IN THE new year, focus on improving contact lens sales. One way to do so is to increase annual supply sales. While this is often discussed, it can be a struggle to achieve without planning.
1 CREATE STAFF BUY IN
There are many advantages to our patients ordering their contact lens annual supplies through our offices, such as rebate opportunities you pass to the consumer and convenience. Conduct a brainstorming session at a staff meeting to identify all of them. Write them down — and discuss them — to make sure everyone knows what they are and why this is a focus in your practice.
In addition, discuss why patients should order their annual supply up front so staff may clearly communicate this to patients, when asked. For example, if they order their contact lenses through your office, they have someone to contact in the event that there is a prescription change or the product is defective.
2 DEVELOP A SCRIPT
Whether you see the patient for a follow-up exam or finalize the contact lens prescription at the exam’s end, have your script ready to go. Make the script unique, and be sure to conclude with why the patient should order his lenses through your practice.
I have found that a script with the following components is successful:
- The patient’s visual concerns
- The exam results
- Your recommendation
For example, “Mrs. Smith, you were looking to improve your distance vision and end-of-the-day comfort. Your exam results revealed a small prescription change in the distance and you have minor dry eyes causing your end of day discomfort. This lens has been shown to improve both, and I’m going to finalize your contact lens prescription. You are authorized to order your annual supply of contact lenses. Our office has the max rebates, and we can apply any insurance benefits to your purchase.”
3 CREATE FOLLOW THROUGH WITH STAFF
Now that you have set the stage, optical staff should be trained for a quick and efficient patient hand off that continues with the benefits of ordering an annual supply of lenses from your practice
Take our example: “Mrs. Smith, your doctor has finalized your contact lens prescription. After your insurance benefits, your annual supply of contact lenses are $xxx. I am including a manufacturer rebate for $xxx, and your lenses will arrive at your house in the next four to five business days.”
Once you’ve begun using the above three steps, track your annual supply sales percentage on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Set a goal for incremental growth to help achieve your annual goal. If your current annual supply sales are stuck at 25%, for example, consider reaching for 35% to 40% the first half of the year, then higher after that goal is reached. OM