Are All Customers Created Equal?


Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) takes pride in an unmatched commitment to helping independent pharmacy owners improve their businesses and become more profitable. In the spirit of bringing the latest innovations and best practices to PDS Members, CEO, Dan Benamoz, recently took his Leadership Team on a field trip to see another world class organization up close — Zappos headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. This ground-breaking e-commerce organization is known for many things like disrupting the retail sector by selling shoes online and an unwavering commitment to customer service.

So, what can a company that helps independent pharmacy owners have in common with an e-commerce shoe company?

As it turns out, a great deal.

To improve customer service, increase profits, and drive word of mouth referrals, both Zappos and PDS understand that it is imperative to know who your most profitable customers are. Continue reading “Are All Customers Created Equal?”

Your Ultimate Blueprint to Pharmacy Success

pharmacy blueprint
 Your Ultimate Blueprint to Pharmacy SuccessOwning a pharmacy is challenging.

So challenging, in fact, that we’ve created an arsenal of tools, tips, programs, strategies, and trainings to combat the frustration that comes with owning and growing a pharmacy business.

After almost two decades developing and nurturing a network of the most progressive pharmacy owners in the nation, we understand some of the challenges you may be facing.

  • You have a problem staying ahead of those ever-changing and growing DIR fees.
  • Customers are forced to go to other pharmacies or mail order.
  • You have a lack of inventory processes.
  • Cash flow issues are causing a strain on you both personally and professionally.
  • You have a toxic company culture that is affecting your bottom line.

Where can you turn to for answers? PDS members have access to our vast resource library of pharmacy development tools and industry message boards. You could also wait to attend our annual PDS Super-Conference in February 2017 to reignite your passion for pharmacy. However, if you are not a member and you cannot wait until February for solutions, we’ve still got your back.

Life gives to the givers, and takes from the takers.
-Dan Benamoz, Founder and CEO, Pharmacy Development Services

Our mission is to not only help our PDS members, but each and every independent pharmacy owner out there. Because the more we help each other, the greater our collective success will be.

Every year, we feature the top Showcase of Success honorees on stage at our annual Super-Conference. This year, we have taken our most inspiring success stories from the past four years and added them to our website for every pharmacy owner, manager, technician, and anyone in the industry to access and implement. You can find the stories here on our website.

As you read through these stories, you will find inspiration and strategies from peers who have been in your shoes. It is almost impossible not to find a solution that you can adopt and apply to your own business.

To get an idea of the massive ROI you can get from just reading these stories, here are a few huge wins from our honorees:

What are you waiting for? Let one of our Showcase of Success stories be your next AHA! moment for your pharmacy.


3 Takeaways from the 2016 PDS Super-Conference

Super Conference
 The 2016 PDS Super-Conference was our best annual event to date! From the moment the doors opened, the energy was palpable. With 110 best-in-class exhibitors to the awesome keynote speakers like Kevin O’Leary, Michael Michalowicz, Jim Kwik, Jenn Lim and Mike Robbins, all of the components for a game changing three days were in place. But there is one element that makes our event stand out from all the others – YOU!

The hundreds of pharmacy owners and staff members who graced the stage and sat in the audience sharing ideas and plans are what made PDS 2016 unforgettable. Our growing network of leaders in independent pharmacy is powerful enough to transform the industry. Our award winners, Showcase of Success presenters and panels of experts shared success stories related to everything from synchronization and pharmacogenomics to clinical services and team management. Continue reading “3 Takeaways from the 2016 PDS Super-Conference”

Pharmacy Resolution 4: Identify New Ways to Compete In Your Market

Pharmacy Resolution 4

Competing against large national chains and mail-order pharmacies is a major challenge independent pharmacies have faced for years. Meanwhile, becoming the most recognized and trusted pharmacy in a local community is another challenge altogether. How will you set yourself apart from local competitors in 2016?Identify New Ways to Compete In Your Market

Pharmacogenomics is one method of business expansion we will promote in the year ahead. In fact, we believe it is such a profitable opportunity that we will hold an experts panel on pharmacogenomics at the 2016 PDS Super-Conference. In recent years, we have featured revolutionary tactics like prescription synchronization and bedside delivery.

There are many new programs you can implement to gain a competitive edge, but before you get started, here are 3 considerations to help you get started.

1. Will it benefit your target market?

When you are focused on your target market’s pain points, you will have a better understanding of what services will be the most beneficial in solving their problems. For example, if you find that a large number of patients are coming to you to fill prescriptions after they’ve been released from the hospital, bedside delivery may be a service to consider. Knowing your audience and tailoring your services to fit their needs will make a huge difference in customer satisfaction. Before you select an innovative new program, make sure it is applicable to your patients and your community.

2. Will it set your pharmacy apart?

While many of the national chain pharmacies offer the same services, you have the ability to provide more. A personalized touch will make your customers feel valued and like they’re part of your family. What new services can you offer that are available nowhere else in your community? Is there an opportunity to expand your current customer base? Identifying and leveraging niche markets is also a great way to differentiate yourself from other pharmacies.

3. How can you provide extraordinary customer service?

One of the biggest challenges of any business is getting people in the door, but perhaps an even bigger challenge is getting people to come back repeatedly. Extraordinary customer service can make all the difference in patient retention. Going above and beyond for each of your patients means saying “yes” when everyone else has told them “we can’t do that for you.” It means taking a few extra minutes to talk to a patient about their prescriptions and answering any questions they may have. As an independent, the opportunity to build personal relationships and “wow” your customers is your extra competitive edge.

In 2016, make it a priority to identify new innovative methods to compete in your local market. If you’re struggling to find ways to set yourself apart from the other pharmacies in your area, you’re not alone. At the PDS Super-Conference, you will be joined by 1,000 of your peers, who will be sharing ideas that can transform your business and bring in brand new revenue streams. If you would like to identify new ways to compete in your local market, there is no better place to do it. We will even provide the tools and resources to implement new programs quickly and seamlessly. Click here to register for the Super-Conference now.


3 Best Blogs to Follow About Pharmacy Ownership

3 Best Blogs to Follow About Pharmacy Ownership
3 Best Blogs to Follow About Pharmacy Ownership


The pharmacy industry is a competitive and ever-changing environment. If you don’t keep up with news and trends, you can miss the boat on important industry changes and new governmental mandates. Increasing your exposure to what others in the industry are thinking and saying is a great way to keep you focused on moving forward. Reading blogs is the best way to stay on top of the trends, and today, we handpicked a list of pharmacy ownership blogs worth following!

Naturally, the PDS blog is the best place to start. Subscribe by submitting your email address here. With our email notifications, you will never miss a post! It’s never smart to rely on only one source of information, so let’s take a look at a few other great pharmacy ownership blogs you can read:

TED Medicine. TED is a small nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED’s inspirational audio and video presentations discuss a variety of pharmacy-related topics including cutting-edge technology trends and discoveries in the field of Medicine. You may enjoy listening or viewing TED Talks on your phone, tablet or home computer at any time. A new episode is posted every few days, so this can be a great source of information if you don’t have the time to sit down and read as often as you would like.

Retail Management Solutions. RMS is the industry leader in pharmacy point-of-sale technology for retail and outpatient pharmacies. RMS is the only point-of-sale provider in the nation that focuses strictly on the pharmacy market. Because of this singular focus, they have a great insight into the ever-changing world of pharmacy products and services. If you’re interested in the most up-to-date information on the technology trends for your pharmacy, this blog is a great place to start.

77% of internet readers use blogs, and blog is quickly becoming one of the most trusted sources of news. In fact, many people now trust blogs as the grass root source of news. It’s clear that keeping up with pharmacy blogs will be beneficial to you and your business in many ways.

If staying informed and up-to-date on everything related to the pharmacy industry is important to you (as it should be), you can’t miss the largest annual gathering of independent pharmacy owners. Click here to learn more and register.


2016 Conference

How to Increase Profits by Thousands of Dollars a Year


Pharmacy Profits from Supplements How can you quickly boost your pharmacy’s profit margins with little to no effort or costs? Well, consider McDonald’s success with their “supersize” options. By simply adding six words to each order (Would you like to supersize that?), McDonald’s convinced millions of customers to spend an extra $0.60 for an extra large drink and French fry. Adding this question to each order did not take any extra amount of time or money and in turn, increased the fast food restaurant’s profit.

So, how can you “supersize” your customer’s orders? In an independent pharmacy business, cross-selling is a quick and easy way to increase profits, while positioning your pharmacy as knowledgeable and caring. Remember, you are not in the prescription-filling or DME business, you are in the problem solving business. You offer solutions to people’s health issues. And guess what? There are hundreds of cross-selling – or back-end opportunities as we like to call it – readily available within the four walls of your pharmacy.

But I Didn’t go to Pharmacy School to be a Salesman!

This is correct, you didn’t spend six plus years learning how to make a “sale” or how to directly grow your independent pharmacy profit. However, you did learn about the different interactions and side effects of hundreds of medications and how to educate your patients on the solutions available to them. By simply re-framing your team’s thought process (and incorporating a little bit of training), the opportunity to increase your bottom line by thousands of dollars a year sky-rockets.

And remember, as the pharmacy owner, you should not be the only person on your team who is asking patients if they are interested in a relevant supplement. Train your staff and create critical drivers that encourage your team to put a little skin in the game.

How to Craft a Profitable Supplement Business

As a pharmacist, you were taught to be on the alert for major side effects from the drugs prescribed. However, from our experience, pharmacies rarely focus on educating their patients on the nutrients that are depleted bythese medications or those supplements that will enhance the performance of their prescription. As the “drug expert” in your community, this educating opportunity is your golden ticket.

By simply offering (high-margin) solutions to these potentially dangerous situations and prescription alternatives, you can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line and add volume and credibility to the pharmacists’ role as counselor. And not to mention, brand your pharmacy as the local option that truly cares about the well-being of its customers.

Watch this video to learn how one pharmacy owner added $10,000 to his bottom line by simply offering a high-integrity calcium supplement.

High Margin Back-End Opportunities

While there are 100’s of back end opportunities available at the fingertips of pharmacy professionals, here’s a quick list of conditions and products that have proven to decrease the chances of nutrient depletion and improve the disease state…and your bottom line:


  • High Cholesterol Patients – Red Yeast Rice
  • Chronic Pain Patients – Arnica Profen
  • Geriatric Women and Poor Bone Density Patients – Calcium Supplement, such as Osteohealth
  • Depression, Poor Bone Density Patients, and Muscle Relaxant Patients: Vitamin D3

Nutrient Depletion

  • Beta Blockers – deplete co-enzyme q-10
  • Blood Pressure Medications – deplete co-enzyme q-10 and B-6
  • Diabetes Drugs – deplete co-enzyme q-10, B-12, and folic acid
  • Diuretics – deplete magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, B-6, and vitamin-c
  • Statins – seriously deplete co-enzyme q-10

SHARE: What other items in your pharmacy do you see potential back-end opportunities? Think diabetic shoes + diabetic socks, Band-Aids + triple antibiotic ointment, etc. and share below:


4 Tips for Providing Extraordinary Customer Service in Your Pharmacy

Extraordinary Customer Service in Your Pharmacy

4 Tips for Providing Extraordinary Customer Service in Your Pharmacy


Exceptional customer service is essential for customer satisfaction and retention in any industry, and it holds especially true for pharmacies. While many of the national chain pharmacies offer the same services as you do, your pharmacy can provide your customers with more. Your pharmacy should be more than a place where you fill prescriptions, it should be a place where your customers know they are your neighbors and feel valued. Having a well-defined customer service strategy in place can not be an afterthought if you want to stay competitive.

Here are a few simple ways to ensure your customers are receiving top-quality service:

Tip #1: Train Your Employees

Your customer service process will never succeed without good people behind it. Hire talent with great people skills and help them improve through ongoing training. Employees that are personable, positive, friendly and have the right skill set will take your company further than you can imagine.

Tip #2: Listen to Your Customers

Excellent customer service is more than what you say and do for the customer. It also means giving them a chance to make their feelings known. With today’s technology, this can be easier than ever. Listen to what your followers are saying on social media and respond accordingly. If you’re getting more than one person with the similar comments, chances are many of your customers may be feeling the same way.

Tip #3: Admit Any Wrongdoings

Going above and beyond to resolve an issue is especially important when a customer has a complaint or a problem. There are many ways of showing the customer you care. When a prescription has been delayed, what should you do?

  • Call the customer personally with an update on the status of the order and expected completion time
  • Offer a small discount
  • Send a note apologizing for the delay after they have picked up their medicine
  • Include a gift card for an over-the-counter purchase

Tip #4: Show Your Customers That They are Valued

Nowadays, customers have more choices than ever for where to get theirprescriptions filled. Automating the “thank you” process using email and other digital message delivery systems is certainly easy, but it lacks the personal touch of a birthday card or hand-written message your customers appreciate. This is an excellent way to differentiate your independent pharmacy from big corporate giants.

Customer service is an integral part of owning a pharmacy and should be seen as a key component of running your business. Your most vital assets are your customers, and there are countless ways to provide them with extraordinary customer service.


3 innovative ways to compete in the pharmacy market

7 Ways to Increase Non-Prescription Pharmacy Sales

Increase Non-Prescription Pharmacy Sales

7 Ways to Increase Non-Prescription Pharmacy SalesPrescriptions may be the number one reason customers come into your pharmacy, and they are definitely one of the biggest revenue sources, but it’s vital for your business to boost non-prescription sales as well. In recent years, the profit margins of prescriptions across the industry have been dropping while margins for non-prescription or front-end products remain consistent and strong. Non-prescription merchandise can be an important source of revenue and maximizing your retail sales might be just as important as selling prescribed medications. Here are seven strategic ways to entice customers to make non-prescription purchases and ultimately boost your pharmacy revenue.

1. Study Market Research

Just because you like a particular product doesn’t mean everyone else does too. Don’t rely on your intuition to figure out the best ways to grow your non-prescription sales. Review data and research to determine which over-the-counter and retail products are hot. A study by Hamacher Resource Group (HRG) found that pharmacists assumed that diabetes products ranked as the fourth most-shopped non-prescription category, but point-of-sale data revealed that diabetes products actually ranked 15th. Also, review your sales figures to see which product categories are most popular with your customers and take steps to make these products easier to locate in your pharmacy.

2. Use Your Pharmacy’s Floor Plan to Your Advantag

The layout of your pharmacy can impact how to most effectively display your retail merchandise to generate more sales. Some areas of your pharmacy probably receive more foot traffic than others. For example, areas next to the prescription counter and aisles leading to the checkout registers tend to be higher in traffic. Rotate products in and out of these areas and at the end-of-aisle displays to determine which items see increased sales in these highly visible locations. Testing different floor areas will give you a good idea about where your pharmacy’s prime real estate is located. Moving merchandise around will also help keep your store fresh and current for your customers.

3. Train Your Team to Cross-Sell and Upsell

Your pharmacy staff is your most important asset. Coach them to both build relationships with customers and make relevant product suggestions. Train your staff to be helpful and ask customers what products they are looking for so they can easily find what they came into your store for. Your team might be able to recommend alternative or complementary products. It can also be helpful to hold weekly team meetings to inform your staff what inventory needs to be moved, marked down or removed.. Perhaps hold a contest and reward staff members that upsell the most products each month. For more information on upselling non-prescription products please read our blog post, 7 Ways to Upsell Your Pharmacy Customers

4. Build Strong Customer Relationships

According to HRG research, consumers who have established good, trusted relationships with their pharmacy are more likely to return compared to visiting stores where they don’t have a personal connection. Your talented team is capable of creating an atmosphere of comfort and trust so be sure to train them to engage with customers and establish personal relationships whenever possible. .Guide your staff to recognize repeat customers and greet them by their first name or ask questions about their families, work or pets. Everyone appreciates a personal touch.

5. Stock Related Products Closely

Knowing how products relate to each other can help your pharmacy increase retail sales. For example, people who are looking for a knee brace may find it helpful to also purchase joint cream or customers with a cold might be looking for a box of tissues. Display related products next to each other, so your customers can easily find what they are looking for. And don’t forget to use your pharmacy floor plan to help you determine how to position related products for maximum sales impact.

6. Be Your Own Secret Shopper

Forget everything you know about your pharmacy and walk through the doors as a secret shopper. Walk the aisles with a fresh eye and ask yourself if things look inviting. Would you continue to shop in this store? If you are hesitant, it may be time for some changes. Updating your decor, brightening  the lighting, or adding a fresh coat of paint will go a long way in providing your customers with a pleasant shopping experience.

7. Service That Sizzles

It doesn’t matter if you run a pharmacy or a ditchdigging company, everything begins and ends with customer service. Offering truly exceptional service is one of the best ways you can boost merchandise sales at your pharmacy. Ask the question, “Is there something we could do to improve your shopping experience and if so, what would it be?” This not only shows that you care what they think, but also allows you to get direct feedback to inform your team and implement changes.

A pharmacy is so much more than just a place to fill prescriptions. It’s a place where people can find convenience products, supplements, food, souvenirs and other household items. Knowing the most effective ways to increase sales of these items will pay off with a healthybottom-line for your independent pharmacy.

Looking for more ways to stand out from the crowd? Download our free eBook, 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market

3 innovative ways to compete in the pharmacy market

7 Ways to Upsell Your Pharmacy Customers


7 ways to upsellWhile upselling is often perceived negatively, it can make a whole world of difference when making your pharmacy extremely profitable. Upselling shouldn’t be seen in the same light as a shady used-car salesperson, it should be perceived as a way of giving customers additional solutions that help them solve for their needs. Yes, upselling is designed to give your pharmacy a boost in sales and, if implemented correctly, it will also help your customers.

The goal should be to always help the customer find a solution to their shopping and pharmacy needs. Here are 7 upselling tips your pharmacy can utilize to help customers and boost your revenue. Continue reading “7 Ways to Upsell Your Pharmacy Customers”

Every pharmacy sells the exact same thing. How will you stand out?

Pharmacy Marketing 360

describe the imageAs a pharmacy owner, chances are good you don’t come from a robust marketing background. That’s why PDS is committed to providing our members the trainings they need to create realistic marketing campaigns with confidence.

One of the ways we turn pharmacy owners into marketing rock stars is through Pharmacy Marketing 360º. This training is comprehensive and will have a positive impact on your pharmacy’s future. Created with care and detail by PDS Chief Marketing Officer Samantha Timmermann, this two-day workshop with follow-up webinars could be the missing puzzle piece your pharmacy has been craving.

With a new session of Pharmacy Marketing 360º starting in June, now is the time to think about registering yourself along with your marketer. Some of you might have questionsabout the training and what better way to address them than by getting the scoop from Samantha herself. In the following interview Samantha discusses what marketing mistake you are likely making, why going after target niches means more business and how Pharmacy Marketing 360 can introduce you to like-minded peers.

PDS Marketing Department: What do you think is the biggest marketing mistake pharmacy owners make?
Samantha Timmermann: They are forgetting to market themselves. They are so busy just in the daily grind. That, or they market with just whoever comes to them. If the newspaper people approach you to do an advertisement, yes, that’s good. But no one is opening their newspaper thinking “I need to find a new pharmacy today.” But what if you switch around your message and talk about your awesome services like a diabetes education class? That might catch their eye.

Samantha%27s Newest Marketing Webinar

You cover a lot of information about target audiences during the training. Why do you think that is so important for the pharmacy industry?

It’s important for every business but it’s especially important for independent pharmacies. When you ask a pharmacist or owner “Who is your target customer?”, they all say “Anyone and everyone who needs a prescription.” Well, that’s not quite true anymore. If you are just filling maintenance medications, that’s not going to take your pharmacy where you want it to go. If you can laser focus in on a target audience, you can have more fun with it. When you go for specific niches, that’s how you differentiate yourself from other pharmacies. It’s not just about target audiences, it’s about creating products that are truly remarkable.

Tell me about the experience of the training. What can PDS Members expect?
One of the big things we do here at PDS is help connect like-minded individuals who walk the same terrain and offer great emotional and collaborative support. That shows up not only at the conference and the message boards, but it shows up tremendously in the actual trainings. You are going to sit in a room with other pharmacy owners and pharmacy marketers and that is going to inspire you. That’s a really big part of it. On day two of the workshop, you are going to present your pharmacy marketing plan to the group and everyone is going to give you feedback and tell you what has worked and what hasn’t worked. You can talk to people who have already been there.

What do you want to tell a Pharmacy Owner that is considering registering but hasn’t quite decided yet?
This is where you and your marketer will be able to go and remove all of the distractions and focus on a niche idea instead of getting stuck in the whirlwind of filling prescriptions everyday. If you are wondering how to replace some of your customers that you are losing–the key is to identify something you might be passionate about and this is where you will learn how to launch it. Whether it’s a wellness niche or even vaccinations, this is where you can really focus on building a part of your company that you haven’t considered yet. Because when every pharmacy sells the exact same thing to the exact same people, what are you going to do to stick out?

Pharmacy Marketing 360º is Friday and Saturday, June 26-27 in Fort Lauderdale. Learnmore and register here. 

Want even more information on pharmacy marketing. Watch Samantha’s latest webinar ‘Attrating Your Most Profitable Customers’ right here!

Dana Krangel PDS Blog AuthorAbout the Author: Dana Krangel is the Marketing Specialist for Member Services at Pharmacy Development Services and a regular blog contributor. Dana can be found on Google+LinkedIn