Optical Merchandising & Selling Strategies for Success

Even the most skilled private practitioners can benefit from optical merchandising and sales training. That’s why PECAA’s Optical Merchandising Workshop has been a success for the last several years, and now, the new Selling Strategies Workshop which recently launched in Denver this Fall, will provide Members with the sales techniques and best practices that are well-suited for small businesses.

We decided to introduce both workshops to Members because no one really gets merchandise or sales training when they start a private practice,” says Cathi Zerba, PECAA Event Planner. “Eye care practitioners rarely get the opportunity to learn how to buy frames or who they should be selling to.”

Workshops Custom-Tailored to Private Practice Optometry

Cathi Zerba, PECAA Event Planner

What started as an offering 4 years ago at the PECAA Annual Meeting has turned into a day-long optometry merchandising workshop that was hosted in 12 different cities this year.

The optical merchandising workshop, facilitated by Doug Martin and Samantha Toth, Innexus, covers topics such as how to set up luxury frames for compelling store displays, inventory management and supplier negotiating strategies.

The newly introduced 1-day optical selling workshop builds on the merchandising workshop, teaching the effective tools and techniques that can boost profits.

The Selling Strategies for Success Workshop covers things like how to get patients to buy multiple lenses, or how to integrate purchasing and marketing,” Zerba explains. “What demographic are you selling to? The workshop overlaps with the merchandising workshop, but it also builds on it.

It’s kind of a sales and marketing niche that no one else really knows about,” Zerba says.

Attendees earn four hours of continuing education credit, and the workshops are free to attend, sponsored by PECAA Vendor Partners.

Some staff take it twice, because it’s so important to everyday operations and due to staff turnover,” Zerba says. “These workshops will always be relevant to our Members.

Taught by Experts Specializing in Retail and Optometry

Doug Martin has been in management for over 33 years, with 18 years in the retail industry working for Neiman Marcus, I Magnin, and Macy’s. He began working in the optical industry where he served as president of a two office, five-doctor practice. Over the next 10 years, he helped grow the practice into a regional powerhouse with 25 doctors and 16 locations. He then developed a consulting program helping independent practitioners around the world improve the look and performance of their optical boutiques.

Samantha Toth is a professional speaker and resident “marketing rockstar” at her company Innereactive Media in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She grew up in an optical practice with multiple family members in the industry, including her mother, father, sister, uncle and grandfather. An ABO certified optician herself, Samantha worked as a dispensing optician for eight years, as well as managed an independent optometric practice.

Session topics include the following:

  • Merchandising 101: The Seven Fundamentals of Great Merchandising
  • Inventory Management & Negotiating Strategies
  • Stop Selling and Help Your Patients Buy
  • How to Get the Most Out of Your Marketing
  • Selling Satisfaction
  • Selling More Lenses
  • Identifying & Overcoming Patient Objections
  • Increase Your Profit Seeing the Same Number of Patients

What Members Are Saying About the Workshops…

Both Doug and Samantha make their presentations fun and entertaining. The subject matter is relevant to today’s business environment. I love that I always learn new things to help my practice. -Dawn Christman Munoz, North Valley Eye Medical Group

I always look forward to PECAA meetings as I always leave with a wealth of new information that is so very useful. Time and time again it has given a fresh new perspective for valuable tools that have benefited our office! -Shantel Guzman, Eyes Plus Inc.

Our office is really eager and excited to put all we’ve learned collectively to improve our patient’s experience; communication, relationship building and to increase sales. -Rowena Abear, Central O’ahu Eyecare

Save the Date for the 2019 Workshops!

Merchandising Workshop

  • March 6: Nashville, TN
  • April 23: Cleveland, OH
  • April 24: New Orleans, LA
  • June 5: Spokane, WA
  • September 10: New Jersey (city TBD)
  • September 25: Sacramento, CA
  • November 7: Las Vegas, NV

Selling Workshop

  • February 26: Oklahoma City, OK
  • February 27: Orlando, FL
  • March 5: Raleigh, NC
  • April 16: Kansas City, MO
  • April 17: Austin, TX
  • June 6: Seattle, WA
  • September 11: Atlanta, GA
  • September 26: Portland, OR
  • October 1: Milwaukee, WI
  • October 2: Chicago, IL
  • October 15: Dallas, TX
  • October 16: Salt Lake City, UT
  • November 6: Phoenix, AZ

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