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A MONTHLY BRIEFING FOR OPTICAL LABORATORY OWNERS AND MANAGERS August 2013


Dollars & Sense


Opening the Emotional Gates


By Michael Karlsrud

There are two cycles at work with each of your customers; the sales cycle and the buying cycle. You can have some influence over the sales cycle, good luck with the buying cycle.

The buying cycle is really a series of emotional gates that our company, products or services have to travel through in order to make a sale. The gates are simple to describe: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer. The cycle is complete when a current customer refers you to a peer, and then they enter the cycle and progress through the gates.

It’s all emotion, so how do you really know when someone trusts you enough to try or buy your services? The short answer is you don’t. Welcome to the new world of social selling. We used to have some idea of where customers were in the buying process because the sales representative would show up and guide the prospect through the buying process. Today, 60 percent of the work of a traditional sales rep is done before they show up the office—without them even knowing it. Customers now have access to unlimited information about you, your company, the products represented and the reputation you (and “You” meaning your company) are leaving in the marketplace. They also have options of where to buy your products.

In the past we often played “defense,” keeping our competition at bay. Today, we need to be on “offense” making sure our customers are playing with us and we know exactly how to keep them emotionally engaged in our business.

Michael Karlsrud is the owner and CEO of 6 Calls, a tele-services company that serves the optical industry with its two divisions; Telecare and Business-to-Business. www.karlsrudcompany.com or www.6Calls.biz

 




Lab Notes

Stay in the Know with the Optical Lab Division

The Vision Council is always looking for ways to keep its members informed of the latest industry happenings. This past month, we held our first-ever regional Town Hall in New York City. Our team had the pleasure of sharing information and networking with about 75 members from various divisions within The Vision Council. Presentations were made by Vision Council departments on everything from market research trends to new sales and marketing programs to important regulatory affairs updates. Members also had the opportunity to catch-up, relax and make new connections during the Happy Hour reception following the event.

As we head into the fall, we have a lot more to be excited about. Industry momentum is building following the recent launch of the national Think About Your Eyes campaign, our annual lab meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2-5 in Las Vegas, we’ll host another customized lab sales training call (On the Road Sales Coach for Labs), and the results of our groundbreaking Lab Benchmarking Program Study are almost finalized.

If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to take advantage of the various benefits that The Vision Council’s Optical Lab Division has to offer. You won’t regret it. Find out more at www.thevisioncouncil.org/OLA.

Mike Daley
Optical Lab Division Liaison

Precision San Diego Launches the Professional Choice In-Office Growth Program

Precision San Diego, an independent lens lab in southern California, launched their “PROFESSIONAL CHOICE” in-office growth program to eye care professionals this summer. The new program is composed of a patient prescribing guide, an eight page patient education booklet, an Rx folder to enhance patient retention and changeable counter easels to spur consumer interest in lens options. The program uses focused training sessions and tracking methods to assure and measure success. Uniquely, all pieces are unbranded, allowing each office to personalize the program with the products they choose to offer. Another valuable facet of the program is the ability to accumulate reward dollars, which can be used in any way the office wishes, as long as it is aimed at practice growth. “We’ve always felt that Precision has to do much more than just process lenses for our accounts,” says Mark Becker, president. “Our goal is to also provide methods and materials that help make the office more successful.”

Samuel Odom Dies at 66

Samuel Wayne Odom’s battle with glioblastoma brain cancer ended with his family at his side on Sunday July 14, 2013. Odom spent his career in the optical industry and was known for his charismatic presentation skills throughout the country. He played key roles in the planning, building and success of Benedict Optical and Legends 4.0 Optical in Lewisville. He spent a portion of his career with Hoya Vision Care, Silhouette, B&L, and operating his own businesses. Due to his illness, he was forced to retire in 2012 from his job at the VSPOne Technology Center in Dallas. In Odom’s memory, donations may be made to Legacy Brain Foundation Dallas (http://legacybrainfoundation.org/) or to the Rachel Fuller Memorial Scholarship Fund at Ouachita Baptist University.

Schneider Aquires Henrich & Krall

Schneider Optical Machines acquired shares of the optical equipment manufacturer Team Henrich & Krall GmbH, last month. This acquisition was an important strategic move for Schneider offering strong potential for growth. Team H&K is a well-known manufacturer of optical equipment to the ophthalmic industry particularly in the European market. In the past years Team H&K has built up an impressive portfolio of highly acclaimed automated solutions for deblocking, cleaning and tinting. For Schneider, the acquisition of Team H&K is an essential step, further expanding their product range as a full solution provider. (Photo caption: (l to r) Dieter Henrich, Wolfgang Fischer, J├╝rgen Krall, and Gunter Schneider. For more information please visit: www.schneider-om.com

Coburn Launches New Company Website and Online Store

Coburn Technologies launched its new company Website including lens processing equipment and consumables, the new line of ophthalmic equipment and better integration with its new online store at www.coburntechnologies.com. In addition to the new Website, Coburn also launched its new online storefront for selling lab consumable products and spare parts in the United States at www.shopcoburn.com. This new online store, built in conjunction with Coburn’s new Lab Works group, incorporates many functional improvements over the previous Website, and uses a more streamlined catalog directory to find products and parts quicker and easier. In addition, fully registered Coburn customers will have more real-time access to their orders and account information via a secure online customer portal. At the new online store, any visitor can browse the entire online catalog at any time. For online prices, specials offers and additional discounts, Coburn encourages visitors to become registered customers by calling (800-COBURN-1) and asking for the Lab Works division.

New Website for Augen Easyform Free-Form Equipment

Augen Optics has launched a new Website design for its EasyForm Digital Free Form Processing System at www.EasyFormEquipment.com. Incorporating significant improvements in visual presentation, navigation, and content delivery, the revamped site enables quicker, easier access to product information and provides a greater variety of images and a video to demonstrate product functionality and quality. For more information about Augen Optics, its EasyForm free-form laboratory equipment and lens design software, and free-form and conventional eyeglass lenses, call 866-284-3611 or visit their Website at www.augenoptics.com.

Santinelli Team Gathers for 40th Anniversary

In honor of Santinelli International’s 40th anniversary, all 75 team members of the lens finishing equipment company gathered on Long Island, NY for meetings and celebrations. The sales and service teams carved time out of their meetings for a Habit for Humanity “house build” a team-building activity that the company has embraced in the past two years as one of its favorite ‘non-optical’ philanthropic efforts. According to Gerard Santinelli, “It was a rare and wonderful occasion to have everyone together in our own backyard to share ideas, strategize and discover new ways to better serve our clients. We have a deep appreciation for our entire team and our valued clients who make it all possible.”

 




Focus On...

Scott Prisbey and Deschutes Optical

By Judith Lee
If knowledge is power, then Deschutes Optical and its independent eye care clients are strong and will stay that way. Deschutes general manager Scott Prisbey believes product knowledge is the “magic bullet” that arms both his independent lab and the Eye Care Provider in a climate dominated by large labs and chain stores.

“Most doctors want to be on the cutting edge with the newest, the best, the most advanced products on the market. Our customer service and sales force is trained and very knowledgeable on these products and spends countless hours helping our practices set themselves apart from the chain stores,” said Prisbey.
Prisbey’s own knowledge comes from deep experience, having worked his way up from a delivery driver in 1989 to the general manager. Even now as the GM, he continues to acquire the knowledge and skills he needs to function as LMS manager, lab technician, machinery mechanic, sales manager, customer service, marketing, human resources as well as all administrative duties.

“It usually creates a full day of work,” noted Prisbey, with a smile.
He believes his greatest contribution is instilling in lab employees a strong sense of pride in the value of quality eyewear.

“We are part of the health care system, not just a lab that produces custom eyewear. Each patient relies on our ability and professionalism to know our job well enough to manufacture glasses in such a way that enable the patient to live a life not only with clear vision, but also with the absolute best vision health possible.”

What’s next for Deschutes? More of the same emphasis on training and education, including a six-week boot camp to prepare opticians for the ABO test, and three separate promotions where the payout is a group event promoting team building for the doctor’s office (baseball games, white water rafting and a college football game and tailgate party).

“We focus on our customers’ needs, just like they focus on their customer’s needs,” said Prisbey. “The ECP wants to retain their clientele, and they rely heavily on the lab to not only deliver great products in a timely manner, but to be up-to-date on the technology that is out there.”

Now that’s powerful.

 




LabTalk Spotlight

Give Your Lens Cleaning System Some Legs

By Judith Lee
Lens cleaning is a lot like the second or third leg in a four-man relay. It’s an essential step that can greatly affect the outcome, but it rarely gets the glory. “Lens cleaning is an important step, but it tends to be integrated with other processes,” noted John Quinn, president of Lens Technology International. “That’s even more the case as labs acquire in-house coating processes.”

What’s more, lens cleaning is fast evolving along with automated technology. That second or third leg in your optical lab “relay” is just as likely to be filled by man, machine or robot. Some labs (even large ones) still rely on hand cleaning, while others have gone to ultrasonic cleaning, and a few are looking to state-of-the-art robotics to cut labor costs and/or ensure quality.

This article examines all three areas: hand cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning and state-of-the-art robotic cleaning, including information for products. To learn more go to www.LabTalkOnline.com and click on this feature on the home page.

 



Make What You Say, Pay!

5 Ways to Get Rid of Non-Words


Nothing drives listeners crazier and makes them tune out more than someone, who, like, is always, uh, you know, sprinkling their, um, presentations with, you know, non-words, right? It's like a fly in your soup. While the soup may be very good, the fly’s presence (your non-words) ruins the dining experience (your presentation), the clarity of your message, and reflects badly on you as a professional. Here are five suggestions for getting rid of these presentation killers and removing that fly from your soup.
 
#1 Make sure you are ending your sentences emphatically and not singggging into the next one. When people singggg, they frequently use non-words as fillers to their next thought. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, they just can't stop, so they use non-words to keep the noise going.

#2 Have a friend quietly say your name every time they hear you use a non-word. You will begin to hear yourself beginning to use the non-word and then you can work on pausing rather than saying it.

#3 Get used to silence. Audio tape yourself and pause rather than say the non-word. You will see that what seems like an eternity to you is merely a second to listeners. Also, pausing will give you more control over what you are thinking and saying and you will feel much more confident.

#4 Speak as if your listeners have English as a second language. When we do that, we automatically slow down, enunciate more clearly, phrase better and inflect more effectively. We also tend to eliminate the non-words.

#5 More aggressive tactic: Every time a friend notices your use of a non-word, give them a dollar! It is amazing how quickly you will stop using those non-words when it costs you something!

Words Matter: Make What You Say Pay! ©2012 Anne Miller, author, “metaphorically Selling” www.annemiller.com

New Products

Lens Protect Tape from Salem Vision Group


Reveal is a new line of lens protection tapes designed for use with alloy or wax blocking systems on all types of lens materials. The tape conforms to all base curves without releasing at the edges and securely adheres to both the lens and the blocking medium yet easily de-blocks after use. Available in blue, green and clear as well as with and without a liner, Reveal offers advanced visual clarity for fast, accurate alignment that virtually eliminates off-axis rejects.
For more information contact Salem Vision Group at 800-234-1982 or visit their Website at www.salemdist.com

Quantum Innovations Provides Upgraded Bell Jar in B12 Coater


Quantum Innovations has developed a stainless steel bell jar upgrade that solves many of the most common problems facing labs running a Zeiss B12 AR coater. The new bell jar solves issues of fragility, visibility, safety and difficulty repairing the unit. Features include: removable shields for easy cleaning, easy to clean or replace view ports, made from readily available materials for significant cost savings. For more information, contact Quantum Innovations at 888-214-7932 or visit their Website at www.Qtmi.net .

New Milling Head for Schneider HSC and HSK Generators


EHWA Diamond Industrial, through its North American affiliate, General Tool, Inc. has introduced a 12 tooth PCD milling head for use on Schneider HSC and HSK Lens Generators. The unique design of the tool results in a superior finish on all types of lens materials. In addition, the tool life is two to three times longer than similar tools.

EHWA Diamond Industrial Company Ltd is the fourth largest diamond tool company in the world. They offer a broad line of diamond tools for a variety of optical applications across a broad spectrum of laboratory optical equipment. For more information contact General Tool at 949-261-2322 or visit their Website at www.ehwadia.com or www.gtdiamond.com.

On-The-Block Backside Coating System


The On-The-Block (OTB) backside coating system from Ultra Optics retains the time proven durability and reliability of their MRIII backside coating unit, while moving the lacquer application process to a new level of performance. The OTB system provides a wide variety of features and benefits including: front-side lens surface protection for less scratch-related breakage; material support for thin HI lenses, which eliminates lens warping; post-surfacing (coating) de-blocking for improved workflow and yields; heated wash process for less “pit” related rejects; monitored water and air for consistent quality and yield; measured UV light intensity for consistent cure and film performance; and interactive software for proactive diagnostic and maintenance. Contact Ultra Optics for more information or visit their Website at www.ultraoptics.com


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Send us news about your lab's new products, services, special events, tech advances or personnel changes.


Christie Walker

Christie Walker
Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor
cwalker@jobson.com

Visit LabTalkonline.com for additional articles of interest about labs.

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