Article

CLINICAL: DIVERSIFY YOUR PORTFOLIO

SELL SUNWEAR

INCREASE SECOND PAIR SALES BY FOCUSING ON SUNGLASSES

WHEN WE hear the phrase “second-pair sales,” we usually think about a second pair of “regular” glasses. But considering the mainstream consumer value of sunwear, shouldn’t we broaden our second pair sights on these products as well?

Here, I discuss how your practice can start the sunwear conversation with patients.

HAVE TECHS ASK ABOUT SHADES

When one or more of your technicians are working up patients during the pre-testing portion of the exam, have them ask about the patient’s activities, especially those outside. Then, have your techs inquire about whether the patient has a pair of UV-protection sunglasses. Doing so plants the seed as to the importance of sunglasses. Everyone has heard about the potential dangers of UV to one’s skin, but many remain unaware of how UV light can affect the eyes.

DISCUSS IT CHAIRSIDE

Once the patient is in your chair, ask whether he or she is aware of the effect UV light has on the eyes. For example, does the patient know that UV light exposure to the naked eye may play a part in the development of cataracts and, possibly, AMD?

Many patients view sunglasses as a fashion accessory vs. an eye health-protecting product. As optometrists, we need to educate our patients that while sunglasses can make one look “cool,” or “chic,” this is not the reason behind them.

EDUCATE YOUR OPTICIANS

Ensure your opticians understand the different options for sunwear and can provide education/answer patient questions.

For example, several patients think that a dark lens is best when it comes to sun protection and decreasing glare. Oftentimes, however, polarized lenses are the best way to go, and patients “see” this when they try on a pair of polarized lenses and step outside a practice. Once patients recognize the benefit, your optician can discuss the benefits of AR coating, such as even more glare reduction and a pleasing outward appearance.

Another example: Many patients don’t realize that sun lenses can often be put into a frame of their choice vs. the frame the lenses are showcased in. By making patients aware of this, you can increase the likelihood of a sunwear sale.

And, of course, your opticians should be aware of the various clip-on sunwear products available.

ALL IN THE PRESENTATION

As is the case with most products, the presentation makes or breaks their success. By following the tips illustrated above, several patients will see the value of having a pair of sunglasses, and while protecting their eye health, you’ll be diversifying your second-pair optical sales. OM