Optometric Management Tip # 499   -   Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Your patients want to buy their contacts from your practice!

A few years ago, I realized that many of my patients were taking their prescription to buy their contact lenses elsewhere; either online or at mega-discount stores.  I asked my staff about it and they seemed quite aware of the situation.  “Oh yes, lots of people tell us they are going to buy their contacts online,” said one on my technicians.  “They feel terrible about it and apologize for it, but they point out that the lenses are the same quality and they are cheaper, so they don't have a choice.”

After hearing that, I decided to fight back.  After all, patients actually want to buy from us; they trust us, they like us and they think of us as their source for eye care.  They just need a little nudge ... a little reinforcement.

Reasons to buy from your office
I sat down and made a list of the reasons why patients should buy contact lenses from my office.  It turns out that I had some great reasons and you can as well:

Train your staff
Armed with the list above, have your staff members talk to patients if they show an interest in taking their contact lens Rx to go.  Print the list in the form of a handout that can be used as a tool in the office and then given to the patient.  With all those reasons, you should be able to retain 90% of your prescriptions.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management