By Donna Boulieu for our 99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy series

Is “sell” a 4-letter word behind your pharmacy counter? You sell prescriptions at a fair price coupled with good service to your Rx customers, but do you sell your front-end products and services? Do you feel this is outside of your professional realm? Your larger competitors don’t think so, and show it by spending big advertising dollars to market themselves as caring medical professionals who also happen to sell all of the health, beauty and wellness (HBW) products that will meet their customers’ needs.

a staff trained in companion sellingWouldn’t you like your share of the average 38% margin on front-end sales? According to the 2012 HDMA Independent Pharmacy Shopper research report, independent pharmacy customers stated “one-stop shopping and price as reasons they do not purchase OTCs and personal care products at independent pharmacy.” To encourage those customers to purchase from you, it’s not necessary to have the lowest prices on everything or carry every product. A competitive pricing strategy on key items, a product mix specific to your market area demographics, up-to-date signage, and a staff trained in companion selling is all you need to market your store to sell those prescription-only customers on becoming loyal front-end shoppers.

While you may not have the advertising dollars that chain drugstores or mass retailers have, you do have the trust and attention of every prescription customer that enters your store. You’re positioned to suggest HBW items not just to garner sales for your store, but also to ensure your customers are getting the best care. Many prescription medications cause side effects that can be treated with an OTC or personal care item. There are products in your front-end that can make the recovery process easier and sometimes quicker when added to the course of treatment. With a well-maintained and well-priced front-end, your customers will be more likely to purchase additional products to meet their other health and wellness needs. That’s one-stop shopping!

BoulieuDDonna is instrumental in the management of our master item file, item relationships, fine line philosophies and wholesaler/retailer pricing strategies. She oversees the Rx pricing file and the development of custom Rx products. In addition, Donna participates in the development and execution of many of our custom wholesaler, retailer and manufacturer projects.

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