Understand the needs of your target care facilities
In sales, the people with the best results are the ones who understand their prospects and what they expect from their pharmacy. You’ll want to do some research on each facility and learn more about their population and how your pharmacy can serve them. Meeting expectations is the key to winning their business.
What’s important to long-term care facilities:
- Efficient dispensing and delivery
- Survey and regulatory requirements
- Reports for the facility
- Connectivity to their EHR/EMR
- Ability to track orders from inception to delivery
As you meet with long-term care facility owners, make sure that you are addressing these key concerns. They want to be confident that you will provide efficient dispensing and delivery, survey, and regulatory requirements.
Create a strong online presence
Long-term care facility owners will do their research about pharmacies online. They will be looking for professionalism, and social proof that you are trustworthy. This can be displayed through an active online presence, a professional website, and informative content. Your online presence speaks volumes.
Research your competition
Check out how your competitors are interacting online. Discover what they are including in their content. Examine their social media profiles and websites to see what type of content they are sharing. Take notes on what you feel is effective and what you don’t like. Then use your research as inspiration to build your pharmacy’s online presence.
Establish your social media presence
A great place to start is by creating Twitter and Facebook accounts for your pharmacy. You can invite your network and potential patients to ‘like’ and ‘share’ your social media pages. You can also grow your online presence by letting your patients know about your Facebook page. This can be done in person, through social media advertisements, or using posters in your pharmacy.
Engage with patients and potential customers
Interacting with your customers online builds trust. You can share important tips for staying healthy, conduct wellness surveys, and provide information on the latest regulations. Just make sure that you aren’t sharing personal information that would violate regulations.
Create an informative website
Clients will judge your business based on the look and content of your website. Make sure that your website appears professional, clearly lists your contact information, and provides useful information to prospective clients.
A good pharmacy website includes the following key elements:
- Attractive design
- Simple navigation
- Refill page
- Services page
- Contact page
- FAQ page
- An About Us page
Network for business connections
Word of mouth marketing is a powerful tool. Caregivers who work at long-term care facilities can be advocates for your pharmacy. Nursing organizations are also great networking connections. Whether you network on LinkedIn or at the local chamber of commerce, connecting with long-term caregivers can provide plenty of referrals and potential partnerships.
Start by leveraging the existing connections that you have with physicians, home health agencies, and hospital discharge planners. On LinkedIn, you can identify the decision-makers within the targeted facility. LinkedIn is also a great place to research local long-term care facilities.
LinkedIn allows you to connect with the decision-makers within long-term care organizations. These include the administrators, directors of nursing, or nursing staff. You can connect directly with them, or to see if you have mutual friends and request an introduction.
Attending regular networking events can help you land new business contacts. Look for industry events as well as community events. Make sure that you bring business cards with you when you attend, and follow up with new contacts on LinkedIn, and with a phone call.
Communicate your unique selling proposition
Whether you are building your brand online or through word-of-mouth marketing, you need to differentiate your pharmacy to ensure that you stand out from the competition. Determine the most outstanding aspect of your business that will help a long-term care facility. This could be great customer service, accommodating last-minute orders, or an expertise in common health conditions among older adults.
Create a slogan
Once you know what differentiates you from other competitors, you will want to create a unique tagline. This will make you more memorable. All of the top brands have taglines. For example, Crest’s tagline is “fights cavities”, and Advil focuses on pain relief with their slogan, “For better relief, Advance to Advil!”
Keep your slogan simple and use it on all your marketing materials. A tagline of three to seven words is ideal. This will help your brand become more memorable. It will also remind your customers what is important to your brand.
Your slogan can accompany your logo on your website. It can be placed at the signature of emails. You can use it on business cards, in commercials, and on marketing apparel. The more places that your slogan is used, the more likely it will stick in your customer’s mind.
Write blog posts
Regular blog posts keeps your online presence going, but it also gives you the opportunity to inform your customers about what makes your pharmacy great. In a blog post, you can share your values and explain how you are meeting expectations. This will help potential customers feel more confident in your services.
Host free webinars or seminars
A great way to communicate your pharmacy’s unique selling proposition is to host free webinars or seminars. This provides an opportunity to differentiate your pharmacy, demonstrate your expertise, and show how you’ll meet the needs of long-term care facilities.
The following topics are ideal for long-term care facilities and their patients:
- Heart health
- Vitamin and supplement recommendations
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
The best way to market to long-term care facilities is through an integrated approach of online and in-person marketing. A professional website will help build trust and communicate your values. Networking can bring a personalized approach that demonstrates a high-level of customer service. Social media and regular blog posts will build your brand online. Pharmacies that develop a marketing strategy to differentiate themselves from the competition will attract new contracts with long-term care facilities.