Your First Day at a Client Site as a Self-Employed Pharmacist (How to become a self-employed Pharmacist – Part 10)

by Marvin on February 25, 2011

in Coaching Series,General

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While working for a client for the first time, think of as audition time.  Success in this venture is repeat business.  When help is needed you want the client to think of you first and not a random relief agency or even one of their regular pharmacist.  You want to be their regular contract pharmacist.

How do you do accomplish this?  To find out keep reading because in this chapter we go into the dos and don’ts on the first day at a client site.  Follow the steps we’ve outlined for you here and repeat business will not be far behind.  Repeat business provides independence from the big chain pharmacies.

If you’ve caught this coaching series in the middle, please take the time to start at the beginning of the coaching series and get yourself caught up!

Last week, I talked about How to Handle Your First Set of Calls

Hopefully, you’ve landed your first contract or are very close to it.  Your work isn’t over yet.  Now it’s time do a great job for your client.

This lesson is titled “Do’s and Don’ts on your First Day as a Self-Employed Pharmacist”.

So in order to help you succeed we are going to talk about some do’s and don’ts that will help you succeed as an independent contractor.


  • Don’t be late – We can’t stress this one enough.  NO matter what, do not show up late to the pharmacy.  Most of the time, on your first assignment the owner may not be there.  You will probably be opening the pharmacy with a tech.  You can be sure, no matter how well you do the rest of the day……the fact you were late will be mentioned when the owner asks the tech!  If you are late because you are lost, Make sure you call!  If you are lost and you CALL, then things don’t look as bad.  But if you are late and you don’t call and you walk in fifteen minutes late as if you are on time and don’t even make an excuse, well, that’s not going to look good for you.
  • Don’t answer your cell – Yes, we know that other potential clients may be calling you.  However, your first day at a new pharmacy will be like probation.  You’re getting to know the staff, where drugs are, and how their work flow is.  Answering your phone, will seem rude and give the impression that your always going to be on the phone.   We’ll answer how to handle other clients in the Do section.
  • Don’t surf the internet or check your mail. Most sites will have internet access.  You want to make a good impression so checking the internet on downtime won’t make a good impression.  If you ever become a regular, then once in a while is ok.
  • Don’t compare how things are done at other pharmacies. For example, you don’t want say “Why are your generic drugs stocked next to your brand drugs?  We don’t do that at (Pharmacy A).”  Every pharmacy and staff has a certain work flow and a way they like things done.  As long as it doesn’t interfere with pharmacy law or your professional pharmacist judgement……then just go with the flow.  If you see things that can greatly improve their work flow or pharmacy site, just save the comments for another day.  When timing is appropriate,  and you know the owner better, suggestions will be more welcomed.


  • Do call before your first day on site. Its a great idea to confirm a few days before your scheduled date.  You want to make sure the owner knows your excited about coming to the pharmacy and your prepared.  Make sure you get alarm codes, pharmacy key information and names of staff members who you will be working with.
  • Do dress appropriately.  Its a good idea to come in a lab coat that has your name and title on it.  If your lab coat doesn’t have your name on it, make sure you purchase a name tag with your title on it.  Most states will require this as pharmacy law.
  • Do set up your own orientation. Take the initiative to have someone give you a brief overview of where everything is in the pharmacy.  Ask someone to tell you which computers the tech types on, where or if a tech fills, and where you should be doing the checking, which phone lines are doctor calls, etc….will help keep the flow in the pharmacy running smoothly.
  • Do bring all necessary documents. Make sure you show with your pharmacist pocket license and liability insurance.
  • Do call back clients when appropriate. Politely tell the staff you need to return a business call and keep it short.  In situations where the owner is there, explain to them you need to return a quick call from another pharmacy.  Most owners will understand, because they know they would appreciate you returning their call too.
  • Do love what you are doing. Love being an independent contractor.  Enjoy your first day on site and do a job your proud of.  Your attitude and how you take care of their pharmacy business will make or break the success of your business.  I can guarantee you, if you do a great first day on the job, this will lead to a successful long term business relationship with the owner.
  • Do follow up. Depending if your assignment is one day, a 3 day contract, or a week long contract, make sure the client knows they can call you again!  There’s lots of ways to this without being overly persuasive. You can leave your invoice on your last day or send your an invoice with a little note to the owner.  Something like “Thank you for the business and I really liked your pharmacy, etc……..” tells the owner that you want to come back.  Or give the owner a call a few days later and make sure the owner knows your available for more assignments.  This will remind them to call you first when they need to fill their schedule.

Next Week’s Lesson – Tracking Your Metrics as a Self-Employed Contract Pharmacist

Now you have a good idea of how to handle your first call and why.

Next lesson, we’ll cover a business concept called metrics and how to track them and why it is important.  It’ll be another critical chapter for long term success.

This concludes this week’s lesson.  Get out there and prepare for success.

If you liked this lesson, sign up for our email newsletter.  That way you definitely won’t miss a chapter and you’ll get the entire coaching series free!

Want to break away from the chain pharmacies? Need help getting started as an Independent Pharmacist? Want an advantage over the competition in your area? Check out our Starter Package!

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Tracking Your Metrics as a Self-Employed Pharmacist (How to become a self-employed Pharmacist – Part 11)
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