Being a pharmacist, have you ever been in a job where you did not “love” your customers?
Over the past two decades I have seen time and time again, pharmacy staff express their “issues” with customers a number of ways: avoiding a certain person having someone else to wait on them, rolling eyes, and even ‘venting’ after they leave. If you have ever worked conventional retail pharmacy, I am guessing you know what I am talking about.
Regardless of my work situation over the years, I have found ways to love being at work, in practice, and I have realized this is due to the power we have to cultivate our clientele.
If you were to go out and ask any pharmacist at a big box or corner clone chain, or even an independent who solely practices the lick, stick and pour model of pharmacy, if they love their job, I am guessing you would get a resounding no- and a lot of this has to do with the people and customers they work with every day.
In fact, a recent Gallup poll of all professions and jobs shown that 72% of people are indifferent with their job; they are either not passionate about it, or outright negative, and this negativity is a virus which can spread throughout your pharmacy. And for those folks who tend to seek such drama, they catch it as well. What this is saying that only about 1/4 of the work force enjoys what they do, and if you think this does not affect customers opinion, you are mistaken.
In cases of independent pharmacists, (and even some chains), who have decided to think and practice outside the box, adding more clinical programs, expanding away from the lick, stick, and pour only model, job satisfaction shows to be much higher.
You can cultivate your clientele, as much as you can cultivate your employee’s, and I believe you should’ for the good of your happiness, the good of your business, and the good of your family and communities.
1) You have to like people, and care about adding value to their life
Whether you are in a retail pharmacy or are creating a consulting practice, the fact of the matter is, you have to like people, and you have to care about adding value to their life. If this is not you, there is a hospital pharmacy or mail order job waiting for you somewhere.
I am naturally a people person, and one of the things which I love most is providing someone the information or tools they need to get healthier, or on the other side of my business- to help them grow their practice. When I hear back from someone feeling better when they never thought they could, or excited on how their practices is growing- this thrills me more than any paycheck or material object ever could. Its a special kind of job satisfaction which I find is critical in cultivating clientele.
2) What you focus on will expand
I know this sounds kind of Tony Robbins like, or self-helpy, but personally I have never seen this more apparent than in pharmacy.
Let me give you a couple of quick examples in my history…think about examples of your own.
3) Speak to their Values
This is the culture eats strategy for lunch comment I made above. A few months ago I did a video for you on the values of the cultural creatives- values such as: natural minded, like whole foods, independent thinkers, wants whats best and unique, looks for VALUE which is not always BEST PRICE, self-actualizers, looks at practitioners as advisers, but not so much end all experts.
I like these values, and I identify with these values. One of my wife’s and my hobbies is eating at restaurants which have great food, and a great environment. We have our own list of values of a Barfoodie, and that is basically what we for, so when we find a restaurant that express and practices these values- we’re hooked.
When you market, talk about, converse, post of facebook, ANYTHING about your business- speak to the values of the consumers you want more of. If it is similar to the values I just shared with you in the cultural creatives, a post of “200 different medications for just $9.99 will not grab them”- you are only offering them a commodity at a bargain basement price- they see no value in this.
But if you post your recent blog post of “Do Probiotics Really Work…And How Do I Find The Good Ones?”- and educate them on what to look for…then your speaking to their values- this is why culture eats strategy for lunch, and why you constantly see the big chains copying off of each others failures.
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