Optical Sales Coach: Speak Human!
As part of my position here at IcareLabs, I enjoy visiting with many of our eye doctors, opticians and optical store staff. Often, I am asked for advice in improving optical sales while balancing professionalism. We are a medical-driven industry and how we handle sales is important.
Let me start by saying there is nothing wrong with making money. Medical doctors charge premium fees for their services to make money. Pharmaceuticals price their medications to cover research and development along with a tidy profit. Why do eye care professionals feel bad when we do the same? The issue does not lie in the making of money but how we go about it.
Let me assume the role of sales coach and offer some suggestions for successful sales strategies.
An optical consumer needs a reason to purchase, without a reason they will simply refuse the purchase and leave. When this occurs, no one wins. The customer goes without an added benefit and you, the eye care professional, will go without much needed profits. With this in mind, how do we go about giving the customer a “reason” to buy?
Let's start with how we communicate or talk to our customer. We have spent years or even decades honing our knowledge and skills. Many of us spend several hours a week on the Internet researching the latest advances in progressive lens designs and anti-reflective (AR) advances. All of this is great and can be an added benefit to our optical customers but…how are we explaining these benefits? Do our customers even understand what we are trying to sell them? We can offer all the latest and greatest advances in the eyeglass industry, but if the consumer has no idea what we are talking about, they will not buy.
I have found it helpful to speak “human” to our customers. Use terms like “non-glare” in place of AR coating. This paints a better picture of what the product actually does. Ask, “Would you like non-glare or glare on your lenses”. BOOM! Picture painted and sale completed. Other examples of using confusing terminology to our consumers would be:
- Polycarbonate - Why not try “light-weight, impact-resistant lenses”?
- Progressive – How about “a lens that will give you great vision at every distance”
- 1.67 – Say simply “a thinner and lighter lens.”
- Transitions – Try “Lenses that change with your needs. Perfect tint for those everyday moments.”
- Digital lenses – “A personalized pair of lenses that work like HD for your eyes.”
When we speak “human” to our customers, we build an understanding as to how our products perform and what the benefits are. An informed consumer is more likely to purchase than an uniformed consumer. Even more important, a satisfied customer will return for their next purchase and tell their friends about a great experience!
Next time, we will look at why we need to get to know our customers!
About the Author
James Stephany has over 30 years experience in the optical industry. His friendly and professional manner is recognized and appreciated by our customers and many in the business. As Sales and Marketing Director at Icare Labs, James has helped hundreds of eye care professionals improve their business bottom line significantly with optical sales strategies that work.
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