Nathan Hayes

Nathan Hayes is the Manager of Business Development for Red Tray and Editor of

Reps are welcome to contact him at 404.934.3535 or to send him an e-mail if you have questions about how Red Tray can benefit your accounts or with general comments about selling to ECPs.

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Are You On Facebook? Your Customers Are.

Posted on March 31, 2010
Filed Under Opinion | 1 Comment

Facebook has 350,000,000 users.  350 Million people connect to one another on one website.

Based on that number, at least some of your customers are using it.  So here some quick questions I have for you:

Are you on Facebook?  LinkedIn? And now for the Optical Industry - SightNation?

If so, how do you use social networking to connect with your customers?

If not, why aren’t you?

I can’t promise that social networking sites will increase your sales.  But, they are a cheap and easy way to stay connected and strengthen your relationships with your customers and prospects.

By the way, if you’re on Facebook, friend me at

And don’t forget to share how you connect with your customers via social networking sites in the comments section below!

Can an independent, single OD practice gross over $1 Million?

Posted on August 21, 2009
Filed Under Articles, Opinion | Leave A Comment

Last week I discussed several ‘threats’ to independent optometrists.  This week, let’s take a look at just how successful.

Over at the Dr. Hayes Blog, there has been an ongoing discussion about how much a solo dispensing optometric practice can gross.  The original posts are here and here, but I’m going share the most recent post on the subject, where various ODs share their thoughts:

Dear Readers,

I ended my Aug 3 blog post by asking: “Assuming the demand is there, is it realistic for a solo OD to perform 16 ‘complete exams’ per day at an average of $307 per patient and in the process, gross $1.2M?”

Here is a sampling of the feedback I received from ODs across the country who both think it can be done, and are doing it themselves!

Jerry Read More

How are online retailers affecting independent optometrists?

Posted on August 6, 2009
Filed Under Opinion | Leave A Comment

What does the recent partnership between Essilor and mean for private optometrists?

It’s easy to see how optometrists’ livelihoods might be affected if consumers start ordering their glasses online.

However, we don’t see this as an immediate threat to dispensing optometrists.  Why not? Read More

10 things eye doctors don’t tell their patients?

Posted on July 22, 2009
Filed Under Justifying Lab Services, News, Opinion, Uncategorized | Leave A Comment

Smart Money recently published a must-read article for sales consultants and eyecare professionals: “10 Things Eye Doctors Won’t Tell You”. Some parts are

First of all, your accounts need to be able to respond to the negative parts of this article.   For example, the first topic suggests that Optometrists over-sell their abilities in comparison to Ophthalmologists.

Secondly, four sections that deal with glasses and lenses may actually help you and your accounts get patients into premium frames and lenses::

Drugstore readers may not be the answer.

Progressive lenses cause ’swim’, IF they aren’t ground and fitted properly.

Why chain stores don’t always offer ‘more for less’ on frames and lenses…

… And how spending extra on premium products and add-ons is worth it.

Read the entire article and use it to build your credentials as a consultant to your customers.

Additionally, give the four points I’ve highlighted to your accounts as tools to help them sell-through more premium products.

Please post any thoughts in the comments section or click here to send me an e-mail.

Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are for discussion purposes only and are NOT intended to serve as legal, accounting or investment advice. ©2009 Red Tray. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without written permission of the author.

VSP changes reimbursements to ODs, lab network

Posted on July 15, 2009
Filed Under News, Opinion | Leave A Comment

Vision Monday reported last week that VSP is making several changes to the program.  (Read the full article here.)

1. VSP has put in place “patient option cost controls”. In short, VSP is restricting certain options for patients, such as progressive lenses, A/R coatings.  Some exam and materials reimbursements to ODs are going to be lowered, as well.

2. VSP is cutting some of its contract labs. The labs being cut will affect less than 3% of the lab work ordered through VSP.

3. VSP is expanding the selection of approved contact lenses. Also, there is a new, tiered price list for new and re-fit contact lens patients. Read More

Be persistent in sales… but don’t be rude

Posted on July 10, 2009
Filed Under Opinion | Leave A Comment

I found an interesting blog post from The Optical Vision Site on Dealing with Aggressive Sales Reps.

The article answers a question from a new optometric practice: “How do I handle sales representatives in a polite way when they are getting too aggressive or sometimes even insulting…?”

I think its obvious that we all need to be courteous with our accounts and prospects.  That said, go ahead and read the article for some great thoughts from the ECP’s perspective on how to be a business partner with your accounts. Read More

Is price now the critical factor in ECPs’ purchasing decisions?

Posted on May 15, 2009
Filed Under Opinion | Leave A Comment

Has the price of lab services surpassed quality and customer service as the primary factor in ECPs’ purchasing decisions?

Given the current economic climate, it makes sense that optometric practices would  go through some belt-tightening with respect to their practice’s overhead and cost of goods.

But, does that mean there has been a fundamental shift in how doctors decide which ophthalmic labs to use?

Today, I am going to tell what we at Red Tray are hearing from ODs on this subject. At the end of this post, please share your thoughts in the comments section. Read More