Are You Solving The Right Problem?

Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of magazine The Idler, said “To solve the right problems for your patients, customers, or clients, you just need to step outside and pay attention to what is so commonplace, so everyday, so mundane that everyone else misses it.” 

 As independent opticians, how can we pay better attention to what our competition misses? 

Well, firstly through clarity.  

 Einstein said, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”  

 Very wise words but most independent opticians fail to thoroughly and clearly define the problem they are trying to solve in their marketplace. As a profession, we like to think we are saving the world’s sight one eye exam at a time.  

 Yet, patients and clients seek out their optometrist and optician for a whole host of reasons we’ve never considered. They want to be listened to. They want to feel important. The emotions that drive consumer behavior and desire usually fail to make their way onto our radar screens. Most practice owners have never taken the time to sit down with their employees to clearly define the problems that matter most to the patient or client. 

 Does this strike a chord with you? Are you failing to solve the right problems for the patients and potential customers in your area because you’ve failed to define the problem?  

 If you’ve clearly defined why clients seek your services and what they really care about, how would you rate your confidence in your practice’s ability to deliver on your promise? 

 Until we get this right in our heads, if we behave like every other practice in the market, our results will be mediocre.  

 When I defined the real problem in my marketplace (i.e. people hate the process of choosing glasses, don’t know what suits them or fits them, finds the process overwhelming and confusing, can’t find glasses they actually like or get excited about, and therefore they hate wearing glasses, people hate been treated like a number and getting poor advice and service when choosing glasses) the practice started growing strongly year after year.  

 I got crystal clear on the problems I wanted to solve in my marketplace. Once I had that clarity the solution and path to take was obvious. 

 If you want a simple formula to achieve anything you want in your practice, I know of no easier way than following these four steps: (1) Clearly define a problem that needs to be solved in your marketplace,
(2) Confidently develop the solution, (3) Shout it from the rooftops so everyone knows exactly why you exist in your market, (4) Never look back and stay true to your path. Stay committed to solving that problem.