In the last week, I received 135 e-mails pushing something at me.
Something that the writer thought I needed to buy... now... quick... before their special limited offer expired.
And, in case you wondered, this excludes the complete spam e-mails wanting to send me millions of dollars from my forgotten, recently deceased aunt in Nigeria.
And, do you know how many of these bargains I am going to take up?
Yep, you probably guessed...
And, you know what, it's not just me! In the "Wild West" when the snake oil salesman rode into town, it was an event. People turned out to see what was happening and to listen to this strange and new person.
It was entertainment for them.
Over time, the number of "promotions" that we have had fired at us have increased almost beyond belief. There's radio and TV and billboards and adverts in magazines and newspapers and, the last time I was on a plane, they even had adverts on the back of the seat in front pushing something at me.
And then there's the Internet... Yankelovich, a market research firm, estimated that a person living in a city 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 advertising messages a day. Now that is up to 5,000.
It is no surprise that adverts are no longer entertainment and fun. We now fight to stop them getting into our lives.
We use pop-up blockers, junk mail filters, and devices like TiVo to skip TV ads. We do NOT like being promoted to!
So, why do companies keep doing it?
Well mostly because they don't know any better.
Advertising has been the prime way of them getting their products and service sold for a long time now.
But things are changing... we've had enough... we are turning away from the adverts... we ignore the billboards... we run from being promoted at!
So, how does a business that wants to get sales and wants to "get its message out there" do that if all of us "consumers" are running away from the old-fashioned "push" marketing methods?
People these days are looking for information and advice and support and assistance and help.
If you, the Pharmacist, give them what they are looking for... valuable assistance, then, when they are ready to buy, they will come back to you to buy.
They will "pull" you towards them.
Now, you might be saying, this is nothing new. People have always respected others who gave them good advice and help and have always been willing to give them their business.
Yes, that is true. However, what is also true is that finding this valuable assistance these days is like looking for hens teeth!
When you last went into a store and asked for some advice about a product, did you get any?
Did the salesperson know anything about the product?
Did they want to spend the time finding out what was important for you and helping you get it?
If you can answer yes, then you are exceptionally lucky.
For the majority of us, this service disappeared long ago. But it's what we want!
So, if you give it to people... they will give you their business.
So, what can you do, today, to make some of your valuable knowledge, experience and opinions available to your potential customers?