➤ It might be time for you to do a little acting. In his book How to Become A Great Boss, Jeffrey J. Fox tells of a boss whose employees were studying a computer purchase. They came in with reams of material, facts, figures, vendors they interviewed, products they tested. Anticipating a dull, interminable presentation, the boss was impatient and wanted to get things moving. He interrupted, “I have three questions: One, will the new computers help us better serve our customers? Two, will the new computers reduce our costs? And, three, can we afford to buy them?” Still the employees hemmed and hawed, unwilling to commit to an answer. Finally, the boss got out of his chair, laid down on the floor, folded his arms across his chest and closed his eyes. “What if I were dead?” he said. “Which way would you go?” The team gave the boss their answer. “Sounds good to me,” said the boss. Problem solved.
This article originally appeared in the March 2015 edition of INVISION.
Add Some ‘Oops’ To Your Presentation
➤ Doing a PowerPoint presentation to a local group? Break the ice by “accidentally” dropping an incorrect slide or two into the mix. Entrepreneur magazine’s Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide tells of one speaker whose show was interrupted by a picture of himself ... as a baby, in a bathtub, naked. The crowd roared as the speaker feigned embarrassment, saying “Hmm, I wonder how that got in there.” What could have become a ho-hum speech instantly became memorable.
Try a Themed Door Handle
➤ The tiny By The Way Bakery in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, uses a rolling pin as a door handle. Even customers outside the store can see how passionate the owners are about their product. What could your door handle be? How about a pair of round spectacles with a lens on each side and a saddle bridge split in half to allow the door to open?
Do Tomorrow's To-Do Today
➤ What do you do with the last 15 minutes of the day? Answer emails, schedule meetings, linger in the office before closing? Here’s a better way to spend the time: Draw up a to-do list for tomorrow. Be specific. It’s a great way to end the day and start the next productively.
Boost Recall With a Fist
➤ March 21 is Memory Day. If you always have trouble remembering clients’ names, try this trick: Clench your right fist as the person introduces herself, and the next time you meet, squeeze your left fist. Sounds crazy, but the technique boosted name recall by 15 percent in a study at Montclair State University. The squeeze increases activity in the opposite brain hemisphere.
➤ If a patient calls because of an emergency, or even what he perceives to be an emergency, that’s when he needs you most. Don’t have your staff grill the patient or make him wait. Instead, suggests Bob Levoy, author of 201 Secrets of a High-Performance Optometric Practice, ask, “How soon can you get here?”
Avoid Bad Words
➤ According to Seth Godin, here are words that cause people to ignore your marketing message: “actually, totally, absolutely, completely, continually, constantly, literally, really, unfortunately, ironically, incredibly, hopefully and finally.”
Offer Customers a Goodbye Bonus
➤ Have a customer who declines your quote to repair her eyewear because “it ain’t worth salvaging”? Offer her some “bereavement dollars” — maybe $20 in store currency to help her get over the loss of her dearly departed spectacles. This approach gives you the best possible chance at converting a non-repair into a new sale.
Serve Some Sunglass Cookies
➤ The Optical Vision Site featured these for National Cookie Day last Dec. 4, but we say every day can be cookie day. See more at invmag.us/3151.