Staffing Issues Could Be Holding Back a Tremendous Opportunity for Independents!

Jonathan Jacobs
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This past week while making rounds at many independent pharmacies the lines “out the door”, “down-the-block” were tremendous at every location I visited.  Every line was a cut across the local community wherever I traveled.  The single people dressed for work or school, housewives and mothers and fathers, some with children in tow all had testing and vaccinations or ‘boosters’ if you will on their mind. They were all patiently waiting online at every store for whatever they needed. Many of these people would be online for at least twenty to thirty minutes minimum if not more.  Perfect opportunity for ‘any’ staff member to be walking the lines and gathering preliminary information and more importantly taking a quick second to make a marketing ‘impact’! A simple greeting from the store and using the moment to market and expand.  Some people that are online may also be interested in additional services and more specifically other vaccinations they could possibly receive such as for the seasonal flu, Shingles, etc.

taking a nasal swab to test for coronavirus

This Pandemic level event has caused unprecedented upheaval in community interaction and the importance of testing as we move forward will continue to drive people to your store. Are you overlooking this great opportunity to gain some additional customers from your local community while you have them right there in your pharmacy!

Only at one pharmacy did I witness actual store staff greeting and “selling” additional services to store customers waiting online.  The truth is that with such short staff (due to store employees coming down with Covid themselves) and so many patrons the opportunity is being lost in the shuffle of trying to do it all!   It only takes a little time to prepare something printed with your stores’ information and a listing of products and additional Covid-19 related services to make the opportunity and your handout relevant.

I asked three store owners about this on my travels, and they all lamented how they aren’t really doing anything while agreeing with me that this is a great, lost opportunity.  Every store owner asked that I not mention their pharmacy and name, understandably!  Some did seem intrigued that with only a minimum effort they could capitalize a bit better on the situation at hand.

While you have a minute to breathe, consider the tremendous opportunity and its downstream benefits to your store. The testing crunch will not be with us forever and this is an event driving people to your store without the true cost of advertising.  Make the effort and you will hang on to some of these new people from your neighborhood!!

The following links are both related to the future of Independent pharmacy that were extremely interesting reads:

Independent pharmacies have been overlooked

The Future of Pharmacy


Below are links to a few Pandemic related pieces we’ve featured in the past. If you continue to read through the various articles it will link to more related material:


Point of Sale Success – Part 3: Ordering Inventory

RPM’s Remote Patient Monitoring is Here to Stay!

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