Our May issue featured a fashion feature on high-end luxury eyewear. To complement that information, optician Conor Heaney provides three smart strategies for successfully selling high-end eyewear.
Ten years ago, Conor Heaney, O.D., bought a practice that was struggling financially and in decline, yet he saw an opportunity to succeed by moving to the high end of the market.
Today, his practice in Manchester, UK—Jones And Co. Styling Opticians—has annual revenue of $1.4 million and an average eyewear sale of over $1,000. This is a solo-O.D. practice that Heaney runs with his small team in a way that gives him freedom; he spends just one day a week in practice.
He founded Optical Success Academy as a coaching program to help other optometrists and opticians take their practices to the top of the independent sector with a proven system for going higher end.
Here, he shares three of his biggest keys to success as an independent ECP.
TIP #1: Believe!
The first thing is to have the correct mindset. If you are an independent, you must believe you belong at the high end of the market and you deserve to attract top dollar for what you do.
As independents, we are ideally placed to meet the needs of the top segment of the market who want superior levels of service and expertise and access to exclusive products that aren’t available everywhere else. In any market, there are 10%-30% of clients who want the best—and are happy to pay a premium for it.
Craft a world-class customer experience for your patients and clients. Your success at the high end of the market starts with your mindset and your belief.
TIP #2: It’s Not all About the Product.
Many people believe that success at the high end is all about the product. It is not.
The experience you wrap around your products is far more critical. You need to remove all the hassles and frustrations from buying eyewear for your clients.
Listen to your patients and they will tell you what they dislike. They may dislike choosing glasses. They don’t know what suits them or fits them. They are bored of all the usual frames they see everywhere else and are looking for something different.
They dislike being confused with too much choice. They do not like impersonal ‘one-size-fits-all’ service. They want to be listened to and treated like an individual.
You need to design and present your practice as the solution to all these problems.
This is what led me to eliminate browsing from my practice by removing all frames from display. The practice looks more like a boutique hotel than an optical shop. We replaced browsing with a unique Eyewear Style Consultation that is more enjoyable for the patient and results in higher sales.
Tip #3: Get Paid!
It takes effort and investment to put on a show like this and to create this kind of customer experience. You ‘get paid’ by focusing on premium pricing.
Without this piece of the puzzle I would be in my practice working harder for less. Premium pricing is both an art and a science.
The way you present price options dramatically impacts what the client’s perception of price will be. How you present price determines how much the patient will cheerfully pay.
The question is not “how much will your patients happily spend on eyewear?” The real question is how much they will spend when it is presented in this way, by this trained passionate team member, following this amazing experience, in this unique environment, with social proof from fan clients, with this guarantee etc.
You control the perception of price through how you set up and run your practice every day.
About Optical Success Academy:
Optical Success Academy has been operating in the UK for four years with over 100 members reporting record growth, increased average eyewear sales by an extra $150-$500, and more time off and better incomes for the practice owner. Heaney is now building a U.S. membership for Optical Success Academy. EB readers can request a free copy of his special report “The 9 Keys That Unlock The Hidden Profits In Your Practice” at opticalsuccessacademy.com.