At one point or another, you’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know but who you know that matters.” In many cases, it’s true. Whether you are a business executive, an engineer, or an independent pharmacist, your ability to create connections has a powerful influence on the course of your career. Especially in the world of pharmacy, connections are key. The right people can help you to learn, grow, and advance as a provider and a professional. With new opportunities, you can expect to see higher profits, higher career satisfaction, and provide a higher level of patient care.
It’s no question, then, that connecting with others in the industry is the key to success. But to get the key, you have to get the conversation started.
The Glue That Connects You
There are plenty of resources that can help you to get connected, from public organizations to private groups. Of all the available options, though, did you know that your pharmacy software system is one of the best?
The logic is simple: Your software system is used by hundreds, and in some cases, thousands, of pharmacists just like you. Day in and day out, they use the same system, with the same features, to provide the same type of care as you. Thus, they can prove to be valuable connections 一 and your software vendor can help you connect.
In fact, just by doing business with your software vendor, you are already integrated into a network of pharmacists that you can interact with and collaborate with. The best vendors, though, take the time to help you create connections on a personal level. Not only do they know that connections are crucial to your practice 一 but they know that they are crucial to the profession of pharmacy as a whole. Thus, they are willing to give you the tools you need to create and maintain the right connections.
Use Your Resources
Your software vendor can provide you with a number of different resources to connect. Every vendor takes its own approach, but here are some of the most common ways that you can get connected:
- User forums: User forums are usually available within your software system, or within a closed community that is specific to software users. In most cases, pharmacists use forums to ask questions or get advice about a specific part of their software system. However, they also use them as a platform to connect with other professionals. Thus, they can be a good way to get your foot in the door.
- Meetings and conferences: Periodic meetings hosted by your software vendor can be a great way to create new connections and build new relationships, all while learning about your software system (and maybe even earning a few CE credits, too). Even when they’re not hosting their own, the best vendors are attending and actively involved in other pharmacy events.
- Social media: In the digital world, connections can transcend face-to-face interactions and extend through the screen. With the help of social media, you can get in touch with pharmacists across the state, across the country, and even across the world. To get connected, look to your software vendor’s social media accounts. Skim through the followers, check the comments, and find like-minded people. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great places to start.
- Pharmacist features: The best pharmacy software vendors take the time to highlight users who are making a difference in their communities. Whether it’s on their website, on their social media pages, or in press material they release, these vendors take the time to share new faces and open up potential connections for you. If you discover a pharmacist and find that you share a common thread 一 like a particular niche or an area of service 一 you can reach out to them and start building a connection.
When you shop for a new pharmacy software system, it’s important to consider how your vendor is helping you get connected, because connections count. When you schedule a demo with a vendor, don’t only ask about features or functions. Instead, find out how they are working to unite independent pharmacies through technology.
It All Starts with a Conversation
Getting connected is a commitment. Reaching out to new people can be difficult, especially while juggling all of the day-to-day responsibilities your pharmacy requires. Despite the challenges, though, connecting is an investment for yourself and your business. Among other things, connecting with can help you to:
• Gain new knowledge and pick up new skills
• Form strategic partnerships
• Learn how to use your software better
• Introduce new products and services
• Connect with patients on a deeper level
• Take a step forward in your career
And getting connected doesn’t have to be difficult. A simple smile, a friendly wave, or a quick message on social media can open the door to a new world of opportunities. After all, everyone is looking to get connected 一 especially in the world of independent pharmacy 一 so your gesture is sure to be well-received.
Despite the name, independents have a strong desire (and a unique ability) to get involved with others. They know the power of coming together and working to make a change in the industry: for themselves, for their team, and most importantly, for their community. So next time you see a new face, don’t be afraid to make the first move.