This article originally appeared in the May 2015 edition of INVISION.
Find Service Stars
➤ Looking for a big pool of solid new salespeople? Check out your next restaurant server. Modern Eye, an INVISION America’s Finest winner in 2014, swears by the practice of hiring former restaurant employees. “They’re organized, they multitask, they think on their feet,” says Mitch Gillette from the upscale Philadelphia shops. “If we can find somebody with those qualities, it totally trumps having experience in the field.”
Must Have Friends
➤ So you’re going to take the advice of this month’s lead story and hold your best event ever? Boost attendance with this twist: On your invitations, stipulate that each guest must bring someone with them — or give them an incentive to do so with an extra discount, raffle ticket or drink coupon. Add the newcomers to the invitation list for your next event, and have them bring another “new friend.” And so on.
Change Needs Focus
➤ Changing employee behaviors is one of the toughest things you do as a business owner or manager. People generally like the status quo. The secret is to start small, one step at a time, says Morten T. Hansen, writing on the Harvard Business Review blog. “People need clear direction. If you bombard them with eight values or 12 competencies you want them to practice,” you will be met with inertia, he says. A better approach is to focus on changing one behavior at a time.
Bring Your Sunwear
➤ When you book an appointment, be sure to ask patients to bring in any sunglasses they currently wear with them. Your reason? “We just want to make sure you have comfortable vision with them, are protected properly from the harmful rays of the sun, and have a frame that fits properly and is comfortable.” Bob Levoy, author of 201 Secrets of a High-Performance Optometric Practice, says that this is not only a thoughtful gesture clients will appreciate, it could lead to extra sales.
Show Your Passions
➤ Here’s a great nametag idea from author Scott Ginsberg — “that guy with the nametag.” Ginsberg tells of a hotel in Cleveland, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which every employee wears a tag with not only his name, but the name of his favorite musical artist. (Warning: This might not be a good idea if your staff member’s favorite band is Five Finger Death Punch.) Alternatively, if you sell lots of designer eyewear, how about having staff list a few of their fave lines?
Buy One, Get One Later
➤ When a customer buys a frame, give them a chance to come back soon and add to their collection. At Envision Eye Care in Marion, VA, customers can get 50 percent off their second pair within 30 days. Says optician Janice Harris: “I love this because it allows ALL patients to get that fab second pair without breaking the bank.” To get customers curious, everyone in the office wears a button that reads “What’s 50-2-30?” Says Harris: “This gets the patient curious and asking questions.”