What the heck is he talking about with that headline? FORE? For What? SMILE? Why?

What I’m trying to do is get your attention about some things here in 20/20 often taken for granted. To our credit we often get accolades for some extremely fine work accomplished when it comes to stylishly portraying specs, setting the pace for future eyewear trends and being your ultimate resource for new products in the optical arena.

What sometimes gets overlooked is 20/20’s obsession with creatively and energetically improving your face-to-face repartee with your patient, the consumer. In my opinion the most important “how-to” in dispensing (and retailing in general) is the secret to engaging a person by distinctly, purposefully and specifically focusing on THAT person’s needs. And ever so increasingly important in these days when the Internet seems bound on undercutting virtually every buying experience is the creation of an advantage. That edge can only occur when that person is physically there in the live presence of the dispenser.

In two main instances in this issue of 20/20, that interaction lies at the root of the story: Palmer Cook’s L&T feature story on dispensing to photographers and the joint continuing education course crafted by Barry Santini and Mark Mattison-Shupnick (in brilliant sponsorship via 20/20’s associates at Shamir) on catering to the needs of golfers when it comes to optimal choices in eyewear.

There you have it: FORE for those golfers and SMILE for those photographers. They are elite consumers with very specific needs looking for specialists to help give their passions VISION. The Internet is helpless with this in-person missive. It’s all up to you.

And… here’s a thought I intend to expound on further as 20/20 takes you on numerous how-to situations: The key is in starting a conversation where the consumer is, not where you wish they were. And in these two issue incidents, if that consumer is gaga for golf or passionate for photography, you now have the perfect script for winning every facet of that SCRIPT.

James J. Spina