Crafting lens packages makes getting patients what they need easier
I like watching American Pickers and observing how Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe negotiate a deal. Fritz, a.k.a. “The Bundler,” likes to put together multiple items to get a better price. I think he’s on to something. I think “bundling” lenses and options makes them easier to sell to the patient.
When I came to my current practice in 2014, everything was sold piecemeal. I’d have to explain everything I recommended individually. But I wanted to bring patients up to speed on today’s technology and sell better lenses. Varilux Comfort was my predecessor’s lens of choice, in either CR39 or polycarbonate with few having non-glare added. For many, Varilux Comfort is a go-to progressive lens. But with the availability of new cutting-edge technology, digital and high-definition lenses, my goal was to give patients the “wow” factor. I also wanted to put more people in Trivex, which is crisper, sharper, the lightest-weight material to wear and doesn’t chip or crack like CR39 and Poly. Using new technology to combine the Trivex material with non-glare lenses is the way to go. By changing the lenses and material, and adding non-glare, I started seeing patients put on their glasses and say “Wow!” again and again. They couldn’t believe how clear and crisp things were.
So that’s how I started “bundling.” I started with progressives. I looked at the ones my lab offered and chose lenses I’ve dispensed and liked after trying myself. Working with my lab rep and looking at the pricing structure, I narrowed down the choice to four progressives I was comfortable with and knowledgeable about. Next, I wanted those progressives to be Trivex and I wanted them all to have non-glare. We decided that package pricing was the way to go. Bundle all the prices together and inform the patient that progressives start at $X and go up to $Y, and here’s what the package includes. The most expensive was the Varilux S Design in high index, because it didn’t come in Trivex yet.
We decided on a placemat with “Good,” “Better,” “Best,” and “Elite” categories. They were each accompanied by a picture showing what the progressive looked like, with bullet points explaining the benefits of the lens, material and non-glare. We had add-ons at the bottom like Transitions and/or a better non-glare. We later cut the list to three progressives; the fourth is now a polarized option. We did the same with single vision. Creating a package that has a digital lens with non-glare already added allows the patient to choose between polycarbonate, Trivex, 1.67 high index, and the Elite, 1.74. Lastly, we did flat top bifocals starting with poly, then Trivex. Our top is the Shamir Duo.
This works well with some insurance plans. We show the package prices and inform the patient their insurance gives them $X toward this lens. Their difference is $Y. By explaining what the package includes, the selling process is simplified.
This all just takes a few minutes of explaining but as a certified optician, it’s my duty to educate them. When they come to pick them up, I fit and dispense them. When I hear, “Wow! Things are so clear!” I know I have done my job and the patient is leaving happy.
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 edition of INVISION.