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Having had headaches for about a month, and after working out that it was happening when I looked at the screen, I thought I should see my optician. I had been using cheap reading glasses, 2.0, up to then.

If you’ve had your eyes tested, you will know the procedure. After all the checks, various lenses are positioned in front of each eye, in turn, until your prescription is reached. My prescription is 2.0 on the left eye and 2.25 on the right.

I made this choice. The optician “merely” provided the environment, the tools, the service to enable me, not him, to make a decision. Once we reached the optimum lenses, we alternated between my reading glasses and the prescription glasses. No doubt in my mind, the prescription glasses are what I need. In fact, what I must have… At no point was I told what I should have, it was easy for me to figure out.

The optician gave me the written prescription, and showed me out to reception to pay his bill, and to see if I wanted to have my lenses made up by their service, and did I want to purchase frames from them too? Absolutely right I did. I was in a very good mood.

My problem, or pain, was going to be addressed. I’d been dealt with very professionally. I hadn’t been “sold to.” I had made the choices.

Closing and Upsell
So now the receptionist explained the three different types of lenses; she didn’t tell me I needed the ones with the anti-glare coating, she just explained the various types and why I might select each one. If I used a computer for much of the day (I do; she didn’t know) then I should think about the anti-glare type.

Eventually I left the store very happy, having spent £600 on two frames with magnetic sunglasses over the top, and the top-of-the-range lenses because that’s what I decided I needed.

What can we learn from this?
To me, it was the perfect sales process. An expert who quickly established a position as a trusted adviser. No hard sell — in fact I made all the decisions. Once this trust was established, what we might regard as an upsell was easy.

Perhaps the optician is in an enviable position. I wasn’t "kicking tires." I had pain, in the literal sense as well as the MEDDIC sense. But the process followed advice, trust and explanation, allowing me control, which, in my view, are all elements that translate well to many sales environments.

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About Paul Turner

Paul is VP Benelux and Nordics at NewVoiceMedia.

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