Dec
2003

Through My Lens

When I was a young account executive at an ad agency, I got a call from a magazine sales rep. An older fellow, this sales veteran wanted to pitch his publication, Heavy Duty Trucking, to one of my accounts, a manufacturer of car and truck tires. I agreed to a half-hour meeting the next day. After all, how long could it take to go over his rate card?

When I mentioned it to my supervisor, he gave me some advice.
“This guy knows all about the tire business,” he said. “Pick his brain. Make him give you an education.”

When the rep arrived for his appointment, I asked him to explain the basics of the truck tire category. He put aside his media kit and for the next hour-and-a-half described industry trends and hot new products and profiled my client’s competitors. It was just the kind of crash course I needed. The information he provided helped me look smart at the next client meeting. The rep proved his value and both my client and I benefited. Of course, I bought some ads from him.

Are you getting the most value from your optical sales reps? If not, maybe you’ve underestimated what they can do for you. A good sales rep can do a lot more than fill product orders. He or she can give you the market intelligence and the product knowledge to help build your practice or business while serving your patients better.

This is especially true when it comes to ophthalmic lenses. There are more types of lenses and lens treatments on the market today than ever before and practitioners need to do everything possible to understand these products and learn how to integrate them into their practices. A knowledgeable rep can explain a product’s features, benefits and offer advise on dispensing techniques, merchandising, inventory management, marketing and more. Practitioners can not afford to pass up this resource, particularly when it comes walking in their door.

—Andrew Karp
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology
akarp@jobson.com

—Andrew Karp
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology
akarp@jobson.com

 

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