The Psychology of Selling: Tactics that will Boost Optical Sales
By Kayla Groves February 01, 2021
People buy products or services for many reasons. Over the years, psychologists have researched the motivations behind purchases, and in 1984, Robert Cialdini published "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion." This book explains the psychology of why people say "yes." This knowledge is precious in the sales industry and is a proven roadmap to success. As a small business owner, you must understand how you can use these tactics to help your patients say "yes" and ultimately boost your optical sales. Here are the six main tactics listed in the book and how you can apply them in your office.
Scarcity: This tactic focuses on how things that aren't available or have limited availability are more appealing to buyers. They tend to question, "Why does everyone want this product? It must be a fantastic product. Companies use this tactic all the time. People want what they can't have, and you can use this tactic in your office by informing your patient of the most sought-after products. Show them the frames that you can't keep on your boards. Notify them when you offer discounted prices, and make sure you inform them when time is running out. Consider a marketing campaign that includes limited stock items and encourage them to take advantage of these opportunities before it's too late.
Authority: People feel a sense of obligation when it comes to authority. We see this a lot with health products. If it has the doctor’s endorsement or stamp of approval, people will buy it. We look at doctors in high regard, and if a doctor recommends it, then we "must" need it. Suppose a prescription is notated that the doctor recommends they get an anti-reflective coating. In that case, you must let your patient know that they recommended that they get this product on their lenses. Enforce what the doctor notated and make sure the patient is aware of the risks when not following the doctor's recommendations.
Liking: Typically, we are more influenced by the people we like. Suppose a stranger said they liked our shirt, but our best friend insisted that it looked ridiculous. In that case, we are probably going to believe the person closest to us. Likability is usually earned by trust and communication. That's why it is essential to be honest with our patients and offer them the best products. We only want the best for our patients, and you should communicate that to them. In the long run, it will help build lasting relationships and promote frequent visits to your office.
Social Proof: Whether we’re aware or not, most people are influenced by their peers. If everyone is purchasing flexible frames for their toddlers, then maybe we will too. Our subconscious is persuaded that when others are doing something that they enjoy or like, then perhaps we should too. Make sure you are informing your patients of the similar scenarios they share with others. If a patient is debating getting transition lenses, tell them of another patient who debated it and how happy they were when they finally took the plunge.
Commitment and Consistency: Once we commit to providing our patients with the best services, we must be consistent with our actions. We want to do business with people that we can trust. To accomplish this, we need to stand behind our products. If your patient is struggling with their new glasses, we must make sure we are there every step of the way to help them achieve their best visual acuity. Let your patients know that you are there for them in the event any problems arise. You stand behind your products, and you are committed to their happiness.
Reciprocation: This tactic focuses on giving your patients something. Often, we are motivated to repay someone gracious enough to offer us something. My nail salon offers free beverages and snacks with a pedicure. I specifically go to them for this service alone. Most opticals provide complimentary adjustments and nose pads, but a few of them charge for this service. In my experience, charging for this service has caused harm to the practice. Don't nickel and dime your patients. It will come back to the practice and then some.
Some common complimentary services and products:
- Adjustments & Nose pads
- Glasses Case, Cleaning Solution, Cleaning Cloth
- Contact Case & Solution
- Host a giveaway for exam, frames, or other prizes
As you may know, we are all unique, and our minds work differently. However, years of research have proven that these tactics alone can help your practice excel. Understanding and implementing these tactics in your office isn't just free, it's easy, and it can help you boost optical sales. What are you waiting for?