How to Fix Your Approach to One-Day Lenses: Your Patients Will Love it!

by | Feb 15, 2022

The previous two articles (find them here) talked about your patients’ mindsets as they enter your office. Like you, they hands-down want to fulfill their eyecare needs at your office, including purchasing from you, so they can check “vision” off their mental checklist and move on to the next thing in their busy lives. 

Mindset and the decision-making process are especially important to the customer journey. If any part of their experience in your office is confusing or inconsistent, patients will not complete their “journey.”

In this article, I want to help you revamp how you talk with your patients about upgrading to daily lenses. I want to address (and fix!) some of the common mistakes that practices make in these dialogues. Eliminating these mistakes will result in the easiest upgrade conversations you’ll ever have, with your patients leading the way!

What’s wrong with how most doctors approach the “one-day conversation”

Most of us treat this conversation much like how we approach diagnosing and treating other conditions. “Let me tell you what’s wrong; here’s a solution and the reasons why it will work. We’ll send that to your pharmacy now—any questions?”

This approach works reasonably well for conjunctivitis; it does not work well for helping patients see themselves moving from monthly lenses to one-day lenses. 

Problem #1: Many patients are happy with their monthly lenses. For years, contact lens companies have tried coming up with ways to help us identify problems patients might overlook: “Sure, they say they’re fine—but look, they rated their end-of-day comfort a 7/10!” While this is meant to bring awareness to hidden problems, it’s more likely to raise skepticism. It comes off exactly like it feels: like you’re fishing for a problem in order to sell them something.

Problem #2: Patients struggle to create their own justifications–which are way more motivating–when you give them all the reasons to wear a one-day lens. How would you feel if you were trying to buy a car, but the sales rep talked all about the features and benefits of a motorcycle? Sure, features and benefits are great when you’re motivated to purchase something, but if you don’t care, it’s just a hassle—getting in the way of the decision you want to make.

The fix? Lead with pricing instead of ending with it

Whenever you need to make a purchasing decision about something, what’s the #1 question in your head?

 “What’s it cost???”

By obscuring the price early on, intentionally or not, it prevents the patient from really hearing the reasons why a one-day lens is better. Worried about scaring them off with the price? Better that it happens upfront so you aren’t wasting your time explaining the benefits of something they have no way to afford. 

But here’s the key–nothing that a person elects to buy is too expensive.  It’s always affordable, because if it were too expensive then they wouldn’t buy it. Think about it this way, many people upgrade their vehicle to leather seats for $6,000 yet would never consider buying a couch for that amount, despite spending 4x more time on their couch at home. We think things are affordable when we see a path to its purchase, and then we justify our decision.

The best way to help your patients see their path is to help them take step one–that is, show them their current lens pricing AND the pricing of the new option. 

Why is this such a game changer? For one, most people do not know what they spent last year on contacts, so by telling them up front, you’ve now set the baseline at their current lens, not “zero.” Secondly, it allows them to see the total number, while also seeing the difference between the two prices. Suddenly, you’ve given them the starting path. From there, they can begin the process of rationalizing their purchase.

“It’s $150 more for this new lens. I think I’ll have some extra in my FSA for these lenses this year. My kids didn’t have any cavities the other day; I saved money there, too.” People will have all sorts of reasons for making the lenses affordable in their mind.

Give them a good pitch; then let them justify

What’s a good pitch? Think of it as if you had one shot to tell them what’s great about the lens in one sentence. Let it be open-ended in the sense that it allows people to fill in their key reasons for making the switch. I’ll just give you my favorite pitch:

“One-day replacement lenses are great because it means a new, fresh lens every day. Plus, you don’t have to worry about solutions.”

You’re emphasizing that fresh-new-lens feeling everyone knows and enjoys, while also encompassing something cleaner and healthier. Likewise, everyone finds solutions to be a hassle, either due to cost or simply running out at the wrong time. Not having to “worry” about something is very powerful, we all want to avoid worrying!

If you go beyond that, you’re giving them too many reasons—which immediately makes them more skeptical of your advice and prevents them from developing their own justifications.

An example of putting it all together

Before you even enter the room, your staff shows a patient their current lens pricing and a recommended daily option, then gives the above pitch. You enter the room, and your patient says, “Hey, what do you think of these daily lenses?” You say, “They’re great, most of my patients who wear them love them. Would you like to try them today?” 

No more feeling like you’re trying to convince the patient to try new lenses, now they’re the ones in the driver’s seat, telling you how they’re interested in one-day lenses.

Finishing up the conversion to a new lens

Lastly, consider finalizing their one-day lens on the day of their appointment. This depends on your personal practice patterns but finding a way to keep everything contained to one visit—and allowing patients to order same-day—makes a big difference. If they end up having any issues or concerns or don’t like the lenses, simply agree to return them and place them back in their previous lens. That will satisfy the majority of patients.

If you’ve fallen off the wagon of routinely recommending new lenses to your patients, it’s probably because you’ve been beaten down from having too many unproductive conversations. Try hopping back on by taking this new approach; lead with comparison pricing, followed by a pitch, and watch as your patients consistently opt-in to a new lens choice, all without feeling like you’ve done one bit of selling.

“This is the way.” – The Mandalorian

By Ryan Gustus, OD

Driving contact lens sales with a smart approach.

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