Optometric Management Tip # 424   -   Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Industry Reps Giving Presentations to Staff

I recently had a sales rep for a large ophthalmic lens lab give a presentation to my staff about premium antireflective lenses. Sales of that product increased 30%. I'll be working to see if we can keep that momentum over time, but it got me thinking about what a great resource sales reps can be.

I have learned a few things about how to increase the likelihood of getting a winning presentation, which I'll share here, but if you have not had a rep speak to your staff lately you are missing out on a big benefit.

Possible topics

You probably have representatives asking if they can give a presentation to your staff, unless they've given up on you. Think about your best sales reps and ask them if they will give a presentation. Most will be happy to have the opportunity.

Here are a few product lines that work well.

Staff enrichment

The old joke that an expert is anyone from out of town could apply in a way, although industry reps usually are true experts about their products. But most staff members are inspired to hear from a new expert in their field; not the doctor in the practice. They become educated and motivated about the product. That might convert to increased sales but, even if it doesn't, it creates a more knowledgeable and aware staff. Staff education can improve morale and give employees an important perspective on the services they provide.

The rep certainly stands to gain as well because his products will be featured, but that does not take away from the benefit your practice derives.

How to plan it

Every office is different, but I ask the representative to give the presentation during our regular weekly staff meeting. We have those set up in advance so one hour of time is blocked out from patients and we have a large number of staff members present.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management