No such thing as “I`m Just Looking”

Every day within an optometric practice, various kinds of individuals walk into the practice. Their reasons for doing so vary from one person to another.

The team needs to know how to identify the difference between the type of people that walk into the practice and how to communicate with each of them


“Preparation Reflects Expectations”

First Time Visitor

They fall into the following categories

Type of PersonInitial Action/AttitudeResponse RequiredAction Plan
Just looking (wearing specs/contacts)– Very rude initially – In a hurry & quickly popping in – has an idea already for what they want/need – looking for something specific but will not tell you– “As you looking, would like to inform you that we have an amazing special/deal at the moment where……”) – Compliment them about something you see – Offer to clean their specs while they are looking – Be observant of what they pick up from the shelves and how it suits them  – Ask them questions (e.g. when last did they have their eyes tested, what do they do)
– Be ready to answer questions they might have on pricing & quotations (have them readily available) – Look at their current dress sense and look, offer something that will be an upgrade – Listen very well to what they say. What they need lies in what they say. (Know your products) – Suggest an item or 2 that might interest them (keeps them longer in the practice)  
Just looking (non-prescription wearer)– Not sure what they really want – Know they have some sort of problem with their eyes but dread the idea of wearing specs – Used to wear specs a long time ago and stopped– Ask them questions to get as much detail as possible
– Suggest frames that might work well for them – The key is in the answers they give – Secure appointment immediately and try squeeze them in even if fully booked
Visual concerns / queries– Have specific visual complains and need answers on what they can do – They are going to go with the first practice that prioritizes their concerns and gives them the necessary answers/solutions they need– Academic knowledge mentioned in Chapter 1 is critical here – Once they comfortable with you they will be ready for an appointment, secure it immediately – Remember they shopping around and if you hook them they are yours for the keep. Provide great answers that speak directly to their concerns– Be readily available to answer questions promptly and accurately – Answers should be directed towards securing the eye appointment – Inspire confidence in that the person made the right decision by walking into the practice – Create a welcoming atmosphere by being attentive and expectant. – Show them your capacity 
Quotation– They ask specific questions – Don`t want to wait for long and expect an immediate response– Have different quotation examples readily available to print and email – Know the common prices off the top of your head– Probe the consumer on their experience with their current prescription. Where they happy with the outcomes? – Look for opportunities to upgrade them and include in the quotation
Patient– Have an immediate visual problem or concern– Explain the visual problem causes and solutions in detail  Secure the appointment immediately – Reassure them– Reassure them – Make them feel comfortable – Show them that you have the best interest at mind and that will help them
Referral– Either have letter or it was by word of month– Secure appointment immediately – Create a worthwhile experience for them

Follow Up Visitor

Type of PersonInitial Action/AttitudeResponse RequiredAction Plan
Customer– Do you remember them? – Are their records in order? – Have you checked their benefits– Learn their names – Mention something about the past experience – Show them how your services have improved from the last time– Build relationship with them – Look for upgrade potential – Provide excellent service
ClientExpecting to be prioritizedPrioritize themCreate a Worthwhile experience that is even better than the last time

First time visitor: 

  • Questionnaire and answer chart on what to expect


  • What eye test involves (FEE)
  • What outcomes to expect
  • What solutions will be implemented

Complaints with current management process

  • Develop clear and specific guidelines on how the store handles such matters and ensure prompt action is implemented

Worthwhile Experience

This centers around the following key areas:

Clean Store

  • No compromise on this, store needs to be CLEANED EVERYDAY
  • If you don`t have someone employed to clean the store, set up a rotation roster with the team on who is responsible for the day`s cleaning, especially equipment in the test room and frames

Team Sharpness

  • The Attitude of the team determines the Atmosphere of the practice
  • The Atmosphere of the store determines the Altitude of the business
  • What the leader puts into the people determines what the people put into the business and this leads to what the business produces  

Quotations Outline

  • Have readily available quotation outlines for the different products that you can easily access and print out from the computer
  • Having a team member sit behind  computer to type the quotation or right on a piece of paper is not efficient at all

Benefit checks

  • As best as possible before the appointment (Get the details from the consumer beforehand)
  • Worst case scenario is during the examination
  • Close shop if you only doing it after the examination or worse once the consumer has left the store. Confirm the benefits and close the deal before the consumer leaves.

Time frames

  • Under promise and Over deliver
  • Never create an expectation that you can`t ensure delivery on
  • Never wait for a consumer to call or ask about the whereabouts of their spectacles or contact details

Remember the following important points:

  1. It`s not about the beauty of your practice but actually the overall experience a consumer has.
  2. It`s not about the affordable products and services you render but the visual solutions to their problems.
  3. It`s not about your promotions and specials but rather the value they get from your business.
  4. It`s not about your expertise but rather how you make them feel.

Know WHY your business exists, you will then start to find it much easier handling any type of encounter you get from the consumer.

OB Malope
Ob Malope is a young dynamic leader within the Healthcare Industry. Check out the value he adds on

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