5 Tips for Increasing OTC Sales

gamifying otc sales
gamifying otc sales

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Too many pharmacy owners are leaving buckets of cash on the proverbial table by not focusing on selling more OTCs.

We put together some tips to help you increase your OTC sales.

Why doesn’t the typical independent pharmacy sell more OTCs?

I think one of the main reasons is you don’t know how much you SHOULD and COULD be selling in OTCs. When you don’t know what is possible, you don’t know what to shoot for. 

Think Small = Be Small 

One of the benefits I have as someone who knows a crap-ton (official measurement metric, BTW!) of pharmacy owners is my understanding of what is possible gets expanded almost daily. Once you know what someone can do, then you realize you can do it, too. 

It’s like the story of the 4-minute mile. Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mark in 1956. This breakthrough was after some of the best athletes and coaches had been pursuing this milestone for many decades. 

What happened next? In just 46 days, someone else beat it, too. Then, 3 runners broke it in one race. Now, over a thousand runners have broken it. 

What was holding all these people back before Roger’s first triumph?

Psychological Barriers

The answer is themselves. Their own mental blockades were holding them back. It was common knowledge that to break the 4-minute mark, the conditions had to be perfect: 68-degree weather, light to no wind, dry track, and rainbows and daisies falling from the sky!


Roger broke it on a cold day with a wet track. He shattered psychological barriers that day. That is what changed. 

Now, back to your pharmacy. 

How much OTCs do you sell? 

Why only that amount? 

Why not 10x or 100x that amount? 

Really think about that question. 

I know pharmacies that regularly sell 6 figures a month in OTCs. Yes. 6 figures. That means over $100,000 a month. Some even do multiples of that. 

Why aren’t you selling $100,000 a month?

These are NOT magical unicorn pharmacies. If you were to walk into them, they probably look and feel a lot like your pharmacy. They exist in small towns, retail plazas, and urban areas.

The Big Difference

What sets them apart, then?

Here are five takeaways that successful pharmacies selling a boatload of OTCs do that most other pharmacies don’t.

  1. They make it a primary focus.
  2. They don’t give up.
  3. They leverage social media.
  4. Their whole staff is involved.
  5. They keep going for more.

Primary Focus

They make increasing OTC sales a primary focus. Distractions are the fastest way to the poor house. You can’t have 10 primary goals. And this comes from someone who believes in multi-tasking! You can’t even have 3, in my opinion. You must be laser-focused, and all your brain power is being used to solve this 1 problem. If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.

All your decisions must be filtered through the primary focus lens. If it doesn’t help you attain your main goal, then you must say no. Learning to say no is one of the most valuable skill sets a pharmacy owner can have. When you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else. Be sure you are saying yes to your highest priority.

Don’t Give Up

Most people vastly underestimate how much work and effort is needed to successfully implement a project. In addition, even if you do know how much work is required, most people will decide not to commit all their effort to it.

Remember, success will take more work than you think, and it will take more effort than you think.

Another issue is people think effort and results are linear. For example, if you put in an effort level of 4 out of 10, then you expect 4 out of 10 results. Or if you put in a level effort of 8, you expect an 8 in return. From my experience in business, that thinking is wrong. The ‘effort to result’ equation is an exponential one. Going from a level effort of 8 to 10 will often yield results that are 10x or 100x of lower effort levels.

Social Media

It is incredibly difficult to massively increase your OTC sales if all you do is speak to one patient at a time. In order to better leverage your effort and time, you should be using social media. In the time it takes to tell 1 patient about magnesium, you could do it on video and educate 500!

Social media is a multiplier. It can multiply your effort, reach, and sales! The best part is that this tool is free. Really freakin’ cool! I know it can feel weird being on camera, but you’ll get over it. After about your 5th video, the awkwardness is greatly reduced. Don’t let the fact that you are talking to a camera prevent you from tapping into social media and dramatically increasing your influence.

Don’t Do It Alone

While you might be the captain of your ship, you have an awesome crew with you. Your staff can help a ton, from doing posts themselves to creating signage, telling others, and even editing your videos. You don’t have to create your empire by yourself. Talk to your staff. See what they may be interested in helping out with and get started.

Never Say Die

When I recently chatted with an uber-successful OTC-selling pharmacy owner, he let me know that his first goal was $10,000 in sales a month. (BTW, his most recent month was over $200,000!!) Can you imagine how different life for him would be if he stopped after reaching his goal? Too many say hey, this is good enough. The highly successful pharmacy owners never say die. They just make a new goal and keep going. For them, the sky truly is the limit. 

I highly encourage you to think about why you aren’t where you want to be with your pharmacy, even if your goal has nothing to do with OTC sales. What is really holding you back? Yes, our industry is tougher than ever. AND… there are also more opportunities than ever before. I invite you to consider becoming a member of Pharmacy Badass University. We can help you get your cash flow positive, increase your profitability, and ultimately create the pharmacy of your dreams. 

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    DiversifyRx is dedicated to helping pharmacy owners kick ass and create profitable, thriving pharmacies. We strongly believe the key to success is diversifying your revenue streams and maximizing each opportunity that is right for you. DiversifyRx was created by a pharmacy owner for pharmacy owners. We offer tons of free information and our Pharmacy Badass University membership. This site contains affiliate links to products or services. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

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