Conquer New Sales – Arm Yourself with Product Knowledge and Skills

By Julie Bos
In the battle for higher sales, every strategic advantage counts — and ongoing training can be a key weapon in your arsenal. Yet all too often, potential benefits from training are lost because training opportunities are overlooked, under-promoted or simply not on your radar. This problem, while common, can stunt your lab’s potential for growth.

To succeed, your team needs to arm itself with more than just product knowledge. It also needs guidance on creating product “pull-through” and generating ongoing demand from ECPs. Therefore, the best kind of training teaches how to effectively describe, promote and maximize product utilization by ECPs. Fortunately, your lab doesn’t have to face this struggle alone.

We’ve compiled a list of current training opportunities from many of today’s top manufacturers — all in one convenient place. Simply contact your manufacturer to take advantage of these programs and jump-start your strategy for higher profits today.

Essilor

If you participate in Essilor’s Independent Distribution Division (IDD) Advantage Plan distributor program, you can receive professional training that provides comprehensive, ongoing educational support that drives significant, long-term success. Advantage Plan Learning, which is a component of Advantage Plan, is comprised of three levels:

•Level One: KNOWLEDGE–Lab sales representatives learn about key product categories, specific details about Essilor products and those of the competition, the latest market data, trends and research, and much more. Courses are also available online, 24/7. Each course offers four to seven lessons, with each course taking from 45 to 90 minutes to complete.

• Level Two: SKILLS – At this level, the Advantage Plan Lab Pro learns to translate knowledge into sales and customer relationship skills, for higher profits and more effective partnerships with ECPs.

• Level Three: APPLY – At this level, your sales representatives are certified to share their wealth of knowledge with others, including ECPs, peers and industry groups.

After completing Advantage Plan Learning training, laboratory sales representatives become Certified Advantage Plan Lab Pros. For a complete listing of all modules available, please visit the Advantage Plan Learning Web site at www.essilorlenses.com/advantagelearning. Additional training offerings from Essilor through Advantage Plan include: Essilor Laboratory University Eligible laboratory technicians can attend this three-day program, which includes 13 hours of classroom instruction, plus a visit to Essilor’s R&D laboratory for a demonstration of the principles covered in class.

ECP Seminars/Events

Essilor will provide support for laboratory-specific ECP seminars and events. Please contact your IDD sales or marketing manager to discuss your options.

Executive Education

Advantage Plan laboratory principals and key managers are eligible to attend MBA-level business classes at the annual National Sales Meeting and annual Advantage Plan laboratory meeting.

Computer Vision and Computer Lenses Essilor offers 30- and 60-minute seminars detailing PRIO and other computer lens functionality, benefits of Near Variable Focus (NVF) lens options and use of Shazam Lens Calculating software. The seminars may be delivered either via Web or telephone. To register, please contact Lisa Hunt at (503) 574-4801 or via e-mail at lhunt@essilorusa.com.

Gerber Coburn

Lens Process Training

This program is designed to teach you how to get the most out of your lens processing equipment. The program is held at Gerber Coburn (South Windsor, Conn.), where a trainer will teach you and your employees how to:

•Familiarize yourself with lens processing

•Learn your equipment’s role in the lens processing system

•Determine the proper product software settings

•Demonstrate proper machine settings

•Minimize lens breakage

For scheduling and pricing information, please contact Matt Brown at (860) 871-4921 or via e-mail at matt.brown@gerberservice.com.

Hoya Vision Care

Sales Representatives

Hoya Technology Institute

This one-week intensive product, technology and sales training session is designed for new field sales reps and is held four times a year at the Hoya headquarters near Dallas. Hoyanet

This Web site has two components: One is a password-protected area with product information, ABO-approved presentations, access to ABO exam preparation and continuing education content for Hoya reps. The second component allows Hoya customers to order product literature and customized point-of-sale materials.

Manager Mentoring

Regional sales managers regularly travel with the territory managers to provide advanced sales and product training. Customer Service Representatives

ServiceSkills Online Training Take advantage of an online training program with a library of 20-plus modules, ranging from telephone etiquette to customer relations skills.

Webinars

Learn about new product launches and product line extensions through Webinars that are each offered live three times, then placed in archives on the company intranet.

Sales Rep Mentoring

Regular communication is encouraged and monitored between territory managers and lab CSRs to promote product knowledge and strengthen customer service. KBco

Sales reps, customer service reps, surfacing and finishing staff can all partake in training on KBco’s Wrap Solutions polarized lenses. Technical training is conducted on site, while customer service and sales training can both be conducted via Webinars.

Plus, the company offers sales collateral to help your lab promote the fact that it can process wrap frame prescriptions while simultaneously providing great optics. Learn more at www.kbco.net.

Satisloh

Satisloh Academy is conducted at the North American headquarters in Germantown, Wis. The facility is equipped with the machines attendees will train on. The Academy provides basic operation and advanced maintenance training courses. Satisloh also offers customized on-site operational, maintenance, and process training. All Satisloh trainers are from the optical industry and have advanced training from Satisloh’s manufacturing and engineering facilities in Italy and Germany.

Signet Armorlite

Signet Armorlite offers 10 one-hour ABO seminars to groups of 10 or more attendees—either in your office or at scheduled events around the country. Seminar topics include:

•Design, Build, Elevate (Tiered Pricing, Cross-Selling, Up-Selling)

•Technical Superiority (Backside Progressives)

•Selecting Premium Progressives 2008

•The Polarized Sunwear Advantage (Polarized Lenses)

•Fast, Faster, Fastest (Multi-Matrix Technology and Advances in Photochromic Lens Technology)

•A Purchase They Can Live With (Building Consumer Confidence and Satisfaction Before,During and After the Sale)

•Majority Appeal (Aspheric SV and FT)

•More Power to You, Leveraging Brand Named Locally (Advertising)

•That’s Too Much! (Overcoming Price Objections)

•Gaining Ground (How To Successfully Achieve Incremental Increases in PAL Revenue)

To ensure a speaker for your event, please contact your Signet Armorlite representative at least four weeks in advance.

In addition, Signet Armorlite hosts smaller, regional training events that are designed for both your lab staff and your key clients. Plus, the company sponsors COPE-approved lecture panels at most major vision shows. To review the schedule and locations of these events, please visit www.signetarmorlite.com.

For more information, call Signet Armorlite customer service at (800) 950-5367, or to schedule a seminar, please contact your local Signet Armorlite representative.

Specialty Lens Corp

Webinars/On-site Training For customer service and sales representatives, Specialty Lens offers both Webinars and on-site training for its iRx Polaroid line of polarized lenses and Melanin True product line.

The iRx trainings provide an overview of the iRx Polaroid line offering detailed information about the unique polarized lens designs, materials and colors, as well as previewing upcoming product launches. The Webinar is about 20 minutes long and can be scheduled at your lab’s convenience. To schedule a seminar, please contact Eric Lindquist at (800) 366-1382 or via e-mail at sales@specialtylens.com.

Transitions Optical

Online Courses

Transitions Optical offers continuing education opportunities that you can share with your eyecare professional customers. Encourage them to visit Transitions.com/education and enter code TE-LTK2008 for a free CE credit. Available courses include:

•Dispensing to Your Hispanic Patients ABO); available in English and Spanish

•Healthy Sight Counseling (ABO,COPE)

•Health Sight Counseling for Children (ABO)

•I Can See Clearly Now (ABO)

•Photochromics: The History and Technology (ABO)

•Telling the Best Story (ABO, COPE)

•Transitions VI – Advanced Performance for Healthy Sight (ABO)

STAR Lab Learn & Earn Program

Transitions Optical is teaming up with its STAR Lab partners to help bring educational resources to eyecare professionals, while rewarding the lab representatives who offer the courses. For more information, contact your Transitions STAR Lab representative or call Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506.

Vision-Ease

Vision-Ease strives to provide the latest information that’s relevant in today’s changing lens market. Therefore, the company provides numerous training opportunities that include written CE courses, online training, field training and regional training events. In addition, many of its sales consultants are ABO certified, and can provide continuing education credits.

The company offers a wide array of courses that include technical information on lenses, selling skills and health-related issues.

Younger Optics

Younger Optics provides labs with face-to-face sales training on the following premium lens products:

•NuPolar polarized lenses

•Trilogy lenses from Trivex

•Drivewear lenses

•IMAGE progressives

Younger Optics wholesale managers can also provide tips for on-site laboratory customer service departments and sales representatives on how to sell these premium lens products. They can also supply your team with no-cost point-of-sale displays, brochures and highly effective tools that can be distributed to ECPs. To take advantage of these opportunities, please contact the Younger Optics representatives through www.youngeroptics.com or contact Johann van Zyl, director of sales – Americas, via e-mail at jvanzyl@youngeroptics.com.

CURRENT ISSUE


August/September LabTalk 2017