Often the best advice goes unspoken because the giver assumes you already know. Simple steps often overlooked might be found in the following:
- Shortly after your media campaign begins the phones may start ringing. Be prepared. Train your telephone handler to take incoming reservations and set up a special recorded message that specifically tells callers how to take full advantage of the event. – Some practices pay someone to answer all your RSVP calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- The best day for a show is generally your slowest doctor day. Schedule employee work-hours so that your salesforce has time to set up and decorate, get through lunch, clean up, and place orders all on the same work day. This might mean two overlapping shifts of workers.
- Don’t let your staff take a break or go eat during the business time of the trunk show. For some practices this might be 4 to 8 pm.
- Ensure that employees have fun. Depending on your culture, this is going to be different for every practice. Giving employees a reason to enjoy the day adds that contagious enthusiasm element.
- Make sure your office is clean and that everyone dresses beautifully. Your doctors’ appearance can’t be overlooked: hair, wrinkle-free scrubs, that ratty sweater and what’s worn under the white coat should all be taken into count.
- Featuring lenses with frames works better than lenses alone. Fabrication of demos can’t be put off to the last minute.
- Don’t call patients picking up finished eyewear the day before or day of or accept optical shipments the day of the event. Sales and VIP service have to be your focus.
- While some greet and walk patients to frame collections that complement the patient’s face shape, consider using dispensing tables and counters as activity stations.
- Station one: frame selection and comfort adjustments
Station two: lens package education
Station three: pricing, vision plans and finance options
Station four: collect co-pays and deductibles and set pick-up dates
- Be sure to have multiple samples of no-glare lenses, photochromic and polarized options scattered around optical.
- Ask customers who purchased for feedback and inquire about friends they know who might want to attend future events. It is a more personal touch to ask face-to-face when eyewear is being picked up than a survey.
- Send thank you notes to sales reps and anyone who contributed co-op funds.
- Include your staff in a planning luncheon and feedback celebration. They are your greatest resource.
Undaunted by failure
Your least successful optical event might become a stepping stone for future success. Even if, from an economic standpoint, you lose money, make sure everyone involved has a good time (#workplacefun.) To succeed as a small optical means showing the world daily your collection of hand-curated frames and featured lenses. Build team pride and applaud attention-to-detail.
A well-orchestrated optical event sends a loud message of exclusive service to patients that had exams event-day (as well as to those members of your staff who secretly think patients can see just as clearly out of OTC readers or from lenses purchased online or at a discount chain) that seeing clearly and fashionable frames at several price-points is available in your office.