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A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- April 2016 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products

Spotlight

Dollars & Sense

Trends Precede Change

Michael Karlsrud

This isn’t your father’s optical industry; it’s your child’s. It’s time to pay attention to what they are doing to change the face of our industry.

There are a few obvious new players in the market like Warby Parker, and a boom in on-line services that move the consumer from purchase to delivery quickly and less expensively. We’ve all heard of LensCrafters going into 500 Macy stores and VSP entering CVS pharmacies to expand their footprints. Recently, we witnessed politicians asking the Federal Trade Commission to evaluate how eyeglasses are being prescribed and dispensed in an effort to drive prices down and choices for the consumer, up. The marketplace will evolve as it will, but what is the impact on our business?

There are two major threats to the traditional laboratory today, distribution and price transparency. Both will have an immediate and direct effect on your business. Each results in a patient’s job going somewhere other than in your door.

Let’s look at distribution.  The new locations being added into Macy’s by LensCrafters means only one thing; they are putting stores in places where they anticipate the consumer to be.  They are “blowing up” the model that we have all held dear; that you must seek out an independent eye doctor much like you would a dentist. What’s driving that?  Fashion. What better place to buy eyewear and then walk out and buy a matching outfit? Unless you are part of the LensCrafters provider network, this work isn’t hitting your lab, neither is VSP’s. Distribution is chasing the needs of a fickle consumer and meeting them where they are shopping.

Price transparency is a huge driving force today in the market as well.  No less than five times a night, average people sitting at home are being bombarded with messages that offer two pair for $69 and a free exam. Compound those messages with constant PSA’s warning people that they are paying too much for eyewear through traditional distribution channels (like yours.) Are there any good answers to these issues? I don’t believe there are, and it’s still evolving. 

The one thing that remains constant is the older people get and their eye issues become more complex, the more they will desire a relationship with an eye care professional and their trained staff.  Progressive wearers will continue to need adjustments and fitting help.

Each of us is going to have to create a strategic plan for our businesses taking into account these major shifts in consumer behavior. The most dangerous plan is not having a plan at all.

Good Selling

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

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Make What You Say, Pay!

Caught Mid-Air in Presentations?

Anne Miller

Does Serena Williams stop her tennis swing in mid-air? Does golf pro Adam Scott freeze after he makes contact with the ball? Of course not. These pros know the importance of follow through to score their wins. Yet, many presenters fail to “follow-through” on their selling points, get caught in mid-air, and unwittingly fail to score a win with listeners.

Help This Guy Win

Presentation Follow-Through is on my mind because of a recent assignment I had. I was asked to coach a candidate who is running for governor of his state.  He is smart, articulate, experienced and committed to good governance. He brings a lot to the table and would be a terrific leader, but he just wasn’t clicking with his audiences.  He came across as too robotic.

When I listened to him, I realized his problem wasn’t a deficit in his personality. The issue was a failure to “Follow Through” on his arguments. He was stopping in mid-air, so to speak, so his remarks never hit home. Let me give you an example and then see if you need a little more “Follow Through” in your own presentations and demos.

1. Statement without Follow-Through: “We have to cut the outrageous waste in programs that are not working.”

2. Statement with Follow-Through:  ”Would you throw away 25% of your hard-earned money? Well, that is an estimate of what we are throwing away in current government programs. I propose to audit all current spending, cut out the waste and ensure that you get a solid return on your tax dollar.”

From Elections to Selling

Look at the statements, claims, features, and facts that you present. Do you just state them or do you also link them to the implications for your listeners? Do you connect them to the situations and feelings of your listeners? It is so easy to forget how important these links and connections are to our points. My candidate for governor realized that, added the "Follow Through" to his speeches, and has been getting much better traction with his audiences as a result.

How about you? Are you inadvertently stopping your presentation points in mid-air or are you following through on them to score a win with your listeners as well?

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

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Lab Notes

On The Road Sales Coach

Staff

The Vision Council partnered with Mike Karlsrud from The Karlsrud Company to present a live sales training based on the popular ‘On the Road Sales Coach’ program. The session took place on Thursday, April 14th, at the Westin New York.  Titled,  Lessons from The Road: Head trash, gatekeepers and talking too much!,  this three hour in-person session of the On The Road Sales Coach will brought attendees the key lessons learned from the last three years of The Vision Council’s popular sales training program. Discussion included:  "head trash" or learning to get out of the way of our own success; organizing our territories; cold calling, prospecting and playing the numbers game.  The program also provided tips on getting the appointment and how to get the gatekeeper to open the gate: telephone techniques as well as in-person sales calls. And finally, a discussion on how we talk too much led to strategies on how to lead a conversation by asking questions without sounding like we just graduated from selling school! This fast-paced program was filled with the hard-learned lessons from the real world of selling. Look for excerpts from this program in upcoming LabAdvisors in the Dollar and Sense column or contact Mike Karlsrud for more information at www.karlsrudcompany.com.

Solidar Optical Lab Provides Rx Options for Red Bull Racing Eyewear

Staff

Red Bull Racing Eyewear launched its new Rx program featuring specialty, high-performance prescription lenses created by Solidar Optical Laboratory. The Red Bull Racing Eyewear’s Rx Program features a variety of optical options for lenses. Solidar Express is a full service, independent optical lab based in Largo, Fla. It has been developing AR coatings and mirrors for over 25 years and has experience and expertise in optics, and produces digital lenses as well as sun and sport Rx eyewear. Red Bull Racing Eyewear is distributed by Mad Vision.

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New Products

New Santinelli Edger

Santinelli International introduced the all-new LE-1200 Lens Edger at Vision Expo East. The model features a newly designed multi-frame tracer, software that offers a shorter cycle time for higher productivity and a special tailored min-bevel function. As the company is commemorating their 25th anniversary with NIDEK Co., Ltd. this year, part of their new booth included an autograph wall for clients to sign. For more information visit www.santinelli.com

Vision Ease Launches SV 1.67 Lenses

Vision Ease has introduced a new line of single vision 1.67 high-index lenses. The lenses offer customers the most thin, lightweight, single vision 1.67 high-index lens configurations in the industry. The new product line is a result of VISION EASE’s recent acquisition of South Korean high-index manufacturer, Daemyung Optical Co. Ltd. (DMO). The addition of DMO’s capabilities has increased VISION EASE’s distribution channels and its breadth of products. Availability includes Finished and Semi-Finished lenses in Aspheric and Spherical designs along with both scratch-coat and non-scratch-coat options. What’s more, customers can choose from MR7 and MR10 resins. For full product specifications of the VISION EASE 1.67 high-index lenses, visit www.visionease.com.

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Spotlight

Three Sides of the Automation Equation

Julie Bos

Of all the trends affecting optical labs, one of the most prevalent is clear: automation. According to industry experts, automation is (by far) the fastest-growing trend in the business, and virtually every lab falls into one of two camps—either you’re considering it or already implementing it (and therefore trying to do it better). By consolidating input from all three sides of the automation equation (equipment, software and conveyor automation), you will discover the latest solutions and smartest strategies to move your lab forward. The goal is simple: By automating specific areas of your lab operation—and ultimately connecting those areas together—your lab will continue down the road to a larger, more comprehensive automation solution and realize all the benefits that go with it. This article covers the roles of automated equipment, lab management systems, and conveyors, and how they work together to create a fully-automated lab. Read the entire article at  http://www.labtalkonline.com/

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Christie Walker, Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor

Christie is the Editor of LabTalk and a contributor to Vision Monday. She covers wholesale laboratories, lab systems, other ECP news and features/coverage. Contact Christie at cwalker@jobson.com.

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