Article

RETAIL MATTERS

Twice. As. Nice.

Two top-notch optometrists + two clever opticians each divulge their One Big Secret for simplifying add-on sales

Valerie Vittu

everybody knows that add-on sales can really add up. But, how do you make them add up for you?

To find out, EB checked in with four successful ECPs and asked them this very question.

If you don’t have your own second-pair sales strategy—or even if you do—try these suggestions on for size. And share them with other staff members, too, so that you can proliferate your practice’s own unbeatable formulas for second-pair success.

BIG TIP:

If there is a price objection, we usually offer two solutions—a payment plan or a step-down to a less expensive frame or lenses. The goal is to keep the customer comfortable.”

—VALERIE VITTU

BIG SECRET: Comment
Margot & Camille Optique
Valerie Vittu
Philadelphia

“When making a selection for the patient, include a pair of oversized frames with clear lenses, or a pair of smaller frames, if they are in progressives. When they are trying them on, comment that the oversized would be great as sunglasses, or that the small one would make an ideal pair of readers. That’s how the seed is planted. It has to be natural, and nine times out of 10, the customer asks for the sunglasses and/or readers.

“Avoid providing too many choices, however, because it usually makes the client feel overwhelmed and unable to make a decision.”

BIG SECRET: Compliment
Sterling Optical franchisee
Gary Kaschak
North Wales, PA

“Pay attention to how staff members introduce the second-pair sale. I usually start by reviewing any insurance or discount plan customers may have for the primary pair, followed by a statement like, ‘You have great insurance. It’s saving you a lot of money.’ Whatever you say, make sure it’s spoken with genuine enthusiasm.

“So, what are the results? They are surprised they have good coverage; they are flattered you’ve complimented their insurance coverage; and you’ve initiated a mindset that they spent far less on the primary pair than anticipated, leaving more money for another.

“Timing is key, however. You can’t suggest a second pair of eyewear after the first pair has been selected. The dialogue needs to begin at the outset.”

BIG SECRET: Orchestrate
Eyecarecenter
Allan Barker, O.D.
Rocky Mount, NC

“The most important aspect of growing your add-on sales is getting the doctor involved. The importance of doctor recommendations simply cannot be overstressed. They are the catalyst for the optician and/or optical technician to broach the subject with the patient and to produce a successful result.

“This needs to be well orchestrated. It starts in the exam room and then builds momentum with the doctor physically escorting the patient into the optical, introducing them to the optical staff, and telling the optician in front of the patient that this is what they want them to have. This will work 80% of the time.”

BIG SECRET: Educate
Premier Vision Group
Mile Brujic, O.D.
Bowling Green, OH

“Everyone in the office has to be focused on what’s in the patient’s best interest. That means the doctor performing the exam needs to appropriately educate the patient on how to optimally correct their vision in all their activities, and that’s rarely accomplished by one pair of glasses.

“It also requires that opticians embrace a multiple-pair culture and follow through on multiple-pair recommendations. Whether the patient decides on multiple pairs is their decision, but they need to be made aware of the ways they can optimize performance in various tasks through eyewear.”

—Stephanie K. De Long

Allan Barker, O.D.

7 QUICK QUESTIONS

To encourage second-pair sales, Sterling Optical franchisee Gary Kaschak tells his staff to consider asking patients these thought-provoking questions:

  1. “Do you spend a lot of time on the computer?”
    (Computer/digital eyewear)
  2. “Do you drive a lot? Spend time outdoors?”
    (Polarized sunglasses, photochromics, etc.)
  3. “Do you work in a dirty area or factory environment?”
    (Inexpensive pair for work only)
  4. “Do you watch TV in a reclined position?”
    (SV for this and more)
  5. “Do you play any contact sports?”
    (Sports eyewear)
  6. “Did you know that everyone should have two pair… just in case?”
  7. For contact lens wearers,
    “Did you know that a pair of glasses is needed to give eyes a break?”