More Than Just A Rep: A Useful Resource

Before becoming a sales rep I remember thinking I would hate being a salesman, before becoming an optician I thought the same thing. Once I became an optician, I realized it wasn’t about selling, it was about building relationships and helping people find the right glasses for their needs. Being an eyewear rep is like that, but on a larger scale. There isn’t a huge difference between the two, however it can feel like they are worlds apart at times. One thing I love about being a rep is the flexible hours. This allows you to network with others and form partnerships to help optical spaces thrive. I hope to break down the barriers between opticians and sales reps, obviously not all are the same. My goal is to be an asset to every office I come in contact with whether they sell my product or not. Basically, this will be a practical guide for all reps and opticians to get stronger together.


The first key thing to maintaining a good office/rep relationship is to have open communication and know the preferred type of communication. Do you prefer email? Text? A call? If a representative calls and leaves you a voicemail, will you listen to it? If they don’t have to contact you with certain questions, who should they ask? In general, all offices should establish their preferred contact method so that all parties can get their questions answered, saving time for all parties. Some offices want to contact the representative directly to place orders, while others want to do it themselves; Make sure your office has the resources it needs to complete the task. B2B websites are great for opticians when it comes to showing patients different frame options and colors. Please take the time to get help setting up your account so you can access and use this valuable resource. 

Social Media 

Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok are some of the platforms offices can use for free to market their business. I see many offices and there are so many that lack in their marketing strategies. Many people spend a lot of time on their mobile devices and when looking for an eye clinic, they are more likely to schedule an appointment with a clinic using a social media platform. I’m not saying you should create an account for every network, but Facebook and Instagram are a great start – you can even link them together to save time. If you don’t know how to get started or what to post, there are free content calendars you can use to get inspired. Representatives can also provide offices with social media content for easy posting. Working in a busy eye clinic, no one has time to deal with social media. This could be a plus for a rep to help promote your product and help maintain marketing for an office. I took time out of my day to go to the office and teach employees how to use social media. We set up your username and passwords and help you create an engaging bio for your practice. One of my favorite things to do in offices is create a QR code that patients can scan when they enter the office. They can follow the office online and tag them when they post photos, wearing the glasses they bought there.

Trunk Shows

The most FUN way to be an asset as a retailer / optician is to organize a trunk show. If you’ve never had a trunk show, I highly recommend it. It comes with little to no effort for your office and staff. Bringing good energy and increased selection to your patients throughout the day can help your practice thrive. Trunk shows engage patients and create an experience they will remember. The best day to schedule a trunk show is on a day that your schedule is full. You will have the rep there to help support the busy-ness with great customer service. I like to call myself an independent optician, but frames and lenses go hand in hand and being an optician has really helped sustain me in this eyewear rep venture. Not all reps have this advantage –  if you don’t build a good relationship with your rep, you may never learn all the skills and resources they could bring you. Which brings me to my next thought on how to interact with your rep… 


One of the best ways to be an asset is to help offices find training. In today’s working climate there is a lot of turnover! There are tons of free resources you can share with new hires to help them better understand optics. UUniversity is my favorite because it contains things like insurance and customer service along with optical education. A great optician never stops learning and, if certified, you must keep up with those CE credits.

Going to local events is a great way to build relationships and become educated! In addition to optical training, as a sales representative you need to know everything about the product you are selling. Whether it’s eye drops, glasses, contact lenses, or cosmetic products, if you don’t teach your accounts how to sell the product, you’ve done them a disservice. Something important could be missing, or worse… Many reps only turn to opticians or sales managers, when it’s always a good idea to get everyone involved. You never know if the front desk might need to step in to help a patient.

New Ideas 

As a rep, I travel from office to office, which is always an opportunity for me to help spread knowledge and ideas that others may not have thought of. Some of my favorite eye-catchers for offices: 

  • I recommend having some of the latest technology in the offices for measuring segment heights, pupil-to-vertex distances, and more, but also stick to the basics. Patients love the new technology and it makes for a great and exciting experience.
  • Photo opportunity for patients to take pictures in your office! Whether it’s wings on a wall to stand in front of or a really cool mural on the outside of the building. Create something unique that’s fun and grabs the attention of your patients!
  • Optical spaces that have aesthetically pleasing organizational processes to help daily business run smoothly. I’ve seen many offices, many processes, and I’m full of tips and tricks if you’re interested.

Optical Associations 

I love going to offices and sharing information about the Optical Women’s Association and the State Opticians Associations. Many people wonder what perks these associations offer, and I’m happy to tell you that most often they offer discounts on educational and networking events. The Optical Women’s Association is my favorite, because of the educational blogs and I love listening to their podcasts while I travel. Their Instagram is inspiring and the networking opportunities are amazing. When we have our Fireside Chats, it’s literally a melting pot full of women who inspire and encourage each other to keep growing, and I’m sure you know that’s very rare to find! I was hesitant to join at first, but have made many new connections and have enjoyed everything it has to offer. 

Take advantage of your resources and call your rep. See what some of your favorite eyewear reps have to offer. You want your office to be memorable and distinguished, and your rep wants the office to thrive as much as you do. Use the resources your representatives can provide. Invest in your office and it will grow!

Jesse Anderson, ABOCArticle written by Jesse Anderson, ABOC, field sales rep for Catch London

Find her here: Instagram | LinkedIn


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