Staff Management

Total Staff Buy-In: Involve Entire Staff to Reach Practice Sales Goals

Every Staff Member Contributes Toward Practice Growth Goals

By Jeffrey L. Kegarise, OD

Finding an effective sales strategy is step one to increasing dispensary sales. Step two is aligning the priorities of the staff with your most important target–reaching optical sales goals.

After you determine an effective dispensary sales strategyfor your practice, the next step is presenting the plan to your entire staff–and gaining their buy-in. Everyone on staff contributes to the success of reaching a practice goal. Your “approach” must be followed with “deployment” to all staff before you can hope to fully realize the “results” you seek.

As practice owner, you are a leader whose fundamental responsibility is to set priorities. In our practice, we use an annual strategic review offsite to communicate the year’s goals to the staff. This is followed by reviewing indicators toward successful accomplishment of those goals in weekly staff meetings. These meetings are augmented mid-year, with a “gap” review to update the staff on our progress. Then, corrections to our strategies or goals are made, and updated targets are communicated at weekly staff meetings from that point on. Once the “what” is communicated, the “how” is important, and all members of the team must play a role in reaching the goal.

For instance, if we intend to increase the optical sales by 20 percent–and have identified improving the capture rate and second pair sales as methods to do so–we might educate the staff by saying:”Our goal is to increase our capture rate and second-pair sales. Our optical has a plan to achieve this goal, but everyone in the practice can contribute in their own area to achieve this goal. Here is what each of you can do to promote our optical and the need for second-pair sales.”

Reception and Patient Greeting/Intake: When confirming appointments, ask the patient to bring in their prescription sunglasses. Upon arrival, inform each patient that they are fortunate to be coming in at this time because we have great new sunglasses in our optical. If you [staff member] use a second pair for computer use, be sure to say so.

Pre-test with technicians: In conversation with patients, identify potential second pair needs–computer, golf, fishing, eye protection and other sports. Mention that the optical department can recommend a pair that will help/protect/enhance the patient’s activity. Make sure to list this on an internal patient registry.

Doctors: At the time of case summary and presentation, be sure to recommend more than one pair of glasses: “For your computer needs I recommend a lens that will make your eyes less tired, and for your everyday glasses we are updating your lenses to help you see your very best at all distances”.

Handoff to optical: The scribe or doctor reiterates the two prescriptions recommended and already written for the patient. If the patient is not interested in new glasses, explain that it is important for the optician to measure and document the PD so the patient can come in later to fill the prescription. This also gives the opticians an opportunity to educate the patient about current trends in lens materials and frame styles.

At check-out: Note that the patient has ordered more than one pair. Reaffirm theirgood decision by mentioning how much they will love having both pairs.

At dispensing visit: In addition to the optician describing the benefits of each pair, make it a point to have other staff members who encounter the patient compliment them on each pair. This is also an opportunity to remind patients who only purchased one pair of the benefits of sunglasses, computer lenses or other second pair options that were recommended by the doctor.

Communicating practice goals and continuously keeping them visible to the staff can help you and your team achieve the goals you have set as priorities. This is especially true in the area of increasing optical sales.

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Jeffrey L. Kegarise, OD, of Cool Springs EyeCare in Franklin, Tenn., is a primary eye care specialist. To contact him: Drkeg@coolspringseyecare.com.

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