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I'm often amazed at how many of my presbyopic patients only have one pair of
glasses. Don't any of these people watch TV? Do they really sit perfectly
straight up when doing so? All I can do is project my own experience as a
presbyope who enjoys wearing progressive lenses most of the time, but would
be lost without my single vision TV glasses. They are kept on the table next to
I'm proud to say, however, that I am rescuing many of these uninformed souls
from distorted vision and stiff necks, one patient at a time. I've made it my
professional quest. After all, that's what I do; help patients see clearly in a
variety of ways. When I take the time to talk to my patients about how they use
their eyes in everyday life, make recommendations about vision correction and
share some aspects of my personal life, I can tell people love it.
I'm not ashamed to say that dispensing multiple pairs of eyeglasses to the same
patient has a very positive effect on my practice bottom line. I have a huge
influence on the number of multiple eyeglass sales that occurs in my optical by
bringing it up in the exam room. While we have excellent opticians employed in
my practice, there is a certain authority that only the doctor has.
If the patient is a presbyope and wears progressives, I simply mention how most
people recline a little bit when watching TV and how that head posture brings
the near power of the lens quickly into view. Of course, one could pull the
glasses down the nose, but that's not the best arrangement for comfortable TV
viewing. First time progressive wearers appreciate the upfront advice while
veteran progressive wearers know exactly what I'm talking about and are happy
to have the problem acknowledged. I have the advantage of adding my own
experience and how I love switching to my TV glasses. That usually does it;
Special purpose eyeglasses
I find it's an advantage to refer to any special purpose Rx as "______" glasses
whenever possible. Putting the adjective in front of the word glasses gives a
certain credibility to the device. For example, my practice offers TV glasses,
golfing glasses, computer glasses, driving glasses, and jogging glasses, along
with the more traditional reading glasses, safety glasses and sun glasses. When
someone mentions an activity they love, like tennis, I respond with "Oh, you
really should have a pair of tennis glasses". I go on to describe the benefits the
patient would enjoy. We can all design a perfect lens to fit the need, once we
know the need.
Sure, the cost of buying two or three pairs of glasses at once causes many
people to pause, but it's so easy for my staff to process multiple pairs at the
same time that I help patients overcome the cost obstacle. There is no point in
trying to ignore the price issue when we all know it's on the patient's mind. It's
far better to acknowledge it and take the position that you wish to help with
TV glasses are generally single vision and therefore are one of the lowest priced
lenses available. Plain old CR-39 works perfectly. Since TV glasses are to be
worn at home and not out in social circles, this special purpose Rx could easily
be placed in the patient's old frame. And if you suggest that, you quickly win the
patient over and he realizes you aren't just trying to sell glasses, but trying to
help solve a problem in a practical way. Patients associate value with their old
frames and helping them find a way to recycle them strikes a strong chord.
I really put multiple pair sales into high gear several years ago when I changed
our office policy about second pair discounts. We offer a 50% discount off the
second pair when two complete pairs of glasses are purchased at the same time.
Pretty aggressive, but if you have strong optical pricing in the first place, the
discounted pairs are still quite profitable. Selling two, three or four pairs of
glasses at once is no longer a rarity in my practice. Every pair after the first pair
gets the discount; the discounts are always applied to the lesser expensive pairs
and we don't mind if the first pair is covered by a vision plan. One of the biggest
factors for the success of the program is that my staff feels a duty to tell patients
about our multiple pair discount, and just bringing up the idea sells additional
Embracing consumer electronics
A great deal of money is being spent on high definition flat screen televisions and
the cable or satellite system that provides the signal. The picture quality is truly
fantastic. This high def technology is a boom to eye care professionals who
stand for clear vision; consumers are more aware than ever about the
importance of a clear image. Many people spend thousands of dollars on a
premium home theater setup and others simply watch television on a standard
set, but in any case, most people watch some TV every day. Whether watching
DVD movies, live sporting events or Deal or No Deal, TV glasses are great!
Best wishes for continued success,
Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Editor, Optometric Management Tip of the Week
A Proud Supporter of
Send questions and comments to email@example.com.
Dr. Gailmard offers consulting services to eye care professionals through Prima Eye Group; information is available at www.primaeyegroup.com.
Please Note: The views expressed in Management Tip of the Week do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsor.
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