Optical Retail Success 109
Tasty, weekly nuggets of random goodness; tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you find the most success in your optical retail business/career.
"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."
For decades “the industry” via legislation has forced people to get refractions and prescriptions before buying glasses—for their own good, of course—because a refraction is an important and essential medical exam…
Anyway, then came remote refraction technology which the AOA is fighting tooth and nail, because a refraction is not a… medical exam...
Well, not to be deterred because, whether we own up to it or not, the current process for buying eyeglasses kinda sucks and as the saying goes, “inconvenience is the mother of invention” or something like that…
As someone who has worn glasses for a large majority of my life, I've been through the process of buying new pairs quite a few times — and know just how long and annoying it can be. It consists of going to an eye doctor, getting an updated prescription, going to a brick and mortar store, picking out glasses [and lenses, and coatings], paying more than you'd probably like to, waiting days on end for them to arrive, and finally, returning back to the store to pick them up [if they are right].
...technology marches on. The self-neutralization app is here.
The days of “exit through the gift shop” prescription filling will soon be over. It’s time to swallow the bitter pill and realize that we finally have to mature as an industry. We have to actually market and sell eyewear.
Not only that, but as our very own long arm of the law essentially undergoes amputation, OD’s will need to find a way to convince people that it’s in their best interest to have regular eye exams when the legal requirement for a refraction—which is not an eye exam—has been bypassed—and we wonder why people struggle with difference.
There’s one problem. Now that so many see our industry as one big scam and we’ve done such a good job at making certain that everyone “knows” only people who wear glasses need eye exams, convincing them otherwise could prove to be a challenge.
Crafting A New Era
This is certainly where the future of opticianry lies. Everything else will be automated and online.
Traditional neoclassical economics treats work as a cost — something that people have to do in order to get money. This old-fashioned view survives in economic models, yet, as the growing appetite for artisanal work shows, it is so simplistic as to be misleading. Craft is, in general, far less well-paid than professional work. Yet the benefits it offers — the satisfaction of controlling one’s own destiny, acquiring a range of skills, creating beautiful and delicious things, forming friendships with suppliers and customers — make up for the reduced incomes and ensure that there is a small, steady migration of professionals into the craft economy.
Leaving professional life for the artisanal world inspires envy among friends…
Craft producers are selling, among other things, their expertise, which they invite their customers to share. It doesn’t matter that rye has not historically been used to make fine whiskeys. What counts is the backstory.
If you ask most smart or successful people where they learned their craft, they will not talk to you about their time in school. It's always a mentor, a particularly transformative job, or a period of experimentation or trial and error.
Through the Looking Glass
We form our beliefs based on what comes to us from the world through the window of perception, but then those beliefs act like a lens, focusing on what they want to see. That doesn't bode well for the idea that we can convince people of something by simply giving them accurate information.
Video of The Week: You Want What?
This week we cover handcrafting a speciality set of glasses. A customer requested a pair of glasses with their distance lens power at the top and plano at the bottom. Opticians design eyewear to best meet the needs of their customers. In this case that meant designing and creating a set of lenses. Go step-by-step through the process.
Free in-office finishing course available at https://opticianworks.com/edge
Through the OpticianWorks free video lessons, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible education for opticians everywhere, but we’re only able to do it with your support.
You can help keep it going in two ways:
Become a paid member of OpticianWorks.com for access to the best in online optician training (The videos are only a small portion).
Or, even better, open a Laramy-K Optical lab account for the very best in independent uncut work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Optical Retail Success.
Here’s to your success in this year and beyond.
Thanks for reading and sharing!