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First things first: a key factor in the success of a pharmacy is a unique offer (that is, something that encourages the customers to visit your pharmacy).
According to the managers of different pharmacies, the key success factors are:
- low (attractive) prices;
- a wide assortment;
- location (and the benefits it brings);
- and finally, staff.
Usually, the managers are hesitant to talk about the need and/or desirability of professionalism of workers. Why? Because this is the most difficult element of success in terms of management and development. And now, let’s consider all the above-mentioned factors.
Pricing: the crisis doesn’t help
The customers clearly want to save money, but today, it is very difficult for a pharmacy to offer the products at a low cost, because the suppliers constantly increase prices. Maintaining a price advantage in a period of rising prices is practically useless. Moreover, your closest competitor can easily surpass your cost advantage within one working day.
Assortment: we are so different
Indeed, a wide range of medicines (and not a “pseudo-pharmacy” trash) is a benefit only a few pharmacy chains can offer. They’ve been creating this customer perceived value for more than 20 years, constantly taking risks, because it is very difficult to predict the product turnover.
The pharmacy may have up to 10.000 items in stock but sell only about 1.500 products per month. The working assortment is what the pharmacy SELLS during the analyzed period, and not THE LEFTOVERS.
Three success factors for an effective work assortment
- Basic knowledge: the pharmacy workers understand and remember what each product is intended for.
- Fast access: the staff can easily find any products available in the pharmacy.
- Complex sale: there are certain algorithms for the complex sale chain.
Location: who and where
The success of the pharmacy may be expressed through a number of purchases. If it is high, your strategy is working. But if it is low, you just have to admit that you chose the wrong working place and implement other strategies to attract customers.
The role of the specialist: a key to profit
Medicines are high-technology goods, so people who buy them often consult a pharmacist. What results does it give?
- 50 % of customers seek advice from the pharmacists;
- 70 % of them follow the recommendations received;
- most drug stores have a pharmacist who attracts lots of clients;
- customers especially appreciate the services provided by this specialist;
- the pharmacist’s word is stronger than the impulse demand.
The proposal is simple: there are no sellers in the pharmacy, but there are experts. Any first table employee acts as an expert in the choice of a specific medicine. Moreover, he/she has to establish himself/herself as an expert, because this is what buyers and regulators expect from him/her. As a consequence, our goal is to form the following attitude “by selling the expertise, the pharmacy increases sales”.
Why does it work?
- The pharmacist resolves his/her internal conflicts and boosts his/her self-confidence
- The barriers to perception and transmission of information disappear
- The brand loyalty increases
As a result, sales are carried out with a different attitude of the main persons influencing the end consumer!
Service (including consultations) is a key factor in the pharmacy’s success and the basis for revenue growth. The pharmacy staff affects sales much more than office, discounts, promotions and stuff like that. Therefore, success requires a continuous improvement of knowledge and skills and a work on a personal attitude.