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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A quick way to size up a dispensing practice

Posted on January 30, 2009
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The famous bank robber Willie Sutton was once asked why he robbed banks. His answer? “Because that’s where the money is.”

When you prospect for business with new or existing accounts, how do you know how much money is there?

Do you look at the décor or location to get a feel for the clientele? Or do you guess sales volume based on the frame board?

If you’ve been in the field for a few years, you’ve probably got good instincts.

But here is a simple tool that will help even the savviest sales rep do a better job of estimating the revenue of a given practice, and by extension how much business they can do with your company. Read More

Dealing with the recession: What happens to your customers’ profits when gross income declines?

Posted on January 23, 2009
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The goal of my blog today is to help you understand how your accounts’ profits could be impacted if revenues decline in 2009.

For the record, I am not into doom and gloom. I prefer to focus on the opportunities we have for even greater success down the road. Still, we cannot ignore the reality that the US economy is in a recession. That affects your customers and their patients.

General retail sales for November - December of 2008 were down 2.2%. Total consumer spending dropped about 2% in the last half of 2008, the first time that has happened since 1991.

What does a recession mean to an OD’s practice?

I am hearing from suppliers and practice owners that things were going pretty well through September, and then revenues fell 5 to 10% in the fourth quarter after the stock market crashed.

Recessions come, recessions go. We can be sure that consumer confidence will rebound. The question is, how quickly?

In the meantime, let’s look at how your accounts are being affected from a profitability standpoint. Read More

A tale of three inventories

Posted on January 16, 2009
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Helping your accounts increase profits

Now is the best of times and the worst of times. A soft economy means some of your accounts may see a decline in practice revenue this year. It also means they will be more open to change than in boom times.

Whether you’re selling lab services or frame lines, your success is directly dependent on the success of your accounts’ optical dispensaries.

A great selling opportunity

We’ve all noticed that many optometrists aren’t systematic about how many frames they stock. That creates a great opportunity for you, if you know how to help an account stock and sell eyewear more cost-effectively.

In my opinion, your ability to present cost-saving strategies like the one that follows will set you apart as a consultative sales professional who has his customer’s best interest at heart. Read More

Use a script, or ad-lib it?

Posted on January 9, 2009
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When making sales presentations, many professional lab reps follow a script, which might be only a few words, a few sentences or a full start-to-finish pitch.

Many others don’t use a script, of any length, because: “It sounds canned… it’s not spontaneous… it makes me talk too fast… it’s impersonal… it’s inflexible… I can’t listen to the prospect… I get thrown off if I forget something… and it’s boring.” Read More