Five steps to selling multiple pairs

December 1, 2010

Optometrists who want to increase multiple pair sales to patients need to stop being apologetic about the fact that part of a successful practice involves retail sales.

Examinations and ensuring patients' eye health are of course the very important foundations of a good optometric practice. But what happens after the examination is just as important to patients and to a practice's financial health. Gibb offered her top five tips for increasing multiple pair sales.

1 Know your patients and their needs.

Create and use a lifestyle assessment in which you ask your patients about their occupations, hobbies, and activities. Two questions Gibb advised asking are, "What do you like or dislike about your current lenses?" and "How are you going to be using your eyes?" Then, be an active listener. Make good eye contact, nod your head, ask questions, and listen for cues, clues, and ideas.

2 Use patient education to help you sell.

"Patients value a professional opinion, so recommendations should always start in the chair," she said.

Conversations that begin in the chair can then continue into the dispensary. Gibb suggested that staff members wear and have experience with the items your practice most often recommends.

"Testimonials are a great way to sell," she said. Work with labs and frame vendors for professional discounts, and make them a perk for your staff members. The features, advantages, and benefits of a product can be most effectively explained by someone who is actually using it."

Gibb said to remember that you don't manage your patient's checkbook. "Can your customer afford to have more than one pair of glasses? Can they afford not to? Don't make assumptions. Educate them on what's available. If they really can't afford it, they won't buy it."