In today’s fast changing world, information is the key to success. A few simple initiatives combined with a cooperative attitude forms the foundation of knowledge disbursement for the optical fraternity
Optical business is more than just selling eyewear. It’s about giving protection to your customers’ eyes and taking care of their ophthalmic well-being. The responsibility lies on the optician therefore to keep himself educated continuously with the updates in the eyecare category. It’s the only way that he can remain ahead of competition. And yes, when we say competition, we include the information available to the consumer on the internet.
One very effective way to stay updated in this sense, is attending professional seminars. MNC’s and eyewear companies invest a lot of effort and expenses to bring this to opticians. Unfortunately, many opticians see this only as an opportunity to get freebies and a fancy five-star meal than real learning. A change in this attitude would be the first thing that needs to change in the industry for it to remain the first line of defence in eye-care for their customers.
Education and its evolution
According to Bill Gates, “While technology is starting to improve education, it’s not personalized or focused enough to truly help teachers figure out how to improve. And most educational technology thus far has benefited only the most motivated students, and not those who need extra encouragement most.”
This is true. Education is evolving and from the classrooms of yesteryears to the tablets and mobiles of today, there’s been a revolution. But the digital media has not been able to replace the classroom as we know it. And that’s why seminars are the perfect platform to get educated on lens technology and practice management and methods to sell.
The logistical issues faced in holding these seminars are huge. Yet brands and MNC’s are still investing with the hope of reaching out to those limited, yet motivated few. Their efforts need to be applauded and appreciated.
When an optician guides his customer through the process of eye care, the end goal remains to gain customer loyalty and increase sales. But the benefit to the customer is immense. And this makes it a win-win situation for both. The same principle also applies to companies holding seminars. While they get to promote their offerings through the seminars, attending opticians gain knowledge which eventually gets passed on to the end consumer. Everyone wins.
Ophthalmic and contact lens companies particularly, like Essilor, Zeiss, Bausch + Lomb and Johnson & Johnson just to name a few hold regular seminars that can benefit you as an optician. These companies invest heavily into research of customer insights, and they are willing to share this information at seminars. Get to know what the latest offerings are, and why do these offerings appeal to your customers. With this knowledge you can make the perfect pitch and earn a satisfied customer. And with that a slight profit too.
If you have monied customers that purchase luxury brands from their trips abroad but come to you only to buy their second frame for everyday use, then that’s a sign that something’s amiss.
Next time, you learn of eyewear companies holding a seminar, make sure you attend it.
Launches of luxury brands offer a perfect opportunity to understand and service your monied customer. These launches generally have an attached seminar and guest speaker that would educate you on the brands offerings as well as give you insight into the customer’s purchase decision process. Learning how the customer thinks, what he feels, what the brand means to him will help you in more ways than you can imagine in fulfilling his requirements.
VisionPlus is on a mission to bring together these major companies that are invested into educative seminars for opticians, and help them reach out to the motivated opticians. It would be holding a joint seminar — a VisionPlus Academy, if we could call it, that helps opticians reduce their efforts of attending multiple events to gain knowledge. A coordinated effort would save the optician time, and give them an opportunity to gain multiple insights at one go, and also help the brands have a more focussed audience of opticians willing to take in some serious education.
If you have any thoughts on this, feel free to share it with us on firstname.lastname@example.org. And stay tuned to VisionPlus magazine for updates in this regard.