In the closing statement, the optician uses one of any number of techniques in the hope that the customer agrees to make the purchase.
Take-home message: In the closing statement, the optician uses one of any number of techniques in the hope that the customer agrees to make the purchase.
Dispensing Solutions By Arthur De Gennaro
As I mentioned in the last installment in this series, an optician attempts to close a sale using what is known as a closing statement. At its heart, a closing statement is a technique used to get the shopper to make a purchase decision-that is, to become a buyer.
A little Internet research will show that there are literally hundreds of closing statements. The following are a couple of my favorites. I use these all the time when engaging customers.
The assumptive close is used when the seller notices buying signals from the shopper (which has been discussed in a previous article) and the optician is convinced that he or she has established sufficient trust and value.
In this case, the optician might say: “Mrs. Arthur that frame really enhances your appearance and I am sure you will love the new digital progressive lenses. If you will have a seat at the dispensing table I will get the order started.”
Should the shopper take a seat at the dispensing table, it would be an indication that he or she has made the decision to purchase.
Another example of an assumptive close is: “Mrs. Arthur, I see you have Transitions lenses in your current eyeglasses. I assume you will want them in your new eyeglasses as well.”
If the shopper has enjoyed Transitions lenses in the past, he or she may simply nod or say, “Yes, I would like that.”
The alternative close-sometimes called the alternative closing question-offers the shopper a choice or series of choices. Should the shopper select one of the choices it would indicate that he or she has made a purchase decision because the product consideration set has been reduced to one. Examples of alternative-closing questions are:
· “Mrs. Arthur, that frame looks great on you! Would you prefer it in the gold, silver, or bronze?”
· (After conducting the appropriate demonstration.) “Which would you prefer in your new eyeglasses, the thinner/lighter/safer polycarbonate lenses or the conventional plastic lenses?”
· “I can have new eyeglasses ready for you on Friday or a week from today. Which date do you prefer?”
As the examples demonstrate, the alternative close can be used to gain shopper approval of individual products or for the entire purchase (lenses, frames, and add-ons). This is important as opticians generally obtain customer acceptance as line-item approval for each product as it is being demonstrated.
The extra-information close is often used when a shopper appears indecisive. It is a powerful tool for overcoming objections, especially price objections.
The intent of the extra-information close is to provide the shopper with an additional benefit or benefits he or she will receive by purchasing the product. The intent is to increase the perceived value of the product(s) offered in the shopper’s eyes. If the shopper finds the benefits to have value, this close could tip the price/value scale in favor of the buying decision.
As the old saying goes: “A word to the wise is sufficient.” With regard to closing, keep in mind that closing techniques are used only after the optician has skillfully opened the sale, completed the interview, demonstrated only appropriate products, established trust, established value, and the shopper has exhibited buying signals.
If the optician attempts to close the sale too early or has not skillfully completed each of the steps in the selling process, it is likely that the shopper will offer an objection. Worse still, the shopper may feel that the optician is pushy or to some degree incompetent.
An old joke goes like this: A tourist stops a policeman in New York City and asks, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”
The policeman responds, “Practice, practice, practice.”
The corollary here is that just like a concert musician, salespeople get to the top of their game through focused and continual practice of their craft. There is no substitute for this.
Fortunately, the opportunity to practice presents itself each time a customer enters the optical dispensary.
Arthur De Gennaro is president of Arthur De Gennaro & Associates LLC, an ophthalmic practice management firm that specializes in optical dispensary issues. De Gennaro is the author of the book The Dispensing Ophthalmologist. He can be reached at 803/359-7887, email@example.com, or through the company’s Web site, www.adegennaro.com. He maintains a blog at www.adgablog.wordpress.com.