Selling Without Selling

imageRecently I was asked a very important question while taking care of a long time client of mine. The question proposed to me was, how do I always get them spend so much more than they intended to? This question made me think for a bit. How do you sell without being a salesperson? The reason I felt this was a good question is I honestly don’t ever feel like I ever sell anyone anything.

How does that work? How do we sell without being a sales person? First, of course we do sell eyewear that is what we are in business to do. People pay us to give them a product so yes we do sell eyewear. As opticians we do so much more: I like to view what I do as as process of educating my clients. Remember what a client is: someone who seeks the advice of a professional. We are professionals. We spent time training, upwards of at least two years in college or an apprentice program to take tests required to become licensed or certified Opticians. We then are required in most states to continue our education. What we do with this knowledge is what separates us from sales people and professionals giving our clients advice to make an informed decision and in turn make a purchase.

Take for example the client I opened this post with. She came to me as a repeat client because she feels comfortable with me and my recommendations and the quality of products I have fit her with up to this point. She has a flair for the dramatic looks, she is a bold woman, an art teacher with a sense of fashion who enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors.

I knew all of this about her because I have taken the time to get to know her personality during the latest transaction. I knew her needs, (sunwear) and what she was looking for. Knowing about her love for the outdoors I took the opportunity to educate. I shared some of the exciting new fashions as well as lens technology that she would benefit from as she loves to be on the slopes of the ski areas as well as the lakes.

All I really did was plant a seed on a short visit and when she came back in to make a purchase I reminded her of our conversation. Showing her new fashions, which she loved what, I then demonstrated the value of quality sunglasses. So did I sell her eyewear? I say no. I informed her of a need that being protective sunwear with a better lens for her outdoor lifestyle that also filled her desire for high fashion. She then made an informed decision to purchase a pair of updated sunwear as well as her other pair of high fashion dress wear.

I honestly feel that if we look at selling eyewear as a process of educating our clients to help them make the best informed decision they will not feel as though you sold them eyewear. You will have filled a need and at times one they did not even know they had. Such as the latest lens technology for workspace lenses, or speciality design PAL’s to help with visual comfort or a custom clip to fill a need. These products require us to educate ourselves so we can in turn educate our clients about them so they can make an informed decision. The results of this little extra effort on our part will far out weigh any effort we put forth. We will be educating our client to make an informed decision about their eyewear needs not just taking an order and selling them a pair of glasses.

I encourage one and all to continue to learn. Be the best you can be. If you are interested in rediscovering passion for your job and our industry, please contact me Jody A. Shuler : jodyshuler@gmail (dot) com. I have been in the industry for 24 years and an LDO for 18 of those. I would love to help and motivate.



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  1. Great article, Jody. I look forward to sharing this with my office. Thanks, and good job!

  2. That’s a great article!

    As opticians, we have to “fill prescriptions” not sell, but we do have to “sell” the customer the best products for his or her needs. There’s an art to it!

    My view of our profession is that it is just as much a Vocation as it is a job. Our vocation is to provide good vision! Sometimes that takes convincing a patient that they should actually have it! So many patients are looking for a beautiful frame, and then they settle for cheaper lenses because they don’t really perceive the need for the more pricey, premium lenses.

    Actually, they do see good vision as a “need”, but I have noticed that customers tend to spend on their “wants” more than their needs. They put off their needs!

    On my own blog article on the Vocation of Opticianry: I share a rather funny/sad observation of the behavior of some of today’s optical consumers.

    Our job is to help our customers see their needs as WANTS! They should WANT good vision as much as they want to look good in their designer frames!


  1. […] Recently MEC’s Optician Development Manager, Johanna Hathaway, came across an article that perfectly conveys how best to take this approach as a salesperson while maintaining all the values that are important to being a optician. Check out Jody Schuler’s revelation here. […]