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    Respect patients' trust during eyewear selection

    Helping to choose frames and lenses is a responsibility


    Casual conversation during frame selection can be a catalyst for comfort and will encourage a friend-like atmosphere. It’s important to structure the exchange around the patient’s needs and interests, not your own.

    The patient’s prescription is a major consideration in frame selection. Ensure the patient understands the aesthetic as well as visual benefits.

    Take chances with frame style. Don’t be afraid to show distinctive or luxury frame styles. Have fun. Remember, if you are having fun, your patient is having fun. Make frame selection memorable instead of a chore.

    Selecting lenses

    Frame selection is just the beginning. Once the frame choice has been made, we have the responsibility to help our patient choose a lens that will provide the best visual acuity and look great in the optical frame.

    Sometimes, the lens choice is easy. If a mild or low prescription is presented, the choice is usually a standard lens and will be comfortable and accommodate a low prescription.  

    Related: 5 steps to maximize your optical profit

    When a complicated or higher prescription is prescribed, the lens choice becomes more detailed. The prescription dictates the style of lenses that will provide the patient with optimum visual acuity and look pleasing in the frame choice.

    It’s important to educate patients about spectacle lenses. Some lenses may create spectacle blur if used with a non-compatible prescription. Our knowledge and education of specific lenses and the prescriptions that warrant their use will allow us to make the best recommendation to patients.

    Lens add-ons or extras are further consideration when marketing eyewear. Examples include photochromic lenses and anti-glare coatings. Patients rely on staff expertise to help them make an informed decision.

    Inspired vs. manipulated optical sales

    Optical sales can be inspired or manipulated.

    Inspired sales encourage patients to be loyal—patients will understand the benefits of recommendations for their visual acuity. Staff are inspired to sell specific lenses, frames, or add-ons because we have an appreciation for patient needs and are knowledgeable about the products they sell.

    A manipulated sale is a pressured sale. These include buy-one, get-one free or discounted for a limited time. Don’t misunderstand—frame or lens special deals are great, they will boost sales. However, if such tactics become a habitual method of sales, they gain potential to create a high-pressure atmosphere in which no one is comfortable.   

    Similar to manipulated sales, competition or sales quotas in the workplace can often separate the team. Competition is an effective tool used to increase sales. However, the downside is when it becomes obvious to patients. Patients may have a sensation of being in the middle or being upsold to make a goal. When this happens, it becomes detrimental to the practice’s overall impression.

    Eyewear sales are for experts with knowledge, drive, and a passion for providing the most innovative and up-to-date products that will ensure patients’ optimum visual acuity.

    Get more iTech content here

    Tami L. Hagemeyer, ABOC, FNAO
    Tami Hagemeyer is the lead optician at Premier Vision Group in Bowling Green, OH. She is responsible for all phases of optometric and ...


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