Tip Sheet: November-December 2015

The problem with great expectations

This article originally appeared in the November-December 2015 edition of INVISION.

Stop with the finger quotes

Just "Stop" With the Finger Quotes

Do you make finger quote marks to emphasize words or phrases, especially to convey sarcasm? Well, stop it, “now!” The act has been named the most irritating hand gesture used in daily communication, according to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph. (Yes, it was Brits voting, but we’re venturing most Americans find it just as unnecessarily dramatic and tedious, “OK?”)


Here’s a smart idea for your holiday season events from a jewelry retailer we know: Silverado in Bend, OR. When Silverado holds a trunk show or party, sales associates are asked to dress completely in black so they are easy to spot in a crowd. Make sure your crew is easy to spot at any special events you hold.

Beat your rivals with service

McDonald’s? Creating memorable customer service experiences? That’s right. Ken Blanchard, author of Raving Fans, likes to cite the example of a McDonald’s that puts out tablecloths and candles between 4 and 6 p.m. for its elderly customers, and brings the food to their tables, too. That location significantly outperforms competitors during that time period. Blanchard tells the story to underline a fact of business: Products, services and prices can all be undercut or copied. “Organizations will beat the competition with moments of truth in the customer experience,” he says. Another cool thing about this anecdote? It shows how even businesses tied to massive multinational companies can innovate and serve their local clientele. If McDonald’s can do it, you certainly can.

Steampunk glasses from Modern Optics
Steampunk style from Modern Optics.


Holiday gift idea: Steampunk glasses. OK, they are not for everyone. But if you’re a fan, or have clients who might be interested, they could be a cool addition to your website’s “Holiday Gifts” tab. (Your website has that tab, right?) Steampunk selections are one way Charles Eubanks of Modern Optics in St. Pete Beach, FL, establishes the fact that his is “not your ordinary optic shop!”


Want to sell more eyewear? Talk up glasses to your contact lens patients. Of an estimated 37 million Americans wearing contact lenses in the United States, four people out of 10 don’t own eyeglasses at all. Those who do may have them in prescriptions that haven’t been updated in years. So there are plenty of backup pairs to be sold there, not to mention premium reading glasses for any contact-lens wearing presbyopes — how dare you let them go to the drugstore? — as well as plano sunglasses and eyewear to relieve digital eyestrain. (Be sure people know the signs and hazards.) Of course, many contact lens wearers don’t like glasses very much. But one thing’s for sure: If you don’t suggest, they won’t buy.


Ever wish you had a sexier name for your dispensary? (Hmmm. Dispensary. Doesn’t that sound like a place to distribute antibiotics or blood-pressure medication?) Wish granted. Pick one word from Set A and one word from Set B. Voila, you now have a new, more market-savvy name.

Set A

Set B

Of course, even more offbeat is better. Dr. Chris McDaniels of Look Eyecare & Eyewear in Tulsa, OK, suggests “Hall of Frame” and Dr. Susan Resnick of Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates in New York, NY, suggests the wonderfully evocative “Glass Menagerie.”

Eye clinic parking lot sign


You need a parking lot sign like this one from an unidentified eyecare business. That is all we have to say.