Blog
Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blog
IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Steve Vargo | 2/20/2018
THE SCIENCE OF OPTOMETRIC SELLING

The Science of Selling

Have you ever made what you considered an iron clad case for why a patient should purchase a certain product or service from you, only to have them walk out without ever making the purchase? As clinical professionals, we can be very logical in our approach with patients. We love data and research! The problem is that consumers tend to be very emotional (and much less logical) in their purchase decisions. Our attempts to use ration and logic to influence a sale can be surprisingly ineffective. Some simple changes to your approach that engage the emotional parts of the brain can make a big difference in the number of people who purchase from you. Below are a few suggestions.

  • Typically, there are 3 things that motivate consumers to make a purchase – the need for the product or service, the ability to pay, and the urgency to solve a problem. Quickly uncovering the problem and the level of urgency to resolve it are important elements of making a sale. The more urgent the problem, the more likely a sale.
  • Patients don’t trust you (yet)! It’s nothing personal, it’s not that they don’t like you - but trust must be earned. Yes, patients see all your degrees on the wall and that’s reassuring from a clinical standpoint. However; you sell things! Consumers have a natural aversion to people trying to sell them things – even doctors! Trust comes from getting patients to understand that your recommendations are grounded in having their best interests in mind, not yours.
  • You may have heard the phrase, “People make purchase decisions based on emotion, and rationalize those decisions with logic”. There’s a lot of scientific truth to this. In fact, research in neuropsychology has shown that the older, more primitive parts of the brain need to be engaged before people proceed with a purchase. The more primitive parts of the brain are much more emotional driven. This is why before and after photos are much more powerful marketing tools for weight loss products than a lot of clinical information about the products themselves.
  • Considering the above, when recommending products focus on the benefits more than the features. For example, these lenses have XYZ features. What this means to you is when you hit a golf ball…” Essentially what you are doing is directly linking the benefits of a product to the emotional needs of the consumer. Focusing on product features (logical arguments) is less likely to influence a sale. Remember, we need to get the attention of the primitive brain – which will then send a message to the parts of the brain responsible for logical thinking to proceed with a purchase.
  • Keep the decision process simple. Another attribute of the primitive brain is that it dislikes complexity. The human brain is drawn toward clarity and away from confusion. Simplify! Giving the patient too many choices or too much information can cause him or her to postpone or even avoid making a purchase. Think about it, if you’re looking for an Italian restaurant to eat at, would you rather do extensive research on all the local options, or ask a few friends for a recommendation? The patient staring at 700 frames in your optical wants the same direction.
  • People’s desire to resolve an internal frustration is greater than their desire to resolve an external problem, yet we often fail to uncover the internal frustration. For example, needing a pair of glasses to see better resolves an external problem, while experiencing peripheral distortion every time you hit a golf ball is an internal frustration.

The information presented here is part of a larger document titled “The Science of Selling”. If you would like to read the entire document, email me at svargo@idoc.net.

Steve Vargo
Practice Management Consultant
Steve Vargo, OD, MBA is a 1998 graduate of Illinois College of Optometry. After working in a clinical optometric practice for several years, Dr. Vargo pursued his passion for practice management by earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Phoenix in 2008. A published author and speaker with 15 years of clinical experience, he serves as IDOC’s Optometric Practice Management Consultant and advises members in all areas of practice management and optometric office operations. Steve and his wife Melanie have two sons, Lucas and Ryan. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cycling, sports and music. A native Chicagoan, he is an avid fan of the Cubs, live music and deep-dish pizza.
 LinkedIn
Trending Blogs
 
 

5/19/2022 | Author: Steve Vargo

As research for launching a new service called IDOC Specialty Services, I interviewed several industry experts of various specialties. At the end of each call, I asked everyone the same question: “What prevents more ODs from succeeding with a specialty?”

Their answers were insightful.... Read more


5/3/2022 | Author: Amy Alvarez

The pandemic has caused many changes in private practice, affecting everything from the way we see our patients to what we expect from our employees. Although some of these changes serve us well, others may feel like a barrier. While attendance issues are not new... Read more


4/25/2022 | Author: Lana Greene

Do you ever wonder if the same amount of effort goes into selling eyeglass frames vs. selling lenses and treatment options? I certainly do. Speaking from experience as an optician, I remember always being so excited when new lens technology was released. I couldn’t wait to fit our... Read more


4/8/2022 | Author: Steven Festa

Alright, I will come clean on something very few people knew about outside my family.  I’m OK with sharing this with the world now as it helps prove a point about the importance of being present in local searches.

Ever since COVID started, my wonderful wife had started... Read more


4/4/2022 | Author: Jelissa Brooks

Expanding your staff is an exciting step in independent practice growth. If you’ve recently added a new OD to your practice, get the word out to your audience through social media!

Promoting a new associate OD through your social media channels is an effective strategy in... Read more


3/15/2022 | Author: Nathan Hayes

In case you haven’t noticed, the Consumer Price Index was up 7.5% in January, as compared to 2021. In short, this means that a basket of goods like food, energy, and other consumer goods cost 7.5% more in 2022 than the year before.

Practice owners feel the squeeze in multiple... Read more


2/28/2022 | Author: Steve Vargo

Are you experiencing burnout in your professional career? It’s okay, you can admit it. You’re not alone. In fact, studies have found that approximately 50 percent of physicians are suffering from burnout.

Twelve billion dollars. That’s a conservative estimate of the cost incurred to... Read more


2/17/2022 | Author: Amy Alvarez

The last few months have been filled with rising wages, steep job competition, and continued uncertainty. Practice owners are being approached by staff about pay increases and are receiving higher wage requirements from job candidates. Many businesses are advertising their starting pay,... Read more


2/7/2022 | Author: Lana Greene

I often hear from ODs and opticians that their patients are taking their prescriptions and purchasing eyewear at Costco, Warby Parker, or other online retailers. Rarely do I hear the reason why. Finally, the opportunity was in front of me so I could ask questions to a consumer regarding the... Read more


1/24/2022 | Author: Steven Festa

Does hearing SEO make your eyes glaze over a bit and cause your mind to wander? If you answered yes, then you are not alone. While tough to grasp initially, SEO is important for your practice, and as providers of Read more

© 2022 IDOC. All Rights Reserved