Editor's Note

Driving Sales, Relationships Through Education, Service

Pharmacies can set themselves apart by becoming a resource to their customers.

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.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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