By Mark Hinton
Now is the time to show patients how to protect their eyes from the damaging effects of winter sunlight. These 15 tips will get your staff on target with a successful winter sunwear sales strategy.
Many ODs only actively market sunwear in the spring and summer, assuming patients will only be receptive to purchasing sunwear in the months known for heat and sunburns. But by offering promotions like gift certificates for sunwear and posting educational information on your web site, Facebook and other social media pages you can encourage patients to invest in new sunglasses, regardless of the time of year.
Here are 15 proactive strategies that will help you sell sunwear all year long:
1. Brown and lighter tint polarized lenses are ideal for your “winter sun campaign to protect and rescue” your patient’s sight.
2. Use Facebook and Twitter and your web site to inform and advise not only about the need to protect eyes from the sun during the winter but of special sunwear sales at your optical.
3. Develop a time-bound gift certificate to patients who do not purchase plano or Rx sunglasses the day of their office visit.
4. Opticians: When you provide the time-bound gift certificate, express that the savings is a laboratory promotion and that your other patients appreciate a courtesy reminder before expiration, because when it expires, it’s gone! So, you’ll do the same for them.
5. Make the gift certificate valid for up to 30 days. Ask your lab to provide 50 percent off the same Rx for up to 45 days. This gives your patient a chance to recoup from their first pair.
6. Offer CareCredit where it may save a sale, today.
7. Develop a sun effect fact sheet for a tangible takeaway and hand it to your patient with the gift certificate, or e-mail to your patient, with an explanation of the importance.
8. Opticians: Do not ask if the patient would be interested in sunglasses. Ask if winter sun eye damage information would be beneficial for their consideration.
9. The US consumes approximately 80 percent gray color sunglass lenses, while Europe is approximately 80 percent brown consumption. Brown blocks blue wavelength light and provides higher contrast sharpness to bleak winter days. Brown will make people “feel” better in bleak winter months.
10. Opticians: pick up brown and other lighter color polarized lenses for your patient and simply hand to them and say “test drive this!” “You’re about to be amazed.”
11. AR will reduce the back surface reflections on sunglass lenses that accounts for roughly 30 percent of sunglass lens surface reflections responsible for “bounce back” off the back of the lenses and reflected into the eyes.
12. Opticians: You must have a plano sun line you can retail for $99 and sell for $49.50 (you mark the sunglasses at $99, but make the patient feel they are getting a deal by marking down to $49.50) to your contact lenses patients (whether they buy a yearly supply or not). They’re going to buy sunglasses somewhere, within about 72 hours, and you’ll want to incentivize them to buy from you. Jobson research indicates that contact lens wearers want to spend less than $50 for their first pair of plano sunglasses. When you sell them the first pair, you may sell them up to your premium sun, but you reduce the opportunity when they don’t have “choice.”
13. When patients buy from you, their buying habit is established first with you. It’s far more difficult to re-establish their buying habit.
14. Transitions has excellent polarized products, NEOX, SolFx
15. Practice winter sunwear sales conversations at your weekly team meeting.
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Mark Hinton is a facilitator, product knowledge expert and dialog coach with eYeFacilitate Inc. You may reach out to Mark with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org