Through My Lens

Put Your Best Lens Forward
There’s a famous scene in the movie “Moonstruck” where Cher looks incredulously at a lovestruck Nicholas Cage, then slaps him across the face and commands him to “Snap out of it!”

That’s what I feel like telling doctors and dispensers who still use the term “add on” when talking about coatings, tints and other treatments that are applied to a lens before it is dispensed. While this term has been around forever and is widely used, it’s time we eliminated it from our optical vocabularies.

To call something an add on infers it is non-essential, an afterthought rather than an enhancement that is an integral part of the lens. Patients might rightly wonder, “Why should I pay extra for something that I might be able to live without?”

The add on mentality is common among ECPs and optical retailers in the U.S. Yet in Europe, Asia and many other parts of the world, dispensers practice top-down selling, a technique in which patients are first offered the best possible combination of lenses and treatments. Just compare the relatively high percentages of AR lenses, progressive and high-index lenses sold in most international market compared to the U.S. and you’ll see how effective this technique can be.

There’s more to this approach than simply offering lens packages with various options. It means presenting to the patient the best possible combination of lenses and treatments that will enhance their vision and appearance. Sure, many patients are price-sensitive and may balk at going for the “best” option. Yet you should still offer them the best, along with a thorough explanation of how it will benefit them. If they prefer to spend less, be prepared with a good alternative that still offers most of the same benefits at a more affordable price point. The point is to let them know that you, their eyecare professional, are interested in making sure they get the best possible eyeglasses for their personal needs.

Andrew Karp
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology