“Some of the best salespeople love to ask questions and are naturally curious. They meet someone new and immediately want to know more about them. They will try to find out more information without even thinking about it.
However, if someone is not naturally curious, they still can work on this skill. They can develop intellectual curiosity and engage with their patients by being purposeful in their questions and conversations.
The effort will pay off with happier customers, increased sales and, more than likely, a more enjoyable work experience.
How many times have you walked into a retail store and heard the same question, “How can I help you today?” How did it make you feel?
This interaction likely sounds generic and ordinary to most patients. The greeting should set the stage for the experience they will be receiving in your clinic, and you want that to be extraordinary and impactful.
When your patients arrive, stop what you are doing and make your greeting authentic to the individual. If they hear you greet the next patient with the exact same question, it does not feel personal. Each patient wants to feel special.
You can start your greeting by visually assessing their wardrobe, accessories or hair style. Then compliment them on something you see. This often leads to a fashion conversation which allows you to easily transition into eyewear styles and making your selections.
If they are a returning patient, call them by name and ask them about their life. When you are actively curious, you tend to remember details and retain information about a person from their last visit with you.
When you are curious to know more about an individual, you connect with them on an emotional level. This is the number one way to build loyalty. People feel seen and understood when they believe that you understand who they are and what they value. It also helps you build instant repertoire and trust.
During consulting work with an optometry clinic recently, I actively observed their sales conversations with patients. I repeatedly head general statements, such as:
- “That frame looks good on you.”
- “This frame style is trendy right now.”
- “This frame colour will be a safe choice for you.”
What I didn’t hear was the optician asking curious questions. Instead, they went straight into the selection process. They’d offer the same frames to everyone, explaining the benefits with blanket phrases. There was no personal or credible correlation to why the frames worked for each individual patient.
Developing your curiosity skill set can be learned and is the easiest way to make your optical gallery stand out against the competition.
Be present with your patients. Ask purposeful questions. Then actively listen to the answers. Follow these three steps to create a unique eyewear styling consultation experience for everyone who walks in your door.
Visually assess what you see with each individual and then be curious with intentional open-ended questions. Here are a few great examples:
- What colours do you love to wear in your golf shirts?
- How do you want to feel in your new eyewear?
- Do you always wear your hair up in a ponytail?
- Do you often wear big earrings?
- Do you carry the same handbag or change it with each outfit?
Actively listen to the answers to these questions. Then respond by relating your eyewear selections with their personal look.
Three Steps to Sales Success
Peeling back the layers of your patient’s individuality helps you discover, what I categorize as, their Spec Style personality. And the more curious you are, the more creative and authentic you can be with each person.
It will be the combination of (1) your greeting, (2) curious questions, and (3) specific eyewear selections that helps you stand out as an expert stylist and close more sales.
Customers will appreciate the exceptional buying experience you provide – one they won’t find online or, possibly, at a different clinic up the street. You will appreciate the increased sales, the smiles from satisfied customers, and a more fun, positive and productive workplace experience every day.