Driving Sales, Relationships Through Education, Service
Pharmacies can set themselves apart by becoming a resource to their customers.
- By David Kopf
- Apr 01, 2017
Many new DME
customers will come into your
business looking for direction.
For some, they might have
just been diagnosed with a
medical condition and have
been prescribed a particular
item. Others might have
arrived at their product need entirely on their
own. Whatever the case, they’re looking for
answers, and in some cases might be too shy
to be up front and ask.
This is your moment to shine. Regardless of
how these customers come to your pharmacy,
it’s clear they have a unique and perhaps
complex need that you can serve. The key is
to provide excellent service and education.
This hinges on an attentive team. Sales
comes down to consulting with the customer. If
staff can work with a client to better understand
his or her needs, then staff can present the best
solutions for those needs. If management and
staff can adopt that frame of mind, then they
can position themselves for sales success.
Your staff should start out by asking questions.
They must learn from the customer to
understand his or her situation and needs
as much as possible. The key is to ask openended
questions that elicit as much detail
as possible. Also, they must be caring and
considerate. If the condition is potentially
embarrassing to the client, establish a private
space where your staff can discretely consult
with the client.
Make sure your team has deep product
knowledge. In the same way pharmacy staff
must understand their clients’ needs, they must
understand all the product options you stock
so that they can provide expert advice and
steer them toward a solution from which the
patients will benefit and find value.
Your staff should then be able to combine
their understanding your customers with their
product knowledge to start presenting options
in an informative way that fosters confidence.
The ability to present well to customers does
not come naturally. Even the best sales professionals
take the time to polish their act. Work
with your team to outline sales scenarios and
act them out. Come up with answers to tough
questions. Write out sample dialogues and
exchanges and have your team practice
them. It might seem a little silly at first, but once
the team sees how much more successful their
sales performance becomes as a result, they’ll
take that practice seriously.
Focusing on education and top-tier service
has multiple, lasting benefits. To begin with,
those patients will remember the satisfaction
they derived from their experience and
will return to your pharmacy when they need
something else. They will also tell their friends.
Moreover, even though the pharmacy team
won’t be able to make every sale, it will still
establish the business’s reputation as the best
DME resource in its market place.
This article originally appeared in the DME Pharmacy April 2017 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.