November 16, 2017
Do patients think of your pharmacy as a place to fill their prescriptions? Or, do they think of it as a healthcare destination?
When patients think of your pharmacy staff as their go-to health experts, your pharmacy can:
You and your pharmacy staff are already health experts. And patients trust you. In fact, consumers rank pharmacists as the second-most trusted healthcare providers.
But do your current patients know about your expertise? Make your pharmacy known as the place to go for health advice in your community.
You can use marketing to get the word out. Try these seven methods to promote your pharmacy as a health resource in your community.
Hosting health-related pharmacy events can help characterize your pharmacy as a source of health knowledge, not just expertise on medications.
Health-related pharmacy event ideas:
If you know that a majority of your patients have specific health needs, like diabetes, trouble quitting smoking or poor nutrition, then offer events related to those needs.
Journalists are always looking for expert sources for their stories. Whether for newspapers, magazines, T.V., radio or the web.
Network with local journalists to let them know that you’d make a valuable source for their health-related stories.
Also, take any opportunity that presents itself to talk with the media. Are you in a college town?
Then talk with student journalists if they want to interview you for their college newspaper. Or, go on a local radio talk show. You could even give a news anchor a flu shot on live T.V.
Whenever a media professional asks you to provide health credibility to a story, do so. It’s free advertising! And it helps label you and your pharmacy staff as health experts in the field.
Get involved with health events in your community. Participating will allow you to interact with current and potential patients outside of your brick-and-mortar pharmacy.
Set up a booth for your pharmacy at health and wellness fairs, blood drives, 5ks and other health events.
Or, even attend events that aren’t health-related.
After all, your pharmacy is a local business just like the neighborhood café or the local hardware store. You could attend local festivals, parades and fairs. Consider any event that other small businesses in your area attend fair game.
Demonstrate your pharmacy staff’s health know-how using social media.
Use Facebook and Twitter to offer consumers helpful health information such as:
If you post information regularly, your patients will likely start to check your social media accounts consistently for their health questions and for wellness concerns.
The helpful information may even get them into your pharmacy, which can increase foot traffic—and sales. In fact, shoppers spend 19 percent more if they engage with retailers on social media.
Sending a regular e-newsletter (or mailed newsletter) to your patients can provide them with valuable health information. It can also boost your pharmacy staff’s reputations as health experts.
What to include in the e-newsletter:
And, you can create e-newsletters at your convenience. Send an e-newsletter weekly, bi-weekly or monthly—whatever works for your pharmacy.
Host a special event where the pharmacist comes out from behind-the-counter and makes himself or herself available to patients. You could call the event, ‘Talk with A Pharmacist Day’ and could make it a monthly tradition.
Even if your pharmacists always make time for patients when they have questions, many patients don’t realize they can talk to the pharmacist any time.
When looking from in front of the counter, many patients think pharmacists are too busy. Or, they don’t want to interrupt them.
Show off your pharmacists as health experts and demonstrate to your patients that your pharmacists can answer their health questions with this special event.
When you build relationships with other health practitioners in your community, you can gain valuable patient referrals.
Health practitioners can refer patients to your pharmacy and they can explain the many other services pharmacists offer that patients might not know about.
Build relationships with as many health practitioners as possible. And look beyond family care doctors.
Health practitioners to build relationships with:
Now you know your patients will think of your pharmacy as a healthcare destination.
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