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10 Genuine Ways to Help Patients By Upselling Pharmacy Products

10 Genuine Ways to Help Patients By Upselling Pharmacy Products by Elements magazine |

January 15, 2018

Nobody wants to feel like a sleazy car salesman.

Especially in the pharmacy.

You likely offer retail products in your pharmacy’s front end to supplement your prescription business. So, why not make the most of your front end by increasing sales and helping patients at the same time?

Selling front-end products is an easy way to boost revenue, especially if you actively work to upsell.

Upselling your pharmacy’s front-end products is easy once you establish the right reasons for doing it.

Reasonably upsell your pharmacy products to patients with these 10 suggestions.

1. Provide extra care

Approach upselling your front-end products as a way to provide additional patient care.

Set a goal for your staff to educate a certain number of patients a day about an item that could increase the effectiveness of their medications. Or, about a product that can genuinely improve their health.

2. Educate your staff

When you take the time to educate your staff on the products you sell, they’ll feel more comfortable recommending them to patients.

For example, send some of your staff to training. Or, provide them with product information at weekly meetings.

With the right knowledge, your staff will not only upsell a product, they’ll also provide an additional service to patients.

3. Make helpful recommendations

Pharmacists and pharmacy staff often feel uncomfortable upselling to patients.

But OTC recommendations can bring in extra revenue for your business. And, it can also enhance patient care.

For example, when you suggest the right vitamins or supplements to offset nutrient losses from antibiotics, your patient receives better care. And your pharmacy generates extra revenue.

Ways to improve product recommendations:


4. Create a friendly atmosphere

When your pharmacy has a reputation for friendliness and helpfulness, your patients will feel more receptive to your staff’s product upsell suggestions.

Patients may even come to your pharmacy looking for product recommendations.

Ways to create a friendly atmosphere:


5. Upsell products online

Not all selling happens in your physical store.

Have you considered creating an e-commerce website?

While you can’t sell prescriptions online, websites today can easily offer retail items for sale.

And websites make it easy to upsell products.

For example, if a patient views a joint health supplement on your website, it can automatically populate suggested related items, like a multivitamin or a calcium supplement.

And if you don’t want to deal with shipping retail items, make your items available for purchase online and pick-up in your pharmacy. You could even package a patient’s prescriptions and retail items together.

6. Provide solutions, not sales

Don’t focus on upselling the most profitable products.

Focus on providing solutions to patients’ health problems.

Remind your staff that their top priority is still patient care. And that they need to promote and upsell products that will provide a solution for that particular patient’s problem.

7. Offer a loyalty rewards program

Ask patients if they know about your loyalty rewards program when they check out.

Patients are more likely to respond to an upsell when you offer an incentive or reward for them.

Let patients know how they can earn rewards points (with additional purchases!) and how they can redeem them.

8. Use prescription and POS data to recommend products

Make product recommendations to patients based on their previous purchases.

Use both your prescription and point-of-sale (POS) data to pinpoint front-end products patients might benefit from.

For example, if a patient takes diabetes medications, recommend supplements to help replenish lost nutrients, such as CoQ10, vitamin B12 or omega-3.

You have tons of options to recommend vitamins and supplements to patients with nutrient depletion from common medications.

Common drug-induced nutritional deficiencies include:


Use this list of supplements to recommend based on disease state and health condition.

9. Offer an add-on service

Upselling isn’t always about front-end sales.

Don’t forget to upsell your clinical services, too.

Whenever a patient makes a front-end purchase, suggest a related clinical service you think she might benefit from.

Clinical services to upsell:


Even if patients aren’t interested in the service at the time, they may want it in the future.

10. Bundle similar products

Merchandise your front end to encourage sales by bundling similar products.

For example, offer patients purchasing over-the-counter cough and cold remedies the option to add a bottle of hand sanitizer for a discounted price.

Or, offer vitamin D and calcium supplements as buy-one-get-one-half-off.

When merchandising products, bundle items that genuinely go together. That way your offers always help patients.

See, there’s no reason to feel like you’re making shady used car deals. Upselling products helps patients, too.


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