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Teach your customers to buy from you.

I was thinking about my recent purchase buying a new car and it reminded me how important it is to educate versus sell someone on our eyecare and eyewear services. I went to several dealerships before deciding on the place where I purchased. What made the decision? Not the price, but the person. In fact, I ended up buying a different model at a higher price than what I was originally looking for all based on their effective lifestyle questioning and education on what would be best for my needs. I left that experience feeling like I was in a trusted relationship with the seller and organization. He taught me instead of sold me. He showed me everything about the new cars I was looking at and advised me on what would work better for my daily driving requirements. He advised me.

Differentiate Yourself From The Office Next Door.
Don’t have the same sales spiel as everyone else. Find new and exciting ways to start the sales conversation. Have a cool lifestyle questionnaire you fill out with the customer, do an image consultation or determine their face shape before starting in on the eyewear selection.

Know Your Products.
We have so much amazing, new technology in this industry yet we only share a small portion of this during our sales process. We should be detailing everything about the frames from where they are made to how they are made. Yet we focus on the look of the frame. Same with lens technology, customers are completely unaware of what goes into making a pair of high-quality lenses. Let’s teach them!

Be The Expert.
Customers want our assistance and our expertise. They are confused about what looks good on them and why they should spend $700 instead of $100 online. They want us to take control of the sales process and lead them to a purchase. Don’t just help someone choose eyewear: be the expert and offer genuine, valuable advice.

Tell Them What You Do.
I truly feel this is still one of the biggest opportunities for us to take back our business from online vendors. As eyecare professionals, we have failed over the years to teach people the value of what we do. From PD’s to seg heights to adjustments, we have left them with no knowledge of the impact all of these features can have on a pair of glasses. We have not taught them why to buy from us or why not to buy online. Each time you perform an act of value in this profession, tell the consumer why it matters. Teach them what we do!

Give Them Extra Value.
It’s a competitive market out there these days. You need to find ways to add value that helps to set you apart from your competitors. Never underestimate the power of a few items you already offer: FREE adjustments and repairs, FREE warranty, FREE follow-up appointments and 30-day money back guarantees. These offers are great and important to detail to your customer but it’s also time to think outside the box. What else can you offer that gives extra value? Gift with purchase, coupon for second pair of glasses, discount off other products like contact lenses or sunglasses, free cleaning kit, service from a complimentary business or a FREE eye make-up tutorial? Get creative and make it part of your brand.

Last note...it doesn’t take much to differentiate from your competitors. There are very few offices in this industry that do anything unique or new in the sales process. Train your staff to be eyewear experts and consultants and teach versus sell.