Sunglasses market represents a growing sector


There is a lot of talk about the sunglasses segment of the ophthalmic marketplace, enough to warrant your consideration as a dispensing ophthalmologist.

There is a lot of talk these days about the sunglasses segment of the ophthalmic marketplace, enough to warrant your consideration as a dispensing ophthalmologist. Here are some facts to consider:

Truth be told, I have had a career-long bias against placing much emphasis on sunglass sales. My bias was formed by the number of problems selling sunglasses presents for retailers. Some of these are:

Product knowledge. A thorough knowledge of products is king in the sunglass world. You will need to know what lenses and frames are available and what those lenses and frames can (and can't) do.

Match the right eyewear with the activity. Learn about the eyewear that is appropriate for various types of outdoor activities. What will work for a cyclist will not work for a shooter, a golfer, or someone who spends a lot of time on the water.

Follow trends. Sunglasses styles are trendy and customer choices are influenced by these trends. You'll need to keep up with the latest lenses, styles, and fashions.

Sell benefits. Consumers don't buy sunglasses; they buy the benefits obtained from acquiring the right pair of sunglasses for the activity they participate in. To be successful, you will need to be able to translate the features and advantages of the lenses and frames into benefits for your customer. A good way to learn how to do this is to write out and rehearse scripts.

Conduct a thorough lifestyle interview. Lifestyle selling has been part of the optical professions for decades, yet most of the opticians I observe still do not use it. Without a thorough lifestyle interview you cannot hope to be successful selling one pair, let alone two pairs of eyeglasses.

Arthur De Gennaro is president of Arthur De Gennaro & Associates LLC, an ophthalmic practice management firm that specializes in optical dispensary issues. De Gennaro is the author of the book The Dispensing Ophthalmologist. He can be reached at 803/359-7887,
, or through the company's Web site,

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