We know what you’re thinking. You have enough on your plate when it comes to selling one pair of glasses to a patient, let alone multiples. But while many eye care practitioners think that frequent multiple pair sales are as rare as a solar eclipse, now is the perfect time of year to step up your sales game.
That’s right, it’s sunglass season!
You’re probably recommending prescription sunwear all year round, but in your patient’s minds, spring means sun. Take advantage of this natural association and open their eyes to benefits of prescription sunwear. With the right approach, they’ll soon be snapping up a new pair of shades from your retail optical—to go with the warm-weather wardrobes that they’re likely out shopping for right now.
To boost multiple pair sales in your retail optical…complement your typical consultative sales technique with a “lifestyle approach” that will appeal to each patient’s unique visual demands.
The most important thing to remember about multiple pair sales, according to ophthalmic consultant Valerie Manso, is that it’s not about the frames; it’s about the lenses. “Today’s customer has an active lifestyle with greater visual demands,” Manso notes, “and if you don’t satisfy your customer’s needs and wants, someone else will.” To boost multiple pair sales in your retail optical, she advocates complementing your typical consultative sales technique with a “lifestyle approach” that will appeal to each patient’s unique visual demands.
So what exactly does that entail? In optical terms, “lifestyle” describes all of the activities we do, the value that we have, and the visual demands that are tied to those two things, says Manso. Your objective is to fully understand how your customer uses their eyes, along with the image they wish to project. Only then can you begin to assist them in their lens and frame selections.
Luckily, spring is an easy time of year to work this technique into your repertoire, since your patients are already daydreaming about fun in the sun. Recreation, travel, and hobbies take a front seat, providing lots of opportunity to bring the benefits of prescription sunwear to the attention of your patients.
Valerie Manso’s 5 Step Lifestyle Approach to Multiple Pair Sales
1. Build the Profile
Ask lots of questions and be specific. What is their interest in fashion, appearance, and image? Do they spend time outdoors? If so, what are they doing? Are they working, driving, playing sports? Perhaps they just enjoy relaxing. Are they reading the latest bestseller poolside? Are they reading it on a tablet? You get the idea. Consider giving each patient a detailed activity checklist to complete, then reviewing it with them to dive in deeper.
2. Review the Options
Lens enhancements will customize, personalize, and improve the performance of any pair of sunglasses, heightening customer satisfaction while increasing your profits. This is the time to present yourself as an expert, using the patient’s fashion preferences and lifestyle information to suggest complementary lenses, styles, and enhancements.
3. Present the Benefits
Optical staff are so used to describing different lenses, they sometimes lose sight of what clients really want to know. Describing lenses as polarized, photochromic, or tinted is not enough. Instead, explain to the golfer that a yellow tint improves contrast between the fairways, greens, and sky, allowing them to follow their ball better. Tell the gardener how a photochromic lens will automatically adjust to sun and shade, eliminating the need for them to constantly take their sunglasses on and off.
4. Look for Agreement
This is the point at which you’ll encounter objections, if the patient has any. Again, Manso emphasizes, questions are your friend. Ask the patient if they can see better. Ask them if they like the glasses. Patients will buy when they feel good about (and see the value in) the products and service you are offering.
5. Close the Sale
Be observant, adds optical dispensary expert Arthur De Gennaro. Watch for indications that a buying decision has been made. The patient may ask questions like “when could these be ready?” or “what other colors do these come in?” They may also ask for information about lens warranties or your return policy. When you notice buying signals, it’s time to ask the patient to make the purchase. Failure to notice these signals (and continuing to sell when the patient is ready to buy) can lead to disengagement, eliminating your hard work.
TIP: Manso doesn’t consider anti-reflective coatings as optional. To help clients understand the importance, she asks “Would you like your lenses with or without glare?”
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Photo Credit: Komono (Komono Curated Baloji + Komono collection)