Learning from the Girl Guides

This is the time of year when Girl Guides march the streets selling their cookies. If you bought a box, you participated in one of the most effective sales campaigns in North America and one that I believe optometry practices can learn from.

Girl Guides sell 5.5 million boxes of cookies in Canada each year because, along with having cute little sales people, they make their product easily accessible. Girl Guides don’t send you a postcard, letter or an email asking you to contact them to place an order; rather, they reach out to you so that all you have to do is say “yes”.

The best way for an optometry practice to keep its schedule full is to make booking an appointment as easy as buying a box of Girl Guide cookies. To do so, a practice can’t simply send their patients mail-outs reminding them they’re due for an exam, because this puts the onus on the patient to contact the clinic. Instead, an optometry practice needs to call the patient directly so that the patient no longer has to take the initiative to make the booking.

Patients are busy people. To maximize your appointments and sales, thus increasing your revenue, your practice may need to take a leaf out of the Girl Guide manual.