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Closing the Loop For a Positive Patient Experience




BY NOW, WE’VE gone over the first two points — Contact Point and Focus — of my 4 Point Formula for Focused Sales Success (Part 1:; Part 2: and its time to close the loop on Eliminating the Circle of Confusion. That brings us to Accommodation and, finally, Pin Point.


The exam becomes a continuation of Focus on patients. What is in their best interest? Your caring expertise assists patients in defining and choosing superior care and superior product. When the examining OD is aware of previous eyewear problems and suggests lenses and frames to rectify those the problems then the continuing circle of care is supported. Focus and Accommodation account for 50 percent of the circle of experience.

The critical component to assure your patients’ confidence is in the exam room. In my 35 years of dispensing, the biggest concern from patients was feeling rushed between choices “one” or “two.” The second was that the OD wasn’t aware of what was happening up front or in dispensing. The discussion of lenses, frames, upgrades, progressive brands and coatings begins here. It isn’t selling, it’s better service. If you plant the seed, your optician can more easily offer the best products and ensure all patients’ concerns are addressed.

Pin Point

Provided patients have experienced a positive first impression and have been well focused on and accommodated in all needs throughout their visit so far, sitting down in the dispensary to make financial choices on lens and frames with the optician should be as carefree as possible.

There is no magic formula to ensure the optician can sell upgraded lenses and frames. It can’t all be left in her hands to convince patients to purchase enhanced products. The whole office experience and everyone involved, contributes to this moment. By now your patients are feeling either very happy to spend their dollars with your office or they are looking for a copy of their RX and the exit sign.

Delivering patients to the dispensary is an important responsibility of the examining OD. It only takes a moment or two to discuss the patients’ needs with the optician. As patients listen, make eye contact to ensure they are following your example and move them into the next set of caring hands. The two minutes here, where the optician and optometrist agree on lenses needed, will leave a trusting feeling in patients.


Opticians are expected to sell upgrades, but if all channels to the dispensary are open with care and compassion, by the time patients arrive there, selling won’t be necessary because they will feel that their needs have been the priority of the entire staff.

It’s rarely about price that patients will leave without filling a needed Rx. It’s about care, communication and compassion that decides everything here. Discount houses can never deliver these basic human needs. When it comes to caring for oneself and trusting someone else to do the same, dynamic service trumps discount every time.

Consider the circle of your patients’ whole experience in your office. Your staff members are parts of a whole. All areas support the other. Some patients will not pay for upgrades no matter what you do or say, but your chances of providing and selling superior products to the majority of your patients will improve far beyond your current numbers when your business brilliance reflects the heart and soul of patient care.

Colleen Hannegan, ABOC, has served in every capacity of the optical industry for more than 35 years. Dispensing, frame rep, multi-optical store manager, frame buyer and consultant, marketing manager, and optical shop owner for over 22 years. She now writes and lectures on all things optical. Visit for more info or contact her at


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