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Make the Most of the Slow Times and More Tips for March

Sow seeds for backup pair sales and be a better manager by not managing.





MARKETINGUse the Slow Times

Two lessons from the COVID era: Don’t waste the slow times. And always be ready to evolve. Pam Peters of Midwest Eye in Downers Grove, IL, cited the case of her Brillen rep who created mini videos where she and a co-worker modeled every frame in the Dutz and Ella and Max lines in less than two minutes for social media. “With so many of the usual ‘go-to’ ideas on the back burner during the pandemic, we are always looking for new ways to introduce frames to our patients,” she says.


Our emotions lead us into places we’d often be wise to avoid. It’s a thing conmen know too well, says psychologist and writer Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game. The remedy? Pause. “Time is the great antidote to emotion,” she says. “Scammers will rush you; taking space to reflect is your best defense against conmen. The same applies when reading a news headline — or a tweet — which wants you to hurry up and feel something. Don’t be rushed.”


Can’t decide whether to text or call a customer about an upcoming event at your store? Send a voice note instead: They are not intrusive, are more personal than a text, and “sound like personal mini podcasts” notes a list of life hacks in The Guardian newspaper.


SALESSow Seeds

Customers won’t always bite when asked about their need for a backup pair of glasses. But allow the idea to sink in for a while and your chances of winning a sale can rise significantly. That’s the experience of Mallory Haun at MetroSpecs Optical Shop in Fayetteville, NC. “I often ask clients to do some mental research into their lifestyle habits: ‘Mrs. Smith, while you’re waiting for these glasses to come back, think about how you wear your glasses and when you struggle: Do you squint when you’re driving because of the sun? Do you sit on the back deck with a glass of wine and read magazines?’ These questions prime their mind to a second pair purchase at pickup,” she says.

MANAGEMENTGet Out of the Way

There are times when the best management is no management at all, says Stanford business school professor Bob Sutton. Writing on his LinkedIn blog he says a common problem with meetings is a version of “groupthink,” a premature consensus where everyone agrees on a plan before potentially more innovative solutions have had a chance to surface. And a key contributor to this can be the presence of the boss, whose initial suggestions will frame the debate and stifle contributions from his team. “Sometimes the best way for a leader to reduce undue influence is to leave the room,” Sutton writes.


So it’s now March and you still haven’t started on your key goals for the year. Delay a task long enough, and you can fall into the trap of feeling like it’s simply too late to start. Rather than berate yourself, reach for forgiveness. That was the conclusion of a study by Carlton University’s Department of Psychology into the connection between forgiveness and task initiation among students. The study found those who were able to forgive themselves for putting off studying for an exam were better able to overcome procrastination and hit the books sooner for their second exam.




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