The potential to build your business by focussing more on selling kids’ optical eyewear and sunglasses is enormous. What’s more, the kids you serve today will be the adults who bring you business in the future. It’s a long term investment and one that’s well worth nurturing. So where do you start?
Kids’ fashion frames are looking funkier than ever – in fact, there are many fun loving, fashion conscious adults out there who’d choose their frames from the kids’ collection, any day – if only they’d make them to fit!
The great thing about kids fashion eyewear is that it’s allowed to be loud, fun and… in your face! In fact, the more fun the glasses are the more chance they’ll be worn.
With so many crazy, trendy, fun and sporty frames on the market, it’s easy to see why, at first suggestion, most children love the idea of ‘needing’ a pair of specs. However, once reality sets in, and the excitement fades away, you need more than good looking frames to keep them out of the case and on the face.
Demonstrate your level of commitment with appointment reminders and you will potentially have a customer for life…
Holding the excitement of your young customers is where clever design really comes into its own. There are lightweight frames that you barely notice, materials like titanium that can be perfectly adjusted to meet the wearer’s face, nose grips that prevent slippage and the ability to switch the arms with an elasticised strap according to the activity of the day.
When it comes to glasses for little kids, wide cover for those that require a large field of vision, soft flexible frames and arms with rounded ends that don’t jab the eyes when they’re being pushed on and pulled off, are just some of the features that contribute to wearability and therefore a successful outcome for both patient and parent.
Appeal to Adult Concerns
Of course, from the parent’s point of view, there’s even more to it than that – they’re looking for affordability, preferably a pair that can be bent in half without snapping, spring hinges that click back into place – or no hinges at all, scratch resistant lenses and the capacity to withstand the impact of a daily tussle in the playground.
Protection from the Sun
Sun protection is a major area of concern for parents of young children. Yet when it comes to kids’ sunglasses, many parents view them as a fashion accessory. Education is key here to instilling a greater understanding of the benefits of wearing quality sunglasses – and it’s also key to unlocking an enormous area of sales for your practice. Talk to the kids, and their parents, about protecting their little eyes with sunglasses, as they do their skin with a sun hat and UV top.
Who Is Your Customer?
While getting the parents on side is important, in most cases, the key decision maker is the child – after all, no well seasoned parent is going to invest in a pair – or two – of glasses that their child doesn’t like. They’ll only end up covered in crumbs in the bottom of the school bag.
Make the Sale Snappy
As an optometrist, it’s up to you to pave the way for a sales process that is quick, painless and results in high levels of satisfaction all round. That means you need to keep up to date with the latest and greatest kids’ specs – and stock a selection of frames that will both excite your young patients while appealing to their parents’ sensibilities.
The key to a quick and successful sales process is to talk to your patient and their parent during the eye consultation. Determine their colour and style preferences and chat about their lifestyle. If your patient loves sport, they may need protective glasses with nose grips slippage and a strap to keep them in place. Photochromatic lenses or clip-ons will have them well prepared for indoor and outdoor activities.
Talk to the kids’ parents about their anticipated budget and their health insurance cover – this will give you an idea of the frames to bring out and allay any anxiety they may have about the costs they’re about to incur.
Kids often lose or break their specs and sunglasses which can create panic for busy parents, so, along the way, it is well worth suggesting a second pair of less expensive glasses as a back up.
Armed with an overview of style, colour, purpose and budget, you can produce a selection of specs that will excite both your patient and their parent, avoid disappointment – and hopefully, quickly drive a decision.
Build Loyalty for Life
They say that children are for life – and as an optometrist, the same rule can apply – as long as you treat those children with care and respect. A young child’s head will grow until they reach late teenage years and their eyesight will change as well. They’ll often lose their specs, break them, or simply grow out of the style they once loved. These factors alone will bring them back to you year after year, providing you with endless opportunities to build a close professional relationship.
Small children can find optical equipment daunting – it’s large, dull looking and ‘not to be played with’. They may find you just as intimidating. Introduce yourself, explain the equipment, let them see it through your eyes, help them understand the process of an eye check and invite them to try on the frames.
Once they’ve selected their specs, reinforce their decision, tell them how great they look wearing their new frames and provide them with the maintenance tools they need – a case, a cloth with a fun or trendy motif, even a glasses strap.
Keep in touch with your new young patient with personalised follow ups that are relevant to their age and reinforce the value of effective eye health. Demonstrate your level of commitment with appointment reminders and you will potentially have a customer for life.