Article Date: 7/1/2011

What Type of Buyer Are You?

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Some buyers wait for the “wow” moment. Others make it happen.

From The Editorial Director
Jim Thomas

It's probably safe to assume that a friend or associate of yours owns a tablet computer or smart phone. And it's also probably safe to assume that if you didn't have a “wow” moment when you first saw the device. Your friend's demonstration of its features drew the “wow” from you. That's what I like: Your friend makes his passion contagious—he doesn't stop the demo until he gets the “wow,” whether it's comes from the Wall Street Journal app, “Gas-Buddy,” “Kayak,” or “Angry Birds.”

The value of the demonstration

With regards to gadgets, tools and equipment, I've found that the person demonstrating the device is often more responsible for the “wow” than the device alone. For example, I've been introduced to EHR both as this “new system that's taking me a while to get used to,” (which elicits a zero on the “wow” scale) and the system that “let's me print a copy of your check-up results instantly,” (As I'm approaching those years in which the age-appropriate conversation often centers around health, the second presentation sent the needle from zero to “wow” in less than a second.)

Much of what's written about the “wow” factor seems to center around the message: “Buy this device, and you'll impress customers (patients).” I'd argue that most of us couldn't possibly keep up with all the new technology available to every profession, so we don't always understand why we should be impressed. We often arrive at that “wow” through a knowledgeable and passionate staff, as Justin Bazan, O.D. describes in his article, “Twenty-One Steps to the Five-Star Review,” (see in this issue).

So, the next time you take a patient's fundus photo or perform an OCT scan, don't let the patient leave until he's “wowed” by your enthusiasm for your practice's technology.

Two sides to the equation

The “wow” idea mirrors a large misconception that equipment alone will solve problems. That's like expecting to get fit just because you bought an exercise bike. Similarly, if your practice purchases a digital refraction system but you don't exploit opportunities for improved patient care, practice efficiencies and revenue opportunities, then you're missing an entire side of the success equation.

It helps to understand this equation even before you consider a new purchase. In that light, we are proud to bring you the annual “Diagnostic Instrument Buying Guide.” Through its features and listings, we hope to provide ideas that ultimately demonstrate what can be accomplished with new equipment—and your staff's knowledge, energy and passion. OM

Optometric Management, Issue: July 2011