NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every Friday.

When preparation meets OPPORTUNITY ... | NCPA Executive Update | March 30, 2018

by NCPA | Mar 30, 2018

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

My sophomore year of college, I had the following ritual with my roommate, an engineering major. After an all-nighter cramming for a test, I would tell him "Good luck on your test." And with the enthusiasm and hubris only found in a 19-year-old, he would reply the same way every single time: "Luck is for fools!"

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." That's what the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger said. Seneca died 2,000 years ago, but certainly he had a bead on community pharmacy today.

That's amazing foresight.

NCPA's marketing and communications team may have had Seneca's thoughts in mind when they created our new Opportunity Toolkit for NCPA members. Think of a toolkit in your garage, and you have the right idea — lots of things in there, and you may not use or need all of them. But they're there when you do.

Our toolkit is full of helpful tools to aid you in bringing in customers when a competitor closes or a local pharmacy changes ownership. Those changes are a huge opportunity for you and your pharmacy, and with this toolkit, you're prepared to act quickly.

For example, when Walgreens decided to buy 1,932 Rite-Aid stores, they said they would close nearly 600 stores.

And when a competitor closes, preparation is everything. First, take a look at the competitor. They may be closing, but chances are there was something they offered that you don't offer. What brought people into the business? Now, look at your business and decide which of those things you can do as well or better (home delivery, immunizations, med sync, easy parking, DME, etc.).

Next, make sure your pharmacy website is up to date. People are in a hurry these days. They expect a website that's fast and easy to navigate. Your website is a reflection of your business — it should be friendly and informative. Make sure your address, phone number, operating hours, and a map are prominently displayed.

Once those basics are in place, talk to prescribers and employers in your area. Tell them what you offer. Make sure they understand the value of your services and ask that they refer patients to you. Reach out to the employees of the competitor — staff pharmacists, techs, and front-end employees. If they're a good fit, hire them. They can be a champion to their former customers.

These are just a few of the great tips you'll find in our toolkit. But we offer so much more. Effective tools are more than a tip sheet. Our Opportunity Toolkit gives you talking points to use in conversations with patients, scripts for radio ads, flyers, car magnets, posters, sample ads, social media messages, bag stuffers and sample letters.

Why did we do all this? Quite simply, it's because our members asked us for help. We're always looking for ways to add value to your NCPA membership. We have a robust advocacy agenda that we work hard to carry out every day. We also have a communications and marketing plan, and our goal is to give you news and information you can use to help you build and develop your business. We do that through our qAM email newsletter, The Dose blog, and America's Pharmacist® magazine, to name just a few. But a big part of our communication strategy involves listening. We want to know what members need, and we work to provide it.

If we can help you, talk to us. Let us know what you need, and we'll do our best to prepare or identify tools that will help you be well prepared when opportunities come your way.

Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy's fast-food chain, said, "I think the harder you work, the more luck you have." That's true — but never forget we're your partner in that hard work. Talk to us. Tell us how we can help you get lucky.

Doug Hoey