John Hoeschen, R.Ph, Owner of St. Paul Corner Drug in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his team believe all it takes is spending two extra minutes with the patients. Two minutes that will transform your patient’s health, your bottom line, and quickly brand your pharmacy as the number one health resource in the community.
“The biggest issue most pharmacy owners have is that they cannot get over the mindset where they believe their customers won’t pay for higher-quality, more expensive products. If you would have asked me twenty years ago if I could sell a $50 to $80 OTC product, I’d have said you’re crazy. Now, we sell it all day long by simply taking two minutes at the register to explain basic drug-nutrient depletion. We’re no longer in the same business as most retail stores, trying to sell 90-day supplies for $12.”
Instead of focusing where the pharmacy is losing money, shifting your mindset to finding new non-prescription opportunities can reap significant results.
In April 2016 when John expanded his Ortho Molecular Products supplement line, his team was filling 250 prescriptions per day and averaging $3,000 per month in supplement sales. After installing the FREE Ortho Molecular Digital Replete interface with his Retail Management Solutions (RMS) Point-of-Sale system in July, the products flew off the shelves, and his team began to see the power of starting a two-minute conversation, with sales hitting $10,000 per month by September.
At a margin tipping 50 percent, John’s Ortho Molecular Products sales now translate to a $5,000 profit per month, which equates to over $1,000 per week, just by adding the Digital Replete interface to his RMS Point-of-Sale system. And, he didn’t increase his prescription volume!
When John’s team scans a prescription at the register, the RMS system searches for the drug, and if there is Replete information, it pops up on the screen and the clerk can print this information on receipt paper, prompting the team to discuss the program and how it can alleviate negative side effects.
“With an ‘in-the-moment transaction,’ that’s when you can get people to commit to something. After the fact, or two days later, it just doesn’t have the same punch. It’s easier to have the conversation when it’s about a prescription in their hands and they can pay for it immediately.”
John shares that this interaction makes his customers comment, “Wow, I go to a great pharmacy. They’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing, they’re giving me great information.” This solidifies the relationships the team’s been building and cements it to a point where they won’t go anywhere else, even if it’s cheaper.
But like most independent pharmacy teams, it’s not always easy to confidently step into the space of making recommendations for supplements. No one enjoys selling, as it’s part of the psyche that if you are selling anything, you’re trying to get people to do something that isn’t in their best interest. Not to mention, it can be intimidating knowing that the patient could ask a question where you don’t know the answer.
The problem is that you’re so busy avoiding selling that you’re often neglecting to provide customers with the value you have to offer as a highly-trained and skilled healthcare professional. In many cases, the patient doesn’t even know how to think about what you have to offer, much less know how to choose it. By shifting your mindset from selling to helping, you can identify your patients’ needs and then educate them on what you can do for them and recommend relevant products, programs and services that will support them.
It is always the customer’s choice whether or not to buy what you are recommending. And if you don’t let them know what you have to offer, you actually take away that choice. With prompts automatically appearing in the point-of-sale system, it mitigates the chance of forgetting to discuss the supplement while building the team’s confidence with the information printed in front of them.
“A lot of pharmacies have allowed themselves to not learn about it, and that’s unfortunate because there’s enough good information now to educate yourself and to be able to provide that level of quality information to patients. Don’t get me wrong, I spent a lot of time learning stuff myself to be able to make recommendations, but then the reward is that the money follows. Your sales increase, profits go up and then your ability to help more people goes up because now you have more resources.”
With the Ortho Molecular line and RMS interface, John’s team no longer has to constantly chase new patients because his current ones don’t leave, they’re spending more money and they’re spreading the word to their friends and family.
“It becomes a wildfire. I can’t tell you how many strangers just walk in now, and I literally have a zero marketing budget. They say either their practitioner or neighbor sent them because we carry this product line or because we’ll ask them questions.”
With nearly 50 percent of all adults taking at least one prescription and many leading to the depletion of critical nutrients, the intuitive RMS Digital Replete interface helps pharmacy teams start the conversation about reducing negative side effects, while boosting front-end nutritional sales and improving customer engagement.
“As an RMS customer since 2002, I’ve experienced first-hand how they constantly look forward to the future, building a point-of-sale system that makes their
customers’ lives run cleaner, smoother and more straightforward. They’re doing
things that are innovative and allow me to continue to grow my business and to
be successful. When they asked if I wanted to integrate a free digital nutrient
depletion to my system, I said absolutely, I’ve been waiting for something like
this for 15 years. From morning to night, it completely changed how I look at and
run my business, and the decisions I make.”
This post is related to:POS Systems (Point of Sale)