The days of prescribing a customer what you believe they need and expecting them to purchase it from your optical are long gone. Prescriptive selling simply isn’t as effective in today’s optical landscape as it used to be.
Your optical staff should approach this conversation consultatively and by asking questions. Discover what the patient’s day-to-day relationship with their glasses looks like (or recap, if this was covered during the handoff). Ask questions that lead you to understand whether multiple pairs would make sense, where AR fits into their lifestyle, and whether progressives would be ideal for their vision needs.
This shouldn’t feel like an interrogation. It should be prefaced as and feel like a conversation you’re having with the patient to recommend the best solution for their day-to-day needs. The more effectively you do this early in the conversation, the more optimized your sales process and close rate will become.
Another mistake that many opticals make is starting from the bottom and attempting to work their way up throughout the sale. This is choosing to swim upstream and the opposite of how highly profitable opticals approach opportunities.
We’ll speak more directly about managed care shortly. Right now, keep in mind that your goal should always be to create an opportunity that allows you to match an ideal solution for the patient’s lifestyle, free from the influence of their budget or VCPs.
Learn about the patient’s lifestyle and let them pick out the frames they like most. Then, present them with 2-3 premium packages: “Good, Better, Best” tends to be the best approach in our experience.
After you walk them through those options, stop talking and allow the patient to share their thoughts. This is very important because if you or your staff speak first, you lose.
If the patient is startled by the price of the options you’ve laid out, assure them that you can work towards decreasing the price by walking the patient through what they lose as they downgrade:
- The lenses are going to be harder to keep clean (eliminating AR).
- This progressive is going to be slightly lower-tech and harder to see out of (downgrading from a top-of-the-line progressive).
There’s no need to turn to high-pressure sales tactics. These drawbacks should be stated with authority and in a matter-of-fact way. When you let the prospect decide, most of the time they will pick the premium option on their own if you’re executing this correctly.
Finally, adjust you and your staff’s internal mentality as necessary. People tend to think this approach is greedy, but that’s not what premium optical sales are about.
This is about getting the patient a premium, medically-necessary product that’s going to perform well for them and significantly enhance their life. People frequently spend several hundreds of dollars on all types of commodities: phones, tablets, clothing, and more. There’s no reason to feel slimy about charging what your expertise and customer experience are worth.