How can an Eyewear Styling Sales Strategy Grow Your Practice?

Incorporating a systematic and consistent Eyewear Styling Experience in your practice is a proven strategy to attract high ticket clients, differentiate your practice and increase your bottom-line profit.

Create A Success Story!
The story starts with that first impression when the client walks into your practice.  You only have 30 seconds to make a positive first impression and 55% of that first impression is based on what your clients see.

People are checking out your office design, clothing style and eyewear and deciding that quickly if they like you, your skill set and whether they trust you.  This all happens before you have a chance to say, hello!

The Power of Vision Science Plus Fashion
Eyewear Styling sales training provides you and your staff a new approach to pivot from the eye health conversation to the eyewear fashion conversation which energizes your patients and inspires them to purchase on an emotional level.

As eye care professionals, the focus is on eye health, prescription specifics and lens technology to provide the best possible vision.  Yet, only 1 in 10 Canadians purchase more than one pair of eyeglasses at a time and many simply walk out the door to purchase eyewear online or at a different location.

3 Changes Providing Opportunity
While the pandemic has generated many attitudinal and behavioural changes, the following three have helped to create new opportunities for the independent practice.

  1.  A shift to online video meetings as the new normal has lifted eyewear up the ranks in fashion accessories.
  2. Consumers care how they “show-up” on screen and personal image is important, especially in business.
  3. Covid-weary consumers are less inclined to shop around and more likely to make their excursions a “one-stop” experience.

Optometrists have every opportunity to capture this lucrative market.  Every pair of eyeglasses starts with a spectacle prescription – and almost all spectacle RXs start with a comprehensive eye exam and refraction.  Your dispensary is often the first and last area of your office that people see and is vital to that first impression.  This all-important piece of real estate in your business should be given attention and a healthy pulse.   This is the area where you will serve and style with expert advice.  It is your business to loose!

What is “Eyewear Styling”?
Incorporating a fashion forward eyewear styling process will allow your practice to capitalize on these opportunities.  The good news is that you already know the science part and the fashion part can be learned.

Eyewear styling is more than knowing eyewear trends for the season; it is the art of matching eyewear to facial features, clothing style and the client’s personal image.

Personal image is how one walks, talks, dresses and projects themselves to the world.

Process-oriented Training is Key
Discovering your client’s personal image and how they would like to be perceived can be achieved during the eyewear selection process.   There are serious risks to “judging a book by its cover” or “assuming” anything but there is power in observation, language and discussion techniques that can unlock the secrets.  This process leads to an engaging sales conversation for your staff and your patients.

Get a Free Frame board Audit

A consistently applied eyewear styling system provides you and your team a new sales language and the confidence to have informed conversations with your patients about their individual style and the impression they want to make with their eyewear fashion.

Your team members can be trained to speak a language that resonates on an emotional level, and evokes the feeling, “hey, you get me?”.  This is like oxygen to them.  Post-pandemic, people are craving an experience that makes them feel great.

What’s the Payoff?
Let’s face it… optical dispensaries all start to look the same to the average eyewear consumer.  Differentiating your space and your sales conversation can be energizing for you, your team, and your patients.  Creating a “Styling” area and upbeat fashion vibe in your office allows you to immediately stand out from your competition.

Developing a clear eyewear styling sales strategy helps your team members to work together and confidently make the offer for more than one pair.  This is productive and ultimately increases your revenues achieving a healthy bottom line.  Once you have completed the eye exam, you have a captive audience in your dispensary, and this is a huge opportunity to completely wow your clients and style successfully.

When you offer an exceptional eyewear styling session, people want to stay, people want to buy, and people want to talk about you!   Your clients will market for you, and you will organically attract repeat and referral business in your community.


Wendy Buchanan, Eyewear Image Expert is a Registered Optician, Image Consultant and Educator.  She is the creative force behind the Be Spectacular Eyewear Styling System® for Eye Care Professionals.  Wendy helps eye care practices to systematically reinvent their eyewear dispensaries to create an exceptional buying experience and increase profits.

Connect with Wendy on Instagram


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Revamping your optical can create an environment that makes patients want to shop and make a purchase, increasing your revenues.

Last year, my four-OD practice, Wichita Optometry, undertook a revamp of our optical dispensary.

The day I joined Wichita Optometry, September 1, 2010, I thought that the office needed a facelift. The details of how that was going to happen began to evolve six years later in September of 2016. The office felt dated and dingy with golden oak and faux, sponge-painted walls. I wanted patients to walk through the door and experience a bright, cheery and modern atmosphere.

Taking on an optical remodel can seem daunting in the beginning. You need to figure out a budget, establish the look you are going for, find contractors and put in the time to see that everything gets done as you had envisioned.

The remodeled optical in Dr. Blasi’s practice. Dr. Blasi says the revamp required careful planning and budgeting, but was well worth the time and money. The practice expects strengthened optical sales, and an enhanced patient experience, as a result.

Set Your Budget
The initial budget was $40,000, and we ended up at $45,214. I feel like we have a totally new office, and it was worth every penny!

Identify Key Needed Changes
The first needed office update was new paint for the walls and trim. We have always been attentive about keeping the office clean, but somehow we had overlooked something as simple, yet powerful, as a fresh coat of paint. I went to Sherwin Williams to pick out the color scheme.

We decided on a gray color scheme and white trim and doors. This made a huge difference. We painted the whole office for $15,000. That also included scraping and repainting the popcorn ceilings.

The second thing that needed to go was all the old, clunky, yellow oak optical displays. This made the office look dated and cluttered. A great deal of time went into deciding what the new displays would look like, and who we were going to purchase the displays from. We decided on a streamlined, modern look, and picked LED-lit acrylic displays with wood-backing from Frame Displays. The LED back-lighting, along with the LED track lighting, really helps show off the frames. The acrylic boards allowed for the dispensary to be more open. The total cost for all the new displays, and LED lighting for those displays, was $15,900.

We replaced our old tile in the entry way and patient’s bathroom with luxury vinyl flooring, which is a great material because it is easy to clean, has no grout, is low noise and does not become slick when wet. Since we replaced the carpet a couple years ago, we left it. Material and labor costs were a little over $2,000 to redo the entry way and bathroom flooring.

New reception desks are expensive. After looking into different options, we decided to replace our formica with a metal-looking formica to give it an updated look. We also had a company that remodels cabinets come out and paint/glaze all the yellow oak cabinets. This turned out looking fantastic! The total cost to do all of this was $7,000.

New lighting and decorations, such as art prints for the walls, or sconces, accounted for the rest of the budget.

Find a Contractor: Solicit More than One Bid
Most of the contractors that we used we either knew from previous work they did for our offices, or were recommended to us by people we knew. This was one of the most challenging aspects of the remodel. Just because one person recommends a contractor does not mean that they are up to another person’s standards. We always had at least two contractors bid the job before we decided who we would hire.

Try to Schedule Construction for Off Days
Almost all of the work was done on the weekends, when we are closed. The benefit of this was it did not disrupt patient flow and we could keep the office open the whole time. We made sure to post signs on the doors that said “Please excuse our mess.” However, it required a significant amount of time for the practice owners at the office during the weekends for 10 weeks.

Measure to Assess Effectiveness of Renovation
Before the remodel we were able to display close to 700 frames. Currently, we display around 900 frames. This has allowed us to add more frame lines and expand our sunwear selection.

Frame turnover is the main metric we will track this year to determine whether the optical revamp paid off. We typically turnover frames 3-4 times the total number of stocked frames per year. In addition, our EHR allows breakdown of frame sales, which we will compare year-to-year.

The perception which staff and patients have of the office also is part of the payoff. Perception is reality, and when patients see you investing in an updated look, they are more likely to feel they had a better, more fun experience.

Rightly or wrongly, competency is often equated with appearance. The American way is that if you do not upgrade, and have the newest technology, or newest look, then you are outdated and “not keeping up.” That feeling of not being able to keep up then trickles down to all aspects of the office. We hope our opticians will become more energized and excited about showing off the end result of the optical revamp and our new frame lines.

I can say at the end of the process, the revamp was a lot of hard work, but the end result has been great. We have positive feedback from staff and patients, and we feel like there has been a renewed sense of excitement throughout the office.


is an associate with Wichita Optometry, P. A. in Wichita, Kan. To contact her:


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Despite the fact that most of your clients own numerous pairs of gloves and shoes, several hats or caps and many other accessories that serve to improve their comfort and enhance their appearance, getting them to buy a second pair of glasses is often a real challenge. And yet, glasses serve a dual function as a medical/well-being necessity and a fashion accessory. Both functions provide excellent starting points for selling multiple pairs of glasses.

Why do some wearers own more than one pair of prescription glasses? A survey of about 10,000 Americans conducted by Vision Council[1] has some answers. For 39.3% of respondents, it is important to have an extra pair of glasses as a back-up. 36.9% of people gave convenience as the reason: a different pair of glasses in different locations (home and office). The third reason given was functionality; 34.2% of multiple pair eyewear owners have different pairs for different activities. This reason was popular among men over the age of 45.  Finally, a handful of people stated fashion as their reason (to complement their wardrobe). A more recent survey conducted by VuePoint IDS also found that the “fashion accessory” aspect was one of the least popular arguments used by Canadian eye care professionals to encourage the sale of multiple pairs.

VuePoint research indicates, that Function trumps Fashion, when it comes to advocating a second pair sale.

Over the last few years, pollsters have not seen any major swings in the intentions of wearers. It is therefore up to eye care professionals and the industry as a whole to educate the client to associate visual comfort with wearing a different pair of glasses for different activities.

The Power of Advice

Of course, clients have access to information everywhere, namely on the Web. Are they well informed? Not necessarily, but they are willing to listen to advice. One of the main influences on consumers when choosing their glasses is the recommendation of their eye care professional. It is well known that advice provided in the examination room is golden. That’s the first key to success, according to a recent poll by VisionWatch,[2] followed by appearance and affordability.

Considering that only 20% of patients[3] own a second pair of glasses, the potential is enormous. Manufacturers are doubling their efforts to help you give the best advice, to increase sales and to encourage people to purchase multiple pairs of glasses.

In our December survey, 60% of our readers stated that they need more training to perfect the technique of selling multiple pairs. On top of reducing the cost of lenses, that’s what ZEISS proposes with its marketing material and training to encourage the sale of multiple pairs. At the same time, ZEISS has launched a DriveSafe ad campaign targeting consumers. The lenses are designed to provide the best vision while driving in all conditions. Compelling safety arguments are likely to positively influence clients and convince them to purchase a second pair of glasses.

Oakley has also launched its prescription sun lenses with Prizm technology to enhance vision for people who enjoy outdoor recreation activities. These lenses facilitate outdoor activities such as golf, baseball, hiking and cycling. Essilor recently introduced a line of lenses for connected people. The Eyezen lens won the Silmo d’or 2015 award and is designed for most patients who are worried about the effects of blue light from digital devices.

Room for Education

“Did you know that 25% of consumers are willing to invest in a second pair of glasses when they are told it’s the best visual solution? Informing the client about available products is educating them, advising them, and guiding them to make an immediate or future purchase. Various concrete actions can be implemented to create opportunities to recommend a second pair,” says Arnaud Reichenbach of Essilor’s client service department.

Reichenbach believes that you can spend a great deal of time and money developing new strategies to attract clients, but often the potential is already in your office. With the right tools, you can take advantage of that potential. Initiating the discussion in the examination room, keeping the message consistent, knowing your offer well, and identifying the advantages and benefits for consumers are all marketing elements that will help you sway them. Ask questions that give you an idea of your clients’ individual needs. The questionnaire will provide valuable information to help you make the sale. Using open-ended questions to identify needs and closed-ended questions to confirm them creates an opportunity to reinforce the validity of purchasing multiple pairs.

“Everyone can benefit from owning multiple pairs, each tailored to a specific visual need: Crizal® No-Glare lenses, Xperio® sun lenses, Essilor® Junior lenses, Transitions® lenses, Essilor® EyezenTM lenses, Varilux® DigitimeTM specialized lenses, protective eyewear for sports, lenses that filter blue light such as Crizal® PrevenciaTM, not to mention current promotional programs such as Perfect Pair or Multi-Pair PlusTM. Of course, you need to automatically tell consumers about these products,” concludes Arnaud Reichenbach.

Encourage Trying Different Lenses

Consumers may think that, due to the fact that they darken when exposed to sunlight, photochromic lenses are a substitute for sunglasses, reducing the possibility of selling multiple pairs of glasses. “This is not the case,” says Isabelle Tremblay-Dawson, marketing director at Transitions Optical. “According to our research, 33% of Canadians, independent of whether or not they wear Transitions lenses, buy a second pair of glasses. This shows that proposing Transitions lenses does not hinder the sale of a second pair of glasses and reinforces the main advantage of photochromic lenses as a first pair, which is to generate higher profits on the first pair of glasses, while leaving the door open to the sale of a second pair.”

But the Transitions study also shows that 38% of Canadians do not wear or stopped wearing (32%) Transitions lenses because they prefer sunglasses. This means that they were not informed of the differences between Transitions lenses and sunglasses.

There are numerous opportunities to promote the sale of a second pair of glasses during a patient’s visit. While discussing the patient’s visual needs, the optometrist can mention the advantages of Transitions lenses and talk about the additional benefits of polarized sunglasses for when the patient spends time in bright sun or in conditions where the sunlight is bouncing off surfaces such as water or snow.

“At the end of the consultation in the examination room, the optician should join the conversation. The optometrist can summarize the discussion with the patient about multiple pairs, thus opening the door for the optician to continue providing the patient with information about available products,” says Isabelle Tremblay-Dawson.

Incentives and Promotions

Stephanie Gingras, marketing and promotions specialist, points out that “when an eye care professional orders two Rx for the same patient with the same prescription, the ECP receives a 60% discount on the standard price listed for the second pair of lesser value. For independent offices, we offer a program that allows the ECP to easily offer a second pair.”

In addition, since April 2015, Hoya has developed an iPad app––HVC Viewer––which allows patients to experience the lenses before they wear them. In a few seconds, the patient can see the benefits of lenses and comes away with a highly motivating and personalized experience. This is a wonderful way to stay ahead of the game!

Lens design is another advantage when it comes to promoting multiple pairs. In particular, lenses designed with iD FreeForm Design Technology are progressive lenses supported by the Integrated Double Surface Design that provide a wider field of vision. Another example is the Array free-form progressive lens, which features variable length corridors for better adaptability and acuity, even when the wearer is in motion.

The Reading Corner

Most of the time, people in their forties start having a hard time reading restaurant menus or their smart phones.

Presbyopia affects 1.7 billion people worldwide today, and that number is expected to soar to 2.1 billion by 2020. A U.S. study showed that nearly half of young presbyopic patients avoid wearing reading glasses for fear of appearing old.[4]

These clients are therefore likely to be open to purchasing multiple pairs of glasses for reasons associated with appearance. Reading glasses aren’t what they used to be and manufacturers know how to design styles that are original and attractive. This is the case with Read Loop, a unique French company with a collection of about 60 extremely stylish and very colourful frames… Attractive to young (and not so young) presbyopic patients! ThinOptics recently introduced a line of ultra-lightweight, thin frames that can easily fit in your suit or jacket pocket, and its universal case can even be attached to the back of a smartphone.

Finally, a new study has confirmed that of the 77% of Canadians that require a prescription to see, 10% of them use reading glasses that they change every year or so. Over 3.4 million pairs were sold in the last year![5] This market, along with single vision sunglasses and protective eyewear, are key markets for starting a conversation about multiple pairs.

Some Keys for Multiple Pair Success: 

  • Understand the needs of each patient
  • Start the conversation about multiple pairs of glasses in the examination room
  • Sell the second pair before the first
  • Discuss eyewear designed for outdoor activities before indoor glasses
  • Talk about safety and visual advantages
  • Transfer information to the optician to ensure consistency in your message
  • Improve training in selling multiple frames for your sales team
  • Use available marketing tools to prominently display promotions
  • Identify frames that are part of a promotion to reduce the time it takes to select a second frame
  • Offer payment options, if any
  • Update the client’s file for the next visit. This will help you remember the last discussion you had, validate any changes in the client’s visual needs and adjust your recommendations accordingly.

Source: Inspired by our VuePointIDS survey, by Arnaud Reichenbach of Essilor and by the Review of Optometric Business (several articles by Mark Wright, O.D., FCOVD, and Carole Burns, O.D., FCOVD).






[5] Study published by VuePoint IDS together with VisionWatch and VisionWatch Canada.


Isabelle is a longtime observer and chronicler of the optical industry and the Editor-in-Chief of OPTIK Magazine and Tmag Optical Trends, VuePoint Publications.


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