As we all know, the viral news of the day-week was the Essilor and Luxottica merger-buy-out. I don’t really think it came as a shock to most of us, as they both have been supporting each other for years. With Luxottica’s retail stores and Essilor online sales and lenses, it makes sense for them. Like any other ‘disruption’ it can serve as an opportunity for eye care professionals:
Mike Karlsrud of Karlsrud Company had a list of things that eyecare professionals can do NOW and over the next four years as Essilor-Luxilor- start assimilating their merger.
2.) Never attack them head-on. Instead steal their lukewarm customers.
3.) Be DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT in your market area.
4.) Compete on value, experience and intimacy, not price.
5.) Create an emotional bond with clients and vendors. (LOVE the one your with.)
6.) Get in there and have hands-on, emotional leadership. (Passion)
7.) Be a community star! Sell local, be local, own it.
8.) Create an incredible experience from the first call to the follow-up.
9.) Be design driven. Do everything by design. (I wrote a book entitled Selling by Design based on this concept.) Good design of processes, experiences and products will out perform mass retailers.
10.) Be a kick-butt employer of choice. Be cool, hip and a place where others want to be. This translates to patients wanting to be there too!
11.) Use the information you have to create intimacy. Patients should NOT be a yearly visitor to your office. Create a relationship.
12.) Use the power of social media to build a fan base of TESTIMONIALS. “Like’s” on FB is shit. Get people to say WHY they like you.
13.) Be innovative! Re-imagine the office experience and create one that someone would actually want to gleefully participate in.
14.) Get your brand off the wall and in the streets. Yes, market. There is too much competition for you to sit there with old idea that “If I build it they will come.” Guess who just built the largest optical company on the planet? Your patient is their patient, so get ready to defend what you have and play offense to keep even or grow.
15.) Focus on WOMEN. Women control 80% of the spending dollars in optical and often our shops look like…. well, shit. Build a retail environment that someone actually wants to shop in and spend money to support.
16.) Finally, INSIST on excellence. One patient, one experience, one day at a time, insist and PRACTICE excellence. Most offices I have been in are complacent. They “apply” the office process to the patient, they do not “invite” the patient to be part of the process. Review everything and be excellent in execution.
The merger between these two giants will not be felt on main street for a while. Take this time and sharpen your saw, reinvent yourself towards excellence, and if you think you are already there, you’re believing your own BS and you will be passed up shortly. We should ALWAYS be in pursuit of excellence.
Don’t wait to be great.
Hope this helps someone out there…