Connect with us

Columns

Robert Bell: Why Aren’t You In Jail?

mm

Published

on

Robert Bell believes in “uncommon sense” and challenging the status quo of traditional selling methods. He is the creator of The EyeCoach Selling System and managing partner of The Visionaries Group. To pick his brain: robert@the.vg

Once a upon a time, an optometrist was very eager to give me his opinion on “selling.” His attitude was that “selling” cheapens and degrades the profession of optometry. Optometrists and their staffs should not be salespeople. Optometrists should be the best doctors they can be and their staffs should be a reflection of that.

Agreed! 100 percent!Optometrists should be the best doctors they can be and their staffs should reflect that.

He went on to say that people who teach selling to eyecare professionals should be ashamed of ourselves;  that we appeal to the lowest common denominator of money-grubbing optometrists. Ouch! It’s not the first time I’ve heard this from someone who’s never attended one of my workshops.

“Doctor, are you telling me that you’re dedicated to the health and comfort of your patient’s visual health? 100 percent?”

“Yes, of course,” he replied.

Advertisement

“Wonderful! Would you happen to know the percentage of your patients that purchase more than one pair of eyewear from you?”

“Maybe 5 or 10 percent, if I had to guess.”

“How many pairs would your average patient need?”

“On average? Three pairs.”

“So, your patients are leaving with less than they need? Tell me, how is it that you’re not in jail?”

I shared a story with this doctor: A woman won a $2.1 million settlement against her cardiologist for failing to give her an aspirin. Yep, an aspirin! Not as frivolous as it sounds. It was to be given to the patient before an angioplasty. But because the patient received less than what was needed (an aspirin), she developed gangrene and lost a foot.

Advertisement

Think about this: If you put your trust into the hands of any other kind of doctor … a cardiologist, an oncologist, an orthopedist, etc., and they gave you less than what you needed, at the very least, isn’t that grounds for a lawsuit?

On average, 90 percent of patients in this country leave their independent eye doctor’s offices with just one pair of glasses. Yet, every time I ask eyecare professionals how many pairs of eyewear their average patient needs, I never hear “just one.”

Is it OK for anyone, in any healthcare field, to give their patients less than what they need? Just how do we, in the eyecare field, get away with this? More importantly, why would we want to get away with this? What’s the benefit to the doctor? To the patient? Yes, I understand that eyecare is the only healthcare profession that has “retail” (optical dispensary) attached to it. But shouldn’t that mean we should aspire to a higher standard because we are responsible for both healthcare service (eye exam) and product (glasses, contacts, etc.)?

I shared with my new optometric acquaintance that I don’t teach “selling” the way most people understand that term. Most people think that selling has something to do with persuading someone of something. Not sure about you, but I don’t like to be persuaded of anything. Do you? So I redefine selling to mean: helping someone acquire what they need. Yeah, it’s really that simple! Then I teach a method of asking precise, gentle and non-threatening questions, at specific times. These questions help patients recognize how their visual challenges affect their daily lives, at work, at home, at play, indoors and outdoors. At this point, patients tend to ask you for solutions to these challenges. As a by-product, multiple pair sales just happen to increase! Oooops!

Hey, I’m just trying to keep all of you out of jail!

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

SPONSORED BY HOYA

Hoya: The Right Lenses for Sun Protection

Eye safety has never been more important--or fashionable. Check out Hoya's Serenity photochromic and Coppertone(R) polarized lens collections, just in time for summer!

Promoted Headlines

Columns

You Can’t Meet Everyone’s Needs, So Why Try?

Know your niche.

mm

Published

on

Know your niche as a retailer and stay true to that niche. Don’t try to meet everyone’s needs – if you try you will compromise somewhere else. – Carter Johnston, OD, Physicians Optical Luxury Eyewear, Oklahoma City, OK

Continue Reading

Robert Bell

The Single Best Tool to Help Your Staff to Sell In and Outside the Office

Plus it has the added benefit of showing them you value them.

mm

Published

on

JUST BETWEEN US, have you ever fantasized about wanting to give a playful smack to a patient or customer because they did something incredibly stupid? Or, they didn’t do something they were supposed to do in the no-brainer category?

No? Liar!

Well, here’s a no-brainer scenario in which I’d like to smack (playfully!) a hefty percentage of optometric business owners. Ok, honestly, I wouldn’t hurt or embarrass any of you. However, I’ll tell you this: this “no-brainer scenario” makes me pull my hair out of my head. And, folks? I’m bald!

What’s the no-brainer scenario? Business cards.

“But Robert, I have a business card.” I’m sure you do, doctor. Does everyone on your staff have one, too? Everyone? Uh huh. I’m losing more hair as we speak!

From your front desk personnel to your licensed opticians, everyone on your staff should have printed business cards with their name on it, their title (if they want one), the name of your practice, your location(s), your phone number and your website.

Everyone on your staff should be required to carry a few in their purses or wallets 24/7.

Why? So many reasons! Here’s one example from one of my favorite conversations with an optician:

Optician: I was in a Target once and standing behind this woman wearing the most G-d awful glasses. I was thinking, “Omg, who the hell did that to you?”

Me: Did you say anything to her?

O: Um, no.

M: Why not?

O: Whaddya mean, “why not?” What was I going to say?

M: Oh, any number of things. How about, “Hi there. I’m Darla. I was looking at your glasses. I’m an optician. Then … are you happy with them? … or how long ago did you get them? … or where did you get them? Anything to get her talking about her glasses.

O: Why?

M: So you could engage her, find out if you, as an optician, could be of help to her. If so, then you could’ve given her your business card and said, “Here, take my card. Next time you need glasses or an eye exam, come in and ask for me and I promise I’ll take very good care of you.” Then, before you give her the card, you say ‘I’m gonna write on the back of my card to give you $20 off on a pair of sunglasses, if you’re able to come in within the month.’

O: (spurts out a laugh) Yeah, right. Like my OD would pay for business cards for me. Get real. She’s too cheap.

Lord, I’m so bald.

Doctors, by purchasing business cards for your staff (such a minimal investment that can reap in beaucoup rewards), you do the following things:

  • You’re telling them they, as your employee, are important to you.
  • You’re telling them they are an integral part of your team.
  • You’re telling them you’re proud to have them on your team.
  • You make them think you appreciate them and show them so with something tangible.
  • This usually makes them proud of where they work and proud of working for you.

Either you’re proud of your practice and the people who work for you, or you’re not. If you’re not, please disregard what you’ve read here. If you are, well, you know what to do next.

Once your staff is stocked up on cards, it’s time to train them. For Robert’s business card sales training tips visit invisionmag.com/extras.

Continue Reading

Danielle Richardson

Feel Like Your Wellness Routine Could Be Missing Something? It’s Probably Sleep

We spend nearly a third of our life sleeping, which makes getting quality sleep as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

mm

Published

on

WHEN YOU THINK OF your health and wellness, how often do you think of sleep? Chances are not often — but you should. Sleep is the newest frontier in wellness as public health consciousness continues to increase and we move to a more holistic idea of health. We spend nearly 1/3 of our life sleeping which makes getting quality sleep as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The National Sleep Foundation defines quality sleep as occurring when you’re asleep within 30 minutes of laying down, wake no more than once, and sleep for at least 85 percent of the night. Unfortunately, quality sleep is an uncommon occurrence as the CDC reports a third of American adults experience poor or inadequate sleep on a regular basis. An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep-related problems or disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, or restless leg syndrome. As a country, we need to get some rest!

Sleep deprivation increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and triples the risk for type 2 diabetes according to Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick Finan, PhD. Those not getting adequate sleep suffer from a weakened immune system, irregular metabolism, and obesity secondary to increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Not limited to just the physical body, sleep deprivation can also manifest as cognitive impairment and/or mental health changes including depression, irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, and brain fog. Poor quality sleep is far less recuperative, which causes us to not feel rested when do we wake up.

Sleep depends on a number of factors, our body’s internal regulating system is chief among them. Our Circadian Rhythm functions as the body’s biological clock and regulates the experience of alertness vs. sleepiness. This rhythm is sensitive to fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly cortisol and melatonin. Cortisol peaks in the morning allowing us to be alert and focused throughout the day. The secretion of melatonin — which helps us sleep — is highest at night.

These days, our minds are moving a mile a minute and we’re constantly on light-producing digital devices even though increased high-energy blue light exposure from devices decreases melatonin production and causes insomnia or sleeplessness. The disrupting culprits aren’t limited to devices though; increased stress, irregular work schedules, frequent jet lag, and sleep disorders can also disrupt our cycles.

The CDC recommends 7-9 hours of quality sleep for adults and more for teens and children. Here are some easy ways you can get better sleep tonight:

Build Consistency. It’s important to wake and head to bed around the same time each day — even on the weekends.

Use Sleep Monitoring Technology. Smartphones and wearable tech devices can help monitor the duration and quality of your sleep through downloadable applications and Bluetooth technology.

Sleep Habits. Limit screen time and diminish light sources in the bedroom. Additionally, use the automatic setting on your phone to warm the screen at night.

Bonus — Zen Out! Use essential oils or pillow sprays in scents like lavender as aromatherapy to help you sleep. Also consider meditation, light music, or other soothing sounds as a relaxing way to send yourself to bed.

Continue Reading

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Most Popular