The Opportunity Cost of No and The Economic Value of Yes

At my primary practice location, I tell all my patients – especially the new ones – this:
“Here we only really do two answers…

  1. Yes! We’d be delighted to do that!
  2. We actually can’t do that. Here’s why we can’t. And here’s how we are going to help you instead.”

So many patients don’t truly GET what we do. That’s not a problem, as for certain I don’t GET what most everyone else in the world does for a living either. We sometimes as pharmacists and pharmacy workers forget that stuff that we take as a manner of course in a lot of ways makes no sense to an outside mind. “Why WOULD my insurance not let me pick up my blood pressure med 8 days early this month? I was a week late last month, can’t they see that?” Clear and eager communication with your patients is a basic skill that cannot be overlooked.

Today, we delve a bit deeper into why we go out of our way to eliminate the word no from our vocabulary here at Pharmacy Proud, both on a smaller scale as well as a larger one. We think of this duality as the Microeconomics of Yes and the Macroeconomics of Yes. This past week I was at RBC, the Cardinal Independent Wholesale conference in Nashville. While there I spoke with several companies and organizations doing some cutting edge stuff, stuff I’d have never dreamed possible only a couple short years ago. We start, hence, with the macro-view.

The retail profession looks a hell of a lot different now than it did when I was running a Big Box store ten years ago. It looks a hell of a lot different now than it did when I was the PIC at our competitor down the street two years ago, even. The point is that we evolve constantly, and our profession’s evolution can happen in the blink of an eye. There are a lot of ideas and concepts that I bluntly am not super comfortable with just yet, but everyone should always attempt to read the tea leaves. Technology is going to make a lot of new things possible for us, and as the generation of people who are currently in their thirties and forties that in a lot of ways are more comfortable with it than their parents were…your patient base will become more motivated to be plugged in with you as those people move from thirties and forties to forties and fifties. Evolve a step ahead of the curve as opposed to a step behind and your patients AND your accountant will likely thank you. imply put, the flip side of this curve is that what you aren’t willing to do…other folks will be. Always consider your duties to your patients when deciding if you’re going to pursue a new opportunity!

However, no can have big effects on your practice on a case by case basis as well. Always work to make sure your patient knows you are their biggest advocate. Obviously the cost of “no” is losing a patient to the big box down the street, but the economic value of yes is enormous. People talk. You want those people talking about how your pharmacy cares more, works harder, and solves their problems even if they aren’t easy. Those practices grow roots in communities. Those practices thrive. Those practices evolve. Those practices last.

Say yes to success!