Don't Forget Your Sunglasses!
By Kayla Groves June 26, 2020
Most of us know that if we do not put on sunscreen while we are having fun in the sun, we might burn. What most people fail to realize is that we need to protect our eyes too. Like our skin, our eyes can also get sunburned. Sunglasses are essentially sunscreen for the eyes, and they are vital for eye health. Many offices struggle the most when it comes to selling sunglasses. The common misconception is that “We cannot sell sunglasses.” If you find yourself saying this, take a closer look at how you present it to your patients. Sunglasses are typically considered a fashion accessory, but they are also a medical device. Many people are uninformed on the benefits of sunglasses; therefore selling sunglasses can be a hard sale. While selling sunglasses can be severe, it is not impossible, and doing some due diligence can help you see where improvements are needed.
Here are a few tips to help streamline the selling process:
Typically, we prepare for sunglass season back in March. With COVID, most of our offices were closed, and we were unable to prepare for the summertime. Now is the perfect time to stock up on sunglass frames. With sunglass season starting later than usual, remember that you will not need as much product as you previously required, but make sure you have enough product on your boards and some under stock to fill holes. Frame manufacturers are offering their best promotions because of the lack of purchasing due to COVID. It would be best if you took advantage of these promotions immediately. They will not last long. With business picking up, you can expect these promotions to end in early July.
Following the latest trends is a daunting task and not necessary. Dive into your books and make sure you know what frames are continually selling. These are your "bread and butter," and you should always keep them in stock. Collaborate with your frame reps and ask them what is working well in your area. Keep trendy products to a minimum, but keep a right eye on it. If you notice a frame doing well, you will want to make sure you re-order it. Maintaining a good record of your boards is imperative to help you evaluate trends. This knowledge can help you make smarter buying choices.
Every optical staff should be well trained, and they should all deliver the same message. It is essential to ask your patient lots of questions and be specific. What type of image is your patient looking for? Do they spend most of their time outdoors? Do they play any sports? Are they active? Do they work in an office? What type of activities do they enjoy? Do they spend time out on the water? Gather as much knowledge about your patient as you can. These questions help narrow down what type of frame a patient may need and what kind of lenses will work best for their lifestyle. The optical staff should know the appropriate options to offer the patient, based on their questions
Lack of knowledge is the main reason patients do not purchase sunglasses. However, properly educating your patients can help them make appropriate decisions. Most patients underestimate how much UV rays can damage their eyes and need more education. It is not enough to offer lenses as polarized, UV coated, or photochromic. Instead, explain the benefits of the lenses. Let the person who works on the water know that polarized lenses cut glare, allowing them to see beyond the waves. Tell the construction worker that photochromic lenses will eliminate the need to switch back and forth between glasses. If you have samples in the office, make sure you utilize them. If you do not have any examples, reach out to your lab, or frame rep and see if they are willing to send you some. Seeing is believing, and it can help solidify the sale.
Close the Sale
Always offer your patient the best. Explain the benefits to each product and let them know what type of warranty you offer. Ensure your patient understands the benefits of each coating and make sure they know what they are purchasing. Consider offering a second pair discount. Patients gravitate toward discounts. Especially when they think they are getting a good deal and tend to use that discount on a pair of sunglasses. Remember that patients can instantly check your competition. Make sure you are offering competitive pricing.