Super-Size Your AR Sales

By Julie Bos
Do you want fries with that?” This ­common question—while oft en expected and snickered at—is drilled into the minds of new employees by fast food restaurants around the globe. Why? Because the power of suggestion in these six little words helps restaurants turn three-dollar meals into five-dollar ones, time and time again. Wouldn’t it be nice if ECPs could harness that same power in their conversations with patients—and encourage them to purchase add-on coatings that the patient hadn’t considered?

Armed with the right mindset—and some clever selling tips—your lab can help ECPs better predict, suggest and sell ­beneficial products like Anti-Reflective (AR) coating. Check out the following tips and encourage your teams to put them to work today, so you can attain the AR sales growth you want.

Top Tips for Increasing AR Sales

Gone are the days of inferior AR coatings that crack, craze, are hard to clean and are generally difficult to enjoy. Today’s modern coatings are far better in performance, cleaning properties, durability and cosmetics—not to mention a wide variety of available price points. Industry experts from Hoya Free-Form Company, iCoat Company and Ultra Optics provided these savvy strategies for increasing AR sales.

Tip #1:

Begin with education. Everyone on the ECP’s team should understand what the product is, what it does to enhance vision and which patients make good candidates. It helps if everyone in the practice has AR coatings on their own lenses—including their everyday lenses, computer lenses and sunwear.

Tip #2:

Provide appropriate selling tools. ECPs who use point-of-sale displays and demonstration tools to show the value of AR lenses can better educate their patients— so they can truly “see” the benefits.

Tip #3:

Make a strategic effort to train and educate the ECP staff. Educate opticians on how today’s AR has improved over time. This may help patients overcome frustrations with disappointing past experiences.

Tip #4:

Get back to basics. For all the tools, demonstration aids, electronic messaging and promotions used to convey the consumer benefits of AR coating, the most effective sales strategy is often the simplest. Simply remember that eyewear patients don’t want glare. Remind ECPs that patients come in because they want better vision—and that bundling AR into the price of every pair of eyewear, along with a detailed explanation of the patient benefits, is often received with little or no resistance.

Tip #5:

Push the profitability angle. Educate ECPs on the business benefits of AR coatings—and the lucrative profits they bring in.

Tip #6:

Educate on selling techniques. Explain the different selling approaches, including Top-Down Selling, Good-Better-Best, the Feature-Benefit strategy, the Consultative Selling approach (aimed at solving patients’ specific problems) and Want vs. Need-based selling.

Tip #7:

Wear AR lenses yourself—and convince ECPs to do the same. We all know that seeing is believing. Consider providing AR coatings to doctors and their staff members at no charge—so they can experience the benefits firsthand.

Tip #8:

Emphasize proper presentation to patients. A polished presentation not only educates patients about AR lenses, it also enables them to clearly understand the benefits and brings them closer to making purchase.

Tip #9:

Boast the benefits. Present the clear benefits of ­recommending AR coatings to eyewear consumers.

• Vision benefits – Improved clarity, better performance in low-light conditions and better visibility at night.

• Cosmetic benefits – Reduced glare, no reflections and virtually invisible lenses.

• Performance benefits – Simple cleaning, better scratch-resistance and anti-static properties.

Tip #10:

Encourage AR conversations in the exam room. AR should always be an integral part of ECPs’ eyewear ­recommendations—and a convincing conversation in the exam room is the ideal time for an ECP to demonstrate expertise and prep the patient for a possible sale.

Tip #11:

Provide quality tests of the product. Provide opticians with proof of AR performance, so they are more confident selling them.

Tip #12:

Host tours of your lab. While providing detailed information on AR products, don’t forget the power of seeing the AR process in motion. Give interested ECPs and opticians a front-line tour of your AR facility so they can better understand the product and technology.

Tip #13:

Encourage ECPs to make a conscious commitment. As with any new lens technology or enhancement, ECPs and opticians need to make a dedicated effort to successfully integrate AR sales into their routine recommendations.

Tip #14:

Evaluate the ECP’s office surroundings. At every point of communication with the patient, a consistent message about the visual benefits of AR should be delivered to reinforce that message. Encourage ECPs to walk through their own offices and see what the patient sees relative to their eyecare and eyewear messages.

Here’s the bottom line. Suggestive selling often works on fast food customers who probably don’t need fries with their meals. Just imagine how well it could work on eyecare patients who can actually benefit from their ECP’s suggestions. So encourage your ECP clients to ask the right questions and turn everyday lens requests into orders with super-size profits.

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May/June LabTalk 2017