1. Building your business is a team effort, so start by putting lenses at the heart of team training. It’s not just lenses you need to be talking about: communication skills and understanding how patients think are also critical.
2. Look and listen. From the moment the patient walks into your practice they are giving you clues to how they use their specs and when they need them. Ask them to talk to you about the times they love their specs, and the times they find them a nuisance. This can help you and your team make the best recommendations rather than just selling the patient the same as they have had before.
3. Explain the benefits rather than the features. To most patients a lens is just a lens. Think about how a particular type of lens will meet their needs: will photochromic varifocals allow them to enjoy reading outdoors in the sunshine, for example? Talking about benefits can make much more sense than discussing technical specifications for many patients.
4. ‘Is that clear, or shall I explain it another way?’ It’s not always easy to know if what you are saying is making sense. A simple question like this gives the chance for patients to ask questions and request clarification. Remember to lose the jargon and speak in terms that are easier for the patient to understand.
5. Would you like fries with that? You may not be selling chips, but a key way to build your practice is to upsell. This means finding add-ons that increase the overall spend per patient. You may want to make a special offer on a second pair, for example. If you have understood the patient’s individual requirements you could offer them a pair of reading specs for a particular hobby. Alternatively, you could discuss contact lenses as another solution. Whatever you offer, it will help the patient and boost your business too.