Robert Bell: "What Works Best For You?"

advice from optical sales consultant Robert Bell

Asking a question like this will bring the sales process to a happy ending

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 edition of INVISION.

Over the past six issues, I’ve shared with you the very basics of my sales training — techniques I’ve seen work for all kinds of optical businesses. I’ve also shown you an understated way to take and maintain control of the conversations you have with your customers.

Now we’re at the point at which your customer must make two decisions:

Do I need this? Do I want to pay for this?

Uh-oh. Don’t freak out. Don’t get heart palpitations. This is actually the easy part.

I’m going to show you how to give control back to the customer — or at least, it’ll seem like that. Keep in mind: Up to this point, the momentum (remember the pendulum?) has been in your favor. You’ve very gently and subtly taken your customer in the direction you wanted to take them and where they needed to go to get their best vision.

So, let’s quickly review:

You now understand that selling isn’t about persuasion. It’s about helping people get what they need.

To that end, you’ve asked a series of pain questions related to how they use their eyes in certain situations.

You followed up with questions of how much “pain” they’re in, and how often.

Then, you asked for their specific permission to allow you to help them now, and only now, learn about the features that will best meet their needs.

You then asked them how the features of this product will be a benefit to them. Hey, seriously, nice job. But, what would you like to do now?

Hmm? You want to know how to close the sale? I just told you. Did you see it?

Once they grasp how the product will help them and once they share with you why it would be advantageous for them to buy it — hey, they’re closing themselves now, aren’t they? Ask the final question and get the hell out of the way.

What’s the question? “What would you like to do now?”

There are several good ways to ask this question:

“What should we do now?” “What would you like me to do now?” or, if you’re giving the customer three choices — always three, not two or four — the question becomes, “What works best for you?” Oh, how I love that question!

Up until now, there hasn’t been any room for the customer to ask about price or insurance, or to pose an objection. Any or all of that might come up now. But that’s fine, because you’ve set the stage: Your client is properly armed with product knowledge and has a deep understanding of the benefits. Whatever price you’re charging, both of you have now established the value. Need becomes more important than price!

But if an objection arises, you can handle it with the following five words: “Other than the fact that” ... as in, “Other than the fact that they’re a bit more money than you’d like to spend, are there any other reasons why you wouldn’t want to purchase these glasses today?


“OK, shall we explore a less expensive option for you?”

The only objection that those five words can’t handle is, “Let me think about it.” Want to handle that? Try one word.

“Let me think about it.”


And gently keep eye contact (“And?” is a curve ball. They’re not ready for it.)

“Oh. Um. Well, to be honest, it was a little bit more than I wanted to spend.”

Wow, an objection. Do you happen to know five words that will help you handle that?

If you’ve taken anything away from this series, it’s my hope that you truly embrace the fact that selling is just a process in which you help your customers acquire what they need. Thanks for reading — and let me know how the tips I’ve offered are working for you.

Robert Bell has trained salespeople throughout North America over 30 years in the optical business and created The EyeCoach Selling System specifically for ECPs. Along with being one of our judges for America’s Finest Optical Retailers, he serves as a special consultant to Project Homeless Connect and oversees their Vision Program. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..