Foresight: Selling multiple pairs

August 15, 2010

The dilemma of selling multiple pairs of eyewear to our patients is that we may actually be sabotaging this effort ourselves.

The dilemma of selling multiple pairs of eyewear to our patients is that we actually may be sabotaging this effort ourselves. There is no silver bullet or magic wand that will increase multiple-pair sales.

The mindset that one pair of glasses "does it all" is the biggest obstacle to sales of multiple pairs. Positioning options to your patients will increase patient satisfaction by providing them with premium vision solutions for all of the ways they use their eyes-for work and recreation.

According to results from The Vision Council Benchmarking Survey, there is a tremendous opportunity for offering and selling multiple pairs of glasses to your patients.

Steps to selling multiple pairs

1 Instill the multiple-pair mindset early and often.

At check–in. Utilize a lifestyle assessment form that can help you identify the variety of ways your patients use their eyes and any issues or challenges they may have.

Two key questions that can assist you in crafting the appropriate solutions are:

During the exam. The physician should make verbal recommendations based on the visual needs of the patient and any issues, concerns, or history that require specific solutions. Utilizing the lifestyle or needs assessment and exam findings, write multiple prescriptions (i.e., prescriptions for dress, computer, sun, and sport/safety eyeglasses).

During eyewear selection. Review and restate the physician's recommendations. For example: "Mrs. Smith, based on your exam and what the doctor recommends, we should be able to meet all of your eye-care needs with a few pairs of glasses."

Always refer back (using the lifestyle assessment and notes from the exam) to what patients said was important to them.

2 Provide purchase options.

Consider creating discounts for sales of multiple pairs. Try offering a 20% discount on all additional purchases made at the time of the exam or a $50 gift certificate toward the purchase of sunglasses.

To make big ticket purchases more manageable, provide payment options. Consider financing tools (such as CareCredit) or extended payment plans.

Skills for business strategy

The best way to incorporate this concept of needs-based dispensing into your business strategy is practice, training, and brainstorming.

Here are a few recommended courses that you can attend at International Vision Expo West, Oct. 6 to 9 in Las Vegas, to strengthen your skills in this area:

Rene D. Soltis, FNAO, is senior director of meetings and education for The Vision Council, Alexandria, VA. With more than 34 years of experience as a dispensing optician, Soltis also serves as a liaison to the conference advisory board of International Vision Expo.