Optical Business Success 180
Tasty, weekly nuggets of random goodness; observations, musings, tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you achieve success in your life and independent optical business.
"The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story."
The Culture of Personality
Selling medical devices is mostly about filling prescriptions and not screwing it up so badly that 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 medical devices says, “Your vision is defective.”
Selling medical devices is the “easy”, albeit lazy, way to sell eyeglasses—fill the prescription on the way out the door.
Except now, your patients have alternatives. They can see through the ruse. They can get their prescription filled, probably cheaper, at half-a-dozen other places, many of which are online.
Selling eyewear, on the other hand, is more difficult. It is about selling a culture. In fact, selling eyewear isn’t really about the eyewear at all, it’s about the identity it establishes for the person buying it.
Yes, acuity and aesthetics still matter, but selling eyewear says more. It says, “We get you.” and “People like us, do things like this.”
Selling eyewear, can’t be done by anyone. When done well, it builds a connection to your brand, engenders loyalty, gives people stories to tell, and makes people feel how they want to feel about themselves.
Last week I wrote about human interaction and experience becoming the new luxury and the role your opticians should be playing in creating experiences for your eyewear customers.
As I was surfing the interwebs today, I came across a great example of the human aspect of the luxury experience. I caught Michael Holbrook, an optician at Ridgefield Vision Center in Richmond, VA, sharing his approach. Judging by all the five-star reviews they’ve received in the past two weeks alone, I’d say they’re on to something.
I live a solid hour away from my office, because I love country life and I'm not much on the city. When someone comes into the office from way out in my area, I find it beneficial and quite easy to start the initial conversation with that... "Oh, I'm your neighbor! I live in XXX neighborhood. What made you come all the way out here to see us" Etc.
Several months ago I had just such a conversation with a lady. She said she had been doing business with another office, but they closed and she found us online. She was impressed by our website, the pics of my optical, brands, selection, etc. I told her if she ever needed anything to let me know and I would make a house call or meet her somewhere closer to our town. She ended up spending $1000 that day and set up an appt for her husband.
So. She calls today and says the lens fell out of her husband's glasses. No problem! I get off at 6pm and will meet you around 7pm. Long story short, I meet them in a parking lot on my way home, tools and replacement screws ready to roll. 10 minutes tops, including chat time for a bit and adjusted another pair he brought along.
He asked how much he owed me, and of course I said "Not one cent! We're neighbors. We look out for each other." He wouldn't have it and insisted I take a $20 spot for my time. He told me to go buy my kids a pizza. Lol.
Anyway, I know that he and his lady will remember the service and send business our way. At the end of the day, I really didn't go out of my way to make someone happy. Just used common ground to find a connection and begin a relationship with someone new. And my small staff will be happy when I buy them coffee in the morning with that $20.
Good vibes! Do the right thing! Feel good! Repeat!
How do you create experiences for your customers both in your store and in your community?
This podcast should give you some ideas. Take a listen to learn how the best brands are shifting their marketing from “things” to experiences.
“The future [of marketing] depends on experiences, way more than it depends on things,” he said. “What we’ve seen is that if people start participating in these experiences and feel that loyalty to the brand experientially, they will naturally buy more things anyway. The best brands are not focused on marketing things. They’re focused on marketing either a lifestyle or their brand as an experiential item.”
You have claimed your Google My Business page already, right? If not, stop right now and go do it. With new features being added regularly, it is clear that Google is positioning GMB as the centerpiece of their local business strategy. There really is no simpler way you can start driving new customers and patients your way quickly. Learn how to optimize your listing and about some of the new features that have been added designed to help grow your business.
Optician Video of The Week: Lens Basics -Thinking of Lenses as Prisms
Let’s go back to the basics and learn what thinking of lenses and prisms can teach us about how lenses affect light rays and the images perceived through them.
Through our OpticianWorks free videos, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible (and yes, even free) education for opticians, helping independents everywhere deliver a better optical experience. But we’re only able to do it with your support.
You can help keep it going in two ways:
Purchase a paid membership to OpticianWorks.com for you or staff, to access 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 lab work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for your entire staff for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Optical Business Success. Please share with anyone you think might benefit from it. If someone shared it with you and you would like to receive future updates, join over 15,000 optical professionals and sign up here. https://www.laramyk.com/optical-retail-success/
Until next time, be kind and never stop learning!