Recently, an optometrist voiced this concern, while asking for advice. They said:
“My frame sellers are always worried about being too pushy. I can’t get them to increase sales. What do I do?”
This is one of most common complaints that I hear from practice owners and practice managers. Their staff is overly worried about patient perception and under concerned about sales. So, what is the solution? I would offer 3 steps to increase sales and motivate staff.
First: Spiff or bonus your employees. The number one way to persuade your sellers to increase sales is to offer them a chance to make more money. I talk about this more in the ProSight Success system, but in brief, here is one way. Determine number of frames you need to turn your frame board over 2.5 times in a year. Divide that number by your business days. Bonus your staff any time they exceed that number in a day with things like breakfast and coffee. Additionaly, you can cash bonus them when they exceed those numbers for a month (number of frames x 2.5 divided by 12).
Second: Demand it. Gather your sellers together and explain this necessary component of their job. You sell eye care fashion. Your frame sellers are salespeople. Then, evaluate them accordingly. You’ll quickly find out which employees are the ones you need and which you don’t.
Third: Begin the frame selling process in the exam room. I can’t tell you how many doctors refuse to do this. But here is the truth: many people have some manner of frame contribution accompanying their exam benefits. Don’t let that go to waste. Even with no change, your patients should not waste their hard earned and paid for insurance benefits. Additionally, carry stylish frames and spe3k to the benefits of second pairs and sunglasses. Doctors can’t be more shy to sell than their staff is.
So, if your sellers aren’t selling, the owner and manager have to own their responsibility in that problem. Then, spiff your staff, demand high performance, and help the sales out in the exam lane. This will make an immediate impact on your staff and your numbers.
These and other types of resources can be found in our Prosight Success System. Check it out, and let us know how we can help further.
ProSight Success System
Without a clearly designed and purposefully enforced employee manual, your staff cannot succeed.
Let’s be honest, even the best employees struggle to maintain their motivation day in and day out. Let’s be even more honest, so do you. One help to reinforce motivation is an employee manual.
I’m not talking about a list of to do’s and don’ts. A manual must include those things, but a helpful manual also includes elements of how employees will be celebrated and incentivized. Additionaly, speaking to those elements on a regular basis will grow a culture
So, what are those elements?
Of course, a manual must make things clear like attendance expectations, appearance, evaluations, etc.
But if a manual only speaks to those things, it appears as if everything is a negative. Don’t look this way. Don’t be late. We will evaluate you to tell you how you are messing up.
What if you included some overlooked elements in your manual? What are some of those elements?
A manual should speak to how appreciation is shown to your staff.
A manual should speak to how employees can reach bonuses.
A manual should speak to how staff can earn raises.
What are their promotion opportunities?
Think of your manual as a tool for motivation instead of 10 commandments not to be broken. Do that, review them and celebrate achievement, and watch the culture of your office grow.
Resources to help you create office policies for your manual, as well as many other tools, can be found in our Prosight Success System. Check it out, and let us know how we can help further.
ProSight Success System
Last week, the Fyre Fest, a supposed luxury VIP musical festival made all the wrong headlines.
Instead of finding an exclusive private island, attendees found a shared island that one attendee described as a “gravel pit”.
Instead of luxurious villa’s, the concert goers were told to “grab a tent” which resulted in a free-for-all sprint to find shelter.
Instead of sumptuous food and flights with Wolfgang Puck, cheese sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes were offered in a summer-camp type food line.
And as attendees fled to the airport to leave, they were locked inside to prevent people from walking on the runway. One person passed out from the heat.
One person described the whole festival as, “a mix of total incompetence and the people putting it on really sucking at their jobs.”
What does all of this have to say about the eye care industry (and every other customer service related industry)? Tons.
If you fashion yourself a high-end OD with a high-end selection of frames, then present yourself as promised. Go the extra mile. Treat each patient like they are the only one in the world.
If you promise great customer service, don’t tolerate poor employees who treat patients in any way but equal to your standards.
Make sure each patient leaves your practice ready to tell 10 people how great their experience was. Give your staff the expectation that result is the only acceptable outcome.
Don’t give in to the “under promise and over deliver” mentality. Over promise and then over deliver. It is the best way to avoid Fyre Festival type outcomes. In the age of social media, every poor experience has the opportunity to be a public relations nightmare. At the same time, every great experience is the opportunity for you to distinguish yourself and grow your practice.
Resources to help you improve your patient experience, as well as many other tools, can be found in our Prosight Success System. Check it out, and let us know how we can help further.
ProSight Success System
Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every healthcare industry has been plunged into a season of the unknown, save one thing: lower profits.
And the personal eye doctor has not been immune to these challenges.
Since the election of President Trump, many have looked forward to a promised change in governmental, regulated healthcare. The inability of a Republican-led congress to repeal Obama-care dashed those hopes. Now, President Trump, once again, has healthcare on his agenda. But at a speech on his 100th day office, he still promised coverage no matter a patient’s prior condition.
No matter one’s political affiliations, the future of healthcare, insurance, and the local eye doctor seems unsure.
Except one thing.
The local eye doctor has one thing that nearly every other health industry lacks: retail. In other words: your optical, your frames and lenses, can be your hope.
You see, the local general practitioner doesn’t have a retail end. They have procedure codes and their diagnoses. That’s it.
And while your optical department does have to interact with government regulation, not every one of their transactions does. You sell fashion as well. You sell sunglasses. You sell second pairs. And this is your hope.
No matter what this president, or any other president, has to say about healthcare, you, the eye doctor, have an opportunity to transcend those regulation and continue to make money, survive, and thrive.
So, focus on developing your frame sellers. Appeal to the fashion retail nature of your patients. Emphasize and motivate your staff to sell 2nd pairs. It is your immunity to the ever changing landscape of healthcare.
Resources to help you grow your optical revenue, as well as many other tools, can be found in our Prosight Success System. Check it out, and let us know how we can help further.
ProSight Success System
Gordon Duncan is an award-winning educator, salesman, teacher, manager, and writer. He has taught in the public school system, lobbied for school's accreditation, managed eye clinics, led sales' teams, and also publishes books on theology, church, and culture.