What follows are some key tactics from eyecare professionals of what it might take to inroad your male consumer. Teamed with a concerted effort to understand men’s tastes for conservative colorations, a sensitivity to great quality at a fair price and eyewear that is distinctively male-oriented, optical professionals clearly need to embrace the attitude of eyewear that can make the man.
“Encourage men to try on something completely different than what they come in wearing. Men are reluctant to try on new things, but once they do, they usually like the way they look.”
—Debbie Boroff, OD, Office Manager,
Office of David B. Cominski, OD, Anaheim, Calif.
“When it comes to men’s frames, its function first and fashion second. Men are more heavy-handed than women, so titanium frames work well for them.”
– Gary Peters, OD, Eye Store,
“Men’s eyewear is not as hard to sell as women’s. Men aren’t interested in fashion; they are interested in durability and function. If you find out what they do for a living, you can gage what type of frame they will want.”
—David Blissenbach, owner, Olde Tyme Optical Shoppe,
East Saint Louis, Ill.
“When selling to men, I focus on technology. Men aren’t as concerned about price as women are and if they come by themselves, it takes about five to 15 minutes for them to pick out a frame. Rectangular plastic frames are very big right now. Older men love the classic double bar, but the younger men only like this look in the aviator sunglass.”
—Deborah Kurpjuwet, owner, Debonair Eyes,
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
“Men are functional. They like it when you point out technological elements like spring hinges and clip-ons. Men want more for their money.”
—Casey Miller, OD, Optical Expressions,
Saint Louis, Mo.
“Men buy two frames on the spot more than women do because they don’t want to make two trips. Men are hard on their frames and durability is very important to them.”
—Valerie Meath, OD, Roy Schultz,
“Now more than ever men are concerned with brand names. They also are concerned with material, lightness and comfort.”
—Carl Marvel, OD, Riverview Optical,
“When men come into the store, they mostly know what they want and are ready to buy. When I am selling frames to the younger customers, I focus on brand and style. Older men want the classic look at a reasonable price.”
—Mario Mastrojeni, owner, Wheaton Eyecare,
Silver Spring Md.
“When selling frames to men, it is important to make sure that they fit. I get a lot of pumpkin heads who want to fit into small frames, and it doesn’t look right.”
—Ronald Gurin, H G Gurin, OD,
“Many men will pick out a few frames and then come back for a second opinion with a wife or a girlfriend. I use this as an opportunity to upgrade both of their frames.”
—Edwin McBeth, OD, Eyecare Center of Highland,