When putting a marketing plan together, independent pharmacy owners often forget about an important segment to reach out to – your local prescribers. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including not knowing what to say, feeling like there is no time to reach out, or convinced all prescribers know what you offer, so there is not a need to do so. While they are all valid concerns, none of them should stop you to making that connection. Putting a plan together before venturing out can help maximize your time, be prepared with what to take with you, and know which doctors to communicate which services to.
The goal with doctor detailing, like with most marketing tactics, is to increase overall script count at your pharmacy. It can also accomplish other goals, such as educating, increase awareness, and build a competitive edge. Let’s break down each of these:
Education – If you offer compounding – do all your local doctors understand compounding and the benefits of the practice? Use your doctor visits to teach them how it could specifically help their patients or address any concerns they may have. You can also review how through your syncing or packaging program, you can help with their adherence ratings.
Increase awareness – Have you offered a new service since opening your pharmacy? The chances are this answer is yes. You’ve done a great job letting your customers know, but what about the prescribers? Let them know you can administer travel vaccines, or now carry a sought-after probiotic. You never know, a prescriber could have been looking for a solution, that you have now presented to them. But if you don’t talk about it, how will they know?
Build a competitive edge – Stopping by doctors’ offices at least once a month, sending emails, or partnering with him or her on a local heart walk can all help establish a relationship with a prescriber. As that healthcare partner, they will be more likely to reach out to you than a large chain pharmacist they don’t know.
When putting a plan together for doctor detailing, it’s important to determine three things: your goal, your target area(s) and budget. For example, if you recently opened a pharmacy, your goal is to get your name out there so prescribers know you exist. Your target area is where do you want to pull scripts from – 2 miles around the pharmacy? Certain cities or zip codes? You can pull a list of doctors from your dispensing system, or search through Google. Finally, what is your budget – how much do you want to spend on promotional items, gas to drive around, your time, etc. It’s crucial to establish all three of these items beforehand, so you can track your efforts to measure your ROI.
While visiting doctors’ offices personally is the best way to detail, you can reach out to them via fax or email, if visits are not an option. We recommend focusing on one topic with these types of communications, and to reach out to them at least twice a month to keep your pharmacy name top of mind.
If you don’t have a detailing plan in place yet, it’s time to put one together! Start small and focus on one or two areas in your community and promote one service (that separates you from the competition). Build it from there, identifying new opportunities for growth.