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A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- October 2016 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products


Dollars & Sense

The Five Questions That Will Change Your Life

Michael Karlsrud

Ok, it might be a little over sold, but seriously there are five questions that will make the biggest impact in your business when you make the next hire.

If you are fortunate, you have to hire folks seldom, once or twice a year. For others, and in larger companies, this may happen monthly.  Last month in this column, we explored how to write an ad that targets outputs you need, not the inputs you feel you ought to have. This month, I’m going to introduce five essential interview questions you need to ask to get the right hire into your company.

One. “Could you give me an example of where you demonstrated high initiative in a previous position?”  You are seeking to understand if there was any initiative that can be identified by the candidate in their last position.  Dive deep with a series of questions that peel back the onion on their example.  Don’t let them squirm out of the answer. Remember, it doesn’t get any better than on interview day.

Two. “Could you give me an example of where you achieved flawless execution on a project or task?”  Isn’t that what we all seek?  Specifically in eyewear manufacturing, being perfect is not really an option.  Yet, how many of us actually come out and ask this very important “output” question?

Three. “Could you give me an example of where you demonstrated leadership in leading a team?”  Ok, so maybe they didn’t lead a high performing team.  Did they lead anything in their life?  A Cub Troop, the football team, a debate team- anything that shows they wanted to lead.  You have enough followers, hire future leaders.

Four. “Could you give me an example of something you’ve done that is comparable to …” (whatever it is you are hiring.)  You may need to hire someone without optical experience so ask the questions that get them into your business.  Again, you are looking for similar outputs.  Doing the job like you want to have it done is a function of training.

Five. “How would you achieve this result at our company if you got the job?” Let them you know your expectation of performance.  Then, ask them how they would accomplish it to your standards.  Explore hurdles or concerns upfront, not after you have hired them.

The five essential questions provided by IMPACT Hiring Solutions, and they will change the way you hire.  Getting the right person makes great dollars and sense!

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. or


Make What You Say, Pay!

Hemingway, Please, Not Joyce

Anne Miller

A James Joyce sentence can run the length of a page. Ernest Hemingway wrote short simple sentences. When it comes to literature, both are revered for their genius and dramatically different styles. However, when it comes to presenting or speaking, a Hemingway style is the safer bet for success.  I was reminded of that this week while coaching an executive on his upcoming speech to five hundred people Here are three tips to ensure you stay crisp, clear, and more authoritative in your speeches.

1. Use declarative sentences.

Weak:  As creative partnerships have proven themselves to be successful and with all the potential partners you have in the field, it is no wonder that partnering with another organization has the likely outcome of increasing ROI for all participating partners.

Stronger: Creative partnerships lead to a higher ROI for everyone.

2. Avoid repeating yourself

WeakWe need to be more imaginative in how we creatively market our products so that clients see us in a new, creative way.

StrongerWe need to market more creatively so that clients see our products in a fresh light.

3. Choose “Signal” words (words that make people listen up!)

WeakSo, I want to be sure you all agree that we need to be more creative and I urge you to meet with your teams and run brainstorming sessions to come up with fresh ideas for our services.

StrongerBottom-line, we need to be more creative and I urge you to run brainstorming sessions with your teams to come up with fresh ideas for our services.

Other “signal” words/phrases are: “Again…,” “The key point is….” “In summary…”

Be Ruthless

  • Edit out unneeded words and phrases.
  • Break long sentences into shorter ones.
  • Eliminate unnecessary sentences altogether.

To mix metaphors, your sentences in presentations and speeches are like cologne or perfume: less is better!

Words Matter: Make What You Say Pay! ©2012 Anne Miller, author, “Metaphorically Selling”


New Products

VISION EASE Unveils Line of High-Performance Photochromic Lenses

VISION EASE has launched a new line of photochromic lenses offering "faster activation and fade-back in addition to providing clearer indoor and darker outdoor performances." In internal light transmission tests conducted by VISION EASE, the new photochromic lenses are 2.5 percent clearer indoors than the national brand and 7.3 percent darker outdoors. The lenses also present a faster activation (27 percent) than the national brand as well as a quicker "fadeback" (44%). The new VISION EASE photochromic lenses block 91 percent of blue light outdoors and 43 percent of blue light indoors. Additionally, the lenses contain an improved true gray color. Upcoming availability of numerous polycarbonate gray styles include: SFSV, D28 Bifocal, D35 Bifocal, 7x28 Trifocal and a decentered Novel Progressive. For more information visit


ABB OPTICAL GROUP Unveils New Website

ABB OPTICAL GROUP has unveiled a dynamic, new state-of-the-art website designed to enhance the online customer experience. The website provides a single sign on feature, which automatically directs customers to the appropriate ordering platform based on their login information. Customers also can now access contact lens ordering, Ophthalmic, GP and specialty information all on one website, an added time-saving benefit. In addition to a clean, streamlined design, a content-rich site experience and easy-to-navigate functionality, offers access to Digital Eye Lab, a division of ABB OPTICAL GROUP. Customers will enjoy an inside look at the state-of-the-art lab, where the latest advancement in lens technology is used to create customized eyewear. Other features of the refreshed design include access to educational videos and tools such as Retail Price Monitor and patient retention resources that will sharpen a practitioner’s competitive edge and increase practice efficiency and patient satisfaction. For more information visit

Signet Armorlite Introduces New and Improved KODAK Lens ids

 Signet Armorlite, Inc. (SA) announces the availability of the new and improved Kodak Lens Intelligent Dispensing Software, also known as Kodak Lens ids. Signet Armorlite has updated Kodak Lens ids to be more advanced and easier to use than ever before, making the entire lens education and measuring process more efficient for the practice and more engaging for the patient. Kodak Lens “See the Colors of Life®” brand imagery has been incorporated for ECPs to present the exclusive Kodak Lens Professional Series product portfolio with added color and vibrancy. The software continues to operate on an iPad device for convenience and maneuverability, and contains the Frame, Lens and Measure sections. Kodak Lens ids Now includes a ‘spirit level’ function to help make measuring easier and improve the overall accuracy. This level helps correct positioning so measurements are more accurate and precise. Also, the FRED (Frame Reference Device) has been updated to be more durable for better handling and more consistent results. Interactive demonstrations have been redesigned to better visually explain the benefits of Kodak Progressive Lens designs, Kodak AR Lens Coatings as well as polarized and photochromic options. The cost to lease the Kodak Lens ids is $155 a month, billed as automatic recurring payments for the 2-year lease period. Any additional Kodak Lens ids licenses within the same practice location are offered at $75 a month for the 2-year lease period. For more information visit


Brian Dunleavy, Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor

Brian is the Editor of LabTalk. He covers wholesale laboratories, lab systems, other ECP news and features/coverage. Contact Brian at [email protected].

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