Selling Eyewear Accessories
Eyewear accessories are a nice little add-on. While they may not seem like they’re doing much for your bottom line, by the end of the year, those sales can really rack up—that is, if you’re pushing them.
Many practices fail to push these sales as they don’t want to be bothered or don’t think it’s worth the time. But they’re ignoring the bigger picture that in time, those $5 or $10 sale items can make a significant grand total. In fact, pushing eyewear accessories may even help support your eyewear sales.
One of the reasons that practices may not push accessories sales is the fear of “scaring off” the customer by over-pitching them. But a well-crafted accessories pitch has the ability to support the eyewear sale, not hinder it. If done tactfully, as part of the overall eyewear pitch—focusing on how accessories can enhance the purchased eyewear—the client will feel it’s more of a service than an upsell. It’s what they’re used to in spending on everything from a vehicle to a lawn care service. Upselling is part of the buying experience and if you’re failing to pitch accessories that may enhance the patient’s overall usage of their eyewear, you’re actually doing them a disservice. After all, the worst that can happen is they’ll say “No.”
We’ve rounded up a number of tips that can help you sell some of today’s key eyewear accessories.
Since most eyewear comes with its own case, a lot of eyecare practitioners ignore pushing the sale of additional cases. But as a highly functional item it’s something that can’t be ignored. Some patients may want a second case for their purse or car so that there’s always a safe place to store their glasses—even if they left their primary case at home. An eyewear case is an easy add-on to throw in after you’ve made the eyewear sale. Point out that the primary case comes with the purchase of the eyewear and ask if they’d like to purchase a second case to ensure they always have one handy. Position it as a way to protect their investment.
Also remember that the cases which come with a pair of eyewear may be standard and plain. Patients might be looking for something a bit more fashionable if it’s an item they’re going to be carrying around. If it’s a patient that seems to value fashion and is buying a trendy frame, pitch a trendier case.
As with any accessory, the key to case sales is having them on display. Also, always be sure to utilize a case when selling a pair of eyewear. After you’re done showing off the piece of eyewear you’re pitching, place it gently back into the case. This helps reinforce to the patient that the eyewear is something of “value” and helps position the item as more desirable. In this way, the case may actually help you in potentially making the sale. You’re also demonstrating good “care” by showing the patient how to properly take care of a nice piece of eyewear by always storing it in a case.
Cloths and Cleaners
Eyewear cloths and cleaners are inexpensive items but have the ability to produce repeat customers. If a patient really likes a particular cleaner, he or she may keep coming back. And just think—if you sold a cleaning set to each patient you’ve sold eyewear to, those sales can really start to add up. The key to selling cloths and cleaners is similar to selling cases—you need to position it as a means of protecting the eyewear investment.
In many cases cleaners do wind up being one-time sales and this is largely because of the fact that patients don’t use them. They may be motivated the first couple of weeks that they have their new eyewear to clean the lenses, but that enthusiasm can wane. To help prevent this, walk your patients through an actual cleaning. Perhaps after they’ve purchased a piece of eyewear utilize a sample bottle to demonstrate how they should clean the lenses. Then ask them if they’d like to purchase a bottle. You may even drive the point home by having your patient try on a pair of eyewear that has dirty smudged lenses. Then clean the lenses and have them look through again.
Readers may actually be one of the easiest accessories to sell and that’s because many of your older patient base is already using them. The trick is to sell patients on why they need to buy their readers through you—and not at the local pharmacy.
To sell readers, consider having a section of your sales floor that is dedicated to readers. This will make them easy to find. Patients that are only in for a routine eye exam and not in the market for new frames might still be inclined to check out your selection of readers if you have them positioned near the waiting area. During the exam, find out if your patient wears readers (if you don’t already know) and ask if they’d like to see the selection you have to offer. Carry a mix of product in varying price points. Some patients might want to invest in a trendier or even brand name pair of reading glasses instead of the junky frames they got from the local Dollar Store or pharmacy.
Reader Chains and Jewelry
What used to be a grandmotherly accessory is now becoming trendy and it would behoove you to carry some examples of reader holders. Many of today’s reader chains look more like a piece of beautiful jewelry. Consider having some of these options on display near your readers so that your patients can see what’s available. In many cases, this is the type of item that patients might be interested in—they just don’t know it exists. If you have a patient purchasing a pair of readers, show them some of the chains and holders you have available and slip them on so that the patient can actually see how it looks. It looks much trendier than it once did when the only option was an unsightly metal chain.
While all of these sales pitches do take a little bit of extra time, the messages can be weaved into your primary pitch. In some cases the patient might like the supporting accessories so much that it aids in the eyewear sale. Either way accessories are a relatively easy add-on sale that shouldn’t be ignored.