5 Things You Can Do To Increase Optical Sales - E26
We all went to optometry school and learned the ins and outs of optometry. I do not think anyone would argue that we learned more of the medical aspect than the business side of things. However, when you look at the majority of private practices, our profit center is the optical. As a result, we must make sure we are cognizant of the success and failures of this aspect of our offices. I am going to give you 5 areas of optical you need to take advantage of.
We know UV can have detrimental consequences to eyes. Cataracts, macular degeneration, and eyelid cancer risk increases with UV exposure. Consequently, it is your duty as a eyecare provider to educate your patients and make recommendations to protect their eyes. As you can see Crizal coatings, Transitions, blue light filters and sunglasses are not only profitable upgrades, but tools to protect your patients eyes.
We live in a unique bubble in which prescriptions that are -6.00 and above are just commonplace. These are your most loyal patients as they need you to function and eye care has been a normal part of their lives since early childhood. That being said, they want the best possible vision and want their glasses to be cosmetically appealing.
If you are not educating about the better optics and decreased edge thickness associated with hi-index lens material, you are doing your patients a disservice. If you are unaware of lens materials and the pros and cons, contact your lab rep and learn. You owe it to your patients and it will help you increase optical sales.
Frame Selection and Lens Size
You need to know that your patients will judge you based on their glasses. You can do the best slit lamp exam and DFE, but if they can not see out of their glasses, you are a bad doctor. This means in order for you to have returning patients that continue to purchase their glasses from you, you need to guide them in frame selection as it can be critical in how well they see.
B size or depth of the lens is obvious for multifocal/PAL patients, but do you consider A-size/width of the frame in patients with high prescriptions or narrow PD’s. This can affect peripheral distortion as well as edge thickness. Additionally, any sunglass frames with an extensive wrap (and every patient wants the extensive wrap) will have cutout issues if their PD is not greater than eye size.
Take control and do not leave this responsibility completely up to your opticians.
Multiple Pair Sales
You are the driving force in this. You know if they hate a PAL or have specific tasks they like to do such as sewing or playing an instrument. You need to explain that we have the ability to make custom glasses specifically designed for the tasks they are struggling with. I have made driving and reading glasses to make a monovision contact lens patient binocular. I have discussed with my PAL patients that although it is a jack of all trades, it is a master of none and we can make work specific computer glasses to help in viewing multiple monitors. Use your imagination and think outside the box, your patients will thank you!
Contact Lens Patients
These patients love and prefer contacts. Regardless, infections happen and you need to educate them on the need for a pair of backup glasses. In my office we have “value packages” that limit frame selection, but are very cost effective for the patient. You do not want to try to get your high prescription patients a pair of glasses in the middle of a corneal ulcer. Be prepared, have affordable options, and get a little extra profit for your optical.
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