Article

4 Tips: Selling Sports Eyewear for Kids

4 Selling Tips

What are the keys to selling sports-oriented eyewear and sunwear for active kids? Our query of kid-focused eyecare professionals revealed a few ways that they are selling active and sports eyewear to kids (and their parents) today.

1. Discuss active eyewear with each patient. “We have a really good staff and they always ask kids what sports they play and what outdoor activities they like to do,” says Bart. This strategy opens the door to sell them the right eyewear for their needs.

French says her staff doesn’t hesitate to ask kids twice about all their sports and outdoor activities to truly determine the need for active eyewear. “If they say they don’t do a sport, ask again,” she suggests. “Sometimes they say they don’t do a sport because it’s not a team sport, but when I encourage them they say they are doing karate or gymnastics or biking.”

2. Consider plastic. At The Glasses Menagerie, over 85 percent of all frames sold are plastic. This focus, says Bart, is because the staff believes it’s the best frame choice for kids that are active everyday. “Every kid is active, so we push plastic,” she says. “The fit is comfortable for active kids and parents like that they don’t have to maintain the eyewear as much as a metal frame—it doesn’t look worn out after a year.”

And, while memory metals may seem like a good fit for active kids, Bart says they do not sell many because they’ve had trouble getting kids’ bent flexible frames back into shape. At Redmond Eye Doctors in Redmond, Washington, optical technician Cynthia Heimburger says that they do send some active kids out the door with memory metal eyewear. “The boys wear them more,” she says. “The girls don’t want them as much because they are more fashion conscious.”

3. Stock enough. ECPs say that having an ample—and eye-catching—assortment of sports eyewear and kids sunglasses is necessary to gain customer interest. “We’ve found the more you carry the more you’re going to sell,” says Gary King, owner of The Optical Center, in Burlington, Vermont. “And, if you don’t put in a good collection you’re simply just not going to sell them. It’s not a huge investment to put in a couple of dozen sports frames and sunglasses.”

4. Don’t be shy. Active kids need quality eye protection, whether they require prescription eyewear or not. Parents are likely spending an ample amount of money on the rest of the equipment and gear for their sport or activity, so there’s no need to be shy about suggesting the right eyewear, as well. “Don’t be afraid of telling them what their child needs,” says Bart. “Parents will do whatever is best for their kids.” In fact, Bart says she and the staff at the Glasses Menagerie do not even talk about pricing for what they’re recommending with a parent unless they ask. “Because we’re a focused niche kids place, we don’t ever talk about pricing. We have a set price for lenses and that includes all the extras like Transitions Lenses, AR,” she says.