By ROB Editors
Offering your patients ready-made lens packages simplifies the often confusing lens presentation process.
In the past, lens presentation involved presenting add-ons, each with its own price. Today, savvy dispensers present patients with complete lens packages, bundled into categories of good, better and best, or standard, customized and individualized. These packages incorporate multiple lens treatments into neat sales packages with uncomplicated pricing.
Lens Presentation Tips
Your patients respect your role as doctor. Use that respect to put them in the best eyeglasses lenses to improve their vision, believes Eric White, OD, Complete Family Vision Care, San Diego, Calif. He recommends:
Hand-off and re-explain.
“Listen to your patients and prescribe from the exam chair, then when youwalk them out andhand off to your staff, re-explain what they need and why, and then have the staff re- communicate a third time the reasons and the benefits of getting whatyou recommended.”
Price in the ballpark.
“On pricing for multi-treatment ophthalmic lenses, talk to your labs to find out what other doctors in your geographic area are charging. Be in the ballpark, but not the highest, and definitely not the cheapest. I like to be in about the 80th percentile.”
“Don’t prejudge someone.Also, offer something for everyone including patients that want to go to Costco/Walmart. Have a value plan that might be a little more than the discounters but still have the high value and quality that you have in your office, but at a value amount.”
Present Multi-Treated Lens as Needs-Based Solution
Essilor promotes what they call the Needs Based Solution when presenting lens features. They recommend that the dispenser present a multi-treatment lens (incorporating no-glare, high-index, photochromatic and polarization)that includes everythingthe patient needs.”We teach the optician/dispenser tohave a conversation with the patient that disarms the patient at the dispensing table,” says Ellen Haag, national sales director of AR Business Consultants at Essilor. This initial conversation, she notes, uncovers needs that allow the dispenser to prescribe complete lens solutions as “one lens” that best meets the patient’s specific visual needs.
Haag further recommends that, once the dispenser presents lens benefits, they should deliver price inthree steps (retail cost, patient contribution or co-pay, and savings. The vendor trains optical staffs to sellone best, multi-treatedlens for each patient.
Haag says that the Needs Based Solution method, as taught by Essilor reps to optical staffs,produces tangible results: “Our average practice increases AR from, on average, 32 percentto about 80 percentand other categories, of course, also increase as a result.We use a premium and value model, simplifying product offering and use tools that ‘speak human’ to the patient so that they clearly understand the solution that has been prescribed for them. This is done in print and conversation in a way that is easily understood by someone outside of our industry. This ultimately makes price a much less integral part of the conversation or process.”
Prescribe in Exam Lane
Complete Family Vision Care
San Diego, Calif.
85 percent A/R
72 percent digital progressives
Eric White, OD, of Complete Vision Care, San Diego, Calif., believes that before the patient leaves the exam lane, you need to present to them the lens, including all necessary treatments, that you feel is best for them. “II hand off to my staff and repeat everything I had gone over and why,” he says. “I’m the doctor, and if I recommend it, and explain why I am recommending it, the patient will see the benefit and be most likely to get it.”
Explain the benefits in the exam chair for a “higher-than-normal” multiple pair acceptance, says Dr. White. “We offer the extra percentage off andpatients see a benefit and will make the purchase. Even in today’s times, if the patient sees a benefit, they are more apt to find the funds to make the purchase,” he says. “Taking the time to listen to their needs and explain how we can help also makes them more loyal to the practice.”
Herb Price, OD
Family Eye Care
Patients per Year
2,500 to 3,000
800 to 1,000 frames
Bundle to Discount
Educate the patient about their visual needs to put them in the best lens for them, says Herb Price, OD, Family Eye Care, Logansport, Ind.”After you’ve shared with them the benefits of the product, they will decide whether they can afford it.” Just as you explain the benefits of a multi-treatment lens, you also should explain how what may seem like a high cost is broken down over time. If, for example, a multi-treatment lens costs $700, and the patient wears the lenses for a few years, the cost comes to less than two dollars a day. “Most patients will find a tremendous value to that,” says Dr. Price.