Article Date: 1/1/2002

reflections: THE HUMAN SIDE OF OPTOMETRY
A True Friend to Optometry
How one sales representative stood out from the rest.
BY ROB GEROWITZ, O.D.

Dear Brian,
I hope this letter can express my sorrow for the loss of your father. I wanted to let you know that he was a true friend to optometry and a great credit to his profession.

I met your dad ten years ago when he started as a frame representative for Charmant eyewear. The moment he walked through my door, I could tell he was different from most frame reps.

Many optometrists will tell you there are two types of salesmen. One type wants simply to sell you their product and be done with the sale. The second type wants not only to sell you their product but also wants to provide service long after you've made the purchase.

Your dad told me that he wanted to be the second type of sales rep, but he wasn't sure how to go about it. He asked me to have lunch with him. Over Kung Pao chicken, he told me I was one of his first clients and that he was selling one of his first frame lines. He explained that he was unsure how he was going to make the transition from clothing salesman to eyewear representative.

PHOTO BY PAT SIMIONE 

For the next two hours, we talked about our backgrounds, our goals and what I thought the average O.D. on the street wanted (and expected) from a frame representative. As we talked, I could see how eager he was to learn.

Over the next few years, your dad's insecurities faded away as a confidence that you just can't fake took over.

After working a while for Charmant, he took a position with Kenmark, and I was delighted to make the move with him. Although my business wasn't an enormous account, he always made me feel invaluable.

Thinking back to our earlier discussion, I knew that his ability to make clients feel valuable was something that just came naturally to him. Neither I nor anyone else could have taught him this skill.

For the entire time I knew your dad, he never failed to deliver on any of my requests (even those that were a bit unrealistic), and he helped me build my business along the way.

Jason Dorfman was a very giving and unselfish man. Your dad collected unsold frames from me and other optometrists, then distributed glasses to poor people in Mexico. When he came back, he went out of his way to make sure I knew I had helped by donating the eyewear.

And every time I asked him to get Kenmark Hush Puppies for my Rotary Club's fundraisers, he always came through. People who bought the dogs from our auctions still stop in to tell me how they've passed the dogs down from their children to their grandkids, who play with them.

You can be very proud of your dad. I can honestly say that not one sales call went by that he didn't ask about my family and tell me about you.

Your dad was a great rep, a credit to his profession and a true friend to optometry. He loved people and was loved by others. That's a pretty good bragging right for any man. 

Sincerely yours,
Dr. Rob Gerowitz

DO YOU HAVE A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? CONTACT KAREN RODEMICH AT (215) 643-8135 OR RODEMICHKF@BOUCHER1.COM TO TALK ABOUT GETTING YOUR STORY PUBLISHED.

 


Optometric Management, Issue: January 2002