For Lisa Trippi, a senior optician and frame buyer at Lux Palo Alto, and a second generation optician, a career in optical was always the goal. “If I wasn’t working in the optical business, I’d probably be wishing I was working in the optical business!” Trippi has been at Lux for three years and considers her job helping to make her customers more dynamic at work, school and in their overall lives by creating visual and style opportunities they never knew existed.

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of INVISION.

  • I started as a teenage girl picking up screws that fell to the floor and asking my mom, “What’s this for?” My first job was at 15 making appointments for the OD my mom worked with in 1985. She taught me most of what I know.
  • I start each morning with a good stretch and positive thoughts. I think about the people I will meet that day and how many smiles I will see dispensing eyewear.
  • Recently, the CEO of a well-known Silicon Valley giant came in wearing an inexpensive Wayfarer style. He said he’s interviewed and photographed a lot, so I put him in something a lot more stylish but not too cutting edge. He came back the same day just to tell me that he’s never had so many people, even strangers, comment so positively on his glasses. That I had such a dynamic effect on this extremely successful and wealthy guy was incredibly rewarding to me.
  • One of my all-time greatest children’s eyewear stories is from a 3-year-old girl, 10 diopters in one eye and 6 diopters in the other. It was her first pair of glasses and her favorite color was pink, so I took her to our kids’ section and together we selected pink frames. Instead of putting the frames on her, I let her put the frames on herself. I do this with children so I can see how they’ll handle the frame and to get them excited about owning them. Her parents were watching and when she reached for certain frames I knew would fit her well, I’d turn to them and say “Look at her reaction when she tries on this frame.” This is when I plant the seed with parents about a backup pair or two. I explain that they’ll never want to leave their child without his or her vision after being able to see so well. When it came time to dispense the glasses to this particular little girl, I thought her face was going to hurt she was smiling so hard. We walked over to the window and she said “That’s what leaves look like.” Then she looked at her parents and smiled even more. Her mom was in tears and her dad was so proud. This was when I cultivated that seed of a backup pair. These parents now understood after seeing their daughter’s reaction that they needed to purchase another two pairs.
  • When it comes to kids, I look for certain types of bridges, variable temple lengths, memory metals and quality plastics. Quality is most important. I tell parents that if they don’t buy a pair that will hold up they’ll be spending more money in the long run on the cheaper stuff.

  • To overcome price objections, I make the parent understand that the head is the slowest part of the body to grow on a child. If a child’s head grew at the same rate as the rest of their body it would be the size of a watermelon. It’s fun to watch the “Aha!” moments on their faces, and price is no longer an issue.

  • I’d advise anyone starting in optical sales and service to listen first. Find out everything you can about the customer and especially the environment where their eyes spend most of the time. The rest is easy.
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