Is this a discussion that you or your doctor is having with the patient in the examination room? And in a larger context, is the message that you and your doctor and staff are sending to your patient a 'controlled message'? Meaning, are all of you on the same page and singing the same song? If not, silly as it may seem, maybe you should all sit down together and write out a script to follow. There needs to be only one message coming from ALL staff in the practice or optical shop. A mixed message will get mixed results. A controlled message will achieve a controlled result.

You can break it down into specifics, such as :

(01) Progressive lenses - basic information, not too much information.

(02) Polarized lenses and polarization - features and benefits.

(03) Anti-reflectives, anti-scratch, hydrophobics and oilophobics - F&B.

(04) Computer lenses - features and benefits, or any other specific lens need such as sports.

If everyone is speaking the same 'language' from the exam room... to the handoff... to the dispensary - the patient's 'filtering process' is being reinforced, consistently.

Let's compare a normal MD's appointment process to the optical experience. Usually, when i am on the phone making an appointment with a medical doctor, they will tell me to fast or not to drink anything after a certain time, because they are going to take some tests. They prepare me for my visit. During the examination, my doctor is advising me that he wants me to get my blood pressure to a certain level, that he wants me to get my cholesterol levels down and my sugar levels and my triglycerides balanced, etc. He is setting health goals for me to achieve with his guidance. Most patients are compliant and will follow the doctor's instructions.

We in the optical industry need to be working towards opitcal goals for our patients, paving the way - not asking them what they want. Directing them with long-term objectives. This also creates a 'long-term relationship' bonding - that they weill commit to, or feel committed. NO different to a dentist, or someone's favorite haircutter.

People don't like change unless given a reason. It starts with the appointment-making process, usually on the telephone.

Controlling the 'script' and controlling the appointment-making process sets the tone of the appointment and possible outcome. (See my article 'Controlling Your Business - Controlling Your Patient').

After the patient arrives, during the examination is THE most critical time for the doctor to be sending the message on optical goals and the need for better eyecare health products.

Reaffirming the message in front of the patient, when handing over the patient to the optician or dispenser is the second opportunity and lastly, the optician / dispenser has the final opportunity of reinforcing optical goals that the doctor wants the patient to follow.

Keeping the message short and concise is very important. Equally important is that ALL of the staff have personal optical goals and are wearing the latest in eyecare products.

We in the optical industry need to have the best products and wear them - to walk the walk, so to speak. In doing so, this will not only become second nature, it will become a lifestyle and mindset.

If your multiple sale purchases are not a 'norm' of your eyecare business, maybe it's time for a change to your approach.

What have you got to lose by trying this plan? Nothing. What have you got to lose by NOT trying this plan? You will never know!

All the best,

Jamie Hansel

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