Let’s face it, you’ve worked so hard to get the COVID-19 testing and vaccinating supplies into your pharmacy, and your community is incredibly thankful. Now, with summer upon us and traveling tourists needing testing done, the recent adolescent approval for vaccines, and the potential for future booster vaccines, we predict the demand for testing and vaccinating will not slow down any time soon. Therefore, there will never be a better time for pharmacies to offer both testing and vaccinating to attract new customers into their pharmacy and retain the connection between their existing customers. Offering these services also gives your pharmacy the advantage to cross-sell and promote other products and services to gain additional profit.
Cross-selling allows your pharmacy to service any additional needs of the pharmacy customer and decreases the need for that customer to consider your competitor’s products and services. For instance, if someone visits your pharmacy for a COVID-19 test, this would also be a good time to alert them that your pharmacy is also administering vaccinations, compounding services, weight management programs, etc. Here are some tips on promoting vaccines and testing while incorporating cross-selling tactics for growing your bottom line and accelerating your path to additional profit.
Tip 1: First Impressions & Waiting Area
Every pharmacy owner knows that first impressions are essential, but you may not know just how little time you have to make one. Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are and your trustworthiness. As a pharmacist performing testing or vaccinating, there is a guaranteed 15-minute window to communicate and make a great impression. During that time, make sure your employees are exceptionally kind and responsive to patients, making them feel comfortable. Is your waiting area well equipped with signage and attractive merchandise to appeal to people? For instance, you can:
- Hang a poster highlighting other vaccinations available like Gardasil, Pneumovax, Shingrix, Flu, etc.
- Display diabetic and DME supplies
- A banner featuring compounding and medication flavoring services
- An endcap showing your top line vitamin and beauty supplements near the area where patients are sitting
Before your patients leave, make sure to thank them for coming and trusting in your team personally. You should also follow up with an email, text, or handwritten letter thanking them for their time and reminding them of any follow-up appointments, services due, or future promotions.
Tip 2: Marketing Materials
An easy and affordable way to alert customers and passersby’s that your pharmacy performs COVID-19 testing and vaccinations is through marketing materials. Some examples to consider are printing out bag stuffers, window clings, posters, and counter cards. Each day consider how many vaccinations or testing appointments you have on the schedule and print out the appropriate number of marketing handouts or sign-up forms (ex: prescription transfer forms, free vitamin program, MTM, or other programs or benefits your store may offer). Organize everything into convenient packets and make them easily accessible in your vaccination and testing area so you can hand them to patients immediately after their appointment. Another tip is to hand out “I Got My Shot” stickers to those getting vaccinated and appointment reminder cards.
Tip 3: Staying Social
Encourage patients to follow your pharmacy! Let it be known that they can follow your pharmacy on social media for important pharmacy and health and wellness updates, tips from the pharmacies, etc. You can even promote the testing and vaccinating appointment link for customers and new patients to schedule their appointments quickly and conveniently. Also, designate an employee to regularly check your social media profiles and respond to any comments or reviews left by patients on time.
Tip 4: Loyalty Rewards & Coupons
Ask patients if they know about your loyalty rewards program. Patients are more likely to respond and purchase something when you offer an incentive or reward for them. Let patients know how they can earn rewards points with future purchases and how they can redeem them. For those without a loyalty reward program, consider offering a $5.00 monetary coupon for a future pharmacy OTC purchase for when they come back into your pharmacy. These programs show customers that you value them. It can also help you gather information about your patients and encourage repeat business.
Cross-selling is an easy win for growing your bottom line. But, as an independent pharmacy owner, you need to do what you can to have a continual presence in the market to compete with even the biggest brands. As we continue to battle the pandemic to the very end, remember our team and preferred partners are here to support you along the way.
Not sure where to start? Through our partnership with Aspire Health, PPSC has the programs and resources to set your pharmacy up with COVID-19 testing and vaccine solutions. For any questions, please connect with us.