In my previous columns, I’ve dispelled your current, conventional thinking about what selling is, replaced worrisome definitions
and sales philosophies with new ones, and have pointed you in a slightly different direction in regards to selling and customer service.
We’ve set the stage. Yet learning new definitions and philosophies are all academic, aren’t they? It’s time to put them into action. In this six part series, you will learn the “how” of selling.
Let me apologize to anyone who thinks selling can be taught in an hour or on one page in a magazine. It can’t. If selling were that simple, the sales in your office would be doubled with fewer patients. You can’t learn optometry in a month, can you? Colleges of optometry have four year curriculums and, as most doctors tell me, it’s a continuing education process throughout one’s career.
So, let me set the agenda for this six part series.
Part I will introduce you to the “law” in which selling is based.
Part II will illustrate how that law works, how it applies to each one of your patients and recognize three very distinct types of patients coming into your office.
Part III will concentrate on the distinct “type” of patients that make up the largest block (about 80 percent) that come to your office. This type of patient is the most subtle and unrecognized obstacle to selling success in your practice. You will begin to learn to take them in a completely new direction.
Part IV will give you insight into this new direction, reveal what motivates all your patients no matter age, gender, race, culture, religion, part of the country, etc. and how to get their enthusiastic permission to sell them.
Part V will give you a homework assignment and guide you through a very easy and exacting series of questions to assist you in helping patients acquire all the eyewear they need.
Part VI will teach you five simple words to overcome ANY objection except one. Don’t fret, because I’ll give you the solution to that final objection too.
Welcome to Part I.
Let’s look at three types of “laws.” The first type is God’s Law. The second type is the Laws of Man. So, here’s a question: Can either of these two types of laws be physically broken?
For example, someone can walk into your office, take a frame off the frame board, put it in their pocket and walk out without paying. In one fell swoop, both God’s Law and Man’s Law have been broken. It’s important to note that, even though there will be consequences, those consequences are not always immediate.
There’s a third type of law. These laws cannot be physically broken. If this type of law isn’t recognized or respected, the consequences ARE immediate. This type of law is the Laws of Nature.
Here’s an example. If you let this magazine slip from your hands, it will fall to the ground. Not every once in awhile but every single time. This is gravity. Gravity is a natural law. If you happen to be standing on a tall building and do not respect this law, the consequences will not only be immediate but also pretty dire.
Sir Isaac Newton, who had discovered gravity, also discovered the Law of Motion.
About this time, you’ve got to be asking yourself, “Why in the world is he telling me about this?” Drum roll please... because selling is based on the Law of Motion.
If this isn’t recognized and respected... well, it hasn’t been, has it? And because it hasn’t, you, your staff and your patients are suffering the immediate consequences. The single biggest consequence has been that the majority of your patients are leaving your office with just one pair of eyewear when their actual needs are for more.
To understand the true nature of selling we have to understand the three rules of the Law of Motion. Here are the first two:
(1) An object in motion tends to stay in motion in the same direction and with the same velocity unless met with an unbalanced force.
(2) An object at rest tends to stay at rest unless met with an unbalanced force.
Next month, in Part II, we will illustrate the Law of Motion and how to apply it to all your patients.
Robert C. Bell is president (and head coach) of EyeCoach, an organization designed to teach and coach innovative and industry-specific sales techniques to eyecare professionals. Contact him at