People generally need more than they think they do. That’s the principle behind the sales training at the Container Store. It’s a strategy meant to increase the average ticket size and boost sales. According to this article, instead of the more traditional, “How are you today?” or “Did you find everything you need?” They instead ask “What space are you trying to organize”.
Asking this kind of directed question helps sales staff start a conversation with their customer. It also gives them an avenue to use their expertise about the products that the store carries to advise the customer on the best purchases to meet their needs.
You can use 3 similar simple strategies to increase revenue in your pharmacy.
1) Ask Smart questions: This is a relatively easy thing to change, but it does require some thought about what the mission is in your pharmacy. What do you want customers to have accomplished when they leave your pharmacy? What feelings do you want them to have about their experience? Answering these questions should help you come up with some questions of your own. I’ve come up with a few to get you started. Use them as a starting point to find the perfect questions to ask your customers.
- What can we do to make your family healthier today?
- What steps are you taking to improve your health today?
- What necessities are missing from your medicine cabinet?
You get the idea. Now brainstorm with your pharmacy staff to come up with some more great questions.
2) Invest in training: It will take more than a few pointed questions to find success. Your employees must know what to do with the answers they get to whatever question or questions you choose to ask. Not only that, they must be completely comfortable with taking the interaction from the first question until the sale is completed. At the Container Store, sales reps receive over 250 hours of training in their first year of work. Make sure your employees are well versed in all the products you carry, what services you can offer, and how to effectively utilize your technology. Take advantage of training programs from your service providers and business partners. Your employees are your most valuable asset. Make sure you value them properly and invest in them without hesitation.
3) Monitor your success: How will you know if you are succeeding. How will you know if you’re asking the right questions? You need to have a clear picture of where you are today and then monitor your average ticket size, and overall sales to make sure that your revenue is growing the way that you expect it to. You can also monitor participation in your customer loyalty program. And if at first, you don’t succeed… well, you know the rest. Just keep trying until you strike the right chord.
A more pointed and in depth sales process will help your pharmacy grow. You’ll have more satisfied customers with fuller shopping carts. It’s a win-win. I hope you’ll share some of the questions you come up with. Leave them in the comments section below.
Karen Deckard came to RMS with a background in retail and customers service, and was initially brought on board as a Sales Assistant and managed IIAS certifications for RMS's pharmacy POS customers. Today, Karen works as a Customer Success Manager, striving to provide independent and institutional pharmacies with the tools and resources they need to succeed in today's competitive pharmacy market.