Connect with us

Smooth Sellers

Smooth Seller: Stephanie Haenes

mm

Published

on

When she first applied at Sears Optical 20 years ago, Stephanie Haenes was passed over. But hired soon after and swiftly promoted, she quickly had the highest year-to-year percentage revenue growth in the chain. “I realized that I had a keen ability to sell eyewear and an even better sense of how to operate a store,” she says. Next, she worked at Pearle Vision and broke into the luxury optical business as manager of InVision Distinctive Eyewear in Edina, MN. Haenes and her optometrist husband, Dr. Timothy Haupert, opened Art of Optiks in 2001. — JULIE FANSELOW

This article originally appeared in the February 2015 edition of INVISION.


We have a once-a-year sale at the end of February. The energy in the store is incredibly high and it is amazing to see my staff in action, working as a team to make the week go off without a hitch. And it’s always great to clear out the old inventory to bring in the new!

I recently had the pleasure of working with an 80-year-old first-time customer. She had a really outgoing personality, was open to my suggestions, unique eyewear was a must and she wanted to pick out multiple pairs!

Advertisement

Looking back on my early days in optical sales, I can’t believe I used to take things so personally. I would be very affected by a cranky customer who decided to take their bad day out on me. I tend to have a much more sympathetic attitude now and ultimately try to make the day a little better for the customer by treating them with kindness. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t, but I no longer internalize customer issues that have nothing to do with me or my store.


There are so many things I’d like to tell my 21-year-old optical self! Be confident, do not be afraid to make mistakes, take chances on your career and most of all, have fun!


I’m generally pretty psyched up for a day at work but there are certainly some days that it is more difficult to get motivated. On those mornings, a large Starbucks coffee and a little hip-hop music on the way to work are all it takes to get me headed in the right direction.

My personal style tends to be classic with a twist, but I’m not opposed to trying bold colors or shapes. My two favorite frames in rotation right now are the Kissy Suzuki by Ørgreen and the Cassady by Barton Perreira.

I am a huge believer in quality products. I love the versatility of the Shamir Autograph III lens. Customers love the vision and it has a broad range of availability, making it easy to use for everything from larger wrap sunwear to high minus prescriptions. Knowing the patient will have the same vision from one pair to the next makes selling multiples that much easier. My go-to frame lines are Ørgreen for durability, great shapes and unique color combinations and Maybach or Lindberg Precious for customers who want a luxury product.


I have the added benefit (challenge) of being in a partnership with my optometrist husband. The key for us both professionally and personally is open communication, teamwork and respect.

Advertisement

Any business owner will tell you that most of their days off are spent … working. But when my enthusiasm for working with customers declines and it’s time to take a mini break, I try to do things that I find enjoyable: working on our website, designing email blasts or talking with friends in the industry.

SPONSORED VIDEO

SPONSORED BY VARILUX

The Best Overall Progressive Lens, Now Powered by AI

Engineered with Behavioral Artificial Intelligence and utilizing new XR-motion™ technology, Varilux XR series goes beyond prescription and eye physiology to consider the patient’s visual behavior and design a progressive lens that respects how
their eyes naturally move.

Varilux XR series comes in two versions, Varilux® XR design and Varilux® XR track. The Varilux XR track lens provides an additional level of personalization by incorporating the exclusive Near Vision Behavior Measurement, providing up to 25% more near vision width3 according to the patient’s need, so patients get the highest level of customization.

Discover Varilux XR series and enjoy instantly sharp vision in motion4 and seamless transitions from near to far.

For more information, visit here.

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe

INVISIONMAG.COM
BULLETINS

Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Most Popular