Article Date: 12/1/2012

From the AOSA
images From the AOSA

Offering Specialty Lenses to Patients

Golfers are just one patient population that can benefit from custom lenses and they provide a great place to get started.

Marc Kallal is a 4th year student at the Southern California College. He grew up in a small town outside Edmonton, Alberta Canada. As Treasurer of AOSA, he oversees the association finances, works with industry sponsors to new develop benefits for students and is the student member on the AOA new grad committee. In his spare time, he enjoys running, golf and hockey.

By Marc Kallal Treasurer, AOSA

GROWING UP, I worked at a family owned and operated golf course. While there, I developed friendships with many of the members. Most of them are now retired seniors who spend their days living the dream and golfing 18 plus holes a day. I still enjoy going back to talk with them, and they often tell me about their eye problems.

Where’s the Hole?

One of the more common complaints is that their progressive lenses are terrible for golf. Because I hear this complaint frequently, I decided to do some research. I found that some ophthalmic lens companies have spent a good deal of time and money to design progressive lenses that are golf specific. Yet, many of the golfers I talk to have never heard of these lenses. Optometrists should take advantage of this opportunity to promote specialty lenses to their patients who golf. You can promote these lenses in the exam chair and you can take the show on the road …

Speaking to the Community

Many golf courses have clubs that offer weekly golfing events, providing a great opportunity for you to lead a presentation about eye health, optometry and golf-specific lenses. You may even be able to work out a deal with your local lens rep, so you can work together on a joint presentation.

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Spread the Word

For those of you who golf, you know that when one person in a group gets the latest and greatest driver, sooner or later everyone has to have it. This could be the same with golf-specific spectacles: you get one golfer hooked and before you know it, you’ll have all his friends, relatives and neighbors coming to see you about specialty golf lenses. Many golfers have no problem spending hundreds on a new driver. If you educate them on how golf-specific lenses will help them see the ball better and possibly improve their game, not only have you sold another pair of glasses but you’ve gained another loyal patient.

Promoting golf-specific lenses gives you another avenue to sell multiple pairs of glasses. According to Management and Business Academy,1 only 10% of patients purchase multiple pairs, so golf-specific lenses present an ideal selling opportunity.

Going Beyond Golf

Many of our patients are involved in other visually demanding hobbies and sports. We need to promote customized eyeglasses for all of them. Contact local clubs and ask if you can give presentations about eye health and the services you provide. As a new grad, this is a great opportunity to go out into the community and educate people about your practice, what optometry has to offer and customized ophthalmic lenses. You’ll gain new patients, sell more eyeglasses and allow patients to enjoy their hobbies to the fullest. nOD

Reference

1. Management & Business Academy For Eye Care Professionals. Key Metrics: Assessing Optometric Practice Performance 2012 http://www.mbace.com/data/sites/1/paa_keymetrics_2012_lr.pdf. (accessed September 30, 2012)



Optometric Management, Issue: December 2012