by Steve Choate, business development manager, for the Resolutions blog series
New customer acquisition is one of the most difficult things for any business to do. First, potential customers have to recognize that they have a “need.” Next, they have to find a retail location that can fulfill it. Finally, they need to make an effort to satisfy that need.
You can attract customers to your store by holding events that help recognize and satisfy their needs. Establish your strengths and create an event that utilizes and promotes them. Identify shortcomings you see in your community and hold an event that helps compensate. Review your prescription business and ascertain the top two or three illnesses or disease states of your prescription customers, then organize an event designed to educate or provide tools that help manage the illness or negative side effects of the disease. Assess which doctors, hospitals, clinics, and/or skilled-nursing facilities are sending the most patients and prescriptions to your store and develop an event specifically for them.
Here are some ideas for events to attract new customers:
- Hold blood pressure screenings in your store.
- Conduct regular blood sugar monitoring.
- Work with local civic organizations such as your local chamber of commerce, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, VFW, etc., and set up screenings at their locations or during one of their events.
- Staff a booth at one of your local fairs or events. Hand out information about your pharmacy, coupons for your store, and healthcare materials about illness prevention or healthy living. Additionally, provide screenings and immunizations if appropriate. Be sure that your pharmacy information is on the materials you hand out.
- Reach out to local businesses during flu immunization season to see if you can visit them and administer immunizations. Be sure to bring pharmacy promotional materials and coupons for an incentive to visit.
- Hold a “healthcare professionals only” event, before or after your normal store hours. Provide refreshments. This event could be used as a “thank you” for sending patients to your store, or it could allow you to introduce your store, staff, and services to healthcare professionals who may not be familiar with your pharmacy. Have materials on hand that explain your services that they can take and give to their patients.
- Instead of hosting a “healthcare professionals” event at your store, you could visit their clinic, hospital, or other facility and provide them with a breakfast or afternoon break. Bring materials with information about your pharmacy to leave behind.
The types of events are endless. Any event that you participate in or sponsor can raise awareness of your pharmacy beyond your physical store. Just make sure that you get recognition for the event so that people will associate your name with the event.