Insights From Our Editors

4-Step Formula for Getting Your Patients to Make a Purchase

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

June 8, 2022

Maintaining a high eyewear capture rate is important both to patient satisfaction and practice profitability. Here are four steps to implement in your office to make it much more likely patients make a purchase.

Once you decide what services and products you are going to sell in your practice, you need to focus on how you are going to help your patients purchase the product. The least effective method is to just wait until a patient asks for something. The problem with this approach is that we all have had patients say to us: “I didn’t know you could examine an infant” or “I didn’t know that someone my age could wear contact lenses.”

We often assume that patients know more than they do. So, let’s consider a more active approach.
Don’t try to jam everything into one message. Pick one thing. Let’s choose for this article smart glasses. Here’s a 7:37 minute video, “I Tried $600 Smart Glasses For A Week.” (This video is too long and should be cut down to less than three minutes.)

Here’s how to us this formula.

Awareness
It all starts with AWARENESS. Utilize all forms of media outside and inside the office to let people know what you can do. Print media, social media, the practice website, internal marketing within the practice… put the message everywhere. Vary the message so it stays interesting, but keep all messages targeted on smart glasses (or whatever your current message is). Your goal is to make people aware.

Consideration
After becoming aware of your message, you want people to come to the conclusion that what you’re promoting would work for them. Stories are the best way to make this step happen. In the exam room the doctor can say, “I have patients just like you who found smart glasses work great for them. If it works for them, it will work great for you too.” Don’t limit this message to just the exam room. Make sure you put it everywhere (you can include this message in your awareness marketing. “Have you heard about smart glasses? Here is what they can do. This is Robin. She had problems with ____. Smart glasses solved the problem for her and made her life better. If they worked for her, they will work for you too!”

Overcoming Objections
There are only a finite number of objections people are going to raise as excuses for not purchasing. Here are the three most common:

1. I can’t afford to purchase this.
2. I know someone who tried this and it didn’t work for them.
3. I don’t like the frame selection.

You should already have answers for these objections because they are the exact same ones that are going to be raised for almost all of the services and products you offer. Train your team on how to handle all of them. If your team is finding that the answers you are using are not working, then change your answers until you find what works in your practice.

Keep a list of objections and answers and review them at office meetings, so your team is always on top of what is happening in your office.

Purchase
Is it easy to purchase care and products in your office? We don’t want you to become the patients’ banker, but we do want to make it easy for patients to purchase. We never want you to tell patients they can put half down and pay the rest when they pick it up, but we do want you to utilize services offered by other companies such as CareCredit and Sunbit. You do eyecare and let a bank be the bank.

In today’s world there are more ways to pay than just cash, check or credit card. How many of these additional ways do you utilize in your office?

Action Plan
The primary goal of everything you do in the office is to improve patients’ lives. If we come to you for care and you didn’t tell us about something that would improve our lives and we had to hear it from someone outside your office, where do you think we are going to go for our eyecare next time?

Take control of the services and products you provide to patients. Think of it like a systems issue. From start to finish, how does my team present those things that improve our patients’ lives in the most effective and most efficient way?

Take this week and review how this occurs in your office.

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