Frame Sales: How to Boost Revenue
By Kayla Groves June 01, 2020
Online retailers are creating a significant dip in your optical profits, and every year, another online optical retail tries to push small businesses out the door. Luckily, when a patient enters your practice, you have the upper hand. When that patient sits in your exam chair, you have the perfect opportunity to start the conversation and make the appropriate recommendations. Once you leave them in the care of the optician, it is their job to solidify the recommendations. Use these 3 Optical tips to help increase revenue from frame sales.
Demographics & Pricing
Observe your patients and see what frames they currently wear. It would be best if you understand your demographics and order frames that adequately represent your clientele. Your practice should offer at least 20 different brands, and you should have a wide variety of stock frames. Make sure you hit every age range and offer products for every budget. Research your competition and determine the markups other offices are offering in your area. Remember, consumers have instant access to your competition and will most likely have an idea of how much a frame will cost them, so make sure your pricing is competitive. In my experience, most successful practices use a scale that starts at a 3X’s markup on wholesale products priced $39.95 and up. For products priced $39.95 are typically set at a 4-5X's markup. Simplify pricing and set into motion an appropriate tier level for your practice. Consider price matching, and with insurance, you are most likely to receive the same payout.
Communicating properly with your patients is vital. Both the doctor and optician should work together to educate the patient and recommend the appropriate products. The optician should have the skills and knowledge to properly help the patient and make sure they purchase the recommended products. Taking the time to educate your patient can help build trust between you and the patient. Trust is what keeps patients coming back. It is important to remember that an optician should never ask the patient what they want. They should let them know their recommendations and then go from there. Instead of asking, “What type of coatings would you like to put on your lenses?” The optician should assume that what they need is what they should get. Make the appropriate recommendations and explain the benefits of each coating. You should never prejudge a customer. Offer the best tier you have to offer and work from there. Understanding the benefits is vital, and you should provide the best products available to your patients. If it is not within their budget, move down a tier, and work from there. You should offer products that fit your patient's needs without losing trust and, ultimately, a patient.
Patients come to your office because they expect you to take care of them and help them achieve a more precise vision. They trust your opinion, and they respect you as a professional. Not only do they expect this while they are in your exam chair, patients expect this service after they purchase their glasses from you. They often face the reality that it may take some time for them to adjust to their new prescription. Communicating with them and following up with them is imperative. They should understand the adjustment time and educated on how to handle the adjustment period. We have all had that patient who immediately took them off and demanded a new prescription. However, with the proper education and follow-up, we can make our patients feel more at ease. Let your patient know you are there for them and will help them during this process. Make sure they leave happy. Happy patients are more likely to recommend us to their friends. Typically, an angry patient will blast us on every social media platform available. Ultimately, hurting our reputation and our bottom-line.
If a patient is determined to purchase their glasses online, make sure you educate them on the problems, they may face—ill-suited frame fittings, Incorrect prescriptions, inferior coatings, and, most importantly, incorrect measurements. Incorrect measurements bring me to the most asked question. Should you charge for PD's? Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but the short answer is Yes. You are providing a service, and if they are using that service to order glasses online, you should compensate for your time. On average, an office charges $20-$30 to release a PD measurement. However, I have seen several offices charge and obtain $45 for this service. Your time is essential, and you should be compensated for it.