Resolution: Train my sales team to be front-end consultants

November 17, 2017By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy, Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies

By Tom Boyer, national accounts director, for the Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies blog series

Independent pharmacies are looking for easy-to-implement solutions from their wholesaler to boost sales in their front-end. If you have a sales team servicing these retail customers, you know the challenges they face. For these unique and individual stores, pharmacists are often owner/operators on top of being a trusted healthcare partner to their community. I encourage you to train your sales team from looking at their interactions with these customers as transactional, but rather look to the healthcare-centric engagement model to meet their needs. I believe you’ll find both sales and loyalty will increase.Front-end consultant

When you encourage your sales team to act more like consultants or coaches, the relationship between them and the stores can become much stronger, which brings you benefits while you add value to the stores you serve. Front-end consultants can offer guidance on improving how the store looks and feels and enhancing the overall shopping experience, as well as what can be done to promote products and draw shoppers to the front-of-store.

Front-end consultants need to up their game when making recommendations to stores. When they are confident in the solutions being offered, that’s when trust is built, and once that’s established, you’re halfway there.

To offer actionable recommendations, consultants should look at the store through the eyes of the consumer. Think about what a shopper sees or doesn’t see. (A good resource for the various areas of the store and tips for evaluating them can be found in my Lasting Impressions blog series.) Based on those observations, come up with ideas about:

  • How to attract more shoppers to the store.
  • Once in the store, how to get them to buy more.
  • Why they do not buy.

Once the consultants have collected their thoughts, they can apply merchandising principles, store design and layout best practices, etc. to the suggested actions they offer to the store. This may require extra time and effort, but the benefits to both you and the store will make it worthwhile in the end.