5 Ideas to Increase Optical Sales Your Patients Will Love
Ideas to increase optical sales in ways that patients won’t see as offensive are essential to growing your practice. As an eyecare professional, you know that your customers don’t want to be sold to with high-pressure sales techniques. Here, we’ll share six ideas to increase optical sales that your patients will actually appreciate.
1. Create an Appealing Atmosphere
There’s a lot you can do with your space to make it more inviting and encourage patients to linger. Here are just a few ideas:
Lighting. For an optical dispensary, great lighting — and plenty of it — is a must-have. Don’t stop with your focal displays; make sure every corner of your dispensary is well lit and inviting.
Mirrors. Yes, you need plenty of eye-level mirrors for patients to use when trying on frames. But consider adding a full-length mirror or two as well. These days, eyeglasses are as much a fashion statement as an essential vision aid. Your patients will appreciate being able to see their entire look, and they may picture all the outfits they have that can go with each pair they try on.
Encourage optical personnel to pass out genuine compliments or suggest a different frame that may suit the patient better. Many people have no idea which frame styles or colors will suit their face shape and coloring and will be grateful for an expert opinion.
Decor. There’s nothing like great accessories to add interest to your space and put people in the mood to shop! Make yours fun. Here are some great creative ideas from Stephanie Benoit, optician and owner of Eyeglass Galleria in North Miami, Florida:
“I have chairs that have eyeglasses all over them, and custom paintings with eyeglasses, small touches that customers comment on almost every day. I took some old optical calendars that are from 1992 and 1994 and cut them to fit 16 x 20 frames and hung them on the wall as artwork. Again, I get rave reviews.”
2. Get to Know Your Patients
One of the keys to increasing optical sales begins with the OD in the exam room. Even if you’re an introvert at heart, a few moments of friendly conversation designed to get to know your patients will make them feel cared for and more likely to visit your dispensary rather than someone else’s after their exam.
You may be surprised to learn that many of your patients don’t know the eyewear options available to them because no one has told them! Don’t hesitate to make second-pair recommendations when it would truly benefit a patient, based on what you’ve learned in your conversations with them.
Start by asking what your patients do for a living. Let the patient who works on multiple computer screens know that they need a better progressive lens with a wider field of vision.
Also ask about hobbies. Boaters and fishermen should know that they would benefit from having polarized sunglasses that remove the glare from the sun on the water. Someone who sews may not have thought about a separate pair of glasses for close-up work.
When the optometrist asks these questions and offers guidance during an exam, patients are less likely to see it as a sales pitch and more as an important part of their checkup. (Which, of course, it is!)
3. Educate Your Patients
As an eyecare professional, you have knowledge your patients need. However, many optometrists don’t take advantage of the time spent examining their patients to share that knowledge with them.
The need for sunglasses is a great example. We’ve all heard about protecting our skin from the sun, but most have never been told that the sun damages our eyes as well and can cause glaucoma, macular degeneration, ocular melanoma, or even eye cancer.
Most people think they need sunglasses only in the summer, but those in colder, snowy climates also benefit from sunglasses to decrease the glare from the snow. Patients should know that sunglasses are important for good eye health and safe driving year round.
4. Show Appreciation for Referrals
Whenever patients refer family members or friends to your practice, show your appreciation by offering a discount on their next optical purchase. A small lens-cleaning kit could also be a thoughtful thank you gift.
Your practice depends on word-of-mouth marketing, and patients will be more likely to refer friends and family if you show gratitude for the business they send your way.
5. Use an Optometry EHR with Seamless Vendor Integration
With RevolutionEHR, you can reap the benefits of ordering optical products for your patients from within your EHR with SmartFlow for Sight™. The proprietary technology seamlessly connects you with your product vendors and automates the entire ordering process, from order submission to delivery to patients.
With patient-driven ordering and direct-to-patient delivery, SmartFlow technology minimizes time spent placing, tracking, and following up on orders and increasing patient satisfaction, which is key to repeat and word-of-mouth sales.
Because patients now favor online purchases due to convenience, they will love that SmartFlow offers unmatched efficiency and speed. This can help you capture optical sales that may otherwise have gone to online retailers.
What’s more, there’s a high return on investment for your practice using this technology; it’s included in RevolutionEHR at no extra charge.
A Final Word
While these ideas to increase optical sales will benefit your bottom line, they’re not just sales gimmicks. Taking the time to understand and explain your patients’ needs is also an essential aspect of customer service.
In the digital age, where social media reviews can make or break a healthcare practice, relationship building is more important than ever. With these tips, you will increase your bottom line while retaining current patients and attracting the word-of-mouth referrals your practice needs to grow.
Boost Your Optical Sales with RevolutionEHR
You can streamline the process of placing optical orders with SmartFlow from RevolutionEHR. The leading-edge technology simplifies eyewear management and fulfillment while giving you the freedom to focus on your patients.
Want to learn how RevolutionEHR with SmartFlow Sight can make your practice competitive, enable you to deliver a personalized patient experience, and pump up your optical sales? Request a demo today.