Do’s and Don’ts for Industry Vendors in Optometry

“With the number of women Optometrists on the rise, traditional methods of direct-to-doctor dealings may require some updating,” states Lauretta Justin, OD, the founder of Optometry Divas. 

For the most part, our members are reasonably satisfied with their experiences with industry reps visiting their practices. However, there were some shocking errors made by both male and female sales reps; some of which were inappropriate and detrimental for dealing with the rapidly increasing body of women ODs.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you, our vendor partners build win win relationships with our doctors:

Do not:

– Be Inappropriate

Unless informed otherwise, don’t call female Doctors by their first names and try to become their buddy! Female reps are especially guilty of trying to become best-friends. Some male reps have even commented on how young the doctor looks or remarked on the female doctor’s appearance. An absolute no-no!

– Be Aggressive

No matter how enthusiastic you might be about the product; be aware of coming across as pushy. One member described being addressed, “OK, woman” in front of her staff. Another describes a rep making multiple appointments to discuss new information, leading to a complete ban from the office. 

– Assume

Don’t assume that the female doctor is NOT the owner or a partner in the practice. Do your homework before your appointment. Many female doctors now have male employees. If you’re not sure who’s the decision maker, just ask.


– Build Relationships

– Concentrate on building a relationship of trust and integrity with all doctors, male and female. Take the time to get to know the doctors as people first before you talk about your products. Find out their pain points and genuinely offer your help and support. Talk less and listen more.

– Be courteous

– Be professional and courteous at all times and always make an appointment. During patient care times, most doctors are focused on providing the best care possible to their patients. Interrupting their day unannounced is not very courteous. It interrupts their flow. Instead, be professional and make an appointment. In return, you will get the doctors and staff’s undivided attention. A win win!

– Be Supportive

– Be creative in your approach, think of unique, efficient and effective ways of communicating with the female doctor. Offer to train staff. Offer to host and speak at patient events. Show the doctors that your are dedicated to their success not just your sale.  

Our goal is to empower, connect and promote your success. We hope these tips will help you build a win win relationship with our doctors. 

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