Every February, the most progressive pharmacy owners from across the country arrive in Orlando to spend an intensive three days working on their business. We like to say that the PDS Super-Conference is where passion meets innovation. Attendees bring the passion for providing patients with exceptional health care, and PDS brings the innovative strategies that empower owners to adapt and overcome the challenges they face in today’s marketplace, so they can best serve their communities.
This year was packed with incredible information that attendees and members are already leveraging to change the trajectory of their year. For those that weren’t able to attend this year, we have summarized the 5 Key Takeaways from PDS 2019 in this blog and in our latest on-demand webinar with VP of Business Development, Dr. Lisa Faast. Want to get ahead of the curve? Register today for PDS 2020.
Key Takeaway #1: Brand Identity for Independent Pharmacies
2019 is the year for independents to own our ‘Why.’ Pharmacy owners need to brand ourselves differently.
Consider the following questions posed by PDS founder, Dan Benamoz at the Super-Conference:
- Why should people choose us over their other options?
- What do we provide that is more valuable than convenience?
- How do we stand above what has become the status quo, public acceptance of mediocre health care?
How patients experience your pharmacy, the recommendations they get from you, and their other healthcare providers all play a significant role in their decision to stay loyal and come back. Independents must find a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Most patients don’t understand (or care) about the complex ecosystem of insurance and PBMs. They do understand the importance of an informed pharmacist that provides solutions to their specific healthcare needs without breaking the bank. This is the core of PDS’ Pharmacy Brand Promise; you can download your copy HERE, hang it proudly in your store to let your patients know that you’re here to support their needs. Already a PDS Member? Ask your Performance Specialist about access to the print-ready, customizable ads for you to use in your pharmacy today.
Key Takeaway #2: Professional Selling for Independent Pharmacies
Most of us have a vision of a typical salesperson; someone shamelessly pushing you into purchasing products you don’t want or need. In 2019, PDS is challenging pharmacy owners to change this view. The fact is that independents offer critical services and bring valuable knowledge to the community they serve.
We can only impact the health and wellness of our patients if we can communicate what we offer effectively. The ability to communicate and sell your services is critical to the success of your business and the industry. At the PDS, Super-Conference, we brought in three speakers to highlight different ways for attendees to improve their professional sales skills.
Amanda Gore – The Neuroscience of Sales
Your most effective sales tool is connection. Communication and performance expert, Amanda Gore, presented actionable strategies to build relationships and improve communication with your patients, your pharmacy team, and your family. Learn more about leveraging the science of the heart (yes, your feelings) and emotional intelligence to make an impact in your pharmacy and personal life.
Karl Scheible – Minding the Gap, Creating a Great Initial Conversation
We have to sell to do what we love, help people. Success in sales is a direct result of creating alignment between your attitude, behaviors, and technique. Get rid of your self-limiting beliefs, create new actions that empower you and develop a process that you can practice and scale to achieve results.
Dr. Robert Cialdini – Effective, Ethical Influence
Widely regarded as the ‘Godfather of Influence,’ Dr. Cialdini covered the specifics of the Six Universal Principles of Persuasion. Learn more about the principles that help your patients to overcome uncertainty, build relationships, and understand why they work. This knowledge empowers pharmacy owners to read situations and identify the best technique to convey your message.
In addition to the conference presentations, PDS has created a 2-day boot camp, led by sales expert, author, and keynote speaker, Karl Scheible. Learn how to more effectively communicate with prescribers and practice managers and change the trajectory of your business and the quality of care for your patients. Professional sales skills are incredibly important as the landscape of our industry continues to evolve. Don’t be left behind; you can learn how to ethically and effectively have more influence in your business.
Key Takeaway #3: CBD – Cannabinoids
CBD has been around for a few years now, but questions still linger around the product and the legality. Dr. Alex Capano, Medical Director of Ananda Hemp, presented the facts about the potential impact of this soon to be multi-billion dollar industry. It was an informative session that covered the emerging therapeutic potential of CBD and the multiple ways pharmacy owners can leverage this product to expand healthcare services and increase profits.
Key Takeaway #4: Pharmacy Financials
With the multiple hats pharmacy owners wear, managing your financials on top of everything else can seem daunting. At PDS, we think that understanding the financial status of your business is critical for an owner to manage your assets effectively, make data-driven business decisions, and grow your business. If you don’t know the terms, you can’t understand the game.
PDS is now offering an expert pharmacy accounting service. Receive customized reports, traditional bookkeeping that provide unique insight on how to improve your pharmacy. Enjoy the confidence and clarity you get with PDSfinancials.
Key Takeaway #5: Go-To Plays of Successful Leaders
Leadership is learned and earned. Our final keynote speaker, Peyton Manning spoke about creating a positive culture in your pharmacy and developing leadership skills. What got you here won’t get you success at the next level; this is true in sports and in running an independent pharmacy business. Manning shared personal insights from both on and off the football field that resonated with anyone looking to grow as a leader.
Learn what 1,600 thriving independent pharmacies already know; get the impactful insights and scalable strategies to win in 2019. Attending the PDS Super-Conference is a critical component to the success of our industry; for 15 years we have unveiled innovative programs and ideas that have changed the way independents run their business. The above 5 Takeaways are a small piece of what attendees get from the conference. Don’t miss out on another year – register today and start seeing the impact PDS can make on your independent pharmacy.
Click HERE to watch our on-demand webinar with Dr. Lisa Faast as she covers more information about the 5 Key Takeaways from PDS 2019.
If you’re an independent pharmacy owner, you might already have an idea of how “sales” is supposed to look. Maybe you picture a man in a suit with slicked-back hair who uses every technique in the book to get someone to buy.
We get it: salespeople and selling have a terrible reputation. But the fact remains that if you are running an independent pharmacy, you are, by default, in sales. Selling is a form of communication, and a necessary skill you need to learn if you want to level up your business.
Read on to learn Amanda Gore’s emotional approach to sales and how she uses neuroscience principles to understand human behavior. Hear from Amanda Gore at the 2019 PDS Super-Conference, as she discusses how to connect, educate, and leverage non-traditional sales skills to influence audiences in a way that builds trust and grows your pharmacy.
The Name of the Pharmacy Game: Adaptability
Before we dive into discussing sales skills, keep in mind that owning a business is difficult and you’ll face obstacles that will discourage you. In the independent pharmacy industry, you’ll have to deal with things that are beyond your control, such as legislation, opaque pricing, and reimbursement structures.
There’s no way around it: it’s the price you pay to be an entrepreneur. The solution?
Staying adaptable and learning new skills that will impact growth in your business. Effectively and ethically ‘selling’ your services, ideas, and products is the next evolution for independent pharmacy.
Developing a Modern Sales Mindset
The first step to mastering sales is getting rid of any preconceived notions. Remember, selling is not about not “manipulating” people to do something. The truth is that you’re always selling. When you’re pitching new ideas to your team or working to increase signups for a pharmacy program, you’re selling.
To be more effective, you must change your perception of your pharmacy patients. Picture everyone that comes into your business as someone that needs your help and the expertise of your pharmacy team. Your pharmacy is not merely a place to get prescriptions filled–it’s a crucial part of the neighborhood where people go to be happy and healthy.
If you have a product that you genuinely believe will help solve your friend’s problem or cure their illness, wouldn’t you do everything you can to convince them to buy it?
Listen Properly (Hardly Anyone Does) & Create Non-Verbal Connections
With the rising popularity of social media, we’re more connected than ever before. However, many of us are still unable to develop real human connections. That’s why as an independent pharmacy owner, you must practice ‘true listening’ with your patients.
Real listening is about…
- being present with everyone you interact with: your patients, your team, or your prescribers.
- striving to understand what the other person is trying to convey.
- paying attention to the other person’s body language, making eye contact, smiling, and giving them your undivided attention.
You’ll realize that just by caring about the subject and addressing your customers’ concerns, your patients will find their way back to your pharmacy time and time again.
A New Way of Thinking
Your independent pharmacy is a cornerstone in the community. Every day, people are placing their health and wellness in your hands. The personalized care you provide for the community IS the competitive advantage against chains and big-box retailers.
Embrace your role and start connecting with your patients. You can ethically affect positive change in the health and wellness of your community without sacrificing profitability. It’s your duty and responsibility as an independent pharmacy owner to learn how to sell, so you can help solve your customers’ problems.
PDS 2019 – Sales Skills for Pharmacy Owners
Independent pharmacies face challenges and roadblocks at every turn, and the need to implement non-traditional revenue streams is greater now than ever. But how can you and your team overcome the difficulty of approaching doctors, administrators, and even patients with your collaboration ideas? How can you do that comfortably and ethically?
The skill you need: Sales. Professional, non-traditional sales skills.
Learn how to effectively communicate and sell to the audiences that are critical to the success of your business, specifically prescribers, practice managers, patients, and even your own team.
What makes people say yes? The science behind persuasion is comprehensive, and researchers have been studying the factors that influence people to say “yes” to the requests of others for over 60 years.
The real question is: what guides human behavior? During the decision-making process, it’s natural to think that people consider all the information available to them to determine their response. In reality, people are guided by certain factors that influence their decisions because we lead such busy, sensory-saturated lives.
Read on to discover what guides people to say “yes!”
An Introduction to Our First Keynote Speaker for PDS 2019!
Dr. Robert Cialdini, a New York Times best-selling author, psychologist, and professor, founded the principles of persuasion. We’re so excited to reveal that he will be at the 2019 PDS Super-Conference as one of our Keynote Speakers! At the show, he is set to wow the crowd with his topic on ethical influence, which will be a hot topic at PDS 2019 because we will focus on prescriber buy-in as well as ethical persuasion for your pharmacy patients. We will lay the foundation down at the conference, address questions and teach you how to effectively get the buy-in you want without sacrificing your integrity.
What we’ll share with you below are the findings of his research… you may be surprised at how you can use his principles effectively and ethically.
The 6 Principles of Persuasion
In Dr. Cialdini’s research, he identified 6 factors that influence people and drive them to say “yes.” He believes that if you understand and employ these principles in an ethical manner, you can also increase your chances of influencing others to the desired outcome.
Dr. Cialdini identified these universal principles by observing real-life situations of persuasion over a number of years. Let’s be clear, these principles must be ethically used to be effective and align with moral practices. Let’s unpack how these principles guide our behaviors.
This principle plays on the need for people to give back what they have received first. Whether it’s a behavior, gift, or service, people feel obliged to give back.
Simply put, if someone does you a favor, you have the social obligation to return the favor you owe. An example for pharmacies would be if one of your team members gives a customer personalized and unexpected service, such as a free sample, the customer will feel obligated to either purchase the product, other products or return to your store.
You may have already inferred what this principle is about. People want what they cannot have. If you announce that a product will be going off the shelves, your customers will be more willing to purchase this product even though nothing has changed about it, neither the quality or the price.
The research is clear — when using the scarcity principle in your pharmacy, you must not only speak of the unique benefits of your product, but also, what they have to lose if they miss out.
Why is it that we tend to hold more stock in people in uniform or degrees on the wall? Attributes such as these indicate a level of authority in their field and for most of the population that passes the mental litmus test of credibility.
The science behind the authority principle shows signaling what makes you credible makes your audience, patients, prescribers, or otherwise, more apt to be influenced by this display of expertise.
This is an interesting principle, and likely not often considered in a business setting. The idea is that your customers tend to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.
What this means is that if you make small asks at the beginning of your relationship or transaction, they will be more willing to see it through. An example of this is a recent study where a health center was able to reduce their missed appointments 18% by asking the patients to fill out appointment details on their own appointment card instead of the staff. This also works if you want to make a bigger ask of the customer down the road, they will be more agreeable to complete the bigger action if they have consistently completed smaller ones.
The driving force behind this principle is simple — people will say yes to those they like.
What makes people like you? Humans will tend to like others with whom they can relate, people who are amiable, and with whom they have a connection. This is why it is so vital that you’re putting the right people on your team in customer-facing positions. Your team on the front lines must be personable, knowledgeable, and provide exemplary customer care.
The consensus principle follows the idea that people will flock to and trust the consensus of others. This is why social proof sites like Yelp, or the rating on your Facebook business page will successfully convert people to follow you. We trust the opinions of our peers.
For your pharmacy, it’s important to deliver quality patient care and excellent customer service, then provide an outlet for people to praise and rank you so you can build that credibility. This, of course, holds you and your team to high standards that you must uphold.
Save Your Seat to the Most Important Pharmacy Conference of Your Career
These 6 principles of persuasion are scientifically proven to increase your ability to influence others. As we said above, at the PDS 2019 show this coming February, we will focus on prescriber buy-in and ethically influencing your pharmacy patients. Join us there to see what Dr. Cialdini and the other pharmacy and business experts have to say on how to accomplish this as pharmacy owners.
PDS 2019 is the show you can’t afford to miss. Prices will increase on October 1, 2018, so don’t wait to book your tickets!