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Training New Associates: Promote Additional Pairs From the Start of Employment

The world of optical sales is complex and filled with choice and variety. In this intricate environment, lifestyle questions play a crucial role. They connect the customer's needs and wants to the product that best suits them. By asking lifestyle questions that allow the patient to open up and build trust, optical associates can unearth the underlying desires and needs of the customer, thus providing a personalized shopping experience.


Practical usage of lifestyle questions in optical sales can significantly enhance the customer's satisfaction and loyalty. It not only aids in understanding the customer's requirements but also indicates that the business values the customer's individuality and is eager to provide tailored solutions. Moreover, it aids in the promotion of additional pairs, enabling the business to expand its sales and profits. However, mastering lifestyle questions is no easy feat. It requires patience, strategy, and a deep understanding of the customer's lifestyle. This Eyetastic Blog aims to understand lifestyle questions, their role in selling additional pairs, and practical strategies for training your new optical associate from the start of hire.


Understanding Lifestyle Questions in Optical Sales

Lifestyle questions delve into the customer's daily activities, habits, and preferences. In optical sales, these questions help associates understand the customer's visual needs in different scenarios, such as work, home, sports, and outdoor activities. For instance, the visual requirements of a computer programmer differ vastly from those of a professional athlete.


Here are a few tips for new associates:

  • Keep the conversation natural

  • Open-ended questions keep the patients talking

  • Know when to stop and change the subject

  • Educate throughout the process

Lifestyle questions can be as simple as asking about the customer's occupation or as complex as inquiring about their weekend activities. The objective is to gather as much information as possible to recommend the best eyewear while having the patient open up to you and build trust. Once an associate understands a customer's lifestyle, they can suggest additional pairs that cater to different aspects of the customer's life. This enhances the customer's shopping experience and boosts sales for the business.


The Role of Lifestyle Questions in Selling Additional Pairs

Through lifestyle questions, optical associates can form a comprehensive picture of the customer's life, allowing them to suggest additional pairs that cater to each part of the customer's lifestyle. For instance, they may recommend a couple with blue light-blocking lenses for a customer who spends long hours in front of the computer and a pair with UV protection for their outdoor activities.


Here are some open-ended questions that sound natural:

  • Where do you work, and what do you do there?

  • How much time do you spend outdoors, and if so, how do you protect your eyes from the sun?

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

  • How often do you use digital devices throughout the day?

  • What changes have you noticed in your vision during specific tasks, like driving at night or working on a computer?

You are using the concept of promoting multiple pairs to the customer and showcasing you as the professional (which you are!). Instead of directly suggesting the purchase of additional pairs, associates can highlight the benefits of having different pairs for different activities, leading the customer to consider the idea themselves.


Activities for Different Glasses: Work, Home, Sports, and Outdoors

Addressing the various activities requiring different glasses is crucial to mastering lifestyle questions. Each activity entails distinct visual needs, necessitating a unique pair of glasses. You are a professional; if you do not educate your patients, another practice will.


For work, particularly those who spend long hours in front of screens, glasses with blue light-blocking lenses can be beneficial. These lenses can mitigate eye strain and improve sleep quality. The customer's visual needs can vary at home based on their activities. Reading glasses can provide complementary visual support for those who enjoy reading.


For sports enthusiasts, clear, tinted, polarized, or photochromic sports glasses can provide the necessary durability and protection. They can withstand impacts and provide clear vision in various lighting conditions. Polarized or tinted lenses with UV protection are essential for outdoor activities like hiking or beach outings. They protect the eyes from harmful UV rays and provide clear vision in bright light.


Importance of Understanding the Customer's Work Environment

Understanding the customer's work environment is pivotal in recommending the right pair of glasses. The work environment can significantly influence the type of glasses a customer needs. For instance, an office worker who spends long hours in front of a computer screen will benefit from computer glasses with blue-light-blocking. In contrast, a construction worker, or even an at-home DIYer, might need safety glasses that adhere to ANSI standards to protect their gift of sight.


The work environment can also affect the style and design of the glasses. Corporate professionals might prefer sleek, elegant frames that complement their attire, while creative professionals might opt for bold, trendy frames that reflect their creative spirit. By understanding the customer's work environment, optical associates can recommend glasses that cater to their visual needs and align with their professional image while offering a more fun and casual pair.


Importance of Understanding the Customer's Home Environment

The home environment is another crucial aspect to consider when recommending glasses. The customer's home activities can significantly influence the type of glasses they need. For instance, someone who enjoys reading or crafting might benefit from reading glasses, while someone who enjoys watching TV might need glasses with anti-glare lenses. Or someone who watches their children play outside after school may benefit from photochromic or polarized glasses.


The home environment can also influence the style and design of the glasses. Some customers might prefer casual, comfortable frames for home use, while others might prefer stylish, fashionable frames for social gatherings or outings. By understanding the customer's home environment, optical associates can recommend glasses that cater to the customer's home activities and personal style.


Importance of Understanding the Customer's Sports and Outdoor Activities

Sports and outdoor activities pose unique visual challenges that regular glasses cannot address. Understanding the customer's sports and outdoor activities can significantly aid in recommending the right pair of sports or outdoor glasses. For instance, a customer who enjoys cycling might benefit from sports glasses with shatter-resistant lenses and a secure fit.


In contrast, a customer who enjoys hiking might need sunglasses with UV protection and polarization to reduce glare. By understanding the customer's sports and outdoor activities, optical associates can recommend glasses that provide visual support and enhance performance and safety. If we were still running an optical, we would offer marketing material (brochures, posters, flyers, etc...) on the most common sports and the best glasses for patients to see. This unconsciously plants a seed for multiple pairs. Advertising is a crucial tool for multiple pairs, too😊


Selling Glasses for Different Occasions

In addition to catering to the customer's visual needs, glasses can serve as a fashion accessory. With the right pair of glasses, customers can enhance their style and make a fashion statement. Understanding the customer's fashion style and the occasions they attend can significantly aid in recommending the right pair of glasses.


For instance, a customer who attends many formal events might prefer elegant, sophisticated frames, while a customer who attends music festivals might prefer trendy, vibrant frames. By understanding the customer's fashion style and the occasions they attend, optical associates can recommend glasses that cater to their visual needs and enhance their style.


Training Your New Optical Associate: Strategies and Methods

Training your new optical associate to master lifestyle questions requires time, patience, and strategy. Here are some strategies and methods that can aid in the process. Start with the basics. Teach them the importance of lifestyle questions and how they can help understand the customer's needs. Explain the different types of lifestyle questions and how to use them effectively. Have them try out a few different methods, questions, and the best ones they can share with the staff. What works for one may not work for others, but one may never know until one tries.


Practice makes perfect. Please provide them with opportunities to practice using lifestyle questions. Role-playing exercises can be efficient in this regard. Provide feedback. Constructive feedback is crucial in the learning process. Provide your associates with regular feedback to help them improve. Never embarrass them in front of patients or have them lose control of the sale.


Overcoming Challenges in Mastering Lifestyle Questions

Mastering lifestyle questions poses several challenges, but with the right approach, these can be overcome. One common challenge is the fear of asking too many questions. However, it's important to remember that customers appreciate personalized service. By asking lifestyle questions, associates show that they value the customer's individuality and are eager to provide tailored solutions.


Another challenge is knowing which questions to ask. This can be overcome with practice and experience. Over time, associates will learn which questions yield the most helpful information. Lifestyle questions help the patient open up, so avoid sounding like a robot and continue asking boosting questions. Make the conversation as natural as possible.


Conclusion

Mastering lifestyle questions is a crucial skill for any optical associate. It helps them understand customer needs and boost sales by promoting additional pairs. By understanding the customer's work, home, recreational activities, and fashion style, associates can recommend glasses that cater to every aspect of the customer's life. With the proper training and practice, any optical associate can excel at mastering lifestyle questions.


Our goal for you is that for the next week, for every patient that comes in, you write down how many multiple pairs you feel they would need based on their lifestyle. Then, you can see what areas you could improve with your team to serve your patients better. You would be surprised by the difference in what others would feel that may help your patients see more clearly one pair of eyeglasses at a time 👓

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