For years, contact lens solutions have been available to sell in office, but relatively few of us have pursued that stream of revenue. Perhaps because it’s more of a dried-up creek? But recently, there’s been a heightened buzz around the topic, so maybe it’s time to consider the pros and cons once more.
Historically, we know that competing with big box stores for profit is an uphill battle—like trying to fight the Ebola virus with a Z-pack. When you include the potential capital outlay for the bottles, as well as the space requirements for their storage and display, the aggravations start to add up. But with some of the new programs, these previous objections are neutralized. A more difficult debate to defuse is whether or not having retail bottles in the office creates a pressure—and potential discomfort—on the staff to sell. We don’t want to exhaust their sales energy on a low-profit item or divert their efforts from some other high-benefit product we sell. And could it create a perception that we are greedy, nickel and diming the patient?
Increasing patients’ perception of value
What if we remove the question of profit and competition from the equation? Some offices give it away for free, as an added value, with the purchase of an annual supply or color lens add-on. Others include it as a benefit offered in their contact lens maintenance program. Some doctors sell the solution, but charge even less than other retailers, hoping to build trust and credibility with the patient. Any of these options increase the patient’s perception of value. No matter how you choose to distribute it, having solution in the office allows you to provide for all of their eyecare needs. Even if they choose to purchase elsewhere, they realize that you are striving to offer them complete eye care and convenience. And, ultimately, you have their best interests in mind.