I Don’t Have All The Answers…

Shock News: I don’t have all the answers. Nor do I claim to. But what I do have is a well-honed ability to ask the right questions. It’s not about having all the answers. It IS about asking the right questions. Questions are a powerful thing.

In a dispensing/selling situation I tell my team all the time a well-placed question makes up for a lot of drivel. Most of us dispensing opticians and optometrists have a tendency to run on at the mouth, and vomit product knowledge over our poor clients. This kills a lot of sales. It loses a lot of clients. It suppresses a lot of referrals.

From age 5 we are taught to answer questions and not ask them. It becomes ingrained. This desire to talk and talk and show how smart you are. But the reality is the person who is asking the questions is the person in control of the situation. 

Whether it’s nerves or whether it’s because you have so much technical knowledge crammed into your head bursting to get out, it doesn’t matter. Simply be aware and pay attention. Be on guard for this. If you’re in the middle of seeing a client and you think to yourself “Gee, it feels like I’m talking a lot” I guarantee you are talking too much. And when you notice that all you have to do to get things back on track is ask a well-placed question. Then be quiet. Shooosh. Listen. And learn. When you’re asking the questions, you’re helping the client. You’re in control.  And the client is selling themselves on what they need and desire, so you don’t have to. You will increase sales, referrals and lifetime clients.

It’s ALL about honing your ability to ask good questions.

Make no mistake, this is a skill that your team need to hone. And by far the most effective technique I know is what I call the Columbo technique. After the famous Detective Columbo who seemed completely non-threatening and therefore always got the answers he needed to solve the case. People would relax around him and his non-threating way and the truth would come out. Ask your questions in this manner. Ask in an off-the-cuff kind of manner. Ask in a conversational “oh by the way…” style and clients will open up and be honest and sell themselves on the solutions they want.

This skill is at the heart of the “Eyewear Discovery Conversation” process I created. Through using this process your team can’t help but improve their confidence, sales, and skill at asking all the questions that need to be asked. Remind your team regularly of the 2:1 ratio on the number of ears they have to the number of mouths they have. With all clients they need to be listening twice as much as they are talking.

Keep training, practicing, discussing and using this and you will create many extra dispensing opportunities on a daily basis.