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Let’s Make Your Sales-Love Status Steamy

We are not professional athletes, but we are eyecare professionals, and together we can get to second base.

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ONE OF THE very first things I realized, when I entered the optical world 15 years ago, is that there is this self-conscious anxiety that hangs over our heads when we do our jobs. We tread lightly at the risk of coming off dodgy when selling eyewear. Consider the fact that we’re the only medical profession that relies on retail sales. While the most amazing heart surgeon is praised for his great transplant, the most amazing OD can dial in a life-changing precise prescription and the patient won’t even know it if they don’t purchase eyewear. Bummer, right?

Medical professionals are taught to refine their craft, yet none are taught to sell. Where does this leave optical pros? It can leave us with anxiety from being perceived as pushy or “salesy.” I never wanted to be perceived as a sleazy salesman. When I started in optical this looming angst passed on to newbies hit me hard. So, I learned, grew, and began training and consulting. Today, I run a company that provides solutions and tools for opticals to master sales. The kind of solutions that build confidence, eliminate “sales fear,” and teach whole teams proper techniques. It’s called Spexy.

Remember that feeling when a patient complained about something being too expensive? This scenario repeatedly sparks that anxiety. We know we can’t please everyone. Yet these rare experiences change how we deal with the rest of our patients.

Think about baseball. Batting .300 will likely get a player in the Hall of Fame. They’re trained to learn from those 7 of 10 failures, then let each go before the next at-bat. In optical, however, when we have a punk patient who flips out we approach our next patients with caution. We tip-toe around the recommendation that we know is best for that patient. We are not professional athletes, but we are ECPs.

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Absorb this: You are the professional. They are seeking your expertise.

Applying this concept will allow you to confidently approach each sales opportunity without reflecting on the last failure. What is best for this patient?

As a professional you must recommend the clearest material, the best lens technology, the best anti-reflective treatment. If you can make their vision even fractionally better, it is your responsibility to do so. It is your responsibility to recommend frames with a tailored design and refined materials if that will improve the wearing experience or lengthen the frame-life.

Understanding this allows for a mindset of, “If I am not recommending what is best for my patient, I am doing them a disservice. They came to me for my expertise.”

In this column, I’ll nurture a loving sales relationship. If you hate the word “sales” you can start slow, like you and sales are dating. We’ll get ya to first base.

For those who are comfortable with your sales relationship, we’ll upgrade your sales-love status to “steamy.”

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The Spexy team will fill this column with vital moves that will cover topics like the frame management BS you’ve been taught, how “educating” makes you sound like a babbling fool, how to identify the data that is threatening your sales, and so much more.

You’ll be scoring that desired relationship “homerun” in no time.

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 www.bespexy.com.

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