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Robert Bell

The Continuing Saga of “Dr. Ummm”

I identified the power you give Dr. Ummm, now we take the power away!

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The Continuing Saga of “Dr. Ummm”

WHILE WRITING last month’s column (invmag.us/041708), news of a merger between two optical giants was announced. From the reactions of ECPs on social media, it angered and frustrated many of you. Truth is, deep down, it’s scaring the hell out of a lot of you. Why? Because most of you don’t know how to compete and differentiate yourselves. So, when your customers are asked where they got their glasses they, inevitably, will say “Oh, at Dr. Ummm’s” because you’ve done nothing to make yourself stand out. You’ve done nothing to create a brand or an incredible experience for your patrons. They simply can’t remember your name. Too bad, because I know you’re good at what you do.

So help me, help you, put Dr. Ummm to sleep. Permanently! C’mon, it’ll be fun.

Here are a few ideas (there are more where these came from):

1. You can’t sell everybody, so stop trying. Stop trying to compete with everyone. What one thing do you do better than anyone else? Two things? Three? Hey, don’t let me stop ya, but get that story out there! 

2. If your customers or potential customers are going to big box stores or online optical retailers, keep in mind, they don’t know any better. Speak to that audience and show them what the difference is. Won’t they be pleasantly surprised?

3. Price is never the issue except when someone feels they’re buying a commodity. Too many consumers think eyeglasses are a commodity. Maybe they’re right… maybe eyeglasses are a commodity but eyewear isn’t. Get that message across!

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4. … that said, give legendary service. If there were a Retail Hall of Fame (not just optometric/optical retail), would you be considered for induction? Why? Why not? Your response to this question is going to tell you a lot.

5. People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it. People won’t remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel. Inspire and excite your customers with your talents and passion! In other words, give them the most legendary shopping experience they’ve ever had …

6. Are you doing anything for your community? Charitable vision work? People love doing business with businesses that give back.

 

 

7. Treat the customer in front of you as if they’ll be the very last person you’ll ever professionally service before you retire. Let me put it another way: imagine you’re a gymnast at your last Olympics, or a baseball player at their last at bat, or basketball player in their final game — wouldn’t you want to leave by nailing a perfect 10, or the winning homerun or sink the winning basket — how powerful would a slam dunk be? Wouldn’t you want to do something that memorable?

What’s stopping you?  

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Amongst the other things Robert Bell does in the eye care industry, he helps to oversee the Vision Services Program for California CareForce and inspires others to volunteer in their own communities throughout the United States. You may contact him at [email protected] or send him a message on The Vision Volunteers page on Facebook.

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