Optician + optical manager Sheena Taff shares strategies to keep your sales momentum going
Summer’s here, and with the weather beckoning us outside, it can be easy for us to just be working for the weekend. But now is a great time to connect with your staff, proclaim what you’ve accomplished so far, and review your goals to ensure you are on track for achieving your best year to date.
Week 1: Host a Summer Event.
Planning a summer sales event is a good way to capture new customers. Throw a trunk show or host an ice cream social and sunglass sale. Events can reinvigorate staff and excite customers.
WEEK 1 CHECKLIST
1. Reach out to two or three sales reps who have a broad collection of frames and Rx’able and plano sunglasses. Make a plan so they can feature relevant products that are in line with your vision.
2. Create a social media invite that will catch the eye of all of your patients and followers. Use an app like Planoly. Just add your information and post it on your business Instagram, Facebook, and website, plus display it in your shop.
3. Get your team excited about the event. Give them early access to the lines to be featured and give them a free pair or an additional discount. Get decorations and snacks to make it a special day.
Week 2: Connect With Patients.
Consider how you are connecting with your patients and ask yourself if this is still the best way to contact them. Regardless of your patients’ age, they are likely using their cell phone for almost everything.
WEEK 2 CHECKLIST
1. Begin to ask patients their preferred method of contact, be it calling, text messaging, or emailing. Taking multiple methods of contact is ideal. Note them on the work order as well as the patient file.
2. Set up a dedicated email address and specific templates that will inform patients of an appointment, that they’re due for an eye exam, or when their glasses are ready to be fitted.
3. Look into an online text messaging service or add a dedicated cell phone that you can use to send text notifications to patients—this can be inexpensive and very effective.
Week 3: Execute Staff Reviews.
Revisit the goals that were set during January reviews. Schedule one-on-one time with each staff member and revise the goals, if needed. Coach through any concerning behavior and set new goals for the remainder of the year.
WEEK 3 CHECKLIST
1. Write your reviews and determine how much time will need to be allocated to each employee. Factor in time for an employee’s response, and time to build an action plan for future success.
2. Have each staff member complete a self-review. This lets you see where they feel they are and gives you some talking points for your meeting.
3. Make this process as interactive as possible. Avoid being overly negative; keep any criticisms constructive. Celebrate success, and collaborate to drive further positive growth.
Week 4: Analyze + Celebrate.
The time has come to do a deeper dive on your optical’s YTD performance. This is an opportunity to celebrate not only the superstars but the role players as well. Get everyone moving toward a common goal.
WEEK 4 CHECKLIST
1. Figure out where you stand with regards to your yearly sales goal. Keep the team up to date with the pace you are on. A visual aid such as a chart can help motivate your team to strive for success.
2. Plan a summer team-building event, such as a dinner or an activity. Show your appreciation for the effort that goes into working toward the common goal. Don’t exclude anyone. Nothing breeds animosity more than a perception of not being appreciated.
3. Ask patients for a referral. Make it easy for them: Create a referral card and hand it out or attach it to each patient receipt.
About the Author:
Sheena Taff is a second-generation licensed optician at Roberts & Brown Opticians in Vancouver, Canada. Since becoming the optical boutique boss, she has evolved and grown the business and taken it to new heights. Taff is familiar with the many roles an independent practice owner and employees must undertake and wants to share tips for growing a successful practice.