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Is Casual Attire Killing Eyewear Sales in Your Optical?

It may be time for a team fit check.




WE HAVE ALL felt the pain of having a patient say they want their Rx to buy their glasses elsewhere. Many factors can contribute to this unfortunate conversation, but one of the biggest that is exceedingly avoidable is how we present ourselves. We have morphed into a society where “comfort” is synonymous with sloppiness. What’s worse, in a world that has spent the last few years relaxing appropriate times to wear sweatpants, this excessively casual mindset has somehow made its way into acceptable work attire and optical offices are no exception.

Simply put, poor attire is absolutely devastating to your ability to sell! The inverse is also true, a refined look presented in your optical office will immediately generate more sales.


Now, I am not implying everyone in the office should be in suits and stilettos. But I am asking that our brick-and-mortar opticals take a hard look at how we are representing ourselves when our patients are walking out to buy from a store, app, or website that portrays themselves to be trendy, fresh, and fashion forward.

To make sure your team’s look isn’t obstructing the desire to buy from you, consider these four points:

Comfortable and casual does not make you more approachable. Being casual shows a lack of professionalism. Some offices feel the doctor looking professional is all that matters. The truth is, the patient sees the team as a direct reflection of the leadership. The doctor dressing nicely does not overcome the patient’s perception that the rest of the office lacks refinement and professionalism.

Medical in the exam lane is good. Medical on the optical sales floor is bad. Some feel that an appropriate uniform choice for the team is to have everyone in scrubs. Scrubs are a uniform that is perceived as being used for functional medical care. It’s hard to take fashion advice from someone who is not showing real style or sophistication in the optical. For an enlightening reflection on this, scan the QR code to watch the video.

Consider the attire worn in stores that sell products at comparable prices to your eyewear. Stores that sell $800 handbags, $500 shoes, or $150 perfumes will have their salespeople present a sophisticated look. You do not see these products sold by people wearing novelty T-shirts, logo printed fleece vests, yoga pants or scrubs.


Respect teammates and customers. My friend David Mackenzie III is a polished, bright, charismatic personality who wears a suit everywhere. When I asked him once about his non-stop suave attire he said, “I feel confident when I dress well, but I dress like this out of respect for the people I am spending my time with. People are important to me.” It is not about the judgment of what others think, nor posturing or flaunting. This is a selfless reverence for others.

I have observed offices get offended when their attire preference is questioned. Though it is not my intent to offend, I continue to point out this issue because I have seen offices reap growth benefits from making changes in their attire. Yes, if you increase your professionalism you will increase your sales. More importantly, you will find yourself surrounded by an atmosphere of increased respect.



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