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    Solving optical complaints

    Las Vegas—At the end of the day, a dispensary is a sales room, and the sheer number of lenses and frames available for purchase means many patients rely on the optician’s recommendations because patients are too overwhelmed with options. As such, dispensaries have a big role to play, not just in helping to balance the books but also in continuing patient care and service.

    So many dispensaries struggle with common problems that hamper both efficiency and customer or patient relationships. From salespeople who don't truly believe in the product, to miscommunication, to costly product replacements, these challenges can all be handled with simple pivoting both in mindset and adoption of office-wide systems.

    To help, Joy Gibb, ABOC, in Bountiful, UT, offered some tips at a recent lecture at Vision Expo West 2015.

    Related: How your optical can save your practice after ICD-10 implementation

    The internal "why"

    Being effective in sales requires a clear understanding of why the products being sold are what are best for the customer. If a dispenser doesn't have her “why" figured out, or if it's simply because of a need for a paycheck or job security, then she probably won't be comfortable presenting patients with high-cost invoices because they won't believe those figures justify the product. Patients see this, and if the expert doesn't believe the price is worth it, why should they?

    "Why do you believe patients should have that product?" Gibb asks. "What would you want your grandma or mom to wear? Do they deserve it? How many pairs do you have?"

    The lens or frame choices should be based on what's best for the customer—when that's the case, there's no reason to doubt the pricing.

    Furthermore, it help to also bundle pricing. When each part of the sale is listed individually, it gives customers the sense of add-ons. However, by offering one price, it allows for a different kind of discussion based on "good, better, and best" options. For those who are uncomfortable with the price, staff can then break the price down and mention that this is based on the best options for what the customer wanted. If the customer wants to pay less, he can be told the "good" and "better" options, and shown how much they'll save but at the cost of what features. Often, when clients see that they'll be saving only $50 to $100 for giving up features that excited them, they'll pick the best options.

    By framing the discussion this way (pun intended), it helps the dispenser understand the value of the product being sold and why it truly is what's best for the customer.

    Says Gibbs: "Money is a derivative of your why and it's something that will come because of your why, but it’s not going to be your why."

    Next: Be the professional

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