September 22, 2018

News, products, marketing and merchandising tips for the
front end of community pharmacies

* TIPS From NCPA's Front-End Guru, Gabe Trahan *

Getting the Most From a Trade Show

Whether you will be with us in Boston for the NCPA Annual Convention, or attending some other type of trade show where you will interact with current and potential business partners, here are a few ideas and suggestions on how to maximize the return on investment of your valuable time.

Prepare to be polite but firm! Spending time at a booth that you have no interest in will drastically cut your productivity and will tire you quickly. Say "no thank you" then keep walking. At this point, you are doing everyone a favor. Do not say "not interested," this will lead to a conversation about why you are not interested. Do not say "not a good fit for my store." This will lead to "Oh, what kind of store do you have?" Keep walking.

Share your findings with your peers, remember booth numbers!

Make a list of exhibitors that you must see, see them first, do not let other booths distract you. Once that is done walk the entire floor! The most successful trade shows you attend will be the ones where you discovered the unexpected! Stay in the center of the aisle, do not reach for a free pen or a candy unless you are willing to have a 5-minute chat with someone.

Bring your tool bag! Map of trade floor, vendor checklist, pens, 2 mini staplers, business cards, file holder and camera/phone.

Tip on business cards: Write the product or service name that you are interested in on the back of the representative's card. Many times the business card handed to you will have a company name and not the information you need. Scribble a checkmark on the front of the card for ones that you are the most interested in.

Before leaving the booth thank the representative for being part of the trade show.

If it is the first day of the show, it most likely is the busiest. Think of the tradeshow as if it was Disney World, start from the back and work your way to the exit.

Let vendors know the best way to contact you. Example, email, please do not call.

Be prepared to buy at the show and always, always ask if there is a show special! Be on the lookout for samples and point of purchase material, ask to have it shipped to your store.

Things to ask: What is the minimum order amount? Minimum reorder? Estimated shipping cost? Is there a cost for the display? Last week I was very interested in a product to add to NCPA's Front-end Marketplace, I was shocked to hear that the minimum order amount was a pallet! The minimum order should be one of your first questions.

From the Bottom to the Middle

At the bottom of each issue of Profit Makers is a blurb about all the front-end resources we have on the NCPA website, free for NCPA members. Go ahead and look, it's down there. Then, go look at the picture galleries, tips, and more we have for you 24/7.

Oooo that's NICE

It is time to get nominations in for the 2019 NICE Awards. Which of these categories is the one for something special you've done this year?

  • Best External Remodel - From landscaping and paint jobs to entire rebuilds, how did you improve your curb appeal?

  • Best Internal Remodel - Maybe you moved the pharmacy department. Maybe you created a compression section. Whatever your remodel project, how did it enhance your image and sales?

  • Best In-Store Display - When done right, end-caps are the 2nd best section for creating impulse sales. Show us the display your customers couldn't resist.

  • Best Exterior Sign - Roadside signs draw attention to your store. Have a new one you're proud of? Enter it to see if it's the best of the best.

  • Best Delivery Vehicle - Are you riding in style? Toot your own horn and show off your delivery vehicle.

  • Best Marketing/Promotion - How did you attract new customers in your community? Tell us about the great promotion you ran that you want to tell everyone else about.

  • Best Customer Convenience Improvement - Americans love convenience. We take hard processes and make them simpler, such as curbside delivery, drive-up windows and automatic doors for patients who have trouble walking into the pharmacy. Do you have a great example of how you've made life easier for your customers?

Nominate your store this year... click here to get the details!

* Front-End Marketplace Vendor of the Month *

Evo Hemp has a September deal for you – 30% off

The September Vendor of the Month on NCPA's has a great offer for you... 30% off all Evo Hemp products featured on the site. Evo Hemp's Hemp Bars come in six delicious flavors including gluten and soy free varieties. Packed with 7 gm of healthy hemp based protein, these bars are perfect for breakfast and on the go. The Hemp Crunch snacks pack protein and Omega-3s and come in three flavors, BBQ, Cinnamon, and Garlic & Herb. Evo Hemp also sells Hemp Protein Powder, great for adding protein to a variety of foods; Hemp Hearts for a vegan protein that is perfect tossed in salads, smoothies, baked goods, and more; and Hempseed Oil that can be used in place of olive, flax or coconut oil while cooking. You can get a free sample, too!

Front End Resources for NCPA Members

Being a member of NCPA means you have access to a treasure trove of helpful hints, tips, and resources to make your front end more profitable! Download One-Pager Tips on a variety of topics. Gabe typically posts a tip once or twice a day on his Twitter account — if you're on Twitter, give him a follow at @NCPAGabe. You can also find tips in Gabe's monthly column in America's Pharmacist. The Overhaul of Fame galleries contain hundreds of photos to inspire you, from effective signs to successful end-caps and everything in between. Finally, you and your staff can access several staff training videos that will help you take an objective view of your store, both inside and out!

This wealth of knowledge is due to the fantastic photos, ideas, and suggestions we receive every day from NCPA members like you. Drop him a line at with your questions, photos, best advice, and recommendations. What's selling well in your store? Let us know.

"Profit Makers" is produced by NCPA in collaboration with Drug Store News

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