Everyone wishes they could boost their sales, right? Increasing revenue for your optical dispensary is as easy as 1, 2, 3 when you use the good/better/best rule of optical sales, educate with needs-based conversations, and shoot those shots for 2nd pair sales. Let's take a look at how implementing this strategy can have a major impact on your bottom line.
More revenue for your optical dispensary is always a good thing. Boosting your bottom line should always be at the top of your to-do list and at the end of the day, there are very few among us that having extra income wouldn't help in one way or another.
Of course, the key is to increase those sales while making the patient happy. Happy patients mean more return business and word of mouth business which leads to even more sales!
When you and your employees focus on these 3 easy to implement steps with every patient, you'll see a noted improvement with your sales across the board.
The good/better/best rule of optical sales has been around for quite some time. As the old saying goes, "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". Simply put, you should have a 3-tier approach to lens options for all patients. Let's go over a few ways to utilize this strategy with a few brand name progressive lenses and one of the IcareLabs house brand PALs.
Varilux has been one of the top-selling progressives time and time again, going back as far as 1959. Being one of the innovators of the optical industry they constantly push the boundaries of progressive designs. This means there are several Varilux PALs to choose from and many ways you can utilize their offerings in the 3-tiered structure:
- Varilux X (best offering)
- Varilux W3+ or Varilux Physio Drx (better offering)
- Varilux Comfort Max or the classic Varilux Comfort Drx (good offering)
Shamir is widely known for their amazing lens designs among those self-proclaimed "lens nerds" like my boss and our resident optical guru, James Stephany. Of course, Shamir has had many designs over the years which gives you the benefit of really making your 3-tier offering stand out from the competition while also catering to the patient demographics in your area. So your good/better/best options could be:
- Shamir Intelligence (best offering)
- Shamir Autograph 3 or 2+ (better offering)
- Shamir InTouch, Spectrum+, Element, or the Duo (good offering)
One of America's oldest and most trusted brand names is Kodak Lens. Offering Kodak progressive lenses as your primary sellers offers several advantages including the Kodak Lens Corner and the Practice Plus program. Kodak Lens also offers several PALs that give your optical dispensary numerous options for a 3-tier approach:
- Kodak Unique DRO HD (best offering)
- Kodak Unique DRO or the Kodak Unique (better offering)
- Kodak Precise and Kodak Concise (good offering)
As I mentioned before, our Heritage and Legacy house brand digital PALs are conveniently set up in the 3-tiered structure. Using our Heritage lenses as an example, they would breakdown as follows:
Of course, these are just a few examples and you could mix and match your offerings as you see fit. The great thing about having you and your staff utilizing the 3-tier approach is the ease of use. If someone walks into your optical shop saying they want a Varilux X or a Shamir Intelligence, then you should give them exactly what they want even if that isn't your predefined "best offering".
A wise old man once told me the biggest stupid mistake he sees opticals make is a high-end optical boutique that refuses to sell anything except for the best and small mom & pop shops that only sell value PALs. Regardless of what your customers may tell you, if you run your practice that way then you are most assuredly missing out on a segment of sales!
Needs-based conversations have been a subject that most of us in the industry have heard time and time again. Even across major brands they almost universally agree on this technique and the reason for that is: IT WORKS! You wouldn't bother trying to sell a pair of safety glasses to a patient that works a desk job or sell a pair of blue light filtering clear lenses to a construction worker that spends almost all day outside right?
Whenever possible, initiating these needs-based conversations by the OD while the patient is getting their exam, coupled with a pass off to the optician that is also versed with the recommendations, will drastically increase your ability to close the sale with the highest success rate.
This isn't always possible for several reasons, but that doesn't mean the optician can't guide the patient with their needs-based conversation. Listening to what the patient tells you then educating them on the proper upgrade and how it will alleviate their problem is always your best option and will increase your sales.
Make sure you and your staff are educated on your primary 3-tier packages and upgrade offerings like no-glare coatings, tints, mirrors, etc. If you're not familiar with the products you want or can sell, how is the patient going to understand how these products will help them?
Using the examples mentioned above, a patient working all day in direct sunlight is a great candidate for the new Transitions XTRACtive Polarized lenses. Patients working in an office setting would be the target demographic on a blue light filter to help with any complaints of digital eyestrain. Now, if that same patient tells you they work part-time in a local factory you have the perfect opening to get them into a 2nd pair of safety glasses.
And speaking of 2nd pair sales...
3) Ask For Those 2nd Pair Sales!
One of the oldest sales adages that truly changed my sales career many years ago is "you'll never know if you don't ask". One reason not everyone that dabbles in sales can be successful is just plain human nature. We don't like to be told no, much less so on a repeated basis. Once I was able to train myself to get over the mental hurdle of not taking no personally, I realized this is all just a numbers game.
If I ask 50 practices a day to buy their lenses from IcareLabs then statically speaking I will have many more accounts than if I only ask 1 ECP a day to look at our price list. This isn't to say you just badger every patient with upsells, but if you're using the good/better/best strategy and having those needs-based conversations then asking for that 2nd pair sale will naturally fit into the discussion 80% of the time.
Does the patient have a long commute on the highway to and from their office job? Then they are a great candidate for a 2nd pair of polarized sunglasses. Does the patient doing construction all day long like to unwind at home playing video games or working on projects with their computer? That patient is a great candidate for 2nd pair of occupational glasses like the Shamir Computer or (if they're not a presbyope) an Eyezen lens from Essilor.
As with most things in life, there is no one-size-fits-all sales strategy if you want to maximize the sales potential with each patient. If you use these 3 easy to follow rules as the basis of your sales strategy then you'll not only see your bottom line grow, you'll also see happier and more satisfied patients! At the end of the day, isn't that why we love this industry?
I hope this blog has inspired you to add these additional strategies into your optical sales tool bag. Here at IcareLabs, we understand that when an optical does well, then we all succeed. As I mentioned earlier about my job, the more ECPs I get our price list in front of. the more likely I am to bring more customers into the Icare family so: