Life Lessons

Last night we had a client appreciation / birthday event at the practice. We had about 60 clients show up to help us celebrate our 14th birthday. But what exactly were we celebrating? Isn’t this a business?


Don’t businesses operate in the world of market forces? Prices must be paid in return for services and products. Staff must be paid wages to do what they’ve been asked to do. It’s all transaction based, isn’t it?


If so, why the hell would any client in their right mind feel an iota of desire to attend an optician’s birthday party event? They shouldn’t care because it’s not part of the price paid for a product received formula.


I don’t get a lot of facetime with clients at Jones And Co. these days, so I always pay attention to what clients are saying when I come face to face with them. Here’s a partial list of things clients said to me last night and what they chose to talk about…

They talked about our birthday – some of them even brought us cards and gifts
One lady told me how special Kathryn was to her because she sent her a couple of texts asking after her and wishing her well when she was seriously unwell in hospital last year and how she’ll never forget that
Another client told me that she loves that my staff just say what they bloody think when she tries on glasses and how f***ing refreshing that is. (Her language was colourful)
One client said she brings all her friends in for a quick drink and a chat with the team any time she is showing Manchester off to a visiting friend.
One said he showed the newsletter story about my Tesla purchase experience to a motorhead friend and how it tickled him pink
Almost every client mentioned the newsletter or some story from it in some shape or form – stories about ‘life’.
Another client whose husband is in hospital came along because he told her to, was sorry he couldn’t come, and said it would cheer her up because they love us and our events
One said she loves that the team always know where the best restaurants are and will recommend where to go for a brilliant lunch or dinner
At least a dozen people said the words “I feel like I’m coming to see friends when I come here.”

So what’s going on here? These people are paying top dollar for amazing eyewear from us. But there is definitely something deeper going on.


I think what makes my team so amazing, so willing to go above and beyond just a transaction, and what makes our clients feel the way they do, is the fact that so much of the way we operate the practice is social. It’s about more than just money and sales.


Making friends. Being real. Caring about people. Talking about them and being genuinely interested, whether the conversation turns to travels, restaurants, sickness, death, grief, family, or any aspect of life. It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s human.


This is what makes our work meaningful and without it I wouldn’t have the business I have or the team I have.


Never forget, this is your superpower if you’re an independent practice. ‘Big’ business simply can’t compete with you here. So slow down, take the time to really get to know your clients and your life and practice will be so much richer.


If you want YOUR team to get all this on a deeper level, and treat YOUR clients this way, send them to the Staff Training Workshop next month in Manchester.


We will send them back to you with a whole new level of enthusiasm for their work and a deeper understanding of how they can really, truly, and authentically wow clients. Email to book your places. Limited places remaining!