Titan Minimal Art Pulse model with custom orange grooved lens.
IS CREATED EQUAL
Lens Customization Presents the Key
Leading the way in rimless eyewear, Silhouette recognizes that the way to keep the best eyewear at the top of its game is to pair it with the highest quality lenses.
From a business perspective, carrying rimless will differentiate you as an ECP. Silhouette’s style center, with eight styles per collection, covering a range of shapes, bridge sizes, and temples, gives ECPs a platform from which they can demonstrate all that rimless frames have to offer.
Make no mistake: Rimless eyewear is meant to be customized. Anyone who walks through the door of a practice can be fitted, and once lens considerations become part of the discussion, the options for unique eyewear that is a true reflection of the wearer’s personality are limitless. You can work with a more mature patient who’s looking for a simple look, or you can create a design fit for a true fashionista. And once your patients have a proper lensucation, there’s plenty of opportunity for profitability in lenses.
Robin Brush of EyeOptics in Omaha, NE, is a longtime Silhouette customer and is on the front lines of creating opportunities for profitability from the sale of top-notch lenses. She offered a clear and simple opening tip for increasing profitability on the lens front: Be prepared.
“Silhouette is an amazing brand,” Brush said. “It’s high-end, and the lenses that we sell are also high-end.”
With that in mind, the importance of educating patients about what makes the combination of Silhouette rimless and high quality lenses so valuable cannot be understated. “It can be a huge missed opportunity if your staff is not educated and ready to prepare the patient.” Everyone on staff should be able to articulate to patients why certain lenses are the best, and what makes them better than the ones carried at big box stores. By the time you get to the price, according to Brush, the patient should be on board, with a full awareness of the lenses’ benefits. Here’s how to make that happen:
Sell the lenses from the exam chair
Confirm that the entire staff knows why you sell what you sell. “That’s something I’ve worked very hard on—getting them to understand,” Brush said. “If that groundwork is not laid while the patient is in the exam chair, it’s going to be more of a challenge for the optician to get back up and get that sold.”
Use the right language
Once you bring the patient out, the doctor can instruct the optician in front, saying, “Here’s what I’m prescribing.” Ultimately, this makes the lens suggestion an extension of the prescription.
Treat patients as you would treat a friend
Sit down with them, take a look at the prescription, and then say, “Now I want to tell you what I think is going to be the best for you.” Here, you’re building a bridge from the exam room to the sale. You know the quality of exam you’ve given is high. And the quality of the service has to be on that same level.
Educate your patients
“Don’t get up and walk away to get frames,” Brush advised. “Sit there and talk with the patient. When you’re talking about higher-end products, it’s critical that you offer an explanation regarding the price.”
As an ECP, educating patients in this context really means filling them in on their level of freedom in customization. Start with two questions: “What did you love about your last frame?” and “What would you like to change about it?” For the next step of the conversation, it’s time to introduce — or reintroduce — rimless eyewear.
Everything about Silhouette rimless frames is customizable, so no two people will have the same pair. At EyeOptics, Brush’s team practices an approach called SIT, for Silhouette in Every Tray. With this strategy in play, every patient is presented with a Silhouette option. And since they are believers themselves, the staff quite naturally makes patients aware that this best-of-the-best eyewear offers the optical equivalent to coming home after a long day and putting on your most comfortable clothes.
Brush described the handmade dispensing table at EyeOptics. “Patients can see all the frames when they’re in there, and we slide them out and then we just start showing them,” she said. “If you have a very detailed person, we’ll focus on the details of the frame, the construction of the frame.”
The discussion about lenses is just as important. “When it comes to lenses, we offer only three choices: good, better, best,” Brush noted. “Any more than that and you’ve confused the patient. You don’t need to make the process any more complicated.”
She drew a relatable analogy: “You could go to a regular department store and buy a suit off the rack, or you can go to a higher-end store and have one fitted for you,” she said. “Or you could go to the finest store and have one made for you. ECPs are starting to really make a profit talking about different lenses this way.”
Once you’re in the lens zone, Brush suggests focusing first on shape. She has her team tell patients, “We’re going to choose a shape that works best with your prescription and what you feel most comfortable in.” Brush mentioned that today’s trends point in the direction of bigger being better, but more conservative shapes are also always available.
Silhouette wearers may want a look that doesn’t stand out. Brush educates them about the strides the industry has made in the world of anti-reflective and non-glare options. She starts by making sure they know what they had in the first place. She advised that ECPs remind patients about what they really love, noting that AR lenses are easier to clean than ever before, with options where the treatment is embedded in the lens — not a topical coating. “When you’re having pictures taken, you just want people to see you, not your glasses,” she said. “That’s not who you are!” Brush also pointed to tints and edge coloring as popular customization options. “We color the edge in whatever color they want with a pen that looks like a Sharpie,” she said. “A little hot pink all the way around those lenses is darling.”
Sometimes patients — particularly millennials — according to Brush, are looking for undeniable individuality, even asking, at times, for two different temples. “You can do it,” she exclaimed, adding, “You just have to buy two sets!” How’s that for profitability? Silhouette rimless eyewear speaks for itself. When it’s combined with a top-of-the-line lens option, the profitability reveals itself, and patients are thrilled with the result.