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John Marvin

Go Get ’em: In These Three Areas of Your Business, You Can’t Afford to Sit Back and Wait

It won’t just happen. You’ve got to make a focused effort.




Go Get ’em: In These Three Areas of Your Business, You Can’t Afford to Sit Back and Wait

IT’S A NEW YEAR filled with opportunity. I hope to convince you of the importance of intentionality when it comes to what your practice will be at the end of the next 12 months. You see, whether or not you accomplish anything — especially growing your practice — is the result of being intentional. It won’t just happen. Here are three areas where you should be intentional in your growth:

RELATIONSHIPS. Relationships pay better than customers. They’re the glue that holds together your staff and practice.

First there are the relationships with your patients, based on investing time and effort in connecting with them and building a strong bond between them and your office. This is done by continually looking at what you do through the eyes of the patient. Examine each part of the patient’s experience through their eyes.  

The other critical relationship is the one you have with your staff. A very wise person once told me that most doctors work hard to take care of their patients but the smart doctors take care of their staff and their staff take care of the patients. You must rely on your staff. 

Here’s an important thing to know: Your staff sincerely want to do a great job caring for patients, not just a good job, but an exceptionally great job. 

Invest in their skills; that lets them know you value them.


RETAINING PATIENTS. Any practice that is more than five years old should see about 30 percent new patients each year and 70 percent returning patients. Most patients say they are very satisfied with where they received their most recent eye exam, but 40 percent of patients say they see their eye doctor every 24 to 30 months. Imagine if you could reduce that to 16 to 20 months. It would have a big impact on your practice and revenue. Give these patients a reason. 

SALES.  Like it or not, it’s sales that pay the bills. There are only two ways to generate sales: schedule more patients, and sell more to those patients. I want to focus on the second step. Here are two ideas:

If your capture or rate is less than 80 percent, you are doing your patients a disservice. There are three factors people use to decide where to purchase their eyewear: the variety and quality of the selection, pricing and, most importantly, knowledgeable staff with effective communication skills. Be intentional in evaluating these areas.

For example, we live behind our screens that emanate blue light which, over time, is damaging to visual health. No one should leave your practice without at least one pair of lenses that protect them. 

Only those who seek improvement will realize their potential.


John D. Marvin has more than 25 years of experience in the ophthalmic and optometric practice industry. He is the president of Texas State Optical and writes about marketing, management and education at the blog. You can email him at


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