Optical Retail Success 108


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.


No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.     
—Mahatma Gandhi


The Culture of Personality

Selling medical devices is mostly about filling prescriptions and not screwing it up sufficiently, so the next time a patient needs a new device, it’s easier to return to the same place than to risk trying someplace new.

Selling eyewear, on the other hand, is about selling a culture. Selling eyewear isn’t really about the eyewear at all. It’s about the identity it establishes for the person buying it. 

As Seth Godin, likes to say, “People like us, do things like this.” ...or wear eyewear like this. Perhaps more importantly, it’s about the story it gives the wearer the ability to tell.

The second establishes a connection to the brand. The second is far more likely to engender loyalty. The second gives people a reason to tell their friends. The second is much harder to do.




If I were to open an independent optical retail today, chances are it would involve a bookstore. As strange as it may sound, there are a number of reasons. In addition to the fact that I love books, there’s something in my mind that ties books and eyewear.

I am fascinated how independent bookstores have managed to survive mall stores, big box, Amazon, Kindle, digital audiobooks, and podcasts by building experiences and community (albeit through a process of death and rebirth)—not unlike what I predict will ultimately happen to brick and mortar eyewear retailers

Then, of course, there’s the independent bookstore ethos that pairs nicely with funky independent eyewear.

“We are a bookshop. Bookshops are all about ideas and tolerating different opinions…”

Those are the kind of customers that I would want to attract; the kind that read and would frequent an independent bookstore.   


There’s also a huge experiential element that a bookstore would bring, inviting people to stay, be comfortable, and get familiar with the environment, products, and staff. It would form positive associations with the brand and eyewear in general, combating the predominantly negative ones we’ve so carefully cultivated over the years.

And finally, good things happen in bookstores.




Improvise, Adapt, Overcome!

I’ve written before about fixed mindset vs. growth mindset as they relate to our beliefs about our ability change our personal qualities. In fact, having the proper mindset— specifically adaptability—is a critical part of The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Rockstar Optician. https://opticianworks.com/ultimate-guide-successful-optician/

It’s no secret that technology is changing at an exponential rate, requiring us to learn faster than humans have ever had to before. Behaviors we’ve honed for decades will become obsolete in a few short years. As a result, our “adaptability quotient” (AQ) will soon become the primary predictor of success, with general intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) both taking a back seat.




Sweet Little Lies

The truth hurts. So much so, in fact, that our brain has developed dozens of hardwired mechanisms to avoid it—yes, our brain lies to us on purpose. We call them cognitive biases.

"Ever since the stone age, self-reinforcing myths have served to unite human collectives. Indeed, Homo sapiens conquered this planet thanks above all to the unique human ability to create and spread fictions."

The scary thing is that marketers and politicians have known for years how to manipulate these biases in us (even you) to get what they want. The scarier thing is that the internet, social media, and technology are making lies ridiculously easy to spread. And we can’t get enough.


But, is there anything we can do about our own brain lying to us, so we can not only see through the manipulation but make better decisions? I believe so, but the first step to solving any problem is recognizing that it exists. 

Let’s try this one on for size: If you happen to believe your customers act crazier during a full moon, you’ll almost certainly disregard this statement, but... they don’t. Even though you know it to be true because you’ve seen it with your own eyes.

Of course, as optical people, we know that we don’t actually see with our eyes, we see with our brain and “the lunar effect” is merely an outstanding example of your brain lying to you, otherwise known as confirmation bias. 



It’s All Downhill

No matter how you define it, success almost certainly involves some form of good health. It’s pretty clear that diet and exercise habits are essential to obtaining and maintaining good health. And if you are anything like me, establishing and sticking with those habits can be challenging to say the least. What if there were research to help you hack your own willpower and motivation to keep you on track with those healthy habits? Going downhill is about building momentum.



Video of The Week:  Resultant Prism - Three Notations

There are 3 different methods that opticians, optometrists, and optical labs use for notating prism. There is the resultant notation, the 360 notation, and the 180 notation. This week we cover each of the three methods, describing when each is used, how to use them, and how to transform prism prescriptions between the various notations.



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!