By Jennifer Jabaley, OD
Sept. 26, 2018
Multiple-pair eyewear sales provide patients with all the eyewear you have prescribed, enhancing their lives. In the process, these multiple-product sales also help to build practice profitability.
The question is whether your practice is doing everything it can to make multiple-pair eyewear sales more likely. According to the Management and Business Academy, one-third of all eyeglass wearers reported using more than one pair of eyeglasses. Does that reflect your office? Would you say up to one-third of your patients have left your office with more than one pair of glasses? The above study found that if you increase second-pair sales to 15 percent of exam visits, practice revenues can soar 2 percent, even if discounts are utilized.
What are the key steps to building second-pair sales?
Receptionist Should Ask About Patients’ Eyewear
When confirming appointments, teach your staff to say, “When you come in for your appointment, please remember your insurance information, a list of medications and any glasses you are currently using, including reading glasses, computer glasses and sunglasses.” Even if the patient only uses a single pair of glasses, this statement will inform them about the availability of glasses for multiple uses.
Ask Your Technician to Identify Hobbies, Work Needs & Other Lifestyle Information
After your technician reads the prescriptions of the patient’s current glasses, have them begin a conversation about the patient’s home, work and hobbies. This dialogue opens the door for a discussion inside the exam room about specialty eyewear for distinct purposes.
In the Exam Room, Explain the Benefits of Multiple Pairs of Glasses
While optometrists know that different eyewear exists for different visual needs, patients may not. After looking at the work, lifestyle and hobby demands that your technician has identified for your patient, engage in a conversation about options available for each need.
Most optometrists automatically suggest computer glasses for work, or prescription sunglasses, but don’t forget other options such as Rec Specs for active kids and teens, glasses for musicians set at the distance to their sheet music, shooting glasses for hunters, polarized lenses for fishing, lake and other water activities and near glasses to be worn over contacts.
Most often a simple pair of glasses will not accommodate all the visual demands of an individual. It’s the doctor’s responsibility to educate the patient on every available option.
The Optical Staff Should Complete the Sale
Once the doctor has educated the patient on available options, the opticians can focus on how each recommendation will improve the quality of the patient’s life. If your practice is going to focus on increasing multiple-pair spectacle orders, it is the optician’s job to maintain a well-stocked optical. Identify popular frames and styles for your office demographic, and be sure to have plenty of options and a variety of colors available.
Get Creative in Promoting Multiple-Pair Purchases
Plano sunglasses are the most popular second pair of glasses, and yet most optometry offices do not have a large inventory of sunglasses, nor do they market or effectively promote this essential piece of eyewear. One radical idea, suggested during a marketing class at a conference, was to allow patients to take a pair of plano sunglasses home with them, free of charge, for one month.
If the patient decides they do not want to purchase the sunglasses, they simply return them to the office. If the patient does decide to purchase the plano sunwear, they keep the pair of glasses, and the practice charges their credit card after one month. The doctor who employed this technique claimed a 90 percent purchase rate on patients who agreed to take the sunglasses for the one-month trial.
Another creative idea to increase second-pair sales is to incorporate a charity into your marketing campaign. For example, if your office identifies a local charity, say your local pet rescue or food bank, or local school fundraiser, the office can advertise that if the patient brings in proof of a charitable donation for that organization, they will get a 50 percent discount on a second pair of glasses.
Offer Financial Incentives to Pique Patient Interest
There are a variety of different discount models to drive multiple-pair sales. Discounts on frames, lenses or lens treatments will appease the discount-minded consumer. You can also do seasonal discounts during the holidays or incentives for sunglasses during the spring and summer months.
You can offer discounts on Rec Specs at the start of the different school-sports seasons, like the football and basketball seasons. To make the economics of discounts work, discuss options with your lab. Many labs will offer discounts on second-pair products. Insurance companies may also offer discounts for multiple-pair purchases. Make sure your staff is aware of the options available for your patients.
Capturing multiple-pair spectacle sales is a great way to increase practice revenue while generating excitement for your patience. Even if the patient decides not to purchase multiple pairs on the day of their appointment, you’ve educated them about future options, and planted a seed of interest.
What strategies have worked best in your practice to increase multiple-pair sales?
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