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Thread: Team Selling or Lone Wolf Approach

  1. #1
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    Team Selling or Lone Wolf Approach

    Just wondering what works best in your practice and why?

    Traditionally, I prefer the lone wolf approach. By being the sole salesperson, I build the rapport and take accountability for the patient at both the time of purchase and future visits. The sales process is much more intimate feeling and I feel like that is more professional for a private ECP.

    I have noticed team selling works for a particular type of patient (needs reassurance), but I feel team selling can be awkward, pushy, and overwhelming for the patient in general.

  2. #2
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    For a private practice it would seem to me like a lone wolf approach would be the way to go, granted, I don't work in private practice. Still, even with a large franchise, it's rare for us to take a team sales approach, although often it's simply because everyone's occupied with their own patients. I agree with the notion that patients can feel overwhelmed, and I like to build the rapport with patients myself, and deal with them on as many future visits as I can.

    Very often a patient will bring their partner along or parents/friends to help out, so team sales on top of that seems like overkill. If the patient ever wants reassurance, then team sales helps out a lot, but I find this is usually at the patient's request. Generally, it's younger women or teenagers who most commonly ask for multiple opinions on frames, and that's the closest we get to team sale strategies.

  3. #3
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    I think it depends on the patient and their want to Include others on the decision. We have quite a few people in our practice that appreciate the group decisions and enjoy that type of experience.

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    I am not too sure that a "Lone Wolf" has a place in any business model unless it is truely a solo one person practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    I am not too sure that a "Lone Wolf" has a place in any business model unless it is truely a solo one person practice.
    You said it and we live it! We are always a team first and individual preferences are certainly understood; done by appointment. We do not pay any commissions to help enforce the team concept. As the owner, the lone wolf would need to understand the allegiance should be to the business and not any one employee!
    We are in a true retail setting and the team approach is the only way to build a business for the long-term.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    We are in a true retail setting and the team approach is the only way to build a business for the long-term.
    +1 Same in my office. All people treated like family, with all the employees and customers joining in.

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Definitions of a "Lone Wolf"
    Prima Donna
    Insufferable SOB
    Legend in his own mind

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    I think you might be stretching the 'lone wolf' analogy a little far. I'm not sure that BP3 was referring to business models. Of course we function as a team (the only sustainable approach as was mentioned above), but when the optometrist brings the patient to the frame display area, a handover occurs with the optometrist, the patient, and a single optician. The entire staff working that day don't suddenly converge on the patient and crowd around to listen to what the optometrist has recommended. If I am that single optician, my first prority is the patient, not alerting others to come join in the discussion. If I need a hand, then I'll absolutely call out, otherwise it's just a personal discussion between the patient and myself. Are you saying you don't do this?

    Once the patient has chosen frames, it's only natural I would then sit them down and measure up, then place the order. Since I'm not full time, I know it's unlikely I'll be there when the patient returns to collect the glasses, so I trust another member of the team to take it from there, and be sure to add any notes about particular adjustments I made or options that we discussed.

    I could hand over the patient to a new optician at every stage of dispensing and frame selection and so on, but that very much feels like being placed on a production line from the perspective of the patient, since each optician will ask similar questions because they've been busy with others while you've been helping out this patient.

    There's a difference between being a true lone wolf and simply dealing with a patient personally throughout their journey at your store.
    Last edited by TheRobotious; 12-28-2014 at 04:23 PM.

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    Master OptiBoarder tx11's Avatar
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    Is the frame selection the selling process that you are referring to or are you incorporating the lens selection into the process also?

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    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tx11 View Post
    Is the frame selection the selling process that you are referring to or are you incorporating the lens selection into the process also?
    Yes I'm not sure what team selling really even is. My opticians and I help a patient 1-on-1 from the conclusion of the exam to the end of the visit. We certainly solicit opinions from coworkers, and my opticians and I might confer on the best frame and lens design for a patient, but generally it's one optician from start to finish. Someone else may dispense, but we do make efforts to dispense our own sales.

    How would a team approach be different, assuming I work more the "lone wolf" way? I have worked in more team situations in retail, but that wasn't because it helped the patient, it's because the company didn't sufficiently train all retail staff to be able to handle all patients' needs.

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    Master OptiBoarder tx11's Avatar
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    IMHO in matters of fashion, the team way can help (giving opinions and helping somebody make a decision on what "look" they want). I say lone wolf ( one on one) all the way when it comes to vision needs and lens decisions ( it just seems more personal to me).

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    I would never assume I know what a woman wants to wear on her face. I make sure it fits and I do know some color, I know I can "see" what the lens will look like in it, I guide them. If they need more help than I can give, I don't get frustrated, I get my female coworkers to help me!!!

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    allow me to clarify on "lone wolf" approach.


    When it comes to lens and add on selection/pricing, that's when I prefer to be one on one with the patient. Its always awkward when dealing with pricing (especially with expensive options) and add ons, having more than one person selling ad ons makes us sound so sales-y, which is something our office wants to avoid. We don't work on commission so the idea of single salesperson selling in order to capture a large commission is not applicable.


    When it comes to frame selection, we will have co workers chime in with their opinions.


    My apologies on the confusion, although there are times where I admit I may be an insufferable SOB (but never in the office).

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    Mostly where I work each optician works with a patient by themselves, helping her pick out frames and discussing lens options and taking measurements. Sometimes if a patient is having trouble deciding I will ask another optician to chime in with an opinion.

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    Was at a restaurant recently where the waiter who took the order did not deliver the food. Third person cleared the plates.

    Didn't like it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry888 View Post
    Was at a restaurant recently where the waiter who took the order did not deliver the food. Third person cleared the plates.

    Didn't like it.
    i think this is common. I waited tables way back and whoever was free delivered the food. Everyone watched out for each other's tables. Did the original waiter check back with you after the food was delivered?

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    Redhot Jumper This is one of the least understood area in the opticians job. ......................

    Quote Originally Posted by BP3 View Post

    Team Selling or Lone Wolf Approach

    Just wondering what works best in your practice and why?



    This is one of the least understood area in the opticians job.
    There should be no team selling and no lonely wolf talk.

    A doctor prescribes to a patient, a doctor does not sell to patient,
    however a doctor could als sell to a customer/consumer if he feels so.

    A optician is a craftsman or women and not a doctor so the person buying glasses is no more a patient of the diagnostic doctor, ...................... but a customer of the optician who tries to sell him of her a fashionable pair of eyeglasses equipped with a pair of lenses in the prescription made by the doctor.

    The training of retail opticians does not include any type of sales psychology which is an important part in personal selling highly priced items, and is totally neglected on this Continent.

    I took the Dale Carnegie courses, graduated and never needed no more help selling, but always stayed in touch with sales psychology ideas all my life.

    Check it out at: http://www.mindperk.com/product-auth...FSdn7Aod0h0AFw

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BP3 View Post
    Just wondering what works best in your practice and why?

    Traditionally, I prefer the lone wolf approach. By being the sole salesperson, I build the rapport and take accountability for the patient at both the time of purchase and future visits. The sales process is much more intimate feeling and I feel like that is more professional for a private ECP.

    I have noticed team selling works for a particular type of patient (needs reassurance), but I feel team selling can be awkward, pushy, and overwhelming for the patient in general.
    I have always been advised against 'butting in' but I am the senior member and will dive in head first if designs are stupid (won't work), wrong (don't fit), etc. I DO try to leave others alone. If asked, I will gladly offer an opinion, but...
    Last edited by Gizzo; 01-04-2015 at 03:54 PM.

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