Colleen Hannegan: Eliminating the Circle of Confusion

Colleen Hannegan

A 4-point formula for focused sales success

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of INVISION. This is the first part of a three-part series.

Circle of Confusion, or COC, is a term for an optical spot caused by a cone of light rays from a lens not coming into perfect focus when imaging a point source; it is also referred to as a “blur circle.” Four aspects that are lacking are the contact point, focus, accommodation and the pin point.

It’s also an appropriate analogy for the confusion patients sometimes experience during their visit to an optical practice. If we consider their whole experience, we must begin with the moment they first contact your office by phone or in person, followed by the conversations at the front desk, the exam and discussion with the OD, and finally to the dispensing room and the decisions required of them when choosing lenses and frames.

In an ideal world, our goal is always to serve patients with professional expertise from the start; properly recognizing them by name and with affection and to educate them and counsel their individual needs during the exam with our complete attention. Then we gently guide them to the optician who is prepared with all information needed to solve their eyewear problems. Superior lenses are recommended with confidence, care and concern for the best needs of your patient, and they always purchase the best products. When this happens, then the whole experience looks like a perfect O, a complete Circle of Care, Communication and Clarity. Not an incomplete Circle of Confusion that looks like this C.

COCs have openings that leak care and communication. You’ve missed the mark in focusing fully on your patient somewhere in the circle of their time spent in your office. If your services (and sales!) are reflecting a lack of confidence from your patients, consider where Circles of Confusion exist.

Consider my 4 Point Formula for Focused Sales Success; it will help you ensure your office is free of blind spots in your patient care.

1. Contact Point
2. Focus
3. Accommodation
4. Pin Point

In next month’s issue we will dig deep into point one — Contact Point — to explore all the ways to improve your patients’ experience the minute they begin their interaction with your practice.

Colleen Hannegan, ABOC, has served in every capacity of the optical industry for more than 35 years. She now writes and lectures on all things optical. Visit for more info or contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..