Ask INVISION: March 2015

Our new optician came to us from one of the low-end optical chains. She’s got potential, but you can tell she’s really hesitant about recommending things like AR and Transitions to clients. In fact, the other day, I heard her agreeing with a client, “Right, you don’t need all that extra stuff.”

“Extra stuff?” Sheesh. Anyway, at this point, don’t tell her the difference, show her the difference. That’s the only way to break such a deeply ingrained habit of cheapness. Dr. Irene M. Lin-Dilorinzo of Monarch Bay Optometry in Dana Point, CA, suggests the following: “Make her a pair of glasses with all the bells and whistles. Make her a pair without. If she cannot appreciate the difference, she shouldn’t be in optical sales.”

Names for a basketball team

We’re going to sponsor a girls’ basketball team this summer and haven’t been able to come up with a name. Any cool ideas for a team name with an optical theme?

First of all, kudos to you. Sponsoring a local junior sports team is an excellent way to build brand reputation in your community. To answer your question, ODs on Facebook had a (pretty funny) thread on this. Here were a few favorite names presented, listed in order of likeliness: The Bullseyes, Eye Ballers, Lady Specs, Eye Lashers and (starting to stretch plausibility) the Fighting Iris, O’Glaucoma Sooners and Cornea Huskers.

What are some compelling questions I can ask of potential sales candidates to make sure I have sharp people on my shop floor?

For this question, we went to sales trainer and consultant Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible. Here is Gitomer’s list of questions you could ask in an interview: “1.) Why do you want to succeed at sales? 2.) Where does your sales passion come from? 3.) What is the last sales book you read? 4.) What is the last creativity book you read? 5.) Tell me about the biggest sale you ever made 6.) What was the biggest reason you got it? 7.) Tell me about a sale you lost. 8.) What do you say when a prospect says, ‘I want to think it over?’ 9.) What do you say when a prospect says, ‘I’m satisfied with my present optician’? 10.) What do you say when a prospect says, ‘Your price is too high’? 11.) How often do you listen to or read personal development information? 12.) What was the last seminar you attended? 13.) Are you a member of Toastmasters? 14.) How do you improve your presentation skills? 15.) What is your most creative approach to follow-up? 16.) Give me your 30-second personal commercial.” Asking these questions should give you a good idea of whether you have a future sales star on your hands ... or a sales black hole.

Should we pay employees when we close the office on snow days?

Tough call. Definitely a slippery slope. (Ha-ha.) Anyway, in a discussion of the topic on ODs on Facebook, there were a lot of approaches presented. Some offices paid employees when the owners decided to close, and others didn’t. And some stalwart offices claimed to stay open no matter what the weather was. Some offices paid a reduced salary on snow days, while others provided one or two annual “weather days” that employees can use. Our take? You wouldn’t forgive yourself if a team member had an accident while driving to your office in dangerous conditions. So don’t ever force anyone to come in. The rest is up to you.

An employee has just informed me of a sexual harassment problem in our store. What’s the best way to handle the complaint?

Promptly, says lawyer and legal columnist Daniel R. Satriana. First, investigate the matter by interviewing the accuser and other staff to gain as much information as possible about the episode to determine if sexual harassment has actually occurred. If it has, appropriate disciplinary action must be taken against the harasser, possibly in the form of a written warning, or even termination, depending on the severity of the incident. If it hasn’t, you should make sure that your staff is made aware of your business’s policy on such matters. (You do have one, right?)