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Inspired by Motivational Speaking Great Will Smith: Refine Your Pitches

Because even The Fresh Prince knows grooves can become ruts.




ABOUT FIVE YEARS ago, Vision Expo West shared the same hallway with a dental conference at the Venetian. One of my buddies, who is a dentist, told me the keynote speaker for their conference was my favorite actor, brilliant speaker, and total dreamboat…Will Smith. My buddy, being a great friend and fellow rule-breaker, snuck me into the keynote speech. It was amazing! The theme of his magical talk was how skill is developed by hours and years of continually refining your craft. He shared his habit of constant adaptation by telling stories of his personal life. I left completely enlightened and reflected upon the small adaptation opportunities I may have been missing in my personal and professional life.

The days following, while visiting with colleagues at VEW, I noticed a very evident stagnation. Through trial and error most optical professionals find a groove when communicating with our patients. We spend hours and years refining our craft, but at some point, we unintentionally plateau. When we are not continually refining our approach that groove becomes a rut. When was the last time you thought about adapting the messaging to your patients? Could your sales pitch be modernized?


Reflect on your verbiage. Write down each pitch you use for lenses, materials, treatments, and lens upgrades. Then see if you can reframe and modernize what you are saying using these three concepts:

1. RELATABILITY: Today’s consumer wants real. You have heard it before … drop the jargon! It does not make you look smart; it makes you unrelatable. Your patient does not like to ask, “What’s that?” after every recommendation. Often, they won’t ask at all. Also, consider adding relatable references. For example, many use the depiction of reducing glare on the water to see fish when discussing polarization, yet most don’t fish. How can you rework each pitch to make it more universally relatable?

2. VANITY: The most underutilized tool when selling eyewear! Everyone wants to look their best. It’s simple; when you feel you look good your confidence increases. In a society that is finally embracing the beauty of uniqueness, the messaging to the consumer needs to adapt. If a product will help a patient stand out, say it!

3. VALUE: Today’s consumer will pay for value. The word “value” is often mistaken for discount, but in this context it’s something deserving of its worth. Value in eyewear is often found in the craftsmanship, the durability, or the experience the patient can expect from the products you are endorsing. Drive home your message by appealing to the item’s practicality. I have created examples in reworking your lingo in this month’s Behind The Article video below.

Learning your craft is necessary to be effective. Continually refining that craft is necessary to be great. To some, adapting your daily verbiage will seem too simple to matter. However, it is the small adaptations that make massive differences. Small changes give you a chance to form lasting habits. If you ever get the chance to ask Will, I’m pretty sure he’d agree.

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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