and wealth gathering for yourself and your family.
For more information on how you can improve operations to make your pharmacy business grow, get my free report, "The Ten Commandments of Wealth for Pharmacy Owners."
Most pharmacy ads are never read. Why? Because they are not meaningful to the reader. The reader is really not interested in what you do. She is interested in how she benefits from what you do.
Hence, an ad such as this will never be read. “The XYZ Pharmacy has been here 23 years, offers you free delivery, and great service”.
Even using your name at the top of the ad instead of a headline is not going to create any results. In fact, putting your name at the top can be a complete negative, because you are obliterating the opportunity to provide a meaningful headline. And, a good headline can make the difference of whether your ad is read or not. In depth research decisively concludes the headline is at least 90% of the reason an ad gets read or not. Each should contain the biggest benefits accruing to any interested reader.
For heaven’s sake, make your investment in advertising pay as well as your investment in anything else. Hold it accountable as you would any other investment. Certainly you would not invest in the stock market without expecting a return. Neither should you invest in advertising without expecting a return. And yes, advertising is an investment when you approach it correctly.
The payoff can be tremendous because your advertising has a four-fold mission.
There you have it. The formula for a successful ad.
For more information get my 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.”
7/7/2017 0 Comments
This Is the Attention-Based Economy!
If you do not get the attention of your readers, you are lost from the very beginning. If you do not hold their attention, you are also lost.
Telling them that your services are “better” falls on deaf ears. Saying, “we fill your prescription in 12 minutes or less, 98% of the time, while you can wait as much as 45 minutes in CVS or Walgreen’s,” that gets their attention. However, it still will not get people to drive more than 15 minutes each way to save a half hour.
On the other hand, telling them that you can add 10 years to their lives’ if they’re on a statin drug, simply by adding one very small capsule daily—now, that really gets their attention.
And, when you mail those messages directly to the families with higher income, then you get the response you want.
Now, let me ask you…
Only messages that penetrate and resonate with a patient will cause her to think deeply about the pharmacy she really wants to do business with. Right or wrong, your marketing should increase profits.
If you want to know more, be on the lookout for next week’s blog, when I will give you the formula for making a great ad. ‘Til then, enjoy your weekend!
For more information on marketing your pharmacy, download my FREE report "The Very Savvy Marketing Handbook for Pharmacy Owners".