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MAKE IT PREMIUM, PLEASE

Putting a premium on high-end lens products is good for your patient, and good for business. Here are 4 strategies for doing it effectively.

Premium lens products have a lot to offer—from a revenue standpoint, from a customer service standpoint, and, naturally, from the standpoint of providing superior vision solutions to patients.

Focusing on premium lens products broadcasts the unmistakable message that your practice believes in the best that optical technology has to offer. And, that can translate to real revenue.

In EB’s 2019 Spectacle Lens Virtual Focus Group Study, more than half of responding ECPs say they are selling premium-priced progressives over value-priced PALs, and 69% indicated they plan to increase their ordering of premium digital lenses over the next two years.

Your patients are already primed to buy premium brands. According to EB’s lens research, 63% of ECPs say their patients come in asking about specific lens brands.

So how do you put premium lenses at the front of every dispensing conversation and give patients the best vision solutions possible?

Here are some tried-and-true strategies, courtesy of EB’s crew of expert opticians and O.D.s.—each of whom is a firm believer in the power of premium product.

EDUCATE. EDUCATE. EDUCATE.

The first step is making sure the O.D. and optical staff are up to date on the ins and outs of your premium product. Vendor-supplied training (much of it online) can help.

The benefits of your premium lens products should be a consistent message to the patient. Begin the conversation with website messaging and continue it throughout the patient’s visit.

PRO TIP: “It starts in the exam room where the doctor basically says, ‘This is the lens you should have. This material will be appropriate for your prescription. And, you need this coating to cut glare.’ Then, in our practice, the doctor handwrites the specific recommendations on a brochure.”

—David Ziegler, Ziegler Leffingwell Eyecare, New Berlin, WI

PROPER PRESENTATION

Ramp up that conversation once the patient hits the optical. Remember, patients need to be educated about what makes a premium lens a premium lens. And because high-tech product deserves a high-tech presentation, here’s your chance to “wow.”

PRO TIP: “You can demonstrate the difference between polarized and just a regular tinted lens. And you can ‘show’ what a more custom-designed lens will do for them versus a standard progressive.”

—Tom Parrish, LDO, ABO, NCLE, Family Eye Care in LaBelle, FL

SET YOURSELF APART

If you offer your patients the very best, let them know it. Start with your website—use vendor-supplied videos about the benefits of their premium lenses or treatments. Feature your premium lens brands as boldly as you do your frame brands.

PRO TIP: “We’re charging full ahead in the digital world. You have to separate yourself. That is why we live at the high end of technology. The results are incredible.”

—Zach McLean, Dietz McLean Optical, San Antonio, TX

PACKAGE PERFECTION

The preferred retail strategy is often to offer premium lens packages. This gives patients everything they need without choosing among confusing add-ons. Some lens vendors already do this for you: Essilor’s Ultimate Lens Package and Zeiss’s package tiers are excellent examples. Focus on the benefits of each element and why they work together to provide the best possible vision.

PRO TIP: “Once a patient has been presented with the best, it requires a sacrifice on their part to give it up.”

—Michael A. Kling, O.D., Invision Optometry, San Diego, CA