Even During a Pandemic, Patients Still Want Luxury Eyewear
By Kayla Groves June 03, 2021
Despite common misconceptions, patients are looking for luxury during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes their eyewear, both lenses and frames! Many practices have seen a boost in sales on their higher-end lines. Though the exact reason is unknown, many are crediting stimulus payments for this jump in sales. Perhaps customers didn’t take a big, annual family vacation. Covid imposed many physical and emotional burdens on us. The realities of Covid could have some of us feeling self-neglected, and now we’re looking to indulge a little. Regardless of the reasons, this is not a trend you want to miss out on. Below are some tried and true methods from specialty practices specializing in luxury eyewear to help you seal the deal and close your sale.
1. Educate your staff
If your staff is not proficient in the product, they will have a harder time selling it. This is especially true when it comes to lenses. Vendors supply so much training that goes unused. Much of this training is online and would not even require you or your staff to leave the office! Use the resources available to you and make sure that the small details are covered with your patients. This could be the difference between closing the deal or having a sale walk out the door.
Also, ensure every patient that enters your practice is hearing the benefits of your premium lens products. Though some patients think they know what they want or need before they even enter your office, your guidance is key to their purchase and their patient experience. With the right education and knowledge, your staff can guide your patients toward a higher-end product more efficiently.
2. “Need” base versus “want” based selling
No matter how much we want to deny it, opticians are salesmen. Sales of any kind fall under one of two categories: a want or a need. Since emotions are typically involved in a “want” sale, these are typically easier to make than a “need” sale. In the world of optical, frames are a want while lenses are a need.
When selling luxury eyewear, the common mistake is to sell frames first. If you do this, you will often miss out on the sale of higher-end lenses. The patient will be much more open to the sale if you reverse the order. Discuss the benefits of a higher-quality lens. The thickness, the material, and the coatings will all make their viewing experience much better. Make sure the patient knows these things! Once you close the deal on the lenses, let them know that these quality lenses need quality frames to house them. The brand name on the side of the frames will make this sale much easier, as consumers typically gravitate towards certain brands we know and love. This “want” sale will finalize the top-tier glasses that your patient will grow to love and keep them coming back to your office year after year.
3. Luxury products require luxury presentation
Say you are shopping for a new car. You start off at Honda. The salesman is nice, the dealership is clean, and you liked the car you test drove. Now you head across the street to Lexus. Before you ever enter the building, you have a higher expectation for the service and presentation than you did at the previous dealership based on the name alone. Am I right? Luxury brand names come with a higher level of expectation, and eyewear is not exempt from this belief.
With lenses, a simple demonstration could be a game-changer in a patient deciding to upgrade. Describing the difference in polarized versus non-polarized lenses does not even compare to the patient seeing the difference for themselves. The same goes for anti-glare coatings and even progressives. Seeing really is believing. Remember, a patient needs to be aware of what makes a premium lens premium.
In the realm of frames, the brand name will sell itself a lot of the time. However, do not solely rely on this. Many brand-name frames are made of higher-grade materials and carry a much better warranty than your “brandless” options. Make sure your patients are aware of these benefits. You should also be presenting your brand name frames in a more upscale fashion than your lower-end options. Experience is just as important to your sale as a product. Ensure that your optical staff is well versed in frame shapes and how they complement different face shapes. The more customized your patient’s experience is, the more likely they are to make that higher-end purchase.
Many patients have never experienced luxury eyewear simply because it was not presented to them in a way that made it appealing. Once the patient knows all the benefits of these higher-grade products, the price tag becomes a distant memory that they are no longer concerned about it. Once a patient purchases luxury once, it will be nearly impossible for them to return to the brandless options they were once accustomed to.