By Mike Bellomo
It has been my experience with labs—especially independents—that they often overlook the second or third pair sale. I am at times surprised and shocked by the responses I get from labs as to why they don’t promote sunwear and mirror coatings to their customers, the ECP. The problem becomes compounded as Liz Martinez pointed out in her article, Making the Second Pair Sale: A tale of two practices, (appearing in the March/April issue of LabTalk) regarding the customer experience handled by Dr.Goofus. I am certain Dr. Gallant does a better job than most.

As the director of marketing and sales at Opticote, a coating house with our business split between AR and mirror coatings, I have a vested interest in ‘’Sunwear and Multiple Pair” sales. Someone recently wrote that every person who walks into an ECP’s office is a second pair customer. It is so disappointing how often that message is lost on labs and the ECP.

A common theme amongst ECP’s is, if the customer doesn’t ask for it then we can’t sell it and that trickles back down to the lab. If that kind of thinking prevailed across every industry in the world we would still be living in caves. Just the other day a customer called in and was asking questions related to AR on a pair of Transition lenses. I inquired if they knew if the customer intended for this pair to supplement sunwear, well yes was the answer. Not at all surprised by the answer, I suggested a Flash Silver or Gold Mirror depending on which base color the customer is purchasing for the sunglasses. The response was they’d never heard of such a thing.

A lens with a Flash Mirror Coating in its natural condition has a luminescent quality and when it darkens it now has a Mirror effect providing the wearer with higher level of comfort when they are in the sun. This also works quite well on Younger Optics’ Drivewear lens. In both applications the Flash Mirror will not inhibit either lens from performing its stated function. Everyone benefits from the profit potential and the customer receives all the benefits from the dual purpose that his eyewear provides him or her.

[Editor Note: Speaking with Younger Optics, they do not recommend a flash mirror on their Drivewear lenses as the lenses are activated by visible light and the flash mirror would decrease visible light that activates the visible light dyes in the lens, thereby affecting the lenses functionality. ]

When I speak of labs, I’m talking about the “voice of the lab” which is the lab’s customer service department. Sometimes all it takes is one extra question and/or suggestion from the customer service personnel for an idea to take hold in the mind of the ECP regarding multi-pair sales.

My point is, that when you talk about sunwear please consider or add into the equation that mirror coatings are to sunwear what AR is to everyday eyewear. Profit potential with mirror coatings for both the lab and the ECP is more that AR, and by raising the average customer sales, everyone wins, especially the customer who now has a great pair of sunglasses, that provide comfort, a great look and piece of mind that comes from knowing that their ocular safety has been protected.

We all can do better. The difference better ordinary and extraordinary is one more question.

Michael Bellomo, is the director of marketing and sales at Opticote. He can be reached at [email protected]


Labtalk June 2020