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
 
 

5/5/2021 | Author: Nathan Hayes

With the spike in patient demand following the COVID-19 Pandemic, many owners are actively recruiting associate ODs to help carry their increased demand. And any owner looking to hire an associate right now knows that the market is tight.

My feeling is we have an outright shortage of... Read more


3/30/2021 | Author: Geronda Wollack

Managing your staff can be challenging! Am I right? Or am I right? Now, managing your staff and feeling confident with whether you are being compliant poses a different level of challenges. I will share a story to illustrate this challenge.

I had a consult with an Office Manager who... Read more


3/30/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

Signed into law on March 11th, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act offers an extension to Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This provision added additional reasons the leave can be used as well as increasing the cap on eligible compensation for a tax credit.

FFCRA... Read more


3/12/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

What should a practice do when they have lingering product? Well, 1st we have to identify what lingering product is. In my world, lingering product includes all frames that have been sitting on the shelf for a minimum of 6 months. I like to evaluate product every quarter to identify... Read more


2/22/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

Maybe you’ve experienced some unpleasant events in your practice that you didn’t have a policy to cover, or you team is large enough that you vacation policy isn’t working anymore. Maybe you have never liked you scheduling and time management policy but do not know how to go about changing it.... Read more


1/14/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

Every year people tend to make goals for the upcoming new year. Somehow a new year inspires others to reinvent themselves in some way and like most initiatives, they lose their luster after a few weeks. I was supposed have rock hard abs like 3 years in a row. If ever... Read more


10/15/2020 | Author: Geronda Wollack

A friend of mine was out in the job market and applied for a job as a Dental Assistant. She called me for some advice around interviewing, and during our conversation, she mentioned a shocking reality. She said, "Geronda, there were a few companies that I was interested in, but the job... Read more


9/24/2020 | Author: Maddie Langston

By now, most of us are familiar with online reviews and understand their reach and influence, particularly on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. As a marketing consultant at IDOC, I work with optometry practice owners and managers to increase the number of new patients at the practice, retain... Read more


9/11/2020 | Author: Geronda Wollack

During a phone call with my favorite sister (now, let's not share this with anyone else), she shared the following sentiment with me, "I was just as excited for my kids to go back to school this year, until I realized that I have one kid staying home and doing virtual learning and the... Read more


8/13/2020 | Author: Maddie Langston

Let’s say one day after an exam and a visit in your optical, a patient reviews their experience on your Google business listing and Yelp.

The review includes many details which makes it clear to anyone reading that they visited the practice, had an exam, and worked with an optician.... Read more

© 2020 IDOC. All Rights Reserved