Blog
Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blog
IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Patricia Basile | 7/18/2019
THE HIDDEN OPPORTUNITY WITH PRIVATE PAY PATIENTS

How many private pay opportunities do you have each day?

With so many of your patients now covered by vision care plans, you would probably say, not many. I could ask you to look at the percentage of patients you see in each plan, I could ask you what percentage of patients are private pay. But instead I will ask, how many refractions do you perform each day? Virtually, every one of those refractions have the potential to be a private pay purchase. The sunglasses purchased by a contact lens wearer after using vision care benefits for their lenses is a private pay purchase. The second pair as computer glasses purchased by a progressive wearer is a private pay purchase. The prescription sunglasses purchased by a patient in addition to the single vision eyeglasses they ordered with their benefits is a private pay purchase.

Actively seeking to understand the needs of your patients beyond that first product covered by their plan is our responsibility as eye care professionals. Most vision care plans only offset the cost for one pair of eyeglasses or a supply of contact lenses. As eyecare professionals, we know that one pair of eyeglasses will rarely, if ever, address all our patient’s needs. We must not be shy about making the recommendations and writing the orders for these additional pairs.

If we fail to suggest appropriate products, these additional needs may be met by an online retailer or a merchant at the mall. People shop outside our office for several reasons including:

  • Convenience
  • Price
  • Impulse vs. Information

We can address each of these reasons and not only compete, but completely outperform these other outlets, keeping our patients happy while producing additional revenue for the practice.

Convenience

If we provide clear, simple pricing and make the selection process fun and engaging we save them the shopping trips, the uncertainty and risks involved in ordering glasses from anyone other than you. You are their trusted eye care provider; they are predisposed to give you their business if they feel that you respect their time and have the same passion for the final product as you have in getting the prescription right. You need to make the point that it is far more convenient to be fit now, today, by professionals that care about all of their optical product needs.

Price

Most consumers are not looking strictly at price, but at value. Consumers are very put off when they get the sense that you have a complicated pricing system that is a complete mystery to them. Adopt package pricing that simplifies the sales process and provides transparency, especially for the products they will pay for themselves, after benefits have been used. These packages do not have to match the competitors’ unrealistic offers dollar for dollar, as long as the case is made for the value of the products and services provided.

Impulse vs. Information

If you, meaning you personally as the doctor, your receptionist, technicians, opticians, fail to educate the patient about the vast array of options available to them, someone else will, and they will make the sale. You will never know the number of people you may have lost if they found out through another source (retailer) that there are glasses available for computer use or hobbies, that different sunglass lens colors have different benefits and uses. The merchant or optical retailer that they casually stopped to talk to educates them and offers these solutions. They will have gained their trust and future business, you may not see them back, even for exams. You never want them to have to say, “My eye doctor/optician never told me this was an option!” And, by the way, they paid for these additional pairs out of pocket.

Many times, we may be reluctant to offer these product solutions, assuming we will be perceived as pushy. There is no element of overselling if you are making your recommendations based on determining their unique needs by asking lifestyle questions. These conversations may take several more minutes but provide the opportunity to offer greater comfort for a patient’s everyday activities.

Pat Basile

CT LO, NCLEC, ABOC

IDOC Optical Management Consultant

https://meetme.so/PatBasile

Patricia Basile
Optical Management Consultant
Pat Basile has extensive experience in sales, customer service, management and laboratory operations in the optical field. Licensed in Connecticut and certified by the ABO and NCLE, she has had great success in developing and implementing growth plans, providing training and leadership to achieve greater sales and productivity results. She believes that the consumer is much better served by the personal care provided by small, independent and caring optometric practices. Pat will listen to your concerns and help you identify those things that can be done to bring your practice to the next level. Some of these things may include training and setting goals for sales and customer service, inventory management and frame board management.
Trending Blogs
 
 

5/19/2022 | Author: Steve Vargo

As research for launching a new service called IDOC Specialty Services, I interviewed several industry experts of various specialties. At the end of each call, I asked everyone the same question: “What prevents more ODs from succeeding with a specialty?”

Their answers were insightful.... Read more


5/3/2022 | Author: Amy Alvarez

The pandemic has caused many changes in private practice, affecting everything from the way we see our patients to what we expect from our employees. Although some of these changes serve us well, others may feel like a barrier. While attendance issues are not new... Read more


4/25/2022 | Author: Lana Greene

Do you ever wonder if the same amount of effort goes into selling eyeglass frames vs. selling lenses and treatment options? I certainly do. Speaking from experience as an optician, I remember always being so excited when new lens technology was released. I couldn’t wait to fit our... Read more


4/8/2022 | Author: Steven Festa

Alright, I will come clean on something very few people knew about outside my family.  I’m OK with sharing this with the world now as it helps prove a point about the importance of being present in local searches.

Ever since COVID started, my wonderful wife had started... Read more


4/4/2022 | Author: Jelissa Brooks

Expanding your staff is an exciting step in independent practice growth. If you’ve recently added a new OD to your practice, get the word out to your audience through social media!

Promoting a new associate OD through your social media channels is an effective strategy in... Read more


3/15/2022 | Author: Nathan Hayes

In case you haven’t noticed, the Consumer Price Index was up 7.5% in January, as compared to 2021. In short, this means that a basket of goods like food, energy, and other consumer goods cost 7.5% more in 2022 than the year before.

Practice owners feel the squeeze in multiple... Read more


2/28/2022 | Author: Steve Vargo

Are you experiencing burnout in your professional career? It’s okay, you can admit it. You’re not alone. In fact, studies have found that approximately 50 percent of physicians are suffering from burnout.

Twelve billion dollars. That’s a conservative estimate of the cost incurred to... Read more


2/17/2022 | Author: Amy Alvarez

The last few months have been filled with rising wages, steep job competition, and continued uncertainty. Practice owners are being approached by staff about pay increases and are receiving higher wage requirements from job candidates. Many businesses are advertising their starting pay,... Read more


2/7/2022 | Author: Lana Greene

I often hear from ODs and opticians that their patients are taking their prescriptions and purchasing eyewear at Costco, Warby Parker, or other online retailers. Rarely do I hear the reason why. Finally, the opportunity was in front of me so I could ask questions to a consumer regarding the... Read more


1/24/2022 | Author: Steven Festa

Does hearing SEO make your eyes glaze over a bit and cause your mind to wander? If you answered yes, then you are not alone. While tough to grasp initially, SEO is important for your practice, and as providers of Read more

© 2022 IDOC. All Rights Reserved