The Importance of Capturing Second Pair Glasses Sales:
How many of our patients have multiple watches, a closet full of purses, or more shoes than they can count, but have only one pair of glasses?
With so many varied lifestyles, hobbies, and interests, it would be hard to find a person who doesn’t need a least 3-4 pair of glasses. I often remind my staff that we are not simply selling glasses to patients, but are in fact improving their quality of life as we bring them visual solutions to coincide with their daily activities.
Yes, capturing second pair glasses sales can provide a great service to our patients, but it can also produce an incredible revenue stream. Capturing second pair glasses sales is often regarded as one of the most challenging yet coveted goals of most optometry practices.
According to Review of Optometric Business, a reachable goal for most practices would be increasing second-pair sales to 15 percent of exam visits, which (factoring in second-pair discounts) can increase practice revenues 1-2 percent.
However, revenue aside, anything you do as an eye care professional (ECP) should always first be in the best interest of the patient. Second pair glasses sales provides you with the perfect opportunity to do what is best for your patient, while also benefiting your practice.
1) It is not selling. It is educating and understanding the needs of your patients.
The reality is that so many patients need multiple pairs of glasses, and by not recognizing this you are doing them a major disservice.
Every patient who comes in to my practice for an exam leaves with what I call a vision treatment plan that takes into consideration all of their visual needs and ocular health. Just as I would prescribe a treatment for dry eye or glaucoma, I prescribe multiple pairs of glasses as a treatment for their visual needs.
This often involves a:
- Primary or habitual pair of glasses
- Second pair (we personally try to avoid calling it a “backup” pair)
- Computer prescription
- Prescription sunglasses
- Specialty Rx based upon specific hobbies or needs
It is rare that one pair of glasses can meet all of the visual needs of our patients, and it is our job to educate patients on why we are prescribing multiple pairs of glasses and how that relates specifically back to their health or lifestyle.
Prescription sunwear provides you with the perfect opportunity to discuss the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Talking to patients about digital device use, screen time, and blue light exposure is a great way to start a conversation around a specific lens option like Eyezen™+.
2) It is a team effort.
Just as you would educate patients on the importance of multiple pairs of glasses, you should educate your staff and opticians on the importance as well. If everyone in your office is on the same page, and understands the benefits of multiple pairs of glasses for your patients and your practice, you will likely be far more successful.
Remember, the patient experience at your office starts with the reception. When calling to confirm the appoint, make sure that your receptionist is asking the patient to bring all their prescription eyewear.
“Mrs. Smith, we are excited to see you tomorrow at 9:00 am for your appointment with Dr. Ward. Please be sure to bring your glasses, your second pair, and your prescription sunglasses!”
If the patient says they don’t have those things, then the receptionist can educate a little on the importance of each style of lenses, all before the patient even steps foot though the door.
A portion of our “welcome” form to patients includes a section on hobbies and interests. We list a few such as athletics, reading, woodworking, and needlework, as well as offer a line for patients to fill in. I also use this information to bond with the patient, which then can help lead the discussion to the new lenses needed.
3) A Great Handoff
A well-discussed hand off is also vital for the doctor to transfer trust and understanding to the optician.
The hand off should take place in the exam room, not out in the crowded optical, and should go something like this. “Mrs. Smith, it was great to see you for your exam. Stephanie is our lead optician, and she loves helping our patients find the perfect piece of eyewear.”
I think asking this question of the staff allows them to show they are experts as well, and can say, “I think the Varilux X Series will be the perfect lens, that will really help you see more comfortably when you’re working on the computer throughout the day and then reading that book when you get home.”
This transfer of expertise shows the patients that I trust in what my staff think and prescribe. So when the patients leaves the room, there doesn’t have to be an awkwardness about the sale.
4) Financial Incentives and Offering Packages
Financial incentives can be extremely powerful when it comes to capturing second pair glasses sales.
Here some ideas that have worked for us and might work for you:
- Rebates and other special offers
- It is not uncommon for labs to offer practices discounts for multiple orders – we pass those savings off to patients. Our practice offers 30% off any additional pair of glasses. (You can set rules on when that second pair has to be purchased by – we personally use 30 days).
- Additional sales and discounts during the holidays or specific seasons (ie: sunglasses for summer)
The possibilities are endless.
5) Bundling Items
Bundling items together and providing a discount can be an excellent way to seal the deal when it comes to capturing second pair sales.
My practice has benefited greatly from utilizing the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package, which offers patients the most advanced lens technologies available from Essilor in a single lens.
The Essilor Ultimate Lens Package includes:
- Varilux X Series (for progressive lens wearers) or Eyezen+ (for single vision lens wearers)
- Crizal Sapphire® 360° UV
- Transitions® Signature® VII
The Essilor Ultimate Lens Package works well because it encompasses many of the most important elements I discuss in the exam room. When it comes to providing patients with clear comfortable vision at all distances, along with reducing glare and exposure to Harmful Blue Light  while blocking 100 percent of UV rays, I can easily educate patients on how beneficial this package is, making the bundling of these products easy.
What is Instant $100?
It is exciting to see Essilor continue to support the independent ECP and help them market to patients who want to purchase multiple pairs of glasses by offering the Instant $100 rebate*.
With Instant $100, patients are able to receive an instant digital rebate for $100 when purchasing the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package and a qualifying second pair of lenses.
While this rebate emphasizes the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package, it also offers ECPs choices across Essilor’s product portfolio to reach more patients. Patients who may instead elect to purchase Varilux or Eyezen+ lenses with Crizal No-Glare treatment along with a qualifying second pair are still eligible to receive $50 in 4-8 days.
The Instant $100 rebate is designed to be simple for consumers to redeem and easy for eyecare professionals to recommend, and independent practices are eligible to participate in the Instant $100 rebate by enrolling at www.essilorusa.com/instant100.
How to discuss and use Instant $100
Here is how my office has been discussing Instant $100, which has been made even easier since many of my patients are already familiar with the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package.
Our staff is already used to talking to patients about contact lens manufacturer rebates so educating your staff on how to promote this program is a breeze.
Again, the staff can simply do this same thing with the Essilor Instant $100 program. “Mr. Smith, I’m glad to hear that Dr. Ward prescribed the Varilux X Series lens for you. This technology is really amazing. Let me walk you through your insurance coverage in order to maximize that contribution. Then we’ll apply Essilor’s Instant $100 rebate to your second pair as well as our in-house savings plan” (if you offer this, of course).
When it comes to recommending multiple pairs of glasses, not only are you providing patients with a service and an experience, you are giving them something that truly benefits them while giving you an opportunity to grow your optometry practice.
*Valid 2/1/19-12/31/19 or enrollment date, whichever is later. Rebate in form of gift card. May combine with select lenses and coatings. Visit essilorusa.com/lnstant100 for full Terms & Conditions.
- Lou O, OD. Build Second-Pair Eyewear Sales. Review of Optometric Business. 2017. <https://reviewob.com/build-second-pair-eyewear-sales/>
- Arnault E, Barrau C, Nanteau C, Gondouin P, Bigot K, et al. (2013). Phototoxic Action Spectrum on a Retinal Pigment Epithelium Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Exposed to Sunlight Normalized Conditions. PLoS ONE 8(8): e71398. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071398 (August 23, 2013). Identified Harmful Blue Light through in vitro experiment on swine retinal cells, where the most toxic wavelengths are high energy visible light falling between 415-455nm on the light spectrum (blue-violet light).