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NASPA event highlights challenges, opportunities

BY Jim Frederick

All the issues and trends impacting retail pharmacy professionals and the industry they serve filter through the 50 state pharmacy associations like currents that feed a larger stream. So the summer meeting of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations served up a laundry list of the most nagging challenges and most promising opportunities facing pharmacy leaders in the coming years, as they confront new reimbursement paradigms, current regulatory hurdles, dramatically new health delivery models and the growing demand for a more patient-centered and more engaged form of pharmacy practice.

Over an uninterrupted, four-and-a-half-hour dialogue Saturday afternoon, dozens of state pharmacy association executives and industry leaders grappled with a wide range of topics that define the challenges and potential facing pharmacy, including:

  • Emerging models of healthcare delivery spurred by health reform and the new evidence-based reimbursement paradigm;
  • Medication adherence and the role that medication synchronization could play;
  • Federal supply chain legislation to establish a nationwide track-and-trace system; and
  • New efforts to establish and document the value of pharmacist interventions and new collaborative-practice models.

The meeting marked a new chapter in the relationship between NASPA and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, NASPA president Ron Fitzwater indicated. “This is the first time we’ve done this, and we’re looking forward to continuing the relationship in the future. It’s a great opportunity to get state pharmacy associations more formally involved with some very important partners,” Fitzwater said, who is also CEO of the Missouri Pharmacy Association.

 

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Keys to finding financing

BY Alaric DeArment

Suppose an emerging vendor has a product and retail buyers have expressed interest. The only problem is, it doesn’t have the funding it needs
to expand.

That’s where Intersection Capital comes in. The Los Angeles-based firm, headed by Oren Klaff, helps companies obtain growth financing. “When companies start to create sales, all sorts of interesting things happen,” Klaff said Saturday at a workshop-style presentation.

Klaff emphasized that investors don’t care about the details of a company’s product. That may sound counterintuitive, but to investors, what matters is whether there’s a market and whether the product will thrive in that market.

“Your job is not to explain the product; it is to provide certainty that the future revenues you described are going to happen,” Klaff said. To accomplish this, Klaff suggested companies have a “pitch deck,” consisting of a brief description of the company’s current situation called a “window sticker,” the “big idea” behind the product, the financial opportunity, highlights about the company, forward-looking financials, what the company will do with the money and whom to call.

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Science of a good pitch

BY Antoinette Alexander

If you are using the long-standing “always be closing” selling technique, you may just need to rethink your entire approach in order to achieve true success. That was a key message that Oren Klaff, founder of Intersection Capital, had for attendees Saturday morning.

“Put your pitch in a masterful presentation that wows people, that is short and compelling, and gets attention. And at no point can they guess what is going to happen in the rest of your presentation,” Klaff said during his presentation titled “Meet the Market — Strategies for Success: Pitch Anything.” “Test it with your peers and customers. If at some point people think they know the rest of what you are going to say it needs to be revised,” he said.

Challenging many long-standing beliefs and selling techniques, Klaff believes that presenting a great pitch isn’t an art — it essentially boils down to simple science. Applying some of the latest findings in the field of neuroeconomics, while sharing stories of his method in action, Klaff explained how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches.

Klaff suggested that there are six common pitching flaws: too much detail and too soon, too fast; too vague/fuzzy; no frame to provide context; too similar to other pitches seen before; you seem too needy; and going too slow.
Klaff described his method as S.T.R.O.N.G., which stands for:

  • Set the frame;
  • Tell the story;
  • Reveal the intrigue;
  • Offer the prize;
  • Nail the hookpoint; and
  • Get the deal.

“Money flows to deals, it doesn’t flow to rapport,” Klaff said.

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