Turning optical shoppers into buyers: The power of the demonstration

August 1, 2014

In the demonstration, the optician recommends and demonstrates eyewear products that will enhance the customer's visual lifestyle and appearance. The customer is educated and has the opportunity, whenever possible, of experiencing the recommended product.

Take home

In the demonstration, the optician recommends and demonstrates eyewear products that will enhance the customer’s visual lifestyle and appearance. The customer is educated and has the opportunity, whenever possible, of experiencing the recommended product.

 

Dispensing Solutions By Arthur De Gennaro

One of the biggest mistakes an optician makes, as a seller, is to begin to show products to a shopper very soon after one enters the dispensary. This is understandable, because the shopper is generally focused on the frames and wants to try them on as early as possible.

As I’ve said in the past, it is a mistake to use this selling approach, because: When an expressed need, want, or desire is matched with a beneficial product, the likelihood that the shopper will buy greatly increases.

In a successful eyewear demonstration, the optician not only shows a product to a customer but also explains the benefit of owning the product. When a shopper understands the benefits of a product, then the desire to own that product will increase, often dramatically. (Image courtesy of Getty Images/OJO Images/Chris Ryan)

The trick is to get the shopper to express his or her needs. This was precisely what the optician did in the Interview portion of the sales presentation. Armed with the how, when, where, and why information the optician uncovered, he or she can now confidently begin to recommend products that the customer is likely to consider seriously. The consideration will be serious because the customer will clearly see that he or she will obtain one or more benefits by purchasing the recommended product(s).

 

NEXT: The power of the need/benefit nexus

 

Power of the need/benefit nexus

This need/benefit nexus should not be underestimated. When a shopper understands the benefits of a product, then the desire to own that product will increase, often dramatically. The successful optician knows that desire is powerful. In fact, when the shopper’s desire to purchase the recommended product increases to a certain point, the shopper will become a buyer.

How can the optician increase desire? Simple. Think of the shopper’s mind as a balance scale. The item being weighed is the perceived value of the purchase-what one gets for what one pays. On one side of the scale is the shopper’s desire not to spend money unnecessarily, and on the other side, the benefits of owning the recommended product(s).

The successful optician, therefore, does not just show a product to a shopper, but explains the benefit of owning the product. Shoppers don’t purchase products. They purchase the benefits of owning those products.

So, instead of offering a pair of sunglasses to a shopper, the optician might say, “Mr. Arthur, because you told me you are a sailor, I suggest you get a pair of Polaroid sunglasses. They will eliminate the dazzling glare you told me about, which will make your time on the water more comfortable and enjoyable.”

Further reading: Why the interview is vital to optical sales

The point is that Mr. Arthur is not looking to purchase sunglasses. He is looking to have a visually comfortable and enjoyable day on the water, and for what he eventually will plunk down his hard-earned money.

Mr. Arthur may also be status-conscious and, therefore, more willing to consider high-performance, luxury, or status brands. What the optician says when presenting the product will either resonate with this individual’s self-image or it won’t.

 

NEXT: Seeing the benefits

 

Seeing the benefits

Telling a patient that an aspheric lens provides better vision is one thing. Saying the difference in vision is similar to the difference between regular television and high-definition television is another thing. Demonstrating the actual difference in the quality of the two images is another thing entirely.

For this demonstration, I like to allow the shopper to hold a conventional lens and an aspheric lens over an Amsler grid. He or she can see the difference in the quality of the images directly. This helps remove doubt, which is the nemesis of any sale. Using the balance-scale analogy, the shopper can weigh the observable benefits of the purchase against the cost. If the value makes sense, the purchase will be made.

Demonstrating a frame is similar. In this case, however, the value to the patient not only has to do with the sturdiness and construction of the frame versus its cost (value), but also on the shopper’s acknowledgement that the frame enhances his or her appearance. Price no longer becomes an issue. Stated simply, the desire to look good is a very strong motive to buy.

The successful optician knows the rules of shape and color and how they apply to certain skin tones and facial shapes, and uses these rules when showing frames. They demonstrate them by explaining to the shopper how the recommended frame can enhance his or her appearance.

The demonstration ends when the optician asks the patient to make the purchase. This is known as the Close or Closing, and is the subject of the next article in this series.

 

Related Links:

Opening the dispensary sale

How 'shopable' is your dispensary?

 

 

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, arthur@adegennaro.com, or through the company’s Web site, www.adegennaro.com. He maintains a blog at www.adgablog.wordpress.com.