View Poll Results: How do you prefer to be approached by a new rep?

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  • Walk-in

    18 32.73%
  • Mail brochure with card or letter

    6 10.91%
  • Phone call to set appt

    13 23.64%
  • Mail info w/ follow-up phone call

    14 25.45%
  • Don't bother me - EVER!

    5 9.09%
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Thread: Cold-calls

  1. #1
    Master OptiBoarder optigrrl's Avatar
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    Cold-calls

    When I managed dispensaries I was 'visited' on a regular basis by new reps dropping in unannounced. Usually it was at the most inconvenient time.

    They would leave cards, but I couldn't prioritize that phone call.

    None of them called me to schedule an introductory appointment or even sent info -

    But - if given the choice, what would you feel to be the most polite way to ask you to look at a new line?

  2. #2
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Cold calls.............

    When I started as a rep, I tried every way to get to see a customer. Usually phone calls did not work very often for a new rep.

    The only way to make a good contact was to walk in without any samples or just one or two frames of the best selling ones in the pocket. Try to make a conversation and an appointment and maybe pull the frames out of the pocket. Very often just sold these frames as a starter and had opened an account that would develop later.

  3. #3
    Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox optirep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    When I started as a rep, I tried every way to get to see a customer. Usually phone calls did not work very often for a new rep.

    The only way to make a good contact was to walk in without any samples or just one or two frames of the best selling ones in the pocket. Try to make a conversation and an appointment and maybe pull the frames out of the pocket. Very often just sold these frames as a starter and had opened an account that would develop later.

    I hope your sitting down Chris! I agree with you 100%

  4. #4
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    If I'm busy I really can't stop and even look at anything they might have brought with them. Always leave a catalog with prices and a card. I will look at it when I have time. If you follow up with a phone call I will tell you if I'm interested.

    If you catch me when I'm not busy I won't be rude but unless you have something that isn't already on my board in one form or another or a price to beat everyone else, why do I want to talk to you? If you ever pull frames out of your pocket I wouldn't like that at all. If you bring in a small sample tray with six of your best sellers that would be fine.

    I always tell the cold callers the style of frame and price point I'm looking for and that they are welcome to stop in again if they have something they think would fit that bill. Funny, they never return.

  5. #5
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    I prefer a dropin. If a new rep calls me, and I have no idea who they are, and what they're product is, I'm less likely to even want to book an appointment with them. In fact, I prefer they drop in when I'm busy, because it gives me an idea what they'll be like. If they're patient, and understanding, I'll be more likely to take them seriously than if they're pacing back and fourth, looking at their watch every 5 seconds. Give me your card, and a catalog if you have one, and we go from there. No matter how busy you are, you will find 2-3 minutes to exchange names etc, and that's all that first meeting should be.

  6. #6
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Redhot Jumper

    Quote Originally Posted by optirep View Post

    I hope your sitting down Chris! I agree with you 100%
    I was sitting down Mike..............but nearly fell of the stool.

    When I had my frame company as distributor for L'Amy and Nigura in the 60s and 70s.
    I opened up all territories in Canada myself before I could hire reps to do them, they would have starved doing a start from zero.

    Also had to learn the hard way and know all about the nice opticians and optometrists who can't say no ..............to the ones that can't say yes. The ones that like the shape but not the color and the ones that like the color but not the shape.

    Used to go to Toronto worked all week and came back with $ 2,000 on orders until a competitor told me there was an optometrist that was looking for french frames. I had never seen the guy because he was upstairs in a old 2 story building with a piece of packing paper with his name written with a marking pen................just looked too cheap for my fancy european frames.

    I phoned for an appointment and was told to be there next Monday at 6.45am. I drove all night, 9 hours, there were no highways then. Got there in time and was told here is a coffe for you and you have 15 minutes until the first patients arrive.

    In those 15 minutes he bought $ 4,000 of frames and told me to go and see 2 friends of his and show them the order if they were playing tough.

    I had to go drink coffee until 9.00am to see the first one. When I saw him opening the door I made my move. He told me that he did need anything. So I let him know about his friends order, which made him change the mood instantly, and he said: to make it short, just give me the same order. He never looked at the frame and I left 10 min later with another order for $4,000.

    Then went to see the third one at 10.am and had to wait until 11.30, but ended up with a third time of a same order. So Monday at lunch time I had a total $ 12,000 in 3 sales. Just those 3 accounts continued for many years to re-order between 200 to 300 frames each per month.

    From that date on I never passed by a crummy looking store without checking it out. :cheers:

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder Lee Prewitt's Avatar
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    Heck of a story Chris! Don't we all wish to run into these situations on a regular basis. But it does show the power of the personal referral doesn't it?
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  8. #8
    Bad address email on file Dougfir8's Avatar
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    What about the sales rep who respectfully makes an appointment, drives to a remote town, and the optician says, "Sorry, I forgot, and am too busy now"! Or worse yet, doesn't even include the "Sorry" part.

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    It's equally rude, but: The saleperson is trying to take money away from the merchant, therefor has to "give" a little more. The merchant may have told the salesperson to come on in as his schedule indicated he would have free time. Some of the busiest days I have had were those with nothing scheduled on the appointment book. Some of the slowest and least productive have been booked solid. In retail you can't always predict this sort of thing. If I have someone in the office trying to get me to sell them a $ 500.00 pair of spectacles, they will have a much easier time getting my attention than someone who is trying to sell me something.

    Sorry, but's that's life.

    Chip

  10. #10
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Blue Jumper The whole afternoo was shot.......................

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougfir8 View Post
    What about the sales rep who respectfully makes an appointment, drives to a remote town, and the optician says, "Sorry, I forgot, and am too busy now"! Or worse yet, doesn't even include the "Sorry" part.
    I be you that every rep has had an expirience like that.

    Drove once in the old days from a remote city to a small town in the boondocks to see an optometrist. The drive wa 8o miles one way...........the OD let me sit in the waiting room for 90 minutes and then it was finally my turn. He declared that he needed a pair of temples that at the time sold for $ 2.00 and needed nothing else. The wole afternoon was shot and I never went back to see him.

  11. #11
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    Drop in.

    If the real reason is just to meet the new account, and lay the groundwork for a relationship, then it will only take a few minutes.

    Now, if you try to batter-ram the front door with your samples, then that will be an indication of what type of relationship you can expect, and it might be a very short-lived one at that.
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  12. #12
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    I don't mind them dropping in and introducing themselves, if I'm not busy I'll take a bit of time to listen and hear what they have to say.

    But.... last week a young guy walks in, (dressed like he's going to the beach) and he starts looking at my sunglass collection. Naturally I approach and ask if I could help. He then tells me his name and that he is the rep for "so and so". No hand shake, no "hello", no offer of a business card - nothing! Needless to say I was not impressed and even rang head office to vouch for his authenticity. I will not be dealing with him again if I can help it.

  13. #13
    Optiwizard making films Audiyoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    Drop in.

    If the real reason is just to meet the new account, and lay the groundwork for a relationship, then it will only take a few minutes.

    Now, if you try to batter-ram the front door with your samples, then that will be an indication of what type of relationship you can expect, and it might be a very short-lived one at that.
    BINGO!!! Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!!!!!

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  14. #14
    Optiwizard making films Audiyoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangojo View Post
    But.... last week a young guy walks in, (dressed like he's going to the beach) and he starts looking at my sunglass collection. Naturally I approach and ask if I could help. He then tells me his name and that he is the rep for "so and so". No hand shake, no "hello", no offer of a business card - nothing! Needless to say I was not impressed and even rang head office to vouch for his authenticity. I will not be dealing with him again if I can help it.
    Wow...sounds like our local Maui Jim rep...aka Maui Matt. Matt doesn't like me...he doesn't like that I know Younger makes all their lenses. He doesn't like that I know his 'proprietary' AR is nothing more that Satis Vacuum's basic AR package plus a hydrophobic dip. Matt doesn't like that I know Marchon makes their stainless steel and beta Ti frames. He doesn't like that I had a pair of 1.60 SLC grayA lenses tinted to exactly match Maui Jim's rose tone and had a double mirror gradient applied with a backside premium AR (hydrophobic coating on both sides) mounted in a Airlock chassis.

    Matt just doesn't like me...:D That's not a bad thing. :cheers:

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audiyoda View Post
    Wow...sounds like our local Maui Jim rep...aka Maui Matt. Matt doesn't like me...he doesn't like that I know Younger makes all their lenses. He doesn't like that I know his 'proprietary' AR is nothing more that Satis Vacuum's basic AR package plus a hydrophobic dip. Matt doesn't like that I know Marchon makes their stainless steel and beta Ti frames. He doesn't like that I had a pair of 1.60 SLC grayA lenses tinted to exactly match Maui Jim's rose tone and had a double mirror gradient applied with a backside premium AR (hydrophobic coating on both sides) mounted in a Airlock chassis.

    Matt just doesn't like me...:D That's not a bad thing. :cheers:
    Sounds like Matt is of no great loss! And I just learnt something new about Maui Jim's! Thanks! :D

  16. #16
    ATO Member HarryChiling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audiyoda View Post
    Wow...sounds like our local Maui Jim rep...aka Maui Matt. Matt doesn't like me...he doesn't like that I know Younger makes all their lenses. He doesn't like that I know his 'proprietary' AR is nothing more that Satis Vacuum's basic AR package plus a hydrophobic dip. Matt doesn't like that I know Marchon makes their stainless steel and beta Ti frames. He doesn't like that I had a pair of 1.60 SLC grayA lenses tinted to exactly match Maui Jim's rose tone and had a double mirror gradient applied with a backside premium AR (hydrophobic coating on both sides) mounted in a Airlock chassis.

    Matt just doesn't like me...:D That's not a bad thing. :cheers:
    That's hilarious our office actually offers patients the option of making lenses better than maui's and we have been tinting polarized lense to match their colors too. The nice part s like you mentioned you can apply whatever AR and Mirror combo you want. You just got a big ups in my book.:cheers:
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  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quite a few years ago I worked in an office right downtown in a resort community. It was a small town and most of us downtown merchants used to sneak out to the local Woolworths lunch counter for coffee. One beautiful summer day I was enjoying a cup of coffee and some conversation when an obvious flatlander came in and sat next to me at the counter. A conversation ensued where I learned that Fred Framebag was on vacation and that his wife and kids were at the beach. He had just run into town to skin the local rube optician to pay for his vacation. He further volunteered that he always did this whenever he was on vacation. Wishing him luck, I returned to the office.

    Can you imagine his embarrassment when he came in about an hour later?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryChiling View Post
    That's hilarious our office actually offers patients the option of making lenses better than maui's and we have been tinting polarized lense to match their colors too. The nice part s like you mentioned you can apply whatever AR and Mirror combo you want. You just got a big ups in my book.:cheers:
    This probably doesn't belong here, and maybe I should make a new thread so forgive me for going off topic here.

    My question is regarding the tinting of polarised lenses? I've always been told this isn't possible - due to delamination. I would be most interested to hear how to achieve this.

  19. #19
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Redhot Jumper First women salesrep in optical trade...........................

    In August 1970 I hired a blonde good looking women as a rep that wanted to get out of commercial modelling and start a new career. Her present contract was going till the end of September so she could start only October 1st.

    In the meantime I spread the rumor that my company was putting good looking women on the road as reps.

    My competitors reps called me crazy and spread the rumor all around that Chris Ryser was nuts by putting sexy women on the road.

    :D :bbg:
    When "Francine" came back after one week in Quebec City she had a selling rate of 100% and her commission was double the income she had made as a model.

    Everybody had been waiting to see her because the competition had talked so much about Chris Ryser's sexy reps. From then on I added quite a few more and most of them did very well.

  20. #20
    Master OptiBoarder optigrrl's Avatar
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    Thank goodness most of my accounts are run by women. It must have been exhausting for "Francine" to sell all that sexyness.

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    Optigrrl: What do you think your "women" are selling?

  22. #22
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter DragonLensmanWV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    Quite a few years ago I worked in an office right downtown in a resort community. It was a small town and most of us downtown merchants used to sneak out to the local Woolworths lunch counter for coffee. One beautiful summer day I was enjoying a cup of coffee and some conversation when an obvious flatlander came in and sat next to me at the counter. A conversation ensued where I learned that Fred Framebag was on vacation and that his wife and kids were at the beach. He had just run into town to skin the local rube optician to pay for his vacation. He further volunteered that he always did this whenever he was on vacation. Wishing him luck, I returned to the office.

    Can you imagine his embarrassment when he came in about an hour later?

    That is just so freakin' hilarious!!!!:D:D:D
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  23. #23
    Master OptiBoarder karen's Avatar
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    jumping in here a bit late....very interesting thread. By now I have been in my territory for about 10 years so I know most everybody but when I first started I went everywhere and said hello to everybody. My territory had like 13 active accounts and was doing a total of 18 jobs per day so there was nowhere to go but up. I would go in and say " Hi, I'm Karen with Sierra Optical Lab and I am the new girl on the block. I just going around and introducing myself to everybody and figuring out where everybody is. Can you tell me who makes the decision about which laboratory you use? Is he/she available so I can say hello?" If he/she wasn't I would then say "Is he/she the kind of person that likes to have appointments to see people or is it ok to just drop by "(if I got the person in charge I would just ask them this directly) Then I would know what to do next time through. Make friends with the girls at the front desk, they can make you or break you!
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  24. #24
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments
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    Redhot Jumper Ground rules......................

    Quote Originally Posted by karen View Post
    Make friends with the girls at the front desk, they can make you or break you!
    That is one of the ground rules

  25. #25
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    Redhot Jumper No problem with the guy's............................

    Quote Originally Posted by optigrrl View Post
    Thank goodness most of my accounts are run by women. It must have been exhausting for "Francine" to sell all that sexyness.
    In the late 60s and earlt 70s women would not run any accounts, I believe there were maybe 2 accounts in Canadian optics were women were iin charge.

    So Francine did not have to sell any sexiness, the guy's just loved her and . We used to say that she had a garbage face.................which meant any garbage frame looked good on her.

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