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Got an Unmotivated Team? Improve Sales Numbers With Improved Leadership

Encouraging a change in leadership mindset allows leaders to facilitate new team habits to achieve goals despite the excuses that are always there.




EVER HEARD A colleague talk about a big change they made and thought, “I could never get my team to do that!” Many of our opticals can reflect upon a time when we were hoping for sales results that didn’t manifest. We instinctively point to barriers that caused the failure: days the doc was out, holidays, or the economy. The truth is: there will always be an excuse.

We have found there is a consistent thread that links these mishaps that you can control. Offices that fall short of sales goals often lack key components in communication from leadership. When a team is fully aware of the task, feels equipped to handle it, and appreciated once it’s completed, your unmotivated crew will start whistling a different tune.

Many preach profit sharing, but a better way to make lasting changes that impact the bottom line is to reward changes with incentives. An incentive should be motivating enough to encourage change, but only used long enough to create a habit—typically about two months. Once a habit is formed a new incentive should be created to spark a new change. Have your leaders discuss changes that you would like to see to spark more sales and create a plan for the rest of the year. Then review the metrics of how your team performed on those items during the last year. Create goals you would like to see on those metrics that will move the needle on profitability yet are fully attainable.

The second thing to understand about incentivizing your team is that it is actually ideal when you diversify the incentives. When the incentive is monetary, switch up the values. Consider the changes that you are making to increase your quantity of new patients to have a higher payout on creating that habit than the next change which might be focused on fitting more Trivex lenses. For non-monetary, if you’d like to spark more sunglass sales, the incentive could be that each team member gets a new set of plano sunglasses. Have your leaders review the changes they listed, and beside the change list ideas for the incentives.

Third, when incentivizing your office, results are better when the entire team is involved. The responsibility will land on the opticians to finalize a sale. Many forget that the patient would not even be there without the front desk making the appointment, the tech discussing the patient’s scratched lenses with the doctor, and the doctor making amazing recommendations before the patient even gets to the optician. Have your leaders review the lists made so far and discuss what benefits would look like for your team.


And last, make sure leadership follows through. Oftentimes staff will find themselves empty handed because management throws out a hidden asterisk with a silly reason as to how the team did not meet requirements. Nothing crushes motivation more. Encouraging a change in mindset from the leadership will facilitate new habits allowing the team to achieve its goals.

Humans will always be able to find excuses as to why goals were not met. But encouraging a change in mindset from the leadership will allow for leaders to facilitate new habits among the team to achieve goals despite the excuses that are always there. For a video with examples on how to create a proper Incentive Driven Goal Plan, here is a downloadable guide.

Kayla Ashlee is the co-founder of Spexy, an international optometric speaker, a certified optician, and an optometric renegade. Her direct and relatable approach to training has set her apart in the industry. To learn more visit


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