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 | 5/21/2019

Why am I the best option for my patients’ eyewear purchase?

Selection? Value? Convenience? Quality? Price? Expertise?

What messages am I sending in my marketing and interactions with them that makes the case that I am their best option?

There are three critical moments during the patient’s decision-making process of where to have their exam, where to buy their glasses and whether they should do both in one place. If we create a separation between the two functions, we are encouraging them to do the same; leading to the patient walking out with a prescription, rather than a complete eyecare experience.  You absolutely can change this by recognizing when each decision is made and concentrating your resources into holding their interest and trust at these moments.

1. First Impressions

Website: Do you make it clear from the very first view of your website that you are in the fashion business as well as the eye exam business?  If every piece of information they see about you says, “The exam is important, but where you buy your glasses is not,” they are not likely to make the appointment at all. Does the patient need to search your website to see anything about your frame selection or the brands you carry? A clinical appearance to your website may speak to a quality eye exam, but a website that has fashion forward, colorful graphics will attract the attention of people looking for exceptional eyewear.


2. Transitioning from the Exam to the Eyewear Purchase

Super Tech or Doctor Hand Off: I love the concept of the Super-Tech whenever possible. The patient will open up about their eyewear needs at many times during the exam, so having one person that listens to their concerns throughout the visit prevents the frustration of having to recite their needs again and again and eliminates the need for any handoff.

If that is not practical for your office, the next best solution is excellent communication. The receptionist will ask about their current eyewear, the tech will take notes as they chat with the patient and hear their concerns, the doctor will pass along his recommendations as well. Talking about eyewear all the way through the visit demonstrates that you truly care that they receive a very high-quality final product from your office.


3. Optician’s Sales Expertise

The salesperson must be committed to providing excellent information and recommendations and must treat every patient with the same level of respect. Even if a vision care plan does not fully cover every recommended feature, the patient is entitled to the information about what is available to them.

The salesperson must never assume that a patient is not interested in getting multiple pairs of eyeglasses. Six, seven or even eight pairs of glasses are not out of the question. The salesperson will document everything about several pairs, giving the patient the option of ordering them in the future with a quick phone call, when they go back to the office and struggle with the computer after finding out there is a simple solution. If it is essential for a presbyope to have a regular pair of eyeglasses, a computer pair and prescription sunglasses, then if follows they need alternates for each of these. Not just for an emergency but for every day, to have different looks, different lens options and different frame types.

If you or your optical staff is not comfortable with selling, please read Dr. Vargo’s book “But I don’t Sell!” (  Persuading people to do what is in their own best interest is a function of being a healthcare provider.

If you are an IDOC Select or Advisor member, you have a trusted partner with the resources to help you navigate the challenges of independent optometry.

Pat Basile

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

12/2/2022 | Author: IDOC

Hayley Stewart, IDOC Financial Services Manager

The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means you are probably thinking about your practice’s bookkeeping and all the many year-end deadlines that are going to be here before you know it. One of those deadlines you... Read more

11/4/2022 | Author: Nathan Hayes

IDOC is excited to announce the first benchmark report for our new Books & Benchmark; Financial Statement Benchmarks are live.  With over 30 practices connected to the database, we’re now able to run benchmarks.  Let us share a couple of aspects of how we do benchmarks that... Read more

9/9/2022 | Author: Maddie Langston


If you are looking to increase the number of new patients at your practice, then your marketing strategy should include working on how to get noticed in local online search results. One powerful way to increase your visibility in local search is to optimize and maintain the... Read more

8/22/2022 | Author: Kelsey Garcia

So you created a Facebook and Instagram account for your practice, but now what? Coming up with post ideas can be overwhelming and can quickly leave your creative “well” feeling dry. By categorizing your posts into three main buckets, you can easily streamline the brainstorming... Read more

8/5/2022 | Author: Dr. Steve Vargo

As I type this, the news is dominated by concerns over the economy, including unease around inflation and a looming recession. This has practice owners understandably concerned and asking, “What should I expect, and how can I prepare?”

I’m not an economist, and I... Read more

7/22/2022 | Author: Nathan Hayes

Do you worry that your staff aren’t consistently doing the little things in your practice? Do you lose sleep because you just ‘don’t know’ what’s happening outside your lane?  Do you struggle to find the time to oversee things?

Let me suggest that... Read more

7/15/2022 | Author: Amy Alvarez

I think I would be hard pressed to find an independent practice owner who doesn’t understand the power that marketing has on their ability to attract patients to their practice. Keeping patients, new and existing, visiting the practice is an important part of a successful... Read more

7/8/2022 | Author: Lana Greene

I have never spoken to a practice with a zero patient-owned-frame (POF) percentage. I encourage practices to strive for less than 25% POF percentage at a minimum, and less than 15% for the best-in-class. You may see a slight increase year-over-year, which will happen when you sell quality... Read more

5/19/2022 | Author: Dr. 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