Who’s In Control Here?

Let me share an email with you. We received this at Jones And Co. It reads:

Hi there, I wish to find out more information about the Progear Optical OPT-1109 model, I understand that you have a trading account with the Norville Group who distributes this model. May I ask if this item is available in stock? If not, are there any frames with a 58mm or 59mm wide rectangular shape lens available? Thank you.



Rule number one: any time a customer starts quoting model numbers, frame sizes and codes you should assume they are going to be difficult to handle. You better have a process for handling them.

Rule number two: any time a customer starts quoting model numbers, frame sizes and codes you should assume they see you as a commodity. They can find lots of product info online. They can think they know more than you. They certainly don’t see you as an expert. And they probably will buy based on who has the lowest price.

Normally you have to assume that they are shopping around and that they see you as a commodity. But in this case “Jeffrey” had the nerve to copy the exact same email to 4 different opticians in Manchester. He just pasted the 4 email addresses in the address line so everyone could see that he had asked 4 opticians to start jumping through hoops for him at the same time.

And that’s exactly what most practices will do. They will start sending him product information and prices. Which is 100% the wrong thing to do (unless you’re happy to waste your time).

This kind of thing happens all the time with phone enquires, email enquiries and walk-ins. And the correct approach every time is to take control of the situation. Follow YOUR process, not his process. Do or say something to differentiate yourself from the 4 other opticians whose time he is also wasting.

The OSA perfect phone script achieves this. It changes the conversation from products and prices to “Why do you want this? What problems are you hoping to solve? How do you know that is what you really need?” And from there you explain the benefits of how YOU work and how you can help him solve his problem. That differentiates you.

On a bigger scale this is exactly the reason why I made the bold move at Jones And Co. to remove all the stock from display. I wanted to be in control of the sales process. Because I can better help people with my process. The customer doesn’t have any process. Their process is random and focused on product codes and prices because they don’t have the expertise to consider anything else. It’s better if you develop an effective process and take control.

In a world where Google makes anyone with an internet connection think they know everything, it’s more important than ever to build processes that differentiate you and demonstrate your superior expertise.