December 18, 2017
As an independent community pharmacy, you probably have the most loyal patients in town.
You’ve built a sturdy foundation of patients who keep coming back because you offer them what they can’t get anywhere else.
But are you attracting new patients?
Think of your business like a home’s foundation.
The best foundation will hold the weight of the home for centuries. But when the family outgrows the home, it doesn’t matter how firm the foundation is.
To grow, the family needs to broaden the foundation and build up new space from there.
Is it time for your pharmacy to expand your foundation?
Broadening your patient base takes a different approach than deepening it.
To deepen your base, you provide patients with the best care possible.
To broaden it, you find new patients and draw them in.
Here are a few solid strategies to help your pharmacy find new patients and expand your patient base this year.
Prescribers are pharmacy gatekeepers. Patients must go through them to get to you.
Most patients aren’t committed to a pharmacy. But if their prescriber recommends one to them, they’ll likely listen.
And, better than simply gaining a potential patient, prescriber referrals almost always guarantee a new patient because she’ll come to your pharmacy with a prescription in hand.
So, get to know the prescribers in your area. Talk to them about what your pharmacy offers and about your passion for helping patients.
Create a mutual referral program so prescribers benefit from your established foundation of patients. The more referrals they receive from you, the more likely they’ll be to refer their patients to you.
Also, participate in professional networking events with other healthcare professionals. Use those events to educate prescribers on how your pharmacy can benefit their patients and their practice.
The internet is brimming with potential patients.
No brick-and-mortar building, networking event, or physical advertisement provides as vast of an opportunity to find new patients as the Internet.
Online advertising not only exposes more people to your pharmacy, but it also exposes the right people to your pharmacy.
Modern online advertising is smart. It tracks user habits to target the people already interested in what you offer.
Have you noticed that when you look at a couch online, suddenly ads for it pop up everywhere you browse?
When a patient searches for a pharmacy online, the Internet keeps that information. Next time that patient gets online, he’ll find an advertisement for your pharmacy on the sites they visit.
Invest in online advertising that’ll expand your reach and target patients for you. The broader your exposure, the more you can expand your patient base.
Referrals are an inexpensive and easy way to expand your patient base.
And, you can reach patients you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Some people who would use your pharmacy exist outside your range of marketing and geography.
Unless they hear about your pharmacy from their friends or family, they’ll never know your pharmacy exists.
Here are some proven approaches to increase patient referrals to expand your patient base:
As business becomes more globalized, people are becoming more local.
People don’t want their money going to other cities, states and countries. Or to national chains.
They prefer to keep their money—and their loyalty—in their local community.
If you brand your pharmacy as the community pharmacy, patients will want to give you their loyalty.
Make your pharmacy’s name synonymous with “community” and you’ll expand your patient base.
But how do you brand your business as the go-to pharmacy in the community?
Start by sponsoring community events.
If patients continue to see your pharmacy’s name each time they go to the fall festival, the Christmas tree lighting and the school fundraiser, they’ll think community whenever they hear your pharmacy’s name.
And the next time they need a prescription, your pharmacy will comes to mind.
Here are some ways to get your pharmacy’s name out at community events:
And, try these ways to build your community image:
Now you’re ready to find new patients to expand your patient base.
Get ready to improve your pharmacy in the New Year. Follow along as we discuss a new pharmacy New Year’s resolution every week.
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