Article

BUSINESS: MERCHANDISING

CAPTURE FRAME SALES

THE COMPETITION IS HOT, BUT YOU CAN STILL GROW OPTICAL SALES; HERE’S HOW

“DIVERSIFY.” “HAVE multiple areas of revenue.” “Grow your medical practice.” We’ve all heard these tips, and I do think the underlying message is legit and necessary: We need to prepare our practices for new challenges facing our industry, but I would be willing to bet a large portion, if not the majority, of practice income is still derived from optical sales. This area is the hottest for competition, though, so let’s review what you can do to continue to succeed in and grow your optical sales.

CAPITALIZE ON THE “GUT”

Recall that decision-making becomes easier for people when that decision has an emotional connection, allowing us to use our “gut” to finalize. How do we capitalize on this phenomenon in our optical?

I challenge my opticians to have a story with each frame, or frame line, or make some sort of connection to the consumer that resonates with him or her. This can apply across various demographics. For instance, we just brought in a new line made here in the U.S. that has specific craftsmanship details we can appreciate and discuss with adult patients, and each frame name has a story behind it.

When purchasing spectacles for a child, a parent needs to be educated on the durability of the frame, but also the stylish details that are attractive, making them feel safe, yet confident in the purchase. Better yet, my opticians have that emotional link as well, and nothing sells better than conviction and genuine belief in what you are offering.

Bring your frame reps in to train you and your staff on their frame line, and pay particular attention to those details that can create an emotional connection with consumers. Your online competitors will have a hard time building the same experience.

“WHAT DOES IT DO FOR ME?”

Now that you have that patient’s interest and a relationship starting to build with that frame, it’s important to highlight what that frame now does for the patient. Educating our patients on how the frame not only fits correctly and appropriately on their noses/ears/faces, but also how the lens design the doctor has prescribed will work beautifully in that style frame is the next step in securing our patient’s confidence.

When we showcase our professional knowledge and aptitude to marry a particular patient’s prescription/lens design to a frame they love, everyone benefits. The patient loves the style, and we are ensuring their prescription lens will work within that frame’s boundaries. Professional guidance is another area where many opticals and online competitors cannot compete.

BUILD ON THE TRUST

These simple steps are a no-cost way to capture sales. Patients placed their trust in your office for the exam; now build that trust for the optical. Invest time in role-playing conversations, training on key points of dialogue and bringing in your frame reps to ensure staff is excited and up-to-date on your frame “stories.” OM