Editor’s Comment: 

While the fashion frame is often the “star” in an eyewear sale, a fundamental model of consumer behaviour, Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy (1954), maintains the principle that basic needs must be met before higher order needs are addressed. Of course, an accurate Rx is essential. Beyond this, uncovering specific vision needs, such as night driving problems, and prescribing advanced lens technologies designed for specific requirements provide an effective way to keep patients happy and loyal while generating premium lens sales. With a specific vision problem identified, a “solutions-based” selling approach is very effective.

Learn how Dr. Benjamin Doz and staff at Optometrists’ Clinic in Edmonton implement a disciplined solution-based selling approach to increase sales of premium specialty lenses.

Our practice has 5 locations, both in and around Edmonton, Alberta. As in many parts of the country, driving in Northern Alberta can be a treacherous adventure at any time of the year. Low-light conditions persist for long hours in the spring and fall, and with winter driving complicated by ice, snow, glare and darkness.

We have found that vision problems often occur while driving, particularly at night. A significant number of our patients experience this. Over the years increasingly better glare-reduction technologies have been made available to address

Main location of Optometrist’s Clinic Inc., in downtown Edmonton.

the issue. The newest ophthalmic lens technology however, is especially designed for the driving task and incorporates both specific AR coating and lens design technologies.  These advances, coupled with our approach to identifying specific vision requirements, allow us to add to our premium lens sales, and satisfy the needs of our patients.

The latest technology option we offer provides a performance boost for all driving conditions. It’s a complete package solution including an advanced lens design and a specific anti-reflection coating for driving; ZEISS DriveSafe lenses.

In our practice, we begin by identifying a patient’s needs, starting with general open ended questions about vision issues and then drilling down on specific aspects of vision lifestyle and identifiable problems. Often vision problems with driving will be self-identified by the patient.  If not, we will ask specifically about vision issues while driving, with particular attention to low light conditions.

Since patients have a high level of trust in the doctor’s recommendations, the most critical touch-point for this discussion is in the examination room. During the exam the doctors will reinforce that we offer solutions for vision problems while driving in all conditions.

The latest technology option we offer provides a performance boost for all driving conditions.

In the hand-off to the dispensing staff we make sure to empower them as the experts on answering questions about specific needs, including solutions for driving, be it in cars, all terrain vehicles, or motorcycles. It’s important for patient flow and efficiency that all the staff be cross-trained, and are able to answer questions and complete the dispensing process.

In using this needs-based approach we get very few price objections. One question we are often asked is “are the lenses suitable for day-time use”. This is particularly true if the primary problem identified is night or twilight driving. We can easily address this question by indicating that the lenses are fully suitable for day-time driving, along with a reminder that day-time driving hazards, such as rain and glare can also compromise vision. About 90% of the DriveSafe lenses dispensed in our practice are not tinted, with the other 10% being from sales of polarized and Photofusion™ photochromic lenses. The product is mostly presented as a primary pair of glasses. In our experience, presenting the DriveSafe as the patient’s “primary pair” does not interfere with the dispensing of a second, or third pair, if there are other requirements that need to be met e.g. for computer lenses or Rx sunwear.

An advantage of a full package solution is that we avoid getting side-tracked into presenting multiple AR options, as the product only comes with the specifically designed coating, which also simplifies the pricing discussion.

Leveraging a respected brand name with a strong optical heritage also increases the patient’s confidence in the practice and the specific recommendation.

With the patient’s lens needs identified and met, we are ready to move into the next part of the sale: the frame, where both function and style come into play.

Our patients are fussy, as well they have a right to be! I like to think that we have trained them to be particular, and not accept anything less than the best! With that in mind, we have had no non-adapts, and several unsolicited positive comments regarding this product! We are dispensing over 20 pairs per month of these premium ZEISS DriveSafe Lenses. Following this simple, needs-based selling approach, with a solutions-based product, has been a good way to gain premium lens sales, and retain patient loyalty, by providing an improvement in our patient’s quality of life.

This article is supported by Carl Zeiss Vision Canada.

Learn more about this lens solution, go to www.zeiss.ca/drivesafe.

View this video [https://youtu.be/TqKoYlO0PBw] for more information.

Larry Fustukian, Licensed Ophthalmic Dispenser & Dr. Benjamin Doz, OD, Optometrist’ Clinic Inc., Edmonton AB

Larry Fustukian, Licensed Ophthalmic Dispenser & Dr. Benjamin Doz, OD, Optometrist’ Clinic Inc., Edmonton AB

Optometrists’ Clinic Inc, in downtown Edmonton is the headquarters of a 5-location operation within and surrounding Edmonton. Dr. Benjamin Doz, is one of four ODs and Larry Fustukian is one of five dispensing staff at the downtown location.